Singing Sweet Home Alabama All Summer Long

14 March 2014

Shirt Dress - GAP (Not online but bought this week in store so definitely available!)
Shoes - New Look
Bag - Zara

I'm in the mood for summer. This is a highly unusual concept for me,  I'm much more of an Autumn/Winter type of girl, especially fashion wise - I love the textures and colours. But recently… recently I'm hankering for sunshine and longer days. It might just be cabin fever, you're all probably fed up of listening to me withering on about uni, but with to do lists that never seem to be getting any shorter and the fact I've almost forgotten what anywhere that's not my house, the library or a lecture hall looks like I am fantasising about summer.

But past the here and now I'm fantasising about the summers you had when you were in school. I remember the first summer I was old enough to be in the house myself and not at summer care (the equivalent of after school care but during the holidays) - it as heaven. It was my first taste of genuine freedom, I decided when to get up each morning and what to do with each day. My parents left at 8am and returned at about 6.30pm and I had all those long hours with no one watching and was left to revel in my own affairs. 

You think you're so grown up then, don't you? Spending your time at home alone, having the run of the house and with nothing to do for seven whole weeks. The summers seemed so long I used to question how I'd fill seven weeks. 

Well, we'd fill them. There'd be day trips to local beaches - and it'd be around 12 degrees but you'd pile seventeen of you into three different cars, hope to god no one stopped you and realised that someone was sitting on someone else's lap and be altogether having too much of an amazing time getting drunk on the freedom and the fumes from the disposable BBQ that the toughest guy in your group would work, to realise that you were actually freezing and that this was nothing like the beach on holiday. We'd head down to Kelvingrove park with a picnic and think we were really cool because we had iPods, which were cutting edge technology at this time and so many losers were still using MP3 players. Plus we'd just discovered Fall Out Boy and Biffy Clyro, and you'd attracted the attention of the guy from the other school who was a few years older than you and played guitar in a band, so we were definitely basking in our unreachable levels of coolness. If we wanted to go wild we'd head to the tennis club and play awful games, yet be firmly secure in the knowledge that with just a bit more practise we'd be the next Venus and Serena, and then reward ourselves for our exertions with a walk to the local Italian cafe for gelato.

You don't understand what anyone means by 'your school days are the best days of your life' until you find yourself wishing to go back to them. I remember I used to hear that and think people were mad - why would anyone want to be back at school?! Well, I'd gladly take school over uni right now, but it's not so much the school is it? It's the fact that school is your only responsibility, and even then your teachers really care about you and if you start to do anything wrong they'll set you back on the right path, so it's pretty impossible to make a mess of school. But it's still the most important thing in your world, going to class 9-3.30 5 days a week, and then thinking you've got it tough if you get homework from more than one subject each night. To have a world that doesn't, and doesn't need to, extend past school and Saturdays in town with friends.

And then to have seven weeks off from it. Seven long, stretched out weeks with nothing. No summer research projects, no applications, no deadlines - just seven long weeks and then you'd return refreshed, and maybe even a bit excited, for a new school year.

I suppose there was an innocence to those summers. Summers that seemed long and unending and when I think of them now everything's bathed in golden sunlight and rays that speckle prettily along the lenses of the rose tinted glasses.

But really, it's not rose tinted glasses. It's just a realisation. Sure, they weren't really that innocent - we were kissing boys at the tennis clubhouse, we'd take it in turns to swipe something from our parents' wine cellars - though looking at it now, one bottle of wine between seven or eight of you really wasn't ever going to do too much harm, especially when you didn't like it enough to even finish your fair share - and everyone had that one friend who had to take a pregnancy test one summer, and it gave everyone in your group the fright of their life as they tried to imagine how they'd cope if they had a real, grown up problem like that. Because there were problems, but not grown up ones. 

Problems like when each letter of the alphabet had a number assigned to it and you'd write down your name and the name of the boy from the other school who played in the band and you'd work out if you were destined to be together or not from how the letters in your names added up. And if it wasn't meant to be you'd have to add in your middle names to make sure it came out more along the lines of what you wanted. And then, God forbid, you might still not be destined to be together, so your world would come crashing down until a friend of his would tell a friend of yours that he's writing a new song and they reckon it might be about you, but you didn't hear that from them obviously. 

But somehow that's almost worse, to be fantasising and wishing for something that was real. Something that you did have and that you lost. Something that is a fleeting moment in time, that once it's gone and you can't do anything about it. And cruelly, a few years later, you realise just how good those years were. And you never appreciated them at all. 

(Jacket stolen from S - Topman)

Join the conversation!

  1. Love the heels!

  2. Oh, I loved this post! Your teen summers sound positively idyllic. Honestly, you couldn't pay me enough money to go back to my school days. Total glutton for punishment considering my job! In other news: I bloody love that dress and need it in my life xx

  3. I used to do the thing with my name and whatever guy I fancied at the time's name on a regular basis, and I totally would add in the middle name too if necessary... anything to make that number work out!

    The flipside to not having those seven weeks school holidays I find as an adult is that summer does stretch on for much longer. Almost as if for me summer WAS seven weeks as a kid... now it starts in april/may and goes on until nearly October. Okay I still am working most of the time... but it never seemed as long when I was at school. :-)


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