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Peonies, Podcasts and 24 Hours Away {June’s Little Loves}

pink peonies

What can I say about June? It has honestly flown by; probably one of the reasons why this is so late! June has always been one of my favourite months – sunshine, ice creams, barbecues, flip flops, what’s not to like? I’m a little bit sad that I have no real recollection of anything that’s gone on this year but some difficult family stuff has pretty much saturated life lately.

I do know one thing: there’s been a distinct lack of sunshine and far too much rain! Probably a good time to introduce my Little Loves for June…

Read in June

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated is a memoir written by Tara Westover, a lady now in her thirties, who was brought up in a strict Mormon home. A home where education wasn’t believed in and any form of medical care was seen as a work of the devil.

In her late teens/early twenties (she actually had no idea of her real birth date), Tara Westover managed to get a scholarship to college and later went on to gain a PHD at Harvard University. This is a remarkable story of someone overcoming adversity and learning to adapt to a totally alien world.

I finished this book on the last day of June and can highly recommend it.

Heard in June

This has been my favourite tune this month!

I’ve continued my obsession with Podcasts and have discovered a couple of new ones after a shout out on Instagram stories. I have become particularly fond of Walking the Dog with Emily Dean who each week takes a special guest along for a dog walk. They talk about ‘the weird, the wonderful, the funny and the extraordinary’ and we get to ear wig on that conversation. The episode I listened to last week was with Simon Thomas – a powerful story of grief, faith and everything in between.

Many of you will know that I’m a christian and often find inspiration from tuning into other church’s podcasts. I’ve listened to a number of incredible preaches courtesy of Elevevation church in the US but The Hope Cycle by Holly Furtick, really struck a chord with me. If you’re stuck in what feels like a bit of a hopeless situation, I can highly recommend Holly’s wise advice.

Watched in June

Confession time: I am once again hooked on Love Island. I started watching it last year, under the guise of supervising my teenage daughters but before long, I was finding myself looking forward to it every evening. I know that lots of people think it’s sending out negative messages to young impressionable teenagers but it’s also a great conversation starter. You might even find that your teenagers are far more level-headed than you think they are!

Long Lost Family has always been a firm favourite of mine so I was glad to see it back for another season. The usual uplifting and sometimes heartbreaking tales of people searching for their roots and finding loved ones who they thought they might never see again. Loving it.

Big Little Lies

Photograph courtesy of The New Republic

Have you been watching season 2 of Big Little Lies? After the first gripping series, I honestly couldn’t see how they could make another season of this programme but it’s proving to be just as good so far. Meryl Streep is simply brilliant as Celeste’s creepy mother-in-law! If you didn’t watch season 1 then make sure you watch that first because you definitely need to know the back story.

Wore in June

At the beginning of June I had my winter coat back on!

Then towards the end, the sun made an appearance and I even got the legs out (with the help of some fake tan, obviously). I bought this khaki utility skirt from New Look a few weeks ago and I am loving it. It’s a flattering length and the little belt is a cute addition that cinches in the waist – us over 40s need all the help we can get!

New Look Khaki utility skirt

Made in June

So what have I made in June? Not a lot to be quite honest with you. I realised today that I used to enjoy baking cakes and making puddings but have completely dumped that particular hobby in recent years. I might well consider resurrecting it in the coming months (this dessert is definitely on the list) so watch this space!

We did *make* a trip to Shaftesbury, just the two of us. If you’re looking for a small, cosy retreat then I can highly recommend The Grosvenor Arms. The bar and restaurant downstairs were amazing and our room (one of 16) was sumptuous and lovely – perfect for a 24 hour break away from it all.

Grovesnor Arms Hotel Suite

Grosvenor Arms Hotel Shaftesbury

A few months ago, I decided to try to make better use of our National Trust passes so on the way home we made a detour to Stourhead. It was a stunning day and although busy, it really was worth the trip. Have you been?

Stourhead National Trust

And Lastly…

I am continuing to live one day at a time right now which means that my blog isn’t being updated as often as I would like and I’ve had to scale back some of my commitments. I’ve been making sure that I look after myself though and getting out and about with the dogs has been a real pleasure this month (when wellies weren’t required!).

Dog at Simon's Wood Finchampstead

Reflecting on the highlights in my month is always a great way to stay positive. What were some of your Little Loves in June?

As always, thanks for reading.

Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • Sorry to hear that life is still tough for you all, but good to hear that you’ve found a bit of time to relax and enjoy yourself too. Your 24 hours away sounds lovely. Here’s hoping the rain is gone for good now!

  • Anna-Marie

    Oh how amazing does your 24 hours away sound!? I am loving season 2 of Big Little Lies, Meryl Streep is just brilliant! Totally hooked on Love Island too! Hope you have a wonderful July, thank you for linking up to Little Loves xx

    • Suzanne W

      Meryl Streep totally made this series, I think. Going to miss out now 🙁

  • Becs Addis

    Oh that’s great you found Emily Dean – just finished the Rev Richard Coles one – so funny but really interesting. Go back and listen to the old ones – Greg Davies a particular favourite. xx

    • Suzanne W

      Yes, wasn’t that episode brilliant? I’ll go back to some of the old ones. This podcast has become one of my favourites 🙂

  • Kerri-Ann

    Your 24 hours away sounds perfect. Love the sound of the dog walking podcast. I love the write my weekly ‘what I have been’ posts as its a lovely reminder of some of the little things that make me smile amongst the stress and tough days. Enjoy July

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