I am of course referring to the elusive, mysterious and often downright absent Scottish Summer here…
Well, yesterday we had Summer. Warm, windless, wonderful and a one off. Cynical? Me? No way!
I should start off by explaining that I do not live for Summer, far from it – I have always regarded myself as a winter person, I have a love for snow so intense my enthusiasm is only shared by Lorelai from The Gilmore Girls … and probably polar bear cubs:
I could have snow 365 days of the year and be a little happy eskimo, but alas, snow here is a ten minute affair that people regard as a constant nuisance… until it melts completely half an hour later.
And that brings me to the real issue I have with the Scottish weather – the utter unpredictability of it. Let’s say in a 365 day year you know it’s going to snow about three times. But when? It could be any time between October and April – and if it snows over night or while you’re at work, forget it. It will be completely gone before you’re able to go outside and enjoy it! And if you’re trying to catch Summer, well that’s even harder: I would avoid going to see any particularly long films in the cinema in case the whole thing happens while you’re in there…
So, as I mentioned prior to that delightful and typically British rant, yesterday was Summer. I was home alone, with no plans, nowhere to go and nobody to go anywhere with… but I would not be deterred! Summer is always a busy day I find, trying to squeeze as many of the seasonal activities in as possible. For example I started yesterday by sitting with the door open in the kitchen (Summery thing one) while posting on an internet forum about how hot it is (Summery thing two) and eating fruit for breakfast (Summery thing three). I then put on some cropped trousers (Summery thing four), sat in the backgarden (Summery thing five) and while applying suntan lotion with one hand (Summery thing six) used the other hand to eat a Mars Bar Icecream (Summery thing seven). I could go on, but I imagine that’s quite enough!
I had, admittedly, ulterior motives for sitting in the back garden, my beautiful cat Smudge. Bless her little white toes, but we’re not sure all the lights are on up there and I do worry about her outside in the heat and her complete lack of understanding about sun, shade, water, why not to try and eat bumble bees… even the birds seem to be getting one over on her at the moment as they bathe and then shake the ice cold water off their wings and on to her! So like I said, this way I could supervise her… and make a few gesture sketches also:
Then, because I was enjoying the sunshine so much I did some other sketches out in the back garden:
It’s something I enjoy very much as an artist – drawing outside. I have spent many a February morning huddled outside with four pairs of fingerless gloves, three coats, several hats and icicles hanging from my nose, in a desperate attempt to capture the outdoor world around me. But these rarely work – either it rains, two of my fingers fall off or the police ask me to “move on” again (which is strange and rather offensive!), so days like yesterday where I can truly sit at peace and try hopelessly to capture the great beauty of everything around me mean a great deal to me indeed.
In the evening I also embarked on a new Summer adventure – an outdoor sport! (Anyone who knows me will be curled up with laughter at the moment.) I decided to try slacklining with a friend who spent the whole evening … curled up with laughter. I am bad at it. I mean reeeeeaallly bad! For anyone who is interested in what slacklining is or how it should be done check out this kid:
VERY talented slackliner kid (embedding was disabled)
To put in in perspective of how hard it is, after two solid hours I am nowhere near able to even get onto the thing unaided, let alone stand on it or move! But then I probably should have figured that with poor balance and no muscle strength this probably wasn’t the sport for me! Still I refuse to be beaten – especially by inanimate objects and will try again if the situation presents itself!
I enjoyed myself anyway, just being outside, seeing doggies and getting eaten alive by midges felt like a true Summer experience – even if I was wearing two hoodies whilst doing it!
So as today dawned grey and drizzly and the cats returned to refusing to go out in it, I was satisfied at least in knowing that I made the best of Summer while it lasted. Now if you don’t mind I’m off to make a mug of Horlicks and find a fleecy blanket…
How do you plan to spend Summer? Ever tried slacklining? Can you think of any sport that might be better suited for me (translated = less likely to injure me)? Any thoughts on how to prevent my cat from frying like an egg in the sun? Please feel free to leave a comment!