Visiting a friend I couldn’t stop admiring her rug in the living room lounge. It was so nice to sit on (she has a 1 year baby so you’re on the floor playing) I got thinking that’s what’s missing with my sofa. I had a look at some, saw the price and left it for when there’s more pennies at the end of the month until I went to HM Home. Knowing it probably wasn’t going to be big enough I got it anyway as I liked the texture and colour. It’s more or less the size of a yoga mat, way too small for the sofa so I added to my ‘office’. Checking online HM Home have the same version in larger sizes however maybe too big and on the pricier size. I wasn’t prepared to pay €99-199 for a rug when the first one was €29! I decided to wait until the sales however I found by chance looking again in HM Home the next size up at €39. It’s not the perfect size as it does doesn’t go. I’m happy and that’s the main thing. It feels so nice under my feet and separates the room into a living room from the bikes. In the office/spare room it again separates the room and while the desk can get messy, it gives it a bit of luxe feeling. HMHome España currently only sells the 2 larger sizes here.
The first official day of spring, winter returned but as quickly as it returned it disappeared with almost a week of blue skies. This winter has been grey with few fully sunny days. I’m not sure if this is due to climate change as usually winter’s here are sunny. The temps are going up and that makes me happy feeling warm sunshine, seeing trees getting dressed, changes in light. This time last year Spain was in it’s 5th week of lockdown with only being allowed out for work unless can work from home, food, pharmacy, doctors. I could only watch spring from the balcony and while the light was getting brighter and spring warming up, inside was dark.
Back in February Catalunya allowed gyms to reopen! While the whole of Spain has a curfew, the central government gave regional governments the power to reduce covid-19 transmissions bar total home confinement again. Catalunya I think was one the strictest, but we were allowed out. Some weeks only in our towns although exercise we could travel further. Gyms were closed for a while October to December to be closed again in January. For now they’re back open with restrictions but I’m so happy to be training in a gym again and back climbing indoors (this girl is a bad climber for outside climbing. It’s complicated, gym climbing’s easier to get to).
No surprise my Easter weekend was spent taking advantage of being able to go to the zoo a few times. I could have caught the train or gone someplace else, but no where is as green tropical green, filled with wild birds that are more used to humans to pose and is free. Free for me being a member*.
One of my favourite insects were out too, bumble bees. I like bumble bees. They happily ignore everything around them apart from flowers. By design unlike honey bees, they shouldn’t be able to fly, yet they do. Happily flying flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen, pollinating plants. Growing up I used to see loads of bumbles bees, now living in a city seeing them makes me feel warm inside. Unlike honey bees, they live in a smaller colonies. Sadly like honey bees, their populations are in decline due to pesticides, habitat loss and climate change. No bees, no human food. Bees do about 80% of pollination work on cultivated crops. No human or machine can replace their work! It’s estimated without bees humans would be able to survive just 4 years.
There are ways you can help these gentle giants by planting wild flowers, native flowers or bee friendly flowers in gardens or on balconies. It might not be much, bumble bees might not even come, but other pollinators will. Choosing food if possible with less pesticides so the demand for reduced pesticide food goes up and prices to the consumer down, using less or even better no pesticides gardening. Buy organic food if you can (and help the price of organic food go down!) as they usually use less pesticides. Being mindful of what type of honey you buy. Some honey the bees aren’t kept in good conditions. Support local beekeepers, build homes for native bees, put out a bee bath, plant trees in gardens for bees to rest in! More ideas here!
I hope you’re having great weekend and welcome back to another Weekend Friday Favourites! Spain declared last week another state of alarm to combat covid-19’s 2nd wave and is in place for 6 months. Unlike back in March it’s not a total confinement. For now a nationwide curfew from 23.00-06.00. Regional governments can alter an hour each way. Catalunya had already closed all bars and restaurants for 2 weeks unless providing takeaway with group meetings to a maximum of 6 people. Regions can also stop cross region travel however Spanish borders will remain open. In addition this week the Catalan Government set the curfew 22.00-06.00 with further measures this week of weekend municipal confinements from 06.00 Friday to Monday 06.00. We’re allowed to cross town borders to exercise but not shop unless for essentials not close by. All shopping centres/malls, gyms, the zoo, cinemas are closed for initially 2 weeks apart from supermarkets with other shops limited to retail size and people capacity. Bars and restaurants unless takeaway remain closed. I’m happy it’s not a total confinement like last time. I think I’ll crazy for sure if it was.
Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye recently.
I used to do jigsaw puzzles as a kid and really enjoyed them. My Dad helped although he only did a few pieces before his patience and boredom set in. I’m hoping they’ll break up screen time in the evenings. I spend way too long on my phone particularly YouTube when I get back. Ironically it was YouTube video which gave me the idea. They’re not something I can find easily in the shops! My local supermarket has tiny selection* so it’ll be online for more. This one took me 5 days to complete. What I thought was 10 minutes was 30 minutes or more! I didn’t get much done 2 weekends ago as I was too busy ‘wasting’ time on it. But it’s a good wasting time as I’m using my brain. I felt a little proud when I completed it! I have 2 more already to start (* thank you Christmas toys board games in stock in that local supermarket). This one came with optional glue mix to keep it complete but I’m looking forward to trying it again to see if it’ll be easier, if I recognise pieces and places. Yep. Nerdy.
This is what happens when you watch Hotel Luna on Netflix. A fantasy Kdrama about an hotel that’s for ghosts, souls to rest, resolve grudges before moving onto the afterlife. Only ghosts can see it save the one human employee who helps the owner. The owner each episode wears at least one moon inspired price of jewellery and that’s how I ended up on Etsy looking at moon necklaces. I won’t lie, last week when the moon was a waning crescent to half moon I felt like I was twinning with it.
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).
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 🙂
Covid-19 cases have risen in Catalunya and Barcelona with the regional government closing gyms, amusement parks, clubs, cinemas, leaving open bars and restaurants at 50% capacity, libraries and museums for 2 weeks to stem the spike. My gym and climbing gym rebelled as long as they could arguing that health and fitness are vital essentials that need to remain open. Even the city council was on their side. Sadly they lost and most gyms are now closed until further notice. The zoo held out for as long as possible too, closing on Monday and reopening this Saturday after petitioning to remain open. They say it’s for 15 days, but I think it’ll be longer. Thankfully it’s not a full lockdown, we’re allowed out and shops are open. The only change face masks are mandatory in all public spaces even when we can social distance.
Anyway, this week’s Weekend Friday Favourites. Things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week.
Dietes Bicolor Lyon Arboretum, Oahu
Scrolling back through photos to edit for Golden Gate Bridge a flower I took in Lyon Arboretum, Oahu Hawaii stood out. It was the same flower I took at the zoo a few days ealier! After a little research it’s a Dietes Bicolor, a tropical iris native to South Africa!
On holiday earlier this year in Oahu there’s a chain of shops Sandpeople which sell local art, craft and jewellery that I kept popping into. I kept being drawn to Aloha Collection, a Hawaiian and California brand that specialises in splash proof travel pouches, bags and hip/bum bags. I thought one would be be perfect for the summer stashing a wet bikini. Everything is waterproof bar the zipper and was created with stashing wet swimsuits, easy clean toiletry and make up pouches in mind when travelling that can be multipurpose and protect other items from spillages. The black with yellow hibiscus wasn’t the one I wanted, however I thought being dark coloured would be less likely to get ruined with suncream and from being thrown in a rucksack with everything else. When we got back I couldn’t stop thinking about the mini hibiscus With Love From Paradise X Aloha pouch for a purse and well, first order you get 20% off. They have designs for everyone and I’ve had to blinker myself from the new designs out (especially the new small Lei Lei Orchid prints. Like the blue and green below but in pink and purple and the mini in pink which has sold out 😦 ). None the less, if you want a pretty splash proof lightweight pouch to stashing wet bikinis, or a pouch you can wipe down easily I can’t recommend enough Aloha Collection. They are on the pricey side, but I can see them lasting a long time. The only con I have is print on the mini pouch is beginning to fade. I guess it adds to its character.