robert

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Peter & Robert at La Azotea

Met another Twitter pal yesterday! This is Robert Wright @GaoCho, who has actually been living in Sevilla for a year, but I only became aware of him when he sent me a private message last December about something he’d read about me. Then the other day he also commiserated with my “copycat tour company” issues and it was only then that I realized that he lives here (duh). So I said we should meet up for a beer some time and, as I already had a meeting planned at The Office (aka La Azotea Santa Cruz) we decided to meet up there. Spent a lovely couple of hours over a couple of beers and LOTS of chat. Turns out we know quite a few of the same people as both Robert and his husband are tour guides (Robert also writes guide books as well as his Endless Mile project). It was great to meet such a fun and interesting person – hope we can catch up again before long.

sunday times travel mag

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VERY happy with this nice mention in the September edition of the Sunday Times Travel Magazine’s special Foodie Spain & Portugal issue. It’s out now (print only) in case you’d like to pick up a copy too. Lots of great tips on where to eat well on the Iberian peninsula. Thanks ST!

holiday walks

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Been trying to get back into the morning walks, which kind of went by the wayside during the whole moving thang. It’s mostly a question of timing and – at least in summer – getting out early enough, before it gets too hot. Also, nice to time things so that we can stop for a cold beer at the end.  😉

Before moving I had two nice 1.5 hour walking routes that worked well, but from the new Casa Azahar these have had to be altered. And so, as I am “on holiday” this week, it seemed a good time to work this out, and I now have two routes again – a river one and a park one – that I really like. Next week’s holiday walks will take place in Málaga. Have already got that route planned too.

lessons in lounging

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This week (other than one tapas tour on Tuesday) I am on a “staycation” in Sevilla, and here’s Luna giving me a lesson in lounging. This is her favourite lounging spot in the new Casa Azahar. No doubt I’ll be spending too much time lamp hunting, but I also hope to relax before going off to Málaga next week.

It’s been a busy summer and so some “down time” is probably a good idea. I’m not actually very good at relaxing, but it’s nice having a change of routine this week, and also looking forward to seeing the sea again.

blasts from the past

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The other day I was wrapped up in all the IKEA nonsense, feeling abused by corporate bullshit, and then I happened to see that – once again! – one of the new corporate tapas tour companies in town had copied another of my tours. So I mentioned on Twitter how disheartening this is, to not only have people copy things I have created, but they even use the same bars FFS, as if nobody will notice that the bars no longer have actual clients in them, just food tour groups. As if bars don’t have their own eco-systems. Grrrrr…

Then the next day I got a mention on Twitter linking to this photo taken almost exactly 6 years ago (Sept 2011), with a great comment from Tim being very supportive. And I remember this tour! I almost didn’t do it because I was still getting over that emergency op but at that point I also really wanted to get out of the house. So I arranged it that I would meet them with Peter at the first stop, just to say hola, and that Peter would take it from there, since I didn’t think I could manage a whole evening out. But I actually made it to the second stop (this photo was taken at Bodeguita Romero) and I remember not only having a great time before leaving Tim and his friends in Peter’s capable hands, but also enjoying my first glass of wine in over a month.

Anyhow, what a great memory to be reminded of, and curiously this was my second “blast from the past” from 2011 this month, since Ross & Annie are also back in town. All of which is reminding me to enjoy what I have and embrace all the GOOD. Because sometimes I forget.

design challenge!

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So now that I am FINALLY BOX FREE I can turn my attention to other things, like getting light fixtures for the living room, bedrooms and hallways. Any ideas for what might look best in with this plaster ceiling detail? There are two of them in the living room, and I’d like them to be quite bright as I will only use them during the day. And no, I don’t think I’ll be going back to IKEA…  😉

IKEA nightmare almost over…

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So this is basically what all the fuss was about. A simple cupboard 60 x 60 x 140 to serve as a pantry because the kitchen (to the right) doesn’t have enough storage space. It’s handy, just the right size, fits into a space I wouldn’t use for anything else, blah blah blah…

WHY it took over a week to organize the delivery and assembly is beyond me. The guy who showed up today to put the cupboard together said “August with IKEA is always like this” (leading to the obvious question… then WHY NOT HIRE MORE PEOPLE IN AUGUST???). But it wasn’t his fault. I’m sure places other than IKEA contract his company’s services, and in fact he was very friendly and helpful. I couldn’t have been happier with him.

One glitch (of course!). See that cardboard package alongside the cupboard? Well, that’s the cover I paid extra for. Turns out the covers need to be CUT TO SIZE depending on the order, and my guy wasn’t told this and didn’t have the right tools, so there it remains until IKEA sends someone out to do this. But at least it doesn’t affect how it functions. Which means that already three boxes are gone from the hallway and by tomorrow THERE WILL BE NO MORE BOXES. I almost can’t believe it.

Now that it’s (almost) over, I am so relieved that I (almost) can’t believe how upsetting all this was. I think that because moving is so stressful anyhow that when things get fucked up they feel even more stressful. Also, had everything been delivered and assembled last Friday – LAST FRIDAY!!! – as promised, the new apartment would have been pretty much set up over the weekend. Instead it’s been another week of BOXES and feeling disorganized. Yeah, I know, first world problem and all, but it still sucked. Especially as I’m supposed to be on holiday this week, and it sure hasn’t felt like a holiday. BUT… big deep breath… it’s all looking better now. How’s your week been?

so f*cking fed up with IKEA

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So FUCKING fed up with @IKEAspain, who have been dicking me around for a week over this one order. A cupboard for my hallway, which was finally delivered 3 days late, but they still haven’t sent anyone to assemble it. Three times now I’ve waited at home (4 hour windows) and nobody showed up, or even called to say nobody would be showing up. This is the shittiest customer “service” l have ever experienced.

No problem when l spent 1200€ at IKEA two weeks previously, but apparently this 250€ order (and my time) doesn’t matter to them. How about l invoice them for my 12 lost hours? Not to mention l wouldn’t still have fucking boxes in my hallway if this had all been done as promised. And I’m supposed to be on holiday this week, not dealing with this shit. At this point it’s feeling like abuse.