It’s been all about the Summer of Love

Paul Cardwell
Paul Cardwell

I make it that we must be about two thirds of the way through the school summer holidays.

Not having children I don’t know from a parent’s perspective if it is a good thing or not that they are nearly over.

I suppose you might be grateful not to have to come up with ways to entertain your kids, especially when there isn’t a limitless supply of cash, but on the other hand it must be quite good to see your children enjoying their freedom without a care in the world.

Not being a born and bred Fifer I was never lucky enough to spend a full summer here as a child and I’ve found myself wondering this year if the people of Fife realise how lucky they are?

A few weeks ago we carried a special guide with 50 things to see and do in the Kingdom over the summer and it was probably the easiest feature we have ever done as there were so many things to choose from.

The only problem was what to leave out - and believe me we even had phonecalls from some disgruntled groups and locations who were upset at not being included.

Granted the excellent couple of weeks of sun we had recently made things even better but without it I think things still would have been alright.

Take Fife Council’s free swims for school children initiative. Over 23,500 kids have made use of it. I know it’s not cool to praise the Council but credit where credit is due.

Not only do the swims not cost a penny for the kids (or the parents who would more than likely have had to pay for them) but they are also good for getting kids off their backsides and doing some exercise. Added to the fact the pools have lifeguards they are also a pretty safe way for children to socialise with their friends and not have mum and dad looking over them all the time.

Fife also has an abundance of good parks, some of which have just this week been awarded Green Flag status by Keep Scotland Beautiful and the beaches at Aberdour Silver Sands, Burntisland and Elie Ruby Bay all retained their Blue Flag status (the only ones in the whole of Scotland to do so this year).

As well as places to go, Fife is also pretty good at putting on a party. I don’t know another county that has so many towns and even village’s which put on individual gala days.

My favourite is always the older fashioned ones like St Monan’s Sea Queen Festival or Pittenweem Fisher Lad and Lass, as those tend to be really unique to where they are being held.

I like less the bigger events like Kirkcaldy Carnival. I’d rather get a flavour of the town’s heritage than snippets of other nations. Across the water, Edinburgh has been doing the international thing for years and to be honest you can’t compete with that.

That’s not to say Kirkcaldy hasn’t had a lot of good things going on this summer though. In particular I liked the launch of Kirkcaldy Galleries, and the first Adam Smith Festival at the start of June before the holidays kicked off.

With Jack Vettriano, Val McDermid and students from the college all involved it really was a celebration of what is good about the area.

This newspaper is also going to be doing that soon with the Raith Rovers Hall of Fame night coming up which again should be another great local celebration.

My only real criticism of Fife this summer is how some of its residents reacted to the Royal baby’s birth.

The birth of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was met with a spectacular outpouring of vile by some.

I am by no means a Royalist and understand, and even agree with some of the reasons why some people do not want a monarchy but a lot of the outbursts I read on the Fife Free Press Group’s various Facebook pages were disgusting.

Privileged or not at the end of the day they are just a young couple and Geroge a defenceless baby,

I’ll stick to the Summer of Love!