Under The Mediterranean Sea: August 2022 Alboran Sea

There were 3 things I learnt about the Mediterranean Sea last year;

Firstly its name. If I had thought about it and used my Spanish, it would be obvious that it’s derived from Latin for sea between land. The 2nd is that not all of Southern Spain runs along the Mediterranean Sea. The 3rd last year in Andalusia on holiday, the water is f’ing freezing despite being perhaps the hottest part of Spain. 

That’s because, from the Straits of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea runs along the coast of Andalusia and it’s freezing as the water is coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s not the warmer water Mediterranean Sea I’m used to in North Eastern Spain. 

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February 2022. The Long Short Month. The Second Half

The second half of February I used my mobile camera more than my camera. I’m not sure why. Maybe my camera was buried in my bag, maybe I didn’t want to seem like tourist. 

Sunrise seagull commute

Maybe I didn’t think the shot was worth my camera. I do that a lot only to later regret why I didn’t take it with my camera. My phone is just easier. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to get out my camera. Behind every photo however is a story. Be it basic as a reminder to go somewhere, a reference for later out shopping, evidence, the light, the scenery you wanted to capture forever. Even though most of the second half of February’s photos are from my mobile which in my eyes I can tell straight away they’re not as good, they have tales to tell. 

I have a thing for birds as they make me laugh and are free to do, come and go as they please
Sunbathing in the winter sun. Western Lowland Gorilla Barcelona Zoo
Seagull snacks

There are parts of Barcelona even now and then I re explore only to be reminded why I don’t go there very often. Maremàgnum Centro Comercial is one of them. A mall in Port Vell, that’s always had a weird vibe to it. Sadly this time when I went about 1/3 of the shops had closed down. I have always though liked walking around wharf side. One of my favourite views of Barcelona is the row of buildings along Passeig de Colom looking from the port.

Some of the buildings along Passeig de Colom. The one with the 2 towers is the most fanciest post office in all the lands! Correos Via Laietana. The inside has frescos and a huge glass dome roof!

Every year the boating lake in Parc de la Ciutadella gets drained for maintenance. Last year someone released goldfish in the lake. You could see them flashing orange feeding the ducks. The seagulls as the boating lake drained, were going crazy fighting mid air for fish. I think more goldfish died out of shock being dropped multiple times than being eaten. Some the gulls, black headed gulls I think were amazing divers. They jumped a little in the air to dive head first into the water only for the larger gulls to steal the fish.

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Under The Mediterranean Sea: Late July 2021

I think there’s a British Seagull on holiday in Barcelona at the moment. 

Striped sea bream

Que? For about 2 weeks occasionally I’ve heard a different sounding seagull. I’m used to hearing and seeing yellow legged gulls who sound like they’re laughing at you. This gull sounds like the UK, or rather beaches in the UK. That’s the first thing I noticed when I visited my parents last year back in the UK, the beach didn’t sound right. The gulls had a different voice. Maybe I’m imagining it, made they got swept here with the storms in March, maybe they’re just exploring for a while.

Striped sea bream
Striped sea bream and the mystery fish. You can see their tentacles fangs in the group of 4 fish. Read on the help me id them! 

I’ve also seen more of a type of plover, I think ringed plover (I swear not I’m a bird geek! I just like to know the names of birds like I do animals!) at a spot where I run too. There was 1 and now there’s 4. I’ve never seen them before here so was curious. Same way that I’m not a bird geek, I got a bird ID book as I kept seeing different coloured gulls from the balcony last year. Turns, out they’re teenage gulls 🤦‍♀️.

Anyway, back in July last year baby fish clouds were still around and I was getting more comfortable being in the water. The visibility wasn’t so good most day. I was getting a little frustrated that I could never focus the camera on what I was shooting and that most of the shoots were grainy. Nat, you’re in the water and the water’s moving! Photography works differently in the water to on land. I still didn’t want to use flash to disturb the fish or to attract larger scarier fish! 

On good vis days I had fun watching tiny fish who only kept the the bottom not bothered by the drama higher up in the water column.

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Weekend Friday Favourites 17.4.22

Happy Easter! 

Just when I thought I could put my winter coat away for a few seasons I was back in this week for a day. It’s now all washed and clean for next winter, however I messed up washing it. Something said, no washing machine. I ignored that voice. All the polyester filling has bunched up into clumps in the puffer coat. I know there’s no saving it. I liked that coat! Fingers crossed I can find one I like for next winter. Always listen to your gut, that inner voice!

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

Facial Acupuncture

I found about about acupuncture facials last year via 6BabeBeauty on Instagram. I know we all age, our facial bones change shape as we age and to be honest I don’t think anybody lies aging, but I think most like to look good for their age.

