There are lots of different signs of Summer, those from nature, the first juicy red home grown strawberries of the year, sporting, Wimbledon, cricket and cultural, Trooping of the Colour, Glastonbury. However when you live in a small seaside town there are other signs of Summer you quickly recognise as heralding the season.
- Sand – despite how much I sweep, tidy and clean there is always sand on my kitchen floor, shower tray and car in the Summer months. As you walk you hear the crunchy steps following you around. However it’s a small price to pay for living in such an amazing place and being able to go the sandy beach everyday.
- A Garden Full of Drying Beach Gear – After each trip to the beach, our garden is full of drying swimming costumes, t-shirts, life jackets, spades, surf boards etc.. Its not simply drying but shaking out the sand ready for the next trip.
- Empty supermarket shelves – we have one large supermarket, Co-op, one medium supermarket and a convenience store. The Co-op causes me stress throughout the year but my levels rocket sky high in the Summer when the shelves are frequently empty of fresh fruit and veg, milk and bread. It’s like a game of dare when you enter, already this year I haven’t been able to get milk or bread on a number of occasions, I can’t believe ordering and stock replenishment is so difficult. I am thankful for online grocery deliveries and that Mr S works in the big town for emergency supplies.
- Parking – Normally it’s quite easy and free to park in town, however once May 15th comes, all our favourite spots are under no parking regulations and parking becomes an issue and an expense. In Summer, once parked at work I daren’t pop home at lunch or I’ll never get a parking space near work for the afternoon.
- Driving – Our town has an interesting one way system and the main route for most of the residents is through the town centre, there is no alternative. In the Summer, tourists forgot it is not pedestrianised and small roads and busy pavements mean driving can be a challenge, you drive slowly and are always ready to slam on brakes as pedestrians walk in front of you. The one way system means you are also predicting what unfamiliar drivers will do at junctions. It drives Mr S mad, I just smile.
- Themed weekends – To extend the season we have lots of themed weekends before and after the main holiday season, they are musical, blues, jazz, folk, transport, steam galas and sporting, regattas, cycle races and a marathon. These are fantastic and can make the weekend seem like a little holiday.
- Staying local on a Saturday. Saturday is swap over day and in the 6 week holiday the traffic in and out of town and the surrounding areas is so heavy that a trip out of town is ill advised, there are only two routes in and out of town and both will be heavily congested for miles, best to stay local.
- School Trips. Lots of school children visit our town in the summer for language schools and geography field trips. As a teacher I am sympathetic if I get caught as they all cross the road and smile at the frazzled teachers, counting and keeping them safe. I am also pretty good at answering all the surveys they have to do as part of their coursework although they are often disappointed that I’m not a tourist as the theme is normally tourism and what ameities the town should have.
Summer is brilliant in a seaside town and whilst some of the signs may be a little frustrating (Co-op!) I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It is the best time of the year and I love that so many people want to be in our town too for their holidays and to create happy memories.