Archive of ‘summer’ category

Six reasons to miss summer when it’s gone

Miss-Summer

For a while, I thought I was in the minority in liking autumn more than I like summer. Since being exposed to everyone’s innermost thoughts on social media, I realise that it isn’t a minority. That autumn is better than summer is apparently THE MOST POPULAR OPINION OF ALL TIME. Whether it’s pumpkin flavoured coffees, new boots or that back to school vibe (pretty sure I’m in the minority there, actually), everyone is gaga for the change of season.

So in an attempt to a) get back to blogging about stuff that isn’t catching up on Photo a Day, and b) write something a little more challenging than ’10 reasons I love autumn’, I thought I’d think of a few things that I will miss about summer (even though I am so glad that the weather finally appears to making its way towards autumn).

Being able to go to an outdoor event and not worry (too much) about the weather

Case in point, yesterday I stood in Hyde Park and got ridiculously soaked. Admittedly, it means that I will always remember dancing to Man I Feel Like a Woman in the pouring rain, which is a fabulous memory to have, but still. British summers aren’t perfect, but if you arrange something in July, you might just be able to get away without an umbrella.

Washing your hair and then going for a drive to dry it in super quick time

Maybe I’m stuck in a bit of a hair rut at the moment, but for the past few months all I’ve done with my hair is wash it, spray it with some sea salt spray, and leave it to dry naturally. When I’m able to have the window open in the car and let the summery air at it, it dries quickly, and it just feels nice. (Disclaimer, I still can’t drive, I’m talking about going out at the weekends with my friend Hannah!) As the temperatures drop, if I try air-drying my soaking wet hair, I’m probably going to catch my death of cold.

Sitting in the garden with a book

The back of our house is a little sun trap on summer mornings, and it’s a nice place to sit and read chapter after chapter. Though with autumn on its way, I’ll just transfer into the house, put the fire on and make a cup of tea.

Having a barbecue

I’ve hardly had any barbecues this year, and now I feel as though I’ve missed my chance. Cooking outside is less fun when it’s chilly, or when it’s raining.

Quieter roads

Again, as I don’t drive, maybe it’s not my place to complain about this. But I’m a passenger a lot, and it’s nice to be able to make our way through our tiny village with a fraction of the traffic during the school summer holidays.

Beach paddling

Don’t get me wrong, I will paddle in the sea when it’s freezing cold. But there’s no denying that it’s a little less enjoyable when you are worrying that your toes are going to fall off. Also, people look at you like you’re a bit strange when you have your feet in the North Sea in November.

So there you have it. Six reasons why I might just miss summer. This is all folly of course. None of these things can actually make up for the chillier days, the new boots, coats, jumpers and tights, the amazing television, having the fire on, drinking more tea, my birthday, and the lead up to Christmas. (There, you got a list in the end anyway.)

Photo by Kate Tandy on Unsplash

17 things to do this summer

Summer

Summer might be a little way off, officially, but here in the UK, we have to get our sunshine when Mother Nature decides to smile on us. And as we’re in the middle of our usual pre-summer heatwave, my thoughts have turned to summertime. Here’s a few ideas of things you could do over the next couple of months.

  • Go to a free music festival, or a free open air concert.
  • Go on a city walking tour.
  • Visit a local museum. The tiny little town museums can be really interesting, especially if you are local to the area!
  • Go to a theme park. This might be a good one to do just before or just after the school summer holidays. Or pick a rainy day and go then!
  • Read some YA summer romance books: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, The Moon and More, Someone Like You (basically anything by Sarah Dessen).
  • Have a drink on a rooftop bar.
  • Try this summer photography challenge – if you do join in tag your photos with #itydsummer so I can see them!

 

Summer-Challenge

  • Play tennis.
  • Have a picnic in the park.
  • Go to an animal sanctuary – avoid the zoo and give your love to some animals that have been rescued.
  • Make cocktails.
  • Go strawberry picking.
  • Swim in the sea, or, if like me, you can’t do such things, paddle in the sea.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Have an outdoor boardgame night.
  • Go on a boat trip.
  • Go geo-caching.

What have you got planned this summer?

Roll On Summer

A couple of days ago, the always fabulous Hannah posted ten reasons why she can’t wait until the summer holidays. As a university student, she has the summer break in her sights already, and I don’t blame her!

