Posted in Family, Travel

Girls In Their Summer Clothes

Debbie and Laura about to buy Sancerre at source
"Have red shoes, will travel" (Buying Sancerre at source in France last summer)

If the weather turns wintry tomorrow, blame me. Because this afternoon, I dragged out from under my bed the big plastic storage box in which my summer clothes have been hibernating since October (cue for a snowstorm).

As I spread flimsy dresses and crisp cotton shifts across the bed, images of last summer flitted across my brain like the apocryphal flashbacks of a drowning man. All of these images featured me in these clothes.

There I was on the Avignon tourist trail in a floaty, floral Cath Kidston number. This cool cotton lawn frock was the only thing keeping me on the right side of sanity in the sticky, seething streets. And it was the perfect outfit to  “danser sur le Pont” (as you do).

And then there was the cappuccino sleeveless linen shift, short skirt sticking to my legs as we cycled across the cobbles of Senlis to reach the open-air municipal pool. Splashy French shrieks of excitement and distant foreign children’s laughter lured us in the right direction, even though we couldn’t see the pool till the very last minute. It was raised on a balcony above street level – an upstairs open-air swimming pool! Who’d have thought it?

Debbie and Laura on top of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Summer 2011
No prizes for guessing which city we're in! The terrace on top of the Arc de Triomphe provides a whole new perspective on the Eiffel Tower

The tiered navy sleeveless Gap drill dress didn’t show the dirt on a hot, dusty day spent giving my daughter her first taste of Paris.  Laura didn’t like Paris. “It’s too city-ish.”

It obligingly withstood another day’s wear at Disneyland Paris – a twelve-hour shift to get our money’s worth. Now that Laura did approve of.

And then there was the blue and white stripey jersey shift, too short and shabby to be worn beyond our back garden really, but perfect for the long haul south in our camper van, my feet on the dashboard as we ambled down the valleys of the Loire and the Rhone to Provence. (Don’t worry,  my husband was driving.)

For a second, I allow myself to  believe that the act of trying on my favourite summer clothes will magically transport me back to the south of France, far from the woolly jumpers of home. I gaze at my favourite cotton lawn sundress with the wistful longing that as a child I’d project on an old wooden chair, hoping it would sprout the wings of Enid Blyton‘s famous Wishing Chair and whisk me away. (How those magical children’s stories  stay with you forever!)

But this year we won’t be heading south, whatever we wear. We’re spending this summer is Scotland – and as my daughter likes to say, “You don’t go to Scotland for the weather”. I’ll still be taking my beloved summer clothes. But I expect I’ll have to wear them all at once.

Author:

Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

2 thoughts on “Girls In Their Summer Clothes

  1. Your daughter is soooo cute! Simply adorable. I’ll be asking for reader submissions on my new blog, and I think it’d be awesome to feature a little fashionista!

    1. Thank you – I think she’s cute too! Totally happy to provide a reader submission and I look forward to seeing your new blog develop – the proposition sounds great, and I know Laura would be thrilled to feature on it too! Keep me posted!

Join the conversation - leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.