The Summers

A family of six, they travelled in an old van painted a curious shade of ochre. With four hungry children, money was in short supply, and holidays arranged pragmatically. On a rainy after-school evening every February they would gather in the garden lean-to around the lawnmower and abandoned paint cans, and one daughter – whichever had waited the longest – would throw a dart at a map of the British Isles.

When July rolled round they drove to the spot the dart had landed, and found the nearest place with trees and water, and climbed and swam and ran the summer down.

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