So, we all know not to eat nuts at the bar or to help ourselves from the bowl of Imperial mints at your local Indian restaurant……if you don’t, take the advice. But how much thought have you given to the bacterial levels present on the weights, bike seats and shower walls and floors at a public gym? And then there’s all the other stuff that make it so easy to not go.
With two weeks to go till the end of the summer holidays, and still plenty of sunshine up for grabs, why not get baking and creating with the children and head off for a picnic? Here are a few of our own tried and tested family favourites, which allow for everyone to add a little individuality to the same basic recipe.
Oak before ash, in for a splash. Ash before oak, in for a soak. So goes the old wives’ tale and the fact that, this spring, our oaks burst into leaf many weeks before our ash would seem to add some weight to the theory. So far, this summer has been one of the hottest since records began a little over a century ago. June was lovely, July was the eighth warmest since 1910, and Met Office forecasts suggest August is going to be pretty nice too (albeit with a few more showers than we have been used to the last couple of months).
All this glorious weather has suited the butterflies perfectly. As the children, the dog and I have ambled and yomped through the sun dappled shade of woods, meandered along the river bank or lazed in wind tousled meadows we have been mesmerised by the sight of hosts of beautiful butterflies. It’s not for nothing that many of our finest poets have been inspired to write about these gorgeous creatures.
…..Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead? was, somewhat ironically, the highlight of my summer holidays in the 1970s. Though of course by the time it, and a handful of other classic kids shows, had finished there wasn’t much else to do except go outside and find some other kids at a loose end and do something.