For thousands of children in Syria, summer vacation is no longer about taking a break from their hectic school lives. On the contrary, with displacement and violence regularly interrupting normal classes, many children around the country used their summer break to visit school clubs and catch up on lost school days.
It's the pinnacle of summer. The final bank holiday hurrah for the U.K. A chance for many to bid farewell to their barbeques, paddling pools and take their tops off in public one last time. For over 150,000 people though it's the annual celebration of getting rowdy in a field to one of the biggest bills of music in the world at Reading and Leeds Festivals. What is often forgotten is that it's been this way for over 30 years.
Immediately I began to draw a fair amount of attention, I could see people sniggering, actually sniggering at me. I tried to act normal whilst flexing biceps and breathing in. People looked up from books and stared, a group of young girls looked at me then hid their mouths behind conspiring palms... "What the hell is wrong with these people? ... What's so damn funny?"
Kimonos have been a popular number this year, one that I have underestimated in the past in terms of versatility. It works from day to night, whether you're in the city or escaping on a holiday of sun, sand and cocktails. A big factor to working a kimono is choosing the right style, one which you feel you can work into your wardrobe easily.
We had some pretty decent weather in July 2014, making it the 8th warmest July in our national records, and it was also sunnier than average. It might not have been as warm as last July (3rd warmest) or indeed July 2006 (1st), but it's interesting to note that this July was the eighth month in a row with warmer than average temperatures for the UK. Will this warmer weather last for August, and could we get another scorcher?
In Ayurveda summer is associated with Pitta and its qualities of heat and the element of fire. Although we need fire to digest, transform and metabolise, too much fire can literally cause burned-outs, anger, stress, heat rash and heart burn. When the external fire, the sun, is excessively hot we can try to create balance by reducing other sources of heat and embracing cooling practices.
If you have particularly excitable or boisterous kids with short attention spans, there are plenty of educational attractions that will keep even the most hyperactive child amused this summer. Here are some fun, child friendly days out in the UK where there's plenty to learn about: but there's also plenty to see, play with and do.
There is a certain je ne sais quoi about the Côte d'Azur that makes it a luxury destination for all yacht lovers year upon year. Perhaps it is the tropical climate, the turquoise waters or cerulean sky? Whatever it is, here is our guide to where to moor up your yacht when sailing this stretch of sumptuousness coastline and what to do on dry land.
Let's be fair, it is about the last time it is officially acceptable to sponge off your parents for a week jaunt to sunnier climes without having to put your hand in your own pocket. Enjoy it, spend some quality time with your family that you've not had since the odd week at Christmas or since you left for uni.
Then last Summer, for the first time, I found myself looking around at other women and comparing. I felt conscious of every little lump and bump - three kids in five years can do that. Discussing this with two friends some months later, I expressed how uncomfortable I had felt wearing a bikini last Summe...