I began to put this monthly summary together for June then remembered I hadn’t published one in May!
That was deliberate.
There are so many important conversations and movements taking place in the world right now that I simply couldn’t bring myself to write a tone-deaf post about how my life is tough because I can no longer travel.
I decided to take a step back from publishing in June to instead focus on donating, signing petitions, and supporting the Black Lives Matter protests from afar. And Bristol was in the news! I was so proud of the protestors of my adopted home for toppling the Colston statue and chucking him in the harbour.
At the start of May, my laptop broke.
Talk about bad timing.
Due to the pandemic, delivery times for Macbooks were stretching out for as long as four weeks, which is just about how long it took to receive mine. Then it was faulty out of the box, but that’s a story for a time when I’m feeling more whiny.
What that means is that I spent much of the past two months attempting to run my business from an iPhone and a seven-year-old Chromebook. Let’s just say that meeting my deadlines proved to be a bit of a challenge. Let’s just say I never want to write a 4,000 word blog post on a phone ever again.
Still, ten weeks later, I’m back in action; back at it again! So let’s dive into how I spent my May/June.
A socially-distanced stroll around Putney Heath
The most exciting news I have to share is that I started leaving my house again!
In May, the British government loosened up restrictions so that residents could now jump in a car in order to get some exercise in. I took full advantage of this and set about hiking my heart out around Southwest England.
Villages in the Cotswolds are the absolute cutest
I’ve long said that one of the reasons why I decided to move to Bristol over London was due to its accessibility to nature.
Within a short drive, you can be in The Cotswolds, the Mendips, the Wye Valley, and a dozen more areas of stunning natural beauty. In other words, you’ve got several hundred walking tracks to trek along — ranging from short nature trails to the 600+ mile Southwest Coast Path.
It was about time I started exploring more of them.
The vast majority of our hikes took place in the Cotswolds on sunny weekdays, when there were few people around and the views were magnificent.
Our first challenge was a nine-mile hike, which ordinarily would have been an easy walk for me, but man alive! It felt like my muscles had been reduced to something that resembled strips of uncooked bacon, flapping inside my skin casing. I’m atrophied, guys. I’d honestly guess I’ve got in maybe 50 steps a day over the 10 weeks of lockdown, so all of this unexpected movement left me struggling.
Still, that was just motivation to hit the hills more often and start building my strength back up.
While I was all about the crafting in April, I’ve found little time to dedicate to it since then.
Apart from this painting.
Dave loves all things campervan and wilderness, so this month, I decided to paint him a scene of exactly what he’s spent his lockdown fantasising about.
In April, I shared my adventures in bread-baking and fermentation, and the month before that, I tried my hand at Mexican food, whipping up cochinita pibil, tamales, and chilaquiles.
Throughout May and June, I continued the food theme and tried my hand at making even more of my favourite dishes!
Samosas, momos, pho, bun rieu, nasi lemak, jerk chicken, lamb tagine… I’ve developed such a passion for cooking while in lockdown that I find myself counting down the days until I can rustle up something new!
This is 32.
Happy birthday to me!
I turned 32 in June and to celebrate, I had to get a photo with me and all of my closest friends.
Obviously a pandemic is not the perfect backdrop for a birthday celebration, but I made the most of it regardless. It was a chilled-out day, filled with good food, ridiculous photoshoots, and plenty of sunshine.
My new hobby for 2020 is roller skating.
And it turns out I’m terrible at it.
I know everyone reading this will be like, well, no shit, Lauren, you’re a clumsy motherfucker.
But it was surprising to me!
I’m a decent ice skater and I spent a solid five years rollerblading around town when I was younger, so I fully expected to take to it within a matter of minutes.
I did not at all!!!
I am very bad at roller skating!!!!!!
It turns out I can’t even skate the twenty feet down our driveway without windmilling my arms and rolling out of control. Maybe I need to get back to roller blading instead? I thought roller skating would be easier! It’s not!!!!
Still, at least my skates are beautiful.
This month’s Patreon postcards came from all over the…
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