A summer stock take of the year

Summer continues to speed past me. I keep asking it to slow down, wait for me! But on it goes. I am working most of this summer, so I am trying to appreciate the quiet moments after the end of my work day (I will never get tired of the long evenings of summer), or first thing in the morning (hah! That is really a pipe dream).

We are busy with the new house, painting, putting up shelves, slowly organising things. I am gardening a little on the allotment – but mostly just picking things as they ripen, pulling out the occasional weed. As a result, it is overgrown and messy but I quite like it like that. Watering is the biggest task, because despite the iffy weather, (it is hot and SO humid!), it hasn’t rained that much. We are also taken up with entertaining Pan, who is just a delight. I can watch her play and sleep and pounce around all day.

I found this list via Brooke Maclary’s newsletter but took the design from the original blog post it is from. I find this time of year is good for a little reflection, consideration of what has gone before, and what we might like to get up to next. As I wrote last time, it has been a seriously challenging year for me, and this list made me focus on the good things.

Making: a new cowl. It’s from a pattern and wool I’ve had for ages but, given the rainy weather we’ve been having of late, knitting seems like an appropriate evening activity.
Cooking: all sorts of summery things. Obsessed with mielie tomato salads, chickpea tomato salads, zucchini salads, beetroot and lentil salads… I also made toad-in-the-hole for the first time over the weekend. It was delightful. And scones for late brunch last Sunday.
Sipping: sauvignon blanc in our lovely backyard
Reading: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi – super weird tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. Also rereading Little Women. And have started City of Girls. And The Rules of Magic.
Looking: at home decor magazines for inspiration.
Listening: to water sounds. I’ve started to film short videos when I am out in the countryside, trying to capture all the different sounds. Recently it was the River Wye in the Peak District, listening to it rustle and swoosh over pebbles.
Wishing: for sunshine and days off.
Enjoying: the ridiculous amount of sport on TV recently: Wimbledon, World Cup netball, Tour de France…
Waiting: for our holidays. Final day of work in motion. Then Spain.
Liking: ice cream in vast quantities.
Loving: being on the allotment in the late evenings, if I can manage the mosquito onslaught! I haven’t loved being on the allotment in the last few months but that has changed this past week. I’m not sure why. Reading Do Grow by Alice Holden probably helped.
Buying: autumn planting vegetables and seeds!
Watching: The Last Czars, Stranger Things 3, new Queer Eye, Death Comes to Pemberley, The Durrells. All very slowly. Hoping: for more spontaneous wild swimming while it is still light late in the day.
Needing: a break. Desperately. I am doing a kind of digital detox in August to help with it. I’ve deleted Instagram from my phone and won’t be posting in August. When I am on holiday, I won’t be checking email, Twitter, or Facebook (which I now pretty much only use for work). We are only on day four of the Insta detox, and while I’ve had two cursory glances while trying to show A- something, and find a link for Pan photos this morning, I am not missing it yet, and already I am amazed by how much more I’ve gotten done.
Wearing: Summer dresses and flip flops as much as possible.
Following: lots of gardening accounts on Insta.
Noticing: the different flowers blooming. Poppies and sweet peas are on their way out but cosmos and dahlias are just beginning.
Sorting: paperwork mostly. Organising journal articles for the book, trying to clear the space (my new desk) to write. We need to paint the spare room and put up shelves to make it really comfy.
Getting: time to write. It is a fight but Fridays are now dedicated to writing, and all the pre-writing work that goes on (reading, sorting, collecting).
Saving: for holidays next year. And house renovations. And cookbooks.
Bookmarking: Palava. Their dresses look amazing. And Hauswitch. I want their cleaning products.
Coveting: a greenhouse so that I can start off seedlings
Opening: doors to new ideas. Trying to be open to opportunities as they arise.
Giggling: at Pan and all her ridiculous antics. Mornings are a riot of energy: pouncing, bouncing, dashing, playing. She is a total joy.
Feeling: tired but happy.
Hearing: the birds in the trees around our backyard, particularly first thing in the morning and in the evenings after work.
Obsessing: over ice cream flavours and cherries. I made a superb saffron ice cream last weekend, and last night we ate it with a nectarine crumble. I also want to make this peach upside-down cake.

Have an excellent week! x


  1. Oh, Lexi, enjoy your blog so much. I want to do the list. Love when someone else provides the template and I can just fill in. On my very-soon-to-do list. Your life just comes alive through this blog–it’s a real inspiration. xx Pam

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