How was your summer?
Monday morning is the return to full-on school and work, and I’m not ready!
This summer has felt monumental in some ways. Flea finished primary school, and turned 11. It’s such a fun age, almost as though she’s straddling two stages of her life. On the one hand, I see the pre-teen who is excited that she finally fits into the XS tops in Hollister and Jack Wills. On the other hand, there’s the child who still wants her raggedy soft toy when she goes to bed after a tough day.
I wanted to capture some of our favourite summer memories here – it’s been packed, but here are 10 of the moments I don’t want to forget:
Filming an Ad
We kicked off our summer doing a slightly bizarre recreation of our school run for a YouTube ad Flea filmed for Sainsbury’s and shared over on her YouTube channel. It was really fun to do, but cycling on the sea front in your school uniform after school’s over for the summer? We got some funny looks!
Sunset at Guincho
We kicked off the summer with a week in Portugal. Here’s Guincho Beach, where you’ll find some of the most gorgeous sunsets ever. The wind was blasting us with sand, the waves were alarmingly high, and Flea was goofing around. It was perfect.
Family Water Fight
Post Portugal we headed off for a holiday in Scotland, staying in some tiny cabins we’ve been visiting as a family since the 1970s. We were joined by my parents, my brother and his family, and assorted cousins, aunts and uncles. It was noisy and chaotic and the dog was – frankly – out of control with evil glee.
The weather was gorgeous on this day, and while a barbecue cooked on the grass, the kids roped two half the adults into a water fight, with alliances and double crosses galore. Brilliant fun.
Flea Turns Eleven
Of course, the biggest event of the summer as far as Flea was concerned? Her birthday. We were in Canada for the day itself, so she got to celebrate with family and open presents early. She was thrilled with her new skateboard and lessons, but this pair of Vans from her grandparents were the Top Present.
After Scotland, Flea went off to London with her Dad for a week of museums and comic books. While she was away, I did lots of work, and hung out with friends. I also took the opportunity to enormously improve the organisation of all her books, toys, and clothes.
Here’s her entirely spontaneous and sincere expression of joy upon realising the many improvements I had made. It makes me laugh. A lot.
International Jet Setting
Surely the single best thing about international travel is plane hair? Here’s Flea, after a 10 hour overnight flight.
One of the real highlights of our summer was our stay in Whistler. It’s particularly memorable because this is where we took on the Sasquatch – the highest, fastest zip line in North America, and the second highest in the world. Flea – being Flea – took this opportunity to learn to ride a zip line upside down. Of course she did.
One hot night in Kelowna, we headed for the local movie theatre, and its aircon. That night was memorable for two reasons – giving the Heimlich to a woman choking on popcorn on the back row; and Pete’s Dragon – officially the SADDEST movie ever known. Halfway through, Flea and I were both gulping crying. Flea might also have been making small mewling sounds of sadness. Total trauma.
Our trip to the Seattle and the Olympic National Park was hilarious. We drove down from Canada and got stuck at the US border. We landed in the tiny town of Coupeville too late to catch the last ferry across to Port Angeles. After booking a hotel 6 hours away (oops) we found ourselves in a completely weird B&B where everything was made of wood and there were shared bathrooms – with no doors.
The next day we caught the first ferry over the water. “This’ll be a great place to film an intro for your YouTube video!” I said to Flea. Yeah. That worked well, then.
Of all the mad adventures we took part in this summer, white water rafting was one of my favourites. We rafted down the Adams River, and took a break halfway for some cliff-diving. That was the most nervous I saw Flea during our whole trip. It was wet, scary and fun. Oh, and we rode to and from the river on a yellow school bus, which I found weirdly exciting. Recommended.
So that’s our summer. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of our adventures, and we hope yours was just as much fun, wherever you spent it!