snail season 2018

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For those of you who think it’s all fun-fun-fun around here, with endless glasses of sherry and an infinite array of tapas… well, actually it is kind of like that. 😉 Though not every day of course, and not as “constant” as it may appear to be on my social media accounts. Heck, I can make one tapas bar visit last several days on SM via my various accounts. Also, I kind of publish things at random, so if you ever think I am drinking wine at 10 am… chances are I’m not (though on rare occasions it has been known to happen). Which brings me to SNAILS.

It’s now snail season in Sevilla. These are not the more well-known big fat French escargot that come drenched in butter and garlic… in fact, we have two types of snails here. The Caracoles are the smaller version, usually cooked in a spicy broth, and although you can use a toothpick to pry the little devils out of the shell, most people just put the shell to their lips and suck that baby out, sauce and all.

Cabrillas are bigger, and are usually cooked in a thick tomato-based sauce. With these guys you do need the toothpick, and you also have to take care with the sauce, which can splatter all over. I speak from experience.

But whether you love them or hate them (me? I like them!) it’s fun to try the different styles and sauces at different bars. Snails do seem like the most popular insect that have been introduced into Western diets. Thank you France! I mean, dousing anything in butter and garlic…

diy pedi

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While still on the lookout for a recommended place in Sevilla to get a professional pedicure I came across this baby on sale (30% off!) so I decided what the heck. Tried it last night and, although still a ways to go before my heels are “velvet smooth” (you’re not supposed to sand off too much at one time), it does seem to be doing the job. Anyone else have one of these?

steve

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So there I was just minding my own business and wondering what to do after a long day of photo editing and writing (catching up on my websites!) when I got an email from a guy called Steve from Australia, who asked if I was free to do a “last minute” tour that evening. And you know what? I really wasn’t up for it, so I said I wasn’t available for a tour but, because my friend Phoebe put him in touch with me, I suggested meeting up for a late afternoon drink.

Steve had just come from judging wine with Phoebe at the IWC in London, and then took a trip to Jerez to visit a few sherry bodegas. He was on his way home with and this was his last night in Sevilla, so he was in a very sherry mood. We met at Palo Santo for a nice chilled manzanilla and a chat and then – somehow! – one thing led to another and we ended up on a Tapeo Extremo. Well, sort of. We only went to two bars – Eslava and La Azotea – but there was definitely extreme sherry involved. And as always, lots of fun talking with the bar staff at both places. An unexpected treat.

feria by day

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The April Feria in Sevilla is not my favourite thing – in fact it’s not even my favourite feria – but I do like stopping by for at least one afternoon to see the splendid horses and the lovely flamenco dresses. By chance this year it has also coincided with the azahar, which is still (just barely) on the trees. It also suddenly became summer yesterday, with beautiful blue skies and temps of around 32º or more.

So here are a few pics from yesterday, with possibly some “feria by night” ones to come. It’s been years since I’ve been to Feria in the evening, but I have an invitation to go tomorrow, so we shall see.
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homenaje a rosa

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I can’t find a way to embed this so you’ll have to click through to this twitter feed and watch it there – it’s worth it! Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you will understand it. Rosa and her husband have had to leave their home of 40 years in Jerez, due to her husband’s failing health. She said she was leaving her beloved barrio with a heavy heart, until…

Homenaje a Rosa

noche de pescaíto

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The noche de pescaíto (night of the fried fish) is a time-honoured tradition, taking place on Monday evening before the lighting up (the alumbrao) of the April fair grounds  at midnight. Until now. When the powers that be decided last year that Feria should be extended to include two weekends – the more money to make, my dears – this meant that the alumbrao would now take place on Saturday night. Along with the pescaíto. Except at one special location in Sevilla that will not give up the traditional Monday evening custom.

The Antigua Abacería de San Lorenzo is host to all manner of weird and wonderful special events that celebrate various Sevillano traditions. And nobody does seasonal window dressing quite like husband & wife owners Ramón and María Carmen. It’s always a bit chaotic there and always a lot of fun.

I actually learned a couple of things tonight. First that THE sherry drink of the Sevilla feria (manzanilla) is a relatively recent thing – 30 years ago it used to be fino. ALSO… this whole noche de pescaíto thing is also only about 30 years old, and nobody seems to know how it started. Other than the evening before the alumbrao there were obviously people still setting up their casetas and having a casual meal before it all got lit up. Why it ended up being a fried fish meal remains a mystery (since you can actually have fried fish all week long at Feria). But whatever. The pescaíto and manzanilla at the Abacería tonight were great!

just tell him you’re the president

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I’ve been enjoying this on Netflix, though I have to admit that I have never seen the Seinfeld series. But this episode almost broke my heart. Obama getting coffee, being funny, being smart, being a human being. Speaking in complete intelligible sentences. It seems SOOOOOOOOOOOOO long ago, doesn’t it? Can you even remember what it was like not having a gross and disgusting self-serving idiot running the US of A?