Sunshine, shows and beach days – July’s #littleloves

Hello and welcome to July’s Little loves, it’s all about the sunshine and shows this month.

img_5375

This month, I have tried to give myself a few minutes every day to sit and relax and for me the simplest way to do this is to open my Kindle and read.  On these hot, sunny days its been a little treat to sit in the garden with a cooler breeze in the evenings.

img_2425
One of my favourite reading spots, the grown ups hideaway.

I don’t know where I found the time ( although I don’t watch Love Island) but I managed to read four books this month with my favourites being The Party by Elizabeth Day and Sheila O’Flanagan’s What happened that night.  It’s funny how a theme develops in the books you read, this month 3 books had a similar plot line related to a significant night in the characters lives.

787d77b8-33fc-44d6-94d1-3583d28f61b0
img_5379
61bc0fb8-76c3-4b72-8a22-1d2ba6630bd5

It seems so long ago but I really enjoyed watching the World Cup this month with Little Man who loves his football.  It felt like it was the dawning of a new era with England, a new team ethos, support for each other and a careful and thoughtful manager, it was great to be an England supporter and Little Man and I are looking forward to Euro 2020.

The children have been treading the boards at our local theatre this month.  Both appeared in their school’s play and were practicing their songs in the preceding weeks.  Little Miss had an acting role and has such stage prescence and confidence, Little Man as a younger pupil was in the chorus which suited him just fine and he loved his costume and painted face.

However the big event of the month has been the dance studio’s anniversary show.  The cast have been practicing since Christmas and July was an intense period for all, Little Miss as a dancer and myself as a matron.  I had guidelines to follow and cues to learn too! The show was stunning, it was hard to believe that it was an amateur performance with the quality of the dancing, set design, lighting etc… It was on at our local theatre for 5 performances and was sold out each evening.  Given the population of our town is 10k and around 2k people came to see it over the run, it gives you some idea of the well deserved excellent reputation the dance studio has in the community.  I saw the show on the opening night and it really was one of the most beautiful ballets I have seen.

img_5378Cooking has been limited due to the heat and number of show rehearsals this month.  However I have been making an effort every weekend to make something special and following a meal out at an amazing Thai restaurant with friends I experimented making curries with some new flavours and ingredients at home, all was received very well and I enjoy that little bit of creativity with food.

img_5384Sun hats, sun glasses, swimsuits, sundresses, shorts and t-shirts; Summer of 2018 thank you very much for this wonderful heatwave and the opportunity to wear my summer wardrobe in full.

Oh and I also gave myself a little England manicure in preparation for the semi final.

img_2460-1

img_5380One of the highlights this month was a night out at a festival.  Last year my friend held a mini festival in her garden and her son and his band played for us. This year, it was moved to a larger outdoor venue and gave the opportunity for more local, youth bands to play.  It was brilliant with some original songs but mixed in with Bowie, U2, Rolling Stones, Kinks covers etc..  The talent was unbelievable, the teenagers are so gifted and enthusiastic and just showed that nothing beats live music. The festival theme was fully embraced with wristbands as we entered and merchandise for sale which all produced a healthy donation to a local charity.

5fb55bba-8b34-4160-8571-e54864b8db9b.jpg
The view from the festival, no neighbours to disturb here! As night fell the venue was decorated with fairy lights and it all looked magical. 

  img_5386I loved July but it was busy, in addition to the above we’ve been to Paultons Park, had visits from family and tried to squeeze in as much time as possible on the beach.  This year August is all about the R’s, rest, relax, recharge.

Thank you to Morgana for her monthly linkie and all those who join in

untitled (4)

Advertisements

My Sunday Photo #19

 

We finally broke up this week and it was time to say good bye to Years 3 and 5. It’s been a good year at school, some challenges but some wonderful experiences, an outdoor sports residential, a musical show, arts weeks etc.. We’re now looking forward to the holidays and six weeks of fun.


My Sunday Photo #18

A pair of character shoes are a little clue to my week, we’re on the countdown to the big ballet show next week. As I’m a matron I’ve been at rehearsals this week with Little Miss too to get to know my cues, my children etc.. oh and then there was an Ofsted inspection in the middle of my working week too. Next week will be dominated by the ballet show, 2 dress rehearsals and 5 performances at the theatre 🎭 the show looks absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to see it. The end of term is so nearly here too, despite it feeling like the whole country has broken up we have two more days and then it’s lazy mornings and beach days.

