I can’t believe it’s time for my summer favourites for 2021 already! Is it just me or did it feel like winter lasted forever and then we blitzed through April-August? I’ve got an assortment of favourites and recommendations for you in this post, from films to gardening to music. Although it wasn’t particularly “summery” weather-wise in the UK, there were certainly some things that kept me going and entertained the past few months, and are deserving of honourable mention as favourites.
This is such a country bumpkin thing to say, but I very much enjoy growing potatoes. They are so easy to grow and who doesn’t love a potato? In the photo below are some King Edward potatoes from only 3 of my 20ish potato plants at the allotment. We’ve enjoyed some tasty meals with home-grown potatoes (new potatoes with black beans in salsa is delicious!), and I’ve given some to friends and family.
Speaking of potatoes, one of my favourite movies that I’ve watched this summer is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This is a charming period drama about a writer who corresponds with a farmer in Guernsey about the community’s literary society during occupation in the Second World War. It was a beautiful, heartfelt film and I was totally engrossed in the story. Another favourite film this season is Official Secrets. This suspenseful drama is based on the true story of Katharine Gunn, a whistleblower who worked at GCHQ around the time the UK invaded Iraq. Kiera Knightly and Matt Smith were brilliant and I found their performances completely believable.
Earth Kind Shampoo Bar
I’ve spoken about this brand of shampoo bar previously in: Review of Shampoo Bars and Organic and Natural Toiletries from Independent Brands. The “citrus leaf” scent smells like a refreshing men’s shower gel. If you’re into fresh, uplifting scents, this shampoo is perfect for a cool summer shower.
I’ve been obsessed with listening to house music while working. Kygo is definitely a new favourite, and in particular I like the remixes “Higher Love, “Sunrise”, “I See Fire”, and “Freedom”. If you like listening to upbeat compilations, check him out!
I’ve read quite a few books this summer, but two stand outs are Circe by Madeline Miller and Out by Natsuo Kirino. Circe is a myth retelling and was immensely entertaining – like reading a telenovela version of The Odyssey. Although lengthy, I raced through Out, a Japanese thriller about murder, mobsters, and betrayal.
The IPCC report
I don’t know if a report stressing the seriousness of the climate crisis can be seen as a “favourite” per se. However, I do think it’s important that the first working group’s sixth assessment report has been published shortly before COP26 in November. I deem it a favourite in the sense that climate change and action is getting the attention it urgently needs. See: What is the new IPCC Report?
Branksome Chine beach in Bournemouth
Lucy and I have been to Bournemouth a few times, and we recently took Wilbur to the seaside for the first time! The Westbourne area near Bournemouth is so beautiful and relatively quiet. For more on our beach adventure see: A Seaside Day Trip Summer 2021
One of my favourite additions to the garden are the multi-coloured gladiolus. They are so vibrant and cheerful, and thankfully don’t get eaten by snails! You can see the full summer garden here: What’s Growing in my Summer Garden – 2021
Mental health support
Finally, a special shout out to the NHS for the mental health support I’ve been receiving. I very much recommend reaching out to the charity Mind if you need help. It’s okay to not be okay and to ask for help, and it took me a long time to accept this.