30 Days Grace: June.

June 2017 came and went. We are now in the early stages of July, and over halfway through the year. How completely ridiculous is that? 

My June was mostly happy – I only went into hospital once, for just a night, I started making plans for the near future not just the end of the year, I had some yummy coffee dates, I spent actual money that I'd legitimately earned several times (this shouldn't be that big a deal, but trust me, it is for a poorly freelancer), and I ended the month in one of my favourite places, with some favourite people. 

My new favourite things this month were...

Vegan cheese on pizzas. For so long I'd been simply (stupidly) ordering pizzas without any cheese – little did I know that so many places now do vegan alternatives and sweet lord, it's a magical realisation. 

Poetry. I read a lot of poetry – between YA novels, of course – this month. The poems and poet's voices followed me around long after I put the books down. The Oxfam Books in Winchester (yes, I'm aware I keep mentioning this shop but I swear, it's amazing) has a gigantic poetry/drama section. 

I also had a poem written for me, by English teacher Joe, Winchester Hat Fair's exquisitely dressed Poet for Hire. I asked him to write something relating to 'home' – being in that little city for a few days and reflecting on my time living there makes me super nostalgic and soppy, y'know – and he did very, very well. 

Benugo coffee. Baby, I missed you. Nothing quite compares to sipping a hot long black on the mezzanine in Waterloo, looking out at the big clock and hearing the automated announcements – seeing people running between platforms while inadvertently eavesdropping on the businessmen having a meeting next to you. 

My polaroid camera. Little sis got me an Instax for my 21st birthday (I think it was?!) in 2014 and I popped it with its film in a drawer, wanting to save it for special occasions...3 years later, I pulled it out and actually used it! I am now slightly obsessed and already planning to take it to future book events and on a couple of my little holidays.
The first polaroid ever taken on my Instax was of me and my gal, Beth. See below...

A favourite person this month was...BETH!
(And I suppose her other half, Tom. He's alright, too – great taste in whisky.)

Beth has always looked after me, to be honest. We met when she trained me up behind the bar of the Everyman cinema where we both worked, and these days I have been seeing her (and crashing on her sofa bed) whenever I go to Winchester for gin and catch ups. We are equally obsessed with books, especially Harry Potter; we're both Ravenclaws, we quote Drag Race whenever possible, and are forever making plans to go places and see things – these places can be awesome European cities, or just Tesco for some biscuits. Beth is also an excellent teacher in a primary school – a teacher I kind of wish I'd had growing up! 

And the exciting news this month was...

- Little sis went away to Oz, all by herself! She's been there for a week now, staying with and seeing our relatives and friends, and she'll be coming home in a fortnight. 

- I am healthy, and more or less back to normal. Shh, don't jinx it...

I bought 12 books. Yeah, I couldn't resist popping into both Waterstones branches in Winchester, plus the city's aforementioned ever-excellent Oxfam Books had a 'one day only' half price sale on modern fiction, so...

I also received a ton of exciting new releases in the post, as usual. I'm psyched to read 'Who Runs the World?' by Virgina Bergin, and 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman. They seem to share a very sexy theme... 
Also a debut that got my interest when it landed on my doormat was 'The Taste of Blue Light' by Lydia Ruffles. She's just been announced as a guest at YALC, too! 

Like many keen readers, I celebrated Independent Bookshop Week at the end of June. Read my post about that right here!

I drank 35 cups of coffee. 
My favourite cuppa took place in Beanzz cafe (quel surprise!) with the little sis on Father's Day – yes, we abandoned Dad on his special day, because we wanted the vegan gluten free chocolate and raspberry/mint cakes. And we'd do it again. 

(We then took mama and papa out for a Father's Day dinner at Half Man! Half Burger! in St Leonards. We were actually 4 very happy veggies in that place!)

I attended 1 bookish event!
A very special and inspiring author panel in Waterstones Tottenham Court Road on the 22nd – oh, but I didn't just attend it. I chaired it. I've already promised a proper post about that event, and it is coming soon, I promise...

June was a month people came together in crisis. The election, the catastrophes, the attacks...these 4 weeks sucked in a lot of ways. But I for one was inspired by the constant outpouring of kind-hearted magic online and IRL. The volunteers bagging up clothes and buying food for the newly homeless; the authors holding charity auctions for signed books, character names and personal edits; the celebrities visiting hospitals; the firefighters sitting down to lunch only briefly, caked in soot; the Labour supporters screaming and hugging each other at Glasto, never losing hope...

I spent the beginning of June recovering from a whole lot of shit, and for the second half of it I was finally able to go out a bit, live somewhat and make plans confidently. I like to think I was helped and encouraged in my recovering by the amazing acts of bravery and good in the face of pure evil all around the country and the world this month. Thanks for June-ing with me, lovely people. 


  1. What a great post Grace, love the fact you count your number of coffees!


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