It is 10°C and a clear indication that like all good things, summer has come to an end. Following this, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how I spent the season of sunshine.
It was my first summer and I’d say it feels a lot like that period between harmattan and rainy season in Nigeria where the sun is blazing and there’s little rain. Here in the United Kingdom, all 3 seasons feel the same; cold and wet with winter being the absolute worst. But summer… oh summer is the one time you aren’t sneezing, shivering or downright freezing. Summer is nice and warm, and since I got here, it’s the first time it has felt like home. You can imagine my joy as the temperatures soared up to 32°C, the highest recorded in history.
Now that I understand the fuzz around the season, let me tell you all the things I love about summer.
Festivals and Markets Everywhere
This was the most fun with music and food festivals in every borough in the country. If you have seen my post on the Trowbridge Weavers market, you know I was out and about. The sun brought everyone out and the festivals gave us somewhere to go, meet people and have a good time outdoors.
Sales were On
There was a summer sale on just about everything everywhere. It felt to me like businesses were there to cash in on our freedom by enticing everyone with discounts. Grocery stores had buy one get one free, fashion brand had 20% off, it felt like every makeup and beauty brand had new eyeshadow palette or a foundation with free samples to try.
Summer Food was Everything
I’m talking about cold drinks. It may sound like a simple thing but its the first time I drank cold water since I got here. The status quo is tea because – cold. It’s not forming. Then there were ice-lollies, I threw my diet and dignity out in the sun and had all the ice-cream I could dream of. Ben and Jerrys and Magnum are overrated. ASDA value and Iceland Moments cost 1 for a pack of 4 chocolate pecan and whatever deliciousness! My waistline is extended and embarrassing but by God, I have no regrets.
Getting dressed was Easier
You don’t have to wear layers of clothes and boots to make a quick errand-run across the street. No need for a thermal, beanie hat, shawl, socks; pantyhose; stockings; etc none of that. Getting out the door took seconds.
We could Show Skin
I know summer fashion is all about the sunglasses but it was more fun to be able to show and see some skin. I think that’s partly where the excitement is from, the freedom to wear whatever. From spaghetti strap blouses to the cheekiest shorts. I’m not butt-cheek brave but I enjoyed wearing shorts. It’s something I have never managed back home because they are perceived as too revealing and indecent. Here, no one even looks twice. Additionally, I got to wear my Naija clothes again and it felt so good!
Feet Fashion was Alive
Most of the year, our feet are hidden away in boots or socks at the very least. It was great to wear and show off neat polished toe nails, anklets and toe rings because flipflops (slippers) and sandals were possible.
Long Walks were Relaxing
Taking long walks late in the evening was fun, I’m talking 8pm and later. The sun didn’t set till about 10.30pm. The endless sunshine resulted in the really long days which made staying out late and exercise possible.
Skincare was a Thing
Summer was essentially a time “to defrost”. For Africans here, vitamin D deficiency is prevalent because it’s often too cold to go out and get any sun. Summer was a great time to replenish the vitamin and for our lighter friends to get a nice tan.
Work was Available
There was also a lot of work available in summer. These job opportunities were because most locales travel out of the country for vacation leaving room for foreigners to find short-term employment and make some money. Most of the jobs weren’t glamorous; commonly blue-collar jobs at minimum wage, but my bills don’t care so I had to secure that bag.
It’s too early but hurdled under this blanket, I miss summer already. It has made me realise how much we have and take for granted in Nigeria. Besides the lack of sleep and having to regularly swat at and kill buzzing flies, my summer was blissful. I didn’t achieve some of my summer goals including finding love, touring London and going to the beach, perhaps next summer?
Your turn, how was your summer? Let me know what you think in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!
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