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8 july

July 8, 2011

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2 photos from italy, taken in may.

i needed a little reminder of sunshine and heat today.

i want to be the sort of person who can make peace with the crappy weather in england lately. i’m trying. but i’m failing miserably … i’ve become that person who incessantly rants about the weather to anyone who will listen – in elevators, in emails, in the pub with friends. (i must be a joy to be around.) i apologize … but i am LOSING MY MIND.

i love the heat & humidity of an east coast summer. i like the way it forces you to change your routine, to seek out cold drinks and places to go swimming. i love that feeling on a sunday night in july, as you head back to the city after escaping for a weekend at the beach. a bit of a sunburn. living in t-shirts and shorts. porch-sitting, bug spray, BBQs outside, cold beers, iced coffee in the morning. falling asleep with the fan blowing directly at you.

summer is a sacred time for me, i’m realizing. without seeing/feeling/experiencing the things that i’m used to at this time of year, i’m sort of lost. homesick for summer.

  1. July 8, 2011 2:59 pm

    The words “homesick for summer” are just about the saddest I’ve ever read. I feel like a whole other person in summer: an extremely lazy one. I hope you get back to summer soon.

  2. July 8, 2011 3:08 pm

    I never found living in England as hard as I am right now, all due to exactly what you describe above. I’m positively heartsick with a need for a real summer, for hot nights and hot mornings and chilled aloe vera in the fridge. I want my shirt to stick to my back, and I want to brew peach tea in the sun, and I want to sleep with bare legs that are tangled up in cotton sheets because they keep moving around trying to find a cool spot. I want a reason to look forward to fall.

  3. July 8, 2011 3:09 pm

    What beautiful photos! I’m currently living in Long Island for the summer – the very humid summer you describe so perfectly. There is something so wonderful about it, irreplaceable. It is homesick for you too :)

  4. July 8, 2011 3:18 pm

    I feel the same as you and I’ve lived in England all my life! Every year I feel cheated out of a proper summer. It’s just a bit rubbish! Beautiful pictures though. I have thoroughly enjoyed your Italy shots. Have a nice weekend, and let’s hope we see some sunshine again. :)

  5. July 8, 2011 3:19 pm

    it’s not hard to see why the english are obsessed with the weather, eh..
    i long for the sort of weekend you describe – they sound so exotic and other worldly to me. (it’s ok though, we’ll still go to the pub with you)

  6. July 8, 2011 3:23 pm

    I am homesick for summer desperately so… as a current resident in Newcastle, UK and from New Zealand I am dreaming of beachy swept days an surfing smiles. but alas, none are to be found in these north eastern parts of the world… i couldn’t have flown further from home if I tried!

  7. July 8, 2011 3:23 pm

    Oh Brian, I know exactly what you are talking about. I lived in Britain (try summer in Scotland – it´s even worse) for a grand total of 8 years and I am now back in South America. For those 8 years I complained incessantly about the weather, realising that if you are British you just can´t understand the concept of ´real´ summer and what it feels like to look forward to autumn instead of wishing their so-called summer away. My only words of advice are: escape to the countryside as much as you can, in my opinion terrible weather is a lot more bearable when you are surrounded by nature. And if you want to have a good ol´rant, just reply to this comment, I promise to listen and understand…..

  8. July 8, 2011 3:28 pm

    Oh I am just as homesick for summer as you it seems, residing in Newcastle, UK where daylight is long but wasted in its coolness of temperatures. I crave the sun-swept beachy haze and surfing smiles of my homeland New Zealand. I guess I couldn’t have flown any further from the coop than to here.

  9. July 8, 2011 3:35 pm

    Sounds exactly like what we’ve been experiencing here in Seattle…Waiting OH SO PATIENTLY for the two beautiful months that make the other ten (DREARY GRAY DRIZZLING) months tolerable…

    ~GoingBatSh$%CrazyFromLackofSunshineInSeattle ;)

  10. July 8, 2011 3:36 pm

    Summer is here with a vengeance in the deep South. I’m not saying I don’t like it (some of the time) but just a day or three of moody coolness, fog and mist would help me believe that in the not too distant future…the herbs in their smokin’ little garden won’t look at me in parched despair. And I won’t have to wear shoes to just go to the mailbox for fear of third degree burns on the soles of my feet. Wish I could box it up and send it along for you to enjoy. I’m so jazzed I found out about your site from Loving every one of your posts. Chris

  11. July 8, 2011 3:41 pm

    I am the exact opposite, Brian, while I enjoy proper summers with lots of sunshine and balmy evenings I have no love for the hot and humid weather here in New England that forces me to spend lots of time inside because without a/c it’s just too unbearable. And I have even less love for air conditioning; while I appreciate its benefits in this oppressive heat, I much prefer the ability to keep my windows open and let in the fresh summer breezes of the more moderate UK climate that I am used to. We are flying to London tonight and I look forward to a reprieve from the east coast stickiness!

