Could it be that I’m back posting more regularly? Maybe, just maybe.
Last year as for many was a little crazy and disoriented. I don’t even know where last year went. I still took as many if not more photos than usual. Especially of my summer world, under the sea.
While warm springs and hot summers have my heart, cool autumns and what currently feels like summer Artic for winter (it’s super cold this year) hold it for light. The sun’s lower giving warm crisp yet bright cool hazy almost golden hour light all day. Or when it’s sunny. Last autumn was cloudy sunny than bright sunny. Zoo hours have changed, closing an hour earlier than previous years. It’s a little more tricky to make it and when I do, if it’s sunny I get amazing light! Some days the light’s so pretty I don’t to leave. If I find warm sunny sheltered spot with birds and few humans I almost want to freeze time to enjoy it longer. I don’t want to face what’s outside the gates when I leave. Everything feels just right at that moment.
I went to see my Mum and Dad in November. The UK felt a month ahead being further north with morning light. Warm morning golds which are like January mornings here in Spain. Yes, the sun does shine in the UK.
As usual I have a few requirements when it comes to beauty products: cruelty free, natural, clean, vegan better. I do my best to avoid nasty ingredients such as SLSs, parabens, PEGs, silicones, etc. Petrochemicals are the sneakiest with so many derivatives and aliases. I also avoid palm oil and it’s derivatives as I prefer orangutans. Coconut oil marketed as the good oil I’m also cutting down on as it can be just a damaging crop as palm oil. If I do get products containing palm or coconut oil I try to get organic or sustainably sourced. With make up it’s a little harder so I go for cruelty free brands. I prefer products with less plastic and thankfully more brands are aware consumers don’t want unnecessary plastic (or governments are telling them less plastic). My skin type’s oily sensitive, acne prone and now wrinkles. I know nothing stops those lines, but if I can delay them then….
A milky-textured ampoule containing Geoje Island’s* organic Yuja is know to be richer in vitamin C than other citrus fruits. a synergy recipe of orange Yuja Water, Yuja Essential Oil, and brightening ingredient Aplha-bisbolol, the ampule gives vitality, brightening and elasticity. Fully energise dull skin and experience the fresh scent of Yuja.
For a few years I’ve been using Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum and I didn’t think I would switch to another vitamin C serum. It probably isn’t necessary to use one, but this girl likes to have a little glow and smooth skin. I prefer to spend money on skincare than makeup so I’m willing to spend a little more as eating healthy only goes so far. Sometimes your skin needs a little extra help dealing with daily pollution, lights, blue light, easing the appearance of lines which is where vitamin C comes in. More info here.
I think you know when you’re considering switching products when you start to question a current product or look at others. I was getting little tired of Kora Organics prices and that for the price and the care of the environment, the Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum is all packaged in plastic, which is surprising considering Kora Organics is all about organic ingredients and it’s expensive. Urang Yuja Vita Ampoule, isn’t. The bottle’s glass, the dropper’s glass with the only plastic being the lid and dropper cradle. Kora Organics however recently announced more products like their Noni facial oil and eye oil will now be in glass bottles or more easily recyclable and reusable packaging. While my skin had glow using it, Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum also made my skin at times feel tight and dry.
I was eyeing up Urang Yuja Vita Ampoule debating to try it as the price while is less expensive than the Noni Bright Vitamin C serum for a product you might not like it’s expensive. Thankfully Miin Cosmetics, yes my favourite skincare shop in Barcelona, had a Spring 20% off sale. Thankfully too it was for a week so I could ask for a small sample to try if I took in my own pot. From the sample I noticed that it was more hydrating, my skin had a little something something going on and purchased the full size bottle.
All this summer as much as I can I’ve been visiting a magical world. A world I discovered last year on holiday in Mallorca. A world whose outer bubble I see everyday but never give much thought what’s under the surface. A world I’ve only glimpsed at in photos. A world all winter I couldn’t wait to visit as summer came. A world that holds so much allure and mystery humans still haven’t explored perhaps even 1/3 of it.
It started with P wanting me to snorkel. Mallorca is perhaps one of the best places in the Western Mediterranean to snorkel. In the summer the waters are warm, clear and rocky. Rocks perfect for fish, warm and clear perfect for humans to visit without having to suit up. Back in Barcelona I got little sad. I didn’t think I could snorkel or visit under the sea until the following summer. It’s a city beach, there’s not going to be anything hanging around in the water. That changed the day I saw a flash of silver treading water. The next day I took my googles and snorkel. A few days later so P and others would believe me there’s fish along the city beaches his old Go Pro. The Go Pro turned into an Olympus Tough 6 with this year since about late May as often as I can I’ve been in the water visiting the city fish. It might not be the best, clearest waters however it’s world I feel’s secret as few snorkel where I go. That’s changed a bit this year as Decathlon opened up in a local mall with easy access to snorkels more have been visiting, but I think most on the beach think I’m crazy.
I always believe salt water cures almost anything. Having a bad day, it’s too hot, having a good day, that cooling hug it gives as you take dip makes you forget about everything. When I watch the fish just be, everything slips away. The sea and it’s inhabitants don’t know about how your day’s been, how’s your week’s been, they don’t care if you’re happy or sad. They’re just going about eating, trying not to be prey, hunting, just being. In a crazy way I’ve made friends with a few. Okay maybe not friends, but they always say hi if they’re around. Saddled sea breams are known to be friendly but are probably just checking me out. From visiting almost daily for about 3 months I feel kinda protective of them and the rest of the fish I’ve seen travelling this summer. They don’t know about what’s happening outside of where they live. They might be noticing climate change, they might not be. They haven’t got a voice to fight back to say help like land animals can (maybe Orcas are as they’re the oceans bullies. One rogue pod has been attacking boats in the Med and Atlantic. El Pais in English who first reported it. BBC article). I don’t have to tell you their habitats are changing. For most they’ll only do something when there’s nearly no fish to eat.