My Sunday Photo #17

img_2538

Strawberries and bubbles!  Our new picnic set got another outing today as we went to Paultons Park (aka Peppa Pig World although there is so much more here).  We love Paultons Park, it is set in beautiful grounds and is such a family friendly theme park with so much to do.  Its been a day of thrills and splashes for us all.  Our favourite area is the Lost Kingdom with Velociraptor and Flight of the Pterosaur as our top picks although I can never resist the log flume.  Its been a stunning day and we’re home tired but very happy.

The summer football came home

 

world cup

I love a World cup summer and I will watch every game I can.  I’ve always been a big football fan and until our move to the seaside I was a season ticket holder at Bristol City.  I’m not a huge premier league fan, that’s a whole different game, I’ve always followed lower league teams as the football community here feels a bit different and real.

My expectations for Russia 2018 were pretty low, I thought that given the reputation of some Russian ultra fans and recent problems that hooliganism would be rife.  There has been no hint of such violence and I’ve also enjoyed exploring Russia through the different venues, the hard, grey cities I imagined have been replaced by venues such as Samara which looked a lovely seaside city.

This has been the first World cup in which Little Man has been really interested in, he has collected his Panini cards, adorned his bedroom wall with posters, worn his England top and been able to talk about the teams and games with confidence.  His enthusiasm has been infectious, from day 1 he believed in the England team.  He had none of the cynicism and weariness of the adults and it was refreshing to see the game I love through such innocent eyes.  Little Man taught me about the players as he knew all the facts like names, clubs, age etc.  These players are his new heroes.  It was also the first World cup when Little Man got to go to a bar to see the game on a big screen and the fun of all the oohs, argghs and cheers, he loved it.  I also liked that we were at Grandad’s for the Panama game and all the goals and my parents watched the semi final with us too, football is about community and sharing the experience.  Whilst my daughter has watched the football too,  she has definitely preferred the social aspect of meeting up with friends.  She doesn’t dislike football, she simply prefers to play.

Sad as I am to admit it, I knew very little about the England team before they left, a team of young, internationally inexperienced players. I was hoping they would  progress through the group stages, gain some experience in a big tournament and be ready to really compete at Euro 2020.  Generally I think lots held similar thoughts, for once the media hadn’t hyped up the team and I think that’s why what happened seems rather magical, the England team just quietly and diligently worked hard on playing football.  As the results came in, the feeling of excitement blossomed, here was something new, a team of youth, with grace, talent and skill unburdened by expectations.  We also grew to love the quiet humility, determination and hard work of our manager, Gareth Southgate, an unexpected appointment which now seems genius.  It was a lovely feeling to experience and I’m so pleased that Little Man got to experience such a positive World cup by England as his first real tournament.

The World cup comes to a close this weekend and its been brilliant, new teams have emerged, the old footballing contenders were knocked out early, VAR has caused some controversy in the early games and the country has united behind our team again.  Its been a memorable tournament and I’m so proud that although we may not have brought the World cup home (but came so close) the England team have brought football home in reigniting our love for the beautiful game.

2c757dc5-0640-4370-a873-c4625df9b744

 

My Sunday Photo #16

Little Man has loved the World Cup this summer, he has the posters of the England team on his wall, he’s diligently filled in his wall chart with Daddy, has a few footballer figures and has not only collected but studied hard the cards in this Panini collection pictured above. Little Man now recognises so many international footballers and can tell you lots about them all, especially England. In the run up and now throughout the World cup, Little Man has always had the upmost belief and confidence in England, they are his heroes and he loves watching them play. I really hope England give him the fairy tale ending to the World Cup he has always believed in. Whatever the result this England team will always be very special to him and to us all.

My Sunday Photo #15

A little bit of a cheat today as it’s a photo of a gorgeous postcard from Paperchase that we have displayed in our kitchen. We are in the midst of a heatwave and one of the best summers I can remember. Everyday could be a beach day if it wasn’t for pesky work and school commitments! We look out to the bay from our house and on ordinary days I walk along the prom most days whilst on errands, it’s the centre of our town and simply part of our geography.

In this perfect weather the most repeated phrase at the breakfast table is can we go to the beach today? We went after school on Wednesday as it’s our only club free night and we have been down this weekend. Little Miss also went with the Brownies as lots of the children’s clubs base themselves on the beach in the summer and the children have been known to have lessons on the beach too. They will never realise how lucky they are to have the beach as their playground.

The beach is one of our family’s happy places, our beach has soft, white sand and the sea is clear and at present unseasonably warm, I’ve definitely been sea swimming more this year and that’s in a swimsuit not a wetsuit! Thanks to this fantastic weather, we all have a healthy glow, extra freckles and sea salty skin from a summer spent on the beach. Beach please? Yes please x