Thursday, July 18, 2013

My London Summer Bucket List

Ridiculously long grass in Hyde Park (and Primark sandals)
I had an epiphany yesterday. This glorious spell of sunshine isn't some freak April heatwave, nor is it just a couple of sporadic hot days in September which everyone optimistically calls an "Indian summer" to compensate for months of relentless rain. Guys, this is not a drill. This. is. the. actual. summer.

So far, we've had nearly two whole weeks of temperatures consistently over 28 degrees. God knows how long this unbroken stint will last, or when we'll ever see the sun again once it finally takes its leave. Indeed, I can't help but feel we're being buttered up for the mother of all winters...

But it is precisely this kind of cynicism that brings out my spontaneous side;  all I know is that while London is bathed in sunshine, I am hell bent on making the most of it. I will hunt down anyone who dares complain of being too hot. Every day, I'm basking and drinking Pimms like it's the eve of the Ice Age. And I'm not the only one. Like clockwork, at 12:30 and then 5pm each day, a mass evacuation of office workers takes place in the city in favour of the nearest parks, beer gardens, rooftops and patches of grass.

Boundary rooftop in Shoreditch - worth the queue
We'll never have the cool, carefree attitudes of our Mediterranean cousins, who can happily siesta and sit in the shade, safe in the knowledge that their summer isn't going anywhere; Londoners are almost panicked with the desperation to soak up every last drop of sunshine before it inevitably disappears.

I've embraced this sense of urgency by creating a London summer bucket list. I've already ticked off around a third of the activities on my list, but that still leaves me with plenty of material to see me through whatever remains of the heatwave. Here are my suggestions for fellow sun-worshippers who might be getting a bit 'picnicked out'...

Wine and ducklings at sunset in Kensington Gardens

The Bucket List: Summer in the City 2013
  1. Make a bucket list!
  2. Take a dip in the Serpentine or Hampstead Ponds 
  3. Party with the penguins at The Zoo Lates
  4. Run through the fountains at Somerset House
  5. See an outdoor production at Regents Park theatre
  6. See the sensational butterflies at the Natural History Museum
  7. Go up to the top of the Shard while the skies are clear
  8. Watch the sun come up after a night out and get the first tube home (it's so much easier to pull an all-nighter in the summer...)
  9. Spend a day in Richmond village
  10. Take loads of photos at the Mayfield lavender fields in Surrey
  11. Visit the Houses of Parliament during summer recess
  12. Drink my weight in Costa Coffee Coolers 
  13. Unwind at the Saturday morning yoga class at Battersea Power Station
  14. Go a bit crazy at the Notting Hill Carnival
  15. Take the 45 minute trip to Cambridge and go punting through the colleges
  16. Drink Prosecco at one of London's rooftop bars - notably Boundary in Shoreditch, One New Change at St Paul's, Radio Bar on the Strand or the Queen of Hoxton
  17. Instead of hitting the pub, take a bottle of wine to the park after work and watch the sunset
  18. Immerse myself in the summer of 1963, at Future Cinema's 'Dirty Dancing' screening in August
  19. Hop on the EuroStar for a spontaneous trip to Paris
  20. Sit in the waltzers or catch a burlesque show at the London Wonderground, South Bank
  21. Escape London - hire a car and drive to the beach
  22. Have a back garden sleepover under the stars, teenager style
  23. Float around on the pedalos in Battersea Park
  24. Experience the magical world of wizardry on the Harry Potter walking tour
  25. Get the Thames Clipper to Greenwich and gaze down at the city from the Observatory
  26. Go strawberry picking at an out-of-town farm
  27. Brave it and wear a bikini in the park
  28. Get lost in a summery novel
  29. See LOTS of my friend Maj before she moves back to Canada at the end of the month
  30. Blog about all of the above (or at least a few!)

1 comment:

  1. I'm in your blog!!! I'm famous!!! :) Lovin' the bucket list by the way!!!