It seems like every monthly review post that I do starts with the same sentence but my God July has been HOT. Thankfully we FINALLY got some rain so my crops/garden plants are saved, if somewhat battered. There is honestly no better sound than rainwater trickling into my bone dry water butts ☺.
I snapped this picture with my phone, uploaded it to the BBC 4 Gardeners Question Time Facebook Group without thinking – and now they want to use it for their unofficial charity calender! I’m not sure if it will actually happen (I took the pic in portrait and they’ll only accept landscape images and I can’t squash it into landscape dimensions without ruining the composition) so we will see.
Even though it seems like ages ago now, July was the Month of Sport in our house, what with World Cup fever and our annual pilgrimage to Silverstone to watch the vroom vroom cars. For once the oven-like ground temperature made sitting in the usually freezing cold stands quite palatable and it was lovely to not have to drag 25 jumpers, a rain poncho, hat scarf and gloves and my winter coat round for three days (not even joking, that’s literally what I take). This year we stayed on for the Friday evening’s entertainment and watched Dodgy, Heather Small and Jo Wiley (doing a 90’s indie disco set) perform live. It makes me slightly sad that I’m clearly now within the target age range for F1 fans – when we first started going we would laugh at the dad rock musical offerings but it was a brilliant evening and gave a real festival/illegal rave atmosphere to what I refer to as “expensive picnic day” (the only F1 “racing” on Friday is free practice, so not much action on track).
There’s no more news about the potential closure of our allotment and to be honest, the lack of having water up there has been such a nightmare that we’ve seriously questioned whether we should move to a better run site anyway. Frustratingly, there is provision for running water but the committee have turned it off due to problems with kids leaving the taps running. There’s a few other sites that are closer to us and have more plotholders so it depends what happens.
The house renovation has stalled a bit – the non-hubs is still tiling the bathroom and I’ve been rubbing down exterior paintwork but it’s slow going. I can’t wait to get the tiles grouted, light fitting in, shower installed and windowsill in, then that’ll be one room finally finished! Unless we decide to put in a blind…we can sort that out later.
We’ve been out for a few more meals this month with family and friends (to the same restaurant we went to last month – it’s become a favourite) and had more yummy Italian food. I’ve persevered with my morning yoga routine and I’m starting to notice a bit of a difference with previously tight jeans feeling a bit looser. I definitely feel stronger and I think it’s really helped my posture too 🙏.
In terms of my blog, I wrote an extremely uncharacteristic discussion post about re-reading books which got much more interaction than my usual review posts. I still feel like my discussion posts are usually rubbish but I’m going to try to write a few more and see how they go. You only get better at something with perseverance, right? I also wrote a “help me!” post asking for book recommendations and I’ve got some great new additions to my TBR, so thank you to everyone who made suggestions.
My Les Mis read along has seriously gone by the wayside this month (I’m currently in a bit where the chapters are really long) so I’ll have to make a concerted effort in August to catch up. My ARC’s are in better shape (I’m even starting to clear out my backlog) so that’s good and I’m a bit further forward with #ReadHarder so I’m quite pleased with my progress there too.
I wrote six book reviews this month which were mostly rated 4/5 so a pretty good reading month overall.
The TL;DR overview for July is:
Beartown by Fredrik Backman: I really struggled with this book. I found the whole thing slow, confusing and ultimately depressing – although lots of people love it. A possibly unpopular two and a half out of five.
After The Party by Cressida Connolly: A weird book – well written but I just couldn’t feel sorry for a member of the British Union of Fascists. Historically interesting but not for me, I’m afraid. Three and a half out of five.
The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin: I love Armistead Maupin and this book did not disappoint. Touching, dark and beautifully written. Four out of five.
Now You See Her by Heidi Perks: Literally couldn’t put this down. Read it all in one go – highly recommended. Four out of five.
A Short Affair ed. Simon Oldfield: A fantastic anthology of short fiction, brought to you by the amazing Pin Drop project. Brilliant for dipping in and out of. Four out of five.
Bitter by Francesca Jakobi: A twisted love story about the mother/son bond. Absolutely loved it, even if it was slightly uncomfortable at times. Four and a half out of five.
So that’s July wrapped up! I hope you’re not too sunburnt!
How was your July? Have you read any of the books I read last month? What are your thoughts on re-reads? Follow the links or let me know in the comments!