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


  1. Hello! Time goes by fast when you are having fun and it seems like you have been having a lot of fun! I enjoyed these photos, such a beautiful park and you are doing so well with your healthier lifestyle - amazing and you should be proud!
    Your Fairyland Mini Fee looks absolutely stunning in her wig, eyes and outfit. Congrats on getting her!
    And it seems like Teddy and Sam had some fun too!
    Enjoy July!

    1. Hi Niina, thank you for your comments :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I am indeed enjoying July, the summer is definitely my favourite time of the year. I hope you're having a great one too :)

  2. Barcelona looks a great place to visit, that water looked so tempting to cool ones feet in! :)

    You must be so pleased with all the weigh you have lost from your new healthier lifestyle. The before and after photos are very telling, you looks so much brighter in the second one, like life is good.

    And get you out in public taking photos of your dolls ! That's your new found confidence in looking so good! well that or you can run faster now ;) lol

    Love you new girl and seeing Teddy and Sam enjoying themselves at the garden centre. It will be interesting to see you and Mum and Brother next June in the same pose....we may have to ask Brian where he found that younger woman!!
    Seriously though I'd be walking on cloud nine if I managed to lose so much, so well done.. treat yourself to a b... bracing walk by the sea :)
    Have a great summer
    Dee xxx

    1. Thanks so much Dee, glad you enjoyed the post. Barcelona is really interesting and I will have to return there one day to see all I missed, but a long weekend with a doll convention and one day of rain is not enough to see even a fraction of this city.
      As for dolly photos in public I have got a little braver...but not much LOL
      Have a good one yourself, I hope it's not too hot for you xxx

  3. The pictures from your trip are beautiful! The bandstand story is horrible though.
    Great job losing the weight! You look great! I know what you mean by the difference in how you feel. My weight is up at the moment and I felt so much better before. Whenever I lose I feel better. You're very inspiring!
    I love Teddy's sweater. Beautiful! I have to say though, my favourite doll photos were the ones with Sam. She's very expressive and posable.

    1. Thanks for visiting Tam, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, I wish I'd taken more and taken my proper camera but alas I thought it would be safer not too look too touristy! LOL
      Thanks also on my new look, I now have to just keep at it :)

  4. Loved all the photos Sharon. I must congratulate you on your weight loss, you look fabulous and I agree, much younger. I'm still working on mine but have managed to loose 13k, but is a little harder now it's winter and I don't feel like walking in the rain and cold. I have been using my machine, but not quite the same as walking in the sunshine. :)

    Your new girl is lovely, it's hard to resist Fairyland girls, but I am managing to be a good girl (at least for now).
    Big hugs,

    1. Thanks very much Sandy, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.
      Well done on your weight loss too, it is hard and I understand about the lack of enthusiasm for walking when the weather is bad, I felt the same too, plus the puddles everywhere in the winter made my routes too muddy to actually pass! But you'll get there in the end!
      I'm the same with Fairyland girls, I do like their posing, it's difficult for many other dolls to live up to it, isn't it!

  5. What a wonderful post in a beautiful city. I love that you had a second photo taken at the same place with the same people BUt you do not look the same whatsoever! Not only have you shed many pounds but I love your new hair style. You look so happy and healthy Sharon! I am so happy for you. 😊

    Your dolls look so nice and wonderfully dressed as always. Teddy is just adorable and what a fantastic blue outfit! Happy July to you too! ❤️ xxx

    1. Thank you so much Ginger, I'm glad you like the new photo! I admit that I do feel quite different now and am so glad to have got the weight AND the hair off!!! I only grew my hair in the hope that at some point Brendan would book his wedding date, so it got quite long whilst I waited.....took them about 5 years to set the date!!

  6. Thanks for taking us on vacation with you. I love to see photos of faraway places.
    I love seeing how your dolls enjoyed themselves also. I think they had as much fun as you did (smile).

    1. Thanks so much Dorothy, I'm glad you enjoyed our trip to Barcelona :) And yes, I do so hope that the dolls enjoyed themselves as much as me ;)

  7. Your city photos were lovely - and it's interesting to hear about those two memorial spots.

    And your Ria has such a beautiful face! :)

    1. Thank you very much jS, I'm glad you enjoyed them.
      I am really happy with Ria, I thought she might be a bit 'grown up' compared to my other girls, but she seems to fit in quite well :)

  8. I would love to go back to Barcelona - a wonderful city. Great photo of your dolls too, and I admire your determination to get fit and healthier - you look amazing <3

    1. Thanks very much Tricia. I would like to go back some time too, preferably when there is another BJD event but we shall see. I'm thinking about the one that takes place bi-anually in Lyon in France.....apparently it's ENORMOUS!!!! :) xxx


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