Without sounding too much of a Scrooge, I’m happy messaging Happy Christmas, Season Greetings whatever. In Spain Christmas cards aren’t the norm, but my family expects them and if you want to be in good books then amazon becomes very popular. This is because no UK animal charity who sells Christmas cards will ship outside the UK. They’re missing out on a huge market! I’m more the Scrooge writing them. I mess up so many I have to buy at least an additional box to make up for the errors. The messed up ones end up getting cut up into tags.
Christmas lights along Gran Via. They’re the same as last year, the year before and quite possibly the year before that. I still can’t work out what song it is. That’s if it’s a song.
I can’t believe December’s here. Well, actually I can, it crept up quickly as always and BAM! I don’t like Christmas shopping much in November, but the fact that most of my family is in the UK means everything has to be sent off by the 18th to arrive in time. It can get a little hectic finding gifts for them in time. And those writing cards.
Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have caught my eye or made me smile this week.
A few nights cycling back along the same stretch I’ve heard a bird singing. The first few times I said you’re up late until I thought maybe just maybe it’s a nightingale. I laughed at my imagination. They don’t live in cities! I only thought it could possibly be one after listening to 24hrs of bird songs in Museu Blau of a National Park outside of Barcelona. I couldn’t find any information that there were any in Barcelona itself, only outside the city. At the zoo this week I checked out their list of wild birds at the zoo and yes, they have nightingales! I feel honoured to hear him as I cycle past him now.
Christmas lights were up early this year. Can they stick around until the end of January? It’s nice having them brighten up the dark winter nights.
Sunny run view
A few days this week there hasn’t been a cloud in the sky! For weeks most days it’s been overcast or cloudy. The cats have been up to tricks sunbathing.
My gym doesn’t have tyres to flip and after watching one of my gyms HIIT circuit classes gave me an idea to flip sandbags instead (no copying, they were doing something else!). And they’re fun! I don’t get to work my back or shoulders as much in flipping height, but they still work just about everything like a tractor type flip. While I did these on Thursday I’ve still no idea what I did Tuesday to give my abs DOMS. I haven’t had such muscle ache in ages. It took until Friday for it to ease up!
Hand prints near the El Corte Ingles Placa Catalunya/Avinguda del Portal L’Angel pedestrian crossing. They’d been repainting the road tarmac arrow signs the week before so maybe one had a little fun. But then one’s smaller than the other so who knows it’s origins.
I was up to see a few this week (this is same one about 15mins apart)
No Leche de Vaca Hot Chocolate
P taught me how to make non dairy hot chocolate! I know, why haven’t I done it before. The kitchen ain’t my thing and I don’t usually have plant milk in the house. We went out last Saturday for a bike ride and a Starbucks hot chocolate for a treat but didn’t get the hot chocolate. I researched before if it was vegan and reviews said yes, as I remember one barista said the powder has cows milk in. Anyway, the barista after we asked for soy milk said the powder does indeed have cows milk in. We left empty handed, but P being the great chef he is, made me a cup after getting caught out in a massive downpour on a motorbike trip the next day. I’ll share the recipe later!
Venus and the Moon, El Borne
CNN: I like their spin on this: Plastic Island
Usually people go, awe poor bird, fishy tangled up in plastic…doesn’t affect me. CNN places the emphasis of the Pacific ocean garbage patch with plastic particles going up the food chain to humans. People may think more about it then. I’ve watched reports before on Midway Atoll, but it wasn’t so much the human risk that stuck with me, the birds and sheer scale of the plastic washed up. It’s made me want to reduce my plastic consumption more, which is hard when your local supermarket insists on bagging a pineapple instead of placing the price per weight sticker on the brand tag like before. ‘My boss says’ it’s for security reasons’. Not everybody will reuse it or recycle it! It’s a long report but the video is worth watching.
BBC: 100 Women 2016: Meet Arizona’s old-age cheerleaders, the Sun City Poms
This gals put a smile on my face. They have such infectious energy! I wanna do the splits at 80! Erm, start practicing now.
Leprechauns exist. BBC: Millon dollar bucket of gold stolen in NY (I couldn’t help myself. The guy’s short!)
