A new season starts, a new day begins

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I believe you could divide the world into two types of people: those who are on time, always prepared and write the posts on time… And those who always run late. In the blogosphere at least. Ok, no, I just changed my mind: I believe we all do this thing off-time. Unless you are doing live streaming. That’s the real deal.

It all started with the title of this article. As you may know, I adore summer or maybe I just hate being cold, which happens most of the time in my life: be it indoors, outdoors, because of the AC, because of cloudy days… So I’m always a bit resentful of time flying by specially after summer has ended.  Actually, I feel like I just skipped autumn altogether. I enjoyed warm temperatures (at least at middays in the sun) and now I’m just freezing, wearing some cut-off gloves while I type under the blanket. It’s cold in here and dark night outside. But let’s cultivate some optimism!

Why do I write?

I just recently thought, what if someone tries to write my biography when I’m dead? I know, quite an ambitious dream (not the being dead part, of course). I was just reading a biography of Diana Vreeland and there are many quotes in there from her diaries. The thing is, I don’t write a diary, and when I’ve written something similar to that I’ve made sure, like really sure, that nobody could ever read it. Although there was little on those entries that could help in a biography rather than have a psychological profile made of my inner conflicts and unresolved emotions, which are the only things that make me write in secrecy in the first place.  🤔 So, my only legacy, if I never get the chance to write a book (I have many books in my mind!) may be this blog. Until the day I (or someone on my behalf) stop paying for the hosting.
So, this blog does serve as my legacy, not only to showcase what I create (occasionally), but also share a small piece of my mind and vision of the world. And this, my friends, kind of serves me as a consolation for writing about my “average” life. I keep promising to myself that one day I’ll only write good, informative and inspiring stuff, but here I am again.

[Changing the subject]

How to keep motivated when it gets colder

Life has been quite good for the last months. And I felt really, really good. I practiced sport, I worked, I started lots of sewing projects, got great ideas I hope I’ll find the time to pursue… And now I have to be positive and embrace change. In my clothing at least. I adore doing sport in shorts, I can tolerate being too hot but I totally hate it being so cold until I’ve actually being active for a while. If you are like me, hold on. Let’s put our favourite tunes and … think about what we can control to make the transition to winter much, much easier.

1- Let’s get some nice winter sporty clothes! 

I don’t want to promote consumerism but maybe it’s not the best of to the ideas to try and motivate yourself to go for a run wearing some old, boring and worn out leggings. And what about a matching shirt and running jacket instead of an old jumpsuit? (Remember fashion is our friend as long as you don’t fall for every fast-fashion trend and learn your own style)

Quick update: I did get some real “sport clothing” just for that, and it did work! It looks amazing on me (no modesty here) and gives me the same feeling that I used to get when wearing my wetsuit for surfing  – that of empowerment and freedom.

2- Picture yourself having fun out in the cold


3- Picture yourself feeling so great in the hot shower afterwards

4- Think about the big goals you want to achieve for next summer. It won’t happen if you keep sitting by the fireplace


5- Oh, did I say to start with some good music to kick it off by moving that awesome body?

🎶

6- Last but not least, think about that great dinner or that glass of beer that will be waiting for you when you come back

One thing I realised not long ago is that I used to put on warmer clothing than I needed. So I was uncomfortable all the time, having my exposed skin so cold but then I was too warm where I was covered. Just saying, for those of you who also thought, how on earth can they be outdoors with shorts, in this temperature?

There’s no chance I’ll be going running these days just with a pair of shorts, but you won’t find me with gloves and an infinity scarf neither.

PLUS

Now, let’s remember the good moments of the last season: (oh, yes, it’s an excuse to tell you that I got the chance to surf and finally tried scuba diving! It won’t be my last time!)

Tadà!

I don’t have much to say about Autumn though. But now I can get excited about Christmas!! Aren’t you already?? Decorations are on the streets already and Black Friday is coming fast. Will I be able to create something christmassy inspired?? I hope to at least get to style some cozy shots. Keep posted! 😉

UPDATE : fuck, nop. 😩 I didn’t even get to finish this post before Christmas, nor publish it before 2020. Let’s say I’ve kept pretty busy during this last quarter. Maybe next year? 🙏

But let’s remember and repeat our winter mantras :

Everything will be ok, even if it gets colder.

And this shall pass too.

Cheers

xx

Lena

Tides are changing – Tidal knowledge for surfers

Exploring

 

THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY MY SURFING DREAMS (JK)

Tides are a funny thing. When we think about the beach we don’t usually think about the tides. And surely we don’t take into account how beaches change with tides. D’you know those paradisiacal beaches you see in travel sites in those wonderful photos? They may not look the same on low tide.
But how do tides work and what should you know about them?

