June is very nearly at an end, and here in the North of Scotland we’re hurtling towards the school holidays. Well, when I say hurtling….dragging ourselves to the finish line at lunchtime on Friday may be a little closer to the mark 🙂 . The end of the summer term is always such a busy time of year isn’t it? If it wasn’t for my bullet journal these last few weeks I think I’d have totally lost any kind of plot. I’m spending these final days before the holidays finishing off a few blog posts, preparing for an annual writing competition and trying to tidy up all the admin for my husband’s business so that over the next few weeks I can relax a bit. There’s also a school trip to help out at, a few more birthdays and anniversaries on the horizon and some summer holiday activities to plan! Thankfully, I reached a big milestone last week and reached my goal of finishing the first draft of the novel I’ve been working on since the academic year started. You can read more about that here – suffice to say, I’m feeling ready for a summer break and keeping everything crossed that this lovely weather we’ve been enjoying holds. 🙂
You can read all about the books I’ve been reading in June here in my latest Reading Lately post. June was a fab month for me on the reading front and I really enjoyed all the books I read. I usually like to have a non-fiction book on the go too, though, and this month’s was The Four Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee. Reading it came at a good time for me as I’ve been feeling a bit up and down with autoimmune symptoms lately – always the pay-off for the type of busy spell mentioned in paragraph one! When I have a bad day on the health front it can be hard for me not to fall into a negative mindset and convince myself that I’m going back down the rabbit hole of poor health I suffered for most of last year. Reading books like this always reminds me that I need to take a step back and make sure I’m sticking to the basics – things like getting enough sleep and taking short breaks throughout the day. I love Dr Chatterjee, his common sense approach to health, his podcast, his TV show and just his general attitude. Reading this book and adopting some of his suggested strategies reminded me that a bad day or a bad week doesn’t have to mean any more than that.
We haven’t been doing much on the watching front this month – aside from watching an episode of Once Upon a Time with the kids almost every single night 😉 . Box sets are pretty time-intensive, aren’t they? – especially when they run into six or seven seasons, getting through them can become quite a mammoth task. These days we’re much more inclined to watch a box set than normal TV or even films – I get the impression many people are doing likewise. I’ve been struggling to get into any contemporary movies lately and instead have found myself retreating to old favourites from the DVD pile I know I’m going to love. I watched One Day a couple of weeks ago while the boys were out and on Father’s Day my husband and I watched Top Gun, one of our all-time favourite movies. They just don’t make films like that nowadays do they? (I know, I sound about 100). I was excited to see Tom Cruise confirm via Instagram that filming for a sequel is finally underway!
Another couple of things I managed to watch on Netflix this month were a little bit of Queer Eye (just wonderful), and the documentary I Am Not Your Guru about life coach and entrepreneur Tony Robbins and his annual Date With Destiny event. If you’re into this kind of thing, it’s really interesting (although it’s quite sweary – just pointing that out as I’m not a sweary person myself 😉 ). I was in two minds about whether I found it all a bit cultish or just utterly amazing. There’s no doubt that the events are a catalyst for massive transformations though – if you’re intrigued by this kind of thing it’s a fascinating watch.
The best thing I heard this month was my youngest son and his schoolmates performing (and winning) as a choir in the Caithness Music Festival. Around 80 of them sang Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling, and it was a proper prickly eyes/lump in throat affair. I’m always struck by how much talent there is in our little community here in the North of Scotland. And more than that – it was a reminder that music, arts, drama and creativity are just so important for the future – watching all the talent in that room I was left with the feeling that the world is looking bright.
The other thing I’ve been listening to this month are my daily podcasts. For me, podcasts are like little training courses I take on my dog walk every day. They all tend to focus around self-improvement – whether that be in writing, health or generally just living. One I really enjoyed this month was Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Conversations, and in particular her 2017 interview with writer Brené Brown. They talked about being vulnerable and how it can open you up to being much more connected and confident. I got so much out of this particular podcast – I can really recommend it (and the TED talk and Daring Greatly book by Brené the interview was based around). Here’s a quote I loved from the conversation – it really resonated, particularly with regards to writing. If this sounds like the kind of thing that might benefit you too, do go and check it out!
‘You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability’ – Brené Brown
Alas, as usual I fail miserably at taking photos of anything I’ve been wearing. Which is a shame really, as my summer wardrobe is much better than the limited number of clothes I seem to own for any other time of year! It’s often just me and the dog out and about together during the day and he’s not too good at taking photos. So it’s a bit of a cheat really but I do like ‘wearing’ my hair curly after an evening bath and a night in curlers (top tip ladies – overnight bendy rollers rule!)
We haven’t done much on the making front this month, but we did manage to cobble together these little egg-box scavenger hunt holders to use on some of our family outings. There’s lots more on this, and other ideas for summer holiday activities on this blog post I wrote recently – I also appeared on BBC Radio Scotland again to talk about it on their Out For the Weekend show. It was another great experience but I wish I didn’t feel so nervous about appearing beforehand. The interview seemed to go well, though, and they even played Abba’s Dancing Queen on air for me which was really rather nice!
So that’s it for this month’s Little Loves, readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and that it might inspire some of your own future Little Love affairs 🙂 . I better get back to the pre-summer holiday to-do list – things might be a bit sporadic on the blog over the next 7 or so weeks so I’ll take the chance now to wish you a truly wonderful July 🙂 .
*This post contains affiliate links which means that I will receive commission should you choose to purchase something via them. This enables me to earn a small income from the time I spend on blogging and does not in any way affect the price you pay.
As usual, I’m linking this post up to Morgana’s monthly linky.