May always feels like being on the cusp of something good: the promise of summer being just around the corner; everything is suddenly abundantly green; trees and hedgerows are full of life; wildflowers burst into colourful existence seemingly overnight; and there are warmer days, blue skies and sunshine.
It’s been a bit of an up and down month. I was a bit poorly during the first week or so and we’ve had some important appointments to attend so I haven’t really picked up my camera very much. The girls all had their second Covid jabs that left them out of action for a day or two. Felix, our cat, managed to flood our shower room. On the flip-side, there have been birthday celebrations and Lola decided to go back to school! She’s completed two full weeks and whilst there have still been daily challenges, she seems to be doing ok.
Here are all the little things I’ve been loving lately throughout May…
The Betrayals: by Bridget Collins. I absolutely loved her first book – ‘The Binding’ – which I read a couple of years ago during 2020, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating reading this one ever since. ‘The Betrayals’ isn’t a sequel, it’s a standalone novel that’s really quite different from ‘The Binding’.
The storyline was intriguing – I found it to be quite complex and abstract right from the start. It was fairly slow-paced but I think it was meant to be. The character development and the build-up of the layers of the connections between them all really drew me in. As before, her descriptions of people and places and feelings were exquisite, I felt like I was there with them in every scene. The twist towards the end was brilliant – I didn’t see it coming at all.
Once I got past the halfway point of the book I couldn’t put it down, I had to know what happened. ‘The Betrayals’ definitely requires concentration but it’s worth sticking with for sure. I hope she writes more.
You: We thoroughly enjoyed Seasons 1 and 2 of ‘You’ when we first watched them. For some reason it’s taken us a while to get round to watching Season 3. It’s definitely been worth the wait though, it’s so good! There are so many twists (many of which I could never have predicted) and the ending was… well, you’ll have to watch it to find out. It’s such an intense show – I need to be in a certain headspace to be able to watch it and I can only handle one episode per night. I’m very pleased to have found out that there will be a Season 4.
Maverick: Neil and I snuck out for a cheeky, spontaneous, daytime date at the cinema, squeezed in in-between clients and school pick-ups, to watch ‘Maverick’. We first bonded eighteen years ago over a mutual love of Top Gun and I have been looking forward to this sequel ever since I found out it was in the pipeline – I was gutted when it’s release date was postponed for two years because of the pandemic.
It was definitely worth the wait though, it 100% lived up to all of my hopes and expectations. I think I held my breath for the whole 2 and a half hours, the visuals were amazing and there were lots of little nods to the first film – I loved how they incorporated all the small but important details. Absolutely brilliant, 10/10 recommend.
Harry’s House: A certain 15 year old spent all month counting down the days to the release of Harry Styles’ new album, ‘Harry’s House’, and it’s pretty much all any of us have heard ever since – she’s been playing it non-stop. I think ‘As It Was’ and ‘Satellite’ are my favourites.
Trip to London: I made another trip to London this month, this time to go and see one of my favourite photography exhibitions: the Travel Photographer of the Year (also known as TPOTY). My Mum met me there and we found a cute little coffee shop to have a muffin (blueberry for me, raspberry & white chocolate for Mum) and a drink (hot chocolate for me, latte for Mum) for lunch.
I’ve been to the exhibition several times before – it’s an annual competition and the images always take my breath away. One of the reasons I wanted to go this year in particular is that I have an online photographer friend, Kirsty Larmour (who I very much hope to meet in person one day) and one of her daughters, Indigo Larmour, won the Under-14 category, so I wanted to go and see her winning images.
Sadly it rained the whole time I was in London and as it’s an outdoor exhibition it did put a slight dampener on the day. Mum and I ended up cutting it short and I headed home an hour earlier than planned but we both thoroughly enjoyed exploring the exhibition and chatting about which photos were our favourites. There were so many incredible images!
No coat: I’m very much enjoying the warmer weather and ability to leave the house without a coat some days. Roll on summer!
My birthday: I turned 39 at the start of the month. It was a quiet day of not doing very much at all, which was just fine with me – I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, but my own… not so much. I was gifted books and flowers (which, along with travel, are my main love language), went for a walk and the sun shone for a while.
Peony season: May is peony season and they are my absolute favourite flowers. I’ve loved having vases of them in the house – their beauty brings me so much joy.
Mimi’s birthday: Mimi turned 14 towards the end of the month, although her birthday was rather more… eventful than mine was! She had a little altercation with a football whilst she was at school and hurt her thumb pretty badly. We ended up taking her to A&E late afternoon (after she’d opened all of her cards and presents of course because #priorities) as she couldn’t move it and it was all swollen and bruised – we were worried she might have actually broken it this time. Thankfully it was only badly sprained so hopefully it won’t take too long to heal. Not the best way to spend a birthday but it’ll definitely be one she remembers! I can’t believe she’s fourteen.
Half term: Half term was pretty quiet and we didn’t do very much at all. I’d wanted to try and escape somewhere for a mini-break but Neil had to work because of the Jubilee celebrations, I had to squeeze in a few clients, and accommodation prices everywhere were ridiculous so we left it.
The only exception was spending the day at a new-to-us National Trust property – Upton House and Gardens – with my Mum and Stepdad, who met us there. We chose one that was roughly halfway between us, which worked out really well. It was lovely to spend a few hours together and we mostly managed to dodge the rain showers. The house itself was a little bit odd but the grounds and gardens were beautiful.
The fifth chapter of the year is now closed and we’re turning the page into early Summer. We have a couple of fun things going on in June that we’re looking forward to and Ella has her first set of proper exams at school to navigate as well.
I hope that you found plenty of little things to love throughout May and that June is full of good things and moments to remember.
Stay well x