Life Lately: Summer

It is September and this should be an intentions post. I’m not ready for September. Yesterday, was apparently, the last day of summer. I’m not ready for that either. Instead of looking forward, I’m looking back. September can wait. This is life lately, the summer edition.

Hello! Regular readers may have noticed that thing have been a little quiet here. We’ve been in France, it was baking hot which forced everything to a slower pace, speeding up again is proving a struggle. I’ve been completely off-line for 2 weeks, every summer over our holiday I ditch the internet – to a point. It is there if we need it. I’d post to Instagram and check my emails. This trip, I did none of that. My phone became an over qualified and very under-used time piece. The emptiness of no internet access was appealing, more than expected. Weather based on the morning sky rather than an app. Paper maps over that annoying voice on google maps. No time lost of Facebook faffing. Tentatively, I’ve returned to social media. I didn’t miss it and I’m left wondering; does anyone need that quantity of information?

Life Lately - Summer

Two weeks of flip-flops, sunshine, tarte au citron (to die for) and slowed down living. So slow, I only read one book; ‘The God of Small Things’ Arundhati Roy. So beautifully written but the ending disappointed me. I think I wanted more justice and hope. My other summer book was Maggie O’Farrell latest book ‘This must be the place’. I’m a long time fan of Maggie O’Farrell and read all her books. This book, I enjoyed but didn’t love in the way I loved ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ and ‘Instructions for a Heatwave’. The characters didn’t pull me in enough, I found most of them too bite sized, maybe I just needed to get to know them better.

“Every summer has a story” I’m not sure that is an actual quote or just popular words on Pinterest. Summer is for memory making. Much of this summer has been about Bristol, we’ve been here most of the summer, just enjoying things happening locally, various festivals, a wedding, the local park. Barely ventured out of the city until France. For the Bristol Balloon fiesta, at 7 am on a Sunday morning, a 150 balloons rose and trickled across the sky like a string of decorations. Even viewed from a pub car park, it was a beautiful thing.

The wedding involved a new dress and new shoes, which is always a bit of boost. We caught the bus into town, the ceremony was held at the Registry Office in Bristol, a woman at the bus stop complimented my dress, I can’t remember the last time stranger complimented my outfit (Go me!). From the wedding venue, we took a boat up stream to a reception on the river, one of those perfect days, two lovely people making love and happiness and two wedding cakes, one of cheese and one of sponge and fruit. All. The. Love.


This summer has been a success, from a parenting perspective, we are in a place where my boy has friends to spend time with. We’ve not fallen out or spent too much time with each other. It’s tricky moving cities and schools. On the other hand, I need to repair the fails of my parental laziness, late nights have created late mornings and I love quiet morning. I have a few days to amend my son’s body clock to school appropriate timings.

life lately summer

On a mother and son vibe, we found some common ground this summer, it’s not always easy to find things mutual interest with an 8-year-old boy. Much as I try to listen to lengthy Star Wars monologues, I just don’t ‘get it’ with the enthusiasm he does. At the beginning of the summer, I finally, bought a bike. We’ve been pottering about over the summer, my boy and I on our respective bikes, collecting shopping, cycling round the park in the sunshine. Cycling is something we are happy doing together. The timing has turned out to be good, the car failed on the way back from France, thankfully this side of the Channel. Returning to Bristol in a flat-bed truck was fun, I loved all the AA chat “I picked this bloke up the other day..”. A few days later and very broken car, with associated car dilemmas and costs, less so.

France, has spoiled me. I miss the short walk to collect fresh bread and pastries for breakfast every morning. I miss French pastries. Porridge and a banana isn’t cutting it. More on France in a proper post and an intentions for September when I can face September. In the meantime, I’ll leave some images of France.

How was your summer? What did you do? What did you read? Where have you been? Let’s look back to summer and no one mention autumn please.

Life lately summer. Camping in France

life lately summer

life lately summer. France


  1. Molly

    I love this post Gemma – please don’t ditch the internet forever as I’d miss you too much! France is beautiful in the summer. I just wish I was rich enough to own a summer house across the Channel that I could escape to all summer long!

  2. Midlife Singlemum

    Your pictures are so pretty. It makes e wonder if we could create some of that romance and slower living at home – shopping in markets, little and more often, walking more, etc… As for mutual interests, we are both deeply immersed in the world of Harry Potter atm. Both of us absolutely hooked and I’ve read all the before so it’s not even new for me.
    Looking forward to your Sept intentions. xxx

    1. helloitsgemma

      Definitely, would like to try to live slower. I suspect, we are similar, there is never enough time, everything seems to be done at at speed. I love your Harry Potter mutual interest, I’ve never read Harry Potter, my small boy isn’t keen, while I think it would be lovely to read it together.

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