Anyway, between that blog post and the delightfully spring-like weather we have been experiencing over the past few days, I was inspired to make my own list of reasons I am looking forward to the summer.

1. I’m going to see Bon Jovi in July at Hyde Park. Fingers crossed the weather is as good as it was last time.

2. There will be a new tiny addition to the family in August, and I can’t wait for cuddles!

3. I am notoriously rubbish at coping with hot weather, but by now, I am bored of winter and looking forward to the temperature rising just a little bit.

4. Warmer weather means less clothes. I’m not especially fond of stripping off, but I do like getting my arms and (depending on my level of weight loss by the time summer arrives) my legs out.

5. I am looking forward to summery activities, like barbecues, picnics and days out.

A photo taken many years ago on a sunny Bank Holiday picnic in the park! ~

7. This year, two of my best friends are turning thirty. Birthdays are the best; I don’t know how we’ll celebrate with them yet, but I am sure we will be doing something fun!

8. Sitting in the garden with a book and a long, tall glass of something cold makes me happy, and I can do a lot more of that in the summer!

9. I bemoan the loss of all the good television in the summer (it really is dire), but it gives me a chance to catch up with all the shows that I have been meaning to watch for ages.

10. There a Caravan of Love weekend in my summery future, and I cannot wait. They are the best weekends of my year.

Childhood Summer Vacations

A couple of weeks ago I took part in the 20SB Blog Swap. I did it last year, and unfortunately, the blog I swapped with has become private, so I have no way of linking to the post I wrote back then. This year, I can no longer find my post on my partner’s blog. Since I really enjoyed writing it, and I wanted people (especially my family) to be able to see it, I decided to repost it here. 

The brief for this blog post is to pick a favourite summer vacation (or holiday,as we Brits prefer to call them). I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and for me, it’s fairly difficult to pick one. When I was younger, my family didn’t go on foreign holidays. It just wasn’t something we did. We didn’t even travel that extensively in the UK; we found an area of the country that we liked, and we tended to stick to it. If this sounds like I am unhappy that this was the case, I’m not. We had one foreign holiday; when I was eleven I went to Germany with my parents and two of my brothers, to visit family who live there. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad we went, but I enjoyed our caravan holidays into East Anglia as much, if not more.

However, when it comes to picking a favourite childhood holiday, it’s hard. Not least because, in my old age, the memories have become somewhat merged into one big lump, and it’s hard to pick out what happened when. But it is also because (and again, this is not a complaint), we did similar things on each of these holidays. To illustrate my point, I decided to share some photographs with you. They come from three holidays specifically, one in Felixstowe in (I think) 1990, when I was eight, another from Hunstanton in 1991, and another from Hunstanton, I assume from 1992.

Caravan  - F_phixr

Caravan - H91_phixr

We always stayed in a static caravan. My love for a caravan holiday is now deeply embedded, and I want to own one eventually.

Beach - F_phixr

Beach - H91_phixr

Beach - H_phixr

The beach was a big fixture in our holidays, lots of free fun to be had and we always loved digging a big hole and then filling it with water. It was always a disappointment when the tide was out. One anomaly in these photos – the little boy in the middle of the bottom photo is a stranger we met there. We didn’t often play with other children on holiday – maybe it was unsociable, but often there were four of us and my mum and dad. We didn’t need anyone else!

Animal - Felixstowe Animal - H_phixr

As well as the beach, we also explored the local attractions – one year my dad took us to a fort that we all hated and it has passed into family folklore as the most boring trip ever. A zoo or farm was a lot more likely – although the bird that my brother stood in front of in the top photo scared me so I couldn’t have a photo with it! To be honest, I’m clearly not that much keener on the horse!

Group - F_phixr

2157_50404073921_6003_n_phixr (1)

A photograph in front of the caravan is a recurring theme. My little brother Michael was usually messing around, as you can see by the look on his face in both photos.

Michael - F_phixr

Michael - H_phixr

Talking of Michael, he always managed to hurt himself on our walks along the beach in the evening. We took our shoes off so we could walk in the sand, but didn’t necessarily put them back on when back on the path, and Michael always stubbed his toe and cried!

So as you can see, it’s hard for me to pick just one holiday, because they were all such fun. I’m so lucky that I grew up with lots of brothers and sisters (there two more in addition to the four of us you see in these photos), and that my parents were able to take us away for a week each year. The holidays might not have been in exotic locations, but I loved them!

