Summer’s Mix Tape

by Mrs J


Swimming lessons from a 7 year old perspective.

With the 50th anniversary of ‘Sgt Pepper’ my kids are listening to some of most iconic tracks of the c.20th in dripping wet bathing suits. This is the stuff childhood memories are made of…

Or it should be.

What my children actually remember of this summer is anyone’s guess.

Growing up in the 1970s, my own childhood was heavily influenced by my mother’s Beatles cassette tape, and swimming lessons in the frigid sea off Sussex in late summer. My children have been raised on a Patsy Cline Live at The Opry cassette tape* and barmy temperatures that support unheated training pools in May.

*We Brits run the oldest vehicles in car pool: our teenage babysitter paid ten times more for her Toyota than Mr J paid for his Mercedes, and if our Chevi Suburban was a PC it would still be running Windows 2000. Consequently, our offspring have spent the last four summers listening to tapes that time forgot -like Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, with ‘They’re Hanging Me Tonight’ providing road trip pure gold.

Of course, I could really mess with their young minds by encouraging them to create mix tapes on my c.1984 Philips cassette recorder…

However, some things are better timeless – like the simple joy of swimming, a big box of books from the library, and pond dipping.


Free entertainment at the park: catch and release tadpoles; we will return in a week to see if any have grown legs.


Following our picnic in the park, my experience as an art director comes in handy as I run through all the photographer’s equipment with my curious daughter.

Our three month long holiday (trans. summer vacation) gets off to a great start with free-flowing journal entries and a positive attitude towards long division. Reader, I will take my holiday-tutoring wins one day at a time.

Summer is a time to reconnect with my fast-growing children, unencumbered by the daily grind of term time routine. I put aside the daily grind of our posting’s admin for expressive painting sessions and smoothie recipe experiments.

“Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she’s gone”

Childhood is fleeting. The summer is long. What tracks, in years to come, would my children choose for their Summer of 2017 mix tape?

creative trio

Getting creative with Jenga, shadows, and poster paint.

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