12 Things I Love About Summer
Summer! What's Not To Love?!
In my childhood memories it was always summer. Those other three seasons? I don't remember them; although of course I know they must have taken up most of the year.
As an adult I still love summer. From the warmth of the sun on my shoulders, to the soft coolness of a lawn beneath my bare feet, these are the things, in no particular order, that I really, really, really love about summer.
1. Eating Outside
I grew up in England where eating outside is a three weeks of the year only kind of a deal. Since then I have moved to Queensland, Australia where al fresco dining goes on almost 365 days a year. Nonetheless, my love of eating outside has never wavered, even now that I can sit on my deck and eat a meal outside any time I want.
These days eating al fresco in summer means the whir of fans, butterflies flitting round the table and enjoying the breeze on my skin as I eat in the heat. Every summer evening here you hear the sounds of the neighbours on their deck talking and laughing as they eat and drink the evening away. I love this sound, it sounds like summer. Wherever you are in the world though, food just tastes better when you eat it outside.
2. Ice Lollies
You're never too old for an ice lolly. On a boiling hot day, when the humidity makes your clothes cling to your skin and the air is so thick you can almost drink it, nothing tastes as good as a cool lolly.
These days I have children, and they too love lollies, whether it's a frozen banana, a pureed mango or some other concoction that we have created and frozen in , nothing is more summery than a home made ice lolly. ice lolly molds
3. Swimming In An Outdoor Pool
Swimming in an indoor pool is nice, but in all honesty, swimming in an outdoor pool with the sun on your back is nicer.
These days, living in Australia, where backyard pools are as common as garages I am lucky enough to own my own pool. It's small, it's unheated, and I am very averse to the cold, which is why I know that the first day I plop my toe over the edge and realise it's warm enough for me to swim is the day that I know that summer is really, really here.
What can be more fun than lounging on a Lilo, riding an inflatable dragon, or just diving to collect rings from the bottom of the pool, only to haul yourself up on the burning hot tiles on the side of the pool and then throw yourself into the cool water again? No wonder my children whoop with joy- Its enough to bring out the child in any of us.
When I lived in London, not only did I not have a pool I didn't even have a garden. Nonetheless every summer my children and I would haul ourselves down to the local Lido and swim in the sun there. It was just as much fun there - try it!
4. The Smell Of Sunscreen..
With a sun as strong as we have here in Australia, sunscreen is almost a year round requirement. Nonetheless the smell of sunscreen still reminds me of summer.
When I was a child, most peoples' sun protection amounted to a slop of coconut oil, designed only to help you to tan as deeply and quickly as possible. These days, I spend hours and many dollars trying to protect my children from the dangers of the sun, but somewhere deep ingrained in my psyche I still associate the smell of sunscreen with the joy of summer. These days, my children are sprayed head to toe in 30+ sunscreen, a far cry from the factor 6 that was occasionally rubbed on my shoulders as a child. Sunscreen to me means holidays, ice creams, and riding my bike round the neighbourhood, happy in the knowledge that school holidays would go on almost forever.
5. Sand Between My Toes
Is there any feeling nicer in the world than standing on soft, warm, powdery sand and feeling your toes sink in?
I live 90 minutes from a beach where the sand is so fine that it squeaks when you step on it.
In the middle of the day in summer, it's too hot to step on even for a second. In the late afternoon though, just as the sun is setting, or early in the morning before anyone else arrives, the temperature is perfect. At those times, you can stand, in the driest sand, above the high water mark and feel it swish through your toes, back and forth, massaging your feet with its silky warmth. It feels like summer.
Is there anything in the world lovelier than a picnic on a summer's day?
Finding a cool spot in the shade, laying out a blanket, unpacking your sumptuous feast and then gently snoozing it off whilst the sun and the breeze massage you.
I love picnics. I love the ritual of them, the fun in packing them up and rediscovering the treasures that you packed at the other end. I also have a soft spot for picnic hampers and constantly practice creating the perfect picnic feast.
7. Sleeping Outside
Do you remember the joy as a child of being allowed to pitch your tent in the backyard and sleep the night in the garden?
My children love this too, although they have adult supervision that we never did. Still, there is a joy in the torches, the sleeping bags, the whispered midnight feasts and the stuffiness of the tent when you wake in the morning with the dew on the grass that is hard to replicate as an adult.
8. Flip Flops Or Thongs
What you call them depends on where you live in the world... Where I live now they are called thongs, but in the UK where I grew u,p we called them flip flops.
Whatever you call them, they are all about summer. Casual, free, easy- flip flops embody everything that summer should be about. Not only that, but they look great with summer clothes too!
Are you ever too old to run under sprinklers?
I hope not. I have visions of myself at 80, playing under the sprinklers in the garden and squealing. Just as I did at 7 and just as I do now at ......
For those of you that haven't tried this for a while, all you need is a scorching summer day, a garden tap, and a sprinkler...... prepare to whoop with joy!
There is nothing I love more than a late afternoon storm to clear the air and get rid of the humidity. From the time that I see the black clouds rolling over the horizon, to the first thunderous crack that rattles the roof, I love, love, love summer storms.
Sitting in the evening at the end of a long summers day, hearing the tropical rain pounding down on my roof, and sipping a glass of wine as I watch the trees bend double and nature unleash her fury is one of my favourite things about summer.
Which season is your favourite?
11. Slip N Slide!
Until this year I had never tried a slip n slide! There is nothing more fun, even at my advanced age, than skidding along in the sunshine, getting drenched and giggling like a small child.
I'm not sure how much my neighbours love it as my children whoop and squeal with joy playing with this in our backyard, but this has to be one of their favorite summer activities, ever.
12. School Holidays!
Ok, I admit there are times during the school holidays when my children drive me almost to the point of wishing that school would hurry up and start again, but only nearly! Most of the time school holidays are my favourite time of the year.
The long days of no alarm clocks, no work for me, no plans, just lazing around the house in our pjs, ambling down to the park in the sun, hopping in our pool after supper to have a last, before bed swim, to cool off. Watching my children playing in the garden, cartwheeling and singing, spraying each other in cold water in frantic, hilarious attempts to cool off. Seeing how gorgeous their cute little legs look in summer shorts.
If only school holidays could last forever!
© 2010 Rachel Thomas