Lovely Things || August

August has been a weird one. There have been some really utterly crap times, as you probably guessed from this post, but also some really exciting and wonderful things too. What a summer rollercoaster ehh?! Whilst I had a few weeks where every seemed to fall apart one after another, going through this list picking out the things I’ve done actually has made me realise quite how much has been packed in this month! There have been weekends away, evening treats and in between the stresses that sometimes occur, quite a few sunny days to relax and take it all in.

Outdoor Shakespeare

Right at the start of August I was invited to Shakespeare in the Park with two of my friends from uni, Charlotte and Beth. It was hosted by the National Trust property, Killerton, and the idea is that you bring a camping chair and a picnic, set yourself up in their beautiful garden and settle in for a night of Shakespeare entertainment. We were watching Much Ado About Nothing and the all-male cast were brilliant! One thing I found particularly funny was that we’d planned to bring picnics, but as I was coming straight from work I didn’t have time to go to the supermarket. Surrounded by a whole host of middle class middle aged couples munching on  M&S, I cuddled up under a blanket on my lounger chair eating up my Maccys double cheeseburger, fries and diet coke. #basic

Finding this…

It’s not necessarily a “lovely thing” during August, but it was pretty fascinating. Picture the scene…I’d just pulled into work’s car park, undone my seat belt and turned to get my bag off the passenger seat, when I noticed something white in the corner of my eye right by my face on the headrest. Cue jumping out the car pretty sharpish but then stopped to admire this crazy creature (before hastily scooping it outside with an old parking ticket) *apologies if you’re terrified of them, quick, scroll down!!*

Lovely Things August 2

Fal with my favs

As The Royals (two of my best friends Kate and Will) had a craft stall at Outlaw Festival in Falmouth, Rach and I decided to join them for a few days. We had two evenings of fish and chips and BBQs on the beach, craft stalling, Falmouth strolling, Tanning, Reading and Sea Swimming. Perfection.

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Lantic Bay

On our way home from Falmouth, we decided to find a beach we’d never been to before. The lure of Lantic Bay seemed nice- it looked beautiful in the photos and we weren’t detered by the description of a steep tricky path to navigate. Turns out they weren’t wrong! After firstly going to the wrong car park, then finding the right one, we realised we’d brought no food with us, and were in the middle of nowhere! Undeterred we hiked down to the beach in our flip flops, following people in walking boots and carrying poles. It was steep. At points we may have been tewmpted to slide down on our bums. But MY what a view! The beach itself was great too, not too busy, lots of sand, crystal clear water. Between the clouds it was gloriously sunny too, until it got covered and we hid under a blanket to read our books, joking that we’d probably still be doing exactly that in our 80s! On the way home we found a great seaside town, ate prawn baguettes and treated ourselves to an ice cream!

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A Magical Weekend

I LOVE HARRY POTTER. Can you tell I’m not ashamed to admit it. Having read the stories my entire childhood, falling asleep every night for a good decade listening to Stephen Fry read them to me, it is honestly my favourite set of books of all time. I know many passages by heart, and find so much comfort and sentimentality in everything HP related. Therefore, getting tickets to see The Cursed Child in the theatre just after it was released, and buying them for all of my family was the absolute dream.

I’ll just casually slip in here that I’ve asked for tickets to the Warner Bros Studio Tour for every birthday and Christmas since it opened and yet was never purchased them. So I decided, seeing as we were going up to London anyway for Harry Potter, and staying very kindly in Katie and Tom’s house in Berko just around the corner, I would also buy everyone tickets to that too! August 2016 was my chance!

I promise no spoilers here – after all #keepthesecrets – but the theatre show was MAGICAL. I literally don’t know how some of the tricks were done on stage! I loved the characters and the plot (mostly) and the fact you saw it in two halves. I also loved drama and music and little touches they brought to it. The audience were all literally hard core fans too which was amazing to be among. There were some faults – the leg room for one, and there were some parts of the plot which I didn’t find true to the stories, but overall it was such a great experience.

