Friday 30 July 2021

July 2021 | Monthly Wrap Up

AD – PR product, one book mentioned in this post were sent to me by publishers. These are marked **


July has mostly been relaxing and boy has that been needed.

Favourite part?

I started off the month finishing off my internship at Goodstrangevibes, and with a chill evening spent with friend around a fire in my yard. I then headed back down South to meet my family to go on our summer holiday. As a result of some weird happenings with train tickets when I booked, the first class tickets were cheaper than standard so I had a great time. I’ve never been in First Class before and it took me a while to realise the food and drink the staff were offering was free, but once I realised it was I certainly made the most of it. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for future First Class discounts!


I spent a week on a narrow boat with my family going up and down the Llangollen Canal. I’d not been very far north in Wales before despite being Welsh, the furthest north I’d been was Aberystwyth, so it was great to explore new areas of my home country. It was a lovely time to switch off, enjoy nature, listen to the birds, and gently chug along the water. I felt quite relaxed by the end and had a chance to read four great books (read on to find out about those!). 


When I got back, I spent lots of quality time with my cat, read some more, and saw some friends I’d not seen in ages! Including a visit down to Bournemouth to see a friend and have a lush swim in the sea. 


I then travelled down to Pembrokeshire to visit my grandparents. I was so excited as I’d not been home in so long, but I got an alert from the NHS app on the train about half an hour away from my final stop telling me I’d been in contact with someone who had Covid and needed to isolate as soon as possible. This put a slight dent in my plans for spending the rest of the heatwave at the beach and in the sea, but I still had a lovely week and a bit. I spent the majority of the time sitting in my grandparents’ garden reading lots of books, eating lots of fruit and spending time with their dog. There are certainly much worse places and ways to isolate and I’m lucky it didn’t really disrupt my life (the joys of being currently unemployed!). 

I am writing this on my last day of isolation, but on the final couple of days I have left I plan to spend at the beach, swimming in the sea, going for walks in new areas I’ve not explored before, and catching up with old friends. 


I also had my first paid article published this month! It’s on a very personal topic and while it was scary to have out there I know it’s so worthwhile if just one person feels better as a result of reading it. 

Best read?

I have read a lot this month. Like, a lot. 11 books in fact. It’s been so nice to have total freedom in what I read now that I have finished my degree. Well, not completely now that I’m starting another degree but at least in that one I decide the books I’m studying!


I started off by finished Sex & Rage by Eve Babitz**. I then read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, which I’ve ad on my shelf for several months and I absolutely loved! I thought the characters were fascinating and didn’t want to put it down.


If I had to pick one book that I read this month that I want everyone to read it would be What White People Can Do Next by Emma Dabiri. This book is game-changing. I learned so much and rethought so many things while reading this book. Primarily about how capitalist and colonial ideologies are so ingrained in us that many of our current movements, including current anti-racist movements, are still very much framed within the capitalist system. I beg you to read this book!


I then read Because of You by Dawn French and Those Who Can, Teach by Andria Zafirakou in one day. That’s what a canal boat holiday gave me, two books per day! Honestly loved both of these books. Those Who Can, Teach was just incredible. It’s groundbreaking. I heard about it through Andria Zafirakou and her book in her interview on All the Small Things podcast, where Venetia La Manna described this as the ‘This is Going to Hurt’ for the education sector. This book is a call to action for change in the British education system and is damning of our government. It also gave me so much hope though, knowing there are teachers like Andria out there, and made me reflect on my own education, which straddled two countries and a total of four schools before I went to uni.


When I got back from holiday I read Out of Love by Hazel Hayes, another one I’ve had for months but not been able to read because of uni work! I loved it, it was quite an easy read and quite comforting in a way as well. 


And of course what better thing to do in isolation than catching up on reading?! I read five books in the week I was isolating so I managed to plough through a fair few… I started off with Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi which was beautiful, simply, and devastating. Loved it and would highly recommend! I then finished A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister which I’d started on the last few days on the Llangollen Canal. Again, incredible. This book is so informative and funny, perfect for someone who’s as nerdy about sex and sex history as I am! 


