Dreamer with a day job

summer in the city

Pro: It’s sunny! It’s hot! Skies are blue, birds are singing, everybody’s in a better mood. Sitting in the garden with a glass of something cold watching little ones splashing about in the paddling pool is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Con: It’s night time! It’s hot! The window’s open but it’s not making any difference; everyone’s in a foul mood. You toss and turn without relief, desperate for some shut-eye but you’re too sticky and uncomfortable to relax. Then your little one wakes up drenched in sweat in their stuffy room and you spend the rest of the night perched on the edge of the bed as they stretch out in blissful slumber between you. It’ll be light soon anyway.


Pro: The warmer weather means summer clothes being dragged from the back of the wardrobe. You float around, a vision of serenity in your flowing maxi-dress, sandals and sunglasses.

Con: You accessorise them with a voluminous changing bag, a spilled juice stain, and a distinctly sweaty demeanour as you chase an over-excited toddler around the park.


Pro: Summer brings out nostalgia for school holidays past, when evenings were spent playing in the street with friends and days were filled with water fights, ice-cream vans, and beach towels spread out on the grass. You have rose-tinted memories of the end of summer term, when you would watch a video of Honey I Shrunk The Kids instead of having proper lessons, skirts were rolled up and slouch socks were pushed down, and lunchtimes were spent sitting in the school yard slurping ice pops from the corner shop. The best days of your life.

Con: Summer brings on a major headache for school holidays present, unless you’re lucky enough to have a little one in nursery all year round. The prospect of entertaining excitable children for six weeks and organising childcare for them makes the heady days of the early-nineties seem a very long time ago. You wonder how your parents ever found the time to get anything done and there’s NO way your kids are playing out after 8pm. Roll on September.


Pro: Lunch breaks from work become al fresco affairs, as everybody piles out onto the nearest patch of grass for an impromptu picnic. You get to revel in some sunshine for half an hour and enjoy watching the people from the office next door hugely regret signing up for lunchtime boot camp class in 25 degree heat.

Con: You have to retreat back into the confines of the workplace for the rest of the afternoon, with dodgy air conditioning and windows that don’t open. Guarantee when your week off comes around it’ll be raining again anyway.


Pro: It’s always easier to eat more healthily in the summer months as salads and lovely light pasta dishes replace the comfort food of the rest of the year. You get to feel more virtuous as you help yourself to the last double chocolate Magnum out of the freezer.

Con: Any attempt at supplementing your healthy eating with outdoor exercise is scuppered as it’s far too warm to do anything approaching moderate activity between 7am and 9pm. You either commit to a 5am run before the kids wake up or wait until they’re in bed so you can get out as the sun sets, but if you’ve normally had a glass or two of Pinot Grigio by then, it’s probably not going to happen. You can cancel out the Magnum tomorrow by having tuna salad for lunch.


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