Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Top Ten Summer Memories (that couldn’t be caught on camera)

on September 2, 2013

As I’ve mentioned several times, it’s been an amazing summer. The weather has been consistently better than I can remember for a long time, and has seemed particularly good when compared with last year’s torrential downpours and dull, chilly days.

In addition, we as a family have experienced so many unexpected pleasures and moments of serendipity throughout our six weeks of holiday (despite some really last-minute changes of plan and a departure from our usual summer routine), that this one is going to be remembered for a long time to come.

I’ve taken scores of photos during the last few weeks but there are some things that could never be encapsulated in a static picture.  Here are my favourites, in chronological order as they occurred.

1. Getting soaking wet during the wet games at holiday club.  It’s not something we’re accustomed to finding enjoyable during our usual chilly North Eastern summers, but for once, the prospect of having a glass of water tipped suddenly over your head in “Drip, drip, drop” (a wet variation of “Duck, duck, goose”) was particularly welcome!

2. Walking in our street in the early evening after a very welcome thunderstorm.   Everything was silent and calm, still really warm, and steam was rising from the roads in a pleasantly eerie way.

3. Eating ice cream with the Butterfly after dropping the Bookworm off at camp.  We called into the chocolate factory on a whim and watched the chocolates in progress, then bought a few of the kind we’d seen being made (cherry truffles) to take home.  We treated ourselves to a Brymor icecream each and sat in the tailgate of our car, collapsing with giggles as we tried -and repeatedly failed- to take a selfie that actually included both our faces!

4. My two-year-old niece serenading us with key lines from Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire and Mika’s We Are Golden.  Imagine any two-year-old of your acquaintance doing this and you’ll get the general impression;  imagine them doing it with a Lancashire accent (this girl is on FA-YUR…!) and it will be even closer to the reality.

5. Finding the tickets all sold out for the Norfolk Broads sightseeing boat, but ending up eating a glorious impromptu picnic on a “self-drive” motor boat we hired.  We spotted wildlife on the banks, got into a game of “chicken” with an extremely arrogant  duck and the Bookworm and the Butterfly both had a turn at operating the boat (under the watchful eye of my dad).

6. Zooming down a water-slide with the Butterfly in my lap.  When we were invited to join my sister’s family, along with her sister-in-law and children, for some time at the swimming pool local to where our parents (and my sister’s in-laws) all live, I had my reservations.  Swimming isn’t one of the things we choose to do for fun and the girls have only learned the basics with school, but they were keen so we went along.  I realised that taking six children to the pool for fun is a lot different from “swimming” and we actually had a great time.

7. Finding the perfect parking space in Stratford-upon-Avon.   With only two minutes to go before the open-air performance of Twelfth Night* began, we were fairly sure we’d be missing the beginning by the time we’d unloaded our camping chairs, rugs and picnic bag and found our way The Dell, where the play was to be performed.  We then discovered that our roadside parking space was directly outside the gate and managed to find a spot right alongside the stage, just as the show began.

8. Discovering that the spot we’d chosen to eat our picnic at Legoland, Windsor was actually the prime position for watching the Pirates of Skeleton Bay.  As we ate, we noticed more and more people coming and sitting all around us on the terraced steps around the lake.  It turned out we’d arrived on the early side for the 2pm performance of the acrobatics and stunt show, which we hadn’t even realised was there!  In the event, it was one of the highlights of the day and highly recommended if you visit.  Get there early for a good seat!

9. Finding ourselves surrounded by dragonflies whilst on a walk in the parkland at Nostell Priory, where we spent the final day of our family holiday.   The Bookworm and I were following a “Stroll and Sketch” trail and she had just been looking around for something to draw at her next “sketch point” when they all appeared.  They seemed to be drawn to a particular plant growing there and it was magical to be able to observe them at such close quarters.

10. Getting hilariously lost in the labyrinth  – and soaking wet in the sudden downpour that followed – on a day trip to Cragside.   We each took a turn to choose a path when we reached a fork, and some of us had a better sense of direction than others…  We did get to see some beautiful wooden sculptures in there, however, and felt very fortunate to be able to dry off once we returned to the safety of the car!


* For me, this was the high point of the holiday and the HandleBards project is well worth reading about if you click on the link, or also here on their blog (hoping they’ll complete it and cover the rest of the tour at some point!).  The concept of pared-down performance, using only what you’d find on a bike or a campsite, worked to hilarious success (hope it wasn’t quite so hilarious for the people who saw Romeo and Juliet!) and the actors and local musician were hugely talented.  I considered devoting a whole post to this but, as the tour was almost over by the time we came home from holiday, it seemed a little bit late, and like “rubbing it in” for everyone who wasn’t able to attend!  I hope they do something again next year – I, for one, will be looking out for news and will share it with you when I hear anything!

Thankful for…

All of the above!


2 responses to “Top Ten Summer Memories (that couldn’t be caught on camera)

  1. Hooray! Love this post! Such a nice collection of wonderful memories 🙂 It was a fantastic summer, wasn’t it? xxx

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