For me, much of the joy is often found in the anticipation of something, and this is especially true when it comes to Summer. The anticipation of the long, long holidays stretching ahead; the anticipation of sunny days and endless evenings; the anticipation of ice cream and sandy toes and picnics on the beach and carefree times to come. The arrival of Litha, the Celtic Summer Solstice, means long days and short nights, a landscape full of greenery and optimism. Here are my June slow living tips.
Litha, the Summer Solstice, takes place this year on 21 June in the Northern Hemisphere: officially the longest day of the year and its mid-point as the Earth is tilted closest to the sun. It’s all downhill from here – to quote many a Scottish Granny, the nights will be “fair drawin’ in” before we know it! Not really, to me it signals the start of long Summer nights. Make like the Swedes and celebrate with the whole family, picking flowers, making flower crowns, dancing and laying the table with seasonal fare.
Things are getting busy in the garden – when one bloom comes to the end of its season another is just beginning. My favourite time of year outside as there’s just so much flowering, and still so much to look forward to. My dream day involves a country garden and tearoom and I’m looking forward to some National Trust visits soon now that things are opening up. I love following tags like #wysteriahysteria and #hydrangeaallsummerlong on Instagram for my floral fix as well as a walk round our neighbourhood ogling nearby gardens.
Holidays at Home:
Planning a staycation as lockdown eases, and visiting nearby towns and villages in your country – following up-to-date government guidance of course – is not only cheaper and better for the planet but also helps you see the familiar with fresh eyes. Never visited that local sightseeing spot? Play tourist at home and you might just start to see your everyday a little differently, too.
Summer Breakfast Ideas:
Long, lazy, light Summer breakfasts are a must at this time of year. In the Summer months I switch from porridge to overnight oats: simply combine 40g oats, 100ml milk of your choice and a tablespoon of yoghurt in your favourite breakfast bowl and leave to soak overnight. In the morning, add your chosen sweetener to taste – I love maple syrup or honey. Finish your oats with seasonal fruits: how about thinly sliced flat peaches with almond butter, roasted strawberries and black pepper, mango and cardamom coulis with toasted coconut.
Beside the Seaside
This is a great time of year at the beach and you know how much I love it there. Firstly, for rockpooling: take a couple of buckets or Tupperware to view your finds close up, and a book to identify them with. Remember to put everything back where you found it. Wildflowers can flourish at the seashore too, particularky thrift, which loves salty sea air. Its pink, pom-pom like flowers are in bloom in early Summer, forming a carpet of pink and green.