Sixties’ Summers

I have always associated summer months with my childhood in the sixties, with the holidays stretching out ahead of me. Mostly I was bored and missed the routine of school. But there were so many days spent with my grandfather in his garden, splashing under the hose when we should have been watering the roses. There were day trips on a coach to the south coast of England with names such as Littlehampton, Bognor and Margate, where my grandmother treated us to fish and chips, pennies to spend in the arcade, and hours of paddling in the sea. I remember long hot Sundays watching my father play cricket and afternoons waiting for the chime of the ice cream van to wind down like an old-fashioned record player as it pulled up outside my grandparents’ council house or our block of flats. Back then the weather never seemed too hot, the sky was always blue, and summer seemed to last forever.

summer fun faded
oppressive sun punishes
and autumn allures

Kim M. Russell, 2017

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My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday – Summer

This Monday, Grace is our host and she has chosen summer as the theme, which is open: summer memories, summer love, coping with summer heat, summer fun or even a summer tragedy or disaster.

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52 thoughts on “Sixties’ Summers

  1. LOVE the photo and most especially these lines:
    “Back then the weather never seemed too hot, the sky was always blue, and summer seemed to last forever.” A child’s view of summer is absolutely the best! 🙂 Did you ever have lemonade stands? 🙂

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  2. It feels like yesterday and it seems like all children in England got treated to similar summer pleasures. We used to get hosed down in Uncle Jack’s garden when he was hosing the roses, we would collect the damp petals and let them fester in plastic bags to make “Roses” perfume….we played out until dark and it was endless…if you were at the beach without swimsuit it was skirt tucked in knickers…XXXX Thanks for the memories. XXXX

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  3. I must have started work in 1966 but my rose tinted specs tell me Summers were really warm and pleasant then especially during the school holidays July and August. Now we seem to get the sun during May and June and often the kids have a fairly washed out Summer break. I lived close to a beach and Mountains so never a problem what to do. Two friends and I went camping when we were 14 without our parents worrying.I doubt we could do it now.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    1. Thank you, David, and hugs are winging their way to you xxx I was ten In 1966 and I don’t think it’s anything to do with rose-tinted specs. I really believe that summer was summer and winter was winter then. It must have been idyllic living close to a beach and mountains.

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  4. Here in western WA, we have the ocean, the great forests, fire mountains, hemmed in my parallel mountain ranges. Loving the outdoors as a kid was second nature. Of course we have an inland sea, Puget Sound, replete with islands, ferry, & orca. Love your memories–such sweet reminiscing. In 1966, at 22, I was drafted during the Viet Nam war

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    1. I remember hearing about the Vietnam War in the media and I also remember songs by bands of the day that chilled me to the bone. I wouldn’t presume to ask what it was like – as an adult I watched films that revealed some of the horrors of that war.

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    1. Sorry I haven’t responded to your photo prompts lately, Sue. but I’m in the middle of exam marking and have a nasty eye infection that blurs my sight, so I’m keeping writing to a minimum – I hope to get back to normal soon – I’ve miss your quirky scenery!

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  5. I love the line about the sound of the ice cream van winding down like an old record player, what a great description. And playing under the hose when you should’ve been watering. These little things that are of such monumental importance when you’re a kid!

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  6. Your summer is almost just like mine – except for cricket. We played badminton and croquet. Always homemade ice cream on the weekends….and sometimes as a treat, something from the locally owned ice cream truck. My mother rarely dressed me in skirts so I could play freely. So when we went to the beach it was usually a planned event because the drive was about three hours. Picking up shells on the sandy NC beaches was a favorite past time. I’ll bet I have in the attic two bushel baskets filled with all kinds of shells and sand dollars…..thank you for this walk back Kim. It made me smile.

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  7. Wonderful childhood memories! I especially love that last line! I often think about how the summers didn’t seem as hot while growing up. I spent a lot of time at a swimming pool but don’t remember it being as hot as it is now.

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