The Italian Gardens

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I repeatedly opened and closed this draft, each time wishing my brain would magically be inspired and I would finally be able to string a few words together. Eventually I realised that I had spent so much time creating content, but what I truly needed was to consume it. Consume books, art, photography, films, articles. I needed to yield all of my attention to something, consume for the pure joy of it, unburdened by any expectations. A lot of the visual art I watch is later shared through reviews, however I am still able to enjoy various works of art with no intention of critically analysing it…it just requires a bit of effort. So that’s what I did.

The pressure to constantly deliver something new can be overwhelming, and eventually we find ourselves giving over and over again, forgetting that we also need to take. We neglectfully deplete our resources and burn out. A healthy balance between the two is required: it’s essential for our creativity to flourish, for our minds to stay healthy and inspired. So, before I delve into the outfit I’m wearing in this post, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been enjoying lately and which have helped refill my inspiration well!

  1. Killing Eve. I amazingly binge-watched a lot of tv whilst I was over in England, and although I’m still on season 1, I must admit I’m enjoying the show. I really enjoyed Fleabag and after hearing that its creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge is helming the new Bond film, I was curious to discover her other works.

  2. Podcasts. I’ve only recently started listening to Podcasts! I usually have interviews or round-tables playing in the background whenever I’m writing, but I was eager to experience something new. A few days ago, Holly introduced me to the DKMH podcast by Stranger Things actor Dacre Montgomery: it’s a compilation of his poetry, beautifully performed with music and I’ve been listening to it almost daily. I’m currently listening to JVN’s Getting Curious and I couldn’t be more excited for season 4 of Queer Eye!

  3. Poetry. I find hand-writing poetry and quotes to be really therapeutic and inspiring. It also helps me expand my writing vocabulary which often feels lackluster and imcomplete, especially since I haven’t spoken or written a lot French recently because of travelling.

  4. Working Out. I decided a long time ago not to share my fitness routine on here or on my social media, simply because I consider doing so a little dangerous and irresponsible, but long story short - I’ve led an active lifestyle since I was 14, it’s an important and essential part of my life and mental wellbeing. Travelling always throws my routine into disarray so now that I’m back home it feels so good to get back into it.

  5. The Fork, The Witch & The Worm. I’m finally reading again. This time, it’s this little novel by Christopher Paolini which follows Eragon’s adventures following the events of the Inheritance Cycle. No, I still haven’t finished Wizard and Glass by Stephen King which I have literally been reading for over a year (insane, I know) but after re-reading and then finishing the Throne Of Glass series by Sarah J Mass at the start of the year, I had a little break from it all. Every now and then you read a book at the perfect time in life, which was the case with Eragon - so being reunited with the characters after so long felt like coming home.

All of the above have benefited me greatly, provoking deep thoughts and questions, expanding my knowledge and encouraging me to learn more. It’s important to retreat every now and then in order to re-evaluate your creativity so you can come back feeling fresh and inspired!

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Now - back to this outfit. Smart casual. Again. It seems to be the underlying theme in all of my outfit posts lately! It looks like I’ve finally found a balance between my personal style and work wear: I would wear these trousers (actually Hollys!) to work but never this frilly sleeved top. Initially I was going to wear some red heel loafers which would have felt more me and feminine, but I haven’t had the chance to break them in yet, and walking around London in them wouldn’t have been the wisest idea!

I mentioned previously how I plan to add more feminine pieces to my wardrobe again, I’ve opted for practicality for so long and now with the current heatwave I’m left with limited wardrobe options! I have a handful of dresses but zero skirts, so I’ve been keeping one eye on Vestiaire Collective for any second hand ones and another eye on & Other Stories.

I spoke about how much my surroundings influence the way I dress in my 6 Years Of Blogging post, and whenever I’m back in London I feel like the worst dressed person on the planet. I’m constantly admiring everyone’s personal style, how they accessorise, and most importantly how they manage to come up with outfits that work with both the heat and the regular light showers. Being there inspires me to be bolder with my style (again - should have worn the red shoes with this outfit), and teaches me a few valuable lessons on dressing for unpredictable weather.

As I type this, the sun is gradually rising and the heat along with it - a rather impressive 35’C this afternoon! Stay hydrated in this hot weather folks. Drink water, wear a hat, and most importantly - check on the elderly and vulnerable who may struggle more than most. Also consider leaving a bowl of water outdoors for our friends the birds, the bees, and that neighbourhood cat who likes to wander through the garden.

Summer x