Wrap-ups

July wrap-up // Visiting Agatha Christie’s summer house & surviving the London heatwave

This is going to be a super long post, as so many exciting things happened to me this month, so grab a cup of iced tea or something! With my best friend I flew to England for six days, and it was an experience. I never sat on a plane before, and I was super anxious. I didn’t enjoy flying per se, but I managed it. I’m actually proud of myself, because this was the first time I went abroad without my family, and we navigated quite well. I read five books, the majority at the beginning of the month when I was at the lake cottage for a few days.

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Books
  • Norse Mythology (Neil Gaiman) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🔄 ➽ a reread, I really enjoyed it this time too
  • Anne of the Island (L. M. Montgomery) ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 ➽ this was so much better than the second part
  • XOXO (Axie Oh) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ➽ an easy and enjoyable read
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) ⭐⭐⭐.5 ➽ some short stories were really great, some were mediocre
  • Other Words for Home (Jasmine Warga) ⭐⭐⭐.5 ➽ I didn’t like the free verse format, but otherwise it was an interesting read
Media

What I watched

  • Emma. (2020) 🔄 ➽ my second time watching this, I absolutely adore it
  • Chocolat ➽ a new favourite movie, so so atmospheric
  • From Up on Poppy Hill ➽ I wasn’t blown away by this, to be honest
  • Camp Rock 🔄 ➽ okay but this was so nostalgic, loved it
  • Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam ➽ I actually haven’t seen it back then, and it was quite good
  • Persuasion (2022) ➽ this was so horrible, I am still mad
  • Death on the Nile (2022) ➽ can Kenneth Branagh leave Agatha Christie alone? this was so not it
  • The Carrie Diaries (S1) 🔄 ➽ I watched this one so many years ago, and for some reason, I randomly decided to rewatch it, I still really love it (though I haven’t seen and never will Sex and the City)

What I listened to

  • Conan Gray: Superache ➽ so many good songs, my favourites are Yours and Memories
  • Harry Styles: Harry’s House ➽ absolutely amazing, my favourite songs are As It Was and Keep Driving
  • Enhypen: MANIFESTO: DAY 1TFW is top tier
  • Demi Lovato: SUBSTANCE & SKIN OF MY TEETH ➽ I can’t wait for the new album, this new rock style suits Demi so well, Substance is my new favourite song ever
Life
Baking

So, this month I only baked twice, both of them were oatmeal cookies. I don’t really have a desire to use the oven in this hot weather.

Others

I don’t even know where to start! I don’t want this wrap-up to be novel-lengthy, but I also don’t want to leave out stuff. So, during the first few days of July, I was in that cottage I always talk about (it’s my favourite place), but this time I didn’t fully enjoy myself, to be completely honest. I was lonely and alone, as none of my friends were free to visit. I was also really anxious because of the England trip, and on the first day of July, I read the news that my favourite Hungarian author, Gyula Böszörményi, passed away a few days ago. I was devastated as he was quite young (57 years old), but he suffered from chronic health issues ever since birth. I wish I could have met him while I had the chance. I’m also sorry that my favourite series from him isn’t available in any other language, because I genuinely think it could be a bestseller. They are historical fiction meets crime novel and romance type of books, and they’re set in the 19th and 20th centuries in Hungary. It’s also sad that he never got to finish the last book.

But fast forward to the England trip. This was my first time flying on a plane, and I survived… I mean, I didn’t enjoy the process, but I managed. I particularly hated the take-off and the landing, and whenever we tilted a bit. It was really funny, because I brought gummy bears with me to eat during take-off and landing, to help with aeroplane ear, but I ate all of them when we started climbing because I was just so nervous. 😂 We arrived in London, and then immediately got on a train to Exeter, our first stay.

English countryside (Exeter and Torquay)

We arrived in the afternoon, so we went to our inn, and settled in. After then, we walked a bit in Exeter, went to the Exeter Cathedral (1st picture), and a beautiful park. On Saturday, we travelled to Torquay, which is where Agatha Christie was born (pictures 4, 5 and 6). It was so beautiful, I can’t even describe it. I’m a sucker for any city with water, so this one was a winner for sure. We even dared to put our feet into the really cold English Channel. There were people swimming though, but we weren’t that determined (or crazy? 😂). We walked the Agatha Christie Mile, which consists of thirteen places, like the Imperial Hotel, the Grand Hotel, the pier where she roller-skated, and so on. We visited the Torquay Museum, where there was one area dedicated to her. There were the original furnitures from the Poirot TV show with David Suchet, Miss Marple’s coat, etc. It was amazing. We bought Turkish delight, which was not the best, but it wasn’t that horrible either. On Monday, (for Sunday, see the next pictures set in Greenway) we walked to the Exeter riverside, and ate waffles next to the river, then just wandered around a bit. Afternoon we had to leave for London, so a majority of our time was spent sitting on the train, because instead of two hours, it took the train three to get there, due to the extreme heat. That day, when we got to London, we just immediately went to our accommodation, as we were tired.

