Autumn has arrived in Sevilla, but you wouldn’t know it. Daily temps still going up to almost 40º and – most importantly! – I am still wearing sandals. But soon they’ll be taking down the awnings. How’s autumn where you are?
Yesterday was my Sevilla Silver Anniversary! 25 years ago I moved into that studio apartment up there in calle Mateos Gago, which was where I spent my first year in Sevilla. It was a memorable day for many reasons, arriving in town at precisely 8 pm on September 16th after a long drive from Salamanca with all my worldly possessions and two screaming cats (Lua and Sunny). And THEN having to wait in the car for three hours because the landlord was late. Luckily we found parking right out front, and the friendly gang at Bar Campanario brought drinks and snacks out to the car for us.
Somehow this year the date had slipped my mind, so there was no time to organize a special party like I did for my 20th anniversary. Though that party didn’t take place on the 16th either, so I guess there’s still time. We’ll see.
To celebrate I almost did another getaway with Peter, this time to Mérida and Cáceres (which would have also fit as they were on my route Salamanca-Sevilla), but that was also a bit too last minute to organize. So instead I met Peter at midday yesterday and we went on a little tapeo, visiting some of the places I’ve known and loved all this time – Las Teresas, Bodeguita Romero, Casa Román – and finishing at La Azotea (where Bar Campanario used to be). It was a lovely day.
Back then it would never have occurred to me that I would end up working with all these fabulous bars on my Sevilla Tapas Tours. Something that has become somewhat tainted by recent copy-cat tours (while we were at Las Teresas one was there with a big group, overtaking the bar, being loud and obvious, and ruining the natural bar ambiance) but you know what? I was there long before these wanna-bes and I also know they are merely “tolerated” by my bars, not loved by them like I am. It’s a shame these other companies can’t use their imagination and create their own tours like I did. After all, there are more than 3,000 tapas bars in Sevilla.
But yeah, I’ve come a long way. From a young-ish 36-year-old arriving in this glorious city on a wing and a prayer in 1993. And after close to 15 years teaching English, and then almost 2 years being laid low by cancer and treatment, I ended up finding the work I was always meant to do. I get to meet people from all over the world, share my experiences to optimize their enjoyment of Sevilla and its fabulous food and wine, and – I won’t lie 😉 – I also get to TALK A LOT. Love it.
So… 25 years. Wow. Seriously wow.
WARNING: Look away now vegetarians!
Some people think that meat-eaters should have to either hunt their own food or watch animals being slaughtered in order to pass some sort of “carnivore test”. I am not one of these people. But while I am normally not squeamish about eating meat, I have to admit that I wouldn’t really enjoy tucking into this guy’s crispy roasted face, even though I am sure it is delicious. How about you?
The Dude passed away this afternoon. Beatriz finally had to make the decision to release him from his suffering after watching him become weaker over these past two weeks, barely able to eat or walk. I’m so sorry I didn’t get the chance to see him one more time (just got home from holidays yesterday). I was planning to check in with Beatriz this week.
He was an exceptional cat who touched many people, and indeed became a bit of a “tourist attraction”. He was the cat of a hundred names. I called him The Dude because of his laid-back personality and the way he “abided” ruling over his kingdom in Barrio Santa Cruz for more than 15 years. Beatriz called him Cani due to his cinnamon colour. Together we called him Cani-Dude…
This is a photo I took of Beatriz and Cani-Dude the last time I visited. Thanks to Beatriz he didn’t die alone in the street, he passed in a loving home, knowing he was cared for. I can’t really say much more right now. Too sad. I always thought I’d see him one more time again…
Tomoko is here! She is going to be cat & house sitting while I am away, which will also be a nice holiday for her (she loves cats!). But we have a couple of days together to catch up – and for Tomoko to learn an the Stupid Cat Rules. 😉
Tonight I took her out on a preview of my new San Lorenzo Tapas Tour, which will be starting in September. I think it’s going to be great.