Nat Dyes Linen Shorts

My favourite pair of shorts from summer 2019 still had some life in them for this summer. The only problem, they had faded so much in the wash I felt embarrassed to wear them. 

Out of nowhere I got the idea to dye them. They’d take dye being linen. Next step was buying the dye. I was convinced buying clothes dye in Spain would be hard. It wasn’t. My local supermarket had the colour I wanted, sky blue. 

Laundry colour faded before. These were once light blue

I put off for dying them for a few months thinking it’ll take a long time and finding the right moment. Sometimes there is no right moment. One day in July I decided to dye them, rather than keep looking at the box. 

Instructions. While I understood most of them, Google Translate helped with new words. The camera translate still needs work with some words. Blue Texas if you’re curious is denim. Green Oscuro, dark green.
What to expect from the dye

Dying them was so easy! Straight forward steps. I’m not sure I put enough salt in as I got distracted counting how many spoonfuls I was putting in (tip: if you’re dying items in the bathroom and have 2 toilets and others around, tell them to use the other bathroom. There was big eye roll moment of ‘Dude! Can’t you see what I’m doing?! Use the other bathroom!’). I thought the bathroom would be the best place to dye them. Easy clean up and the dye wouldn’t stain the bath. The box came with 2 packs of dye and one pack of fixer. Salt not included. The brand also does its own dying salt however as I was already feeling guilty over the toxins in the dye I used regular sea salt. Which is also cheaper. I used 1 pack of dye based on the weight of the shorts.

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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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Fast Fashion’s Inditex Join Life label and My September Challenge

Fast fashion is one of the world’s number one environmental polluters from the amount of water used in crops and production, pesticides growing crops, petroleum extraction for man made fibres, water pollution from dyes used, poor working conditions and pay of those in the garment industries and unworn or barely worn clothes going straight to landfill. 

I’m no angel when it comes to clothes. I shop at Zara, H&M, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Fabletics none of which are known to be the most environmentally friendly businesses. I have a budget for clothes and always try to get the best quality I can. Over the past few years I’ve been buying less clothes. Winters are easier than summers. Normally my summer clothes only last a season, two if I’m lucky. I live in Spain so it gets hot, but I cycle everywhere, I swim (more dip in the sea), I wear a rucksack, clothes and fibres get ruined quickly with sweat, sunscreen, salt water, abrasion from cycling and my rucksack. Summer clothes aren’t meant for cycling or rucksacks however cycling’s my transport and I’m not taking a change of clothes with me. I try to choose carefully clothes I think will last more than a few washes and try to get basic colours or a few colour tops. Summer though I like colour and wear those t-shirts or bottoms out. More expensive doesn’t always mean better quality either.

I noticed last year Zara started basics in organic cotton with this year a much bigger change in Indtiex brands, such as Zara, Pull and Bear, Zara Home and Oysho to name a few. They have a Join Life label which explain how much of the item is either made with organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide, recycled cotton or water used. Garments produced under the Join Life label use better processes and more sustainable raw or recycled materials. 

All items produced under this label have to ensure suppliers achieved A or B in social audits. All wet process factories such as tanneries, laundries, printing, dying suppliers have to score A or B classifications and pass environmental assessments. In addition products manufactured using raw materials or production techniques have to be of environmental excellence. 

The Join Life label is split further into 3 categories according to their website:

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Summer 2020 Essentials

Today I’m sharing my favourite season summer, essentials! Summer goes by so fast. I’m always sad when autumn fall kicks in. I love the heat, the longer days, being able to go in the sea, the colours, the lesser layers to wear, the freedom that summer has.

Clockwise from orange juice. Please excuse the flat lay, I’m not that good at them.

Orange Juice Boost

When it starts to get warmer, I start to crave fresh orange juice. I think it’s the sugar in it that helps my body with the heat. It can quench thirst almost as good as water and I always feel awake and refreshed afterwards. 

Body Lotion 

I finally found a body lotion that works! Sadly there’s a lot of plastic involved, however Instituto Español do a vegan body lotion, Natura Madre Tierra Body lotion that my skin likes, keeps hydrated all day, works with sunscreen on top and isn’t that expensive for how much I get through.

Water Bottle

Goes everywhere with me when I’m out! Hydration, hydration, hydration! 

Snacks

I always try to have emergency snacks when out. This summer it’s been almonds and dried mango. 

Scrunchies 

These are kinder to hair once you find ones that work for your hair. I prefer Kitsch satin scrunchies but I can’t get them in Spain. These I got from Berskha. They’re not as good, my hair at least once a week gets tangled up in them, however they’re much kinder on my hair that regular elastic hairbands/ties. They also add a pop of colour. 

Hand Sanitiser

I don’t like the pretolum ingredients in them, but I can’t avoid them until alcohol plant based ones are available. 

Sunglasses

Essential not only for reducing wrinkles but protecting the eyes from the sun. A few years ago I started wearing polarised lenses and never when back to regular sunglasses. Oakley do the best polarised glasses and I like colour lenses as all black or all brown sunglasses are too dark for my colouring. 

Mask 

Summer 2020 and possibly summer 2021 mandatory item. I avoid disposal masks due to the waste they generate and resources in production. It took a while to find an all cotton one that didn’t cost the earth now people are cashing in the the mask market. These I got from El Corte Ingles, €5 for 2 which are reusable, washable and that I can breath through easily on a hot day. I also have some white ones that are really lightweight however being white, they weren’t white for long. I dyed them blue when dying a pair of shorts and now have lightweight masks for indoor/gym climbing. It’s like you need an assortment of masks depending on what you’re doing. 

Sunglasses

Essential not only for reducing wrinkles but protecting the eyes from the sun. A few years ago I started wearing polarised lenses and never when back to regular sunglasses. Oakley do the best polarised glasses and I like colour lenses as all black or all brown sunglasses are too dark for my colouring. 

Aloha Collection Pouches 

I discovered Aloha Collection on holiday in Oahu earlier this year initially only purchasing one, only to buy more. They’re great at stowing away wet/damp bikinis after the beach without getting everything else in your bag wet. They’re not 100% waterproof as the seams aren’t but they are splash proof so nothing leaks. They’re great too travelling for clothes, accessories, cosmetics, cables, ipads keeping everything organised even if inside pouches isn’t or just as a bag out. They’re expensive as is international shipping, but they’re worth the money. They’re also pretty to look at. So pretty I don’t want to use them in case I ruin them! 

Baseball Cap 

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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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