Thursday, February 28, 2019

Visits and Inept but Determined Pickpocket!

One Sunday Ryan and Angela came over and Ryan made, and taught me to make, red Thai curry, Angela brought and cooked up some gyoza, and brought mango sherbet she had made for desert. Mucho Yummy!

I met Rocio outside Ryan and Angela's, her day to clean there, she stuck an earbud in my ear and we "waltzed" up the stairs singing to Sevilliano music, what a lady! Then Pepe drove us to the town of Mairena del Aljarafe about 20 minutes outside Sevilla to a cafe run by Mariela called Alquimista (Alchemist) Coffee Lab. 

She roasts coffee beans there for other cafes and themselves and explained the process to us, with humour and a beautiful smile.

Breakfast was great with different offerings than many cafes.
Poached egg on avocado spread.
The green is pistachio ice cream, the plunger is filled with Maple syrup which Mariela said the Spaniards don't know about and she ends up throwing the expensive stuff out.
Pepe enjoying, it was quite cool with a breeze, hence the hood.
Mariela had lived in the States for some time so perhaps her ideas came from there. The cafe’s location is behind a strip mall, you really have to know about it to find it. It was very busy there though and not a weekend. 
Peach blossoms
We walked through a large nursery next to the cafe. Angela said it was like walking through a garden, sunken areas in patterns for potted plants were both practical and visually appealing. 
Sunken in the indented concrete
Gives you an idea of size, the warehouse was just as big.
There were two employees with Downs Syndrome and there was a children’s play area, humanitarian thinking on the company’s part.
Unusual blue flower, lily? it came in a pot so think it's real...
Ali and Andy were here in Sevilla for a week. They were here a couple of years ago. They both blog but Ali does so more frequently at You may remember we met them first in Freiburg when they lived there. Anyway we met up for lunch, with Pepe, Ryan and Angela at Al Aljibe, always a "treat" place for us to go. Then we went for Gelato next door at Freskura, deemed by Ryan and Angela as the best in the city. 

Pepe installed the TV on the wall, he was professional about the process, measuring, testing and measuring again before actual installation, it’s not something you want to have to repair. Big Thank you's to Pepe and to Ivan who helped me buy it, team project.

I met Ali and Andy again on Sunday and we lunched at Kakura, my (Ivan's introduction) favourite Japanese restaurant. They came back to the flat with me to see the apartment but didn’t stay long, Andy had work to complete since they leave Tuesday. 

Heard clip clop of horses hooves which is quite common here, usually a carriage, but the other day it sounded louder and I peered out my window to find six mounted cops on horses. Like I’ve said before, just never know what you’ll see around here, or experience, read on.

I got pickpocketed 1.5 times, what? Out walking neighbourhoods I hadn’t been to in a while. There was a fellow walking the same direction, ducking into stores and out again, I thought he was a tourist. He is tall, thin, wore a baseball cap, glasses, side satchel, jeans, light weight coat, all dark in colour. I started to walk through Plaza de la Gavidia, heard a noise behind me turned to find a guy had dropped a lot of change on the road. Then I saw the red glass heart I carry that I had given Bruce. It was my wallet that had fallen out of my purse, “must have jumped”, yeah right… Guy picks up all my change I put it back and thank him!? Then realize my purse is open. The penny didn’t drop, pun intended, until he tried again half a block away. I felt someone behind, pull the purse over my shoulder and it’s open again and the same guy is there. Sevilla is quite a safe city so I am more than shocked, I’m pissed off, as much at myself as the guy. I’ve become complacent, not anymore, I'm reawakened. I did not go straight home, I watched my back and took a detour. LADRON! Angela told me, means THIEF! which I will be yelling at him if I see him again, even though he didn't actually keep anything. 

Above pictures were taken by Ryan, Angela and myself.

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Visits to a Palace and Church and food again.

