Can we all just take a second to acknowledge that today is August 2nd? We’re closer to Christmas 2020 than Christmas 2019. We’re into the peak of summer. Last I checked, it was May, so I’m completely flummoxed as to how we got here.
July has been a jam-packed month though, so that perhaps goes some way to explaining my disbelief. A lot has gone on in our small country as its begun it’s awakening from lockdown; pubs, shops, cafes, restaurants and gyms have re-opened, masks have became mandatory in shops and on public transport, some people have travelled overseas, and others have enjoyed staycations here at home.
A lot has happened in my little life, too! In an effort to slow down and reflect a bit more so it doesn’t feel like I’m living life on an F1 circuit, I thought I’d do monthly re-caps here on my blog. I did this for a while a few years ago, and I really enjoy looking back and seeing where I was at that point in my life.
Let’s dive in to July.
I started exercising again after an ankle injury
I had to rest my ankle for a few weeks after I aggravated an old injury, and I’ve really been enjoying getting back into exercising regularly. I’ve been going for lovely walks in my neighbourhood, and doing workouts with Emily Thorne on YouTube. She’s great, by the way, I highly recommend you try her HIIT HOP workouts if you love to dance. My particular favourite is the Broadway-themed one. Fair warning: the hand jive is involved (as well it should be), and it’s a calf burner.
We travelled up north for a socially-distanced picnic with my family
We hadn’t been up to the Fylde Coast, my hometown, since February, so it was lovely to get everyone together again. We picked a good day for the weather – just ask my brother with the sunburnt knees and thumbs – so were able to sit in my mum’s front garden and enjoy a picnic. One of my non-burnt brothers is currently based in Yorkshire, and he and his lovely girlfriend came over too, and surprised my mum. It also meant I got to see the sea for the first time in months, and as someone who likes to think of herself as Moana, this pleased me no end.
In a pretty spontaneous move, Luke and I decided to re-decorate the spare room at the back of the house upstairs, and then move into it, making it our bedroom. We painted it, re-vamped the wardrobe doors, added some curtains, and bought some prints and plants (two of my all-time favourite things). I love it so much that some times I stick my head around the door just to gaze adoringly at it. Moving the rooms around also meant that I could turn the former bedroom into my writing room! So I now have my very own space to write in. We added some furniture, bought a new plant, and hung some prints and fairy lights to make it a room a really want to spend time writing in.
We booked a trip
We’d been planning to go to The Netherlands in July, but for obvious reasons, we didn’t. I know we could travel now, but I’d rather wait until I can fully relax and enjoy it. Instead, we’ve booked a trip to the beautiful Anglesey! Luke and I lived in North Wales for three years, and we absolutely love it there. The mountains, the beaches, the little villages, the lighthouses, the puffins… it’s just wonderful. We haven’t been in a few years, since we celebrated our first wedding anniversary in 2017, so I’m very excited for this visit in August. Get me the to sea! If you’re interested, I wrote about our trip in 2017, here.
We renovated our deck
When we bought our house, the deck was painted grey, and a lot of it was flaking off because water was pooling in certain areas when it rained. I know, it sounds very glamourous. We wanted to restore it to something close to how it would have been naturally, and also solve the issue of pooling. Armed with a pressure washer, we got as much of the flaky paint off as possible, then used a couple of different paint strippers to take care of the rest. Then, we coated it in a natural-coloured wax. Luke drilled some small holes to help the water drain away, we got a new outdoor rug that’s made from recycled plastic bottles, a sofa, and a parasol, and now it’s like being on holiday out there on those occasional days when the temperature goes above 20 degrees.
I started making changes to slow my life down
I am going to write about this separately sometime soon, but I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting during lockdown (as I’m sure many people have!), and I heard a lot of people saying one of two things: a). “I’m bored”, or b). “I’m really enjoying this slower pace of life.” Now, I literally can’t tell you the last time I was bored. And my life hasn’t slowed down in the slightest since we went into lockdown in March. I wake up early, and I’m go, go, go until after dinner when I finally collapse in front of an episode of Grand Designs, or I climb into bed with a book. I have a very busy job, and around it I’m constantly finding things to do; cleaning, cooking, exercising, texting people back, doing the weekly shop, planning, writing… there’s always something for me to do, and I’m always thinking about what I’ll do next. This year has made me stop and take stock of my life, and consider what I want it to look like. I want it to be slower, and this month, I took the first steps to making that happen. Watch this space!