A week of sheep, sleepy walks, and saying goodbye to summer
Maybe it’s just because I struggle with extreme weather, but ever since the UK finished the hottest and longest heatwave ever recorded, the mild temperatures have got me thinking heavily about Autumn, both positively and negatively. A week of 38 degree maximums and 20 degree minimums was really the worst, and I personally do not need that from my usually-rainy-country. (Cue all the international students sniggering because their respective home-countries reach far higher temperatures for far longer… I admit, we are pathetic, but it is so much harder to deal with hot weather when houses are built for cold weather…) What can I say, I’m British, it would be out-of-character to gracefully welcome the searing heat. Not to mention my dog, who was also not built to survive such temperatures, and consequently spent four days lying on our kitchen tiles with wet tea-towels covering his body…
But enough complaining about the heat, given it looks like we are on the downhill to winter now… Which only means one month left until university starts again – screams… However, before pre-university fears take over my life again, my family felt it was high time to take a staycation, to celebrate my brother’s 25th birthday, and mark the end of such a weird summer. With the whole of the UK at our feet, we decided to rent a cottage somewhere quite close to home for me….
Situated a whole 20 minutes from Leamington Spa, in the sleepy village of Priors Hardwick, is a cottage with parts built in the thirteenth century, which we called home for a week. And thank goodness the heatwave had finished, given the house came with an Aga (old-fashioned oven which is on permanently) meaning the kitchen was certainly toasty. With long days spent eating, walking through local towns and sleeping, not much else was achieved, something quite relieving given all the upheaval this year.
We even managed to take advantage of the eat-out-to-help-out scheme on multiple occasions, as it seemed like the perfect excuse for eating out both for lunch and dinner.
Thanks to the house being so close to Warwick, I even took a little trip to Leamington Spa to see some friends. It’s weird, whenever I am at home in Surrey, I feel like I have a permanent sense of dread with regards to going back to university, which immediately disappears when I arrive back in the midlands. It will soon be nearly six months since I left Warwick for the last time, and I feel quite apprehensive at the thought of returning. Yet, stepping back into Leamington and seeing not much has changed was quite comforting. They even had the most beautiful flower display in the Jephson Gardens!
Part of me even felt sad that I won’t live there next year, but I’m sure that will vanish as soon as I see the bus-full of students arriving late to campus in September, and I know I am just a 10 minute walk away in Canley. Not that it seems I will be heading to campus all that much. Thanks to COVID-19 and the possibilities of a second wave, it seems that I will have 5 hours maximum contact time next year, the rest being online. University will certainly look a lot different. In the meantime, with just over a month left before classes begin, I’m keeping busy with internships, planning for the future, and trying not to freak out that is all coming to an end.