July Miscellany 2016

I have been swimming in the local pool, Buttermere lake and the sea in Portugal this month. We also had our biggest home party ever, squeezing in about 15 people in our little house and the backyard. It’s also my birth month. I love July (in the UK that is)!


July Miscellany 2016
Saying morning and goodnight to Blencathra from our tent.

July Miscellany 2016

We had a lovely camping trip in the Lake District. You might have seen the story and photos on Blencathra. The second day, I avoided getting unpopular with people by not suggesting walking up mountains again. So on we went kayaking. It was such a new experience. Later that day, we surveyed Buttermere from all angels, walking around it, stopping for an ice cream break part way. The weekend trip ended perfectly with a dip in Buttermere lake.

*The feature photo is the amazing Honister Pass on the way from Derwent Water to Buttermere.


We went to Portugal for a friends’ wedding. It was a very different experience to weddings in the UK. First of all, it was an outdoor wedding. The ceremony was on the lawn. A lot of the socialising was done around the outdoor pool. The wedding cake was cut outside too. There was another outdoor gathering the next day in beautiful evening sun. Secondly, it was such an international wedding. A lot of the families were from Portugal and Germany. Many British friends joined from the couple’s UK era. The mother of the bride greeted guests in many languages, and even included Chinese for me! Thirdly, I was warned about the constant supply of food and drink at a wedding in that part of the world beforehand. I was still amazed! The first course started at about 3.30pm and food continued all the way till when evening buffet started at 10.30.

Apart from the wedding: The hotel all guests stayed in was excellent too. I almost forgot how it felt like to stay in a posh hotel! Sesimbra beach was clearly popular with local people. But the sea was shockingly cold! Lastly, there is a price to pay when you book the cheapest flight tickets possible. Two midnight arrivals nearly finished me off…


I did a lot of searching online for party decoration ideas. The criteria were: simple but not boring, effective but not over the top, and fast to make. Taking into consideration that the local craft supply was rather limited, in the end, I decided on a felt garland and a rain drop blind. The result of felt garlands was satisfying. I loved the colour combination and the festive look. I was really pleased with them and am keeping them for Christmas. The rain drop blind turned out to be a nuisance, all tangled up. I threw them away as soon as the party finished…


I was pretty disciplined this month in buying magazines. Only Peeps from STACK and Lagom from WHSmith. Little people are being put under the spotlight more and more. Independent magazines seem to prefer “ordinary” people to celebrities in entertainment, fashion or politics.

(I took Peeps to Portugal and got it wet T_T)


I tried something new in the Tyneside Cinema this month (in addition to all the other new things I tried). A sound artist recorded all kinds of sounds on Newcastle’s Town Moor over the course of a year and made a 40-minute show. It was a novelty to sit in a pitch black room like a cinema but with nothing showing on the screen. Among all the beautiful bird tweets, water lapping, bat flapping and screaming from the Hoppings, what I remember most is the faint and distant siren in the background of almost every section of the record.

We had a mini heat wave in July. It was so unusual and cheering that my husband and I escaped to the sea on a whim one evening. We shared fish and chips sitting on a bench looking towards Norway with a watercolour sky.

I’ll finish the post with photos of my garden from February till July:

July Miscellany 2016

Hope you’re enjoying summer 2016 as much as I am!





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