Extending the Summer.

Beautiful South Africa
At this time of year it hard to ignore the winding down signs that summer is at a close and autumn and winter beckon. The days are getting a little shorter and the suns not so warm and strong. We notice it here greatly. My husband suffers badly from SAD and in the past, when we weren’t tied down to school holidays, we use to book up a sunshiny trip for a couple of weeks after Christmas. In fact February half term is the perfect time to book such a trip. The after mass and joy of Christmas have flown (and lets all hope for no floods this year) and yet there’s still a month and half of cold before spring really hits!

Stunning Lanzarote
We’ve got our holiday booked for the October break to eke out the last bit of the sunshine this year before winter and the gloom hits. But just where to go? Well we use to head back home to South Africa but that’s incredibly in practical and expensive just for a week. Why not hop on some flights to Lanzarote? My sister in laws family does this for the February half term and the children have a fabulous time and they know that even after Christmas has been there’s still something fun to look forward to. Of course if you can’t wait till February and it does indeed seem a long way away at the moment why not catch the last of summer sunshine in a fab Spanish island? And, if like us you have to work around school time tables, why not head over for the October half term break? Extend summer that month or two longer! In fact Lanzarote has temperatures up to almost the eighties in October (It was once recorded in the nighties in October) with the sea being lows 70’s. Personally that’s warmer than our local swimming pool and to me a perfect excuse to dose yourself up with some Vitamin D

What do you do to get yourself through the colder days of autumn and winter? Do you head off for some sunshine and if so where do you go? 

The exotic beautiful lakes of the UK

Swallows & Amazons - Lake District
As you lovely readers know from previous articles we here all adore the water, being on it, in it and round it. Part of the reason we moved where we have is because we’re surrounded by the gorgeous Arun on two sides and within easy distance of some beautiful lakes, rivers, lagoons and of course the coast. If like me you’ve seen LOOK’s ‘What FloatsYour Boat’ campaign you might have also noticed their rather gorgeous article on the most exotic sailing location on earth. They do look stunning and I’d love to sail the Greek Isles one day but it missed off so many of my favourite places which are perhaps a little more accessible, the river at Lerryn in Cornwall where Wind in The Willows was set, the beautiful lakes of the Lake District – the setting of Swallows & Amazons book and one of my favourite places….A lagoon but perhaps not so exotic as those mentioned in the article but none the less a beautiful escape from the citys and towns for an afternoon of pleasure.

We’re a fairly outdoorsy family and both of spent a lot of time outside in our youth. My husbands were whiled away in the heat of South Africa but I have the fondest memories of going down to our local river (more a stream) and wading up and down the river. I even head back there with my boys when visiting my parents but just down the road from us tucked away from the main roads is a beautiful lagoon probably only known to a handful of youthful sailors and bird watchers.

Pagham Lagoon

Pagham Lagoon. Not as exotic sounding as perhaps Langkawi in the Andamans but gosh it has its own beautys. It’s where I learnt to sail and is tucked just metres off the coast shore. The tide washes through the banks and refreshes the water in the lagoon daily and also creates a little miniature tide just perfect for beginners. I say this with a slightly rueful smile as my first awareness of the tide was just after capsizing my boat and breaking the rudder and freely jumping for freedom (no going down with boat for me!) I swam and swam for what felt like hours (at least 5 minutes) and kept being sent back towards my boat while everyone else gaily sailed by. I was rescued very quickly by the lovely trainers who I think to this day are still amazed that anyone could capsize an unsinkable small boat in a small lake, with no breeze and in glorious sunshine and manage to break the rudder too. Sheer skill my readers ;) however within in minutes I was back in a fresh boat soaking up the sunshine and listening to the birds call to each other and the gentle lapping of the water. The lagoon is an unbelievably perfect place to learn to sail or just spend the afternoon watching others. If you don’t fancy learning why not meander down the side of the lagoon and along the river and watch the numerous wildlife dip and glide in and out of the water?