el patio san eloy


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This morning the IKEA guys came with all the new stuff and put everything together within three hours. Me? It would have probably taken three days – or more! BUT it meant that at 12.15 Peter and I were not only ready for “Beer O’clock”, but also that we were more than ready for the breakfast we hadn’t had time for.

Great solution? El Patio San Eloy. This place has been going strong since 1992 and the original location (my favourite) happens to be in the new street where I live. It’s a simple and basic “cheap & cheerful” place which sometimes is just what you are looking for. Like us today. After a frosty beer and a couple of montaditos we were ready to face our next moving challenge… Movistar!  😉

With the new place now pretty much set up for the movers to arrive on Monday, we now have to focus on getting rid of stuff here. Luckily I have until the end of the month to sort all that out, which gives me a week after I move. I know I will still end up taking more than I should over to the new Casa Azahar, but I’m also pleased at how ruthless I have been (except for sometimes) about just saying “out it goes!”.

Meanwhile… woke up this morning to find I had no internet and that it turned out Movistar had disconnected my present contract without advising me, and also without telling me when they’d be reconnecting me at the new place. Using iphones as modems until it gets sorted – not ideal.

So anyhow, hope you’re having a better weekend than me! xx




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For someone who is supposedly DOWNSIZING I sure bought a whole whack of stuff at IKEA today. Though as you can see, most are storage-type items, which will help at the newer, smaller Casa Azahar. And I did really need a new sofa, and so found a very simple one that I could make as “cat-proof” as possible, without arms (aka scratching posts) and easy to cover (PROTECT) with a nice cotton throw. It’s a sofa-bed too, so I can still have friends stay over. The only splash out was the new ergonomic wheelie office chair. Man is that thing comfy!

Another thing I discovered today at IKEA… if you are sending all your stuff by IKEA Transport you can go to an info-desk on your way out, show them everything you want to buy, and they will put it all on one bill for you. Including all the little (kitchen/bathroom etc) stuff you bought, and want sent with the big order items, which gets left at the info-desk for pick-up. AND THEN… you go to the cashier, pay for your stuff, and walk away.

I couldn’t believe it. No schlepping through the self-service aisles looking for your flatpacks, then painfully loading them onto the trolley, eventually arriving exhausted at the check out, and then having to go over to the Transport Department and organize the delivery. None of it! I was so happy. Well, until I was at the check out and saw that they actually charge 16€ for this “pick up” service (wtf?). At that point I couldn’t say no, but I also didn’t actually want to. For 16€ I saved myself from at least another hour of IKEA HELL and was outta there in record time.

But I mean, why even charge for this? If I’d ordered everything online I wouldn’t have been charged a “pick up” fee. At least, I don’t think so…

Anyhow, it was all fine. And for what I need now, IKEA works. Practical, affordable, and often quite cute designs (LOVE my new wheelie chair). AND… it will all arrive at the new Casa Azahar tomorrow morning.

beer o’clock in the new ‘hood


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Since getting the keys to the new Casa Azahar, this week has been all about getting things organized for the BIG MOVE on Monday. And of course checking out the new ‘hood. It’s a curious location because I am smack dab between two barrios – El Arenal and El Museo – that have very different personalities. This bar is in the Museo zone… quite a nice local place to stop for a frosty beer on a hot summer afternoon.

sherry tasting at la cochera


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I’ve been to several fabulous events at La Cochera del Abuelo since it opened, but this was the first time I’ve taken part in one. The owner of La Cochera, my friend and colleague Cinta, called me up the other day asking if I would do a short sherry presentation for a team-building event. And of course I said yes. The event was a cooking competition between three teams, each making their own version of salmorejo and tortilla de patatas. Then came the sherry tasting, followed by the judging of the dishes, and finally the competitors sat down to eat. That sneaky Cinta surprised me after the tasting by saying I was going to be the judge (!!!) which basically meant that everyone who didn’t “win” would hate me and not her. But that’s okay as they have all left town now.  😉

Really hoping to do more events together with Cinta. And of course my (postponed) 25th Spain Anniversary Party will be held at La Cochera. Stay tuned…

save la campana!


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A few months ago Confituría La Campana was forced to close down its sidewalk terrace and since then it has been struggling to survive. And with little/no seating inside it will not survive. The same thing happened to another landmark establishment not long ago – the beloved Bazar Victoria – a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of a housewares/hardware shop that was forced out by the banker landlords, and that now empty corner still breaks my heart when I pass by.

What would be even more heartbreaking is the sight of another fast-food joint taking over the Campana location. It is already flanked by Burger King, Mcdonalds, Dunkin Coffee and 100 Montaditos, with a Starbucks across the street. La Campana put up this banner the other day, asking for our help. Let’s hope they can get enough signatures to get their terraza back, which is actually much more attractive than an empty expanse of pavement. Indeed, it’s a perfect people watching place, both for those seated and those walking by. Let’s get it back! Link to the Change.org petition below…

La eliminación total de la terraza de veladores por la gerencia de urbanismo sin causa justificada, ha sentenciado el futuro de este establecimiento fundado en 1885, que para muchos sevillanos forma parte del patrimonio cultural de su ciudad. Una injusticia que mandará al paro a los 40 trabajadores de su plantilla. Te necesitamos!

Change.Org – Put Back the Terrace, Save Confituría La Campana

The total elimination of the terrace by the Urban Management without justifiable cause, has endangered the future of this establishment, founded in 1885, which for many Sevillians is a part of the cultural heritage of their city. An injustice that will make its 40 workers unemployed. We need you!

book culling


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Book culling began in earnest this weekend. Aside from the eight shelves of books you see here (fiction) there were also four shelves of non-fiction. They have now been whittled down to four shelves for both! It was much easier than I thought, though anyone looking at my remaining books is going to think I’m a bit frivolous with authors like Pratchett and Lindsey Davis dominating now.

Of course the question remains… what to do with the other eight shelves worth of books? Also, all the CDs, and the hundreds of DVDs? What is the best way to either sell or give away stuff when you move?

the movers


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So you may recall the last time I moved. IT WAS HELL. Especially the packing. And then literally last minute – the day before moving day – I found this amazing team to help us move. I still can’t believe it all worked out. But it really was a whole week of hell followed by serious moving day hell. Back then I really didn’t have much choice because my Sevilla Tapas Tours had yet to take off and money was a real issue. But somehow we got it all done on a shoestring.

This time money isn’t so much of an issue, though after paying the agent’s fee on the new apartment, and the movers, it will end up almost the same as paying an extra 2-3 months rent (yikes!), which makes it a very expensive move compared to last time. BUT… also a much more comfortable one. One thing is for sure – I am hiring professional movers and hang the expense. I will never go through what I did last time. So there.  😉

BUT… what about packing? So far I’ve only had one quote and they also offer to pack up everything – EVERYTHING! – for an extra 300€. Has anyone out there done this? Is it worth it? I mean, it certainly sounds worth it, but is it as stress free as it sounds? Or will I have to be there hovering over their every move? It sounds like a dream come true – they promise to do it all in one day – but can it be trusted?