Weekend Friday Favourites

Happy October!

Weekend Friday Favourites is back! Hopefully for longer this time! 

How’s your weekend? I’m bitter sweet sad autumn fall’s here and it’s temperature early. The care free summer days are over until next year. This year mid autumn temps have hit 20/22C early. 20C’s chilly! You can keep your pumpkin spice, cosy knits and crock pots. This girl doesn’t do layers. She likes summer warmth and the wardrobe that comes with it. The sweet part, I get more stuff done I’m not tempted by the heat, beach, sea.

Anyways Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye the past few months.

Snorkelling 

Photos from the P’s Go Pro. I’m working on settings

I mentioned in Summer I started snorkelling on holiday. I really thought that was it until next summer. Taking a dip at the beach I go to, I saw flash of silver. The next day I took my snorkel and couldn’t believe how many fish have been beneath me just off the shoreline. P recommended a beach he sometimes swims at, however after seeing that flash, I put everything together with the rocky bit just out at ‘my’ beach. It’s teaming with life! 

Photos from the P’s Go Pro. I’m working on settings

As often as I can I’ve been snorkelling. I could go to other beaches, but this one I know, it’s safe and much quieter compared to other Barcelona beaches. I’m getting much better with my swimming and even now have a rashie (partly due to I spent too much time in the water and at the beach that day and burnt my back. Bonus of one, it keeps me warmer!)! P’s kindly lent me his Go Pro as I don’t think me believed me when I reported back what I’ve seen. It’s tricky trying to indentiy online, however I’m sure I’ve seen small mullets, for sure sea breams, flanders to name a few. My favourites are saddled sea breams. Always curious and say hi. The highlights: a cormorant diving and hunting. All the fish kept clearing fast. Out the corner of my eye I saw what I though first was a big fish or turtle (I know, how?) and then webbed feet. I thought maybe a duck as I tried to keep out of its way. When it surfaced I realised it was a cormorant. I felt so lucky to see it hunt and sorry for the fish. Another highlight an octopus! All this metres from shore! I ordered an Olympus Tough 6 which has only just arrived and sadly I’m not sure how I’m going to go when it gets colder. A wetsuit for sure, but it’s the logistics of belongings, people around if I get in trouble. I’m already convinced that the sea level is starting it’s winter level as the beach seems bigger if that makes sense. This girl might have to read weather and tides to go midday.

Aloha Collection Big Island Flower Collection 

I’ve mentioned before my love for Aloha Collection pouches. On holiday I used them a lot and was surprised how much they pack. I wasn’t going to get any more. I had my eye on a few but said no. You have enough. That was until they released Hibiscus from their Big Island collection. My excuse I used them a lot travel and everyday, plus hibiscuses are one on my favourite flowers. My Aloha Collection pouches has grown and I’ve banned myself from the site 🙊 I can look but not buy.

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Mr D AKA Diesel

Today would have been Mr D’s, aka happy go lucky, ray of sunshine, loves life, Diesel’s 16th birthday. It’s been nearly 10 months since he said his last see you later, joining his brother Mr Aj aka Angleous. Everyday I miss him. I miss both of the them. 

Everyday he made me laugh. Whether it was up to no good, answering me back, demanding food, hugs, exploring he was always full of life. I always say he chose me. After moving to Spain we decided to to get AJ a friend. He’d gone from a garden to an apartment, didn’t have next door’s cat to invite over to nap on the sofa. The first Sunday we went to the shelter it was closed due to a festivo. This was to be fate. We went back the following weekend which was around this time of year. He’d only ‘checked in’ the week previous or was just up for adoption. I can’t remember. Thankfully a British girl was volunteering. AJ and I had only been in the country less than 2 month, I spoke hardly any Spanish. P was drawn to a grey tabby in the neutering recover enclosure. She kept hissing and batting any other cat that came to the fence. I thought she’d be too strong a cat for AJ. Even though he came home with blood on him sometimes, shed claws in his head, he was a sweet gentle cat. The volunteer suggested going in the main cat enclosure. 

D in one of his many paper filled boxes

One little black cat about a year old up high on the short pylons kept pawing at me. Head to one side as he did, which he never stopped doing when about to do something naughty or play. I think he thought she looks stupid enough to take me in. The pawing worked. I picked him up, hugged him in my arms and he never stopped purring. That’s how he go his name Diesel for the non stop purring. He knew was he was doing. 20 minutes and €14.20 later, he was off to his new life. He kept putting his paw through the transport box to get my attention. It was also the easiest car journey with him ever. All subsequence car journeys if you went over 70kmph he sang, he needed to pee, he needed the car cool, he needed to be out the box (illegal in Spain, but for your ears, he was), he needed to poo and he let you know loudly. 

Neither of us had a clue how to introduce cats to each other. AJ was more concerned a door was shut. Open it please. D was just happy to be in a house. We left them to it and went out. Thankfully they didn’t fight blood. They never drew blood. I knew they wouldn’t! They’d play fight. Chasing each other through the apartment(s) from the sofa to the bed and back wrestling. Aj hated it if he lost and would want to continue the fight. D walked away. I never knew who was top cat. D would try to get him to play but it was only when AJ wanted to. That didn’t matter. D would happily chase and play with toy mice, balls, play fetch, hunt and jump for feathers and mice on strings. AJ looked down on them. When Aj played on his own you watched in surprise. Catnip time D always wanted AJ’s! 

