Sunshine. Actual sunshine in the British Isles! Us Brits are frequently lambasted for our constant need to comment on the weather, but when you live in a country where you can experience all four seasons in one day, it’s going to make the headlines. Recently however, we've been basking in an unusually good spell of sunny weather. Gone is the normal attire of raincoats over summer outfits and rainy day activities replacing best laid sunshine plans. Instead, us Brits have been able to indulge in more traditional summer pastimes like picnics, beach trips and watching Wimbledon without the roof closed!
Sunny spells in previous years have predictably taken place only between Monday and Friday and come the weekend the blue skies have been replaced by grey clouds and drizzle, but not-so last week, so Darren and I packed up our bags and headed east to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Chelmsford.
This is the second time we've visited them since they've lived in Chelmsford, the first visit was when we (mostly Darren...) helped them move in, so any activity we chose would most likely prove to be more relaxing than last time. Being an avid Wimbledon fan I was excited to watch the women’s final between Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki. Ladbrokes Casino had just launched their Centre Court slot game and were excited to treat a few of us tennis fans to a fabulous Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly hamper to enjoy whilst watching the final few matches. I received mine earlier in the week and as Steve and Faye live across the river from the park, there seemed to be no better choice than to organise a tennis themed picnic in the sunshine. Thankfully Darren has no data limit on the phone, so we were able to enjoy the tennis commentary along with the delicious treats in the hamper, all washed down with a glass of sparkling English(!) wine.
Post-picnic we headed over to the nearby Chelmsford Fling Festival and enjoyed the afternoon taking in some of the local Essex music and comedy talent whilst drinking cider atop hay bales. I wore the latest addition to my Mint Velvet wardrobe, along with a pair of white cropped jeans and my beautiful Bibi Bijoux bracelet (a 30th birthday gift from my other sister-in-law Lucy). Faye wore a lovely butterfly and flower print dress from Oasis.
Finally, on a completely unrelated note, it occurred to me whilst at the Fling Festival that the quintessential British man’s summer wardrobe appears to be the same across the board; t-shirt, cropped trousers or jeans and trainers, with the only variable being whether the trainers are worn with or without socks... And surprise surprise, both Darren and Steve were donning exactly that ensemble... with socks!
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