Summer is my absolute favourite time of the year – despite the unpredictable British weather! If and when the sun is shining in a bright blue sky above my head, I am at my happiest.
Usually for me the summer months involve hopping on a plane, venturing far afield to find endless blue skies and sunshine. Southern California is good for that. Blue skies and tall skinny swaying palm trees = perfection. Add in a pool and a cocktail and just leave me there!
Summer to me is about BBQ’s, beer gardens, floating in the sea, feeling sand between my toes, discovering new pop-up rooftop bars, eating ‘99 ice creams… all of which I’ve experienced over the past few months.
This year however, there were no long-haul flights, no time differences and jet lag to deal with. Although I popped down to Spain for a week, where I found my blue skies and even a few palm trees, for the remainder of the summer months I put my trust in the British weather and it didn’t disappoint me.
This was my first summer living in the countryside, having recently ‘emigrated’ to rural Kent from South London. Having a garden has been a pleasant change from my old flat and we’re already planning how to re-arrange it to maximise the sunny patches for next summer!
I had another reason to love this summer – it was my first with my now six-month-old labradoodle puppy, Sidney. We enjoyed taking him on many trips to the coast and he lapped up the chance to run on the sand and splash in the waves. (Although watching him turn from a ball of fluff to a shaggy drowned rat and then washing him afterwards wasn’t quite so much fun!)
The puppy also provided a great reason for strolls through the surrounding fields and discovering shortcuts through corn fields to our local (500-year-old) pub on long summer evenings for a post-work beverage. Very British!
We are now well into autumn and it’s hard to believe I have gone through a whole summer without a long-haul sunshine break, but I will look back on this one with lots of fond memories. No pool in Palm Springs or perfect white sand beach in the Maldives, and yet it’s still been one of my favourites.