July, you're in a tricky spot. June was a total washout (both literally and figuratively) and we're all looking to you, like we always do, to bring us relief in the form of summer, better weather, long lazy days away from school and work and obligations, something to lift us. I'm sure everyone in England is feeling pretty low at the moment, and I'm not an exception to that, but with each new month, I feel a sense of optimism at the promise of starting again. Perhaps that's why I love writing these so much - each feels like the pushing open of a window, a fresh set of sheets on the bed, a new page in the diary. Let's make this one good. Please, please, please.

SEE: I’m heading to our local cinema on my birthday next Thursday to go and see Romeo and Juliet live from The Garrick with one of my best friends, and I’m SO excited to see how this production takes shape. It has received really great reviews thus far and, let’s be honest, Robb Stark is more than a good enough reason to spend your evening watching some theatre.

LISTEN: I’m allowed to do a little promotion on behalf of my family, right? My cousin Anne Marie has just released her amazing song, Alarm, and it is a BANGER. I’d love if you’d give it a listen and, if you like it, buy it on iTunes.

GO: SLAY. I’m going to Manchester to see my best friend, see Queen B, and dance my little socks off. July is always the best month for concerts, festivals, and heading out dancing – I already have three nights out planned this month! Go be spontaneous and put on your dancing shoes. 

EAT: Cake cake cake cake cake… Birthday cake is the only acceptable answer for this, the month of my birth. Think I’ll be heading to Barefoot Oxford come next Thursday to pick up a special slice!

DRINK: All the cocktails. I’d particularly like to make this one if the weather decides to do anything nice any time this year? No? No danger of summer? 

WEAR: For all the above dancing and concert-going, I’ll need something a bit special to wear. Alas I don’t have the money for a Self Portrait or Needle and Thread number just yet, but until then, this will do.

READ: I've been loving short-long reads lately, like this article on The New Yorker about whether reading can make you happier. Reading about 'bibliotherapy' and thinking back and reflecting on all the times in life that I've 'self prescribed' or been recommended books for something I'm going through by friends, it's amazing how true this rings for me. I especially loved the quote: 'Reading fiction makes me lose all sense of self, but at the same time makes me feel most uniquely myself. As Woolf, the most fervent of readers, wrote, a book “splits us into two parts as we read,” for “the state of reading consists in the complete elimination of the ego,” while promising “perpetual union” with another mind.'

THINK: #MoreInCommon. There's a lot going on here on my little island, and whilst I'm determined to research what I can do to help and do my part to help shape the future of my landscape politically (before it all goes to hell), I'm also not going to let the tone or undercurrent of some stupid, bigoted minorities (read: not all Leave-voters, but the terrible groups of extremists and racists that now feel vindicated to attack people because of last Friday's result) ruin how I feel about where I live and where I'm going. This is my future and you don't get to fuck around with it.

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