CNN: Cat yoga. The Mewest exercise trend. If it helps cats find new homes I’ll all for it!
What’s been making you smile this week? Have a great week!
Sending out holiday cards is one of my absolute favorite things about Christmas. I usually order some already customized cards so that all I have to do it address them, add a stamp and put them in the mail. I used to mess up on a lot of them when handwriting out my messages.
And I just stumbled across a delicious vegan hot chocolate made My Cup of Cake. It was so good. I wish more companies made dairy-free instant hot chocolate. Happy Holidays!
Pre customised cards sounds like a dream! It actually doesn’t take me that long to write them, more the addresses that I mess up ( The post office has to be able to read them!) and that I put them off.
I’ll have to check out My Cup of Cake hot chocolate. Sound’s good! I wish more companies would make dairy -free instant hot chocolate too. I used to love Cadburys instant hot choc. I wish more companies would make more vegan foods especially here in Spain. The vegan market’s growing here, but nothing like in the US. Happy Holidays 🙂
I used to write Christmas cards when I was a kid to all my mum’ side of the family (7 siblings with their respective families, they all live in Catalonia). I haven’t done it in years!
I’m trying to reduce my online shopping as the amount of packaging is unbelievable. But online shopping is extremely popular in China and there are tons of cardboards, tape and plastic wrapping being thrown to the bin every day :/ The online supermarket where I sometimes buy groceries had a program to reuse boxes (you just needed to give the empty boxes to the courier) but another company bought that online supermarket a couple of months ago and they don’t reuse the boxes anymore 🙁
Wow, 7 aunts and uncles and their families to write too! Did your hand ever cramp up? I can only find Red Cross Christmas cards and they’re so expensive so I got them online.
I agree with you on the amount of packaging. That’s crap about the supermarket. I recycle or reuse what I can. The paper stuffing I save to stuff shoes the get caught out in the rain or for when I oil my bike indoors to protect the floor. It’s not as effective as newspaper, but it does the job (and the free paper at the gym’s always sold out by the time I get there!). I don’t like the plastic packaging. Paper’s easier to recycle or decompose (obviously better if made from recycled paper or from sustainable forests). Plus there’s the carbon foot print 🙁 But I love the convenience of on line shopping when they can deliver to Spain 🙂
I don’t remember where my mum bought them, but I think they were always from some charity or NGO…
Here online shopping is SO convenient. Yesterday I bough masks (bad pollution again) and they arrived this morning!!
Ugh to pollution!
Do you do a lot of shopping online? We do more and more via catalogs and websites and then have them delivered to our home….to beat the shopping crowds
I do a lot of online shopping! Probs too much! With cosmetics I like try before then shop online if I like them, I get the cats litter delivered (2 x 20l sacks. I ain’t carrying them back on my bike) and everything I can’t get here or can get cheaper online. Groceries I like to choose my own so I still go to the shops. The only issues I have online shopping are the packaging, so much waste at times and that as you’re not physically carrying back you can spend too much. But I love the convenience of it!
Wow! You do do a lot of online shopping. And I think you are right, often the packaging is such a waste of money, but I understand why it is that way. I have ordered about 90% of my Christmas gifts online. I just ordered more Christmas decorations online. ~ I’m so lazy! And you, You ride your bike all over town? Your fit lifestyle continues to impress Natalie! I hope you are enjoying your season in Spain.
Ha ha, thank you. I’m usually slower cycling back as I’m not running late!
Paul has an expression, why bark when you have a dog? So if online shopping’s there and you don’t have to drive, queue etc why visit the shops when you can click and get it delivered! Plus most of the time it’s cheaper to shop online, though you have to check around. Have a great week and hope it’s not too cold in SC!
..and its nice getting things delivered to the door; to hear that knock. We had one cold day and then back to the 60’s..not too bad. Enjoy the season Nat!
Even if you know what’s in them a parcel is always nice to receive! The weather’s been all over the place here too. A few days last week it was around 18C. When the sunset not so nice and cosy! The humidity makes it even colder. Have a great week!