Saturday, 30 June 2018

A Sunny Somerset Morning in June

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At the start of the year, we moved into a house in the village that Luke had lived in for the majority of his life. I think that's why it instantly felt like home. 

I knew the faded aqua garage door down the slip of a street that takes you to the church. I knew the stile you have to hold onto a little tighter as it's unsteady. I knew the collie that barks, without fail, every time you stroll by. 

Life moves pretty slowly here. It's strange to see more than a couple of people wandering in the main hub of the village and we don't have a local shop. I have, however, befriended two sheep who I affectionately call Steve and Beryl. Steve is named after Steve Buscemi, because they share similar eyes, and Beryl was named by Lyzi.

The past six months have felt transformative, in a really encouraging way, and I hope that feeling continues. 

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June 21st marked the 8th year of Vivatramp. 

I'm not usually one for marking the anniversary but, in the age of 'is blogging dead?' style posts, it felt important to note some reasons as to why I still love blogging: 

It's still, for the most part, all about people sharing things that they love and enjoy • A whole host of my pals are bloggers. They've taught me how to be a better cheerleader, how to stay inspired and how to strive for better  It's the best source for recommendations, in my opinion. TripAdvisor, who?!   Blogging continues to help me nurture and develop various skills  Honestly, I still find it therapeutic. I enjoy sitting down and thinking about what to create next  It has helped me establish my business and career choice. I don't think I would've ever gone self-employed if I wasn't part of this community!   I've found people with shared experiences, particularly those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. I've also connected with, and learned a lot from, people with entirely different experiences to me too   I enjoy it as a creative outlet. A space I can return to when the desire hits.

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I actually took all of these photos as part of a photo walk around the village for my patrons on Patreon.

Essentially, each month I share a creative guide. There's always a monthly exercise tucked within its pages. June's exercise was to go on a photo walk to gather creative inspiration and see what you could make inspired by it. I headed out, with Luke and Poppy, and took a ton of photos before returning to write an original poem. If you'd like to check out the creative guide, and read said poem, you'll need to sign up on Patreon

We are starting a new book on the 1st July, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, so it's actually an ideal time to become a Queen Bee if that's something you've been thinking about doing for a little while. It's a no pressure kinda environment. Dip in and out when you want to. Join in to whatever degree you see fit.

I am head over heels for the little community my patrons and I have created so far. I can't wait to see where it takes us. Whilst you're here, go and check out my patrons: Lauren, Michelle, Lauren, Fern and Ella

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In a matter of days, on the 3rd July, I'll be turning 26. 

Age doesn't really bother me. If nearly losing my life taught me anything, it's that you should be grateful to have survived another year regardless of the numerical value. Cheery but it's true.

There are several things I'd like to accomplish in my 26th year. The list includes but is not limited to: scoring more repeat clients, setting a date for my wedding, actually planning said wedding, making the house even more of a home and exploring more of my home county. Wish me luck!

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A chilled out update for a chilled out morning stroll. 

Have you been on any little adventures recently? Let's chat. 

Are you all caught up with my previous adventure posts? There are quite a few of them!


Saturday, 9 June 2018

Things That Make Me Happy 83

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dreaming up different incarnations of me 
quiet days amongst chaos
the fact that i still have things to list 8 years in 
trying my hand at new creative mediums
good health days 
making people happy with these lists (as requested by Laura)

I have been sharing things that make me happy lists for years. If you'd like to read some more, you can scroll through the archive.


Saturday, 2 June 2018

Spring & Summer 'To Be Read' Pile

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There's a lot to love about spring and summer reading, from afternoons spent in beer gardens with a book in one hand and a tall drink in the other, to pages read from the confines of a plane on the way to somewhere new. 

Here's a selection of the books that I'd like to read during the spring and summer months.

Marlena by Julie Buntin*
A book that I had been eyeing up from the sidelines, before eventually requesting a review copy, because who doesn't love a messy coming of age tale that promises the death of one of the main characters?! My summer reads are a laugh a minute. 

Marlena is a tale of new friendship, small town life and the ghosts of our past.

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
A book that I picked up and put back down, as blue skies were traded in for heavy snow. This is a story that deserves warm weather and, luckily enough for me, it was chosen as the inaugural book for my Patreon book club. I'm currently over half way through so I'll definitely be ticking this one off of my list.

Call Me By Your Name is the story of Elio and Oliver and their blossoming romance during a summer in the Italian Riviera.

Normal People by Sally Rooney*
A book that isn't out until September so I'm dancing between reading it now and reading it nearer its release. Rumour has it that this is even better than Rooney's debut, Conversations with Friends, which fills me with hope. This might be an inhale-in-one-or-two-sittings kind of read. 

Normal People follows Connell and Marianne - from their small town in Ireland to university in Dublin.

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The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard
One of the newest additions to my collection. This book comes Smokintofu recommended so I don't want to leave it to stew for too long. Set in summer, it's probably best that I devour this book over the next couple of months.

The Pink Hotel tells of the tale of a girl who spends her summer travelling around LA returning sentimental photos and documents to the people who once knew her late mother.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh*
Sometimes I receive emails with offers of review copies for books that I've been eyeing up to buy at a later date. This was one of those occasions. The Water Cure sounds like a compulsive read - perfect for long afternoons spent lazing in the garden. 

The Water Cure is the story of Grace, Lia and Sky and the men that come to find them.

Upstairs at the Party by Linda Grant 
A book that I pulled from the charity shop shelves because I recognised the author from the Bailey's Prize longlist. University campus, strange couple, obsessive teens, what's not to love?!

Upstairs at the Party tells the tale of Evie and Stevie, a glam and androgynous couple, who arrive on a university campus in the early 1970's, and the teenagers who come to idolise them.

A neat selection of the books I'd like to turn my attention to over the next few months. What will you be reading during spring and summer? 

If books are like catnip to you, you can spend some time scrolling through my book posts

I also share bookish content, and run an exclusive book club, over on my Patreon. I'll be doing a 'try a chapter' tag (featuring some of these books) over on my page this weekend!

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