  12. July 8, 2011 4:01 pm

    I swear we used to get better summers. Not in Edinburgh, obviously, but in Sussex I’m sure it used to be sunny in July. Or maybe that’s just the way memories from childhood work…

  13. July 8, 2011 4:09 pm

    Being stuck here in NYC for another few weeks before I FINALLY get to go home for a visit, I have to say that in a round about way I totally sympathize. Summer in New York has, at times, made me hate summer. Which is the saddest thing I can think of since summer is my absolute favorite season–but when I say summer, I mean West Coast summer, dang it. I completely understand that homesick feeling–only how someone can ever miss humidity, I don’t think I’ll ever really understand ;n )

  14. July 8, 2011 4:11 pm

    I just moved to London two weeks ago, and I am close to crying most of the time. I am from Germany, have lived in a similarly sad weather for a long time – but the last four years were bliss in Los Angeles. I am so homesick for California – I didn’t even know this kind of homesick until now.
    Be glad that you can go back home if you really, really feel you have to… I feel so deeply at home in a country to which my visa expired.

  15. July 8, 2011 4:27 pm

    When I lived in London I was the same. I’m back home in Saudi Arabia now and it is around 120F with 90% humidity….so I’m actually missing the gloomy London weather. I’ll be there for a visit next week, hopefully I’ll bring some sunshine with me. Lovely pictures!

  16. July 8, 2011 4:45 pm

    I’m married to a man who grew up in Ireland, and he feels exactly the same as you. Just mention rain and he goes on an hour long rant about how depressing and wet it was there. He loves the sun and warmth of summer too.

  17. echo permalink
    July 8, 2011 4:49 pm

    i can totally relate to this… even though i despise humidity. i was talking to someone the other day about how even though it’s july, without my new york routines that i’m used to in the summer, i still don’t feel like summer has arrived. luckily i’m nyc bound in august so i’ll get a bit of it then!

  18. July 8, 2011 5:00 pm

    So beautiful. So tragic.

  19. July 8, 2011 5:36 pm

    Oh dear oh dear. Even after a lifetime of miserable English summers it still comes as a horrible shock each year!

  20. nancy permalink
    July 8, 2011 6:03 pm

    come to los angeles, you will get over summer, it lasts here for months and months and months…….and months

  21. Wendy permalink
    July 8, 2011 7:51 pm

    I agree with Fabiana. Get thee to the English countryside to see the good all this rain is doing. (It’s the only way to look at it!) Suggestions of things to do once your there
    A very English Bloomsbury theme!

  22. July 8, 2011 7:53 pm

    Come to CA. Wine Country! Sonoma is beyond lovely and hot this time of year. Plenty of long, lazy afternoons under the Eucalyptus trees with cold bottles of something. I have a feeling you’d like it here….

  23. Roula permalink
    July 8, 2011 8:47 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with what you’re expressing here..I have been living in London for the past 3 years now but I grew up in Greece and even though I cope with the miserable British weather during the winter, I find summer to be the most difficult season for me. Perhaps because I know that while we have cool temperatures and rain here, everyone is enjoying a “real” hot summer back home with beach time and everything that goes with it. I catch myself daydreaming most of the time..mostly recalling childhood memories of hours under the shade of a tree by the sea while the scorching heat won’t let you leave it even for seconds, taking afternoon naps until the big heat gives way to the cooler evenings, the almost deafening sound of the cicadas, everyone on the porch eating watermelon because it’s too hot to eat anything else..I have tried really hard to adapt and welcome the different climate but haven’t got very far yet

  24. Trish permalink
    July 8, 2011 9:41 pm

    could someone describe an English summer? are there on average more unpleasant days than pleasant ones? Summer in the lower midwest can be brutal, with high heat and humidity, but I do my best to focus on the good – sounds of insects, smells of newly cut hay, wildflowers. It doesn’t always work, but there are always those afternoon naps, as Roula mentioned.

