Saturday, 3 July 2010

Something Old Something New

How do you feel about the hot weather? Not so long ago I was moaning about it being too cold for June so I’m not going to complain now that it’s hot in July. I’m not. I’m really not.

The thing with hot weather is that it’s lovely if you’ve nothing to do and can sit by your own swimming pool all day sipping pina coladas through a straw and having the occasional dip to cool off.

Oh and said swimming pool area would be fly, ant and wasp free.

Next best thing as far as I’m concerned is to get the paddling pool out, find a willing volunteer to blow it up, fill it to the brim with water and plastic balls and insert as many factor 30 coated small children as you can comfortably fit in.

Then take a comfortable chair, put it in the shade and relax for a while! This can be anything from five minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how quickly they decide they want to do something else.

It was Imogen’s third birthday last week and her birthday party is today – she’s a Dr Who fan and her cake is a pink Tardis. Bless her, she came to Ipswich when we went for our eye tests and spent two long boring hours in the opticians without a word of complaint.

I don’t know how many hundreds of times I’ve been to Ipswich, shopping or to the cinema or theatre or to the Portman Road stadium. I’ve visited family and been to weddings there and one of my sons went to college there, but a couple of weeks ago Lachlan went on his first school trip and part of it included a picnic in Christchurch Park.

It’s not far away from the town centre, but I’d never really been aware of it.

So we thought we’d take Imogen to the park. What a surprise! It’s lovely and we found a bench by a large pond in the shade to sit and cool off a bit. Ducks and geese came under the railings and Imogen shared her sandwiches with them.

We saw a turtle basking on a rock and a squirrel came down a tree and gave us a good look. He only had one ear. Of course I hadn’t got my camera – I didn’t think I’d need it.

But it was nice to discover somewhere new in familiar surroundings. It’s funny isn’t it how you can go on holiday and explore the area till you know it like the back of your hand, yet fail to see things that are almost on your doorstep. I think I’ve said this before.

Everything about going to the park inspired me. From the houses that overlook it to the people dotted about in the shade of the trees, the two old ladies on the bench next to ours wearing cardigans and the annoying child that came up on a scooter and rode shrieking at the ducks and geese, frightening them back into the pond while her mother looked on without saying a word.

Despite the heat, the long time in the opticians and the sore feet, it was a lovely day.


  1. A pink Tardis! What an original idea for a cake. Hope the party goes well.

    I can cope with the heat up to a point, but extremes of hot or cold don't suit me. Mind you, I'd rather have the heat than those weeks of snow we had in the winter.

    You're right about not visiting places on your doorstep. There are several around here I keep meaning to go and see, but never get round to it!

  2. Glad you had a lovely day, I think the thing with the beauty spots on your doorstep is that you think there's plenty of time to go see them (if you even realise they exist) whereas on holiday there's the feeling that you must cram in as much sight seeing as possible!
    I love the local park, the river running through is such a refreshing sound in summer when it's hot!

  3. I'm enjoying the hot weather at the moment as I'm off work. Will probably be less keen after next week when I have to go back.

  4. Two old ladies in cardigans on a hot day, an annoying child and an unconcerned mother.
    Do I sense a T-a-B story in the pipeline?

  5. I try to enjoy the sun and have started going for regular walks and bike rides to make the most of it. But I'm an autumn and winter person really. I love the cold and the rain. I like frost and fog and dark afternoons. I have no idea why I'm so odd in this respect. Maybe there's some childhood recollection in my subconscious that pulls me more towards that darker, bitter, crispy-leafed time of the year. I love the silhouettes of bare trees against the bleak sky. And I love the strange silence of snow.

    I am useless at lying in the sun. I have to jump up and do things after five minutes. I feel guilty if I don't try to enjoy it, because everyone else welcomes it so much and I feel like a killjoy if I don't join in. So I took my husband and youngest daughter on a long (for them) walk to see some beautiful calves I'd spotted. Lovely shades of cream and fawn, with huge knowing eyes. That's the calves,not the husband and daughter.

    But when we reached the field, they had gone. We walked on and on (much protest at this) but never caught up with them. I was disappointed that I couldn't show off my discovery.

    They were so pretty, I told my daughter. Tasty too, she replied. At least I tried!

  6. Oh me too Joanne - I'd rather it was like this than go back to that snow!

    I hadn't thought of it like that penandpaints, but you're right - it's the time angle isn't it. That river sounds lovely!

    Glad you're able to enjoy it Helen.

    I don't know, Keith. It may be years before I use them. It would be nice to use the old ladies in more than one story. They are very much in my mind at the moment.

    You're as mad as my kids, Joanna. They all love winter and cold. I tell them its because they never had to chip ice off the inside of their bedroom windows or get dressed under the bed covers! But I do love spring and autumn, I think those are my seasons.

    How gorgeous, the calves. I love the way they lick your hands with their huge tongues. I can never look at young animals in the fields without feeling sad though. I'm with you there - I couldn't eat them either!

  7. Belated happy birthday to Imogen.

    I whinged relentlessly in sub zero temperatures at the start of the year and I complained non-stop when the hot spell arrived. Some might say I'm never happy, but today's not too bad at 14 degrees (although, it is blowing a hurricane).


  8. you summed it up perfectly when you said that the hot weather is goo when you have nothing to do! sadly hot weather gets in the way of the day jobx

  9. It sounds like you had a lovely day - despite the opticians. And how lucky for your grandchildren that you are so hands on. I think the grandparent / grandchild relationship is such an important one and its a shame for some children who don't get to spend such special times with theirs. I know you enjoy the times you spend with them but the wonderful thing is the memories you are creating for them which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. And as for the hot weather, I say enjoy for as long as you can, the dark cold days of winter may be just a memory at the moment but I much prefer the heat and the light to shivering and darkness.


  10. It has cooled a little here too, Suzanne, but that wind! You have the windows open and everything in the house gets blown round and doors slam - drives me nuts!

    Exactly Jenny - and when its too hot you can't sleep either so the days seem even harder somehow.

    Thank you Linda - I do treasure the time I have with them and I can't believe how fast they're growing up. I hate those long dark winter nights and love these long light days, but my kids all love the winter - I don't know where I went wrong :-)

  11. We never appreciate what we have on our own doorsteps sometimes, do we? Only the other day, I discovered a new footpath, I hadn't seen before and took it. It delivered me to a most wonderful wood, full of wild garlic, and (presumably a few months ago) bluebells.

    Luckily, it also provided some wonderful shade!

  12. What a great find, Simon! And shade too - bliss!