Sunday Stills – Summers, Past and Present

From a small child until I was 16 my parents took my brother and I off to Devon or Cornwall for two weeks, usually in August. I can’t ever remember it raining that much, just spending days on end at the glorious beaches in the South West of the UK. Around April or May in the earlier years my dad would go to W.H. Smiths and get the latest Caravan Park and Bed and Breakfast accommodation book. How easy it is nowadays with! He and my mum would choose a suitable place and make a phone call to reserve our two weeks and pop a cheque in the post.
My favourite places to stay were holiday camps or caravan parks with evening entertainment. Everyone was just so happy all the time and I always ended up making a friend or two, who later became pen friends. At the age of 17 I decided I was too old to go on holiday with my parents anymore, I was working full time by then and could afford to holiday with friends.

By the time my own children were born we were living in Hong Kong and the summers were long and hot, but also rainy and humid with the typhoon season starting in June. School breaks were two months long, July and August, and I always took the children back to the UK for a few weeks or so. But I loved the summer in Hong Kong as there was no pressure to get up early. We could go to the beach late in the afternoon or maybe get invited to friends who had a pool. Once we had our own pool, it was used constantly every day.

Now we are in Perth, WA of course our summers are the complete reverse. We have been here 18 years but I still mix the seasons up sometimes! But I love the summers here the most as they seem to last for ages. Although it does get super hot at times, there’s never a time when you have to say let’s wait for a warmer day to do something. I still find it strange having Christmas when it’s so hot outside! When we first moved here I wouldn’t swim in the sea as it was so cold, but in the last few years I have taken the plunge and now go for a swim. Only when it’s a very hot day though! We have such beautiful beaches but of course we have sharks too, so I will only swim in the shallow parts and I don’t like it too rough!

In the photo on the right my two friends are trying to put away one of those beach tents that are supposed to just fold up! It just kept springing open, so in the end we had to jam it in the boot of the car half opened.
The photo on the left shows all the school kids having surf life saving lessons. I felt sorry for them having to sit in the sun for so long listening to the teacher giving instructions, still I suppose it’s necessary.

This post was written as part of the challenge Sunday Stills – Summer hosted by Terri at Second Wind Leisure.


  1. What a lovely summertime post, Ali! You have experienced a wild mix of summers over the years. You describe the lazy days of summer you spent as a child which sounds normal and delightful to me. But Hong Kong? All that humidity and rain? I would die. I have a friend that lives in Hong Kong and she prefers to hide in her house during summer monsoons. Love the pic of your friends trying to put the tent back in the bag–that would be me probably! The beaches in Perth look beautiful and I’m sure you are ready to hit them …in a few months! Christmas at the beach is a must-try for me one day!

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  2. That was a great idea for a post! My first wife and I gave our children holidays like yours – sites in Devon or Cornwall with evening entertainment. For us as young parents it was the first opportunity in YEARS for us to sit and have a drink in a bar together, while the three kids lapped up the children’s entertainment. Happy memories. My love affair with Cornwall goes on to this day, 43 after my first visit. When we’re travelling, I miss Cornwall more than I miss home.

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    • Thanks Phil
      I took my husband to Cornwall for our honeymoon as he’d never been. We haven’t been back since as we only get to spend a few weeks in the UK now. Those old caravans though always had a smell of gas about them! 😄

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  3. Oh I remember the days of buying a book and making phone calls! Seems positively archaic now. In my first librarian job I had an enquiry from a man who had received a letter from a potential French landlady, and needed help with translation. The fact that it was written on the back of the letter he sent her was a clue, but I still had the sad task of breaking the news that she had no accommodation available for him.

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  4. How interesting to have experienced summers in three such different countries! We too holidayed in Cornwall as kids, or sometimes Wales, but my parents favoured self catering cottages, often in the middle of nowhere!

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  5. Gosh. Loved the beach at Freemantle! Decades ago but I still remember how much fun we had there on our hot hot Auzzie Christmas. Like you it felt weird to be warm at thst time. Bernie

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