Last week I got BACK TO WORK and couldn’t be happier. It was great having a whole month off the tapas tours. I was still working on other things, and was actually able to focus on those things. I was also able to relax. Though I also get to relax at work… this pic is from last night’s fab Flamenco & Tapas Tour. Olé!
I can’t believe it’s been TWO YEARS since I last went to the dentist (when I got my first crown and some other work done). But an old filling next to the crown had fallen out and so back I went. I’ve mentioned before how much I love my dentist, which is probably not something most people can say, so I no longer feel the dread of impending pain and financial ruin that used to come over me before dentist visits.
This time there were two visits and on the second one Peter came with me to have his teeth looked at. Even worse than me, he hadn’t been to the dentist in over ten years (!!!), and like me, he’d lost a filling. He also had a serious cleaning done, which has made a huge difference. Now that he is working part time for We Love Tapas he has been put on the “company dental plan”. 😉
Meet Emily! The newest member of my fabulous We Love Tapas team. I’ve known about Emily for quite some time as she is good friends with a few other good friends of mine. Awhile back she was recommended as a possible guide for WLT, but at the time there were no openings. Lately a new position has become available and, although I have received several CVs, I wasn’t “feeling” the applicants, if you know what I mean. Then my friend Juan reminded me about Emily and I knew from our first meeting that she would be a perfect match. It also fits with the way the original WLT team came together, very organically, with one connection leading to another. Just like this time. We are all very pleased to have Emily with us.
Become a part of the We Love Tapas Team!
These past couple of “weeks off” have been both relaxing and very productive. Lots of time for new ideas and research with some exciting new stuff coming up soon. As a result, We Love Tapas is now looking for enthusiastic local guides with food and wine experience for our team in Sevilla. After full training, guides will give both lunchtime and evening tours (number per week depending on the season), each lasting 2.5 to 4 hours, and will be expected to attend monthly staff meetings and periodic (delicious) training sessions.
- Bilingual English / Spanish
- Native or long-term resident of Sevilla
- Registered as “autónomo” for freelance work
- Genuine love of Spanish cuisine and excellent people skills
You will also need to have access to internet at home, and a smartphone, so that you can be kept up to date about your tour bookings, changes and other information.
For more information contact us at:
So yeah, the BIG NEWS is that I’ve decided to take a couple of weeks off, and possibly longer. Well okay, not exactly OFF in the sense of not working, or going away somewhere, just not doing my tapas tours for awhile so that I can focus on getting caught up on my other work (massive backlog of blog posts and photo editing) as well as work on some new ideas for We Love Tapas. Re: the latter, there are a couple of things coming up this autumn that I think will be very exciting, but I do need some time to get those going properly. Yeah, I know my Trip Advisor rating will probably suffer as a result, with all the posers racking up fake reviews on a daily basis but, to borrow the pithy words of the Divine Marina O’Loughlin… “I don’t hate it because it enables reviews of and tickets for cruel animal attractions, or for its climate of blackmail-enabling entitlement. I hate it because it’s shit.” Suggest you read this article.
Of course it’s great that while I am “away” I can steer my clients towards We Love Tapas, because the team is going to be working all summer long. Meanwhile, my summer getaway plans are still going ahead, with Galicia Getaway booked for the end of August, though I may swap San Sebastián for London, not sure. Or do them both?? Really no idea at this point. All I know is that for the next week or so I am on “hols at home”, which is mostly about doing a lot of research and writing. But it feels great, and I’m also focusing on healthy light eating at home. Feel very privileged that I can work like this, doing things I love, in the way I want to do them. Anyhow, watch this space…
When I bought Sterling – less than a year ago – I also splashed out on a new HP wireless keyboard and mouse. Well, the keyboard started sticking not long after, though it still actually worked, so I just put up with it. Then the mouse stopped scrolling, which I tried to live with but it was just too frustrating. So for awhile I had two mice on the desk… one that scrolled (but was also “sticky” so not good for general use) and the HP one. Then yesterday I thought – what the hell am I doing? – and went out and bought this baby. Which already feels better than the HP one ever did. But I mean honestly, I know I use my keyboard a lot, but I also have a light touch, so what’s with products that seemingly self-destruct after a short time? At least for now it’s actually a pleasure to be typing (and scrolling) again.
Don’t get me wrong… I love helping people. And I love sharing my knowledge about Spain. Which is what led to the labour of love that is Sevilla Tapas and its various offshoots. Which then led to me offering food & wine tours, and later on personalised travel planning. Meanwhile, I keep updating my websites as best I can, as time (and money) allows, so that others can also enjoy and benefit from my experiences.
But what I don’t get are the people who email me saying what a nice website I have and then ask me to recommend specific tapas bars for their short stay in Sevilla, or hotels that would suit their particular requirements, local sights they shouldn’t miss, or possible day trips they should take while they are here, etc…
Guys! All that info is there. It has always been there. It’s there for you to use and – I hope – will be useful. Happy to share and all that. But please don’t ask me to take time out of my busy day to organise your holiday with “my favourite picks” based on your special needs… you can actually find that out yourselves by spending some time on my sites. I did all that research so you wouldn’t have to start from scratch. If you’d like a personalised holiday itinerary, or a fabulous food & wine tour, then I also offer those services. But you do have to pay for that. I’m not complaining, but I always feel a bit mean when I don’t have time to get back to these people.
Have to say though, that it always makes me happy when I get an email from someone recently back from a holiday in Sevilla who tells me what a fabulous resource my sites were for them, how they helped them have a much better time than they would have managed on their own. That makes my day! 🙂
market “picnic” during a Market & Tapas Tour
During Semana Santa last week I only offered tapas tours at lunchtime, due to the massive crowds and processions in the evenings. Bars are also packed solid then. I remember back when I first started doing the tours I would do them pretty much whenever I was asked, including when the Semana Santa processions were on. Lesson learned. I guess in some ways it was “fun” in the sense of everything being very unpredictable, with clients knowing that anything could happen (or not happen, as in, not moving from one spot for half an hour). But in the end I decided this really didn’t represent my Sevilla Tapas Tours and, frankly, these tours were exhausting.
Anyhow, last week was a nice balance of being busy but also with enough time to relax. And it struck me around mid-week how it felt a bit odd only working during the day and having the evenings free. Like a proper day job! Because I’d say about 80% of my tours happen in the evening. So it was a nice break from the routine.
It was a great week with Tomoko visiting from Jerez. We got to hang out a lot, talk a lot, and I also introduced her to some Sevilla friends. Best times were hanging out with other chicas (Aldara from We Love Tapas and Eva from I Show U Sevilla), which naturally turned into impromptu brainstorming sessions.
Tomoko is busy starting up her own food & wine tour biz in Jerez, Tomoko Tours, specialising in promoting sherry experiences to Japanese visitors. Together we are working on setting up a network to support and promote each others tours, which will also extend to northern Spain and Portugal. Go us!