In the summertime… Staycation!!

Things are finally looking up, dear friends – most of us here in Britain as well as in many other countries have been or will soon be vaccinated at least once, which means a lot less serious cases and hospitalisations; in other words, coronavirus will soon be defeated – time to celebrate and enjoy ourselves! And summer’s here, and many of us haven’t had a holiday in two years – but we’re not supposed to go abroad this year, so what can we do? The answer is very simple: have a wonderful staycation!

I know it, and I’ve said it before: my darling Ian and me are VERY VERY lucky – we made the big move from London to Wales last October, just in time before the next wave of lockdowns, and we now live in… yes, Paradise actually. A lovely ground floor flat in beautiful Holyhead (Caergybi), with sea and nature all around – so where would we rather spend our summer holidays than at home? We can take our wheelbarrow to the beach and have an all-day picknick there, like we did this week – what a view!

We’d packed everything we’d need for the day, from sandwiches, soft drinks and tea in a thermos to beach mat and chair; what a difference a change of scenery makes – fresh air, sunshine and exercise, and so many new and different things to see after more than a year of binge-watching films and TV series…

And, since all the psychologists have been telling us that, after this difficult year for all of us, we can indulge in any sort of fancy no matter how childish, I’d also got a kids’ beach toys set with bucket and spade to… build a sand castle! We’d taken our little Celtic friends with us, of course, to enjoy the beach, and they helped me decorate it with a Welsh flag… Believe it or not, dear friends, this sort of occupational therapy is enormously fulfilling!

I also ventured into the waters of the Irish Sea a bit for the first time, and it’s really not cold at all! Soon I’ll be swimming and snorkelling as if we were in the Aegean, and lose all those extra lockdown pounds…

Having a beach close by is, of course, the epitome of summer holiday perfection; we’ve also been walking and cycling in the area, though, and we’ve discovered a treasure trove of beautiful things, from fields with sheep to pretty little flowers in the grass and romantic paths into nowhere. Simply find a way to get out into the green, and you’ll feel that freedom that you maybe thought you could only get from a trip abroad!

As for your ‘holiday accommodation’, i.e. your home: if you’ve got a garden, you’re fine, of course; you’ll probably already have some furniture, maybe a barbecue as well – and you’re allowed to invite guests now, too! You can also get a swing or some deck chairs, and then you can start mixing your cocktails and longdrinks or making your own lemonade and enjoy them sitting outside. Your staycation is guaranteed!

Now if you live in a city flat, you might feel a bit underprivileged compared to others – believe me, I know what I’m talking about: last summer, during the lockdown, my darling husband and me were still living in a small one bedroom second floor flat in London, and I must confess it felt quite claustrophobic sometimes. This year, though, things are much better; pubs and restaurants are open again, you can meet your friends there or in the park, have a picknick and play ball games or go to the leisure centre or the lido for some exercise.

You can also make your flat look summery with some simple but effective decorations you can easily and affordably get online – we’ve made ours look like a seafood restaurant, with steering wheel, sailing ship, fishing net and pennants!

And talking of exotic meals, you can also cook your own seafood dinners, of course, to get you into the holiday mood, with ingredients you can get from any supermarket, like shrimps, prawns or mussels.

Just let your imagination run free, dear friends, and you can make this summer holiday the best ever – the perfect staycation! And add a little music, too, which always lifts the spirits; like this good old tune by Mungo Jerry:

Have a wonderful summer, and tell me about your own ideas for your staycation, too, dear friends!

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