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April article

Domingo, 1 de Abril de 2018

Memories of great summers.

This year seems to be flying by and before we know it, summer will be with us. Whether you are off travelling somewhere or doing an English course or summer camp, the summer holidays are also a time to fill with laughter and fun while creating happy memories to look back on in the future.

Being young in summer is the best and I have some wonderful memories of summer holidays as both a child and teenager. In England, children get six weeks for summer holidays and (if you don’t make comparisons to Spanish school holidays!) this was always the most incredibly long break from the everyday repetition and routine of school life. I am one of three siblings so I was never short of company. Plus, attending the local primary school opposite our house, most of my school friends lived locally so if I’d fallen out with my brother or sister or been left out of games in the garden - three is never a good number for team sports - there was always a school friend I could “call on” (ring the doorbell and ask their mum if they could come “come out and play”). I think my parents must have had an “old-school” mentality as we were allowed to play tennis in the street and rollerblade down the drive into the road, something most parents these days wouldn't dream of letting their kids do! I remember even going through an entrepreneurial phase with my younger sister and selling oven chips in paper cones to passers by in the street!

We'd always take a family holiday in August as this was when my Dad managed to take time out from running his business to join us on our annual trip down to Cornwall. We'd all load in the Volvo and stocked with snacks and car games, we'd make the four hour journey down the M5 to stay at this farm where we always rented the same cottage. It was a kid´s paradise with kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens and if you were lucky a newly born litter of puppies to greet you on arrival. Other families rented cottages for the same fortnight every August so it was always really exciting to be reunited with holiday friends who'd often travelled from much further afield to stay at Trevathan Farm. The farmer's son Mark would take a quad bike around the farm early most mornings to collect eggs and feed the puppies, so all the kids would meet to ride in the trailer behind the bike. I can still remember the farmer's wife shrieking that it wasn´t safe as we all giggled and Mark sped off up the fields!

As I became teenager, summer holidays started to change slightly. Because I was desperate to earn my own money to go shopping or to the cinema with my friends, I worked various babysitting jobs for families in the area where I lived. These evening or even day jobs paid surprisingly well - for a thirteen year old anyway! Especially after receiving a measly £3 for delivering Sunday papers, usually in the rain, to houses in my neighbourhood. Sunday rounds were the worst too as the papers came with all the hefty supplements!

After students finish their national GCSE exams at sixteen, summer starts at the end of June, meaning a whole extra month to enjoy doing whatever took your fancy. I still remember the speech our headmaster gave us about what he called, “deferred gratification”, encouraging us to study hard during exam season as we could enjoy ourselves after. He was not wrong. The sheer euphoria of walking out that last exam after such a long, intense exam season and having the whole, entire summer to relax and have fun. This summer brought more freedom, responsibility and the first holiday I went on with just friends alone. Little did I know at the time, this was a pretty big turning point in my life and changed the way I’d spend summer holidays from then on.

Whatever you or your children have planned for this summer, make sure to create weird and wonderful memories for you and your family to look back on in years to come.