August is pretty much my favourite time of the whole year.
There’s no school. Work gets quieter, meaning it’s easy to take the odd day off here and there. It stops raining (quite so much).
While we’re spending this August in Canada and the US, it’s the little things that make me miss a British summer. Here are my top 5. What are yours?
1. FAB Lollies
You can keep your fancy ice creams with nuts on top, and chocolate bars disguised as ice cream. Frankly, nothing beats a FAB ice lolly. It has sprinkles on it, for starters. I don’t care how old you are, food with sprinkles on tastes better than food without sprinkles on. Fact.
2. Rounders in the Park
During the summer, we love a game of rounders in the park. Jumpers for bases, a tennis ball because who knows where we left the actual rounders ball last year, and – wow – was it always this hard to hit a ball with a rounders bat?
I love rounders. My entire family got involved in a highly competitive rounders tournament on our recent holiday to Scotland. I don’t want to toot my horn too much but Flea kicked BUTT on second base.
3. Bad Barbecues
I’ve spent enough time in America to know what a barbecue should look like. American friends have big things they call ‘grills’ and they cook steaks for dinner on a weeknight.
British people have a small tin thing they bought at the supermarket, which they overload with petrol station charcoal and then stare at, in mute fury, for two hours. Eventually sausages are grilled and eaten in white bread with ketchup. And it tastes epic.
4. Country Walks
My single favourite thing to do on a sunny day is get out into the countryside. We’re fortunate to live near to some amazing countryside. Bolton Abbey is a fantastic spot for a picnic, and we’re also big fans of Skipton Castle.
We also love to head to Windermere – there are always loads of activities during the school holidays, from climbing walls and high rope courses to sailing workshops.
Like all British people walking in the country, of course, we take a picnic (sandwiches and a Thermos, natch), and get gently sun-burned regardless of how much sunscreen we apply.
5. The Beach
Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite thing about where we live is how close we are to the beach. It’s a tidal estuary so the beach is ridiculously wide and flat, perfect for cricket games and running around like mad things with the dog.
Americans, I can tell you from experience, go to the beach like they’re camping out for a week. There are chairs, cool boxes on wheeled trolleys, possibly even a gazebo (or two).
We are British. That means we take a football, and that towel that lives in the boot of the car, that hasn’t been washed since …. well, let’s not dwell on that, shall we?
Flea and I love playing catch, and football – and now we have Teddy, she loves to join in, too. This summer was the first year our puppy was (almost) brave enough to take a dip in the water herself!
I’d love to know what your favourite British summer adventures are!