Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

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!

Blog Swap – Childhood Summer Vacation

This year I signed up to take part in the 20SB Blog Swap again, as I did last year. I was paired with Jenna from Unencumbered Words, a lovely blog that has now found its way into my Google Reader subscriptions! Have a read of her post here, and then check out her blog! If you would like to read my post, you can find it here.


We’ve been given the assignment of writing about our favorite childhood vacation in this post. I honestly can’t pick a favorite, though. See, every summer when I was a child my family would pile into our minivan and drive. That’s really most of what I remember of my childhood vacations. Driving. My dad always at the wheel; my mom in the passenger seat, looking at a large roadmap, trying to guide my dad to our destination. And six kids in the back, causing chaos as six kids inevitably do.

The destination was different every summer: the Oregon Coast, Yellowstone National Park, Disneyland, Mount Rushmore, Zions Canyon. Each place meant hours and hours of driving. This meant us kids had to find new and creative ways to entertain ourselves. My mom tried to provide us with solitary, quiet activities: reading, coloring, road sign bingo, crocheting yarn into nothing. But sooner or later, we always tired of these activities and came up with our own entertainment.

On the way to Yellowstone, my two older brothers taught my younger brother to fear the professional wrestler/governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, and convinced him that Ventura was in the car behind us at all times. This prompted my two-year-old brother to yell at my dad every so often to “Drive faster! Jesse Ventura is after us!” In Seattle, Washington, my oldest brother pulled the lever on the side of my seat, causing the seat to lurch forward, effectively sending me flying into the back of my mother’s seat. This has since been known as the time my brother “launched” me. One road trip my little brother decided it was the funniest thing in the world to lick his hands, wipe them on whomever was sitting next to him, and say “lotion!” We all just enjoyed annoying one another, really. But that’s what siblings are for.

Luckily there were always the random disasters on the road to distract us from trying to make one another scream. In Oceanside, California, the airline that we had flown out on went out of business in the week we were on vacation and we had to drive our rental car back to Utah. In Mesquite, Nevada, the car started leaking antifreeze, delaying us an entire day in sweltering desert heat. In Southern Utah we stayed in a hotel straight out of the Twilight Zone. They’d filled up a room in the basement to make a pool. Literally.

It’s kind of funny to me now that these are the things I remember. I’m sure my parents forked out a lot of money for us to experience all the must-see tourist sites. I’m glad they did, though. It taught me to enjoy the journey… and to love spending long hours sitting in a car. My husband and I are always going out on drives now. I just love looking out the window, discovering new things about the world around me. And random, unexpected adventures (like when Josh decides it’s a good idea to back off the side of a mountain) are always a welcome thrill. I look forward to the years when Josh and I will be able to pile our own kids into the backseat and head out on family vacations. Maybe our children will grow to love the road as much as I do.

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