    • July 9, 2011 10:59 am

      It’s hard to describe an English summer as they’re notoriously inconsistant. Most days are neutral, I think; grey skied, with patches of sunshine. Every once in the while you get the odd heatwave, which is how I remember summer when I was a kid – scorchingly bright and sunny, but rarely humid; if there’s rain, it’s in the night, so there’s a little dew on the grass in the early mornings. My favourite are summer evenings, when the light is long and the breeze cools the residual heat of the day. But having said all that – now I definitely notice the more unpleasant days; I don’t know if the climate’s changed or I have. Grey-skied days are the majority at the moment, and at the moment you can’t predict when a torrential downpour will strike – yesterday I was sheltering under a bridge for a good twenty minutes on my walk home, soaked to the skin. You would guess it were March or April, I think.

  25. July 8, 2011 9:58 pm

    i’m here, in the high east coast summer, and i’m feeling a bit achy for it too. we were away as summer came on, and i’m having a hard time jumping in to the season in full swing. and to top it off, there’s back to school displays in the stores. it’s july, for crying out loud. there ought to be goggles and sunscreen everywhere. but you remind me. to take matters into my own hands.

  26. Deb permalink
    July 8, 2011 10:59 pm

    Ah, the exquisite ache of homesickness. Would you have it any other way?

  27. July 8, 2011 11:19 pm

    “i’ve become that person who incessantly rants about the weather to anyone who will listen – in elevators, in emails, in the pub with friends” …

    man, my girlfriend is EXACTLY like that. being greek and living in london for the past 7 years i can completely empathise with you on this. what drives me crazy is how completely schizophrenic the weather is, rain-sun-rain-sun all in a matter of minutes!

    ps. roula you said it all!

  28. July 9, 2011 11:27 am

    aw I know the feeling
    what I miss most is just the sea,those lovely starry nights spent at the beach,sitting in front of a fire,enjoying the magic of the summer

  29. July 9, 2011 11:56 am

    Your post makes me itchy feet. I feel the same, I want the summer, I want heat, I want the sea and the waters, I will warm nights with a drink in hand. Unfortunately I do not live near the sea, and the summers here are much too short.

    P.S. Beautiful photos.

  30. Christophe permalink
    July 9, 2011 12:21 pm


    I grew up in Edinburgh = zero Summer = little expectation from Summer!

    Doesn’t stop me pissing and moaning about the weather all the same…

    On a different note, top photo is beautiful…

  31. sean udall permalink
    July 9, 2011 9:00 pm

    yes a month ago we were on the verge of drought; the rain is so necessary for the nature and besides each day is shorts weather, warm. i feel to be surrounded by people from overseas living in my country, yet complaining about this or that. love the photographs here though.

  32. July 9, 2011 10:12 pm

    when i left london, all those years ago, it was for that very reason. although i didn’t really like the summers in brisbane with all the humidity, it was those perfectly summer time activities that i was missing out on that drove me mad. hope it comes soon, b.

  33. July 9, 2011 10:27 pm

    Welcome to my world. I live in Oregon. But London has had the warmest and driest Winter and Spring in 350 years! we can’t even go back that far. So put on your wellies and barbecue anyway and remember that crappy weather is better for your skin. Love your blog and so wish I was living there for a few years. I will be there soon for 2 months and I don’t care about the weather and that’s another benefit of living in the NW

  34. July 10, 2011 6:13 am

    i love heat, live in south carolina, homesick for summer is completely understandable from london. but changing routine due to the heat strikes a chord for me as i always find joy in how the rain changes a routine. seeking shelter, funky rain boots, bright rain shells, justifying an extra latte, the smell of rain, the slosh on the streets… sometimes grey feels good too, no? grass is always greener.

  35. July 10, 2011 10:39 pm

    great post. i adore summer even when it’s uncomfortably hot. everyone is complaining, but i don’t know if i could deal with a climate that didn’t force swimming and popsicles on a person.

