Making Some Plans For The Summer

Happy 1st of May! With the coming of one of my favourite months, we can safely say that Summer is almost upon us, and can start making plans for those hazy, lazy, crazy days (yes, I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed and keeping my tongue firmly in check as I make that statement, but after a Winter filled with beasts, we are definitely due some beauty in the weather stakes.) As I am typing this, the sun is shining and it really seems like a good time to put some plans into place that will make the forthcoming season productive and successful.

There are certain things that are just better to do in Summer, so I have rounded up some of those things.

Sell Your Home

Summer is a great time to sell your home. Your garden is in full bloom. The sun is shining which always makes everything look brighter and better, and for people who want to move, living out of boxes is so much easier when the sun is shining. With the market in real estate currently improving, now could be a great time to get the estate agent in for a valuation, and you could start to make plans for that dream move. If you are not planning to move, but just want to give your home some sort of upgrade, again Summer, with its warmer temperatures, is the best time to get painting and decorating – having all those windows open is much better on a warm day, and is also a better time to look at more structural work like getting windows replaced, or having a loft conversion.

Start a Blog

The internet may be awash with blogs at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a go at starting one yourself. A blog could be a great way of expressing yourself, sharing your opinions, or even sharing prose, poetry or short stories to a wider audience.

It could be an online diary that you use to share your summer travel stories , as Summer is definitely a time when you tend to travel more, and if you have beautiful photography you could also link it to an Instagram feed.

Blogs are something that anyone can do, and they come in a range of styles, from the very word orientated, to the more picture focused, and can be about anything from style, to lifestyle, parenting to sport. With the World Cup just a month away, maybe you could get your football obsessed youngster to start a football blog, or you could get your child to set up a free blog using a platform like WordPress to write the story of their summer holidays – perfect for those wet afternoons.

Travel and Explore

Summer is a wonderful time to travel and explore, and this can be traveling to new places both home and abroad. A Summer holiday is a great way to recharge the batteries and to relax, whilst a city break can help you get you cultural fix. But traveling doesn’t have to mean costing a fortune, nor does it have to involve getting on an aeroplane. So many people never look at the beauty in the place where they live, or enjoy their surroundings.

Look at your local area – there are museums you will never have visited, parks you have never spent time in, local walks and areas of interest that you probably pass in your car every single day on your way to work. On a nice sunny day, get out and explore and enjoy your local area – you might be surprised at what you may find.

Exploring Sandwell Priory

Cymer Abbey

A little retail therapy

As someone who is a little shopping obsessed, I think there is nothing better than a little retail therapy on a lovely Summer’s Day. But shopping does not have to mean an air conditioned shopping centre or mall, it can mean looking for antiques in a market town, browsing the many book stores in Hay on Wye, or, on a Sunday morning, a potter around a car boot sale in a farmer’s field. Combine it with a traditional Ploughman’s lunch in a Country pub and you have the makings of a perfect Summer’s day.

1940s themed market

Enjoying a car boot sale

What plans do you have this Summer?

Fun Activities For Adults This Summer

Last week I looked at some fun, cheap activities for families to take part in and enjoy during Summer 2017. But it is worth acknowledging that not all adults have children, and that doesn’t mean that child free adults don’t want to enjoy their summer too. Today I am focusing on some activities and places that adults can enjoy during the summer that won’t break the bank.

ParkLives Programme in Association with Coca Cola

ParkLives is a free initiative taking place around the UK that aims to get us fitter and more active by staging sporting and exercise activities in our local green spaces. As mentioned, the activities are free, and include such diverse sessions as Tai Chi, Walking football, Pilates and Beginners Yoga. The sessions have already begun, and will be taking place all through the Summer at selected parks, including a whole range of Birmingham Parks. You can find more information at the ParkLives website.

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Enjoy a Game of Bingo

On my recent holiday there was a daily game of bingo at the hotel, and I was amazed to find how popular this traditional pastime still is. These days, you can of course play from the comfort of your own home, with many sites offering an initial free play. Bingo Kings is a reviewing website which gives you all the information about current bingo sites, including any free plays, minumum deposits and withdrawals, types of games, number of balls etc, so if you are planning on having a little flutter, it may be worth checking out the lowdown on Bingo Kings first.


A trip to the seaside

A trip to the seaside can be very expensive, but it really doesn’t have to be. A walk on the beach is free. Sitting on the sand, collecting unusual stones and shells is also free. Enjoying fish and chips with loads of salt and vinegar, still wrapped in chip paper will cost less than £10 and will be better than the best gourmet meal you will ever eat in a restaurant. Set your seaside budget and stick to it, and you will have the most amazing day. After all, all you really need is the sunshine.

Free Museums, Free Galleries – they are out there.

Many museums and art galleries are free to enter, and should definitely be a port of call this Summer. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has a stunning range of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, whilst the beautiful Wolverhampton Art Gallery has a great collection of Pop Art. Oak House in West Bromwich is a fine example of a 16th Century timber framed house that is a fabulous museum too. All of these amazing attractions are free to enter and enjoy.

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ParkLives is back in Birmingham this Summer

Following on from last year’s ultra successful Summer programme,  ParkLives is back in Birmingham, offering a range of free, family friendly activities in parks across the Birmingham area. This year, the activities are branching out, and include brand new and unusual family-friendly sessions such as Circus Skills, Vigor Boarding and even outdoor barn dancing.

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester Pictured Monika Meszaros 31 with son Kaniel 3 on the giant Connect Four

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester
Pictured Monika Meszaros 31 with son Kaniel 3 on the giant Connect Four

The ParkLives initiative is run by Coca Cola Great Britain in conjuction with Active Parks Birmingham, and is firmly committed to getting families fit, active and enjoying the beautiful outdoor space that we have in abundance in Birmingham. This year, 60 parks will be running programmes until 4th September, including Lickey Hills Country Park, Handsworth Park, Pipe Hayes Park and my personal favourite, Sutton Park.

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester Pictured Chloe aged 4 with parents Dave and Rebecca Coats

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester
Pictured Chloe aged 4 with parents Dave and Rebecca Coats

ParkLives offers 30 different activities including the rather intriguing laughter Yoga, Nordic Walking, Zumba and Tai Chi. Other highlights include:-

  • Woodland Activity [Mondays, 10.30am, Balaams Wood] – a chance to make friends with the city’s creepy crawlies on a guided hunt for ladybirds, spiders, beetles and more
  • Bushcraft [Alternating Thursdays from 11th August, 3.15pm, Muntz Park] – outdoor fun for creative families with young children including nature detective work, making mud pies, messy art and mixing magic potions
  • Free Family Fun [Taking place across 39 parks in Birmingham] – bitesize beginner sessions of traditional park games such as football, rounders, badminton, cricket, archery and tennis, as well as arts and craft sessions and large scale board games.

Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Ian Ward says: “ParkLives offers a free, fun way to keep the kids entertained and active this summer. We’ve got loads of free sessions across the city and it’s not just about sport, there’s something for everyone. Birmingham is a city of beautiful parks and green spaces and these activities give you another great reason to make the most of your local park.”

Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain adds: “ParkLives is offering a whole host of free activities that won’t break the bank this summer.  We’ve got everything from traditional family games like rounders and cricket, to weird and wonderful activities like circus skills and woodland bug hunts to keep the kids entertained. The best school holiday memories are made on family trips out, and with 60 parks taking part in Birmingham, we’re offering this right on peoples’ doorstep.”

To view the full timetable and save a space online, visit the website at