Brush time. He’d nearly always after a pee, run out the bathroom to crash skid on his scratcher, scratching away in a happy dance

He brought with him cat flu, which aggravated AJ’s born with it strain. While he didn’t have as many vet trips as AJ, he was still expensive. I always wondered why his blood test bills were more than AJ’s. In France they were the same price. Returning to Spain and the same vet, it clicked. If I was there he was cool to have blood tests. If I wasn’t he had to go under. I mentioned this to the vet, he was keen to test the theory out if I was there. He couldn’t believe it was the same cat! D liked his Mama with him at the vets. 

Sundazing. He loved the sun so much his fur would go a reddish brown

Everyday day he made me laugh. Always up to something. He taught himself to pee in the toilet. Later drink from it. He let you know if the litter box wasn’t up to his standard. If he wanted to wake you up, he’d start making noises. Meowing or knocking things off surfaces. If that didn’t work he’s paw at my mouth. I’d wake to a face with large eyes, as if to say I’m hungry, paw pointing to his mouth. He even jumped front paws first to wake me up once. It worked. The hairdryer he hated. I had to wash his fur once attempting to dry it with the hairdryer. I gave up. The next time he saw the hairdryer he swiped it hard and ran off. I didn’t use it much. When I did he gave me side eye and ran away. His first poo he did the day we got him was in the bath. A runny one directly above the plug hole as he didn’t know where the litter box was.

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July 2020 Buck Moon

July’s full moon’s a Buck Moon named after bucks antlers starting to regrow. Its other name’s Thunder Moon as July can be thunder stormy crazy (this year, Barcelona was thunder stormy in September).

Full moon rise and volley ball

It was also an extra special full moon, another penumbral lunar eclipse like in June’s Strawberry moon. The moon crosses through the faint outer edge of Earth’s shadow aka the penumbra making part of the Moon appearing slightly darker the usual.

I didn’t take many shots of the moon in July. The zoo where I take most of my moon shots has changed its opening hours due to Covid-19, closing at the time previous summers the ticket office was last entry. I get longer at the zoo however the light’s different with moon yet to rise or be visible at the zoo. I’ve included this month’s Moon series some summer light shots, flowers, butterflies, animals soaking up the sun enjoying one the hottest months of the year and my favourite season, summer 🙂

Moon rise
The only way too cool off in the summer. Sea lion Barcelona Zoo
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Parc de la Ciutadella #2

Back in June I shared photos from my morning phasing out of lockdown time slotted freedom bike rides to Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona’s most famous city park and my favourite park.

When the lockdown down ended, my gym still wasn’t open. To make up the distance there and back and to get some greenery and wildlife I cycled to the park after the beach in the afternoons (afternoon in Spain ends around 8-9pm)/early evenings. When my gym, climbing gym and zoo reopened I tried to make the park a few times a week. While I miss the quietness of the mornings the park’s back to being less busy in the afternoons now everybody’s at the beach, work or still staying at home. The early evenings during lockdown freedom hours it was the bar and pub replacement local hangout. It has now a different kind of quietness to the mornings. Ducks and geese are getting ready to nap with the water less busy. I’ve only just learnt ducks can sleep on the water, head tucked under a wing and are diurnal being active at night. I’ve even seen some rats climb up and run along railings.

Last morning lockdown ride to the park

Sadly the nights are getting shorter and soon my rides to the park becoming less as gyms have reopened after the 2nd lockdown (recommended to stay at home) ended. I still try to get there once a week to cycle around now around dusk for greenery, hearing birds sing, watching the ducks and geese, cycling with the bats (yep, nerdy!). Beach is first if I can get there before the sun sinks behind buildings. I can’t go before 15.30 even at the weekends as the sun’s too strong. I’ve now started snorkelling (In the sea, not in this mini lake! I’d get arrested! I wouldn’t want to anyway. It gets so dirty they have to empty it every now and then and refill). I get to see what the ducks, seagulls, cormorants see when they dive.

Most of the photos were taken in June and July when the light was nice and bright and of the boating lake. I used to like watching out for the ducklings checking the Mamas didn’t loose any. I don’t think they did! As usual, I’m a sh*t editor posting way too many photos. Enjoy!

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Summer

Long time no see! How’s your summer? 

Mine got a little busy with everyday life, holiday in Mallorca, Mac iPhoto misbehaving and something had to take back seat for a while. Sadly natjtan. It got a little frustrating, but like an old Chinese proverb I saved from an Li BingBing Instyle Magazine Interview back when I used to read it: Time is like water in a sponge. You can always find it if you squeeze hard enough. Another way of saying if you want it, you’ll make time or find a way. I always feel I can never commit myself to things 100% as there’s always something else calling me or needs doing in a house of chores. Forget the evenings. My eyes are so heavy they just want to close. 

Castelldefels

P was here for a while so I couldn’t do as much as usual (he knows that), gyms closed for a local recommneded stay at home ‘lockdown’ for a few weeks due to a raise in covid-19 cases along with the zoo, cinemas, bars and restaurants back to reduced capacity. My gym and the city council along with a few other gyms petitioned against the regional government’s decision to close the gyms under the hastag #deporteessalud: sport is health rebelling initially against the closure. The Justice court overturned the gym closure decision. I was getting more demotivated everyday to workout at home, putting off for later. After 3 months working out at home then back at the gym for a month, then at home again I really missed the gym. Even if I don’t talk to anyone there, I concentrate better, it’s air conditioned, I get out the house. The zoo petitioned to stay open, reopening 5 days later after joining both my gym, climbing gym in being rebels staying open. The zoo on its initial reopening after the end of lockdown already had a Covid-19 Global Safe Site certificate and a Safe Tourism Certified seal, yet they had to reclose again too.

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