A postcard from June

June saw summer kick off with a vengeance. About time some might say. But I would have preferred a gentler step into the hottest months of the year. We have jumped from cold, grey and rain to humid summer days, which was a rude awakening in a country that doesn't know the joys of air-conditioning.

I, however, escaped the peak of the European heatwave with a solo trip to Scotland. While I left the rest of the family cooling down in the lake back in Switzerland, I enjoyed the Scottish heatwave which resulted in blue skies and 25 degrees, the perfect weather for fly fishing, elderflower foraging and dancing to Scottish music as the sun went down. All this with a group of strangers who quickly become new friends. It was refreshing not to have to make any decisions for a change: Someone else cooked, cleaned the dishes and planned what to see and do. All that was required of me, to decide whether or not I wanted elderflower cordial in my g&t. Yes, please!

Back at home, June meant the end of year music and dance concerts, school hiking trips, Spielgrupperesili (playgroup trip), school camp and the last exams. Report cards come home today, with freedom beginning tomorrow at 2pm. We are all well and truly done with routines and are excited to turn things down a gear for the next six weeks.

For little Z it has been a month of "lasts" as she finishes off playgroup and gets ready for the first step into the Swiss school system after the summer. Little Z now knows the way to Kindergarten; she has met her future teacher and classmates and is now asking how many more sleeps till she can finally start. While she and I are both excited about the significant milestone ahead, we both realised this is a bittersweet moment.

Wise beyond her years, she summed it up nicely as we walked to our last ELKI (parent and kid) gym class: "Mama I am happy and sad today, happy because I am going to Kindergarten but sad because this is the last time we do something like this together just you and me". I feel you kid. While her starting official school means I gain a little more freedom for myself, at the same time, we are losing a little bit too. I am going to miss my little shadow.

The end of June also brought the beginning of the cherry season! We have been patiently watching the cherries turn from blooms to fruit over the past months and finally on the 24th in Zug the season opened with the Chriesisturm. In between unpacking my bags from our trip to Grächen with Swiss Tourism and packing my bags for Scotland, I popped into Zug to watch the celebrations, a race through the old town, the men and kids with cherry ladders, the women with picking baskets. Afterwards, spectators celebrated with cherries of course, and I grabbed some cherry chocolates to take to friends in London. Celebrating the seasons is what Switzerland does best.

And after all that I am well and truly ready for the slower days of summer, six weeks never seems long enough. I wish we had a couple more weeks to enjoy not worrying if there is a test coming up or if there is homework due. Summer feels like the only time kids can be kids, not worrying about any schedule or school pressure. And for that, it is my favourite time of year!

Happy July