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 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?

spain savvy sarah


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Back in April I posted this photo from the Sevilla feria on Instagram and then found out this little Sevillanas dancing cutie belonged to Sarah Gemba @spainsavvy (that’s also her daughter and mother-in-law). Thing is, although I’d “known” Sarah via social media for awhile, we’d never met in person, and since that day in April we’ve been attempting to meet up for a chat. You’d think it wouldn’t be that difficult, right? Wrong. So I was delighted to FINALLY meet Sarah over a quick brekky today (forgot to take a pic!).

After moving to Spain over a dozen years ago, and working in various travel/tourism companies since then, Sarah now runs her own travel design business called Spain Savvy. So needless to say we have a lot in common, as well as quite a few mutual friends. Looking forward to getting together again, next time for a bit longer… should be able to manage something by September?  😉




I remember when I first saw this little upstairs room at my present apartment… it decided everything for me, simply because of the built-in bookshelves and cabinet. So it’s ironic that it became a room that was almost never used, until Peter decided to switch from the second bedroom downstairs to upstairs. But even now he can’t use it because the central air-con remains broken, so he is now sleeping on the sofa bed in the living room. But I digress…

Back in the days before iPhones, I would easily read a book a week. This was not only costly, but it meant I needed space for all those books. I haven’t counted, but there sure are a lot of them. Likewise the whack of DVDs I’ve acquired over the years (that fill the cabinet), not to mention CDs that take up another set of shelves. And so I have this dilemma… what to do with all this stuff? Because although this ended up being a rather useless room, it was damn handy for storage, but it just was never a comfortable space.

The new apartment has only two bedrooms, so unless I line the living room with IKEA Billy Bookcases, there really won’t be anywhere to put the books. So I’ve been wondering if I should either sell or just donate them. Same with the DVDs and CDs. I mean, who even listens to CDs anymore, and although I have some amazing films on DVD, I can mostly find them online.

Look out for a big Apartment Sale soon… not just books, CDs and DVDs, but also furniture and appliances I won’t be able to use in the new place. All in good condition of course. And what I can’t sell I’ll just give away to charities. Still not sure if this is going to be therapeutic or traumatic…