17 hours

Today is the summer solstice, I hadn’t intended to write a blog post about it, I don’t want to become predictable writing a post every year about the same event. Although here I am being predictable and writing about the one and only summer solstice! I’m boring, I know, but bear with me as I explain why I have felt the need to write about it this year.

As many of my readers will be aware the temperatures in the U.K. are at a record breaking high, there are reports that it’s the longest lasting heatwave for two decades and temperatures could peak higher than the summer of 1976 (before my time but by all accounts it was a hot summer and is often referred to during any warm spell by the British media). The government and Met Office have issued health warnings for the elderly, the young and the ill, offering advice about staying cool and hydrated.

Thunder storms, rain and a cooler spell have been forecast but for now the heatwave is still in full swing. Today will see 17 hours of daylight thanks to the summer solstice, that for Livvy means, 17 hours of UV light in the sky above her, 17 hours of applying sun cream every two to three hours, 17 hours of wishing for a break from the relentless heat.

With the heatwave arriving at this time of year it definitely makes you think about the difficulties of living with XP, there’s no getting away from it. The longest day of the year combined with the hottest day of the year, two absolute nightmares colliding to fall today.

This years summer solstice has been particularly hard but I can’t help but grin as I step outside into the overpowering heat knowing that today marks the turning point in our year. I have been counting the days to the summer solstice, on hard days it is definitely what gets me through and allows me to keep smiling when Livvy is struggling with the heat and long days as I know from here on in winter is on its way.

We, in the northern hemisphere are most inclined towards the sun today, we can’t get any closer and therefore we start going the other way moving further away as we head towards the winter solstice when the sun is at its lowest in our sky and the shortest day is upon us. It’s a constant cycle that we can’t get away from, we can’t stop it, it fills me with highs and lows throughout the year, much like the sun itself. But with this heatwave I’ve never hoped to see the summer solstice arrive so much just so I know we are on the other side and shorter and cooler days are on the way.

Today may see 17 hours of constant daylight but it won’t bring me down and I certainly won’t let it bring my girl down, I will hold her hand with pride when I collect her from school in her double layers of full UV protective clothing as everyone else runs past her with shorts and T-shirts on. It’s not our first summer solstice, we know we have to endure this time of year to make way for winter and shorter days, and I as a mother couldn’t be prouder of how Livvy deals with days like today, she is a better person than I as I know I wouldn’t be able to cope. I think I would spend 17 hours in bed today rather than face the world with all its looks, comments and everlasting hot days, but for Livvy this is who she is and I could not be prouder with the way she takes on the summer solstice with grace, elegance and a smile on her face.