Organise the breeze

My best memories of being a child form an endless summer. Holidays in France, picnics, barbecues, drives out to beautiful places, stream scrambling, climbing trees, making daisy chains, playing in the garden, riding my bike.

I have always loved lazing in the sunshine, the sun kissing freckles onto my skin and white streaks in my hair. Reading a book, listening to music and sipping something cold is such paradise. The one thing I have always wanted is a hammock - slung between two trees and gazing up at the sky just sounds like my idea of heaven.

Now that I'm a mother, the intense heat that I am so comfortable in has turned me into a neurotic woman, desperate to protect her baby from overheating. We live in a terraced house next door to people who chain smoke in their garden and it drifts straight into the windows and door at the front of our house. Theirs is a back-to-back, ours is a through so we do have a back to escape to in the morning when it's shady, but the living room and bedroom (the two rooms I can breastfeed Mikey in comfortably, the spaces where we play and sleep) are now the hottest parts of the house - completely airless without being able to have the windows open. We bought an air-cooler that converts water into cool air but it only makes a one degree difference in temperature.
On Saturday night the bedroom got up to 29 degrees and this was 8pm at night, not the middle of the day when you expect the sun to really crank up the heat.

Suffice to say, I'll be happier when Mikey is older and the heat isn't quite so dangerous.

Today, as the sun crept higher in the endless blue sky, we packed a picnic and headed out to the nearest park. It was only a 10 minute walk with my Starchild in his sling, smothered in sun-cream and hiding under a hat and sunglasses whilst I lugged a parasol and a nappy bag crammed with fun.

A short whilst later, with our blanket spread out under the shade of some trees (albeit with Homer Simpson spray painted upon one of them...) and our parasol set up, we played and read and fed.

He napped soundly as the breeze rustled in the trees whilst I gazed out on the daisy-bedecked grass and ate a picnic of rose jam sandwiches on seeded bread, a coconut and chocolate chip biscuit, peanuts and raisins and a watermelon and feta salad.

I had brought bubbles with us, which we watched floating off across the park.

The one flaw in the plan was that my back couldn't take more than two breastfeeding sessions sitting upright on the grass and there was nowhere for me to have a wee (and if there was, lugging Mikey, a parasol, picnic basket and nappy bag would have been interesting!) so we headed home after a couple of hours. It would be perfect to sit under the trees in the hot midday sun so I think we'll attempt to head out there again tomorrow and I'll just have to dehydrate myself!

How I would dearly love to be able to just open the windows, or sit out in the garden surrounded by the beautiful, fragrant lavender plants that I now cannot hope to use for culinary purposes thanks to them smoking all over them. (My jam and other recipes are made from lavender dried and stored long before they moved in.)

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.
Title: In The Heat Of The Morning by David Bowie