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Looking back on a brilliant summer

Looking back on a brilliant summer

What a glorious summer we’ve had. Can you remember a time when we had such a good stretch of sunshine, BBQs and people walking the streets half naked? ‘Cause I certainly can’t.

And now it’s that time of year when we’re waking up before the sun, the nights are drawing in earlier, and we’re all shocked about it. I’ve packed away my summer dresses, dusted off of my winter coats, and dug my tights out from the bottom of the wardrobe. Also, Strictly has started. Which can only mean one thing… Christmas is around in the corner. FYI, Christmas has already landed in Tesco. I’m very happy about this, but I suspect I’m in the minority.

I digress.

Summer is coming to an end, and soon we’ll be donning oversized scarves, stomping through crunchy orange leaves, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes. But before we bid a fond farewell to sun cream, Calippos and flip flops, I thought I’d reflect back on this summer and share a few highlights.

Harry & Megan’s wedding
Whether you’re a fan of the royals or not, that was one fantastic wedding. Megan looked beautiful, and it was so brave of her to walk all that way on her own. I’m at risk of falling over at the best times. If I knew the whole world was watching, I’d have definitely tripped over my own feet and there would have nobody there to catch me.

Sampling all the vegan food in Madrid
I went to Madrid in July, and it’s hard to predict how vegan-friendly a place is going to be. But boy, did Madrid deliver. I had some of the most delicious food, from bean burgers, to Mexican wraps and tofu tacos. I can recommend VEGA, La Hummuseria, and La Encomienda.

Seeing the Birmingham Classic
It’s become something of a tradition that my mum and I go and watch the Birmingham Classic. We were there for semi-finals day, and saw Magdelena Rybaricova take on Barbora Strycova, and Petra Kvitova beat Mihaela Buzarnescu. I don’t usually watch doubles tennis, but since we there and the sun was shining, we decided to stay and watch Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic defeat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. All the matches were great, but it was especially fun to see them working as teams in the doubles. 

A weekend away in Powis…with no electricity!
Luke was away with work for a big chunk of summer this year. I was totally cool about it (big wife points to me), but I think he felt guilty so he whisked me away to a Canopy and Stars property in Powis, Wales. We stayed in this quirky retro caravan/hut, in the middle of countryside, and there was no electricity. There were no sounds, except the sheep in the neighbouring fields, and some bees buzzing about. It was absolute bliss. I loved not having a TV, a laptop, or a phone with signal. I think I only used my phone for my meditation app and to take a few photos. It was a really nice weekend away, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Luke coming home from Africa
One of Luke’s work trips was Africa for two and a half weeks, and needless to say I was very excited for his homecoming. The house pretty much remained tidy while he was away (interesting), but I still made sure it was spick and span* for his return, did a big food shop and took a few days off work to spend with him. Very exciting.

*Um… what exactly are ‘spick’ and ‘span’?

Finding a chrysalis in my broccoli and watching it transform into a butterfly
I know, I know. WHAT? This has got to be one of my life highlights, not just a summer one. We went through a phase where we were repeatedly finding little green caterpillars in our broccoli. At some point, whether in the field, in Tesco, or in our fridge, one of these caterpillars set itself up in a cocoon. Rather than put the broccoli and the attached chrysalis outside, we decided to keep it indoors and monitor it’s progression. IT WAS FASCINATING. I started googling things about caterpillers, cocoons and butterflies, and it felt like a school science project. Every morning I’d come downstairs and check on it, excited to see if it had changed overnight. Then one day, after about eight days of us watching it, a butterfly emerged! Sadly, I was at work and Luke was in the shower, so neither of us were able to capture this magical moment. However, once Luke had finally located the elusive butterfly, he caught her (yes, I decided it was a her, I named her Felicity) in a jar so that I could see her when I got home, and then we released her in the garden. She stayed in the jar for a little while, and then we watched her flutter her wings and fly away. I won’t lie. I felt like a proud mum, got emotional and started crying. I dread to think what I’d be be like if we had a child who started school.

A trip to Liverpool
One of my all-time best friends lives in Liverpool with her other half and their adorable little girl, so I made a trip up north to see them for the weekend. It also works out rather nicely that my sister-in-law and her family live in Liverpool too, so I managed to feed two birds with one seed and see lots of lovely people in one trip.

Going up north and playing games with the family
I try to get up north to see the fam-a-lam once a month. Now that all three of my brothers live in the north west, it’s easier to get everyone together which is nice. I had a fabulous veggie burger lunch with one of my best friends, my mum and I watched lots of tennis and had a good catch up, and and we all played Cluedo and Scrabble. After my mum beat us at Scrabble in what can only be described as one of the greatest defeats in the history of the world ever, she casually announced that she used to be part of some Scrabble league.

Escape Room with my team at work
We’re a relatively new team in the office, so I organised a team outing to an Escape Room one day. Spoiler… we escaped with minutes to spare *celebratory high-fives all round*. We were all certain we’d be useless and illogical (typical creatives), but alas, we smashed it. Team work makes the dream work and all that.

Going on a southern coast road trip with Luke
I’m doing a couple of separate posts on this, but it would be CRIMINAL to not include it in this round-up of excellent summer events and activities. We drove to Cornwall, and then road-tripped along the south coast stopping in Devon, Dorset, Hayling Island and Brighton. It was epic, and a trip I can’t wait to wait to re-live when I edit the photos.

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