As the UK wilts in the summer sunshine, I got to thinking about the best things about summer. Obviously, if you don’t love summer you are a massive curmudgeon and should never be allowed to eat a Cornetto ever again. That’ll learn you. For summer is the season of love, of joy, of getting burnt to a crisp when you fall asleep in your garden. Here are my most favourite bits…
10 – Less Commuters
And if you’re not going on holiday, then your normal world has just become a better place because everyone else has. Less commuters, less traffic on the road, smaller queues at your favourite sandwich shop at lunchtime. It’s a win-win!
9 – Barbecues
Cooking outside! Over hot coals! With cold beer! I love a good barbecue, mainly because I generally don’t have to do much as my wife is Australian and therefore has barbecue sewn into her genes. I simply whip up a good salad, slip on my shorts and bask in the sunshine.
8 – Cold Beer
There’s nothing quite like a cold bottle of beer on a hot day. The anticipation, the condensation running down the bottle, the moment you raise it to your lips and take the first sip. Yep, almost better than sex. Almost.
7 – Holidays
It’s July and August, so cue a mass exodus from the UK as everyone buggers off to supposedly sunnier climes for a spot of R&R. I heart holidays: where else do you get the chance to sleep all day, eat out every night and drink at 11am without getting muttered about?
6 – Festivals
The UK loves a good festival. Whether you opt for Glastonbury or your local festival in the park, be sure to bring all the essentials: wellies, waterproofs, beer, whisky, bacon crisps and a sense of humour. If you’re lucky, the sun might shine for two hours. Three at a push.
5 – Crisp White Wines
Most of the year I shun white wine, favouring its more robust, bullying sibling the sturdy red. But come summer, something takes over me and I find myself drinking white and sometimes even liking it! You can’t go wrong with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but I’m also partial to a Chablis or a Muscat.
4 – Ice Cream
It’s not just our mainland European cousins who have the jump on posh ice cream – these days, the UK is slipping willingly into an ocean of artisan gelato. Current hot flavours are Salted Caramel (of course), along with Pistachio and good old Vanilla. 60% of all ice cream sold is vanilla, proving we’re all very dull aren’t we?
3 – Flip-flops
Flip-flops is my most favourite onamatopoeic word – flip-flop flip-flop flip-flop! Plus, who doesn’t love slipping them on during the summer and just leaving the house! With no socks! Flip-flops are da bomb.
2 – Eating Al Fresco
You know that greenish bit at the back of your house? It’s called a garden. Normally it is something to moan about, but when we have summer sunshine, it is somewhere to sit in and rejoice. Soak up those rays! Eat some food! Have a glass of wine! This is what gardens were made for.
1 – Sunshine
My nickname is Lil (short for Lillywhite), mainly because of the colour of my skin. So you’d think sunshine and me would not be best buddies. Au contraire. Sure, I might be covered in factor 30, but when I feel the hairdryer-hot rays seeping into my skin, there’s no finer feeling. Top me up, vitamin D!
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