Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

All Summer, here in the Northwest of England, we have been struggling to get to 70f. We have been experiencing a lot of rain, cloudy days, cold weather. British Summer. Yuck. Yesterday and today we hit 70f. Yippee. But I am from California. By now, I am used to it being in the upper 90s. So why am I so HOT? Because it so darn humid. What would be a warm Spring day temp for me is making me feel sticky. There are still clouds overhead so it really keeps the humidity in. Bleh.

It makes me long for a hot, dry heat. The kind of heat that you just step into the shade and the temp drops. The kind of heat I love. Clear sunny hot days with very low humidity. I am counting down the days.


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Out of shear boredom I took my son to the farm again. The one with the big play area for the kids. He loves it. He has really come along in the last 6 months. 6 months ago he would of clung to me screaming. Now he runs and jumps and only screams if I put him on a playground toy. He is a typical boy, into everything dirty. He is a typical 2 yr old. He never wants to leave. Thank goodness for reverse psychology. I just start to go and he follows. What is the point of trying to reason with a 2 yr old. It just doesn’t happen.

Speaking of reasoning with a 2 yr old, how can a mother explain to her loving child that not every child he comes across want to be grabbed and hugged to the ground. He will make a B line across the field to grab any small child he sees and hugs the stuffing out of them. As sweet as it sounds, imagine some strange guy grabbing you and doing that. Not the most comfortable place for the one being hugged by the stranger. He grabs hold and holds on tight. It takes a lot to get him to unlock. We had to leave it was happening that much.

So he was hugging this little girl, and I was pulling him off, apologizing to the mother of this unsuspecting child when I notice her face. She hadn’t heard me, only my accent. I hate it when that happens. The glazed look a person gets when I speak to them. They don’t hear me or what I am saying. All they hear is American accent. Then that is it. I am the unheard American. If I had a pound coin for each time it happens I could buy us a new car when we move home. Maybe I should start charging. 🙂 It is a surprising downside to being a foreigner. I mean, I understand it. I stop too when I hear an accent. I used to stop over British accents but now I stop over American ones.  After so many years it does become tiresome being different. I will probably find it boring to be the same after awhile when we move back. Its the worse when its important like a doctor

So the farm was the same again. It rained. The sun came out. It was freezing. Then it was hot. Typical of British Summer. It is nice to have a place to go that isn’t torn up or be covered in broken bottles like most of the playgrounds around me. The teenagers use them to party and they are no go areas. So we drive to the farm and play in the playground and go see the animals. We usually even shop for the best veg at the farm store. Not a bad way to kill an hour. Its just a shame that it will stop in a week or so. When all the schools let out and the older kids come and take over the play area, my son will be to small to keep up. So for 6 weeks I will have to figure out some other things to do until schools start again in Sept. It’s a bummer that.

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Wow, two days of sun in a row. Today was super sunny, yesterday it was off and on.  We had a lovely day together again. K and T had fun playing together. S got the toilet fixed. We just relaxed a bit and watched Malcome in the Middle repeats on tv. Even got to let T play outside with the neighbour kids. So lovely to feel the sun.

I was standing outside watching T play and one of the neighbor ladies was telling me she was so hot. It was all of 70f today. I had to laugh. Even the humidity was low. How they would cope in Sacramento when it is 114f? I have to chuckle thinking of it.

Its so nice having sun in England. When the weather is perfect, England is lovely.  I am really hoping that we get more of this sun. Sadly, the weather reports say that rain is coming. Heavy rain and all. So back to more depressing dreary Summer days. I will keep hoping that its only a few days before Summer actually sets in.

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Today I took my son to the local farm. At this farm they have a playground, cafe, shop and a bunch of farm animals. My son loves the playground. Because he is still young we can only go when the kids are in school so that he isn’t run down. He just is still to small to fight his way amongst the bigger kids.

