Welcome, July, and welcome also to the beginning of the second half of the year. Whoa! The solstice has passed and we in the northern hemisphere are in the peak of Summer. It is a time of warmth, energy, abundance, growth and fruitfulness. I mean this literally but it can also be figurative too if you can take some time to reflect on it, and soak up all of the suns energy.
The weather is warm and dry, the school summer holidays start in just a few weeks, spending time in the garden or beach is becoming far more appealing than working, berries, fruit and flowers are in the market and by the roadside. The garden is full of bees, my battered sandals are on, and it’s just been bloody lovely. Nothing exceptional or extraordinary has happened in the recent weeks, apart from this sweet kiss of summer, but it just elevates every day life so much.
I finished my own mid year review and plan last week. In the middle of it I was struck by a powerful and vertiginous wave of gratitude for everything we have. Things are NOT plain sailing and far from perfect, but the simple act of just taking a breather made me notice and appreciate all the good in my life. It was a sweet moment that kept me afloat for days- testament to the power of gratitude I guess.
Here are 10 wonderful things to make, do and celebrate in the month ahead!
Take a breather if like many people, you are not sure how we are already in July, if you’re feeling like you’ve been firefighting and whirlwinding- just stop, for a moment, and ground yourself right now. Like, literally, I mean close your eyes and breathe deep. Simple but powerful.
Review your year so far and plan the next 6 months. The mid point is the perfect time to review plans for the following 6 months. Read my blog post and get the free guide here.
Visit a PYO. I visited the most idyllic cherry orchard last week and was reminded why I love buying local fruit and veg in the summer. I mean, look at it! Is there anything better than sun-warmed, perfectly ripe cherries, straight from the tree?
Plan a holiday at home. Save some cash and plan a staycation at home. Preparation is the key for a successful home holiday: Clear your diary, clean your house, buy your favourite foods, films and magazines, and enjoy relaxing at home. My next In The moment magazine column has lots more advice about this so look out for that!
Visit a festival. Whether it's a full on 4 day celebration or a local day long affair, a summer music festival is always lovely, and one of the only times you and your kids can enjoy live music together.
Run. If you’re feeling energised and motivated by the sun (or the winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere) try running if you’re privileged enough to be able too. It’s light at 9.30 pm here in the UK so take advantage and get outside. Lots of my friends are doing couch to 5k at the moment and really liking it. Or go for a walk if that’s easier. My ‘gentle running’ technique has resonated on instagram with a few folk.
Embrace body neutrality. A new concept to me, body neutrality is about body acceptance, rather than fervent body love. I hate the targeted ads that feed on women’s self hatred at this time of year. Wear the swimwear or clothes you want to wear this summer. You are fine just as you are right now. You are not too pale or hairy or thin or fat.
Go to local summer community events. Tis the season for village fetes, school fairs and charity fundraisers. We need our communities now more than ever. Be a part of yours if you can.
Do or try some gardening. I have been loving our garden this year, even though not everything has grown for us. Lots of seeds can be started in july (list here or if you don’t fancy your chances with seeds, visit a garden centre or a garden market and buy some small plants instead which have a better chance of taking root. Buy from local growers for better results.
Make a summer wreath. I recently taught a wreath making class at my local farm shop of dreams, Macknade, because a wreath is for life, not just for Christmas! Make use of all of the incredible summer blooms, follow an easy youtube tutorial and make something seasonal and joyful for your home.
P.S This is part of my monthly newsletter which gets sent out on the first Sunday of every month. It includes links from around the web and what i’m eating, reading and listening too. Sign up here to receive it in it’s entirety next month.
About Terries Cherries:
Terries Cherries is situated just outside Faversham in the most idyllic orchard. The red and white painted wooden charry stand is set in the middle, and you can buy cherries by the lb. Terry picks the cherries by hand using victorian ladders and is a bit of Faversham institution. It’s just off Graveney rd. You turn down the track heading for “School Farm”. If he is in his stall, the hand painted signs will be out! They are white with red writing painted on them and he puts them on the main rd. He will be there for another 2-3 weeks if you want to visit. There is a small menagerie on site and it backs on to a field of Wheat. It’s all very darling buds of May and the cherries are delicious! I told him i’d put it on my blog- so here you go, terry!