The ferry ride to Manly, my first swim of the summer, beaches covered in bluebottles, the sun, the sun, the sun.
Yoga’s over. Well, all the smugness anyway. Racing to turn up to class on time, having to dress right and stretch right, your teacher’s ‘corrections’ subtly saying “You’re not good enough.” If you’ve found a yoga studio that makes you feel more good than it does bad, you’re much luckier than I am. Me? I don’t want to be alone in a sea of craning, striving strangers, wondering if my thoughts are yogic enough. No thanks! When I exercise, I want to feel on top of the world.
This summer, I found the physical and spiritual bliss I was looking for. And it cost less than Â£8. Basketball!
Alone, basketball is the best meditation. You don’t have to be good at shooting hoops for the process to be smooth and rhythmic, engrossing but still mechanical enough to let thoughts sneak around the edges of your consciousness. If you’re trying to solve a problem, leave your laptop behind; twenty minutes of solo basketball is all you need.
You know how you almost always have a better conversation with someone when you’re walking than you do face-to-face? (It’s why you’re supposed to sit at the bar on first dates instead of opposite each other.) Something about not having to maintain constant eye contact loosens you up; you can riff and free-associate and take conversational risks. Playing some lazy basketball one-on-one I’ve had some of the best and deepest talks I’ve ever had.
And friends, of course – basketball is made for friends. You don’t even have to have teams, and the fewer rules the better. BYO energy drinks.
Of course all that leaping and shooting is great for you, and it’s the best cure I’ve found for Mac back – you know, that horrible scrunched spine that’s a result of endless, hunch-over writing and internetting.
And the outfits! Check out Anabela from fieldguided’s custom kicks. (Vic – your friend and mine, and no slouch when it comes to b-ball – wears classic Chuck Taylors. I favour Ethletic low tops, basically Cons but FairTrade and with arch support.)
Ultimately though, the coolest thing about basketball is that it’s a sport for unapologetic alpha females.
Remember ‘If you let me play,’ that amazing Nike commercial from the 90s? Confident girls of all ages arguing in favour of playing sports.
I like to think of these girls when I unchain myself from the freelancer’s desk and head down to my local court.
Like a cocky strut or proudly prominent tattoo, there’s something about bouncing a basketball down the road that draws attention to you for the right reasons. You can’t shoot hoops without feeling happy and strong.
A woman playing basketball is a woman being a boss.
Don’t believe me? Watch Sigourney Weaver nail this shot behind her back.
Somehow on my trip home to New Zealand a few years ago I seem to have captured everything the summers of my childhood were full of. Pony Club, lake trips, fresh food and waterbombs.
Today’s guest post comes fromÂ even*cleveland, the blog that containsÂ the most beautifully curated collection of everything that’s wonderful in the whole world.Â
Summer is the season of reading. All seasons have their bookish pleasures, but something special clings to summer, an addictive combination of obligation (the psychic residue of long-ago school assignments) and freedom (longer days that make it easier to believe that we get extra hours, not to mention the glittering promise of vacation). Each June, I like to imagine I have oceans and acres of time ahead, and I make impossible lists cataloguing all the books and magazines I plan to read and reread.
Supposing I could spend the summer sacked out in a hammock or propped in a beach chair in the protective shade of an umbrella with nothing to do but eat, read, swim and sleep (heaven), here’s (part of) my dream reading list:
Back issues ofÂ Lapham’s Quarterly
Sylvia Townsend Warner:Â Kingdoms of Elfin
Bernd Brunner:Â Moon: A Brief History
Richard Hamblyn:Â The Invention of Clouds
H.D.:Â Helen in Egypt
Pages From the Goncourt Journals
Peter Nichols:Â A Voyage for Madmen
Robert Graves:Â The White Goddess
I could go on, but I’ll stop before it gets utterly ridiculous. Happy summer reading.
[photo by John Loengard for LIFE]
Kate Miss is totally babin’.
