midnight harvest

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midnight-harvestIt seems like this year the annual orange harvest is taking a lot longer than usual. It’s rare to see trees full of fruit – especially in the centre of town – at the end of February. Not only are the oranges somewhat past their prime, but they become a hazard for people walking below.

I came across this group picking oranges in Plaza Santa Cruz at midnight, on my way home from a tapas tour. No sign of The Dude of course, with all this going on. It was also the first time I recall seeing people harvesting so late at night. Budget cuts perhaps? Who knows?

olive oil workshop

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olive-oil

So remember when I serendipitously met Alexis last week? Well, before we parted company we made a plan to get together and try out Ana’s tasting space upstairs at Lama La Uva, along with Ania and Delia. I’d been to a couple of olive oil tastings before, but I felt I learned a lot more at this one. Alexis is a natural teacher, and her passion for all things olive oil is infectious. Even Delia, born and raised in Spain, had no idea about some of the aspects of the whole olive oil biz here. I even learned a few “tasting tricks” that I think will also help me with tasting sherries. A wonderful experience.

these two…

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girlsIt isn’t that all the cats here don’t get along – they (mostly) do. But Loki is such a big glomping galoot and sometimes he plays rough (clamping his massive jaws around Morcilla’s tiny neck, for example). But these two are pretty much evenly matched and I love watching them chase each other around until they get tired out and then curl up together for a cosy snooze. Here they are clearly planning some mischief…

the window

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windowIt’s not easy to find beauty in an oncology waiting room, but I have always loved these ripply floor to ceiling windows. This visit wasn’t as scary as other times, since I already knew the results of the last PET scan, so it was mostly to check new blood work and arrange the next scan.

I have such mixed feelings whenever I go to the hospital. Part of me hates it, another part feels so grateful because they saved my life, and yet another part just hopes I will never ever need to sit in the other section of the oncology waiting room, waiting for treatment. This time I got to walk home and enjoy every breath.

gurmé awards 2017

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gurme-201617-1The 2nd Gurmé Awards were held in the magnificent Portuguese Consulate, built for the 1929 Expo – a stunning building. It was an honour to be invited to the ceremony, and a thrill to watch friends being acknowledged. But the building kept diverting my attention. None of my photos did it justice.

After the awards ceremony we were all invited to a cocktail event in the main courtyard, which was lovely. But after an hour or so I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and made my “escape” (as my friend Jeanine told me later, this is known in Spanish as “leaving through the cat door”) and met up with some friends for a penúltima at La Azotea, where the vibe was much more relaxed. I do love these crazy events, but just a bit at a time. gurme-201617-2

manzanilla monday deluxe

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manzanilla-monday-1As you may already know… I LOVE MONDAYS. Probably because I love my work. Being freelance, I often don’t even remember what day of the week it is. Except Mondays. Because I just love the idea of starting a fresh new week with lots of possibilities ahead.

Anyhow, this particular Monday was even more special that usual. I was not only invited to the glam Gurmé Awards event, but I was also fortunate enough to attend a special sherry tasting featuring the wonderful manzanillas of Antonio Barbadillo… which made it an extra special Manzanilla Monday. manzanilla-monday-2The tasting took place at La Cochera de Abuelo, a restored coach that is now available for private gastronomical events. It was a vertical tasting, taking us from the first mosto up to a manzanilla pasada, and as always, I learned a lot. It’s always thrilling to listen to a winemaker talk about their product, their “baby”…