Dot writes: I am not one of those people who doesn’t like heat, or who frowns at the sun and retreats to a dark room until it goes away, or who complains about how dry the garden is getting (this is Ireland; fat chance). I love summer. When it arrived last week I was delighted. And since it may be all over by next week I am set to make the most of it.
Some things I love about summer:
* bright-coloured clothes.
* not wearing tights. (Though see ‘summer shoes’ below.)
* being able to go out into the garden in my dressing-gown at 7am and feeling the gentle morning air and the tickle of dew against my half-clad feet.
* the call of wood pigeons.
* the opulent canopies of the trees. The richness of summer vegetation, and the delicious cool of deep shade after strong sun.
* not carrying a coat around. Going in and out without spending ten minutes dressing and undressing myself (or, more tellingly, the children.)
* the light, and the energy it brings.
* sitting outside on the lawn; the spaciousness of the summer world.
* Hugh playing outside with the boys next door.
* going barefoot.
* hearing the voices of other families in the evenings, as we all have our doors and windows open; the sense of all the people around us happily living their lives.
* the beach.
We went to the beach yesterday – Killiney Beach, which was packed with families determinedly chipping plastic spades against the very gravelly sand. Ken and I both swam in the sea, which I would describe as ‘bracing’ and he would describe as ‘f***ing freezing’ (in fact I enjoyed my swim, though I had to inch my way into the water very gradually; I also saw a delicate pink jellyfish about the size of big onion in the shallows). And we all had icecream, apart from Frank who rather heart-wrenchingly chose to suck on a stone.
On the other hand, here are some things I don’t like about summer:
* summer shoes. The choice between, on the one hand, over-hot regular shoes that require tights or socks and don’t go with light-coloured clothes and, on the other hand, strappy stringy sandals that rub in all directions. I do have one pair of very comfy flip-flops, but I bought them on honeymoon in 2005 and they are not long for this world.
* the annual fight with Hugh’s blackout curtains.
* sunburn. I am determined this year not to make my usual mistake of slathering Hugh with sunblock and forgetting to put any on myself.
* sunblock. Horrible sticky gloopy stuff – though I do like the coconutty smell of sunblock lingering on warm child.
And really that’s about it for the negatives. Hooray for summer 2010 – may it be long and indolent.