Bowing Out Gracefully – August Inspiration

This Was My Summer

This Was My Summer

Well it appears that this is it. Tomorrow we wave goodbye to August and with it the last remnants of the Summer. Without wanting to launch into a lengthy post about the transition from Summer to Autumn again (but if for some reason you are inclined towards that sort of blogging take a look at my last post) I simply want to talk about the things that for me, have made Summer, Summer…

First and foremost I have enjoyed the sun. No, we haven’t had much, but what we have had I’ve walked in, swum in and ultimately, revelled in. Summer wouldn’t be Summer without sun – something which Rosalind touched on saying that the element of the Summer she would miss most was reading outside in the sun. Summer is the time of the year when I myself read the most – a combination of longer holiday time and feeling relaxed and in the mood to sit and read and read until I’ve had my fill. When you’ve really got into a book, time is irrelevant – that’s why Summer holidays are the best time for them! But it’s not just books – being able to read the paper over a leisurely breakfast or lounge on the sofa flicking through the September editions of magazines is yet another, thoroughly enjoyable and leisurely pursuit.

So far I’ve finished How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (but I’m sure you’ll be hearing my opinion of that in a future post) and With Your Crooked Heart by Helen Dunmore. I’m currently wading into the first chapters of Roger Deakin’s Waterlog and am already finding it highly enjoyable – both his excellent descriptions and manner of storytelling are extremely compelling and next in line is Laurie Lee’s Cider With Rosie. Another book I’m looking forward to settling down with is supermodel Alek Wek’s autobiography. Having read interviews with her in which she described her incredible journey from her native Sudan to the UK where she has become an international supermodel and one of the most recognisable faces in fashion. I found the book whilst perusing in the sale section of my local independent bookshop for just £1.99. A bargain if I ever saw one! I’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts once I’ve finished it.

How To Be A Woman

Continuing the cultural theme I’ve seen no less than two amateur dramatic productions whilst on holiday and have thoroughly enjoyed them both. There’s nothing like the excitement of watching enthusiastic performers burst into an infectious song as the lights go down and the sheer amount of time and energy that go into such performances is unbelievable. In my opinion live theatre can never be overrated – be it in the West End or a Church hall. I had the pleasure of attending one such production last night and even now I’m still singing the repeated two lines of the title song! As regards to events happening further afield I’ve been keeping up with all the goings on at the Edinburgh Literary Festival (follow them here on Twitter and try taking part in their daily #UnboundEd challenge) and have promised myself that one day I will be there – definitely as a paying spectator but one can dream of frequenting it as an author/writer!

The BBC have produced some excellent television over the past month or two including The Hour (lengthier post about that here) and Page Eight. I was delighted to read (in The Guardian I think) that The Hour has been recommissioned for a second six-part series next year in which Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Dominic West will all reappear. You can read all about it yourselves on the BBC Press Office site .

Freddie and Bel - The Hour

In other news I got to have a play with a Canon 500d the other day and was instantly hooked. I’m really hoping to acquire a DSLR in the near future so if anyone has any suggestions I’d be really grateful if you could leave a comment. I marked the end of Summer with the purchase of a knitted aran cardigan from an independent woollen jumper shop. It’s made from plum coloured aran wool with lots of cable knit pattern and I absolutely cannot wait to wear it. Oh and in case anyone was wondering, I checked with the shop-seller where the garments were all made and she told me that they are all sent from the factory in Leicester where they are made, a fact which I later double checked on the website. New, unworn, ethically made, guilt free clothes. Why can’t they all be like that?

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9 thoughts on “Bowing Out Gracefully – August Inspiration

  1. This September day is very cold, but Autumn is my absolute favourite so I’m fine with August ending. I’m incredibly excited about going back to school and wearing jumpers and drinking hot chocolate!
    Your summer sounded like a good one, and Caitlin Moran’s book was excellent. I think it should be compulsory reading in schools!

  2. How to be a Woman sounds awesome! I wonder if I could get it on amazon? I’d love to give it a read. Be sure to do a review or something once your through.

    Can’t get over that gorgeous photo! That water is so blue, I’m jealous. Really makes me want to travel… ahh, goodbye summer!

    Lovely blog 🙂

  3. Lovely round up here. Nicely written too.. I am reading the Caitlin Moran book at the moment. I think every woman – and man should. My advice camera wise – is to invest in a good lens and buy a cheaper body to start with. A good lens will last you a lifetime the bodies change on a yearly basis. It is the lens that is the most important part of the camera. Digitally I love Canon. If you can manage it if you go for Canon buy a lens with a red line around it. These are their best. I recommend this lens http://www.simplyelectronics.net/mainproduct.php?pid=678&setcurrency=gbp it is a great all rounder. Xxxx

  4. Just left such a long comment, and then got an error page. Aaaah!
    Today, the first day of September, has been glorious – I saw hay bales and golden leaves galore on the way to my sixthform, which is quite a distance. I simply lapped up the view.
    I can vouch for the brilliance of both ‘The Hour’ and ‘How to be a Woman’ – enjoyed them thoroughly. I agree that Caitlin Moran’s writing should be mandatory!
    I think ‘wading’ desribes Waterlog perfectly – I am currently wandering through the followup called ‘Wildwood’. His writing is magnificent.
    Finally, if you are interested in photography, a DSLR is well worth the investment. I adore mine.

  5. I have a Sony Alpha 300 – I am more than happy with it – I managed to find one restored for £250 but if you want to spend a bit more than that the higher level Alphas are amazing too – they are less expensive than canons and nikons but just as good and the battery life is AMAZING! I am completely delighted with everything it does – it has a tilting screen too that’s gorgeous ❤ most of the pics on my blog/ lookbook etc are taken with it if you want to see some examples ❤
    Nemo

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