Finally, the longer sun-filled days have arrived. We can bask in the sunshine feeling rejuvenated, full of life and bursting with energy. Lazy days can be spent hanging out at the beach or enjoying a relaxing barbeque with friends. Bliss. Every drink you make contains ice. Your shades are permanently on. Al fresco dining becomes a way of life, and you enjoy inviting friends over, wiling away the longer evenings, chatting and being in one another’s company. Summer is the season of fun, but it doesn’t come without its hazards. Read on to find out how to avoid the pitfalls that the balmy, humid months can bring and how you can make the most out of your summer.
The Power Of The Sun
The sun is strong. If the sun were personified, it’d be the Hulk. This giant ball of fire, goodness knows how many millions of miles away from our planet, can ruin the summer days we have planned.
Imagine you have organized a day by the river with friends. You are taking a picnic, a few games, and you might even hire a couple of rowing boats to leisurely float along the river. You strap on your shades, and you’re ready to go. In your haste to have the perfect summer day, you forget your sunscreen. The dream day you had planned can quickly turn into a nightmare.
It’s often the case with the sun that you get a delayed reaction. You may spend your entire day enjoying the company of your friends and eating your weight in sandwiches and ice cream. It’s only when you get home you start to feel a tingle. You think nothing of it, but it’s a niggling and uneasy feeling on your arms, legs, face and the tops of your ears. You go to bed thinking nothing of it. Only when you wake up in the morning with raging hot flesh, do you realise your mistake. Glancing in the mirror, you see your lobster-hued skin and fight back the tears. Lashings of after sun and moisturiser are plastered onto your skin, but you know deep down that you are too late and you will have to endure a couple of days looking permanently embarrassed and with the potential of a peeling exodermis.
The importance of sunscreen in the summer when the sun is at it’s hottest and strongest has been spoken about for years. And now with better understanding of skin cancer, it is even more important to slap on the sunblock. At the beginning of the summer, put a little bottle or tube of sunscreen in your everyday bag. Keep it in your bag at all times. Don’t take it out when you have the odd rainy day in the summer because chances are, you will never put it back again. Keep it in there to cover all eventualities and fingers crossed, lobster days will be the thing of the past.
The sun is not just enjoyed by us human types. Bugs of all shapes and sizes relish the opportunity of venturing out in the summer heat and latching themselves onto our bodies. They may take a firm hold without us even realising it as we are having too much fun enjoying the sunshine.
Midges swarm close to water and are less than courteous when in your path, refusing to budge out of the way. And then there’s the chigger, a nasty little brute who hides in thick vegetation and grass seemingly waiting to pounce onto his next host nipping away at your skin causing an itchy red rash. However, there are ways to combat these nasty nips. Luckily there is a range of chigger bite cures that include plenty of home remedies, so you aren’t going to have to break the bank to soothe the irritation.
Of course, prevention is also vital. If you’re heading to the forest or park, try and wear loose linen trousers rather than shorts. This prevents the chigger or any other insect from latching onto you. Spray plenty of bug repellent all over yourself. If on a tight budget, you can make your own using lemongrass and peppermint oil. The chiggers will have one sniff of you and turn the other way. And it goes without saying, if you are bitten try not to scratch as you will only make the intensity of the irritation worse. This is easier said than done when you have multiple chigger bites on your ankle.
If you have are lucky enough to have some prolonged sunshine, no doubt you’ll want to light the barbeque that you’ve had stored away in the garage for the past nine months. Dining outside is one of the joys of the summer season; the nights are longer, you can utilise your outside space in a more worthwhile way, and you can experiment with your cooking. But there are a few things to consider when inviting your nearest and dearest to your garden party.
If you are cooking meat at your barbeque, you’ll need to consider the cut you buy and how you cook it. The dreaded food poisoning is rife throughout the summer because people don’t cook their meat properly on the barbeque. Firstly, avoid chicken wings. You might adore them, they make great finger food and are great for buffets, but you shouldn’t cook them on your barbeque. Chicken wings are renowned for being tricky to cook correctly. It is the high bone to meat ratio on a chicken wing that makes it hard to cook as it needs to reach a higher temperature. You are much safer sticking to chicken breast, homemade burgers, and sausages. If you cannot survive a barbeque without chicken wings, cook them through in the oven first and then put them on the barbeque just to pick up the smoky flavor.
Summer is a time for enjoying the outdoors, going on a vacation and having new experiences. Take note of the advice in this guide, and you’ll fall in love with summer all over again.