Tele's 20 reasons to bring some sunshine to your day
The weather has turned, the nights are closing in and huge cuts are on their way – but it’s not all bad news. Linda Stewart tracks down some Belfast Telegraph stories over the past month to give you...
1. Four baby hedgehogs thought to have been abandoned at the back of a garden by their mother were rescued from death by a Ballycastle family who were alerted by the barking of their inquisitive dogs.
2. Lisnaskea man Ronald Hornby entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest best man after doing the honours for his nephew James Beattie at the age of 96 years and 89 days.
3. A gateway into Narnia is due to open on the Newtownards Road in the next two years, with the creation of a CS Lewis-themed plaza as part of the £40m Connswater Community Greenway.
4. Love could be in the air for silverback Gugas and Western lowland female Namoki, who clicked soon after her arrival at Belfast Zoo following a journey from Bristol.
5. Amateur boxer Sean McLaughlin had an emotional hospital reunion with off-duty cardiac nurse Roisin Dorrian, who saved his life after he suffered a heart attack in the ring during a fundraising event in Ardglass.
6. Veteran sailors from Northern Ireland were presented with the Ushakov medal by Russian ambassador to the UK, Dr Alexander Yakovenko, after waiting more than 70 years to be officially recognised for their pivotal roles in the Arctic convoys in the Second World War.
7. Sisters Arianna and Charlotte Vance and best friends John and Sophie Patterson grabbed a world record after gathering the biggest ever collection of horse chestnuts, amassing an astonishing 10,000 since September.
8. Street artist Banksy turned out to be in town after a number of his signature rats cropped up on surfaces across the Cathedral Quarter and Lisburn Road, ahead of the Breed exhibition at The National.
9. The Green and White Army were in full celebration mode after Northern Ireland won their first three qualifiers for the European Championships in a row for the first time ever.
10. Seventy years after our readers helped put 17 Spitfires in the skies to help the war effort, readers dug deep to help the Ulster Aviation Society buy a replica of the WWII aircraft.
11. Thrill-seeking couple Peter Stewart and Fiona Bannon celebrated their engagement by taking part in a dramatic wakeboarding photoshoot on the chilly waters of the River Bann in Coleraine.
12. Young cancer patients rubbed shoulders with golfing superstar Rory McIlroy as he opened Daisy Lodge, a holiday home for patients and their families set up by the Cancer Fund for Children in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains.
13. Antrim Grammar student Ben Collister came top in Northern Ireland in no fewer than four GCSE subjects. After receiving 10 A*s he discovered that he had beaten 16,950 students to the top spot in GCSE Maths, as well as thousands in Physics, Further Maths and ICT.
14. Mourners concerned that vandals were taking decorative stones from graves at Ballee Cemetery in Ballymena discovered, thanks to some video surveillance, that some very different culprits were behind the thefts — a group of crows.
15. Fivemiletown man Connor Bloomfield was voted the UK’s favourite bartender after his customers at Liverpool’s Aloha Bar voted for him.
16. Belfast snooker player Joe Swail staged one of the best comebacks of all time, fighting his way back after leaving the pro tour two years ago, to get back into the professional rankings and beat former world champion Neil Robertson in the International Championship in China.
17. 93-year-old former RAF air gunner Martin Charters, who survived more than 40 World War Two bombing missions, is being honoured at a ceremony in his home town of Killyleagh where he will be presented with a Bomber Command clasp to wear on the ribbon of his war medal.
18. One of our most eminent physicists is set to be honoured with a proposal to name a Titanic Quarter street Bell’s Theorem Crescent. Originally Belfast City Council had refused to name a street after John Stewart Bell due to the convention of never naming streets after people.
19. Belfast Zoo was delighted with the arrival of the first Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo to be born in the UK and Ireland. The gender of the shy joey has yet to be determined as it will remain in mum Jaya’s pouch for some months.
20. Cattle marooned on Strangford Lough’s island for the last couple of years were on the move once again with the launch of the National Trust’s £130,000 Cuan Brig barge which ferries the livestock that keeps the island meadows in peak condition.