  36. Penny permalink
    July 10, 2011 10:49 pm

    I lived in London for years and I’m from Australia. It’s funny – I had the opposite reaction. I was constantly amazed by how much we took our terrific Sydney summers for granted. Now I’m back home, I hide inside with airconditioning, cursing stinky people when I commute on buses and feries. I loved the way that a week of sunshine in England would stop the country – the entire office would sunbake in the park and nobody would expect you to come back to your desk for hours. I loved the long summer evenings (which we don’t really get in Sydney), garden dinner parties that would go on and on and on. Picnics with friends (and deer) in Richmond Park, visits to the country to see what a wet summer can do to a garden, quick trip down to Cornwall to laugh at people ‘surfing’ then heading off to the Tate and some amazing seafood in St Ives.

    The hot days were rare (and everyone would still be talking about them months later) , but when they came they made the winter worthwhile. Plus, when they became too much, you could just head across the Channel!

  37. July 11, 2011 1:13 am

    falling asleep with the fan blowing on you, yes, and the ice-cold drips from the iced drinks on bare knees, and open sandals, shade under trees, and the cool of evening.

  38. July 11, 2011 4:10 am

    brian, you’ve just described 98% of my day in the city today. how strange and lovely that you recall new york in such fond detail. it has stayed exactly the same. it actually wasn’t until i moved here that summer suddenly became my favorite season. the heat, the humidity, everything—it is absolute magic to me. i know it doesn’t do you much good, but thank you for the reminder that this is a very special place.

    over dinner earlier, a friend and i used the words “violent love”.

  39. July 11, 2011 6:02 am

    I hope you can go home soon, Brian. it’s so clear you are bot in your place.

  40. July 11, 2011 2:05 pm

    yes, I know perfectly what does it mean as a tuscan living in bavaria…i’m “homesick for summer” too..

  41. July 11, 2011 9:27 pm

    i couldn’t have said it better myself. i too am an american transplant in london and have such a hard time dealing with the weather. originally from kentucky, i miss the heat, the chirping of cicadas (doesn’t it just sound empty here at night?)… i’m homesick for summer!

  42. July 12, 2011 6:59 am

    Brian, from what I understand the climates of England and Portland are pretty similar (something to do with latitude, I think). This has been quite the “summer” this year for us as well (in quotes because … well, even though summer is allegedly here, it’s been slow to show it’s face).

    I couldn’t help but sympathize with you when it comes to ‘talking about the weather’. The phrase itself can mean “talking about something that doesn’t matter much” … but man, when summer feels like it’s passing you by it DOES matter.

    But despite it all, we love these places. I hope Summer finds you across the pond.

  43. July 12, 2011 7:14 am

    just one word:beautiful

  44. July 13, 2011 11:32 am

    Oh, honey. I’m sorry. Come visit us – we seem to be having a nice one this year (although today is gray). I know how awful homesickness is, hate thinking of you suffering through it.

  45. July 15, 2011 12:56 pm

    I grew up in Canada and then spent a number of years living in Key West, Fla. I hated the heat and humidity of south Florida. To get out of the shower and be sweating again by the time you finish drying yourself off. I longed for a the summers of my youth that were hot during the day, but cooled off in the evening. A summer afternoon in the keys almost always has a massive rain storm, which you want desperately to believe is going to cool things off, but it doesn’t, because as soon as the rain stops the sun begins to heat everything up again steaming the concrete sidewalks and evaporating all the rain into the air to create an even more humid dusk.

  46. July 15, 2011 5:21 pm

    Oh boy can I relate.

    I moved from New England to Washington state. This summer has been an absolute waste so far.

    The highest temperature so far, 75F. 75F?! It’s the middle of July!

    At least I can still get away with wearing some my favourite boots.

    Good luck!

  47. Jayne permalink
    July 23, 2011 4:47 am

    Brian, I live in Calgary and we had a terrible, long cold winter and spring. Finally it is turning out to be a lovely warm July and since you are suffering in London I will think of you when I sit on my deck reading and sunburning my knees. Also when I get into my black car and swelter, refusing to turn on the ac, as the majority of the year is spent driving on icy roads and cranking the heater. Love the lush garden photos.

  48. July 24, 2011 5:19 pm

    It’s happening exactly the same in the northwest of Spain and it’s driving me nuts!! Yes, I also need to feel the summer around…


  49. August 2, 2011 10:06 pm

    i’m a US east coaster…and that second to last paragraph couldn’t be a better description of our summers…come home…this is a good one..minus the random heat waves here and there ;)

  50. August 5, 2011 2:31 pm

    I’m so with you here!!!

    As much as I enjoy living in London, giving my summers away is a really big price to pay…

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