Summer is here at last, whether it looks like it or not. With daylight seeping through the blinds at just after half past four these days, who can second-guess it?
Might as well embrace the early mornings and the extended evenings, even if the days do mimic Southwest Georgia in the fresh spring, rain or shine.
Ever present in the moment, I’ve learned to take summer as it is. Never mind what is wrong with it, I focus on what is right with it. Though subjective, at the top of many lists will be holidays and the sporting events that often bring as much pain as they do gain for players and fans alike. As such, I like a good holiday now and then but don’t tend to follow too much sport. Yet there is one that lands in my top five things to do in London in the summertime.
- Catch a pro tennis match. Not much for queuing in the sunshine or rain, I haven’t been to Wimbledon since my early expat days. Still waiting for that corporate invitation…hint, hint. In the meantime, however, I’m nearly as happy to attend the championship at Queen’s Club, also in West London. This year the world number two, Andy Murray, went away with a record breaking win—the only player to win Queen’s five times. Congrats Andy, though we didn’t have tickets for the final event. Just as well as Sunday was Father’s day and we had a family day in, but we did enjoy a day of tennis on Friday, an intimate witness of tennis on the lawn, and true British summertime fun with the good friends who invited us
- Attend the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy. This presents an opportunity to not only see some fantastic art from emerging artists and established ones, but also a chance to snap up some of it. This year, having been invited for a private viewing as a corporate guest, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a life study class before viewing the art. Though I was born with artistic ability to draw, I haven’t nurtured it over the years and consequently am as amateurish, well, as an amateur. Never mind, it was a great to focus on the reality of the moment.
- Walk about London without a jacket or a coat. Haven’t done that one since summer became official but a couple of weeks ago, at least two days in a row, I, alongside scores of others, sashayed about as if in the South of France. Never mind the holiday in sunny Spain, Florida and the likes, might as well catch the rays in London as and when they come. Sunglasses, sandals, sun cream. Ready!
- Eat outdoors. Now there is a real southern experience if I have ever heard of one. Growing up in Georgia, we often had barbecues in the backyard or picnics in the park. In London with the inclement weather, eating outdoors cannot be taken for granted. Never mind that I no longer have a back garden. So when the opportunity hits, we take to the balcony or head out to a restaurant with plenty of outdoor space.
- People watch. What makes people so special to watch during the summer? Everything, everything and everything, encompassed in the atmosphere ranging from exciting to easy going. Whether on a bus, a bicycle or in a Bentley, ladies and gents step out in their glad rags, come rain or shine, for the summer garden parties, summer events such as Ascot and Henley, or private functions including weddings.
So what else is right about summer? Do tell, right here on sonjalewis.com.