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Monthly Review: July 2021

Submitted by Bethany on Sat, 07/31/2021 - 10:00

Author’s Note: I stopped blogging regularly in 2020, but now in 2024, I am using Google Photos and Google Maps timeline to recreate a post about what we were up to each month! 


The Fourth of July fell on a Sunday this year. It was also the last day I was working before taking 3 weeks off! We get 5 weeks of holiday here every year, but since we were in the midst of the pandemic and therefore not travelling and there wasn’t really much to do…I made it to July without taking much time off. So my superintendent told me to take three weeks off in a row - something I have never done from a job, ever! 

It was also the day that Monmouth was holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) after worship. So that morning was my last hurrah of working before taking time off. The church surprised me by celebrating the Fourth of July for/with me. The pulpit was decorated…

The flowers were on theme…

Even the goody bags we gave out had little American flags on them!

After church, Steve came over and then we headed to Tom and Rachel’s to celebrate with a Fourth of July cookout. They had decorated, the food was delicious, and we even set off some fireworks! (Also please note, Tom’s shirt says “Happy Treason Day You Ungrateful Colonials.”) 

The next day we drove about an hour to go see Steve’s latest property purchase. Then I was craving playing a game of mini golf so I googled the nearest one and we set off on an adventure! It turned out to be in a holiday park on the coast and it was dragon themed!


After Joel beat us (per usual) we took a walk down to the water’s edge. It was windy and a bit cold but still beautiful!


On Wednesday we decided to go to the Bristol Zoo! [Author’s note: I’m glad we went when we did because the Zoo ended up closing in the summer of 2022.] I didn’t get a whole lot of good pictures but it was really enjoyable to wander around and visit all of them. It was raining on and off so it wasn’t very busy which was nice! I did get this shot of a rather depressed looking tortoise which is a whole mood.


Then on Thursday, we did something I had been wanting to do for a long time - we went to Barry Island! We first heard about Barry when we watched Gavin & Stacey (a BBC show) when we first visited Wales in the fall of 2018. Despite the name, it is not, in fact, an island. We got to see the house where one of the characters lives in the show. 

Then we went to the beach! There was more mini golf (pirate-themed this time), we rode some carnival rides and the Ferris Wheel and ate ice cream and it was just the best day ever! Also, I beat Joel and mini golf for once! 

After an amazing week, Steve went home and Joel and I slowed down for a bit. I did a lot of reading, we watched plenty of movies, and I went on some bike rides. I also decided that I wanted to use this time to up my sewing skills and learn how to make clothing! I had large ambitions of learning how to make my own dresses, mostly so I could have pockets. After researching it…I downgraded my ambition to learning how to add pockets to existing clothing. I got this skirt all cut up and half a pocket done…and then one day I had to put it away so we could use the dining table and it just…never got pulled out again. Whoops! [Author’s note: that project is now sitting in a storage container in my office, maybe I should pull it out again!] 

On the 15th, Rachel and I decided to have a girl’s day and we headed over to Hay-on-Wye, a town about an hour away that is famous for books! (Thus why Joel was happy to let me go without him, haha.) 

It was an absolutely perfect sunny day and we had a great time having lunch in a cafe, getting ice cream, perusing the bookstores and charity shops, and just generally exploring this adorable little town. My favourite shop was one called “Murder and Mayhem” that only sells mystery novels and thrillers. They had this fun little decoration on the floor. 

We took the long way home so we could stop at Llanthony Priory - a 900 year old ruin! The church was first built in 1108, and lasted until monasteries were disbanded in 1538. After that the place gradually fell into ruin and partially collapsed in the late 18th and early 19th century. These days what is left is being preserved. 

On the 22-23 I attended a retreat with my fellow MOCC ministers at Cliff College. At the time I could only drive on my provisional license if someone else was in the car with me - and you aren’t allowed to drive on motorways! So Brenton rode his motorcycle up from Cornwall to our house, then rode with me up to Cliff - the usually 3.5 hour journey took over 4 hours since we had to take the back road! Thankfully, it was worth it to see everyone in person! Here’s me and Donna and Dawn at the pub garden that evening. 


On the last official day of my holiday, Joel and I went on an epic bike ride to Symonds Yat and then climbed up the mountain to get a good view. Not only was the view gorgeous but there was an ice cream stand at the top! Well worth the hike. We told ourselves we should do it again soon…but I think you know how that story goes. We never did it again, whomp whomp. 


After that, I went back to work for the last week of July and apparently, we did nothing else of note as I have zero pictures. But we sure managed to pack a ton of fun into this month!

XOXO, Bethany