Al Fresco

Last year, I told my mother that the moment it turns sunny in England, the entire country moves outside.  The past couple days, well week really, have demonstrated exactly that.  Everywhere you look, people are sunbathing, buying ice cream and having barbecues.  Who even knew there were this many people in Bristol?  It’s certainly been a surprise.

As much as it can get tiresome to push through the throngs of people ill-educated as to how to be have in a crowd on your way to the grocery store, there’s something pleasant about it.  Dare I say, we could all learn something from this odd English behavior.  Go outside, take it in, enjoy it and take advantage of it.

The English know how lucky they are to have warm, sunny days, so they make the most them.  Even right now, as I type this, I see the first clouds peeking through my window and I wonder, why on earth haven’t I spent more time outside?   A foolish thought really, as for the past couple of days I have, without fail, revised outside, even dragging our kitchen table to the back garden.  We ate dinner, lunch, breakfast and snacks outside.

It’s easy to get too comfortable with what’s around us.  Things are ordinary, typical, we don’t need to enjoy them.  But every amazing thing you take for granted, that you think is normal, is positively fantastic for someone else.  This weather, for me, is a normal spring day.  For my English friends, this is the best of summer weather.

Take last Sunday, for instance.  A gorgeous day, the perfect weather, just hot enough without being even a touch too warm.  I was in heaven.  It was gorgeous.

The American part of my brain told me, whatever.  It doesn’t matter, just sit inside and get work done.  Yet, all around me, there were people putting aside what they “should” be doing and letting the day lead them.  So, at least for a little while, I let the day guide me as well.

I ran.  I went outside and looked like a lovely inexperienced runner wearing my brand-new Bristol 10k 2012 shirt.  I ran and got read in the face and weaved through crowds and ran for me.  It was amazing.  I could have thought over it, but I didn’t.  I let the day  lead me into what it had planned for me and it was better than anything I would have spent hours planning out.

So, treat the next beautiful day as if it was a once in a lifetime experience, like the English do.  Treat the variety of peanut butters at your supermarket the same.  Treat your family that way too.  And treat a good croissant that way, of course.

What do you enjoy when you have a day of gorgeous weather to enjoy?

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