Who else feels very nostalgic when summer rolls around? One sniff of that suncream and we're instantly transported to the carefree sunny days when we frolicked by the seaside.
No matter the weather, the summer always seemed sunny when we were kids - likely because we just remember all the fun that we had. They were simpler days; before Minecraft, before iPads, before mobile phones - we had to amuse ourselves the old fashion way. And you know what? We probably had more fun for it. And though we didn't realise it at the time, we weren't just making memories - we were making traditions that we would pass onto our own children.
Below are a few of our favourites:
The local summer camp
Ah, the local summer camp. It was the very height of excitement; the games, the fact that you never really wanted to participate, interaction with other kids and you were away from your parents for hours on end - it felt like you were on the cusp of adulthood. And who could forget the best part? When you were old enough to go to the end-of-camp disco. The joy.
The annual family camping trip
Everyone pretended they hated the annual camping trip, but it was loved really. It rained solidly for seven days straight; there were grumbles, rows and complaining with countless games of cards and other board games. The tent was soggy, the food was mushy, and there was mud everywhere - but looking back now, we'd change nothing.
The ice-cream van
The music - that unmistakable sound that rings through the very core of you when the van circles around your estate. You're so excited, you barely breathe. Then you beg your mum for 30p to get a cone. Sprinkles or a flake? The agony of indecision and the regret if you chose wrong. Still, nothing was better than that first mouthful of ice-cream and the satisfying crunch as you ate the last crumb of the cone.
Getting to stay out 'late'
In reality, this was only an extra hour, but it was a big deal; a sign that summer was here - the thing we so looked forward to. So much so that we'd hoover our dinner (much to the exasperation of mum!), so desperate were we to get back out. It was a sign we were growing up, that our parents trusted us and that the stress of school days were a long while away.
Tip the Can, Hop Scotch (with wonky squares drawn with chalk, naturally) Cat's Cradle and the humble Skipping Rope - these were the real games of our youth and saved especially for the long evenings. And we always remember them - and the tears if we missed the skipping rope (in particular) one too many times. It can't have just been us.
The 'trip' to the seaside
This really meant you were going to the beach for a picnic, but your parents made it a big deal. From eagerly picking out your swimsuit to packing the car and the promises of sky-high sandcastles and dips in the sea - it was joyful.