July Wrap Up

I posted 2 blog posts in July, can you even believe it. OH THE HORROR. Worry not though, because August looks like being a bumper post month. I KNOW, IT’S DELIGHTFUL. First up there’s this wrap up, which even thinking about writing makes me so happy. I also have a QuickFire Reviews post and a version of ‘Things That I Have Seen and Liked’ lined up along with reviews of Goodbye Days and Take Nothing With You (which, spoiler alert: WOW SO GOOD). I’m also planning on reading ALL THE SHORT STORIES in August so if that goes well (which actually truther be told it is not) you’ll see a few posts on the collections I’ve been reading pop up aswell - I’m reading Vampires in the Lemon Grove right now and I’m loving it although it’s not a book I’m flying through. That’s quite a lot of posts don’t you think? I plan to blog myself out this month.

And with that in mind, LET’S TALK ABOUT JULY.


I have heart eyes for July. I mean, there was the heatwave which I was absolutely keen on. I mean, it was pretty tortuous when I was at work but I was SO THERE for the balmy summer evenings and lazy weekends.

What I did:

I hung out with my bestie and Molly and I had brunch with a friend one Sunday and I spent a Friday drinking wine and catching up with another friend and then I WENT ON HOLIDAY.
Seriously the holiday road trips I go on with my best guy are my most favourite thing and I think that maybe this last one might be the best one yet.

I flew into Geneva and from there we spent the afternoon in Yvoire which is this cute little medieval village on Lac Leman, where we ate ice cream and drank coffee before heading up to the mountains and home.

The next day we woke up super early and drove to La Spezia in Italy where we’d booked a cute little room for a few days. We spent the evening drinking Aperol Spritz and eating pizza and walking up and down the little streets exploring before collapsing sleepily into bed and then the next morning got up super early again to get the train to Manarola, one of the villages of the Cinque Terre.
The Cinque Terre was the whole point of our trip to Italy; if you’ve not heard of it, the Cinque Terre is a network of 5 villages on the Ligurian coast inaccessible by car. They’re all interconnected by rail and walking trails (although some trails are cloed right now) and 4 of them have a harbour also so you can hop on a boat. We got to the first village super early after a breakfast of Nutella croissants and coffee at the train station and had a walk around before heading to the hiking trail.

Oh man.

I mean it was beautiful. It was probably the most beautiful walk I’ve ever done but it was hard. It was so hot which was the main problem. SO HOT. And the paths were uneven and narrow and it was SO HOT. The walk itself, as long as you’re wearing decent shoes (we were) is actually fine but THE HEAT.  It took us 2 hours to walk to the second village and another 90 mins to walk to the next and IT WAS SO HOT. The views though made it so worth it, being all take-your-breath-away spectacular and we honesty had the nicest day. I think, looking back, that I maybe wish we’d gone in June or September, not just because of the heat but because it was so insanely busy. The hiking trails were ok, but the villages were crazy which made us a little bit sad. We’re not massive fans of crowds, and kind of like to be off the beaten track a little bit when we travel. Still, we had a fabulous day and then headed back to La Spezia for more Aperol Spritz.

The next day was Pisa where we were super touristy and found ourselves to be hilarious. Again though, so busy. I think the thing about Pisa is that obviously you’re going to look at the tower and take your photos and you know that probably seventeen million people are going to be there doing the same thing and that probably the beauty lies in the parts of the city that are away from there, and it did look gorgeous but we were both a little bit jaded and so we didn’t really give it the time it deserved. I am however, super glad we went.

Then we headed back to France – we took over ten hours because we hit up ALL THE MOUNTAIN PASSES and it was glorious. Pretty views and the top down on the car and lots of laughter. We had coffee and coke at little ramshackle mountain cafes and he pointed out all the places I’d been skiing in March and we took photo after photo after photo. Best day of the holiday? Sat in a car? You know what, maybe.

Once we got back to France we chilled out a bit. We went to Megeve which is a cute little town about ten minutes drive from Saint Gervais and ate macarons at Laduree and we caught up with some friends and walked around the lakes a time or two, we went to the market and and it was generally just lovely in the way it always is out there.

We headed home on the Le Havre – Portsmouth ferry so had a day and a night in Honfleur, a little town that I fell instantly in love with and IT WAS JUST THE BEST 11 DAYS. We’ve been back almost two weeks and I am still missing it so badly. 
July in 3 photos:

In which the views from the Cinque Terre hiking trail make the heat absolutely worthwhile.

 I don't often like pictures of myself but I'm pretty taken with this one - this is the Val D'Isere ski area where we skied in March. 

Honfleur, why you so pretty?

I read:

I listened to:

All about the playlist this summer, we listened to a lot of Billy Idol and TRex and Meatloaf because we’re cool like that.

I watched:

Queer Eye and This is Us and Poldark and The Good Fight.

SUCH A GOOD JULY. And August is looking pretty excellent so far too!

Bookish plans for August:

I’ve designated August as the month I read short stories. Basically I have so many short story collections and I never read them AND SO THIS MONTH I SHALL. Watch this space. I also need to break the short story rule and read R.O Kwon’s debut novel The Incendiaries ready to review early in September – I’m super looking forward to that actually because it sounds marv and also Kate Atkinson's Transcription which I started last night and already love SO MUCH.