Last week, Terry and I were talking about how some people have a “happy place”. “Go to your happy place!” they’ll say, in moments of stress, and we’ll be all, “Huh? Whaddya mean, ya bunch of hippies?” (Well, OK, maybe not that last bit.)
Well, we got to talking about where our respective “happy places” would be (Er, I’m just realising as I write it that this sounds like a euphemism for something… I promise it’s not), and once Terry had admitted that he didn’t really have one “(I’m happy in EVERY place!” he said, the cheerful fecker…), and I’d made the predictable joke about my happy place being the Mall at Millenia, I realised that my ‘happy place’ isn’t a PLACE at all: it’s a collection of sounds and sights and scents, all of which add up to remind me of summer.*
It’s the sound of the pool filter gurgling on a hot summer’s day. The dappled light on the water. The feel of the hot sun on my skin. The sound of crickets, carried on the night air. It’s summer itself: both the summers of my adult life, spent in humid Florida afternoons, and the summers of childhood, lying on a sun-lounger in the back garden – no pool filter to gurgle or crickets to chirp, but still the promise of long, lazy days, with nothing to do but whatever I want.
The thing is, because I grew up in Scotland, summer isn’t often warm enough (or even dry enough) for much lounging in the garden, so those childhood/teenage memories must be cobbled together from only a handful of times when that actually happened, but I guess I’m old enough now that the summers of my youth seem endless and filled with sunshine. It’s not like that now, of course. I don’t think you ever really recapture it, that feeling of walking out of school on the last day of terms, and seeing the whole summer stretch before you, just one long holiday, to do with as you will. Now we get the odd sunny day (and they are very, very odd, trust me), and the sun still feels warm on our skin, but we still have to sit at our desks and do our jobs, and later unload the dishwasher and put in a load of laundry. The most we can really hope for is a sun-filled weekend, and when that doesn’t happen, and the sun decides to come out on Wednesday afternoon instead, maybe a walk down a country road, under a bright blue sky.
These photos are from one of those Wednesdays, and it’s raining as I write this, but I wonder if one day I’ll look back and think summer was always like this. Or if I’ll just look back and think, “Geez, how many stripey skirts did one person need?!”
[Wearing: ♥ JOA striped skirt* ♥ Dorothy Perkins top ♥ Schuh gingham wedges (old) ♥ Matalan sailboat necklace ♥ Gucci sunglasses*]
* The Mall at Millenia is good too, though.