Seeing the Studio Tour was also incredible. Having always been a huge fan of the books, but not so much of the films, I wondered if I’d find it frustrating, but in reality it was fascinating. So much effort and precision and human creativity went into the creation of Harry Potter’s world, you couldn’t help but be in awe. The Model Room especially took my breath away and I loved the whole weekend.

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Buying and Selling Houses

This is also not such a lovely thing for August. I mean, buying and selling houses is really exciting, and we spent a reallllllllly fun morning drinking coffee and sketching out designs for our new house that we’ve had an OFFER accepted on. but it’s also not that easy. It never is. Still, we had a fun celebration evening sitting on some very slippy grass atop a hill watching the National Firework Championships and getting drunk on Veuve Clicquot Rosé. Ohh la la ehh, fancy!

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I’ve been shortlisted!!

As you may have seen in this post – I’ve been shortlisted for the bloggers blog awards in the “new blogger on the block” category! I’m so excited for the awards do in Leeds, so please please vote before 18 September!!

Voting can be found at the bottom of this post by Tea Party Beauty and your email address is just used to confirm, it will not be sent any spam, corned beef, or other long-life tinned meats.

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Turtle Bay

I was invited to attend the Press Preview of Turtle Bay in their new restaurant in Exeter and took Rach along for a night of rum, reggae and jerk. Serious amounts of all three! We were so treated and it was great fun to spend the night eating and drinking our way through their menu, Rach booked again for a group of us for her birthday!

When we arrived it wasn’t quite as glam as we remembered – they’d had a few technical difficulties and none of their bookings or ordering systems were working. The staff were lovely, but seemed a bit flustered. Rach and I had loved the food and cocktails during the preview, and the jerk chicken was just as spicy and delicious. However, the cocktails were obviously made by someone slightly less experienced this time and we’d not realised how some people with us weren’t that fond of spice. Cue sweating and mouths of fire and it wasn’t quite as perfect as the last time we’d gone. I’d definitely go back again – oh man that chicken- but maybe it’s not somewhere to take your granny!

Lovely Things August 15

Pretty in Pink

“Friendships are not just one thing, they’re a million little things” – a quote from the thank you card I received for helping a good friend of mine set up her step sons August wedding. I was free on the Saturday morning, I love love love weddings, and she needed a hand. Cue a morning of ribbon tying, flower arranging and decorating what started as a standard pub function room and finished as a bright, personalised, pretty in pink wedding venue. Though it wasn’t necessarily what I’d have chosen for my own wedding, it was exactly how the bride had hoped, and it was fun setting it all up!

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Brunch, Blackberries and Bake Off is BACK

The August bank holiday weekend was wonderful. Starting with a meal with Adam’s family, who have finally been repatriated after a mostly unplanned 35 days in Canada due to unexpected illness. Friday night then involved listening to hilarious drunk men tell funny work stories, followed by driving them all home and tending to a very half-cut boy. Due to the aforementioned, a brunch out was needed the next morning and we walked in the sunshine to Boston Tea Party and sat by the harbour with double drinks and delicious food. FYI I had a breakfast smoothie and a English garden tea, with the sweetcorn hash, guac, halloumi and poached eggs. Adam ate his way through the eggy bread with bacon and avocado, washed down with an iced tea and an iced coffee (because you can’t make a hungover man choose between the two!). We then had to pick up the car from the night before and walked hand in hand for the few miles to go and fetch it, stopping to pick blackberries. admire the most beautiful goats and take in the view. NOT enjoying getting stung by a ground wasp or the fact that my car had a flat tyre the next morning! I loved baking my first bake off cake – a mirror glaze, and we munched it down at a family BBQ with the grannies, to celebrate the repatriation. On Monday we went to a snazzy pub near Totnes with a short surprise visit from Sally, and headed to the highest man made waterfall in England on our way back to Exeter for Rach’s birthday celebrations. Phew, what a weekend.

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August definitely reminded me that not everything in life goes the way you’ve planned, and sometimes it tries very hard to hit you down. However, everything does come right in the end, and you will always get through things. There is no shame in asking for help or leaning on your friends and family when you need it. There will be moments when you feel like everything you touch is turning to dust, but when you have one really bad week, all it means is you’re due a really good one!