The smell of suncream is in the air, children are getting a bit giddy with the impending six weeks of summer at their fingertips and so I guess it’s time to say hello July and farewell June. But what a month it has been! Back to back days of sunshine, Love island on every night and the start of that football competition everyone’s been banging on about. But really, it’s the sunshine that has stolen the show and left us with that carefree, bare-foot, too-much-icecream type feeling.
I’ve been writing these ‘little loves’ posts for a few months now and already, I’ve loved looking back on them, so I’m really looking forward to sitting down with an ice cold G&T and documenting all of our little loves this June.
For those of you who are new round here and don’t know, I’m someone who lives with bipolar disorder which means my months are dictated by whichever cycle of moods I’m in. Often it’s really clear to see by my use of colour, the amount of books I’ve started and not finished and the hurried way I’ve crammed a lot into a month that I’m in a “summer phase” and I would say that sums up June for me perfectly. My moods have been consistently high and so has my turnover of books as a result.
This month I’ve been reading:
- David Attenborough’s Adventures of a Young Naturalist
- Sheryl Sandbergs – Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to lead
- This is Going To Hurt – incidentally this is the only book I actually finished this month.
David Attenborough’s book is one of those books I feel compelled to read but it hasn’t grabbed me in a page turner, kind of way. This book is undeniably interesting, obviously well-written and surprisingly engaging at times but for me, possibly due to the fact this is a bedtime read, it’s a slow-burner. I’ll let you know how I get on because I’m determined to see it through to the end.
Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, feels like a right of passage for all working women who aspire to climb the career ladder and that’s why it’s been on my list. Again though, this isn’t exactly a page turner because each chapter requires a large amount of digestion and often a literary Immodium afterwards. I have very mixed feelings on Sheryl’s take on things, in particular how she depicts mothers and her presumptions about what they do and don’t want. I also wholeheartedly disagree with her version / definition of “success” whilst at times find myself nodding along to chapters where there is much sense and experience behind her words. It’s a funny one (not in a “haha” kind of way) and one I’d like to write about in more detail when I’ve given it the time it deserves.
This is Going to Hurt is a diary of an ex-junior doctor. Written by Dr Adam as I like to call him, this is the diary of his progression up the ranks to senior registrar in the NHS. Painfully witty throughout and often right on the mark, this book made me both laugh out loud and cry with frustration. It’s an eye-opening read for those of us who are still unsure about just how bad the situation in the NHS is and I can’t recommend this book enough. After all, a book that really makes you feel things, is the exact reason we read in the first place so I would definitely pop this on your summer reading list.
In terms of blogs, I haven’t had much interest in reading them this month, mainly due to my unhealthy Love island interest and all of the warm sunny evenings spent walking the dogs or nursing icy drinks with friends. One website, that I did come across however, was Pandora Sykes.com. Pandora is the co-host of my new favourite podcast, The High Low, and ex-Fashion and Features editor of The Sunday Times amongst many other very accomplished things. Her website, PandoraSykes.com is a collection of cultural, fashion and travel journalism that has been published in places such as The Telegraph, Vogue and Elle magazine. When I’m in the right mood, I’ve enjoyed her insightful, albeit pseudo-pretentious take on pop culture, society and in particular feminism.
Worth a read if you’re in the market for something a little bit more high brow than the usual Daily Fail lunchtime fix.
Erm. Love island and football. That’s literally it.
I swore I wouldn’t get sucked into the vortex of Twitter chats, far too toned beach bodies and irrelevant three day old heartbreaks but here we are. I’ve watched them all. ALL. That’s a lot of wasted time but actually I’ve really enjoyed it and so that’s been a good enough reason to continue my summer-affair with ITV2.
Football is the other consistent in our house and whilst I have zero interest in the game usually, I always make an exception for the World Cup. I think it’s that heady mix of patriotism and collectively coming together as a nation to support one cause that really fires me up and gets me entering into the spirit, singing three lions rather raucously and spilling my drink over everyone. To think as I write this that England will be playing in the World Cup Semi Final tonight, is squeak-inducingly exciting! C’mon England!
Southport food and drink festival was one on the list for June but I’m afraid to say that it was a really disappointing event. Whilst there were lots of lovely and eclectic food stalls to peruse and choose from, the whole thing lacked any atmosphere. For me, and for many people, food is about community, about experience, about education and either trying something new or being comforted by something familiar but the event organisers had missed this altogether. There was nothing pulling the stalls together, uniting people or engaging them other than the individual stall holders who were doing their best.
Still, it did make for some gorgeous pictures and I did eat some surprisingly overpriced yet mediocre food…
A garden! If you remember from my May post, I had mentioned work was to start on our back garden and as I type, we are now proud owners of a beautiful new landscaped garden! We are still completing the finishing touches such as painting the fences and potting flowers but I will give you a sneak peek for now if you’ll excuse the rogue packaging at the side.
June has been the month that I returned to the office after a break and threw myself back into working mum life. I think it’s safe to say that it is always going to be a massive adjustment for everyone in the family, not just me.
Having been here before, I know the importance of switching off when I get home and soaking up the little moments with the kids.
With the all of the gorgeous summer sun and long, balmy evenings this has meant many a late bedtime, lots of garden picnics and endless evening trips to our local park. Summer is fast becoming my favourite of the seasons (sorry Autumn!)
For me, these small, everyday moments are where life really happens and the tangible memories are made and held onto; the smell of suncream on Sophie’s curly haired mop, a grubby, chubby little paw in mine at the end of a big day, the way she hops and pulls as we walk down the lane to the park and the unashamed way she squeals “look at meeee everybody!” each and every time she gets on the swings. Reading this back makes it look as though Zak isn’t here but he very much is I assure you. For his privacy and of his request I don’t write about him as I once did but this in itself reminds me of how he is growing up and how this June I will remember him in this odd not quite man, not quite child limbo land. Still a portion of him is totally mine but for how much longer I wonder.
And so to July, set to be a difficult month in some ways as I start treatment for bipolar disorder and possibly set to be historic in other ways as we (hopefully) bring football home and break records with this endless sunshine.
Whatever you are up to I hope that you have had a wonderful month and continue on into a brilliant July.