Wednesday 31 July 2019

July 2019 | Monthly Wrap Up

July has definitely been a month of contrasts.

Favourite part?

At the beginning of the month, I went on holiday with my family for about 12 days. We went to Medulin, a small town not far from the city of Pula in Croatia. Most of the time, we spent lounging by the pool, reading, swimming and drinking the occasional cocktail. 

We did go into Pula and saw the Colossuem and the Golden Gate (which is said to have been the inspiration for the Arch de Triomphe, and saw a statue of James Joyce in a cafĂ© and it turns out he lived in a Pula for a short time. We had a lovely time looking around the city. It’s only a small place but it’s quite sweet and actually quite quiet. If you’re ever there, make sure you get some lemonade, I had a few cups but it was some of the best lemonade I have had. 

We also had a day trip over to Venice, as Pula is directly opposite the East side of Italy on the other side of the Adriatic. We only had about 4 hours to explore, but we managed to get quite a bit in. We walked over to St. Mark’s Square, where we had a guided tour from the company who’d brought us over on the boat, and then went off ourselves to have an explore. It’s such a cool and wild city. Completely unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’d love to go back, visit the museums (and the mahoosive library!), and see more of the city. We then took a water taxi back up the Grand Canal back to the port. We got to see all sorts from the taxi, but as we were under a roof and there wasn’t much room as we were sharing with several other people, we had to take it in turns to go outside to see properly.

Since being back from holiday, I haven’t had that much going on. I’ve seen a few friends for lunch, drinks or the cinema, including going to see Spider-man 2: Far From Home, which I absolutely loved! I also went to see Yesterday with my dad. 

Best read?

As I was on a very chilled holiday with my family, I ended up doing a fair amount of reading, and ended up reading 8 books in about 11 days. First, I finished reading The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter, which I’d started reading the previous month. I really enjoyed the twists she puts on more classic tales. I then read A Night with Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday, which I’d seen in the library several times and looked quite fun, and it was. I did realise part way through however, that this was the last book in a trilogy, so I wasn’t as attached to the characters as I could have been, but I still got the gist of the story as she recapped quite well.

I then read Bridget Jones’s Diary. I’d never read the book before but I’ve seen the films countless times and absolutely love them, and found that film had been translated the book onto screen so well. 

I then read Circe by Madeline Miller after I’d been recommended it by an old colleague of mine. It was fab. It’s such a complex story, covering such a wide range of myths, topics and emotions. Having always had a bit of a critical view on Odysseus, it was great to see a far from idealized version of him portrayed. Apparently it’s going to be adapted to be a new TV series, and I am so excited to see it! 

I then read Cheri by Colette. This was an interesting one. The characters were complex, but I have to admit that I thought that Cheri himself was a bit of an arsehole and that Lea was a much more interesting, likeable and sympathetic character. Not quite sure how I felt overall about this one, but yeah, I have thoughts. 

I then read P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean, the last 2 books in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Hann. The film is kind of a comfort watch to me, and the books kind of have a similar vibe in that sense. The characters in the film are so similar to their book counterparts and I love a bit of easy read cheesy teen romcom.

My last holiday read was In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende. This book was so different from what I expected from the blurb and the cover, but I loved it even more because of that. With older characters, the story flashed between New York, Cuba and Mexico, all at various points in history. It focusses strongly on the politics of South America, particularly on refugees, gang violence, dictatorships and the lives of undocumented immigrants in the US. This book manages to be both hilarious and almost farcical at times with the elements of murder mystery, whilst also heartbreaking and poignant. Incredible – I can’t wait to read more by Isabel Allende. 

When I got back home, I finished reading Bananas, Beaches and Bases by Cynthia Enloe. Cynthia Enloe is incredible. I have so many notes I need to type up and I know I’m going to keep going back to this book time and time again.

I then read If Only by Melanie Murphy. I’ve been a fan of Melanie’s for a while, and always look forward to her monthly vlogs, so I was excited about seeing the what her writing was like. I absolutely loved it. The characters were complex, funny and realistic and I loved the elements of magical realism and obvious heart and love which had been put into it. I will definitely be reading this again. 

At the same time, I was reading The Hormone Diaries by Hannah Witton. Again, I’m a big fan of Hannah’s and have been for a while, and me being a bit of a period/vulva nerd, of course I was going to read this! It’s honestly so groundbreaking as a book, and I think it’s perfect for people who are about 14-15ish, but also for anyone who wants to learn about vuvla, uteruses, hormones, etc. Every school should have several copies. 

Favourite tunes?

Various Maisie Peters songs, ABBA, Fleetwood Mac. But in all honesty, I’ve listened to a lot more podcasts than music this month.

Favourite watch?

Well, summer means Love Island right? My mum and I have been obsessed, as per usual, and I won’t lie, I don’t know what to do with myself now it’s over – I’m just happy ma gal Amber won, gowan!

I finished watching Years and Years after about a month gap in between the last time I’d watched it. It took me so long to carry on watching it purely because I was quite nervous about watching the last 2 episodes as the ending of the 3rdepisode had left me quite anxious and shaken. Spoiler alert (not really): it was fab. I cried a lot and everyone should watch.

I’ve also found that old clips and compilations of Would I Lie to You? Is something I tend to gravitate to when I’m feeling a bit down or in need of something constant. Woop woop.

I watched the first series of Derry Girls in a day and then ended up crying to my cat at the end (it’s emotional okay!), and have started rewatching Grace and Frankie and am now part way through series 3. At various different points throughout the month I have watched comedy live shows of some of my favourite comics, including Katherine Ryan, Felicity Ward and Sara Pascoe. 
What did I learn?

I need to make sure I take care of myself. Pumpkin oil is amazing. I need to go back to Venice at some point. 

What’s happening next month?

Not much, I’ll be working most of the time. I will be going up to London twice – once to see my friend in a play with her university company, and then to see a play at The Globe for my dad’s birthday.

What’s been on my mind?

Money stuff, eco-stress, general politics stress. Getting things sorted for the 

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

Leena Norms, Hannah Witton (particularly her personality videos), Melanie Murphy… I won’t lie I haven’t watched many vlogs or read many blogs, but the ones I have (see above) have been fab.

Favourite post?

I think it has to be my 8 Days Touring Europe post, where I go into detail all about my recent holiday with my friends. I discuss the places we visited, the food we ate, and our experiences. 

Biggest inspiration?

I won’t lie, there’s not really anything I can add here, that happens sometimes and that’s okay.

Any other favourites?

Pumpkin oil. Freakin love it. I had loads of this stuff when I was on holiday, and it’s honestly so good. I can’t find it anywhere in the UK, so if anyone knows where to find some for a decent price, let me know. 

I have various other foods as well (why does this section always end up being food??), both of which my dad bought for me as a surprise (shout out). First, vegan classic Magnums. Oof. They are so good and I had about 5 in the space of 4 days at one point. Amazing. Then, after I’d made scones, I had whipped cream out of a can and omg, love it. It wasn’t as good as clotted cream on scones and the change in texture and density means I have to put the jam first (I’m really a cream then jam kind of a gal), but it’s so good and I’m looking forward to having it on everything. So far, I’ve had a lot of strawberries and whipped cream. The actual best thing ever. 

If you liked this post you might like: June 2019 | Monthly Wrap Up

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