Stay away from the TV this summer
20th July 2017
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
The British summer can be fleeting at best so it makes sense to get out and enjoy it while it lasts. However when sunny day’s dawn it can be hard to summon up the motivation to go outside. Instead of wasting sunny days sat inside and watching TV, the list below should give you some inspiration of what to do this summer.
Be a tourist in your home town
Chances are that you will have a slice of British history sitting right on your doorstep but because you live five minutes up the road, you have never visited it. Taking the time to be a tourist in your own town can teach you so much about your local area and its history. And to fully be a tourist in your hometown, enjoying the touristy past times is a must. Whether that means taking a photo at a local monument or eating the local speciality, indulge in it all.
Gillian Thomson shares her own thoughts about being a tourist in your own town (or city) and gives a list of things to try in her blog post ‘How to be a tourist in your own city’. With suggestions like cheering on a local sports team or seeing a local production.
Enjoy a spot of brunch
Brunch is a meal of increasing popularity, this middle ground between a nutritious breakfast and a tasty lunch offers a social event all of its own. If you are making the most of the sun, make an effort to sit outside and enjoy the weather.
Choosing your brunch venue can be a delicate art. Boston Tea Party is a company that has spread increasingly across the South West of England and with the slogan ‘Making things better’, the brand continues to try and improve life for both the customer and community.
Ben Hibbard, the marketing manager from Boston Tea Party, spoke about the importance of brunch, and how restaurants can connect you further with your community:
“In line with making things better, here at Boston Tea Party we only use free range eggs and meat. Whereas lots of people compromise their organic ideals when they go out to eat, we ensure that the best standards are upheld. Within our menu there are lighter options, and nothing is fried to make it a little bit better.
“Our ethos is hugely important to us as a business, and that includes making a better world. We focus on recycling and being engaged with our local communities. Cafés are social places. Instead of a pub at the heart of the community, it is often a café instead and so it is important for us to be involved.
“We want groups to use our space, we display local art. We currently are working on a new project to help local charities and members of the community help one another in a scheme Good for Nothing.”
Visiting the hub of your community can become a social outing and picking somewhere with an extensive menu can quickly introduce you to new food and flavours.
Visit a local garden
Whether you are a keen horticulturalist or just enjoy a well ordered space, visiting a local garden can be a wonderfully enriching day trip. Those with limited mobility may be put off, assuming many places won’t be level, or assume there will be lots of walking. However even if you do rely on a stairlift at home, there are many gardens up and down the country that have made huge efforts to be accessible.
Clovelly Court Gardens is one such establishment that has worked with the terrain to be as accessible as possible. Sue from Clovelly Court Gardens says: “Clovelly Court Gardens are very suitable for disabled access with appropriate WCs too. The Victorian glasshouses can only be viewed from outside for wheelchair users as there are small entry steps, however Clovelly Court Great Terrace is accessible through a gate at the end of the gardens and it has a sweeping vista of Bideford Bay.
“There is a small entry charge to the gardens, but if the disabled wish to visit Clovelly village too, the gardens are included in the entry fee. The steep cobbled High Street is not suitable for wheelchairs, but the Visitor Centre, donkey stables, craftworkshops, Mount Pleasant (to a bench on entry to the right) and the gardens are. The disabled can also book and take the Land Rover service down to the harbour from the Visitor Centre car park and back up.”
Try a new style of cooking
As the British summer is an unpredictable beast, there will always be some over cast days. However that does not mean you have to stay glued to the screen, instead you can use this time to further your culinary skills.
The summer is a great time to dabble with different cuisines. As weather gets warmer, people often wish to eat lighter meals than traditional English fare, so clear Thai soup or Nepalese momos may be the perfect addition to your weekly menu.
Looking online for easy recipes and inspiration is easy and if you find a cuisine or blogger you like, it can quickly evolve into a new hobby that can last throughout the year.
Getting out in nature is one of the best things about the British summer, this could mean brushing off your binoculars and visiting the local nature reserve. However, if you would prefer something a little less intense, opening up your garden to wildlife is always a possibility. The RSPB is encouraging people to make their gardens more wildlife friendly. Jasmin Granton spoke about the Giving Nature a Home campaign:
“The RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign is aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The RSPB is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces – whether it’s putting up a nest box for birds, creating a pond for frogs and toads or building a home for a hedgehog."
In a recent article from the magazine ‘Bird Table’ it explains how as well as feeding birds to benefit nature, people also report wanting to feed birds in their gardens because this activity gives them a better connection with nature. In recent research from Exeter University, in collaboration with the BTO, it was found that areas with more birds present in the afternoons, coinciding with the times a lot of people were out and about, were associated with lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression in the local community.
Johnny Wright, Head of the RSPB brand, spoke of the positives of giving nature a helping hand: “The summer is when nature comes alive and is the perfect time to get outside and help the struggling nature on our doorstep. Giving Nature a Home is all about getting outside in the garden and taking part”