I am absurdly excited. In just a few days I am going way for a week, for the first time for 16 months I’ll sleep away from my bed and eat breakfast at a different table. I haven't been so thrilled for as long as I can remember!
My holiday is in the UK since I am sensible. I don’t want to be judgemental but why people think it’s their God-given right to holiday overseas, is beyond me. And that they’ll have a nervous breakdown unless they let some UV rays work on that potential melanoma. What with the number of amber countries and the infernal hassle of tests and quarantines, foreign travel must be a bigger cause of stress than its relief.
A lot of research shows that benefits of holidays do not depend on the destination, in fact any change of your daily routine and surroundings is already advantageous for your wellbeing and de-stressing. That’s probably why for me at the moment even Oldham sounds attractive for a short break (no offence to Oldham intended, in fact I know people who want to move there).
Even a proper ‘staycation’, spending your leave at home, can work well as a holiday but it has to be organised properly: no painting or DIY jobs that had been put off for ages. Just do nothing, or only the fun things. Walks in closer or farther proximity of your house, taking picnics for a hike in a nature reserve or cycling treks can be as nice in Buckinghamshire as in Provence. Especially that The Weather Man is uncommonly hopeful for the rest of the month.
And barbecues. That’s what everyone enjoys, whether it’s chicken burgers or halloumi vegetable skewers. Put making your own ice cream on top of that and the summer is looking good without the trek to Heathrow at three in the morning.
If you churn, make my best vanilla or very chocolate ice cream. If you don’t, there’s salted caramel and raspberry ripple. The whole section on ice cream has something there for everyone.
I’m currently gorging on strawberries but my favourite berries, blueberries are just appearing in good quantities at acceptable prices. I’ll make blueberry parfait for breakfast, I’ll bake the blueberry upside down polenta cake and I’ll cook pork loin with blueberry sauce or the blueberry duck for dinner. My lips will turn purple and my heart will be content.
And as long as we can still hang out with friends in pub gardens or share a picnic in the park, things are not so bad. Subscribe to my newsletter to get new recipes into your inbox and keep well!