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Summer in the City


I love to think about the seasons. I have written before about seasonal shifts, they appeal to my poetic sensibilities. That’s why what I am going to write next is going to be hard… here goes….I don’t really like the summer. There I said it. It’s quite a sweeping statement I know. I like the idea of it, of long evenings, sitting outside with a cool drink and the warmth but the reality leaves me hot and itchy from sun cream. There is an abundance of beautiful flowers to draw and be inspired by but the reality is the full on summer is overwhelming for me. The season feels shouty and brash and the intricate details of nature can be lost by petals and foliage. These feelings are not helped by my being a red-head and my genetics making it near impossible for me to sit out in full sunshine. If I was a plant I would be a fern, hiding in the shade.

I normally have a creative slump at this time of year, things go off the boil and I wait for the Autumn to start new projects (like a back to front hibernation) I thought there must be another way, I want to use this time to be creative if only to take advantage of the warm studio. So, whilst thinking about all the difficulties I have with the Summer months, as a negative spiral I decided I need to change my mindset. I thought about the quiet beauty which can be found away from all the brash, hot colours and foliage if you want to take the time to look for it. The city is great place to enjoy the fringes of the summer, mainly because the weeds start to take over the concrete and brick to give interest and texture. If like me you’re a shade dweller, the shapes and shadows cast against the smooth tarmac and stone are to be enjoyed.

Moving around the city you start to really appreciate the corridors of green, the parks and the front gardens and back lanes allowing the roads and streets to take a deep breath. The other pleasant knock on effect of the summer months in a city like Bristol is the way people’s moods are lifted, the community comes out of hiding and people spill out onto the streets to enjoy the early evening sunshine. Barbeques can be smelt in the air and the chatter of children playing out in their gardens and parks brings an honest feeling of happiness and wellbeing. It’s not all bad I suppose. Only 11 weeks until September arrives.

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