The below photos are from late May to mid June. I’d had the camera all winter only to test it out 2 minutes before going in. It’s point and shoot right? Nope. There’s a little more to it Nat hence the bad photography and for now they’re jpegs. The sea bottom back in May and June had a lot of seaweed/plants growing. Now in August there’s more peacock’s tail. Yep I got a Mediterranean marine ID book 🤓 And yes I spook myself out when the visibility’s low. When I didn’t know what was just beneath the shoreline when I swam or treaded water I didn’t freak out much. Now I know what’s under there, for every big fish, there’s an even bigger fish…
One of the best things about Manoa Falls are the parking security guards. Semi wild chickens who have the run of the car park!
Nestled in the Manoa Valley mountains, the Na Ala Hele (trail for walking) Manoa Falls Trail is a 2.6km/1.6mi hike up into the mountains. Starting at the car park the trail takes you into the rainforest. I think admission was about $5 if arriving by car otherwise it’s free. Trees start out tall with canopies reaching fanning out to the sky. Looking up they gently give each other breathing space while almost matching each others outline just like looking at world maps seeing where continents once connected, like a jigsaw puzzle or tropical coral fanning out. As you get higher up the path becomes narrower, steeper. Plants you don’t notice unless you use a branch to help you up. Tree trunks become skinner, the leaves become bigger as they compete for light, the forest becomes more dense, the path narrower and rockier. When we went it had been raining earlier so the path was muddy. Muddy! If you do this hike, wear something more than sandals as several people met the mud in style. Also do the hike earlier in the day if you want to avoid people. The hike takes around 1-2 hours there and back. No photos I’m sure it can be done in just over an hour. I think the trial during the initial covid-19 lockdowns was closed for maintenance to widen the path and make it more user friendly. It’s since reopened however I’m so grateful I got to visit before the covid-19 pandemic took hold. I’d love one day to go back to explore more trails that connect to it and those from the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum located near the start of the trail. This girl can visit in her dreams!
The path ends at Manoa Falls, a beautiful waterfall that I swear has ledges cut out each side for shampoo. Only joking, the ledges are filled with plants, but maybe just maybe shampoo. I wanted to get closer but the good positions were taken up with selfies. Take 100, delete all, take another 100 selfies. Another reason to get there early. I felt for the people that hiked up with 2 people with loudspeakers. Why? The epic soundtrack. In a city I get it, but in nature, please leave the music behind if anything to let others who for many it’s once in a lifetime experience to enjoy it. Man, I sound so old! Looking back I didn’t hear many birds. Maybe they avoid the area due to people. There were moments on the path to myself which was cool against the day’s heat.
If there’s one thing I like aboutTerra Wash + Mg is only having to buy laundry ‘detergent’ once a year!
About a year ago I did a review on a copy of Terra Wash+Mg. I mentioned I wanted to try the original Terra Wash +Mg mainly as it was designed for heavier loads, up to 7kg. Honestly on performance, stains etc it works the same. The only difference the price and that they don’t make mouse glue traps.
In the short term it’s expensive. At the time of purchase TerraWash+Mg due to Covid19 wasn’t shipping to Europe. Luckily amazon.co.uk had a French seller hence the packaging in French. It worked out maybe a little more as there was a middle man. At the time of writing TerraWash+Mg still aren’t shipping to Spain. Amazon still sell it occasionally. A quick online search later there’s a Spanish TerraWash retailer! Just up the road on the Costa Brava so that makes me very happy. It’s €48.90 (plus shipping) which works out if I do on average 4 loads a week for a year equals about 23c per wash minus the shipping cost! For me that’s super cheap and cost effective. No plastic apart from the polyester pouch, plastic transport bag. I read somewhere they’re working towards a plastic friendly version which doesn’t shed plastic micro filaments in the wash. However the polyester is the toughest surviving multiply washing machine use. The pellets after a year you can add to the garden to help plants or just keep reusing with the new pouch.
How does the magnesium work? I’ll let Terra Wash explain:
Terra Wash + Mg is filled with our highly purified magnesium, specially processed with Japanese innovative technology. When this special magnesium comes in contact with water, it generates bubbles of hydrogen and form ionized alkaline water, which makes easier for water to remove dirt from fabrics. This special water has high ability to remove/eliminate dirt, sebum, mold, germs, bacteria, and odor resulting in fresh, safe, and clean laundry!
Another feature of Terra Wash + Mg is its ability to reduce the size of water molecules. Water molecules are said to come in clusters rather than single molecules. Although it is difficult to measure the size of water molecules due to its unstable characteristic, it is very easy to imagine water clusters reforming into much smaller size by encountering the smallest molecule on earth, hydrogen, in water. Smaller cluster size enables and stregthens the water ability to pass through fabric pores, resulting in better cleaning properties.
If like me you suffer from eczema I would for sure try out Terra Wash. Since using the magnesium pellets, I haven’t had a reaction from them and P hasn’t complained that his clothes don’t feel clean. As well as no toxic runoff in the water system as the magnesium actually helps the environment and there’s no lugging heavy laundry detergent power or liquid around! No spills to clean up either!