Recently I’ve been feeling patriotic as I continue to enjoy the best of British. The Queen’s birthday celebrations provided plenty of royal pageantry, and putting aside the all-important politics for a moment, the quintessentially British tradition of “The Season” has continued in full swing. Despite the awful weather there was the colourful Chelsea Flower Show, racing at Royal Ascot, wobbles at Wimbledon Tennis, a watery Henley Regatta, sublime Hampton Court Flower Show and soon there will be Racing at Goodwood.
“Afternoon tea” of cake and cucumber sarnies, a tradition since the 17th century, has survived to become a luxurious treat enjoyed by all on such occasions at these British institutions. And while the tennis big names battled their way to game, set and match it’s been strawberries, clotted cream and sunburn at Wimbledon! But it doesn’t need a “season” to give most of us an excuse to wrap up some sandwiches and head to our national parks, stately homes and elegant gardens, to lay out our blanket and feast on strawberries and cream. I find adding a wicker basket and a bottle of bubbly makes picnics extra special.
Though, when the sun does shine we need to be aware of the heat, and the amount of physical exercise we undertake in it. In hot weather diet can contribute to dehydration, which is usually caused by not drinking enough fluid to replace what we lose when we are active. Water makes up over two-thirds of our bodies; it lubricates our joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps our skin healthy. The participating athletes we watch competing in the various sporting activities will lose a large amount of body fluid through sweat. But their training makes them aware of this and the need to constantly rehydrate.
We, older people are often less aware that we are becoming dehydrated. When the normal water content of our body is reduced, it upsets the balance of minerals (salts and sugar) in our body, which affects the way it functions. Early warning signs may be a dry mouth, thirst, tiredness and feeling dizzy. Not a time for more bubbly! Most fizzy drinks contain an excess of sugar, so it’s time to drink plenty of fluids such as water, diluted squash or fruit juice instead. These are much more effective than large amounts of coffee or that traditional tea!
Do enjoy the quintessentially British summer season – but let’s all avoid dehydration.