Hey guys, Kate from For Me, For You here. While I’m already a constant music mix maker, there’s something about summer that makes me feel like it is absolutely essential to make a summer-themed mix. My usual M.O. is to create an all purpose summer mix with newer dance-y jams and summer anthems, but I decided to give this mix a specific purpose and mood. Describing songs or a genre of music is not my strong suit, and this mix definitely has a certain feel to it that’s hard to put into musical terms, so let me set the scene for you: My only summer trip is in a few weeks- a train trip from Los Angeles to Seattle, The Coast Starlight (doesn’t that sound magical? It might end up being terrible, but the name is such a winner). Thirty-six hours of coastal beauty and head-against-the-window deep thoughts. So this mix is for summer on the road – be it a train or a car. Picture driving long distances while watching the land around you slowly change, the ocean appearing and disappearing behind the trees – or – with the car windows down, your hand outstretched, catching the wind. Happy travels, friends.
1. Say I Wanna Know – Nick Waterhouse
2. Emmylou – First Aid Kit
3. Hypnotized – Fleetwood Mac
4. Other People – Beach House
5. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse
6. Mg 333 – Richard Swift
7. Jolene – Dolly Parton
8. Burning – The Whitest Boy Alive
9. Place To Belong – Little Dragon
10. Chinatown – Wild Nothing
11. Phosphene Dream – The Black Angels
12. Movin Down The Line – Raphael Saadiq
13. Sydney Wayser – Dirty Work
14. Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind? – Tame Impala
15. Nothing is the News – Damien Jurado
16. Gold Teeth – Little Wings
Jennifer takes beautiful photos full of light. She lives in California and blogs here.
Summer is upon us. I can hardly comprehend that June is here, but I’m ready for the warmth these summer months bring. I’m ready for more fresh air, ready for more vitamin d, and ready for them carefree days! These things await me. What about you?
Today, I’m honoured to bring you a post from extraordinary internet user and all-round good guy, Mallory.Â
I have a rather strong affinity forÂ The Talented Mr. Ripley:Â it was the first “grown-up” movie I ever saw in the theater. I went with my friend and her mother when I was in 7th grade and thought I was sophisticated.
My fondness for the movie grew stronger once read Patricia Highsmith’s books. It grew even stronger when I became semi-obsessed with Philip Seymour Hoffman as an actor. And it grew stronger stillÂ when I started getting really into the costume and production design aspects of film: that’s one of the reasons why I decided on screencaps from the movie for my summery guest post for Vic – I’d love to zap myself into the film and the Italian seaside during the 1950s. Of course, I’d totally look like Tom Ripley with my pale, pale skin (actually – evenÂ more-so:Â he’s not even that pale)… but it’d be glorious. Once summer ends, the movie getsÂ PRETTYÂ damn murder-y, so I’d zap myself back out. But for awhile it’d be enchanting.
Today’s summer music mix comes from the supremely talentedÂ Debbie Carlos.
Hi, Debbie Carlos here. I’m delighted to be filling in for Victoria today while sheâ€™s away!
I live in Chicago and during this time of year, we are still in transition from spring to summer. It is usually still quite temperate but this year we are experiencing highs in the upper 90 degrees fahrenheit (about 30+ C). Its definitely been a crazy year weather-wise. So instead of looking forward to the dog days of summer, its already here.
To me, summer means ice cream (lots of it), friends, smiles, hazy childhood memories, nature walks, city walks, bike rides, road trips, being lazy and good feelings. The season also means it’s time for me to put together my annual summer mix and Iâ€™m so happy to be able to present it to you on Victoriaâ€™s blog! I hope that you take it with you on all your summery adventures. Enjoy.
FilFla – Morse Mall
Sooner – Sparkling Swallow
Rustie – All Nite
JJ – No One Can Touch Us Tonight
Ford & Lopatin – Surrender
Serph – March
Epic 45 – Stars in Spring
Clams Casino – The World Needs Change [Soulja Boy]
Laurel Halo – Embassy
Tyme x Tujiko – Akete, Akete
Star Slinger – How Will I Copulate (Moranis Mashup featuring Whitney Houston)
I’m going to New York today. I’ll hopefully post some photos while I’m away but if I don’t make it on here, I’ll be on Instagram and maybe on Twitter (@victorialhannan for both). After New York, I’ll be working in France and have a new project you’ll be able to follow throughout the Lions Festival. I’ll tell you about it when it’s ready.
I’ve asked some of my favourite ladies on the internet to guest post for me while I’m away. There are music mixes, movie stills and some pretty summery photos on their way over the next month. I hope you like them. See you soon.
Say hello: victoria . hannan @ gmail.com
Creative portfolio: victoriahannan.com
The picture of the queen at the top of this blog was drawn for me by Irana Douer.
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