I feel like summer this year cruised by in the blink of an eye. Perhaps it was the endless roll of grey days instead of sunshine; where normally weeks would be punctuated with the scent of barbecues drifting over the fence, beach trips on busy trains and evening walks to the park to make the days last longer.
It wasn’t a total wash out; but it certainly seems like the seasons have blurred together a little; and although in the last week I’ve definitely felt the arrival of autumn with the heating rumbling back up and a nip in the air- it was last week that Joe and I took the opportunity to make the most of the last of the summer weather, with a little day out in the car.
A bit like last year, it felt a little like a bit of a special occasion doing something nice on one of the last days of sunshine. Having been trying to get out more in the car and make the most of days where we both can step back from work and soak up precious moments with Arlo- we settled on an afternoon at local treasure, Down House.
With the home of Charles Darwin being a stones throw away from where I grew up; it’s somewhere that weirdly bypassed any school trips and has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to visit. Funnily enough, Joe and I only normally seem to do the whole ‘English Heritage/National Trust’ circuit when we’re on city breaks or on holiday, so actually being able to soak up some history on our doorstep in an afternoon felt like a really lovely thing to do.
Not only is the house itself beautiful and oozing with history (and completely accessible too); but the grounds in the sunshine were heavenly. We mooched around the vast greenery, admiring the gardens and the flowers that were still left in bloom. Although the greenhouse was closed for refurbishment, it was also the perfect place to settle down for a bit of lunch; gobbling up fresh sandwiches and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on my overdressed self.
Given the last year, it’s these kind of moments I’m desperate to not take for granted- the little local drives, the moments of sunshine, lunches outside, local gems close to home and spending time with those that matter the most. We might not have had a sunny summer; but we’ve had one peppered with little adventures and small special moments, and after all- isn’t that what it’s all about.