This Thursday, 21st June it will be the longest day of the year. The event is somewhat bittersweet, given that it marks the downward spiral of our warm days towards those cruel cool days that feel more like nights.
We, however, have decided that it should be a celebration. Of long light and of the good, slow life. After all, tomorrow the Earth’s northern hemisphere will be tilted as close as it can get toward the sun – the only day for the next 365 that the biggest star in our solar system will be up close and personal.
So, how to celebrate?
Your day starts at sunrise. Check the time that you will see the first glimpses of light here and plan a mini adventure to a lofty spot (in Cornwall, our favourites are Madron Carn, Carn Brea and The North Cliffs near Godrevy). Make sure to pack your Horizon neatly into its nifty carry bag, with a bottle of water, a dinky stove-top coffee maker or lightweight kettle, a couple of mugs and enough coffee to see the morning in. What a start.
The sun has now risen and the day is still young. It’s off to your closest sandy shores for a brave dip in the sea and a hearty beach breakfast (our favourite favourite in Cornwall is Porthtowan). Of course you’ve made sure that your Frontier / Frontier Plus is stored compactly in the car for those impromptu escapades – your stove is fired up and ready to cook on in the space of about 10 minutes, and is super easy to set up on the beach. Run down to the water and don’t hold back – throw yourself in and splash around. There is very little that is more invigorating than being immersed in cold water and waking your body up first thing in the morning.
Jog back up to your warm and welcoming stove, grab your Netherton Foundry glamping pan and crack in the egg, adding whatever tickles your breakfast fancy. We’re going for bacon, baked beans, tomatoes (with a leaf or two of basil), mushrooms and hogs pudding – yes we’re going the whole...ahem... hog. After all that munching, give yourself a little rest and lie peacefully on the sand, listening to the waves break. Taking it slooooow seems apt for the day upon which time is stretched to its max.
If you have to go to work, now is the time :(. If not, it’s your lucky (longest) day! Head out for an exploration – take a pleasing walk in your local woods or meander up the high street of the nearest town, dipping in and out of the charity shops and sourcing the two most intriguing items you can find. Time will fly and before you know it, it will be...
Picnic time! What better way to celebrate the longest day of 2018 than with a picnic - simply throw a blanket down in your garden or find a bit of green to park yourself on. Try out this gorgeous recipe for stove-top wraps stuffed with halloumi and aubergine, and accompanied by a refreshing tabbouleh. If that's not your style, a BBQ is really simple and smacks of summer, the ideal meal for bringing and sharing. We're very obviously biased in thinking that our Frontier stoves are the 'new way to BBQ'. We love the fact that we can all sit around the stove whilst the food cooks, and not come away reeking of smoke. We're also ready to cook within 3 minutes of lighting the fire - a far cry from traditional BBQ's that take aaaaaages for coals to be ready to cook on.
After a long, languid lunch it's time to get creative. Be inspired to spend some time drawing, sketching or painting an outside scene. The day is still bright around this time, so find a field or a spot next to a flowing brook to be still, to take nature in and to send creativity out. Focus on the senses and allow what you are able to smell, see, taste, hear and touch to take your imagination to the heights.
Not only is 21st June the longest day - it is also the shortest night. Start the celebrations early with a cocktail or two at your nearest sassy spot. Favourites in this part of the world are The Cornish Barn, Blue Bar and Hub in St Ives (watch out for their 'dirty' mother clucker fries - they are simply sumptuous). Now you're feeling vibey and there are still a good few hours of daylight left so - yes, you guessed it - time for fire (we're a little bit predictable, aren't we?!)
Finish the night off around a blazing bonfire, complete with roasted marshies and most definitely some music. Friends that play instruments are key ingredients for this one, so stock up on the beer and get them round. Or get each person to bring a musical instrument and sit around the fire, playing whatever cacophony comes out. Of course, for safety reasons, make your fire in the Frontier Plus and watch it burn through the glowing glass door as the night slowly slips away.
Longest day done and dusted. Well-celebrated, well-lived, from the very start until the very end. Living long and slow is the way to go.
If you don't have a Frontier Plus and you're feeling left out, wishing you could also sit around a fire and stare into the flames like the rest of us, take a little look below and join the clan. They're also good for those cool, crisp autumnal evenings, so you're not restricted to using them only during solstice celebrations!