Facial acupuncture is a facial where the needles are placed are specific locations on the face to boost collagen, reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, lift the skin and tonify deeper facial muscles (amongst other benefits) for about 20-25 minutes. I go to Aisha Acupuncture in Barcelona. She’s a great acupuncturist who also works with crystals. In addition to needles she uses a LED light mask that covers your face like a dome, followed by a sheet mask with a mircocurrent, finishing off with facial cupping. Ideally you should book about 8-12 appointments close together once a year, followed by an appointment every 3-4 weeks. I had the set of 8 and now go every month. It doesn’t hurt unless super stressed it does a bit initially when the needles are applied, but it doesn’t hurt. Sometimes I sleep, other times chat, cry or feel like I’m going inside my body in waves. That’s the only way to explain it. I sometimes when I’m drifting in and out of sleep, I feel like I’m going out my body. To feel the opposite, a sinking inside the acupuncture/massage table is alien to me. The first time this happened I saw a very scary kaleidoscope old face. Don’t let that put you off! It’s just my experience!

I know nothing will lift my outer lids without intervention of a lift, the effect afterwards is like a younger version of me! Cheeks back to volume, puppet lines gone. I can see when the 4 weeks is up, those lines and sunken cheeks back, however not as bad as the idea is over time to gradually lift and restore collagen. If you want a more natural way of delaying ageing, rather than fillers, botox etc try facial acupuncture!

Cat Graffiti

Derry Girls, Netflix

I started watching out of curiosity Derry Girls on Netflix and have been giggling the whole way through the series. Set in Northern Ireland in the mid 90’s it follows a group of friends attending an all girl catholic school and the crazy mishaps they get into each episode dealing with teenage life. Erin the main character family’s is just as crazy with their own mishap ways. If language isn’t your thing don’t watch it, but it just adds to the craziness of it. The fashion is great too (I’m old, I can remember the style but wasn’t cool enough to wear it!) and James, bless him, the English guy who attends the girls school as he’s English.

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Weekend Friday Favourites

Welcome back to another Weekend Friday Favourites! I think sunny spring will be here a few days. The grey skies are making way light grey white blue skies! 

Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week. In no particular order;

MOCO Museum

Banksy 10 Monkeys

I’m not really museum person. I appreciate them however my attention span isn’t too great if wandering around indoors unless I’m visually engaged. I can manage an hour before I’m missing the sun and the fresh air! That said, I stumbled, literally stumbled upon a few months ago on the MOCO Museum. A contemporary art museum recently opened in El Born . Every now and then it’s nice to cycle or wander around the Born. To be honest it was the bright pink gift shop, pink balloons outside and Minnie Mouse that isn’t sculpture by Kaws in the courtyard that enticed me in. It looked busy so I said another day. Getting my days mixed up this week, not sure what to do and realising once the zoo hours change next week and the tourist season starting it was my last chance to visit while it wasn’t busy. 

Guillermo Lorca, Little Garden. I have no idea what’s going, yet the detail!

Twinning with the main museum in Amsterdam, Moco Museum Barcelona takes you on a journey through modern, contemporary and up and coming artists. Downstairs showcases 80’s artists such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, up and coming arts before heading upstairs to Banksy and Guillermo Lorca. I wouldn’t say museum is the right word to describe it, more art gallery however taking in the account the flow of the space as it finishes with NFT’s and light installations perhaps museumish.    

Banksy Home Sweet Home. I’ve no idea why I laugh out aloud when I saw it

The entrance fee is steep at €17.50 outside of off peak hours however around 17.45 the entrance fee drops to €14.50 as they close at 19.00 (I think the entrance fee is so much to cover the insurance on all the pieces). One hour is plenty to see all and I left feeling inspired. While I didn’t understand the concept of Guillermo Lorca’s paintings, his artwork is amazing. Banksy’s cheekiness had me laughing out aloud and Kaws use of colour was amazing! The building where the museum is housed, the courtyard is out of fairytales with a rich history behind it. That’s the charm about EL Born past its dark, stinky alleyways, so many doors open up to amazing courtyards and architecture. 

Diamond Matric . Studio Irma. Hundreds of led diamonds changing colours in a mirrored room where everywhere you looked diamond travelling for infinity. With the music it was kinda peaceful.

More photos saved on my Instagram Story highlights under Out and About 2.

Here Begins the Sea Drain Signs

This week I’ve noticed Here Begins the Sea, don’t throw throw waste/residue down popping up in the city centre, like I noticed in California and Hawaii. Maybe someone in the Barcelona council was inspired by a USA trip!

Ukrainian Military Dog reunited with Human

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