Greenway inside and outside

On Sunday, we decided to go to Greenway House, which was Agatha’s summer house from 1938 to her death in 1976. Later, her daughter and her family continued to live there, but now it is a National Trust estate. This day was my favourite, even though I almost gave up finding the house. We travelled to Paignton by train, then switched to bus to a stop called Windy Corner in Brixton. Then started our long walk, longer and more adventurous than we anticipated. First, we walked in a charming little town, then the road became more rural, with a few fences to climb (not illegally, of course, the Greenway route said we had to go there, so we did). Then, we walked next to River Dart (1st picture), which was absolutely beautiful. We had to then climb a hill, and the view was amazing, though it was quite hot at that point. Things started to get a bit interesting from here… So there are signs with the word Greenway on them, showing you where to go, but one of them was really unhelpful, so we walked back and forth, unable to find out how to get farther. Initially, we found the gate, but I was close to giving up, though I didn’t want to believe that we were so close to our destination, yet we couldn’t get in. Thankfully, we found a way in, and continued our walk. Thanks to these detours, we only arrived at the property at noon, which was not ideal, because the place is huge, and several days wouldn’t have been enough, not mere hours. First, we went to see the house (2nd picture). It has two floors, with numerous rooms, and we spent so much time there, as it was chock-full of collected items. Agatha’s family were great collectors, the house is filled with archaeology, silver, china and books. There are fifty volunteers working in this estate, and they were all super helpful. I talked to one of them inside, she said so many interesting things! We saw Agatha’s D. B. E. (4th picture), which is the Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which she received in 1971. There were so many beautiful rooms, like the sitting room (5th picture), or the library (6th picture), full of her novels. Then we went outside, and walked until it was closing time. We saw the Boathouse, which is iconic if you saw Dead Man’s Folly, and The Battery, where you can see River Dart (3rd picture). We did some last-minute book shopping, as there was a second-hand book shop, we both found one title for a pound, and we also asked for a Greenway stamp! My friend also bought a fudge, which was delicious, and I was sad we didn’t purchase more. 😅 We were really lucky, because a volunteer offered to take us to the car park, as that’s a 15-minute long walk, so we saved that time. Then, when we started walking back, we kind of got lost a bit, because we ended up at a train station that’s not in service since the pandemic. We stopped to figure out where to go, when the same person who helped us before stopped, and asked if everything was okay. He was so kind as he offered to take us to the bus stop I mentioned, but it turned out that he lives in Paignton, so he took us to that city. This was so great, as he said many interesting things, and saved us from a lot of walking.

London

Fast forward to Tuesday, aka the hottest day in London, probably ever. It was 40 Celsius degrees, and we were absolutely miserable. We decided to go to Westminster Abbey (1st and 2nd picture) first. It was magnificent, we spent like three or four hours inside. I adore gothic architecture, so seeing it live was fantastic. We saw literary things too, as Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Elizabeth Gaskell are all commemorated in the Poets’ Corner. Then we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is another gorgeous attraction. After that, it was well in the afternoon, still super hot, so we chose the Tower of London. We saw the royal jewels, and an interesting exhibition on royal beasts. After it, we went outside and stood there in awe of Tower Bridge (3rd picture). On Wednesday, the weather was much better, and we decided to visit loads of parks, like Green Park, St. James Park and Hyde Park (4th picture). We also saw Buckingham Palace, and Kensington Palace and Gardens (5th picture). We also went to a Waterstones on Piccadilly Circus, and I obviously had to buy a book. The last day we spent in the British Museum (6th picture). I was very much looking forward to seeing those artefacts from Ancient Egypt and Greece, and they did not disappoint, though it was super warm inside with our masks on, and with so many people there. In the afternoon we left for our plane flight back. It was only 40 minutes late, which is nothing compared to some people’s experiences. It wasn’t better the second time either, but it is what it is… I just prefer to be on the land, thank you very much. The sunset was pretty though.

All in all, it was an experience. We definitely preferred the countryside, London was too big and too dirty for us. I mean, there were huge bags of garbage next to a theatre… And the public transport didn’t always make sense, and it was so expensive! The buildings are beautiful though, I just couldn’t get used to this many people. So it was great for a reality check, too. I of course didn’t think that England was perfect, but it taught me to appreciate my country. I’d go back to the countryside anytime though! Especially Torquay and Greenway. This trip also gave me confidence, as I was the one who did all the translation and talking, and I understood 97% of British English, which is awesome. (The other 3% is when they talked super fast. 😂) We did a great job navigating a foreign country, so I’m proud of ourselves. This trip reminded me how much fun it is to go abroad, as I haven’t been anywhere since 2019. It’s stressful, for sure, but it broadens your horizons, and gives you unforgettable memories.

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How was your July? I hope you had some fun! Did you read or watch anything good?

Morgan
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12 thoughts on “July wrap-up // Visiting Agatha Christie’s summer house & surviving the London heatwave

  1. So happy you enjoyed your trip so much and yay for being the official translator and speaker as well ahah, that’s so good. Nothing like that to give you a boost of confidence 🙂
    I love The Carrie Diaries so much! It’s such a fun show to watch, I’m glad to see someone watching it, too, ahah 🙂
    I hope you’ll have a lovely month ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally agree that Anne of the island was better than Anne of avonlea. Plus, it has Phil, one of my favourite characters in the series!! All those sherlock Holmes short stories are so addictive, there was a time I binge read the whole book.
    I’m glad you enjoyed your trip – all the places you visited look so lovely!
    Hope you have a lovely month ahead 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhhh I loved Demi Lovato’s Substance and Skin of My Teeth as well! I liked their previous releases as well as their new rock style, so I’m definitely excited for the album to come out! I’ve yet to listen to Enhyphen’s new album (or maybe I have and just don’t remember it), though, but I remember liking the title track quite a bit).

    I’m glad you enjoyed your trip! I love the photos taken.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad that you had a good time during your England trip!! Also congrats on flying for the first time! I also tend to hate take-off and landing 🙈 I really want to visit the countryside and Exeter but you also made me miss London a bit, even though it’s always so busy 😄 Glad to see that you liked XOXO, I keep meaning to read it 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

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