It feels slightly strange to be sat here with the curtains drawn and the heating on when I can still smell suncream, but here we are.
It’s been a glorious British summer, topped off with two scorching weeks in Europe, so it’s only fair that I’d be slightly disgruntled this morning when my alarm went off and it was still perfect darkness outside. It might be warm enough to go out without a coat at lunchtime, but it’s definitely autumn, and it wouldn’t surprise me if next week it was suddenly winter without any warning whatsoever.
It’s been a chaotic summer even by my standards, and just as I’ve dragged the slow cooker recipes out of hibernation and fallen back in love with my fleece pants I’ve looked at the calendar and realised that it’s looking like a hectic autumn too.
How to describe it all…well, I’m conscious of not blogging since the sun came out, but I’m also conscious of going on all night, so here goes, the abridged version of this summer’s activities…
A weekend at the seaside just in time to greet the sunshine, fish, chips, pint pots, power cuts, painful flip flops for a coastal walk whilst getting ravaged by a plague of furious flies, eating scallops for the first time…
Two beautiful English countryside weddings, more scallops, the most stunning brides and dapper grooms. Before the weddings came the hens, for Terri, a Caribbean Queen veil, prosecco and jaeger bombs, for Janine…stripy t-shirts, bobble hats and Europe’s longest zip wire. The less said about the stag do the better, though it was a relief that Chris returned from his first mountain biking experience since high school little more than saddle sore.
They were the first weddings I’ve ever been to where a spontaneous dance off erupted between courses, and where a groom beat boxes during his speech. Needless to stay the instigators of both of these things were one and the same. I’ve also never been to a wedding where the best man handed out a copy of ‘Turkish Meat’, it’s not exaggerating to say they were amongst the most unique weddings I’ve had the privilege of being invited to.
It’s the first summer that I’ve been on a holiday that I did absolutely nothing, to the point that even lifting my book up seemed like an actual effort, and sometimes I just had to put it down and go back to sleep. By contrast though, I also went on a holiday and kayaked 15km. It hurt. I didn’t realise just how much it could possibly hurt using your upper body strength for such a long period. It’s actually quite frightening when you come round a bend and are in the middle of a huge lake, and it’s down to your own arms to get you across it. Luckily there was a bar at the side of the river that you could paddle up to, have some super strength Polish beers, a huge escalope and a few cigarettes and you got a second wind for at least 200m.
It’s the first time I’ve been to a festival and not ended up with a face like a slapped backside because it was muddy. I was wearing high-vis waterproof pants and a poncho for ages 4-11 so I was well equipped. It’s the first festival I’ve showered at, though not the first or last that I’ve whimpered before the end. In my defence, I had done 3 days and nights without a moan but hit the wall when Example came on and I’d only managed three lukewarm beers all day.
As well as the weddings there’s been three big birthdays, a christening, two engagements, a pregnancy, a birth…and everyone I know who doesn’t live in Barrowford all came to visit within a two week period.
In short, it’s been quite a summer. We’ve even managed to attend a four week boot camp during this time so despite four months of indulgence I can still fit through my front door.
So what for autumn and winter? The plan is as ever, less TV (easy to say after watching an entire series of Californication yesterday) and more adventures, though as much as it pains me Judith Chalmers doesn’t have anything else booked in yet. This needs remedying, for blog purposes if nothing else at all…