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MY NORTH SHORE with Rachel Ramsay

How to slow down time this summer

By Rachel Ramsay. Rachel is a third year communications student at AUT (majoring in journalism). Being a ‘real Shore local’, and also a bit younger than a few of us at Channel Magazine, she provides a refreshing perspective for the magazine by contributing this monthly column, as well as special interest and feature articles.

I would like to address the fact that this year is speeding by ridiculously fast. Yes, I say this every year. Yes it would seem, so does everyone else on the planet. However let’s be honest here for a minute – 2012 and the speed at which it has flown by has been something else entirely.
I legitimately can’t believe it’s September. It seems like just last week I wrote a whole column about how to cope with the fact that winter was upon us. Now here I am registering the fact that winter is, quite suddenly (and almost unremarkably) over.
Winter sports have wrapped up for the year. The rugby fields are no longer covered with swarms of mud-soaked boys on a Saturday morning, and the Onewa netball courts will soon be split in half by tennis nets. The Summer Olympics are over, Fashion Week is this month, and there is a decent sprinkling of daisies over most lawns you see.
It’s not that I’m unhappy about any of this – quite the opposite in fact. I like spring as much as the next person, and I like summer even more. Granted, summer’s arrival means the amount of money I spend on sunblock increases exponentially. It also means I have to start researching self-tanners again. However, it’s hard to care about these things when you remember we will soon be (hopefully) greeted with long, light, summer evenings, barbeques, water at our beaches that is actually warm enough to swim in, and velvety green grass down at Milford Reserve that’s practically begging to have a tartan blanket and a few plastic plates strewn across it.
There is only one thing that upsets me about how fast winter has passed us by.
It’s a nagging thought that I’m a little bit ashamed to even voice.
It’s the fact that I know, deep down, that summer could very easily escape us just as fast as winter has. The thought terrifies me, and I find myself starting to fear the approach of the longest day before I even know the date on which it occurs. 
This is why I have come up with a coping strategy to stretch out summer as far as I possibly can. It involves embracing spring with as much enthusiasm and fervour as I can muster right from the get-go (the get-go in this instance being September 1).
Embracing spring as soon as it arrives is a complex process. However what it involves, more or less, is you pretty much just blatantly pretend it’s summer.
You know those people you see down at the beach swimming when it’s still only about 12 degrees outside and you think to yourself, “Boy, they’re keen.”
When you embrace spring, you become one of those swimmers.
Forget about hypothermia for a second – this plan is all about getting into a state of mind whereupon you trick yourself into believing it’s the middle of January.
This way, I believe, summer will have little to no chance of slipping through our grasp before we have even noticed it is here.
So shake out your picnic blankets, air your beach towels, and make sure your togs still fit. It’s time to grab summer by the scruff of its neck, and make sure it knows that whether it likes it or not, it’s here to stay and we’re here to suck every ounce of sunshine, chocolate-dipped-strawberries and daisy-covered grass it has to offer.


by Rachel Ramsay

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