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Summer has kicked off, the kids are off school and judging by the auto-responders & lack of email marketing messages I’m getting, most people have downed tools already.

Seeing as the summer vibe is strong, I’m sharing my list of stuff for the summer of 2022.

Admittedly not entirely ticking the SEO boxes for an email marketing tech superstar but nevertheless, we all need a break.

1. On my bedside table

Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson

Contrary to its title, the premise is that either all or none of us are idiots and it’s all down to communication. Makes sense right? It’s based on the Myers-Briggs DISC personality system (I come out strongest as a Greeny-Yellow sort of person, steadfast yet influencing)…

Personality tests are an interesting concept and I do take the 16 Personalities quiz from time to time. The thing is you would have thought that your personality is innate, it’s ingrained, but mine seems to continue to change, so how much I trust the system is debatable. I used to be a Protagonist (ENFJ) and now I appear to be an Adventurer (ISFP) so quite a change!

The English Pastoral by James Redbanks

This is my ultimate kind of book. The BIG dream is to have a rewilded, beautiful eco spot in the Orkneys

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler is a great summer read, she is a prolific writer and her books take almost no effort whilst also not being vapid.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Oh Glennon, if we could all channel you a little bit more. Untamed is unapologetic – it’s a book you can dip in and out of, rather than being a narrative, the chapters stand alone, almost as mini essay pieces.

Yes, I like to flit between books, especially non-fiction. I never seem to be able to read them in one hit.

2. In my ears

Podcasts

I was invited to step out of my comfort zone the other week, out of my carefully curated media feed & listen to something different. As I browsed my podcast app The Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett popped up. I know he’s a mega star in the business world, but he’s passed me by.

To be honest, most of them do. Purely because whilst I do have my own business and am always looking at professional development, in my spare time I like to immerse myself in fiction, general chatter, feminism and health/self-development. Enter The Archers, Fortunately with Fi & Jane, How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, Dr Rangan Chatterjee.

Anyway, long story long, I looked through SB’s interviews & picked out his chat with Wretch 32, a rap artist (who I’d never heard of, yes, because I do live under a rock).

In How To Build Unstoppable Self-Belief, Wretch 32 talked about his experiences of growing up in Tottenham, his teenage years and how he started creating music and became the superstar he is today. I have since listened to a ‘mix tape’ on Spotify and POV – it’s pretty damn good!

I also came across this excellent episode from what I suspect is an equally excellent podcast series, Visible Women with Caroline Criado-Perez:

The curious case of Percy Pig and the missing pocket

Is it just me or are pockets THE most important thing in an item of clothing? I’m now contemplating making my own tie-on pockets…I don’t recommend watching this space. It is very unlikely to happen, I talk a good game when it comes to making & crafting but rarely deliver. 

Criado-Perez has also written the book, Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, which is now on my wish list.

Music

Wretch 32 obvs!

Need some focus music? I love this Cinematic Chillout playlist.

And this brilliant Sunny Day 70’s Vibe playlist on Spotify – I dare you not to sing along!

I also adore Michael Kiwanuka – Dazed from his latest album is such a tune 🎵

Michael Kiwanuka came into my life in the opening credits of Big Little Lies and I haven’t been able to get him out of my head since. If you haven’t listened to it, here is the full length version, Cold Little Heart, 9m57 of pure bliss

3. What I'm eating

Padron peppers – I cannot get enough of these at the moment (thank you Riverford).

To cook – lay the peppers on a tray, drizzle with oil, season & pop in the oven until they are soft & charred.

You can eat them as they are or make this delicious salsa:

Mix your cooked, chopped, Padron peppers with half a diced red onion, some roughly chopped tomatoes, finely chopped garlic, a bit of chopped coriander, a squeeze of lime, salt & pepper.

YUM!

Warning – these can be quite punchy, so be cautious with the seeds, I find the flesh itself is spicy enough.

4. What I'm doing

Working, naturally, otherwise mostly lazing in the garden with a book and either a cuppa or a beer, but I’m also…

River paddling – I haven’t braved a full dunk, but I’m loving wading across the River Ure on a scorchy day with Kiki dog.

Packing up the house ahead of our move to Orkney in 3 weeks’ time…yikes! 

I actually haven’t done any packing yet…there’s always the weekend. Well not this weekend because one of the other things I am doing is the Yorkshire Tough Mudder on Saturday. Not because I am fit or tough, but because I like to do silly things & get muddy!

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.”

John Lubbock

 Happy Summer 

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