We made our way onto the playground and he was all smiles. That is, until the heavens opened and it started to pour. Huge drops that quickly drenched everything. Typical British Summer. So we ran to the cafe. Today was the first time that my son and I went into a cafe and sat and had a little chat. I was so proud of him. He was so good. He sat on his chair (he could use a booster seat) and drank some Apple juice whilst I had a coffee. As silly as it sounds, this meant the world to me. I am a cafe kind of person and to be able to have my son sit happily, people watching, and munching on a muffin was perfect. I foresee many trips to Starbucks when we move back to the states.

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There are some things I will never get used to living in the UK, no matter how long I live here. First, in late Spring and early Summer the sky never seems completely dark.  At 1am, standing outside, you can see light on the horizon.  Its also light around the 4am hour. When we went to the airport in late May the sun was already rising as we drove to the airport at 4am. So strange to not have the sun rise the next morning until 7am in Spain.

The other thing that I will never get used to is that, on the last day of June, its cloudy. I am cold. Its been cold. Going out does not sound like fun. My poor son has not worn any of his Summer shorts since Spain. This is the second year in a row that has happened. And, as we head into the “hottest” months of the year, we are looking for more sweats for him to wear because I did not buy enough sweat pants for him to wear around the house to stay warm this SUMMER!

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Five years ago, when I first stepped foot into this house, we had a nice garden. It was pretty simple. Nothing fancy. Neat. We had a patio at the bottom that my husband only used to put pots on and we never sat on it. The cats loved it though. So the first two years I set about trying to get that English garden feel. Loads of flowers. Tons of color. I spent a small fortune on plants. Loads of pots all over the patio. I just didn’t work right for me. That patio was in the only really sunny spot of the garden. It had to go. I spent the whole of the next winter watching every Titchmarsh show on telly on how to put together a garden. I had my plan.

So the next year, good and early, I planned on tearing it out. It was early May when I had nagged my husband enough to get a skip and get it done. We spent a weekend tearing out one ton of concrete, stone slab, bricks and a bunch of other builders rubbish that had been dumped there. We brought in a huge truck load of top soil. We worked our asses off. What a job that was. But I had a perfect patch for my soon to be flower garden. A lovely spot where I could spend hours away just lost in the joy of gardening. I was so happy. One week later I found out I was pregnant.

That year I had a nice garden. I planted all the flowers that I had planned. It looked like a young garden. It had flowers. I was pleased. I made my plans for the following year.

The next year I had a little tiny infant. You guessed it, gardening with an infant in 90 degree weather doesn’t happen. I watched from the window as my flower patch grew weeds. I got out a few times on the weekends that wasn’t raining to get something done, but that didn’t give me any results. Then the next year passed and I had plans. My son was older. Learning to walk. He could play outside and I could try to garden and make sure he didn’t eat anything he wasn’t supposed to. That went out the window with the wettest Summer in the history of Summers in Britain. We spent the summer watching it pour as we sat inside going stir crazy. Town where flooded. People all over lost everything. I shouldn’t complain as we still had a roof over our heads. But the Californian that I am went nuts. No sun all Summer. It rained until late August. The best we did was a hanging basket out front that never really took off.

This year things will be different. I am willing it to be a wonderful summer. It WILL be like my first Summer here. Summer in England is unlike any other place. Its amazing. The air smells sweet. The sky is bluer then anywhere else. You still get rain, but its Summer rain. The kind that you sit and actually watch the grass grow in the back garden. You have to be out. This should be, if all goes to plan, my last British Summer.

Today, there was sun. Not constant sun but enough. The weather was in the low 60s. I couldn’t help myself. I put on an old pair of trainers, put my son in his Wellies and out we went. I was a bit worried that my son would be underfoot. In to things that he shouldn’t and making it hard for me to get things done. We spent an hour cutting out dead vines. Cutting back dead wood. Just general clean up. Guess what? My son loved it. He ran around and picked up little sticks. He put them in the plastics recycling bin. He was an amazing helper. My son never ceases to make me proud.

My hope is that in a month or so the garden will look like a garden again. Right now its a massive weed patch. As the weather gets better and things dry out we will spend a bit of every day out there. Its good for me, and its good for him, to get in the garden. At this moment I am so excited about Summer.

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