29 June 2013

Orchids

Two of my four orchids opened their flowers last week - the yellow-and-pink one was a present froma  friend for my birthday two years ago and the spotted white-and-pink one is my last bargain from IKEA unwanted plants discount shelf.

One more would be flowering with them, it shot out a nice stem, but I managed to break it when moving the pot (SILLY sheep!!). It is even sadder because of the fact that I bought that one without any buds or flowers, so I do not know what the flowers look like. It would be a surprise, but I wil have to wait for a longer time now ;-) Stupidity and carelessness never pay off!

27 June 2013

Plastic

Freedivers are lovely people. They are jolly, they are friendly and VERY committed. They will sign every petition to stop shark finning, write to nearby restaurants that sell shark-fin soup, sign and share everything to help sea turtles and openly go against keeping dolphins in captivity... but when it comes to deflating a plastic bottle and throwing it into a correct rubbish bin… my oh my. Plastic massacre all over the place.


This is just the Sunday morning plastic rubbish that I collected in and around the house where we stayed last weekend. Some I even pulled out of the bin.
I am one of those people who idealistically believe that we can live happily in this world and keep all our comforts while still protecting the environment, simply by changing the little things we do and keeping certain good habbits – like automatically throwing all plastic waste in one big bag and then taking it to a plastic rubbish bin.
The place where we stayed does not have access to drinking water, so everybody buys bottled water for the trip. This produces vast amount of plastic waste, very easily recycled, if only the owners of the place did it. So the best we can do is to collect it all up and take it home with us, throwing it out on our way home.
Hereby, I officially declare myself the recycling supervisor for the following freediving trips, as long as I shall freedive. I already have a volunteer to help me and we are thinking about having team t-shirts (any suggestions where to get some are welcome!!). I must remember to get larger rubbish bags next time though.
I am feeling much better now, knowing that this all will be recycled and used to make new stuff rather than sitting undecomposingly on a pile somewhere. The picture was taken in my own garden. Next time you throw something recyclable out, imagine it piling up in your own garden and how sad that would look. I find it helps :)

22 June 2013

Vegetarian Stuffed Mushroom Snacks

After meeting a very nice and vegetarian freediving judge last weekend, I was motivated to get into a bit of vegetarianism myself. I really like meat, but I think that meatless meal can be great as well, you just have to know how to prepare it - and choosing the right ingredients really matters!

This time I tried to combine my favourite recipe for polenta stuffed peppers from Etsy blog (see the recipe here) with something new that I saw on foodlover.cz - stuffed mushrooms (recipe in Czech here). I basically wanted to fill the mushrooms with polenta mixture from the pepper recipe - I wish I knew I ran out of polenta when I went shopping, so eventually, I had to use mixture of cous-cous instead. What you see here are mushrooms filled with  cooked mixture of cous-cous, cheese, beans and spring onions.  Given the size of those tiny mushrooms this was more of a light snack rather than a proper meal, but it was delicious.


I served it plainly with salad from my own windowsil (and will write a post about it later, because it is SO exciting!!) and enjoyed it in the light of the late-afternoon sun in my west-facing room.

19 June 2013

Freediving Weekend


Apnea Academy Depth Minicomp took place in Barbora quarry (pictured above) in Czech republic last weekend.
 
My gear, left to dry after diving.


It was my kind of holiday minibreak after a long time and I was very excited about the whole trip. Eventually, mind was refreshed, friendships renewed, body exercised. Swimsuit swam, fins finned and wetsuit got wet. (And torn. And stuck together again.Thank you, helpful diver, whose name I probably already forgot.)
 
I did not expect much of myself in terms of diving, but eventually I managed to get into a depth of 35 meters (which is three meters deeper than last year) and I was exceedingly happy with that. Even though I managed to lose the tag on my way up, so I got yellow card (penalties) for that, but the achievement still counts ;-)

 
Barbora looks idyllic from above and from below the water surface. Water was (un)pleasant 5°C, but it was definitely worth going in!!


 
Every evening we stayed out by the fire and roasted and barbecued while drinking beer and talking.
The whole trip was incredibly relaxing and it kicked me into doing more physical work on myself, so maybe you will be seeing dive-themed posts more often :)

17 June 2013

Foraging for Elderflower


It is elderflower season ad the internet is full of elderflower tips and recipes, so I decided to forage a little and get my share of flowers from the communal bushes. I have not foraged before, except for picking mushrooms in the woods with my family when I was a kid. Normally I would be sceptical and scared, but honestly - identifying elder is not very difficult. So I set out for a walk through the fields to look for some plants. I walked through some wheat fields, some thorns, encountered some small amount of ants and decided that sandals are not good footwear for this kind of activity, but eventually I did find my "victim plant" and went home with a nicely smelling bag full of delicious flowers.

I also decided to be super ecological on the way back and avoid public transport. I did, however, need a whole pack of garlic-flavoured Bake Rolls to make up for the energy loss on the way :)

14 June 2013

Zoological Laziness

 
I was very busy running around from place to place yesterday at work. On one of my walks, I met this little lady. She was simply relaxing on one of the raised wooden lookouts, not noticing the stress around and seemed to be very interested in my paper map of the zoo :)


02 June 2013

Butterflies in the Fata Morgana Greenhouse

 
Some weeks back, my great Slovak friend and I decided to go to Fata Morgana (a greenhouse of the Botanical garden in Prague) to see an exhibition of tropical butterflies that takes place there every year.
Butterfly pupae come from Stratford upon Avon (UK) and are stuck to wooden sticks and placed in the greenhouse where visitors can observe the whole process of hatching. Later, the adult butterflies fly around the greenhouse, among the plants and the people.
 
We also took a little walk through the outdoor part of the garden, which turned out to be a 4.5 hour hike :)


Thousands of toad tadpoles were wiggling their tails through the water of the garden lake.


I have never been to the desert part of the garden before, but I was really impressed. It was like entering a completely different world.


And as I have this habbit of zooming in and looking at some tiny creatures, I happened to find a few animals that were probably not there intentionally. It was great fun! I hope to be there more often and make use of my yearly ticket properly! Look forward to more great photos!

01 June 2013

Gone Beady!

I haven't touched my relaxing pile of unfinished friendship bracelets for some time now. Why? Because I've gone beady!!! Yes, again.
 
 
 
Earlier this week, as I was running some work-related errands, I happened to pass a craft shop that I didn't visit for quite some time - and as you have probably guessed, I came out with some beads. Most of the long ones have some chips in them -about which I am not at all thrilled!- so they will probably be listed under low price or given to family and other people who won't mind or those with bad eyesight.
 
Summer is traditionally a time when I start getting into beady craftiness and making Christmas decorations. This year is no exception and - to be honest it looks a bit like November outside. We haven't had a day without rain for more than a week now and for the past four days it's been only all-day downpours here in Prague.
 
Anyway, I can still bake cakes, tea still tastes great, beads are shiny and work is going (kind of) well.

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