Everyday life Life

July 2020

I can characterize this month by a single word: gardening! We were very busy with the garden and, somehow unfortunately for our neighbours, we’ve involved them too. We’ve started with the back of the garden and went on to one side, this meant we had to change one of the concrete posts, that was cracked. My husband made a contraption to hold it in place, which was safe, but it looked bad. The neighbour was very happy to give a hand and the post was changed in a weekend. On the other side, we had to change 7 posts! It was hard work, but the neighbour was very accommodating and worked very hard. In two weekends all posts were changed, despite some rain and difficulty in sourcing the posts. I can’t emphasize enough how happy I am with the neighbours, so willing to work hard, and both wanted to cover half of the costs of the materials too.


I’m so happy with the flowers and my fig tree. The garden is 99% done, we only need to buy one more tree in the weekend and that is it! I will make some posts about my garden, the conservatory, and the living room after that.

Charity donation

We’ve panelled the fence and now looks amazing, but it left us with lots of big panels, not big enough for us, but perfect for a small charity we’ve been to before. We’ve donated all the extra wood to Wild Wings (see my post from a visit there). They can make shelters for the birds from it.

So, if you are doing a bit of DIY and you have anything left, consider donating to a nearby charity or sanctuary. Even paint can be used to freshen up a display or a cage. It also means that is less waste, as all the wood/paint is used and nothing is thrown away.


Festus is happy with the new garden, but he is not as impressed with the new water hose, the carrots did help though.


1. Monkey selfie. 2. Flower from the newly installed raised bed in my garden. 3. I made a small donation so this cute guy and his brother could be saved from slaughter and live the rest of their lives in a sanctuary. 4. Soup. 5. Visit to Cat Cafe. 6. Fence & post painting. 7. I’m loving the raised bed. 8. Festus, napping in the bedroom. 9. A surprise flower bouquet received in the post, a week on it still looked pretty good. 10. TBR. 11. Garden – before. 12. Garden – after (still work in progress at that time). 13. Charity donation. 14. Chocolate cake. 15. Elizabeth Celebration in Photographs by Jennie Bond. 16. Mid-way through the garden&conservatory renovation. 17. The pigeons are getting used to the new fence, which was not easy for them. 18. I started A Dark History of Tea. 19. Festus, after a shower in the garden. 20. Chatting about books with a colleague. 21. Bloggers Art Gallery. 22. DIY continues. 23. I got a fig tree for my garden. 24. Book, a gift from my husband. 25. Booked at Veggie Republic. 26. Lions at Knowsley Safari Park. 27. Magpie visit. 28. More plant searching. 29. Dinner outside, in the garden. 30. Festus, after a nap in the bedroom, this time while we were out. 31. Books I’ve read this month.


This month I was very busy reading too, as I finished 14 books! As usual, you can see the reviews on Coffee&Books and all are up with the exception of the last book. I had a DNF too, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri. Her style was not to my liking and as it was a fiction book, I could easily put it down with no regrets. I also had a book with 2.5 stars, very disappointing, but the rest were really good.

I’ve read 3 books in the 30 Second series and, as expected, all were very good, hence all received 5 stars. I can’t recommend this series enough, all books I’ve read so far are lovely.
Similarly, the Little book in the Orange Hippo series are equally lovely. I’ve read a total of 4 and enjoyed all. These two series make for great gifts too, so keep them in mind for the winter season, especially if you are doing a Secret Santa.

As one can expect, the other books were mainly history, and a good mix of military history with other topics, like the NHS, who recently turned 72, and a history of tea. As you can see, the ratings are 4 and 5 stars, so well worth reading.

Books I read in July:
30 Second Wine by Gerard Basset – 5 stars
The NHS at 70 by Ellen Welch – 5 stars
30 Second Literature by Ella Berthoud – 5 stars
Elizabeth: Celebration in Photographs by Jennie Bond – 5 stars
Seduction by Amanda Quick – 5 stars
Nuts and Seeds by Patsy Westcott – 5 stars
The Little Book of Weed – 4 stars
Rendezvous by Amanda Quick – 5 stars
30 Seconds Climate by Joanna D Haigh – 5 stars
The Dark History of Tea by Seren Charrington-Hollins – 5 stars
Little Book of US Presidents – 5 stars
The Battle of the Atlantic by Bernard Ireland – 4 stars
WW2 From Above by Julian Thompson – 5 stars
Flight Risk by Stephanie Green – 2.5 stars

7 Comment

  1. You’re very lucky to have neighbours who are willing to chip in and work together. Your dahlia looks gorgeous. How kind of you to donate the surplus panelling to a charity! Festus doesn’t look very happy in that photo, poor chap. You’ve read a lot! I definitely want to read the book on tea.

  2. I love how you wrap up your month. Here in the US we take things like paint and wood to Habitat for Humanity. They have a resale shop that is more than just funiture but also other supplies.

    What wonderful books you’re reading this summer!

    1. That is great. We don’t have anything like that in UK. The charity shops accept clothes, books, things like that, but not paint, which is a shame.

  3. How lovely that you have such accomodating neighbours who were willing to help with the garden works. Thank you for reading recommendations.
    14 books in one month is really impressive! Great idea for donating materials used for DIY. Any initiative that results in less waste is good.

    1. I know, we were very lucky with our neighbours. Some consider one side of the garden their responsibility and so on, but both neighbours were willing to share both the work and the costs, and they asked about the costs of the materials.
      Thank you. x

  4. Festus looks a wee bit forlorn in that photo. I want to give him a big hug, even if he is wet.

    I’m sorry the Lefteri book wasn’t to your liking. I had to get into it, but was pleased with it in the long run. I know it was a DNF for one of my book club friends, as well. You certainly read some other interesting books, though. I love the looks of that Orange Hippo series.

    1. We were having fun in the garden and… without any warning, we got a new hose out… what can a dog do in this situation? Especially with carrots involved… it is a hard choice. :))

      Maybe I would have thought differently after 50 pages, but I was not willing to “risk” it, when I have so many books on my to-read list.

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