I then read Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas, an interesting read I couldn’t help comparing to Stitched Up but those books are quite different in their approaches to the issue of fast fashion. More discussion on this one from me to come! 


Next, I read Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer – a fun mystery crime novel related to my Master’s. It certainly helped get me hyped for that!


Finishing off my isolation reads was We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer. This book gave me a crisis about the climate crisis. I had to keep telling myself not to doom and organise instead and did feel better near the end of the book! This book is a must read for anyone who lives on the planet right now, especially if you live in the Global North. It’s a game-changer. It’s devastating, heartfelt, informative, panicky, and questioning. It also has a whole lot of nuanced discussion on the individual vs collective action and ugh, I loved it. I’ll be thinking about it for a good while and you can bet you’ll see it popping up in a few future blog posts. 

Favourite listen?

I’ve been listening to a couple of new podcasts: Idealistically and Drilled. Idealistically is hosted by Tolmeia Gregory discussing climate justice and the ideal worlds we want to see and live in. It’s a joy to listen to and fills me with a lot of hope! Drilled also discusses climate justice but focuses more on the histories and actions of oil companies and how they engineered the creation of climate denial and greenwashing and have been knowingly putting profit over climate for over 50 years. It is a groundbreaking series and while I haven’t yet finished the first series (there are six overall) I have learned so much. I urge you to listen to Drilled. 


Music wise, I’ve been listening to Lover by Taylor Swift constantly. This album reminds me so much of summer and gives me so much energy. It may be my favourite Taylor Swift album. Genius I tell you! I’ve also been continuing to listen to Blue by Joni Mitchell. Another chef’s kiss of an album. 

Image source

Favourite watch?

I’ve watched a tad more YouTube this month. Hold your horses, not that much, but I’ve been watching some of Jack Edwards’ videos, as well as catching up on a lot of The Take’s videos. 

What did I learn?

I can rest properly and I need to get out in nature more. That’s not necessarily something new to me but more of a reminder. 

What’s happening next month?

Hopefully a couple of friends will be coming up to visit me, and hopefully I won’t have any more isolations!


I will also be doing my best to be writing a lot, whether that’s prepping blog posts for you or pitching and writing articles for other publications. I’m hoping to keep these fingers typing!


As well as writing, I’ll be continuing my job search to try and secure something part time before my master’s starts near the end of September. Speaking of, if you want to hire me for consulting on environmental and labour ethics issues in the fashion industry, for copywriting, or are a brand interested in featuring on Another Ranting Reader or my social media, send me an email! 

What’s been on my mind?

Books, the unbearable heat, the ever-looming threat of climate disaster and an increasing totalitarian government. You know, the usual. 

Favourite post?

5 Greenwashing Campaigns Trying to Fool You is my favourite post this month! This one was in the works for a while and took a fair bit of time researching and putting together. And also took a while to narrow down which campaigns I could discuss – so many brands are doing horrendous greenwashing at the moment there was ample choice! 

Biggest inspiration?

Seeing people taking action. One big example being the protests and rallies outside the Scottish Parliament over the proposed new plans for the Cambo oil fields. If you want to get involved in the campaign against these proposals, check out these links

Any other favourites?

Does slowing down count? I don’t know whether it should but hey! I’m going to say it counts. I’ve had several things that had forced me to take things slower this month, whether that’s being on a canal boat or having to isolate and to be fair it’s almost definitely been good for me. ‘Slowing down’ has been a theme in my life for the past couple of years, and this is something I’m really trying to improve on. We’re not here for the burnout and internalised capitalism! 

If you like my work and have learned something from it, please consider helping support me (so I have more time to write posts and articles like these!) by buying me a virtual cuppa

If you liked this post you might like: June 2021 | Monthly Wrap Up

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