Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

My boy was all HappyJack™ this morning playing in the creek at the park. It isn’t my favourite place for him to swim because the water can be a bit smelly, but a quick dousing with the outdoor hose at home takes care of that easily enough. After the hosing Jack smells like an ordinary wet dog, which isn’t exactly odour-free, but it is familiar and I find it oddly comforting. Water equals pleasure for Jack and the whiffs of wet afterward tell me that my boy is tired and happy.

Jack fell asleep soon after getting home today (he is 11 after all) and I’m sure he’s dreaming about paddling and floating and maybe even catching a fish. I hope your day is filled with simple pleasures, too.

Holidays: More Park Güell

Some more details of the tiles at Park Güell. It certainly is one of my favourite places in Barcelona, once conceived as a settlement for workers, with a sustainable water recycling facility and communal area. It was never finished, but has become one of Barcelona’s tourist attractions.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You can see how the colourful tiles have been smashed up in order to fit them to all the curved surfaces.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here they look more random. Anecdote has it that the Barceloneses thought Gaudí was crazy for commissioning perfectly good tiles and the smashing them all up…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The building to the left is not part of Park Güell but an older one.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

This area is underneath the “balconies” we saw yesterday.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s hard to see in the pic’s, but none of the columns goes up straight.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Early morning at the park ©voyager, all rights reserved

Our virtual vacation is over and Jack and I are ready to get back into our usual routines… sort of. My mother is approaching the end of her life and I’ve been spending my days at her nursing home which doesn’t leave me much time to take Jack out to his favourite trails. We’ve been managing by taking shorter walks around the neighbourhood in the early morning and late evening and Jack is just so happy to spend time with me that he hasn’t even complained. Poor Bubba is used to hanging out with me all day and he is not happy about me being gone so much. When I’m home he sticks to me like a lollipop on a cat, afraid that I’ll sneak out when his isn’t looking. This morning I made a point of taking some extra time to take him to our local park and it was such a joy to watch him splash and frolic that I’m going to try to do that every day. It’s good for both of us to have a small bit of normal in the form of fresh air and exercise. The blog is a good bit of normal for me, too.

There’s no wifi in my mom’s care home so that’s a bit of a challenge, but we’ll try to be here every day as usual.

Holidays: Park Güell

I think we had some of it already last year, and I noticed I didn’t take too many pics this year, but it’s still lovely, every single time. If you ever visit Barcelona and need some “Gateway Gaudí”, this is where you go. It#s reasonably priced, since this years there’s a shuttle bus from the underground station and you get all the quirky loveliness that characterises Catalan “Modernisme”.

©Giliell, all rights reserved   You get the best panoramic view of the city

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Part of it is under restauration, so you can see it without all the other people visiting.

 

Holidays: Friday Feathers

Two marvellous birds from the Zoo

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

 

And as an unrelated bonus:

A video I stumbled across indulging in my love for Peter, Paul and Mary: Puff, the Magic Dragon.

What I love about the performance isn’t so much the artists, but the audience who is singing along, or at least mouthing the words, from the toddler to the grandpa.

Tummy Thursday: Churros con Chocolate

One of the kids’ favourite places in the city of Mataró is the Xurrería, which absolutely does not offer tourists an authentical churros experience. It’s simply the real thing, as evidenced by the fact that is was closed for holidays during the second half of our stay, something no tourist oriented business would do at the height of the season. That’s something to say about the city in general: tourism is a factor, and a welcome factor, but it’s not a big enough factor for businesses, especially bars and restaurants to rely on it exclusively. This means they need to provide a service that makes regular customers come back. I understand that I’m the worlds biggest hypocrite here when I want to go for a holiday but not where there are too many tourists, but I can live with that. It means good food.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here you see “porras”, a thicker variety of churros with my “cortado”, an espresso with a bit of milk. Traditionally you eat them with “chocolate” as in the next picture:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

These are the more commonly known churros with their typical shape. The chocolate is thick and dark and not overly sweet, so you can dip your churros in and enjoy the whole thing. It’s more like custard in that respect, only that it’s delicious.

Holidays: The Eye of the Dragon

Komodo dragons are wonderful beasts and I simply love their majesty. I know they’re plain weird, using both venom and biological warfare to hunt. You got to give it to an animal whose hunting strategy is : bite once and wait for a week until it drops dead.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And as a bonus: self portrait in the eye of a dragon, a close up from the picture above. That’s how I want to go, trying to take a picture of a dragon and then being unexpectedly eaten.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Holiday: Cute overload

Sorry for basically disappearing on you. Apparently I caught a “summer flu”, a viral infection that is similar in symptoms though less severe than a real flu. If anything it has reinforced my determination to get every single flu shot every single year. It completely knocked me out, I’ve been in bed since Saturday and today is the first day I’m up for more than half an hour apart from doctor’s visit and school run.

Here’s some cuteness to make up for it:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Cute? Right? That’s just to ease you into it because nothing says cute like a baby mongoose:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Fungi Friday

This week we have another fine fungal photo from Opus, who makes magic happen with his detailed macro portraits. He’s also sent us a photo to give some perspective and scale to the close-up work.

Opus plans to nurse the garden along for a bit and then return it to the wild.

Moss Garden ©Opus, all rights reserved

Moss Garden – overview ©Opus, all rights reserved