June! A List to Celebrate

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I still remember it.  The feeling of the last day of school.  Three whole months stretching out before me like a yellow brick road, disappearing in the rosy haze of a summer sun.  How much longer those three months seemed back then.  
Now that I’m an adult, well sort of, I can see serious September sitting at the end of the summer pathway.  I know she travels faster than she did when I was small.  She'll be here before I know it.
But still.    There is just something about the closing of those school doors and the first morning in the month of June.  Don’t you feel it, too?  A certain freedom, a collective sigh?  I say goodbye to boots and wiggle my bare toes in hot sand.  My hair goes up and my heart rate goes down.  Food is from the garden and so are the flowers that fill each room - gardenias, hydrangeas and roses.  Even the music that dances through the house changes as I listen to Astrid Gilberto and Erik Satie.  
I still see summer as a holiday and try to celebrate it as such.
Here are ten favourite things for the start of this particular three month holiday.
I hope you enjoy them!
Happy June to you all!

1. Summer Bag
I have tried, I really have, to carry a small handbag.  
There was a certain Calvin Klein clutch that I found especially appealing and almost bought one afternoon at Bloomingdales.  Before I did, however, I took out the absolute essentials from the bag on my arm to see if they would, possibly, fit in this new one.  Well.  Even the saleslady laughed. 
 No, I need a big bag, especially in summer when sunscreen, water and, occasionally, a hat are added to my usual items. 
 I always have a book.  Usually have my knitting. 
 Dog biscuits.  Lipstick.  Writing notebook.  Fan.
No, this is the bag I need.!
I love this one.
In green, please!
Find it HERE.
2. Summer Sandals
Ever girl needs a pair, don’t you think?
No matter how little she is.
Aren’t these baby girl sandals the cutest things ever?
Find them HERE.

3. Summer Sunglasses
Jacqueline Kennedy had the right idea.  
Big sunglasses are fabulous.
I’m never without my huge black pair.
But when I saw these new ones from Liberty, I fell in love.
Find them HERE.

4. Summer Hideaway
When my neighbours decided to renovate their hundred year old home, they gave their imaginative daughter the attic as her bedroom.  Sloped ceilinged and full of delightful little nooks and crannies, it was a child’s dream.  But the piece de resistance was the secret room they installed behind the built-in bookcases.  I would have been over the moon with one of those when I was little. 
 Didn’t we all love hideaways and huts, secret rooms and tents?
  Spaces just big enough for us, spaces to dream our dreams and think our big thoughts, all by ourselves? 
How about this one for your little dreamer?
Isn’t it sublime?
Find it HERE.

5. Summer Houses
Who doesn’t dream of a beach house in summer? 
For myself, it would have to be old, and have to be small. 
 With weathered floors and wide porches - large windows to catch the sea breeze.
  There would be wind chimes hanging from the eaves and exuberant roses climbing up over the roof. 
 Until I find a place just like that, this book satisfies my beach house desires just fine.
It’s lovely.
Find it HERE.

 6. Summer Rugs
Of course on the floor of every beach house, there needs to be the perfect rug.
I am crazy about these.
Handmade, and made to order if you choose, these come in a rainbow of colours.
This beachy grey one is my favourite, though.
Find it HERE.

7.  Summer Music
With the windows open and the house scented with vases of white gardenias, the music just has to compliment the setting.
  Appropriately enough, just in time for summer nights, the wonderful artist Melody Gardot, pictured above,  has just released her latest CD.  
Such a summertime sound. 
 I am also listening to the delightful soundtracks of The Descendants and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
  One takes me to the islands, the other to India.  
All are perfect for summer.
Find Melody Gardot HERE.
The Descendants HERE
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel HERE.

8.  Summer Jubilee
I cannot mention June without bestowing a curtsy on Queen Elizabeth II.
Sixty years on the throne, but a lifetime of dignity and grace. 
 Britain is so fortunate to have her. 
 Truly a remarkable life.
Long may she reign.
How I’d love to be in London this week!
9.  Summer Jubilee Shoes
And if I was in London this week....
I’d be wearing these!
Find Them HERE.

10. Summer Book
Ever since childhood, summer has meant reading for me.  I’d head to our city’s main library, a huge old stone building with dark mahogany floors and long corridors full of magical books, and leave with my arms full.
Not much has changed. 
 I still visit the library in summer and find treasures galore.  
My latest favorite is The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones.
At first bite, The Uninvited Guests is a sweet little bonbon of a book and one that is tailor made for reading outdoors in a garden.  Nibble a bit further, however, and one encounters the spicy taste of mystery and a hint of the macabre.  Set in England during the infant years of the 20th century, not unlike our beloved Downton Abbey, The Uninvited Guests contains characters with perfectly scrumptious names like Emerald and Patience, Clovis and Smudge.  There is a capacious old house full of paisley carpets, unreliable settees and vases upon vases of hyacinths, roses and lilies.  There is a recalcitrant cook.  There is a pony.  And yes, hence the title, there are some decidedly uninvited guests who manage to arrive at a most inopportune time, right before a birthday dinner, and who happen to be much more, and much less, than they seem.  
A delightful book, perfect for summer.
Find it HERE.

Top photo via Pinterest