Lebrija Palace, from the brochure: “Built in the 16th century and subsequently remodelled in the 19th century … is not simply a monument to a particular age or artistic style. It’s interior is branded with the life of the lady who once owned it, the Countess of Lebrija.” Casa Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija

This is a palace that is not hyped very much in Sevilla, many people walk past it and don’t go in. The website is minimal but I was walking past it one day and decided to go in. The main floor has many rooms, mostly mosaic tiled floors and shards of ancient pottery. Cameras are not allowed to be used inside, the outside is not overly beautiful so no pictures, except this one to give you a small glimpse.
The brochure and entry ticket.

Rocio was here on Thursday, as usual, but she was going to church after and invited me to join her. 

We walked just past the Seta’s arm in arm, because that is what you do here, honestly, makes it a bit awkward on a crowded sidewalk though, but felt nice. The apse of the church and working nunnery, held a Sainted nun’s body, or wax facsimile of one in a glass coffin. Many bouquets of fresh flowers surrounded it and people had come to pay their respects. Most churches here have candles to light in memory of a loved one, this church had small pieces of paper to write on and put into a slotted box. It was a solemn and respectful experience for me.
Rocio bought this for me as a memento, it is likely hand stitched, and less than 3 cm.
After we walked around town, through some back alley’s I am getting familiar with and then looked into home decorating shops. Rocio is a touching type of person, she likes to feel the fabrics, likely due to the fact she sews. Then we had a Cruzcampo beer at Casa Santos a bar around the corner from the flat. We used Google translate on my phone to communicate. It was a lovely, interesting outing!

I have run into this issue before when paying a large accommodation bill in Amsterdam. Now again with a much lower bill, less than 2,000.00 Euros twice for accommodations in France for the summer. Banks seem to arbitrarily (well not really, but they apply their rules) to put limits on daily spending. My opinion is it is my account and I should be able to spend as I wish, but they cite security reasons. I am good with security but damn it makes it difficult to pay things sometimes. I’m off to the bank to get it sorted….

Good use of technology, the gas company left a note they had come by to read the meter while I was out. They left a note with a phone number to use WhatsApp, so I made an appointment using the app to have them come back. Not correct, you just use your phone to take a picture of the meter, add your address and it’s done. There is even a “flashlight” in the app to lighten the picture, needed because my meter is in the back of a cupboard. 

I made lunch for Ryan, Angela and Pepe. Served shrimp scampi over fettuccini noodles (which are hard to find here) with asparagus and snow peas, bread, always bread. I’m lucky to have a fresh bread store half a block from the flat which is open on Sunday. I’ve never made shrimp scampi before and hardly ever eaten it in restaurants so I have no clue what put that idea in my head but there it was.
Ryan's picture, Thanks Ryan, Angela and Pepe for coming!
I found canned salmon at El Corte! For those of you from Canada that might not be a big deal, it’s readily available there, but I’ve been looking for a long while and not found it here, or in Freiburg for that matter.

I bought a TV! Common item in most, dare I say almost all homes, but not in ours. Bruce didn’t like the commercials and I got out of the habit, but I watched a bit of it in Freiburg and thought I was picking up more German. Plus it is background noise which I am now welcoming a bit of. Ivan ordered it for me and we picked it up and walked home with it, along with the mounting bracket because it’s going on a wall. Pepe came over to set it up and will bring his heavy duty drill over to mount it, currently it’s set up  on a cabinet.
New furniture decorated, Lexi approves. Ryan's picture.
We, Lexi and I, are taking a mini-break from Sevilla, not that we need to, but are going to Cadiz for five nights in March. I would have booked end of February but they have a massive carnival in Cadiz, world wide attendants and I am really not fond of crowds. This year it is later than usual Feb 28 - Mar 10, I arrive March 11 which means I may still see some of it since I’m told the party continues into the following week.

After my shower in the morning Lexi frequently comes to have her bath in the tub. She has never been bothered about a bit of water on her fur and I guess it is nice and warm in there.
Note the odd posture, all part of the bath.

Cheers, Bev and bathing Lexi