heic? wtf?


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So HEIC is the name Apple chose for its new HEIF standard for photos. HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image Format, a more streamlined way to store image files. Using advanced, modern compression methods it allows digital photographs to be created in smaller files sizes, while retaining higher image quality than its JPEG alternative. Which sounds great EXCEPT that nobody else is using this format other than Apple, so it won’t download on my computer, blah blah…

After locating an app that would convert HEIC to JPEG, a friend told me that it was actually possible to turn off the HEIC option on the phone, so I have now done that. I mean, I now have 256 GBs and am sure I’ll never get up to using even half of that, so I’m not really interested in saving space. Anyhow, Morcilla looks just as pretty in JPEG, wouldn’t you agree?

pippin V


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So this is my fifth iPhone, and it’s quite exciting. You may recall when I got it for my birthday the other day (thanks Peter!) that I wasn’t sure if I should upgrade to the 256 GB model. Well, I decided to do that, but then came the issue of finding a case for it that would protect the phone without completely hiding the beautiful design. I tend to go with bumpers, but couldn’t find any, so ended up buying a “good enough for now” cheapy case at one of the many phone shops around. It’s cute, ruby red, whatever. It’s good enough for now.

But then I wondered if I should also get a screen protector. So I asked at one shop and they said it was highly recommended as replacing the screen on an iPhone X costs 600€ (wtf?). And when I asked how the protector actually protects, the guy took out a sample phone, and a heavy pair of scissors, and proceeded to theatrically bash the shit out of the screen with the scissor handles, with no visible damage. I explained to the guy that I was not about to bash my phone and that I was more interested in how a screen protector would actually protect the original screen if it was dropped. And instead of throwing the demo phone across the shop to prove his point he simply assured me that the protector would also protect the screen from breaking if dropped. But… how? It’s just a thin film of “protection” stuff. Surely the force of hitting the ground, screen protector or not, would cause the original screen to shatter. No?

I ask because I have never used a screen protector, even back when they cost 2 euros and only protected from surface scratches. But now they cost 15-25 euros, so I’m a bit sceptical. Do these things really work? Are they worth it?

amigas & más


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chef Javi Abascal & Cinta Romero

I love this chica. I was fortunate to meet Cinta Romero a year ago when I visited her unique private catering venue La Cochera del Abuelo. And I was even more fortunate when shortly afterwards she became a part of my fabulous We Love Tapas team. Since then we have become friends as well as colleagues, and she is always an inspiration to me.

As Cinta and I share a passion for gastronomy in Sevilla we also make great “tapas research” partners. But yesterday was an extra special outing as we finally managed to meet up at La Lola Gourmet Tapas, which is run by a friend of Cinta’s, chef Javier Abascal. We were treated to a special tapas tasting menu, which was outstanding.

Later we were joined by Cinta’s daughter María (who had the burger) and later still by her husband Javier (for a penúltima). It was a fantastic afternoon, with lunch finally finishing around 6.00 pm. Great food and wine, even better company, and lots of interesting conversation. Mostly “talking shop”, which could have continued for a few hours more. Instead we made a date for a “tapas dinner” next week to pick up where we left off. Really looking forward to it.

best. present. ever.


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An iPhone X!!! This was Peter’s fab combo Christmas-Birthday present, though he couldn’t surprise me with it as he (wisely) said he wouldn’t dare pick one out on his own, you know, in case he got the wrong one. Ha. Anyhow, we went out birthday shopping on Sunday and, at both shops we went to, they only had the 64 GB model. At the time I thought this would be fine, so that’s the one I got, but now I’m having second thoughts and wondering if I should upgrade to the 256 GB model (annoyingly they don’t offer a 128 GB one).

My present iPhone 6S has 64 GBs, and in over two years I’ve never reached more than about 40, though I do have to keep deleting photos after they’ve been uploaded to my computer. So it made sense that I probably wouldn’t ever get close to ever using 256 GBs. But later I started thinking about the main reason I wanted a new iPhone, which was to get a better camera. Also that I would probably be using a higher resolution and be taking more videos, which do take up a lot of space. So now I’m wondering if (before I open the box) I should go with 256 GBs, just in case. Any advice?

birthday 2018


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Yesterday I woke up to the sound of RAIN falling on my laundry on the roof (damn) but after that the skies cleared and it turned into a fabulous birthday. Peter had come up with a plan for the day and it was a good one. We started off in the best way possible – a plate of jamón Ibérico and some lovely sherry at Las Teresas. Then it was off to do some birthday shopping (more on that later!). And then it was time for lunch.

I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go and so Peter came up with the idea of going back to Porta Rossa, which used to be my go-to spot for birthdays (back in the day, before I became queen of tapas). I hadn’t been there for years and it was like revisiting an old friend. It was difficult not to just order “all the usual favourites” and try something new, but Piru the owner made some great suggestions, including giving us two half orders of pasta when I couldn’t decide between two of them.

The dishes were: artichoke crepes with mascarpone and parmesan sauce, spinach and cheese gnocchi and ravioli in butter sauce, grilled beef tenderloin in black peppercorn vodka sauce. All absolutely delicious. I never order desserts, and even if I did wouldn’t have been able to eat anything else after this fabulous lunch, but Piru brought me this one perfect profiterole with a birthday candle, which was lovely.

The plan for after lunch was to go for a penúltima at nearby La Azotea in Calle Zaragoza and then take a ride on the C5 bus (really, it’s such fun). But I was so FULL and suddenly tired (the now constant abdominal pain is wearing me down) that I suggested taking a break and relaxing at home for awhile. I reckoned that after a short rest I’d be ready to go out again. Wrong! So we ended up spending a quiet evening hanging out, watching a film, and had an early night. But it was all very nice – thanks for a great day, Peter!