cádiz converts!

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cadiz converts

So this totally made my day! My editor Julie at Decanter sent me this reader letter about my Cádiz travel article from last March. I mean, wow. It really made a difference to their trip and they ended up not just becoming Cádiz converts but sherry converts as well. Gotta admit it also helps with the ol’ impostor syndrome. 😉 Now I can’t wait to do another one.

yin & phil

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yin phil

I’ve been Twitter pals with Yin @jjassociatesYin & Phil @philjjassociate for YEARS. They live next door in Portugal so they end up coming to Sevilla quite often, but today was the first time we’ve managed to meet up in person. Total kindred spirits in the love of good food and wine department, plus we know a lot of the same bars and bar owners. It’s almost like we’ve been living parallel lives here.

Today we went somewhere they hadn’t been to before, La Barra de Cañabota, with Peter joining us, and we had a great time. Looking forward to future Beer O’clocks with them.

shocking!

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shocking

Got my electricity bill for July and OMFG. It is DOUBLE from July last year. As in TWICE AS MUCH. And last July was already way more than in 2020. I mean, I knew it was going to be hefty because prices are skyrocketing and I had made the decision that, since I am staycationing this summer, I would spend that travel money (as if I actually have any travel money) on being comfortable at home. It was more the idea that I would somehow not be spending so much if I stayed home. But you know, I did the same thing last summer, and the summer before. Not travelling, mostly at home, staying cool but also paying attention to the lower rate hours, etc. So that hasn’t actually changed.

When I talk about “staying cool” that means I hold out until the 2 pm change in rates before I turn on the AC, even though it’s often been more than 30º in my living room for most of the morning. But after that, fuck it. The rates change again around 7 pm but there is no fucking way I’m going to turn off my AC until bedtime. So I don’t, but I also never sleep with the AC on. And I always use fans in the bedrooms, the living room, which means I can set the AC to 24-25 (when it’s 42º outside this means inside it gets down to maybe 26.5º inside) and that is fine, because having the fans makes 26-27º inside feel comfortable enough. And of course I’m wearing next to nothing, just light cotton “day pyjamas”.

The government has come up with a new “Energy Saving” plan that will restrict businesses from having their premises warmer than 19º in winter or cooler than 27º in summer, and that when they are running the heat or AC they must keep all doors and windows closed. This applies to shops, restaurants, offices, etc… but hotels?? Can you imagine that hotels are going to start restricting their guests from being comfortable? Can you imagine the government would even ask them to? Of course they won’t.

Meanwhile, decreeing that all doors and windows must be shut tight WHILE WE ARE STILL IN A PANDEMIC (numbers in August are going up) and while next to nobody has proper ventilation, is beyond irresponsible. That is totally going to fuck up not only my personal life (can’t go out for tapas any more unless I sit outside) but also my job. I can’t even think about it. I have taken July and August off even though I can’t afford it to try and avoid getting sick, but now it looks like when I return in September things will be even worse. Fuck. How’s your summer going?

hey buddy, can you spare a mask?

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spare masks

So this happened today. I was out having a Cold Beer with Peter (sitting by an open door, as always) when an old guy came in and asked if I happened to have a mask. Well, I always have a couple of spare masks in my bag in case of emergency, like if mine breaks, or even for the times I’ve walked out of the house without one on and don’t realise until I’m in the street. So of course I said sure, and gave him one of my extras. And THEN he asked me how much I wanted for it. Like, whaaat? I said it was on the house and that the important thing was that he had one. He thanked me and walked away.

Later it struck me that this was a bit odd because there is (sadly) no longer an indoor mask mandate and I wondered why he needed one. I mean, they are easy enough to find in health centres and pharmacies (where they are still required) and then I wondered if maybe it was to get into a soup kitchen or other help centre since he did look a bit down on his luck. Guess I’ll never know now.

Meanwhile Spain has the dubious honour of reporting the first two deaths in Europe related to monkeypox. The only other one outside of Africa (so far) has been in Brazil. Suddenly it feels like February 2020 all over again.