Tides are sooo important when going surfing. I’m used to not thinking about them because in the Mediterranean they are almost inexistent. But whenever I go surfing to a new spot, I realise how dependent we are of the tide.

 

Picture by a surf mate 🤙

 

Surfing spots are very different and tides are a key factor in creating the best moment to surf. With surf forecasts, it’s easy to know when the tides are changing but you must know what’s the best condition for that beach. There are beaches that work best in high tide, others in low tide, some in the medium high tide and some others in the medium low tide.

 

Tides are created as a result of the gravity of the Moon and the Sun on the Earth and their movements.
Every tide lasts approximately 6 hours and there are two low tides and two high tides every day. Between the two high tides, half a day it’s gone (12h and 27 minutes).That’s because the Moon takes almost 25 hours to circle the Earth. So every day the tides come an hour later than the day before.

 

 

How’s that there are two high tides (and lows) if the Moon only takes one trip around the Earth a day? Well, it seems weird, right? While the water rises when the Moon is overhead your beach, it has the same effect when it’s just on the opposite side of the Earth (just below your feet). This is because the gravitational force of the Moon creates two water bulges that also move contrary to the movement of the Earth as a result of a centrifugal force (created from the difference in the rotation of the Earth – it rotates around an axis that isn’t exactly at the c

enter so one side will rotate faster giving some inertia to the second bulge of water).

The bulge on the side of the moon will be the high high tide and the one on the other side just a high tide (but it’s more noticeable on certain spots, for example, on caves or narrow indentations of the sea).

 

 

What’s the role of the Sun? Well, because of its distance from the Earth, its gravitational force doesn’t affect the seas as much as the Moon does, but when it aligns with the Moon and the Earth spring tides happen (when the high tides get higher). Conversely, when the Sun gets on a right angle with the Moon, the neap tides happen (the lowest of high tides).

Also, the distance from the Moon affects those bulges differently (you know, it doesn’t go round the Earth in a perfect circle, it’s more like an ellipse). So, when it’s closer to the Earth (perigee), the tidal bulges increase and they decrease when it’s at its furthest (apogee).

 

 

Further reading :

(Quoody) Tides

Physical Geography

– Science of tides

– How the tides affect breaking waves

 

 

My 7 favourite things to do in Siargao (for non surfers)

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Oh my girl! Did I forget to mention that I was away for a month? I can be such a bad person at times…

Well, the thing is we (my bf and I) went on a holiday to the Philippines!! So exciting. Had never been on a travel like that: to Indonesia, different culture, tropical climate and coconuts and palm trees everywhere! We visited Cebu, went to Bohol and stayed most of the time to the beautiful island of Siargao. I could write about the travel for hours, but I just want to explain you the things I loved the most that weren’t the main touristic activities of Siargao.

So, let’s deep in!

1- First of all, what we did first.Visiting a big city 

(Please, forgive me! This is not something you’re gonna do in Siargao, but you may need to in order to get there). Which was Cebu. We arrived at the Mactan-Cebu airport and found our way (thanks to many nice filipinos) to our guesthouse in the center of Cebu, taking many jeepney’s and seeing the afternoon get darker and darker. We stayed two days and came for another one before leaving. Did we love the city? No. Did we enjoy it? Not so much. What was undeniable is that it’s something worth to experience for a day at least. Bohol and Siargao are beautiful islands, plenty of little villages and a couple of small cities, but they look not much alike. It’s a different world. Cebu is crowded, the traffic is insane, the electric cables can’t say if look crazy or they are art… There is poverty and there are also the commodities and shops that we see in Europe. A place of contrasts. Eating out can be very cheap if you do so in local streets.

street cebu

A main road in Mactan Cebu. It was more peaceful and closer to the airport, so we stayed there before taking our flight home.

2- Next thing you’ll love to do is to find a paradisiac spot.

Yeah, something like this.

Lena in paradise

Who haven’t dreamed about some palm-trees like that, by a white sand beach and crystal clear waters? Dream *completed*!

As we stayed over 20 days in Siargao, we had to spend quite some time in the beach, so this one was always first on the list. I think its name was Paradise Beach 😛 For those who surf, G-spot and Magic spot are pretty close, but far enough so we hadn’t to share a piece of beach with anyone!

peaceful palm trees girl

3- A similar one, but not the same: explore *your* beach!

