Tuesday, 20 July 2021

July Highlights

Hello! Such a lot has happened since I was last here, these July weeks have been absolutely frantic. A feel as though I am racing to keep up with the days and weeks at the moment. But here is a selection of July's highlights, a whirlwind tour of life over the last few weeks.

I finished my teacher training course and now have qualified teacher status. A PGCE is no small undertaking and covid really did not help matters but not only did I do it, I also enjoyed it. No-one is more surprised than me. We celebrated with flowers, burgers and cocktails and I am really excited to start teaching my own class in September. I am still teaching until the end of term but don't have the university work to do any more which is a huge relief. 

Other highlights have been more of the every day variety, but no less lovely for that.

:: A trip to the beach on Sunday (welcome respite from the sudden, relentless heat) and our first swim in the sea this year.

:: Picking the sweet peas. I fill tiny vases and jars and dot them around the house so that I can always smell them. Sometimes I add a few other flowers from the garden, like roses, lavender or giant daisies.

:: My first manicure in a really long time.

:: Ziggy turned four. 

:: Weekend baking with Angus. He is suddenly obsessed, going through all my baking books, sticking post-it notes in recipes. He favours anything chocolatey, or anything that I would probably avoid because it sounds a bit sickly, like these jaffa cake cupcakes. 

:: Watching the Euros on the TV. I can take or leave football, but did enjoy watching this.

:: Double rainbows.

:: My bedside reading pile. I am just finished re-reading The God of Small Things for book club, and loved it as much as I did first time round. Iris Murchoch's A Fairly Honourable Defeat was hard going to begin with but I have started listening to it on Audible and now am completely gripped. Our current book club choices have been quite weighty so I do have some crime fiction in there too, for light relief.

:: Baking my first sourdough in a few weeks and discovering a surprisingly lively, bubbly starter in the fridge producing a really nice loaf.

:: Iced coffee drunk while wandering around the garden barefoot on a weekend morning.

:: The poppies that came up in the back border, the palest apricot pink.

:: Reaching the half way mark on my A Stitch A Day embroidery sampler. June was full of greenery and garden things, a birthday (John's), a school residential trip (me), flowers, football, fresh fruit and my second vaccine. 

:: Our new shed is up, painted and almost finished. I will do a proper post about it soon but here's a photo of it before we painted it.

:: The most beautiful walk through the local countryside a couple of weeks ago, with everything so damp and incredibly green, a typical wet English summer.

And that is all my news. We have three more days left of term - we've almost made it without a bubble closing, fingers crossed we get to the finish line - and then the summer holidays begin. I hope you're all staying safe and well, and cool too, given this bonkers hot weather. Take care. 


  1. this is a lovely post, well done for completing your teacher training and i like the look of the jaffa cake cupcakes ! x

  2. Glad you finished your teacher training - a wonderful accomplishment! Your embroidery hoop made me realize how quickly this year is flying by!! Yikes!

  3. Congratulations on your teaching certificate. It was a great deal of work from what you've posted but well worth it. Lovely photos!!! Enjoy your break.

  4. Congratulations! That's quite an accomplishment, especially now!

  5. Congratulations!!!
    I Love your flowers, they are beautiful! 🌼🌺
    Enjoy your holidays🤗

  6. Congratulations. I'm in Australia and thought you were already on your summer holidays. They're certainly well deserved for you. Lovely pics

  7. your embroidery is beautiful and you look lovely in your crochet top :) I am making my first sourdough starter at the moment - its day and I think it is beginning to bubble already - are you keeping it in the fridge? my recipe says you put it in the fridge to stop after it has fermented so I haven't yet. So hopeful of making good bread - the pic of your loaf looks amazing. Lovely pics - your house is very homely.

  8. Well done! I honestly don't know how you get through everything - you must be incredibly well organised. Congrats on your solo-teaching post!

  9. Yay, you did it! So happy for you. My whole house is filled with Lathyrus too, that heavenly smell and those colours <3 The common daily things are the most happy making. And a culinary son is a gift, I have two. Stimulate it, you will be so happy later. Almost holiday. Enjoy, dear. Thanks for the lovely pictures and post.

  10. Congratulations! I love sweet peas but they never do very well for me. Must try harder! Enjoy your summer holidays and good luck for next year.

  11. Congratulations, Gillian! Teaching is an honorable profession. May this next phase of your journey be wondrous. Great job, finishing that certificate. Love the crochet top.

  12. Well done getting through your teacher training! I love sweet peas but hate the pollen beetles that seem to inhabit mine! When I bring a bunch indoors, the beetles migrate to every surface, especially the windows, what's your secret? I have chosen the Elif Shafak book for my book club. Have a great summer holiday ready for your new teaching post in September.

  13. Congratulations on finishing your teacher training! I always love to see what your embroidery for the month will be. You are so talented. It's good that your son is interested in cooking... I have two sons who are the main food fixers in their families. Their wives like to bake though! Have a great weekend!

  14. Gillian, Congrats on the completion of your training course! Yay!! I know are excited and looking forward to having your own class in September. Your garden is coming along so nicely - the sweet peas are beautiful. And I love that Angus is showing interest in cooking and spending time in the kitchen - the cupcakes look delicious. Hope you have a really great weekend!

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  16. Congratulations Gillian! You’ve had a very busy year. All you photos are beautiful…love the sweet peas and your crocheted top looks very pretty on. You have a lovely family and home! Enjoy your summer!

  17. Congratulations on finishing your course!! So well done. As usual, lovely pics and such a busy time for you all. Hope you enjoy the holidays (assume they’re starting soon??).

  18. Congratulations on your teaching degree! That is huge. Lovely photos, as always. I missed sowing sweet peas ( a dwarf variety) in my biggest pot on the porch and I do miss them. I love tiny vases of flowers :)

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