I’m very excited about the longer days and the onset of Daylight Saving in NSW, which has just started. Often after dinner in the warmer months we walk to the local park where the kids play or kick around a ball, and we get to know all the other people who live in our neighbourhood. That’s one thing you can say for living in an apartment: instead of going into your own backyard, you often head to a communal “yard” – the local park – and it’s nice to meet other kids and parents doing the same.
So with the warmer, brighter evenings in mind, here are some things you can look forward to doing in the evenings after work and dinner. In winter you have to save these for the weekend, but in summer there’s no barrier.
- Exercise – don’t just go to the airconditioned gym like you did in winter, go for a run around the neighbourhood. The heat of the day has abated, it’s time to enjoy the fresh air.
- Walk more instead of taking the car. Going out for a meal? If the weather is nice you could take a stroll to the restaurant or friend’s house or cinema. Take time to chat and smell the flowers on the way to your destination.
- Watering is best done at sunset in the warmer months, to prevent the sun from evaporating the moisture. And it can be rewarding to do your pruning, planting, turning on a daily basis and see how beautiful your garden can become.
- Use the yard/balcony/courtyard. In Sydney, after a hot day, there’s nothing as soothing as catching the southerly as it hits to cool down the city while on your balcony. Sometimes it’s nice to even watch a summer storm as it approaches.
- DIY – got a project that you’re saving for the weekend? What’s to stop you in summer? You could work on it in the backyard or on the veranda in the evenings. It can be a nice way to wind down and express yourself creatively, whether you’re painting a piece of furniture or doing some woodwork.
- See the neighbours. We always see (and hear) much more of our neighbours in summer, when everyone’s windows are open and people are more likely to be out and about. Why not invite them over for a cuppa or a drink? You’ve got nothing to lose. And everything to gain.
- Have a picnic dinner – this is a nice thing to do. Either take sandwiches or you could buy fish and chips and take them to the local park (or beach, if you’re lucky enough to live near one) with a blanket. Enjoy an alfresco dinner in a beautiful setting and enjoy the lack of cleaning up at the end.