When Summer's a Washout

Well, there's nothing we can do to change the weather but what can we do when summer's a washout and we've children, holidays and lots of time on our hands? Not everyone wants or can afford to go overseas, but even if they do there are often days or even weeks either side that are rain-soaked, with unreliable forecasts.

When summer's a washout here are a few tips:

Children love adventures. Anything that seems different, mucky or messy will often go down a treat.

- So why not pack a picnic and have it on the kitchen or dining room floor? They could help with the preparation, you could maybe even bake a cake together and then put a tablecloth or travel rug on the floor and share an al fresco meal together indoors.

- Get out the crafts. Lot of glitter, glue and paint will often keep children amused for hours. The messier the better! And you could add some value to the time spent on their craftwork by making Christmas cards, calendars and little personalised paintings and gifts which would happily be received by aunts and grandparents.

- Go for a day out on the bus or train. Some children rarely use public transport so it can be a real adventure for them to go for a day trip to the seaside or park. You could play games like I-spy en route and keep them off their devices.

- Wrap up and go for a walk. It's only rain after all! You could have a hot meal slowly cooking for when you return home. Then you could all dry off and enjoy some cosy settling down time afterwards.

Adults often use poor weather as an opportunity to catch up on chores and indeed one of my friends paints a wall whenever it rains. After our recent prolonged bad weather I'm sure she must have painted the entire neighbourhood!

- But rather than do chores why not get out your board games and maybe even set up friendly competitions? Many find that they have so much fun that games evenings become a regular, eagerly anticipated part of their social diary.

- Use the indoors time to revisit your back catalogue of music, sort through old photos, maybe read those books you've been meaning to read.

- Vary home entertaining by having a safari supper, where each course is served at a different person's house. You walk from house to house. That way you still socialise but spread the effort and financial cost around. And it's a good reason to brighten up your home!

- Or even invite friends or neighbours round for a coffee and a chat. Use the rainy weather as an opportunity to invest a little in those relationships.

- Be indulgent and enjoy making time for a leisurely bath, to read, catch up on some films. Ensure your home's a pleasant retreat by lighting a few candles and improving the ambiance. Buy a bunch of flowers and put them in the hallway, your bathroom, so that they brighten up an unexpected area of your home.

- Source some free entertainment. Museums, art galleries and exhibitions can often provide great interest for an hour or two, an excellent way to pass a rainy afternoon.

- Enjoy a walk in the rain, possibly when there's hardly anyone around. You may see birds, animals, scenery that you perhaps would hardly notice at busier times. A raincoat and a pair of wellington boots could see you right.

We can't change the weather but we can certainly change our response to it. Feel free to add your own ideas to the list.


Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.

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