For a lot of people the summer is just another time of year to be broke as fuck and as much as none of us like to be envious of others it does suck when you see people going on holiday all the bloody time!
But over the years I’ve developed the ability to be tight fisted and financially irresponsible at the same time so needless to say that when it comes to summer I’m looking for things to do on a tight budget. So despite the Tories’ best attempts to drive me to suicide I still manage to have the minimum required level of fun to prevent Ian Duncan Smith earning another notch in his bedpost. (He does it from suicides instead of sex you see, it’s all the same to him)
1) Local events
No matter where you live there will always be things going on around you, some are advertised better than others, more often than not there will be a Facebook page for the event complete with competitive bitchy neighbors trying to outdo each other’s volunteering skills.
Carnivals are still a popular event during the summer, the one for Caldicot is taking place this Sunday and despite the chronic levels of Health & Safety laws bringing Floats to the point of extinction it is a nice day out. There’s lots to see and you don’t really need a lot of money to enjoy a carnival, just take some sandwiches and a drink and you’re ready to go.
You’ll tend to find a lot of activities for children if you happen to be the owner of one or more of them. Leisure centers have a range of activities for children to take part in over the summer holidays or if you’re like me and you detest anything sports related have a look into local drama clubs or whatever, hell we even have a Lego Club in Caldicot, sadly not one for over 25’s though!
2) Car boot sales
This can be a little trickier if you don’t have a car, but befriend someone who drives and all will be well. Car boot sales can be great fun no matter what side of the table you are on. As a veteran carboot goer I’m proud to say that I’ve had some brilliant days out at car boot sales. Whether I’m making money by selling bargains or I’m buying bargains and cluttering my room with them, it’s great. If you have children it’s a great place to start to teach them about the value of money, chuck them a couple of quid and they’ll have an amazing time trying to find the best bargain to go home with. If you’re selling and you have the sprogs with you it can be great fun engaging them that way as well, let them have a little area to sell their old toys and make a bit of money for some new ones, they will love it!
3) Flea markets, auctions and sales
A similar ilk to car boot sales but here you have a variety of different paces and if needs be, things to buy. Flea Markets and antique emporiums can be more of a relaxing Sunday kind of day out vibe whereas auctions give you the option of diving in at the deep-end. I’m not often a big risk taker but I can’t help at an auction but jump out and throw a ridiculously low bid on a speed boat safe in the knowledge that someone will outbid me, I hope, please outbid me, anyone? No… well, I just bought a bought for £10! Go me, does anyone want it for £50?
4) Getting creative
Okay, so quite an umbrella subheading, but seriously everyone has a creative thing that they can do, you just might not have discovered it yet. Again, it’s a great thing to do with the family because what’s cheaper and more fun than building a cardboard fort and then fighting each other with cardboard tubes? I’ll tell you what, nothing!
Or if you want to take it more seriously, learn an instrument or pick up a paintbrush or a pen or something. Go and sit in a park with an acoustic guitar and practice it there until people stop throwing things at you.
From the kitchen to the garden, you can do wonderfully creative things with no money. If you ever see any pallets lying around, drag them home. Save up a few and before you know it you have everything that you need to make your own patio furniture!
5) Everything is an adventure
Try and make a day of everything, everyday is an adventure it just depends how much enthusiasm and risk you throw at it. You can make even the crappest of tasks a little more fun, go to Asda dressed as an elf… why? Because fuck why, because you can! Help an old person, or make them laugh, they love it when that happens. Play your favourite music in the car, sing when you get stuck in traffic, keep your eyes open for things you’ve never noticed like the nice house you’ve never clocked before or the interesting graffiti which you’ve always missed.
6) Getting lost in a good book
For the time being libraries still exist and you can legally sit in the garden and absorb the sun’s rays for free. This presents you with the perfect combination if you want to relax and do nothing but escape to anywhere you want at the same time. Make sure you have a drink handy, put your phone on silent and get comfy, read until the sun goes down and then get a torch and read some more under a blanket beneath the stars.
7) Got a dog? Walk it!
I’m sure you are all responsible dog owners but sometimes it is easy to realise that you are pacing around the house pondering what to do whilst your dog is gnawing his way through the front door in a desperate attempt to tell you that he (or she) wants to go out. It’s always worth having a look online at any nice looking areas you could visit that you haven’t been to before, it’s surprising what’s on the doorstep when you don’t think about it! Also, the dog will love you forever and ever until next time.
8) Give a friend a new experience
Got a friend who hasn’t tried something? Perhaps they’ve perched themselves on the window sill of your car as you’ve driven down a country lane, maybe they’ve never tried trifle or perhaps they’ve always wanted to go to an open mic night. It’s fun to do things with friends and it’s great when you introduce them to something new, in the same way as it’s great when friends ask you if you want to try something else like Ambiguous Cooking Club or something like htat.
9) Get someone to tick you
Sorry, this is more about something else! My bad.
10) Live your own summer
A weird one for a person who has just offered lots of cool advice on how to enjoy the summer, but ultimately the most important thing is to remember that the summer is just as much yours as it is everyone else’s so make sure you give yourself time to relax, party, train-spot or do what it is you love to do! Summer doesn’t last long and the last thing we all went is to get to autumn and think ‘oh no summer went to shit again’. So embrace it and enjoy it, live it don’t exist it!
Here’s to #ashonksummer
Duke of Earl