The blog title comes from a line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. In the sonnet, the speaker compares his beloved to the season of summer and says that she is better.
The beloved is both “more lovely and more temperate” than a summer’s day. The speaker lists some negative things about summer: it is short—“summer’s lease hath all too short a date”—and sometimes the sun is too hot—“Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines.” However, the beloved has beauty that will last forever, unlike the fleeting beauty of a summer’s day. By putting his love’s beauty into the form of poetry, the poet is preserving it forever. “So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” The lover’s beauty will live on, through the poem which will last as long as it can be read. (Taken from Wikipedia)
Incidentally, if you want to hear a musical version of Shakespeare’s sonnet, listen to this beautiful rendition by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. Thanks to my fellow teacher, Helen Waldron for sharing the link with me. Click here for the words.
Summer has finally arrived in the UK. When I say summer, I mean, sun, blue skies and heat. For those of you who live in countries that enjoy proper summers, you will not understand what all the fuss is about. However, for us living in the UK, a prolonged spell of hot weather is to be celebrated and written about. When I say ‘a prolonged spell’, I mean up to a week, not more than that! That’s why we have to grab whatever sun rays we can get before the clouds, rain and cooler temperatures take over.
So what happens in the UK when the sun shines? Well, for starters, waking up to blue skies immediately puts a smile on your face. You feel energised, there is a spring in your step and you can’t wait to get out there and bask in the sunshine. You can finally wear that floaty, summery dress or skirt that you bought over a year ago and have never worn until now. The sandals come out and with a bit of luck, you’ve had a pedicure and your toenails are painted in bright summer colours.
You make plans to meet up with some friends for a light lunch or picnic in the park or lunch outdoors (or alfresco as we say in English) in a restaurant or cafe. If you’re working, you will take advantage of your lunch break to sit in a park and soak up the sun. Many people will sit in the sun regardless of what they are wearing (for example, their office suits) and if they have suncream or sunblock on or not. Very few people will look for some shade under a tree, for example, which often means that they will end up looking as red as a lobster by the end of the day. I don’t like to sit in the sun for long periods of time so you will always find me under a tree or in a shaded area.
If I am in a park on a warm, sunny day, I like nothing more than to remove my shoes and feel the cool grass under my feet and toes. There is something luxurious about that feeling. I will find a big tree with plenty of shade, sit against its trunk with a good book or simply watch the world around me go by.There is nothing better than people watching, is there?
We are in the UK so the art of drinking is never far. Summer drinking has its own attractions. Most people will drink beer, cider or a white wine spritzer. I love the European habit of drinking aperol spritzers in the summer. Unfortunately, we don’t have this drink in the UK.
Summer days equal barbecues. The smell or aroma of barbecue food is never too far and wafts into our garden from all directions on a hot summer evening. If we’re lucky we get invited to a barbecue by one of our lovely, friendly neighbours!
Hot, summer days also mean our gardens need to be watered more regularly. The British are proud of their gardens and you will often see water sprinklers on their front lawns watering the grass and flower beds in the early morning or late evening. The other plants are watered with a water hose.
Summer sun and warmth puts everyone in a good mood. The feeling of the sun on your skin is simply wonderful. That much-needed Vitamin D and heat make you feel that anything is possible. May it last as long as possible. I’m off to sit in my garden and sunbathe for a while.
Is it summer where you are or are you in the Southern Hemisphere where it’s winter? Do you have the change of seasons where you live? What does summer mean to you?
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Ciao for now