Thursday, 3 September 2015

August Round-Up

August, and the summer, are officially over. This month went by so fast - the nights are getting darker and there's definitely a hint of autumnal crispness in the air. As much as I love the "back to school" feel of September (and that it's my birthday month) I can't help but mourn the end of the summer. It felt too short and too grey - not enough time was spent outside, I didn't stay up to see enough sunrises and most of my summer clothes went sadly untouched. The huge list of things to do that I set myself at the start of the summer? Yeah, most of it didn't get done. But, not to dwell on the negatives - August packed in a lot of happy times and that list can be filed away for summer 2016, in the hope that it comes with a greater slice of sunshine.

1. I started working through Murakami's works earlier this year and the release of Wind/Pinball in an English translation couldn't have come at a better time. If you're not familiar with Murakami's work then I wouldn't necessarily start with these novellas but if you're already a fan then they're an amazing insight into the development of Japan's biggest literary export.

2. Outdoor cinemas are now a quintessential aspect of summer in London. Nottinghill in Kensington Palace Gardens was pretty magical.

3. Collecting the Cancer Research DNA Spirals on runs and walks around the city. They'll be gone on 6th September so I won't have a chance to collect them all but I gave it a go.

4 - 5. A delicious vegan lunch at Inspiral Lounge in Camden - raw sushi and a raw vegan chocolate tart. The food here is so good that even a carnivore would be impressed and a wander around Camden on a sunny afternoon makes me feel 16 again (in a good way).

6. Beach East in the Olympic Park - this day was actually really hot. All of the Summer 2012 memories right here, so much nostalgia for those two weeks when everyone forgot to be rude and anti-social.

7. A good lash day selfie. Currently using L'Oreal Miss Manga Punky mascara which is far better than the ridiculous name implies.

8. A good negroni in Cafe Pistou in Exmouth Market. I love negronis but it's always wise to stop after the second one.

9. Browsing the library at the Barbican centre. It seems so strange in the digital age to think that you can still get physical books for free. I was meant to be looking things up but just ended up reading this Moomin cookbook.

10. Tropical vegan overnight oats - just oats, chia, almond milk, desiccated coconut, goji berries and dried pineapple.

11. The best thing about the summer is eating giant bowls of fresh fruit for dinner on warm evenings.

12. Beas of Bloomsbury for tea on a rainy evening with Cat and Pip. I had the gluten free orange and almond cake and a pot of peppermint tea - that and a good chat was perfect for beating the rainy day blues.

13. Nandos with Sarah after getting blissful pedicures at Cheeky Parlour.

14. Sir Ian McKellan at Manchester Pride. He hugged and high-fived my group at the parade and it was all a bit of a blur and was over so quickly but Gandalf was actually standing right in front me me for all of two seconds.

15. Manchester Pride weekend. So much fun, silliness, 90s pop and gin. I didn't see as much live music this summer as I'd have liked but Alesha Dixon, Atomic Kitten and Dannii Minogue totally made up for that.

16. A retro 1960s plane at Manchester Airport viewing park. What else are you going to do on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday with a two-day hangover?

17. Being a #SantanderCyclist with Fei in Hyde Park. The cycle paths around the park are a great way of seeing London and the bikes are free if you dock them every 30 minutes. I do a lot of spin classes but actual cycling is so much harder!

18. Jamie's Italien for post-cycle cocktails and dinner. I had a lemon and vanilla martini which was a lovely treat after all the cycling and we caught up on all things life and blogging.

Other highlights:

- two of my friends got married in August in Lisbon and London, two beautiful weekends spent celebrating.
- finding the right book for the right moment in life is one of life's greatest pleasures.
- seeing the most talked about play of the summer and not even knowing quite how I felt about it.
- reclaiming my lunch breaks and trying out some of London's best lunchtime offerings.

September will see me turn 28 (I have to repeat that to myself each time I say it - it doesn't seem real that I'm in my late twenties) and jet off on an adventure to South Korea and Japan. I'll actually celebrate my birthday while in Seoul so it's not all bad (it may be foretelling of the future that I've chosen to celebrate at a cat cafe) and I'm super excited to re-visit my Gap Yah home, Osaka, some eight years later. The blog will be taking a break while I'm away but I'll be back in time to celebrate an amazing six years of LilyLipstick in October.

How was August for you?



  1. Ahh so jeal you'll be heading to Japan! I love the cat cafe bday plan - think I'd happily do the same ;) will look forward to seeing the photos!


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