Suffolk, UK

My May Scrapbook: Sunshine, Sweating and Suspenseful Reads

Yet another month in lockdown has been and gone. Time seems to be acting very strangely at the moment. On the one hand it only seems like I've been back living at home for about five minutes but on the other, it feels like I've been here forever! These scrapbook posts (which I've been writing since February) have been brilliant to look back on and use to tell the months apart. On the whole, May was a really positive month, with my 25th birthday to celebrate and glorious sunshine to keep spirits high. I have also been really pleased with what I've achieved in terms of fitness and keeping up with my GoodReads challenge too. Shall we delve a little bit deeper into the things that made my month?


Witness the Fitness

Earlier in May I shared a post about how I was using lockdown to improve my health and my commitment to this hasn't wavered as the month has gone on. I've really enjoyed getting a sweat on and improving my fitness. To make sure I'm getting a good full-body workout at home, I purchased a weighted hula hoop from Amazon. My friend (and hula hooping pro!) Vee gave me some suggestions for the perfect hoop size to get me started and I was away! I've found some great hula hoop workouts on YouTube to follow which have helped me get into it. I also started joining in with Lauren Hollie Fitness's live Pilates classes on Instagram and loving them! Lauren is such a genuine person and a great instructor - you should definitely follow her and check out her IGTV.

Walking Children (... or dogs) in Nature

May certainly treated us to some absolutely incredible weather! According to the Met Office, Spring 2020 as a whole recorded a whopping 696 hours of sunshine, surpassing the previous record by over 100 hours! Sunbathing out in the garden was something that I thoroughly enjoyed this month but heading a little further afield and using our allocated exercise time to walk our Jack Russell terriers was also a major highlight. Around our house there is a 3 mile loop of pretty much deserted country lanes which the dogs love to explore. I've been tracking all of my walks using a fitness app called Strava which I really like - you can add photos to remember your walks by and see stats like your distance, elevation gain and calories burned too!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Another major event of May was my birthday! Regular readers of my blog will know that I shared a post focused on my lockdown birthday at the start of the month but as it was such a happy day, I wanted to talk about it again here. You only turn 25 once, right?! I was thoroughly spoiled with some gorgeous cards, prezzies, and flowers and I made some lovely memories with my Mum and sister during our at-home afternoon tea. The amount of Prosecco fuelling the day helped too! A huge thank you goes out to my lovely blogging friends who sent me their love from afar as well.

Abbey's Library

I was really pleased with how many books I managed to get through in May! I've been enjoying my usual fantasy reads such as Alice Hoffman's The Rules of Magic and delving into some non-fiction with Reboot Your Health. But the biggest motivating factor in my reading success was the brand new Beth's Book Club membership which launched in May. The Book Club is a virtual affair run by blogger extraordinaire Beth Sandland and my wonderful friend Hels from The Hels Project. Every month there are two books to read with chats on the exclusive FaceBook group to discuss each one. The Book Club member's area on Beth's blog gives you access to loads of other bookish goodies like a book swap scheme, discount codes, and other virtual events. You can join for £5.99 a month and I'd highly recommend it!

I See You, a suspenseful thriller by Clare Mackintosh, and Candice Carty-Williams' Queenie were May's Book Club picks. I See You was slow to start but it was full of twists and turns by the end. The story followed Zoe, a regular Mum of two working a job that she hates who is shocked one day to find her photograph in a creepy newspaper advertisement for a dating site. But who put it there and how were the ads linked to a string of murders and assaults?! You'll have to read the book to find out! There were several points throughout the book where I thought I'd guessed who dunnit but I was surprised every time! 

As for Queenie, this was a very important read. The protagonist was a 25-year-old Jamaican/British woman navigating not only a bad breakup, trauma from her past, and mental health struggles but also casual racism, a workplace who throw "aLl LiVeS mAtTeR" in her face, and fetishisation due to the colour of her skin. The book showed just how much unjust prejudice black women face on a daily basis and is definitely an educational novel for white readers. I would definitely recommend the book and only knocked it down to three stars because some of the plot points (such as when Queenie sought out ex boyfriend and discovered him with a new partner) were a bit predictable. 

How was the month of May for you? Let me know in the comments.