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.

Continue reading “Mr D AKA Diesel”

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
Continue reading “July 2020 Buck Moon”

Recycle Less: Recent Plastic Free Finds

Welcome to another Recycle Less! For the past few years I’ve been cutting down my plastic waste, trying to buy less, reuse, repurpose and find plastic free alternatives. 

Food and cosmetics remain my number one plastic waste. Thankfully more brands are using bio degradable plastics and glass bottles. Sometimes however the price tag is still too high. Sometimes there isn’t a plastic free alternative. Sometimes you look at the label on glass bottle, realise the sticky label’s plastic. Sometimes you know the ingredients in the skin care or hair care bottle is better for you and the environment when washed or flushed down the drain, however the bottle’s plastic. One thing I am noticing is European supermarkets like Carrefour and Alcampo own brands are finding plastic free alternatives. For example going back to foil and cardboard for chocolate bars, while other main name brands are still wrapping chocolate in plastic. It’s a small step in the right direction.

Anyways, recent Recycle Less Finds

Bambaw Bamboo Bottle Brush Set

Plastic free bottle cleaners have been on my to buy list of ages however the prices were never right or they didn’t ship to Spain. Cleaning bottles I was relying on shaking soapy water in the bottle after the last bottle cleaner plastic bristles disintegrated and letting water run into the bottle until no more suds were left. I’d completely forgot about replacing them until checking Amazon basket total they were in the save for later basket. The bristles are sisal bristles are made from the agave plant with a soft cotton mop like end. They work great. I still have to let the water run rinsing out suds, however the bottles are so much cleaner. I like that they come in different sizes and lengths. Rather than use the spilt ring, I use an old keyring carabiner, hanging them on a hook next to the sieves and colanders.

BamBaw Reusable Paper Towels

Continue reading “Recycle Less: Recent Plastic Free Finds”

Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu

First Hawaiian Hike! For once we got out fairly earlyish but still late as we’d been travelling the day before and spent the afternoon exploring Honolulu’s main shopping street. Although we had more fun finding Farmland Farm in Ala Moana Mall, one of Oahu’s supermarket chains in the evening, getting back late and eating late which was the theme of the whole Oahu and Northern Californian trip earlier this year.

Farmland Farm was also the best recuerdos or souvenirs. All gifts are local to Oahu or the islands, supporting small businesses. I got some great flour sack print towels I’ll never use as they’re too nice! I want to frame them instead. Sadly researching the printer they’re no longer printing. Farmland Farm also has a great organic section mixed in with non organic foods (which I like, as you get more options) and sold many Hawaiian brands. It was a little expensive factoring in most other items are shipped in however we found everything we needed. During the whole trip we only ate out 3 times, none of which were in Oahu. 2 times were great, the other a disappointment. We prefer to stay apartment hotels or airbnb to keep costs lower by making own meals. We get back late when most places have closed the kitchens so it makes more sense. Being vegans, it makes everything easier to make own meals too.

2nd Pillbox. Chinaman’s hat in the distance

Anyways, The Lanikai Pill Box hike is in Lanikai, Kailua along Kaiwa mountain range I think the posher part of the Island. All the houses looked kinda immaculate driving through the neighbourhood and looking down from the hike the lawns looked manicured. We parked near the golf course, so it’s in a posher area for sure. 

We found out about the hike from watching a few YouTube videos before and online I think Trip Advisor. The start of the hike is a blink and you’ll miss it. It’s just a road construction sign with directions. Some comments said it can be muddy and thankfully it was dry. We only took our workout trainers as who needs hiking boots in Oahu?! Maybe shoulda took them. I felt for girls in sandals, cute IG outfits for the pictures awaiting ahead struggling on the path. The trail is ranked intermediate as it gets rocky and steep in places with parts of the trial nothing to grab hold onto. Being British we find the term hiking a little weird. Even saying the word hike is weird. For us it’s a walk. Hiking is what takes you all day or a few days in remoteness in the mountains and even then we probably wouldn’t use the word hike. Anything less is a walk regardless of the terrain with trails being paths. The hike takes about an hour’s loop to the first pillbox.

As usual I’m a shit editor with photos. I cut out a lot. A lot!

Path to 2nd Pillbox
Chinaman’s Hat in the distance

The views at the top are 100% worth hiking up for. If you want no humans, Instagrammers taking all day to get the shot go early. It’s a popular trail, everybody wants a photo of them there. I did too but I gave up waiting my turn or any vista with few humans. We hiked onto the 2nd pillbox with less people and then onto the 3rd which is now just it’s base. So much quieter and got to walk through shaded wooded bit. We didn’t see anybody past the 2nd pillbox. The hike went on over the range top however as it was getting late in the afternoon, there was a beach to hit and more importantly the water. 

Continue reading “Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu”

Nat Alters A Waistband

Seamstresses, seamsters, alterations people, sewing people and tailors look away. 

My Mum’s mum was seamstress and dressmaker. My Mum can turn her hand to anything hand or machine sewn, hand or machine knitted, she can make it. Dresses, jumpers, trousers, you name it she can make it, nothing fazes her. My sisters an amazing craft sewer, cross stitcher and knitter. Then there’s me. I can fix buttons, fix/repair rips and tears messily, alter strappy tops, t-shirt arm lengths, do basic alterations. Very basic alterations and never look at the underside. Although you can’t tell the underside to the outside as to how messy it is. My patience isn’t up there for things sewn or knitted. 

Shorts before. Compared to the photo above you can see a size difference in the waistband. The left leg hem look aligned however it fits okay on. While air drying I refold the hems to align better. I didn’t notice at time of purchase as I liked this particular pair of shorts colour. What do you expect from €20 shorts?

This year like last year high waisted shorts and jeans were in for the summer. In Pull and Bear I found pair of Mom style high waisted denim shorts whose colour and style I liked. More high waisted than Mom and at the right price. Around €20 give or take 10 cents or 1 cent. The only problem was the waistband had unnecessary elastic in. 

The unnecessary elastic waistband

The next size up was too big on the hips. I knew my size was the right size. I didn’t get why they added elastic to the waistband. There was no need. They were the only denim shorts I’d found that were the right length and that I liked. In the changing room a light bulb went off. 

Continue reading “Nat Alters A Waistband”