surprise visit from tomoko!


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So just like a couple of weeks ago when Gabriella surprised me by texting me from the runway in Bilbao that she was on her way to have lunch in Sevilla with friends and inviting me to join them, Tomoko texted on the train from Jerez that she would soon be in Sevilla, on her way to Lisbon for a few days, and asked if we could meet up. And my plans for the day suddenly changed.

First we had a fab lunch at newly opened Maccheroni & Co in Plaza Alfalfa (have been wanting to check it out) and then we came back to my place so Tomoko could visit her favourite boy, Loki. Then another surprise (!) when Morcilla came prancing into the room, jumped up on the back of my chair and let Tomoko give her a snibble. I couldn’t believe it. Afterwards we went to see the LIGHTS ON for this year’s Christmas lights and then she was gone. Hoping we can meet up again when she is on her way home.

black friday black shoes!


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So although I have been complaining about the stupid concept of Sevilla (and really anyplace outside the US) having Black Friday sales, this time I got to take advantage of this bizarre imported custom. Of course, since this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, we have Black Friday Week here (duh) so I was able to find these Camper boots I almost bought last month on sale (20% off!).

The two Campers I bought two years ago are now showing their age. I mean, I like them so much I was almost going to just buy the same ones again, but then saw these boots, which are just slightly different from my comfy black shoes.

Then I saw that I could also replace my red ones with either of these two, which are also a bit different. But I can’t decide which ones I like better. Help?




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Yet another social media connection. Cathy sent me an email a couple of weeks ago saying “I hope you don’t think this is weird but I’ve been wanting to message you for years but never got around to it and was a little intimidated.” She went on to say that she’d be back in Sevilla soon (she’s been here many times) and that she’d love to meet up. So today was the day.

We went to Bartolomea, a place I’d been meaning to go back to for awhile (so many bars, so little time…) and since Cathy is staying right above the bar it seemed like a good time. We had a fab lunch, and a few wines, and really hit it off. Afterwards we stopped in at Vermutería Yo Soy Tu Padre for a penúltima and to visit Esteban (my future husband 😉 ). Made tentative plans with Esteban and his friend Jota to do some Bodega Research over the next month or so, which is quite exciting for me. More on that later.

Anyhow, it was lovely meeting a new friend and possible future neighbour. Cathy will be back soon and also has plans to retire somewhere in Andalucía. Meanwhile we’ll stay in touch.

La Penúltima!

the return of pablito



So okay, what were the odds? When I was last in Madrid a few weeks ago and heading for the train station I ran into my old friend Pablo, who was there visiting for the weekend. We hadn’t spoken for about five years (part of our ongoing tempestuous friendship spanning over 20 years). And so, to just randomly run into him in a city the size of Madrid, when I haven’t run into him at all during the last five years here, well, that was weird. So I said to him “THIS is weird” and he said “No, YOU’RE weird”, which kinds of sums up the very mature way we talk to each other. 😉

But somehow this led to us meeting for lunch today, so that Pablo could help out with some Tapas Research. I reckoned it would either go fine or we’d end up having yet another big fight and not speak for another five years.

But hey, it went fine.

We had a nice relaxed lunch at Tradevo Centro and caught up on the past five years, pointedly skirting a couple of possible ISSUES. Will we end up being friends again? You never know. But we have decided that we are good Tapas Research buddies, and Pablo even offered to take on the daunting task of helping me improve my Spanish accent in exchange for plates of my spaghetti carbonara. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, here are pics of me and Pablito taken in 1999 and 2009. Think we now need a 2019 one to complete the collection.