Lovely to see my lovely friends featured in the autumn issue of Gurmé Magazine! You can see it here…
Covid has turned out to be similar to my cancer experience in terms of friends deciding I am no longer “worth the effort”. And that’s okay. For me it’s been a bit like clearing out your wardrobe and getting rid of things that no longer fit or suit you any more. And well, I say friends, but in reality these people were acquaintances, of which I have many (comes with the job).
At first it felt a bit odd, even hurtful, until I realised that when I am feeling lonely I am not actually lonely for them. And when I want to talk to someone, it’s never them. So in a sense I am Marie Kondo-ing my personal life and sticking with the people who spark joy. Closets could still do with some work though…
Twenty-seven years ago today I drove down from Salamanca with a friend and with all my worldly belongings in the back of his car, along with some precious cargo – my two cats Lua and her son Sunny. We arrived in Sevilla at 8 pm, as previously arranged (to meet landlord and pick up keys), and miraculously found parking almost in front of my new home in calle Mateos Gago. But there was no landlord. And as this was 1993 there were no cell phones, so we just waited. And waited. Finally we asked the bar we were parked in front of if we could get something to eat and drink, but we didn’t really want to leave the car because of the cats and all. And bless them, the people at Bar Campanario actually brought food and drink out to our car, like we were at a drive in, and it was lovely. The landlord finally showed up at 11pm full of apologies, but we were fine (though the cats were happy to see a litter box!). Bar Campanario ended up becoming my local, heck even my living room (my studio apt across the street was tiny), and the owners became fast friends.
Last Sunday I was out for a walk and, well, FUCK IT WAS HOT, so I thought I’d take a detour on my way home to see if one of my fave places Taberna de Pasos Largos was open for a cold beer (as it used to always be open on Sundays). Well, not only was it closed… IT WAS GONE. I mean, totally gone. Empty. And my heart broke a little, once again.
The toll of this fucking virus can be seen everywhere, but in my own world I am (so far) mostly affected by the restrictions it puts on me, including having lost my job and only source of income, as well as the loss of so many wonderful bars and restaurants. And this time I lost something very special. I don’t even know what to say, other than I will miss Paco, Pepe and Isi very much. Yes the food was great, the wine too, but I will mostly miss just being there with them. So sad.
Paco & Pepe
I first met Rosario in the spring of 2018 when I stopped in at Bodega San José, which she has been running, first with her husband and then her children, for over 60 years. I’d been there before, but as I wanted to add it to Sevilla Tapas I did my usual photos and chat thing. And well, what a woman! I immediately got a girl crush on her and since then would stop in to say hola and listen to her stories while she held my hands in hers.
So of course I was concerned about her and the fate of the bar in the wake of Covid, and finally managed to visit there this past weekend. I wasn’t even sure if they had reopened but wanted to stop by on the off chance and ask about Rosario. And not only was the bar open but there was Rosario!
Turns out she’s been working there every day since lockdown was lifted at the end of June, making her amazing boquerones al vinagre and THAT tortilla de patatas. What a woman. She told me she turned 90 on July 14th. I said “What?? You’re 90??” And she said “Well l was born in 1930, you do the math!” 😂 And well that totally made my day, my week… just knowing that she’s okay. Icing on the cake was later when my friend remarked on how Rosario’s face totally lit up when she saw me. I mean, I saw it too but it was nice to know I hadn’t just imagined it. ❤