Everyday life Life

July 2021

First of all, from a personal point of view, July was pretty amazing. I received my results back and I’m delighted. I got more than I hoped for at my IELTS (English language test), even if I didn’t have time to prepare and I already had two more exams that week. I received my results for the Oxford course and I got more than I hoped for. I can’t wait to share the news of what will happen next. I read some pretty amazing books, do check them out, especially the first one if you have a child.

Apples

These two small apples are part of my crop from the garden. We still have plenty of apples in our small tree. We got it last year and I didn’t have high hopes for it as it was small. Love it!

I will continue with a quick chat about sports, as we’ve been watching Euros 2020, the Olympics, and motor-racing this month (not going to say anything about F1 because I am too annoyed). First of all, what a shame about the Euros. I expected Italy to win, until I saw them play with Spain, which was not great and they won on penalties. In the game, I was amazed to see that Chiellini did not receive a red card for his move on Saka, it was appalling. It was particularly puzzling as the Dutch referee must have been aware that a fellow countrymen of his received a red card in the tournament for a handball, which is not exactly as bad.

We all love Olympics and watch it daily. Festus is keen on horses, gymnastics, and anything with fights. I am not as keen on what the commentators say. For example, after an athlete got a bronze medal, the commentator said that they surely wanted gold… and they are wondering why Biles left the competition due to having mental health problems. Just for attending the Olympics all these athletes should be applauded, they are the best in their fields.

2nd jab

I booked my 2nd jab at exactly 8 weeks after the first one, which was really good from my part. Professor Anthony Harnden, from JCVI, said that the studies showed the 8-to-12 week interval is better for triggering a great immune response. The day before my jab, Boris Johnson said the interval between the jabs will come down to 8 weeks as the cases were rising. So, I’ve anticipated incredibly well what the authorities decided. Now I’m fully vaccinated and incredibly happy about it!

covid deaths

The above graphs shows the covid-related deaths at 4 points. It must be worth keeping in mind that different countries count covid deaths differently. By comparing EU countries with UK and US, it is easier to see the impact of the vaccinations. On 8th December UK started the vaccination programme and it was 4th in the list. On 1st January UK was sliding back to the 6th on the list. This was due, in part, to the fact that many of the most vulnerable started to have a bit of immunity at that point. UK kept its 6th place in April before going down to 10th place a couple of days ago. With over 88% of the adult population vaccinated this will only go down. It’s important to get vaccinated, to protect ourselves and each other.
Of course, it is not a competition and it’s unfortunate that people in EU are still dying because of stupid mistakes made by their leaders. UK offered a masterclass in the vaccination rollout, with the decision of delaying the 2nd dose to get more people protected, which actually improved the immune response.

I hope the new decisions will be just as good in the long term. Many EU countries are asking for these covid passports the British newspapers are talking about. In Greece this is needed for indoor restaurants, cafes, bars, and cinemas. Even outdoor clubs and music venues need the passport. Italy, Cyprus, and France has similar requirements. Going back to lockdowns due to outbreaks will not be good for anybody. Australia is now in lockdown with the military drafted in to support the police. Incredibly, they recorded 13 deaths from a total of 2,800 cases… but are not vaccinating because of the risk of dying of blood clots of 1 in half a million. It makes no sense at all. The benefits outweigh any risks.

baklava

I discovered a Turkish place where they sell home-made baklava. They were delicious!

July

1. I got an 8 (out of 9) to the new IELTS test. 2. New EcoEgg order. 3. 4 – 0!!!! England is in the semi-finals after defeating Ukraine. 4. Verstappen won…meaning we had a glass of Prosseco to celebrate. 5. Homemade bread. 6. 2nd Jab! 7. England went to the final. 8. Alpine on tour, in Liverpool city centre. 9. Coffee tasting session at home. 10. Gorgeous mural. 11. Sam Bird won the race. It was amazing. 12. I talk about masks. 13. Festus in the garden, guarding. 14. Japanese lunch. 15. Celebrating the exam results. 16. Our new (used) car. 17. Knowsley Safari park. 18. Butterfly on a woodland walk. 19. My husband working from the garden, with Festus at his feet. The water hose is in constant use for quick showers for Festus and to create a cooling mist on the grass near him. 20. My favourite lily in bloom. 21. Festus, at 11 and 10 months old. 22. Take away from Gannoush. 23. Pizza at Purezza, Manchester. 24. Rashford mural. 25. The vegan kind box. 26. Delicious watermelon. 27. Watching the Olympics. 28. Cocktails. 29. View when I had lunch at the museum. 30. A friendly buddy in the park. Sadly I did not have anything to give him. 31. Books I finished in July.

Books

In July I finished 7 books, most great, one meh (Grimm stories were pretty grim), and one really bad, hence the 1 star. The Apartment by Alexandra Litvina must be the most unusual one, a book for children which is fascinating for adults too. It’s about the story of an apartment in Russia and its history throughout the 20th century. Much of the book is made up with cartoons, but they are interesting and it offers a unique view into the lives of ordinary Russians. It’s great for children and I think it’s also a great book for parents to read with their children and engage with them on different topics, including politics and war.

The history books for adults were really good, I would highly recommend all of them. The last book, Forty Autumns, was so incredibly heart-breaking, but a must read. It is the story of a family divided by the Berlin wall. I reviewed all on the book blog, so check Coffee&Books if you fancy reading more about any of them.

