April 2022. The Sunny Month Part 1

April arrived with sunny skies chasing away March’s rainy cloudy days. The storm clouds hang around at sea looking like fluffy cotton wool sculptures. Almost immediately the trees and plants started waking up and along with the sunny days things starting looking like things would be okay now it’s sunny. For some reason sunny days make everything seem better.

The geese in parc de la Ciutadella had more goslings! More photos below!

Fluffy clouds

The light was amazing. So crisp and so clear. The wind still hang around and there was only 1 I think storm of just out of nowhere tip it down and clear the air rainstorm. Some days the skies were cloud free.

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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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Weekend Friday Favourites

Welcome back to another Weekend Friday Favourites of things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week! 

I hope your week’s going okay. Spring’s saying hello both in its sunny days, slightly warmer temps and its rainy grey day as winter’s whispers it’s see ya laters. I’m just finally used to writing 2022 or 22 and not 2021/21. On third of the year’s already passed! 

Karina More The Marathon Book

I featured in a recent Beauty Finds, Karina More’s 21 day facial massage, facial exercises and postural exercise to help lift the face without botox, fillers or plastic surgery in a way to help Ukraine through skin care. This week she released via Instagram her book The Marathon*. It was meant to be a bound book however the current war in Ukraine has stopped this. She’s offering a PDF format form as little as €1 although I personally think she should have the minimum higher. She said she can’t accept money without offering something in return to help Ukraine. For now it’s purchased in PDF format via Google Drive. I was going to repurchase The Marathon as I wanted to check after a year I’m still doing the exercises correctly. With the book you not only get written explanations and QR Codes for the exercise videos, you get all the science behind how our faces age, how massage works which is also want I was looking for. I’ve downloaded it on my phone, iPad, printed it out as I don’t always want to look at a screen and for sure when it’s physically printed in traditional book format I’ll buy it again! 

*As she’s the biggest Ukrainian influencer she wants to use her platform for the world to see what’s happening in Ukraine so in-between the facial exercises you may see posts of shelling etc.

Kristina Earnest On Demand App

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Weekend Friday Favourites

Welcome to another Weekend Friday Favourites that’s hopefully more regular. I have no excuses other than plain laziness the past few months. 

Weekend Friday Favourites is a favourite post to post so I’ll get straight into what’s been making me smile or caught my eye recently. 

HM Home Recycled Cotton Rugs

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.

Spring

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. 

Gyms Reopened

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). 

DIY Dreamcatcher

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Bumble Bees

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. 

Reading up this could have been a queen. In the autumn fall most of the bumbles bees die leaving only the queen hibernating until the spring

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

* My views on zoo’s here.