I love a summer bucket list. I try to write one every year. Sometimes they make it on to the blog, but more often than not they linger in a notebook or on a piece of paper pinned to the fridge.

Making plans and setting goals for the summer isn’t about putting pressure on myself. I’m not aiming for perfection. Summer holidays can be messy and stressful at times. Real life doesn’t stop when the kids break up from school and my husband and I will still have to juggle the demands of self-employment alongside everything else.

Writing a summer bucket list is about setting intentions and figuring out where we want our priorities to lie between now and September. ‘Making memories’ is an overused and often misunderstood phrase. For me, it’s about how we decide to spend our days. As the writer Annie Dillard said:

‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.’

I still remember how it felt as a child to sense summer stretching before you on the last day of term. The weeks ahead seemed filled with the promise of sunshine, plenty of adventure, and for me, an August birthday. I’m sure nostalgia plays its part, but the magic of summer still gets me every year.

With this in mind, here’s how we’re hoping to spend our days during summer 2018…

  • Add A Stamp to Our Passports

Six years ago, Mr L.A. and I honeymooned in Koh Samui. It was our first holiday without the children and although we relished every minute, we also spent a lot of time talking about how much Isabel and Jesse would enjoy the island. In a few short weeks, we’re finally heading back with the kids in tow.

It’s a long time since we’ve flown long haul and ages since we splurged on a posh hotel. Right now, we all need a break. Life has been non-stop since Christmas and despite prioritising rest as much as possible, we’re tired and wrung out. I cannot wait to slow down a little, switch off from work, and unwind in the sunshine.

  • Visit Dorset

It wouldn’t be summer without a visit to my favourite county! Obviously, our big trip this year is to Thailand, but we’re still planning to enjoy a long weekend with my parents in Bridport. Maybe I’ll finally manage to photograph and write the travel guide I’ve been planning to publish for the last few years!

  • Put Our Bodies in a Body of Water

Having finished a few terms of swimming lessons, Jesse is incredibly excited about putting his newly acquired skill to good use. As well as the hotel pool, I want to be braver about swimming in the sea.

Later, when we’re back in the UK, I also want to have a go at wild swimming. There are plenty of rivers and pools near my parents’ house in Dorset, so if the weather’s good over the August bank holiday, I’ll be going for a paddle. If you’re keen, Flora Jamieson is an incredible source of inspiration, as is wildswimming.co.uk.

  • BBQ Whenever the Sun Shines

We finally bought a barbecue last summer but failed to get it up and running before autumn rolled around. This year, I didn’t want to miss out, so a few weeks ago we took a trip to B&Q and came home with a big bottle of patio gas. Our first attempts at grilling have been a huge success and I’m looking forward to a summer filled with al fresco dining. This recipe for Corn on the Cob with Chutney and Mustard-Seed Butter is my current favourite.

  • Host a Party

I’m turning 35 in August and this year I’m determined to celebrate properly. I want to string up fairy lights, order a vegan birthday cake from Earthcake on North Street, and fill our yarden with some of the people I love most.

  • What’s on your summer bucket list? If you’re after some more ideas, Joy the Baker is a pro.

Love Audrey xxx

Photo by Vicko Mozara on Unsplash

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