Summer

Hi! Gretchen here, from Eat More Carbs

So the prompt is summer. I’ll give you some highlights.

I grew up going on family vacations in the summer. Each year the local library would offer free black and white maps of the United States. The goal was to bring them with you on road trips and try to find license plates from all fifty states. When you saw a license plate from Maryland, “OMG I SAW MARYLAND WHERE IS MY CRAYON, I NEED TO COLOR IT IN!” There were always the elusive Hawaii and Alaska, along with most of the western states. God forbid my older brother saw one that I didn’t.

“I just saw Montana! But you didn’t see it, so you can’t color yours in!”

“I did too see it! I see the car right there!”

“But you didn’t see the license plate! Mom, Gretchen’s cheating!” (He then probably hit me)

Then there was the one time we were traveling in the old Volvo whose back window didn’t go ALL the way up. It wasn’t a big deal, until my parents decided to take us through the CAR WASH. While we were napping.

You know that phrase, “never wake a sleeping child?” Well, especially don’t wake a sleeping child by terrifying them with anything that may cause them to believe they are about to drown.  I woke up to the water spraying in the window. They had tried shoving a blanket in the crevice of the open window, but that was full of the fail and instead they had at least one screeching imp; I’m not sure what my brother was doing. I just know I was traumatized.

I had minor anxiety attacks whenever I went through the car wash for years to come. Seriously, like until I was in my twenties. I wouldn’t go through the car wash alone, and whenever I did go, I would insist on getting out and checking ALL THE DOORS AND WINDOWS before we went through.

Side note: why do you need a car wash while on a road trip? Thanks mom and dad.

There was also the summer of the Macarena. You know the one. 1996. Summer after seventh grade. My best friend Sarah’s family and the beach house. We made a mix tape. Even to this day, when the Donna Lewis hit, “I Love You Always Forever” comes on the radio,  I expect it to transition with a scratchy jolt to a hastily recorded-off-the-radio-version of the Macarena. We listened to that tape on repeat for a week straight. Good times.

Oy

 I went to summer camp for seven years growing up, too…Christian summer camp, where we prayed before and after every activity. Flagpole? Good morning, Jesus. Breakfast? Better say grace. Time for canoeing! Let us pray we don’t fall out. Soccer? Pray for sportsmanship, then thank God afterward for no injuries. Well, except for Sally. Please help her snapped femur to heal quickly. Everyone was on one of two teams—the Romans or the Galatians. No, I’m not making this up. I could do a team cheer if you really want me to prove it to you.

Cabin 12 group picture- summer of ’99- I’m second from the right in the front row


Once (twice, actually!) my parents bussed (church vanned) the entire youth group to pick me up from my final day of camp. It was an amazing surprise, and we even stopped at a go-kart place on the way home.  Praise Jesus for go-karts!

Note that Sarah is always there for the good times. And look how much prettier we look just ONE YEAR after that beach picture debacle!

 Most families go to the beach for vacation. Not my family. At least, no more than a handful of times. My parents hated the beach. Where did we go for many a summer family getaway? Well, sometimes we would go to Ohio for a family reunion, where the main things I remember are going to Taco Bell and Toy Palace, a Toys-r-Us-like establishment.  I also learned to play 52-pickup and what a laundry chute was. I was convinced that rich people had laundry chutes.  But our vacation location for fun?  MAINE.

 Yeah, you read that right, Maine. Where the party never stops. (I’m pretty sure that’s the state motto, no?) And you can cash in your recyclables for money.  I remember being really into that activity. The perk of Maine was that it wasn’t sweltering hot in August, (as opposed to the humid mess of Virginia), so it was a fun treat to wear a sweatshirt in the evenings. I still remember eating donuts and blueberry muffins on mornings on the porch in Maine, looking out onto the bay. It may not sound like the most fun place for an 8 year old, but there was a bookstore and a railway museum in town, and I was a nerd with a nerd father, so I was happy. I read my Babysitters Club books on the rocks at Pemaquid  Point, while you were building sandcastles and learning to swim in the ocean. I may be slightly resentful that we didn’t have a summer beach house, but the truth is that I would go back to Maine to relive those days in a heartbeat. And I’d bring all my recyclables so we could cash them in.

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