The summer holidays are upon us. I survived day one, and as I write I’m halfway through day two. So far, spirits are high. The sun is shining, the children are delightful and I’m enjoying the relaxation of our usual routine.

I love this time of year, but it can be a juggle. In an attempt to slow down and keep things simple for the next six weeks, I’ve stripped back my workload as much as possible. There are still deadlines to meet and clients to tend to, but I’m trying to keep stress and overwhelm to a minimum.

I want to savour these long, hot days. They’re filled with a special kind of magic – a mix of sunshine, adventure, and a hint of nostalgia for brilliant summers been and gone.

‘All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.’ – L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

As I’ve said before, our summer bucket list doesn’t always make it on to the blog, but it’s been an annual ritual since the children were little. You can read last year’s here and a list from 2012 here.

In 2019, our summer bucket list looks like this…

  • Swim in the Open Air

Wild swimming has appeared on my summer bucket list for as long as I can remember, but it’s something we never quite manage to tick off. The children usually make it into the sea, and I’ll dip my toes in a river or lake, but I’ve never been fully submerged.

This year, I’m expanding my goal a little. Maybe we’ll head to Bristol Lido or the colourful open-air pool in Portishead. Either way, I’m determined to swim outside beneath clear blue skies.

  • Explore Dorset by Car

We’re no strangers to a Dorset staycation, but this year our annual summer trip will be markedly different. Having purchased our very own car last October, this will be the first time we’re able to explore the countryside by road, under our own steam.

I can’t wait to venture further afield, discover new-to-me beaches, and generally fall in love with my favourite part of the UK all over again.

  •  Go Fishing

When I quizzed him about what he’d like to do this summer, Jesse’s only request was to catch a fish. We’ve previously dabbled in crabbing, dragging buckets and bait to West Bay. Rock pooling at low tide has provided hours of entertainment and fun. But we’ve never taken the children fishing with a rod and reel.

While we’re in Dorset, I’m booking a boat trip for Carl and the kids. I plan to stay on dry land, book in hand as I eagerly await news of their catch.

  • Master the Art of Vegan Barbecue

In 2018, we really found our feet in terms of cooking and dinning al fresco. We regularly fired up the BBQ, creating some truly delicious meals.

This summer, I plan to expand my repertoire beyond veggie kebabs and corn-on-the-cob. Charred – The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Grilling and Barbecue* has become my bible and I’m excited to sample the fruits of my labour.

  • Slow Down {and Write a Short Story}

I’m not trying to do-it-all this year. I’ve willingly taken my foot off the pedal at work and I’m ready to switch off completely when we go away at the end of August. I want our summer to feel slow and intentional. I want to make space for the things I love.

I always feel more creative in the summer months and Dorset never fails to spark my imagination. One day, I’d like to pen a novel set along the Jurassic Coast. A complex, inter-generational family saga. For now, I’m aiming to write a single short story before summer is done. I don’t know whether I’ll share it anywhere, but I’m determined to get the words out of my head and down on paper.

  • What’s on your bucket list? If you’re after more ideas, Joy the Baker is a pro and ABM have a cute printable you can use to record your own.

Love Audrey xxx

P.S. Links marked with an asterisk are affiliate which means I’ll make a few pennies if you make a purchase.

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