What’s been happening in July?

July has been a month of highs and lows. The first half of the month was my amazing trip to France with Thomas and my family. I had the absolute best time and can’t wait to share more about it with you all. The second half of the month was much more low key as I was struck down with a really nasty case of sinusitis, a horrible cough AND an ear infection. Ugh.

At the beginning of the month Thomas and I jetted off to Paris with my parents, my brother and his wife. We spent a fantastic 4 days in the blazing heat of the city seeing and doing as much as we could.

Although I’ve been to Paris twice before, it was lovely to see and experience more of the city. Thomas, my dad and I managed to fit in a trip to the gorgeous Palace of Versailles, the former home of kings of France. The architecture was beautiful and I was so glad we made the effort to go. Other highlights from Paris were going up Montparnasse Tower, an amazing food tour in Montmartre and watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night from the rooftop terrace of our apartment with a glass of French rosé in hand. Perfect.

After Paris we flew down to Nice and onto a stunning villa in Antibes. We spent a perfect week exploring places that are well-known to us, plus a few new ones too: Antibes, Juan les Pins, Èze, Villefranche sur Mer, Cannes, St Tropez and Port Grimaud. We fitted in a fair bit of time to dive bomb the pool and enjoy some epic BBQs at the villa too.

When I got home I was feeling so ill and have been for the past fortnight. Luckily, I’m finally starting to feel better and more like myself now. I was hardly able to do any work for my clients and updating this blog was too much for me too which can be a little scary when you’re self-employed!

As well as all that we managed to host a couple of BBQs with friends in our garden, Poppy hit 6 months old and got spayed (poor soul – she’s fine now though!), and had some great meals with friends. I also found out I’m going to be an auntie as my sister-in-law Michelle is pregnant with her first little one! How exciting!

Books I read in July

The one upside of feeling rotten for 2 full weeks and not being able to get out and about much was how many books I managed to read! I worked my way through 9 books in July, meaning I’m far less behind now on my 2019 reading challenge.

I started off with Solve For Happy by Mo Gawdt. It was a book that was recommended to me and is about embracing happiness in all aspects of your life. It was an okay read but didn’t really stick with me and there were no real groundbreaking ideas in it.

Then I moved onto What She Saw by Wendy Clarke, which I really enjoyed. It’s a psychological thriller (pretty much my favourite type of book) and there are plenty of twists and turns. An excellent page turner for reading by the pool on holiday.

Next up was Busy by Tony Crabbe all about how to embrace being less busy and how you can get just as many things done in a shorter time if you prioritise properly. As someone who is often overwhelmed by feelings of ‘busyness’ this really hit home for me.

After that I read Her Sister’s Lie by Debbie Howells and really enjoyed it. A woman finds out her sister who she lost touch with 10 years previous has died and she becomes guardian of her nephew, but is there more to her sisters death than meets the eye?

Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard was a book I’ve heard so many people raving about and it’s been on my Kindle wish list for ages. I thought reading it after I’d just been to Paris myself would be perfect and I was right. Such a great book that had me totally invested in the story. Gorgeous recipes too.

I moved onto Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land, which was one of my favourites this month. A young girl goes to live with a foster family after reporting her serial killer mother to the police. As her mothers trial draws closer, it follows how she adjusts and poses the question of whether people are born evil or can be made to be evil. Such a page-turner!

My best read of July was What You Did by Claire McGowan. It was so good I raced through it and finished it in 24 hours. When 6 university friends reunite 25 years later it ends with one of the women being raped and the rapist being one of their friends. The story follows as their lives unravel under the weight of the accusations.

Next up was Dry Hard by Nick Spalding. I’ve read a few of Spalding’s novels before and they’re always quite light-hearted and amusing and this one was no exception. After their teenage daughter puts a video of their drunken antics on YouTube for the world to see, Kate and Scott decide to quit drinking for a year. This novel follows their exploits as they stay on and fall off the wagon.

Last but not least was What Have You Done by Matthew Farrell. A forensics specialist turns up at a brutal murder scene to find the victim is his former lover. He has no knowledge of where he was the night of the murder. Is someone trying to frame him, or did he kill Kerri and block the memories out?

What’s happening in August?

August is starting off strong with a visit to Archerfield Estate to stay in one of their lovely lodges for a long weekend. I’m really looking forward to it after feeling like crap for the last few weeks while I’ve been ill. We’re also taking puppy Poppy for her first trip to Archerfield and I know she’s going to love it.

We’re planning lots of walks along the beach and on the golf courses, visiting some dog-friendly restaurants, some indulgence in Fletcher’s Cottage aka the best spa ever and lots of lovely food and drink with the best company. Perfect.

Other than that, we don’t have much planned for August yet. A gin tasting event, some get togethers with friends and hopefully there’ll be some good weather for BBQs and sunny days out. Fingers crossed!

And that’s it for another month! As always, thank you for taking the time to check in to my blog and read about all my adventures and musings. If you’re not already then please follow along on Twitter and Facebook to stay even more up to date.  

Emma x