The month is August, J1 is on school holidays and it's time for those lovely summer days out. But this is Britain, and what does that mean? You have a day out arranged or an event to go to then be prepare to get...S.O.A.K.E.D!
Yes, many a day trip out to the seaside was had in my childhood and the photographs are generally of us sitting huddled as close as our deckchairs would allow, beach towels wrapped tightly round our shoulders, hair all blown wildly in a left or right direction, squinting at the camera as the sand whipped in our eyes. Those are the memories and they are happy, nostalgic ones.
Hence why I insist on inflicting the same memory building experiences on to my own children! The plan usually goes something like this; I write on the calendar that we are having a lovely family day out, prior to the day out I go and buy all the food for the picnic and then dutifully make the picnic lunch and pack it all up in picnic bag with heavy but essential cool packs. Get the children dressed in as matching outfits as I can find (yes I am a matching dresser mother and for this I do not apologise!), pack stuff for heatwave and monsoon.
The drive to the venue usually lavishes you with sunshine, it buoys your spirits and assists the car singing to reach new decibels, then as the venue approaches generally the clouds start to gather... all sounding familiar? By the time parking has occurred a few spots of rain usually make an appearance causing the 'do we need wet stuff?' debate to reach a swift conclusion of 'Aye'.
However once in the queue to enter wherever you attempted to ascend for the day, the sun is back out, the kids moan they are hot and you start sweating out profusely in your wet coat, causing the first strip [of many] of the day to happen. At some point throughout the day I end up thinking 'Oh my god, we are burning' and chase everyone (including hubby) around trying to smother them in sunscreen (I love it, the smell always evokes so many holidays memories, I don't understand why they are all itching to be caked in it).
Sometimes we have been lucky and only the threat of a soaking ever comes to fruition, however, more often than not in the true sense of a bad British comedy, you end up getting ... drenched! The rain comes so suddenly and so hard and fast that you haven't had time to prepare, so you look to the sky, look at the 5 bags of wet covers, coats, umbrella's longingly and just leg it, but the shelters are already all full and people look at you with a mixture of pity and smugness as every bit of rain from the sky seems to hit you and your brood. After just a few seconds you and 90% of the population of wherever you are come to the same inevitable conclusion :
This is Britain. We are British. We get wet and are proud!
With noses pushed into the air, we continue our day out like it's dry and sunny. We carry on our conversations with water dripping off of our eyelashes. We secretly think, 'That buggies going to take ages to dry and the car is going to smell like wet dog by the time we get home' but we don't let on. We laugh (the heavier the rain the louder the laughter I find) and we say 'Well that's a typical British Summer Day Out!' and bank it in our store of happy memories.