Today has been hot, not just Britain hot but like Spain hot. This is a big deal to us, I realise that in a lot of places, our summer is like their winter, but when you live here and you get a truly hot day as today has been, it’s massive.
Maybe it was because we had one of the first school visits for my daughter and when we picked her up, conveniently there was an ice-cream van parked outside, (huge respect to the business sense of that man, there are over 400 children in the school and if just half had the persuasive powers of my kids he’d be quids in……oh alright, they were far too short to spot the van behind the other cars, it was all my idea!), so we walked home from school for the first time, first of many, all 3 of us eating Mr Whippys with flakes in, (me trying to pretend I hadn’t heard the stories about the bacteria in those machines), and went home and lay on blankets in the garden. The grass was dry and crunchy, the children were in the paddling pool, I was actually sunbathing on the lawn, which never happens in this country and it was so peaceful!
It was genuinely too hot to move and for ages we just all lay and watched the bees busily feasting on the flowering bramble and trying, and failing to spot just one cloud. It took me right back to days of lying on the freshly mown stubble of the farmer’s fields, clouds scudding lazily overhead and the buzzing of the bees filling the air. The air always felt like a warm blanket, heavy and still and the heat haze made everything look ethereal. I was always pretty sure that nostalgia had a good hand in painting these picture perfect memories but today I experienced a British summer day as I remember them from my childhood.
Although what I don’t remember from my own childhood is someone nagging me endlessly about my hat and suncream as I did to my children. I also remember a red nose and slightly sore burnt skin which I’m glad they won’t. Not saying my parents did a bad job but it was different when I was young…..at least we never had rickets I suppose!!
I spent much of my childhood outdoors, swinging upside down from tree branches, building dens, trying to make pictures out of clouds, which, by the way I still rule at, running wild and free, and whilst I realise that it’s a different time now, and that, even if we lived deep in the countryside as I did, I still would feel much more cautious about not knowing where they were, I feel happy knowing that I can still give them the sense of summer that I hold onto all these years later, the magic only a really hot day in Britain can bring with the amazing addition of sprinklers!!