Sometimes l get in trouble on my Sevilla Tapas Instagram for not “staying in my lane” and *GASP* having opinions about things not related to food & wine. So @azahar is now my personal Insta account where l get to say whatever l damn well please. Follow if you dare! 😉 Just kidding, it’ll mostly be more travel pics, bit less food, possibly more cats. See you there! 💃🏻
Who is old enough to remember when we all used nicknames online for (ha!) anonymity (that’s when I chose azahar) and seriously thought our opinions were of any importance? My first foray into the early days of internet chat forums was after purchasing a copy of the Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams. In the book it mentions a website started by Adams called H2G2 (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), but by the time I discovered it the BBC had taken it over and had been running it since Douglas’s death in 2001. These days it’s being run by some of the orginal editors who have refused to let it die.
I met a lot of lovely people on h2g2, many of whom I’ve ended up meeting in person, and some who remain good friends today. Okay, I also met a lot of asshole windbags, several weirdos and a couple of scary people who made me happy they couldn’t find my real name (this was before I was on Facebook, and Twitter was yet to be born). It’s funny to think back now about how it seemed SO IMPORTANT to express an opinion, especially when you knew it was RIGHT, and then use all kinds of effort to try and convince some idiot that they were WRONG. All being done on fucking DIAL-UP… took forever sometimes. And then half-way through an amazing reply to someone the connection would die and you’d have to start over again. I mean, I think I enjoyed those days, though they were also quite stressful at times.
Then wordpress blogs came along, and then twitter, and I eventually drifted away from h2g2. And frankly, these days on social media, I just go there to have a good time, promote my businesses, show off my cats and – now and then – I meet new friends. So it’s funny to see when Twitter Storms erupt, and everybody gets their knickers in a twist. I am so been-there-done-that. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned these past almost 20 years of being online… there really is no point arguing with strangers.
Thanks to the lovely Célia Pedroso @celiapedroso I was introduced to Anya @vonbremzen and her partner Barry @barryyourgrau, two writers who are in Sevilla for an extended research visit. We are even neighbours, as their apartment is about a ten-minute walk from me. Anyhow, spent a fun afternoon together and hope to meet up many more times while they are here. Nice pic of them with barman Emilio from Casa Moreno.
Demelza @demelzamd and Zoltan @zoltanpolger21 co-owners of Restaurante Salitre in Menorca. I first “met” Demelza online a few years ago when she was working as my friend José Pizarro’s PA in London. At the time Zoltan was also working with José as head chef. Then they moved to Menorca to open their own restaurant. And although they have been in town a few times (Demelza is from a village not far from Sevilla) we have never managed to meet up. UNTIL… yesterday!
I was at Bodeguita Romero, sitting at the bar with two tapas tour clients, and saw this guy kind of eyeballing me from across the room. Then a lovely woman came up and said… are you Shawn? They were just passing through and what luck that we happened to cross paths at the Bodeguita. We had a short chat, since I was working, it really was great to finally meet. Hopefully next time we can go out for a few tapitas and sherry together.
This month marks my 10th Twitter anniversary for @SevillaTapas, though I actually first joined in March 2007 as @azahar, to accompany this blog. I’ve had a couple other accounts over the years but those two remain my main ones, along with my sister food tour company @welovetapastour, started in November 2014.
Out of all the social media platforms Twitter has been the one that has brought the most people into my life, and it has also been a constant source of entertainment and information. I never understand people who complain about Twitter, since it’s entirely up to us who we follow. When did you first join?