carlos

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This is Carlos González. We’ve known each other by sight for well over 20 years. I remember many times returning exhausted after evening English classes and being soothed by his lovely guitar playing as I passed him on my way home. These days I pass him on my tapas tours and clients are always charmed.

Then one day a couple of months ago we saw each other in the street, in a different part of town and we both stopped – suddenly both out of context – and then I said… “hey, I know you!”. And we started to chat. You can find Carlos almost every evening in the Plaza del Triunfo next to the Cathedral in Sevilla. Stop by and listen (and buy one of his CDs!). He’s a lovely man and a brilliant guitarist.

dream apt?

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Yes, I KNOW I just moved, but I have always considered that place up there on the top floor as one of my dream apartments. There is another one too, not far from where I live now, and just a couple of weeks ago I pointed it out to Peter saying… oooooohhh, I’d love to live there! And fucked if it didn’t show up for rent (email notices) while I was away in Málaga. THAT VERY ONE. Gone now of course, and anyhow, I am where I am for at least one year. I think it’s time to unsubscribe from the daily updates of available apartments…

la vecina

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I have been waiting to meet my Vecina since I moved into the new Casa Azahar at the end of July. At the time I was told that Encarne was away for the summer and would return to Sevilla in September. Meanwhile, all I knew about her was that she keeps a rather splendid patio (a shared space, though I only benefit from the extra light). I had worried that she might smoke in her patio, which would kind of be like smoking in my house, but so far this hasn’t happened.

What did happen, however, was that we went out for lunch and got to know each other a bit better. Encarne is thrilled to have neighbours again and – so far – her only complaint about us is that we don’t make enough noise (!!) so that she knows she’s not alone in the house. Because it’s just the two apartments here. She even said – “just drag a chair across the floor from time to time”. Ha.

Anyhow, we had a fab lunch and lots of chat. Encarne is also an animal lover and, although she prefers dogs, she has already briefly met Loki and thinks he is a very handsome and friendly beast. In fact, she wants me to let the cats roam free throughout the building, so they can still take advantage of having stairs to run up and down, and of course so Encarne can make friends with them. A few months ago she lost her dog after 16 years, so not having animals around is hard. Well… we’ll see how that goes, but for now it’s nice to have met Encarne. She is quite the character and I like her a lot. Phew!  😉

lunch at Cafetería Donald

bar casa eme

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One of the most delightful & delicious “discoveries” in a very long time. When I was out having lunch with Francisco & Friends the other day, talk turned to “typical” bars that we all love, and Miguel mentioned Bar Casa Eme. Which I had never heard of. WELL… it was made very clear by everyone that I absolutely HAD to go there.

So after a long and very hot 10,000 step walk yesterday, Peter and I finally stumbled upon it, and then stumbled inside. It was love at first sight.

This bar has been run for over 25 years by Emeterio (Eme) Serrano, who does absolutely everything. He runs the bar and cooks (the kitchen consists of two small gas burners) and also sings. He is a wonder. I was actually thinking this would be one of those places where it was more about character and ambiance than the food, but in fact the food (albeit a limited menu) was fabulous. Mostly montaditos (toasted sandwiches), but he also does a mean gambas al ajillo and apparently his garlicky coquinas and langoustines (in season) are also a hit. I swear his whisky sauce, which we tried both on the tortilla and solomillo, is the best I’ve ever had.

I just loved everything about this place, from the cosy bar (there are also some tall tables outside) to the wonderfully tiled walls, to Eme himself. We started chatting after the lunch crowd had dispersed and he told me about starting the bar and also how he hoped to retire next year. At first I thought – Nooooo… I just found you, you can’t leave now!!!… but then realized that after all this time single-handedly managing quite a busy and popular bar, Eme was due a rest. But I hope to get back as much as possible before he hangs up his apron. Review coming soon on Sevilla Tapas!

sign of the times

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What look like decorative planters are actually anti-terrorist barriers that have been put up around the Cathedral since the horrific Barcelona attack. There is also a lot more police presence in the streets, and police cars are being used to block off the main pedestrian shopping streets during busy times. I’m not sure if all this actually makes me feel safer, but all of a sudden it no longer feels like the same world.