It’s computer upgrade time! Not so much for myself, but flatmate Peter has been using trusty six-year-old Shadow since I bought the Greyhound, and it’s looking like Shadow is about to give up the ghost, so if I upgrade then I can pass the Greyhound on to him. But I’m not sure which way to go. I saw an older version of an HP all-in-one desktop (different than the one shown above) awhile ago and thought it might be nice to have a larger screen to work with, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to lose the portability option of a laptop. Though it must be said that the Greyhound has seldom left the desk in the past three years. So I thought I had finally decided on going with this newer desktop version with a 23″ touchscreen, but then I saw this 17″ laptop that is a bit cheaper and seems to have more “stuff” (RAM, memory graphics, etc) so would it be better to go with the laptop instead and keep the portability option? Do I really need 12 GBs of RAM? Help?
It’s been a strange week with suddenly a few “days off” in a row. Of course when you run your own biz there is almost no such thing as a day off. I guess in my case it just means I don’t have a food tour to do on top of all the other stuff. And so Wednesday ended up being all about cheese, since I was able to attend a presentation and tasting of these amazing unpasteurised goat cheeses from Extremadura. I continue to be amazed at all these small producers who are incredibly passionate about what they do. Turns out it’s not *just* cheese, it’s a way of life. As all the best “businesses” tend to be.
Remember at the beginning of November when I announced We Love Tapas? Well, here are the first two members of my fabulous WLT team: Aldara & Ana. Both born and bred in Sevilla, passionate about food and culture, well-travelled and fluent in several languages. We’ve been having a great time on our “training sessions” as you can see. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my new biz partner who is coming into town for the day. Won’t be long now…
In case any of you have been wondering where I’ve been all week… this was Wednesday.
Press trip to Jerez to see which Spanish finalists would compete for the 2015 Copa Jerez.
Followed by posh lunch at Bodegas Tradición.
More about this soon over on Azahar Travels.
Morcilla overseeing the printing
I’ve often thought that September feels like the real “new year”, rather than the first of January. Summer holidays are (mostly) over, shops and bars have reopened, there are lots more people out and about. This week especially has a distinct “back to school” feel to it as I get things organised for the whack of Sevilla Tapas Tours booked over the next couple of months and settle back into a routine of getting chores done and going to the gym. Meanwhile I chip away at the iceberg of blog posts and articles that need to be written or updated, including editing the 3000 or more photos I took over the summer. Any spare time is being spent on putting together my new Trip Planning biz, which is pretty much ready to go but still needs fine tuning before I properly launch it.
It’s also a time for taking care of practical matters like tax stuff (ick) and finally seeing the dentist. I had planned to put the latter off until the next PET scan, but after having lost a fourth filling (plus much tooth) last month, another fell out over the weekend and, well, FIVE half-gone teeth seems like too much to ignore. I’ve got my oncology appointment on the 22nd, so blood work will have to be done before that, and then the quite possibly scariest PET scan of all will be sometime in October. So much hinges on this one coming back clean as it’ll mark five years since my last chemo and – if all is well – a change in how I’m monitored. Most likely I’ll switch to having annual PET scans instead of every six months and maybe they’ll even remove the chemo port. Both of these would be such much-needed positive changes in my life (I can’t even bear to consider the alternative) that I’m almost too scared to hope. I’ll let you guys do that for me. ;)
But at least so far, it’s all good this September. Lots to do, lots of new stuff coming up. Very exciting. How about you? How’s your “new year” coming along?
Thursday was sherry tasting madness with three bodega tours booked starting at 9.30 am and finishing around 3.30 pm. But unlike the regular tourist tour I did at Gonzalez Byass on Wednesday, these were all private visits, and I felt both honoured and privileged that these very special wineries made me feel so welcome. And talk about educational! I had previously found out that I wasn’t able to get into this September’s Sherry Educator course (though I was promised a place for next year). But this sherry tasting marathon was almost like doing a mini course in a few hours. I just let each person take me through the sherry making process from the beginning, in their own way, and it was very interesting how I learned different things at each place. Each bodega was unique and everyone I spoke to was incredibly passionate about their work. And the wines! Stunning. I will be doing a more indepth report on all this a bit later on Azahar Travels, but I have to say that the more I learn about sherry, the more I realise what a wonderfully complex wine it is. As my friend (and sherry educator) Annie Manson says, you never stop learning about sherry.
Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed the day, being treated like a VIP and getting caught up in all the stories and discussions. After the final tasting Peter and I popped over to Bar Arturo, renowned for its no-nonsense décor and fabulous fish and seafood. Absolute fishy heaven. And crazy good tomatoes too.