Here are a few of the things making me happy as we move into August 2020.

Wool sample cards

One of the joys of life is digging out wool samples to see what I might want to knit to go with a new summer skirt. There’s some promising ideas in the Linen-Cotton range, a bit outside my comfort zone, but appealing nevertheless. Of course I’m looking at preparations for next summer rather than things to wear this year.

My reading glasses

Well, perhaps not the glasses themselves, but the fact that after twenty years of wearing glasses for close-up work, I’ve finally succumbed to buying a chain so I can hang them round my neck. I decided to try beaded chains, and of the two I bought this blue and purple one made with tiny seed beads is my favourite.

Scent – Joyce Rose by Oriflame

For the past week I’ve been trying out the sample of this eau de toilette which I received with a recent order of makeup (the eyeshadow palette I bought is looking like it might be a long-term treasure).

They say “With vibrant top notes of uplifting lemon oil, sweetly spiced pink pepper and creamy almond, Joyce Rose opens with a luminous spritz. As the heart emerges, the voluptuous petally nectar of Ylang Ylang Oil of Madagascar, heady jasmine and tuberose conjure an intensely addictive feeling. Warmed with alluring notes of sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla.”

In my personal category system, I place this scent firmly in the ‘nice, suitable to wear around other people’ area, which means it’s inoffensive whilst still being a scent that I enjoy wearing. I would be happy to wear this one to work and that isn’t true of all of the scents I enjoy, indeed it isn’t true of some of my all-time favourites.

I like the sweetness of this scent and the initial citrus notes aren’t as bold as the Jo Malone perfume I bought at the end of last year. This latter, I am finding, is one that I enjoy wearing more in the cold weather when it gives me a jolt of summertime exuberance, rather than in summer when it feels a bit like overkill.

Jasmine Chung Feng Tea by Wilkinsons of Norwich

This is a very tasty Jasmine tea from one of the tea blenders local to me.

They say: A most fantastic aromatic semi-green jasmine. Once the blossoms have released their volatile oils they are removed. The flavour is smooth and velvety. Caresses your tongue!

I find this a good, tasty cup of tea with the jasmine flavour that I’m a big fan of. I don’t like all flavoured teas, but I’ve always been partial to this combination and I tend to reach for it when I want something that doesn’t call for milk. I’ve decanted it into an old Bonne Maman jam jar which is a very good way of storing tea leaves.

Graf von Faber-Castell Electric Pink ink

Of all the fountain pen inks I’ve been using this past month, I think the Electric Pink is my favourite because it’s bold and bright and looks so good beside both blues and browns in my notebooks. I am using it to add my daily horoscope alongside each day’s journal entry and also for highlighting items in my planner.

Monthly planning page

I am not a fan of monthly planner spreads, but I am intrigued by the idea of an inspiration page for the month ahead, so at the end of July I created just that to prepare for August. All I did was print the name of the month and some boxes of different sizes onto a sheet of paper punched to fit my planner, and then decorated it with stickers before writing in a few items to focus my attention on this month.

My guilty pleasure

I try, honestly I do. I’m always careful to give the impression that I live a more spiritual life, that my head is filled with poetry and lovely thoughts. In reality, every Saturday and Sunday lunchtime you can find me eagerly sitting down on the settee ready to tune in to “My 600-pound Life”. Reality TV is the scourge of modern life and I berate myself for being so devoted to this programme, but there it is. I find the psychology of the patients utterly intriguing, particularly the way a lot of them have of insisting that they are doing “everything in my power” to lose weight, whilst the one thing they are not doing is following the diet which they have been given and which is a guaranteed way to lose weight.

And finally

I have a petty niggle, something I’ve noticed twice in the space of a few days and therefore qualifies as a growing trend. That is a tendency for people in the online ‘planner’ world using the word ‘review’ when they mean ‘preview’. They say they are going to review the coming week to identify what needs to be done, but you can’t review a week until it’s finished. I have even seen an online shop selling a monthly review sheet which is clearly meant to be filled out before the months begins. Whilst there are some terms which are jarring to the British eye but perfectly correct in American grammar, this isn’t one of them.  It’s perfectly simple: if you are looking at the week ahead, you are previewing it; if you are looking at the week when it ends, you are reviewing it.

I hope that you are finding some everyday things to bring sunshine into your life at the moment.