Thursday 5 July 2018

The Month of June....

The month of June proved a very busy one for me this year, what with my trip to Barcelona, my birthday and then later in the month my mum and brother John were here for two weeks holiday from the UK.  I don't know where the time went and of course my blog suffered once again from a lack of posts!!!

So I thought I'd do a catch up for the past month and hope it's not too boring for you :)

Now, although I shared masses of photos of the Dolly Day Barcelona, I didn't share any other photos that I took.  Although there aren't a lot of 'non dolly' photos from the weekend away, here are a few:

This is my lovely friend Sue and I in Parc de la Ciutadella, a really attractive and tranquil place, located near the Barcelona zoo:

And Sue with her husband Ben:

And here are some photos from the parc itself:

This memorial bandstand is dedicated to the 'transexual Sonia' who was brutally murdered here for her gender identity.  We three read this independently and all said how it made the hairs on the back of our necks stand on end.  So sad.

The Arc de Triomf....

This is the entrance to the Catedral Basilica de Barcelona, apparently this is the most important temple within the Archdioceses of Barcelona.  If you would like to read more about this cathedral, their website can be found here: 
Catedral de Barcelona

 Passeig de Lluís Companys:

Below is the statue of Christopher Columbus...more can be found about this statue, situated at the end of Las Ramblas, here: Columbus Monument, Barcelona

The Time Of The Doves is a 1962 novel written by exiled Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda.  The book is named after a square in Barcelona's Gràcia district, Placa del Diamant.  As a tribute to the novel, a sculpture of La Colometa by the artist Xavier Medina-Campeny was installed in 1984, depicting the main character with her doves.

There is another very interesting thing about this square.  I quote here from the Barcelona website:  "The symbology of the square took an unexpected turn in 1992, when the air-raid shelter beneath the square was discovered during the execution of road works. Built twelve metres below ground level by the residents of the neighbourhood during the Spanish Civil War, it gave shelter to more than two hundred people during the many air-raid attacks launched on the industrial district of Gràcia of that time, with its many factories that were the main target of the attacking aircraft. This shelter was one of the more than 90 in the neighbourhood, and it is one of the largest of the 1,300 that were built in Barcelona, one of the first cities bombarded systematically from the air in a war. Today, with the objective of recovering the area's historical memory, the History Workshop of Gràcia arranges guided tours to explore the site and it is well worth visiting the shelter and seeing its tunnels which saved the lives of so many people."  

The below design is actually made from coloured sawdust....and is located in Placa de la Virreina....I believe it is a tribute to political prisoners. 

Well you can see that apart from my last post, packed with dolly photos, I didn't take photos of much of the beautiful architecture and city of Barcelona.  A long weekend, with one full day taken with a doll convention and another full day of heavy rain, is really not enough time to spend in this attractive and vibrant place......I think I will have to go again!!

Ahh and here is my seriously depleted money box!!!  Yes I actually save up 2 euro coins and they really did go a long way towards paying for my trip!!!

So that was my trip to Barcelona.  

Well June was also the anniversary of me starting my 'healthy lifestyle' regime.  It's now been a year since I started walking and exercising, as well as cutting out a lot of the 'extras' that I was eating.  I'm really pleased with how the last year has gone and I'm now 32 kilos lighter (that's 70.4 pounds or 5 stone, whichever you prefer!!) and I've lost at least 22cm off my waistline.  I've also gone down a lot of clothes sizes, about 6 to be exact, and I no longer have to take either the high blood pressure tablets or the calcium/vitamin D supplement that I was previously prescribed by my doctor!  And the great thing is, I feel like I've taken years off my age too, I feel that good!!!  

I never liked having my photo taken before, and I'm still not that confident being in front of the lens, but thought I would just share this photo that my husband took a couple of years ago......

And because I felt so ashamed of how I looked in the above photo (with my mum and brother), I got Brian to take another of us now: (please bear in mind that the camera allegedly adds about 10 pounds!!! :D ) 

I think I prefer the second photo ;)

Apart from that, I've now 'upped the ante' on my walking distance and sometimes walk as much as 7 miles with Lucy, our Miniature Pinscher, who incidentally has also lost some weight!!!!  This distance is a big improvement on when I started, I could only manage about a mile previously, and then I almost needed an iron lung to breathe with!!

On the dolly front, I have adopted another Fairyland Mini Fee in the last month or so, a very pretty Ria with custom faceup by the Spanish artist Rakeru Sensei. I decided that she should have a more 'daring' wig than I'd normally go for, so I got her a Monique Gold Fantasy, which is light blond with pastel coloured highlights running through it.  Her gorgeous eyes are from a Greek seller on Etsy....

Whilst my mum and brother were visiting, we went to a garden centre that we've recently discovered.  It is enormous and packed with interesting things, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for some doll photos.  I was going to do a post of those photos separately but at the rate I'm going, I'll never get around to it, so will include a few here:

Teddy wanted to buy this lifesaver ring to use at the pool......

He also quite liked these macaroons until he realised that they were made from hard resin and were fridge magnets!!

It's such a big place that Teddy quite welcomed riding in the shopping trolley, he only has short little legs after all!

He made friends with a couple of very well behaved and friendly Labradors!

And chatted a while with a couple of nice lads who were also shopping there....

Sam (Elfdoll Hana Angel) also came along...Sam is only about 20cm tall so she was dwarfed by the giant toadstools....

But said she'd love a play house made from one, like this one!!

Sam was besotted by this beautiful foal and wanted to bring him home, but sadly we don't have the room for a horse!!!

Sam loved this colourful Macaw and enjoyed feeding him some peanuts ;)

Well I guess that's all we have time for now, so I will wind up by saying I hope you're all having a great summer (or if you're in the southern hemisphere, your winter isn't too bad).  I hope the month of July is a great one for you!!!

Thanks for visiting, and have a great weekend!

Big hugs Sharon x