This Summer it has been very quiet over at Pretty Little Finch. You’d be forgiven for thinking that I simply had nothing to share or write about, but in reality it has been a pretty action-packed few months. This Summer (for the most part) I simply decided to just live without getting the perfect shot and analysing every experience in a detailed 1,000 + word post. So yes, I’ve been documenting the good (and the bad) days over on Instagram, but I haven’t shared much of it over on this blog.
I think for me one of the big ‘no-nos’ for PLF is low quality photographs. Everything you see on this blog has been shot with a Nikon D3300 and the thought of uploading photos taken on my phone makes me shiver a bit…
But it’s been a hot Summer and I’ve really not felt much like lugging a big ‘ole camera everywhere I go. Sometimes you just want to live in the moment. So I have been taking photographs to help me remember everything and capture snippets of life, but they’ve all been on my phone…can you see where I’m going with this? No camera photography means no blog posts.
At the same time it feels really sad and strange to leave out such a big chunk of life and have it missing from my blog. These are memories I want to look back on and read about. So I’m breaking my rule for today and want to share how my Summer went down…crappy phone shots and all, as I say goodbye to the sunshine and prepare for Autumn.
So here we go, my Summer Instagram edit…
17th June (Fathers Day)
This Summer Mumchelle and I decided to take part in Race For Life – Pretty Muddy 5K. I have run this course before with a friend of mine, but this year it was even more personal. The event landed on Fathers Day, and I can’t really think of a better way of honouring a dad that is going through cancer treatment than to run this race and raise money for Cancer Research. So that’s what we did – we raised £347 plus an additional £45.50 in gift aid – not bad! The course itself was a lot of fun, Mumchelle and I were laughing the whole way round and yes, we ended up incredibly muddy! (Weirdly I don’t have a shot of that?!) Mumchelle was sneaky on one of the last obstacles though and basically used me as a human shield / distraction – I got a full bucket of muddy water chucked over me whilst she remained relatively unscathed -typical! It was a really nice day though, and one I will always treasure.
In June we added to our feathered family with four new quails – Cookie, Bon Bon, Flump and Sundae. They were originally supposed to live in the aviary but after an incident in which they ganged up on and attacked a finch (strange behaviour indeed) they were moved in to a cute little hutch and pen. I love them so much already and although they caused us a bit of a nightmare in terms of re-housing them I can’t imagine life without them.
By June I had managed to drop a whole stone on Slimming World! That’s the most I’ve ever lost through actively dieting.
In June Gareth and I decided to take a few days leave from work and enjoy a ‘staycation’. It was really nice to have some time away to explore some local spots and just relax. We spent one day in Cambridge shopping and eating and whilst there found a really nice burger place – of course we ordered cocktails!
The next day we re-visited Woburn Abbey deer park and gardens. We have visited before but during Winter months and I’ll be honest, there wasn’t a lot to see besides mud and bare branches. This time the gardens had completely come to life and we spent an enjoyable afternoon wandering through them. We also stopped for a spot of afternoon tea which was lovely.
In the same week of leave we popped down to Fen Drayton Lakes for a walk in the sunshine. There’s still so many parks and wild areas that we have yet to explore, but are working to tick off the list so it was good to cross one off.
Of course what would the Summer be without a seasonal release of Sonny Angel? I managed to secure the super-cute (and rare) sailor Sonny. If you know me you’ll know I’m a big collector of Sonny Angels so this was a real highlight for me!
The 20th of July fell on a Friday and Gareth and I decided to have a rare night out / date night. We stopped at our favourite restaurant in town – Prezzo – for yummy Italian food and a huge slice of cake and ice cream which we shared between us. Of course this provided us with another excuse for cocktails and afterwards we rounded the night up with a spot of bowling. Eaton Bowl is in town and despite having lived in SNO for almost a year now we haven’t explored all that is on offer as much as we would have liked. So this was great fun and a way to get better connected to our surroundings. I even won a game which I believe is a first!
The next day we headed down to Hunstanton which is a seaside town in Norfolk. Hunstanton was so incredibly retro and we had an amazing day checking out all of the quirky shops, eating ice cream on the beach and cooing over the seals at the seal hospital in the local Sealife Centre. We even stopped in a Lavender field on the way back so I could have a sniff of all the Lavender and take some photographs. This was probably one of my most favourite days over the whole summer and without a doubt I would go back!
In August we did something that we had been waiting to do for an entire year – attended the Dragon Boat races in town! The River Ouse runs right through SNO and so town life is quite centred around the water. The Dragon Boat races happen every year and as it turns out, are quite a big thing! There was a small funfair and lots of food and drink stalls set up around the river. Gareth and I sat in the sunshine with Pimms and beer and ate pulled pork and stone baked pizza. It was a really fun afternoon and we didn’t have to travel far to enjoy it!
Another highlight of Summer was a family gathering at the beach to celebrate my Nan’s birthday. It was so lovely to spend time with my aunts, uncle, cousins and Nan – I don’t get to see my family too much so whenever we get together it feels really special for me. The sun was out in full force and everyone was in good spirits. My mum, aunts and I even braved a paddle in the sea which was a lot of fun!
During the month of August an opportunity arose for me to do some volunteer work with the Westway charity. On the day my colleagues and I helped to dig out a pathway to make a garden more easily accessible and inviting to visitors. It may not seem like much but let me tell you – it was hard work! Afterwards I was aching for days but it was a rewarding experience and I felt pleased to have been able to give back. Matcha coffee definitely helped me through the experience!
I rarely take half day holidays from work, preferring to save myself the hassle of a London commute and take a whole day instead. But in August Gareth and I decided it would be really nice to have an evening out in London, so taking a half day holiday just seemed to make sense (as we’d already be in London for work.) It turned out to be a great decision! Gareth planned everything and did a great job picking out Junkyard golf (the circus-themed Bozo circuit) drinks at the circus-themed London Cocktail Club and Dinner at Meat Mission. We also managed to squeeze in a visit to the underground vintage market in Brick Lane. We had a fantastic evening which reminded me why evenings spent in London are so much fun.
So those are a few of my Summer highlights. There were so many great days spent with my loved ones this Summer and for that I’m really thankful – every day with my family is a blessed one!
Again I’m sorry for the low quality images but I really did feel it was important to share the happy memories and highlights as I find it really helps me when I’m feeling less than great and struggling to be thankful. Now that Summer is over I’m looking ahead to my favourite season – Autumn! I have a lot of ideas for the season ahead so please bear with me as I get back in to the swing of things!