I walked out the door this morning on my way to our Greendays gardening segment on KUOW, and for just a moment, it felt like I was in England. That’s what a cloudy, barely cool morning does – it reminds me of the Chelsea Flower Show and the European tours I lead. I got the sudden urge to pack a bag – but, this year, that won’t happen until later in the summer, when it mostly likely will not be cool and cloudy. Or maybe it will.
Packing for the weather is a dodgy business. My friend Jane is on a barge tour in France right now. She had staged her packing a week ahead of the trip, but two days before checked the forecast and found that it was supposed to be rainy and cool. She repacked.
I go in for many layers of clothing and don’t try to pack thick (and so, fewer) clothes. Many thin layers mean more options, and my Florence scarf (pictured – yes, I got it in Florence) is perfect for a chilly room or terrace.
And when it’s hot, I start peeling – not too far, don’t worry – and look for shade. On a hot day last summer, I scored a spot on a stone bench at The Fountains near the Lancaster Gate in Hyde Park, and watched what seemed like the entire city pass by. Not only was it fun, I was doing research, of course, as Pru and Christopher (The Garden Plot, a Potting Shed mystery) make a day of first at Postman’s Park (pictured above) and then walking to the pelicans at St. James’s Park.
I realize that some travelers would think sitting in a park half the day a waste of time, but I have no qualms about spending time observing, chatting, and wandering. Don’t give me this “bucket list” business or how many places you have to see before you die. Just enjoy yourself.