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Comment > Love Thy Neighbour: Summer Hoyland by Steve

The granddaughter of the local vicar, with both parents absent from her life and a genius for a brother. Despite the odds, Summer Hoyland turned out to be a reasonably normal young woman, often becoming the voice of reason in her unpredictable family. During three years as a Ramsay Street resident, Summer has seen friends, boyfriends and family members come and go, and now, she leaves Ramsay Street for boarding school in Wangaratta. Hereís a look back at Summerís time as a neighbourÖ

In the beginning, Summer only had her Nana Rosie and brother, Boyd, for company at home, but it wasnít long before her errant father, Max, returned from the oil rigs, intent on building a relationship with his kids. Summer quickly accepted her dad back into her life and it wasnít long before she was attempting to set him up with neighbour Steph Scully. Her efforts appeared to have been in vain when both Max and Steph found other partners, but nobody was happier than Summer when they finally got it together. However, when Maxís sister, Izzy, arrived in town, she was quick to manipulate Summer away from Steph, helping her niece with lessons on kissing and make-up. Things soon returned to normal though and Summer even got to act as bridesmaid at her dadís marriage to Steph. Throughout all of this, Summer never forgot her mum, Claire, who had died when Summer was only a toddler. When she was diagnosed with the heart condition Long QT syndrome, the family became concerned since Claire had died suddenly from an unknown heart problem. Honouring her motherís memory, Summer bravely went through an operation to help control the condition.

From the moment she set foot in Ramsay Street, Summer was noticing the boys. Unfortunately, in the beginning, at least, they were rarely ones of her own age. Summerís crush on neighbour Drew Kirk led to her hanging around number 22 and rescuing baby Ben when he was accidentally locked inside during a termite extermination. She later moved her affections on to another neighbour, Stuart Parker, and then Daniel Clohesy, a friend of Boydís and even settled on Jack Scully for a while as he trained her football team. Summerís first real boyfriend came in the form of Declan Sands, who showed his affection for her by spreading rumours that she kissed like a fish. This ended in disaster when Summer started to think she was too mature for Declan and he moved on to her best friend, Lisa. It wasnít long before Summer met Caleb Wilson, the son of a wealthy businessman who took her to leisure resorts and chocolate factories. Although it later emerged that Caleb actually only spent holidays with his day, and really lived with his much poorer mother, the relationship continued. It was only when Caleb tried to push Summer into kissing him, before she was ready, that she dumped him.

It looked as if Summer might only have the residents of Ramsay Street as her friends until Lisa Jeffries came along. Summer and Lisaís friendship was fairly typical of girls their age, as they plotted and planned together, at one point even trying to match-make their single parents with each other. They also had several fights, the worst one coming when Lisa stole Declan away from Summer. Despite their problems, Lisa was one of the more popular girls at school and Summer struggled to break away from her completely. It wasnít until she met nerdy Penny Weinberg at piano club that Summer realised the value of a true friend and dumped Lisa. Another strong friendship formed for Summer when Bree Timmins moved in across the street. Although Breeís imagination caused them problems to begin with, they soon grew close and Summer helped Bree to train for the national spelling competition. Bree then returned the favour and helped Summer pass her entrance exam for music school.

Summerís biggest talent was generally her ability to sweet talk people. Upon her arrival in Ramsay Street, she even rivalled Lou Carpenter as the biggest scam artist in the area. But as time went on, Summerís interests changed and she proved that she was easily influenced by those around her. She took piano lessons with Nina Tucker, joined the girlsí junior soccer team and even began boxing lessons at various points. After a trip to Fiji with her Nana Rosie, Summer even decided that she wanted to become a priest and do more good deeds in the local area. As with most of her interests, it didnít last long. After joining high school and being cajoled into smoking by her supposed friends, Summer realised that she needed to find a talent all of her own and stop following the crowd. She decided to return to the piano and it became clear that she had a natural gift. Her teacher recommended her for a specialist school where she would have to board during term time and she was accepted.

Summerís departure from Erinsborough is going to leave a large hole in the Hoylands; not least when somebody is required to speak the truth and pull the family back together. However, sheíll be back for the holidays, no doubt ready to sort out whatever problems Max, Steph and Boyd have gotten themselves into during her absence. Marisa Siketa certainly proved herself as one of Neighbours' finer young actors and will be missed from the cast as she leaves, like her character, to concentrate on her studies.

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