As you can imagine, there are many beaches in an island. Though Siargao is small, you still can try and find one nobody talked to you about. We did spent days going into little trips to new places with our motorbike and find some really nice places. Where we could relax, see a special village, an island or just snorkeling. Also bathing into rockpools. (There is a main attraction in Siargao called Magpupunko, which is a very beautiful rock-pool, but you may find some other beaches full of little rock-pools as well). We enjoyed one like this, and it was wonderful. Hot water, peace, silence and crashing waves on the horizon. Have in mind that they usually are rock-pools only when the tide is low. So it’s always good to know the tide times, as even paradisiac beaches doesn’t look  the same in low tide than in high tide (you can ask a surfer to help you 😉 ).

rock formation in the beach siargao

small rock pools siargao

diving in siargao

looking for a desert island in siargao

sandy island siargao

You may even find your desert island. (My take though? I don’t ever want to be left in a desert island without a boat to get back).

4- Something tasty!

Go to a bakery and shop and try everything! (Ok, almost everything.) Pastries are very unexpensive and quite good. When we discovered them we couldn’t stop taking some for breakfast, afternoon snack… until we get bored. They are different to what I’m used to, quite fluffy. I loved the ones with something purple. They usually seemed to have chocolate and then we would find out that it was actually this purple thing (called “ube”). What’s typical in Siargao is “pan de surf” (surf’s bread), called like this because the shape of this small bread resembles a surfboard. You can find women baking them by the roads, burning coconuts. Also, they make “pan de coco” too, which is very good and tasty when still warm.

pastry ube siargao

 pan de coco siargao

5 – Watching fireflies.

It came almost a surprise. I knew there were fireflies on the island but never thought about it. Then, in the way back to the cottage after a walk by the sea at sunset, we spotted them for the first time. It was already dark and looking to the side of palm-trees and gardens you could see very bright points moving in the dark. I’ve seen fireflies before, but never so bright. At the first moment I thought it was a spark or something similar. Then, other nights cruising on the motorbike we would spot more of them flying into the jungle.

6 – Step out of the beaten road.

Siargao is mainly an island with a big road that goes all along the coast, in a circular circuit and also crosses in the middle. A part from this, you may found some smaller roads and paths that will take you to villages, rural homes or just palm-trees. But who knows what can be hidden into the jungle?

We followed some small roads off the way to get to beautiful villages and also into the jungle. It’s not like the great imaginary tropical jungle we usually have in mind. Not so many colourful animals and rare plants. But you’ll surely spot some wonderful butterflies, small flowers and big leafs.

in the jungle siargao

big leafs siargao

tall palmtrees

7- Be sure to know and go do some activities that you enjoy.

There may be days when it rains, or you have nothing to see or just want to not sit on the motorbike for two hours. So it will be helpful to know some activities you’ll enjoy doing. In my case, I had very good times taking pictures (what you see here is the top of the iceberg), we also enjoyed very much snorkelling and looking for shells and submarine life (so many starfish!!!). We “even” surfed! (That was on the list for sure). We also had some books with us, went to bars and the like, played and trained in the common area of our accommodation, etc.


beach resort siargao

drawing in the sand siargao

I spent a month away from my pencil and watercolors. Hard for my hand

art photography splash

jump into the sea siargao

8- *Bonus point!*  Bring good company (or find it along the way)

happy couple

What else I wouldn’t like to miss

Visiting Bohol. I loved seeing the tarsiers, the Chocolate Hills and getting all over the island with the motorbike.

tarsier official sanctuary bohol

chocolate hills bohol

Spending some time with locals was also great. Kids were always happy to meet us and in most villages people were also very friendly. And getting to far villages always offered a new wonderful scenery.

Facts and tips about Siargao

  • It’s getting more popular and you may need to book your hotel previously or be able to change plans.
  • Because it’s more of a touristic place, prices get a bit more expensive than in others places of the Philippines.
  • Most tourists stay in General Luna. You won’t find so many foreigners while exploring the island. It’s also where you’ll find more accommodation options.
  • If you have questions, I can answer them (from my experience)… Because there are too many things that could be said.

 

 

You may want to check out the prints, clothing and homeware I designed inspired by this travel called the Tropical Fantasy Collection in the Shop.

Get some inspiration for the New Year: MiniAdventures

Exploring

The Holiday mood is already everywhere. This week we decorated for Christmas. We have half of the presents bought. I’ve heard carols in the radio and the streets are decorated with its coloured lights. We are ready for this season!
I like this time of the year. Specially when we are still getting some days that aren’t that cold. Even then, that’s the prefect excuse to warm up with a cosy blanket on the sofa, something to drink, a panettone to eat and a movie or book to entertain ourselves.
I also find it’s a very good moment for creativity and imagination. You know, it’s the magic time of the year. But it’s also near the end of it and the start of the new. How will it be? How was this year?
Imagining the future feels good. We can start planning next year adventures, travels and activities.What can be more fun than that?
Make a couple of new boards on Pinterest and start planning the year! I’ll be doing it!

