July went fast didn’t it? One minute it was here promising its Mid Summer splendour and the next we are in August and here in Scotland racing towards new school terms and what effectively feels like the real New Year.
For us July was holiday month. We spent two weeks in Harris enjoying the Hebrides and spending time as a family. I have already written an article on Cal Mac and my love affair with Scottish Islands and have a few other blog articles to write on our holiday so won’t dwell on our holiday suffice to say we loved it so much that we’ve booked three weeks on the Island of Blue next year. https://fionadranesblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/a-life-long-obsession-with-scottish-islands-and-cal-mac-ferries/
But what of resolutions how did I do on my holiday month? Surprisingly well-being away meant I was not around for the summer sales so they have past me by this year. Plus I feel I have a new wardrobe firstly as this is the first summer in some years I have actually worn summery clothes and two due to the 5:2 diet I can actually fit some old clothes that have been in storage now for so long they feel like new again. It makes me think the throw it out if you haven’t worn it for six months pundits are wrong well its my excuse for holding on to old items! It’s also kept my husband laughing as I come down dressed in some long forgotten favourite item of clothing with a big smile on my face.
I also did very well on the using cash resolution. I am like the Queen on holiday carry no money with me as we are always all together it works. It does though lull me into the sense that holidaying is not only my favourite time of year it’s also so cheap. If money doesn’t pass through my hands nothing is being spent. So it was a bit of a shock to visit the bank at the end of the holiday. Though that did mean I did indeed revert to cash only for the rest of July till pay-day thankfully came round again.
I had factored in weight gain for July as although I have made the 5:2 diet a part of my life one great advantage of that is that you can stop over holiday periods and start all over again. Our diet on Harris was very fish and seafood based so I was delighted that one week back and two days of 5:2 diet I weighed less than I had when we went away and was way below my target weight for the end of the month. I also found it fairly easy to get back into the diet too. So onwards and upwards the end goal is in sight! Hoping by the end of September to have got there. It will have taken 9 months but it does make you realise that it takes time to put weight on therefore it’s not going to come off quickly either. So next time you see one of these diet adverts telling you can lose two stone in two weeks it’s a con.
The main resolution that got attention in July was writing. I wrote two short stories while I was on Harris one of which is on the blog https://fionadranesblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/game-set-match-history/ and the other was a personal one which I have shared with close friends and family. We went back to Great Bernea for a day and I was able to re-connect with my story there that spoke to me last summer. Finding the gravestone that struck me last year and also more about the family including where they lived which was very exciting. It’s my goal in the long-term however in the short-term Harris gave me a story that I loved and want to pursue that over the winter months. I find writing in the Islands just comes as a matter of course and it takes me back to Arran as a child when I used to dream of doing up a cottage in Lochranza and writing a book. My husband finds he writes poetry when he’s on the Hebrides so who knows we may one day spend longer on the Islands and produce a wee book for friends and family. For now I will continue to develop my writing. The important thing is to make time for it. Like many things in my life I lack confidence so have really appreciated those who have given me feedback you know who you are and it means a lot.
July has been a month its been easy to be grateful for things and I have done so daily. Especially for the beauty of the West Coast of Scotland and the magic of the Hebrides and my family and friends some great special times were spent on Harris. Memories that will take me through the winter. Finally books. It was a mixed month found that I was tired so did I confess read some chick flick at the beginning of the holiday which I enjoyed so far and it did help me relax but also left me feeling oddly unsatisfied. However I did then step my reading up a gear so my book of the month would be the Sir Walter Scott prize “The Garden of Evening Mists” by Tan Twang Eng would highly recommend it. Set in Malaysia post world war two centred round a girl who is the only person to escape her Japanese prison of war camp. She reluctantly makes friends with the ex gardener of the Emperor of Japan and what follows is a beautiful story. I also enjoyed the Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke and a great new find was James Oswald who writes crime novels set in Edinburgh read the first two and have pre ordered the third. So if you are lucky still to have holidays to take can recommend the above.
July a month for once that was summer not moaning and wishing it was and looking out at the rain. I enjoyed it very much and although resolutions weren’t front of mind like they are in January I am pleased to say that seven months on progress is still being made!