Books I read in July:
The Apartment by Alexandra Litvina – 5 stars
Fighting for the United States, Executed in Britain by Simon Webb – 4.5 stars
Selected Tales by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm – 3 stars
The Forgotten German Genocide by Peter C Brown – 5 stars
Humankind by Rutger Bregman – 1 stars
The History of Sweets by Paul Chrystal – 5 stars
Forty Autumns by Nina Willner – 5 stars

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16 Comment

  1. Congratulations on your test result! I got my second jab last month as well. I’ve caught a little bit of the Olympics but not as much as previous as the kids aren’t interested 🙁 #project365

  2. Congrats on your high tests results! That’s great.
    Your apples look great.
    I watched a bit of Olympics yesterday and it was interesting. It’s a shame I didn’t have time to watch more or to get informed about the athletes. I agree that these Olympics are harder on the athletes for a variety of reasons. Don’t get me started on commentators. The one’s I heard were really bad, it’s better to watch with audio off and just google the athletes. I don’t know where they find them but almost all the commentators I have heard so far, have been clueless about sports and reporting on sports.
    Ivana Split recently posted…BOOK REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION: THE SKY IS RED BY GIUSEPPE BERTOMy Profile

  3. Your July was fabulous, Anca! Three cheers for the good test results and another three cheers on your second vax. I’m relieved for you on that score. Isn’t it a huge relief? I know nothing is foolproof but if it keeps you alive and out of the hospital if you get a breakthrough, that’s so good. Good books, pretty fruit — isn’t it fun to eat something you grew? The first time I ripened a tomato, I set it on the window sill to look at because I couldn’t bear to eat it, I was so impressed I actually grew something! That’s changed now! I hope your August is just as good!

  4. Seems like you’ve had a great July. I am now fully vaccinated also! I’m interested to know what you’re annoyed about in the F1!

    Corinne x

    1. Yay for the jab!
      On F1… well, Hamilton made a risky move and took out Verstappen in the first lap at Silverstone. The problem was that Verstappen suffered a 51g (yes!) impact and was taken to the hospital (specialized in trauma) for scans. Hamilton got a 10sec penalty and ended up finishing in 1st. The celebrations were a bit too much, especially as the guy he hit was in hospital waiting for the results of the scans. But, Mercedes, Hamilton, and the guys from Channel 4 (who are getting all kind of perks from Mercedes) said that is just a racing incident and that Verstappen and Red Bull are exaggerating. On top of that, the cost of repairing the car is about £1.5 million and they also get a penalty if they change some parts (even if they were damaged in a crash not of their doing).
      Yesterday it was another GP, where Hamilton was complaining that another driver did a “dangerous” move… I mean… wtf?! He hit Verstappen at about 180mph! Hence the 51G and trip to hospital for scans. If you haven’t seen the race yesterday… Bottas, driver 2 at Mercedes, managed to take out both Verstappen and Perez from Red Bull and Norris who had more points than him. FIA is a joke these days.

  5. Congrats on your good test results! It’s so good you have been vaccinated too! yes, the police have had to help enforce the lockdown in Sydney but not all of Australia is in lockdown 🙂

    And we would love to get vaccinated! The government said we can’t have the AZ if we are under 40 as the risks are too high compared to our lower risk of getting the virus here. And there won’t be any more pfizer vaccine in the country to vaccinate more than essential health workers under 40 until September. So we would all love to be vaccinated, the government rules and vaccine stuff ups mean we can’t 🙁 So lockdowns will be a way of life for us until then saldy!

    Hope you had a nice weekend 🙂 We had a quiet one at home enjoying the unexpected summer temps during winter!
    Mica recently posted…30 Ways To Wear: Purple Cocoon Cardigan From JeanswestMy Profile

    1. I don’t agree with what the government did. The risk from AZ are much smaller than the virus, they are comparable to being struck by lightning. The best vaccine is the one you have in your arm and Pfizer is not without any risks either. I had to have Pfizer but I would have taken AZ without any doubt, I would have asked for it. I think people should put pressure on Australian media and the government to change the rules and allow everyone to get a jab, it’s the only way out of this situation.
      I hope it will get better soon for all Australians. Sending hugs xx

  6. Your apples look beautiful! It’s always so exciting to eat what you grow yourself.

    I made baklava a few times many years ago and I remember working with the phyllo being a bit tricky.

    Love the collage of photos for this month! I’m not a fan of squirrels, but that sure is a cute picture.
    Kelly recently posted…Caption this #1My Profile

    1. I agree, it’s very exciting to eat what I grown myself. It’s not hard to understand why people were so eager to start farming 10,000 years ago. 🙂
      Baklava is one of the desserts I used to have as a child, made by Turkish cooks and this one was exactly like that. I made baklava at home too, so I know how tricky is phyllo.

  7. Well done on your test, and yay to getting fully jabbed. That baklava looks amazing, I can always taste it. I’ve been watching the Olympics a lot too, although my OH doesn’t enjoy it. Strange!

  8. Very well done on your exam results. That is fantastic! I wonder if you might win a prize? I won a prize at uni for gaining the highest marks for my dissertation so perhaps you might get something like that?
    I’m really enjoying the Olympics too! Loved the swimming and gymnastics and cycling!

    1. No prizes, but my results and what I can do next is prize enough. 🙂 I watched lots of sports, including the less known ones, like BMX, which was amazing.

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