In the meanwhile, I want to share with you some pictures of my little adventures of the last months. A good way to remember the best and get some inspiration for the next MiniAdventures.
Have you heard about this term? Checking it I see they are called MicroAdventures instead. I like mini though. It’s basically about getting outside, do something different without having to travel far away or for a long time. You can find more about it here and here. It’s something I really like, because MiniAdventures are short but good, in new places but not at days of travel, challenging but affordable. Any trip, every cycling day or hike could be one. I like to see any activity as an adventure. Life is an adventure. Every day can be an adventure.

For today’s, I want to show you about my last surf trip to the north, in France. One week of chances, challenges, nice weather and some calm.

Are you coming?

Pack your board and bikini, some clothes and get in the car. We are going! Road trip mode on

on the road

Be there, do that. Ready for da surf? Let’s go!

Look for that beach with perfect waves, park the car in the woods, surrounded by magical forms and get ready. Walk over the dunes of sand and paddle hard for the waves of fun.

beautiful trees

Feel the salt in the skin, the sun in the eyes, the freedom of the sport.

I don’t usually take a camera into the water… so let’s pretend the picture below belongs to the same trip… 😉

lena singla surfing

Surfing base camp – Boards, wet wetsuits and shiny noons.

wetsuits drying

surfboards

Transport yourself into a week of nice sunsets with bright colours and beautiful skylines.

hossegor river side

sunset in the camping

sunset in hossegor

When the summer is gone, it feels even better : Beach on the morning, beach on the afternoon.

golden sunset wave

gold beach

Have a laugh; this is my stylish way to the top of the bunker.

bunker

views over the bunkers

Go cruising!

lena singla skateboarding

lena singla cruising

One day the adventure is over and we have to come back. But there’s still a promise of more.

on the way back home

What MiniAdventures did you do recently? Something snowy planned for this Christmas?

 

#IMustConfess I’m in love (or Those Joyful Days)

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surf love

Yes, I’m in love. And it’s one of those loves that just grow better instead of slowly blending with monotony. It still strikes me how I feel the day I’ve surfed. I’m just happy. Everything looks better. Life looks better. Even if it was awful, who cares, I’ve surfed. I may have been cold, I wiped out, I didn’t catch that perfect wave… Anyway, I surfed.

It fills me with joy. May it be too presumptuous to attribute such a big influence that a sport is to my life? Well, maybe.
If someone had told me, when I was younger, that I’d become a surfer, (because no matter what level I have or achieve, I consider myself a surfer girl) I would not believe it. Not that I wasn’t an active or sportive girl. But I had not much interest in sport further than having fun or doing it because it was good.

Surfing is a different world. It’s not doing sport. I would do sport in order to get fit for surfing. Surfing feels like a real passion. It’s something I want to keep doing for the rest of my life, preferably every day. I don’t care if it’s not my work, I don’t care if I cannot get to the awesomest waves around the world. I just mind surfing as often as possible.

I want to slide down the face of the wave, touch the swirling water, ride the lip, turn around… feel the drops in my face, salty hair and lips, skin softened by the sun… And a bit of fear, tiredness and falls, rolling underwater…

It is just pure fun, it is pure love.

Delicious Idleness or Dolce far Niente

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delicious idleness

At the beginning of last week I went to a too-fast business travel to Italy. And even I had almost no time to think or see anything I remembered that italian saying that goes “Dolce far niente”, translated as the pleasure of doing nothing, but better expressed as “delicious idleness”. It hit me because a few weeks ago, (or maybe just two ) I watched the movie “Eat, Pray , Love” starring Julia Roberts. In that movie they talked about it when in Italy.

That made me think about it and I realised it is an idea I could embrace easily. Why? Well, it seems that nowadays, in order to live, you must be doing something all the time. And if we have nothing to do right now, we check our phone.

I don’t believe in that lifestyle. Why bother trying to get distracted all the time? I believe that when you are busy all the time it’s because you’re trying to avoid doing something else.

How can Delicious Idleness improve our life?

Mindfulness has being gaining popularity. The practice of being present. For me, it’s Delicious Idleness. I’d just love having some time for resting my mind and body while being somewhere I like. Time of my own. It’s not wasted time, in fact is a precious time gained, because it helps me choose what direction to take in life. Usually, I’d be laying under the sun in the garden, hearing the birds, sheep, breeze and random sounds. Or, while surfing, I’d be waiting for the next set of waves, feeling that peaceful state of relax and awareness. That’s even better, because there are those moments when I have to stop thinking, empty my mind and concentrate to catch a wave. 

To somebody else it could be anything else, like driving or cooking or colouring a page or writing about your day…

What brings you a kind of inner peace?