For more than 25 years I have dreamed of escaping Scotland because I find the climate thoroughly depressing.
I had begun to believe it was Scotland itself rather than its shitty climate that I disliked. As the summer approached I was beside myself in dread at the thought of staying here. I have not stayed in Scotland for a whole year without escaping to recharge my sun batteries since 1985. (One of the advantages of having family abroad!)
The first couple of days of the holiday saw the thermometer hit a balmy 9 degrees. I was ready to jump off the nearest bridge and put myself out of my misery! A week later though it shot up to the high twenties and has been there ever since. We haven't had a single meal indoors in three weeks now and we're living the life I loved so much from my years in France, Italy and Germany. Thomas and I have been trying to take two days out of work a week to run the kids to the coast on day trips to compensate their non-holiday this year and my evenings after dinner are still spent in the garden.
I'm suddenly realising that the issue is all climate. What I miss living here is that outdoor life you have in continental Europe. Now we have that here I am completely content. I'm actually liking Scotland for the first time in living memory. I hate being locked away indoors, eating indoors with the kids going stir-crazy. It is so much nicer to sit in the garden with a glass of wine at 7pm listening to kids jumping and splashing in pools in every garden in the street.
Today I was wandering about Troon, even considering retiring there one day because it was so beautiful.
Of course, given this summer is probably a one-off since 1976, I will quickly find myself terribly disappointed and start planning my escape to Europe again, as soon as the normal weather returns. But in the meantime, it is definitely helping me cope with my current dearth of holiday.