After going through a break up and feeling like I’d hit the glass ceiling on my previous role that I’d been in for 3.5 years, I decided to head home to Devon to spend the summer with my family. I hadn’t spent longer than two weeks living with them since 2012 so it was really lovely to be able to spend just over two and a half months at home before heading back to city life in London.
Here are 31 big and small moments that defined my summer at home at 31:
1. I was able to celebrate my mum’s birthday with her for the first time in 3 years and we went on 3 family day trips, exploring new places like Salcombe, Kingsbridge, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Lyme Regis, Seaton and Sidmouth. We tried a new dim sum place in Gloucester that my parents had discovered on YouTube which was pretty good! I also stumbled across a new favourite book in Sidmouth’s British Heart Foundation: Sunset by Jessie Cave
2. We also visited Dartmouth, which I don’t think I’ve visited in over a decade, and it holds so many fond memories for me like going to Dartmouth Music Festivals with school-friends and taking silly group photos that still make me laugh. My family and I had a delicious takeaway from Rockfish and ate it by the harbour and I bought two books from a charity shop that I’d been wanting to read for £3!
3. Heading to The Mayflower in Bristol again for our family’s favourite Chinese food in the UK, as well as a seafood feast on mum’s actual birthday but it sadly wasn’t as fresh/tasty as we’d hoped!
4. My mum kept loads of my old clothes which are now trendy and Y2K friendly so sold lots on Vinted which was a nice little bit of income while unemployed. It also kept me busy and fit walking to and from the local petrol station where the InPost lockers are.
5. I also helped my mum to sell some of her old clothes on Vinted and made £50!
6. Saz introduced me to Meadfoot beach and I swam in the sea in the UK for the first (and 20th) time – I basically lived at Meadfoot on hot days and loved it!
7. Trying the Marshfield Farm ice cream at Meadfoot and they were surprisingly good! Love the mint choc chip and the blackcurrant in clotted cream flavours.
8. Some of my friends had bought homes in Devon last year and I finally got to visit and they’re gorgeous (both my friends and their homes, ofc)!
9. Til and Fred introduced me to Clamato for virgin mary’s and it’s so delicious that I bought 6 bottles in the sale at Sainsburys
10. I hadn’t seen Linda for years (apart from a day in April earlier this year) and she had given birth to gorgeous Amelia just before I headed back home so I’ve been so grateful to have been able to spend time with them every two weeks since she’s been born. It’s so wonderful to spend time with a friend who remembers things about you that even you don’t remember – she remembers what I tried to order and actually ordered at a dinner back in 2015?!
11. Lone days walking to and from Torquay – checking out the charity shops, walking along the beach and eating delicious fish and chips by the sea
12. Brixham with Til and Freya and the (very belated) discovery of Shoalstone Seawater Pool
13. Enjoying a delicious warm scone in Cockington with the girls
14. Catching up with Leo who I hadn’t seen since pre-covid!
15. Celebrating Father’s Day with my dad for the first time in 3 years
16. Spending time with my parents on my dad’s days off checking out charity shops in different areas e.g. Plymouth, Teignmouth, Dawlish, Newton Abbot, Exeter and Exmouth (my fave)
17. Eating hot fish buns with my parents by the sea in Exmouth
18. Having the time and energy to read and I managed to read 20 books over the summer
19. Learning from an Open University Online Course for Digital Marketing Content Creation
20. Two lovely day trips to Bristol: one to celebrate Sarah’s birthday and another to catch up with Tina. I had so much fun exploring parts of Bristol that I’d never visited before!
21. A gorgeous day at the Ness Cove beach with Til, Fred and Freya
22. Going to the cinema with my family – the first time since maybe the first Harry Potter film came out?! This time, we went to watch Elvis and it was good but far too long IMO.
23. Celebrating Jess at Arran’s wedding in the Cotswolds!
24. Video calls with friends for catch ups and interview help
25. 3 virtual job interviews and one success (I’ve now left the role after 4 weeks as it wasn’t quite right for me but I’m glad that I gave it a go)
26. Celebrating Nath’s 27th birthday and taking my family out for the best crab sandwiches at Serious Shrimp in Brixham
27. Visiting Barnstaple and Woolacombe Beach for the first time
28. Introducing my family to Lidl’s hot wings and they enjoyed them so much that they bought 12 packs
29. Learning how to devein a shell-on prawn
30. Cooking 2 meals for my family. My mum has always loved cooking but it was nice to be able to cook something so she could have a rest. I made us a fried udon with mixed veg and bacon and my fave Miguel Barclay recipe of roast chicken, potatoes, garlic and kale with gravy.
31. Enjoying all of my mum’s delicious home-cooking!