Sunday, June 16, 2024

Happy Father's Day!!


I hope you have a wonderful day you fabulous Fathers out there! Maybe a barbecue is planned? 

Crina, my friend and cleaner gave me this to share with you. She had fun making it and I viewing it.

I joined the Carl Schurz Library recently which has a rich collection of English books, videos, magazines etc. I had been a member before but decided my at home library does not need expanding for now, so I can borrow from their selection. Here is the website.

They also hold events which could be interesting to attend.

Have a great day you Fathers and families!


Sunday, May 12, 2024

Happy Mother's Day!


Wishing you a wonderful and pampered day! Flowers from the neighbourhood in Freiburg and a bit more...

Flowers from my patio in Sevilla.

Feria display from the hat maker.

The obligatory sunset, you know how I enjoy those from the balcony in Freiburg.

Have a Great Day Ladies!!! From the "mother" of a fur baby who has grown up.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter and Semana Santa Parade


Cut out statue in SanlĂșcar with flowers on the wall behind.

For the past few years I have avoided Semana Santa parades by going to Freiburg before it happened, it did not happen in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic. This week has been nail biting for the organizers due to weather, heavy rain and wind happened. Good Friday morning we had a violent thunderstorm, so it has been a challenge. Monday after a day of rain, late afternoon it eased up and the procession from the Museo went by my apartment. Here are some pictures taken from my balcony because there is no possible way I would join that crowd of people on the street. Seemed to be even more crowded this year maybe due to the weather being a threat to other processions and people wanting to see one. 

Pictures are all dark, of course, due to the 10 pm hour and my lack of photo editing.

The storms have shaken all the orange blossoms off the trees, sorry, no picture of them this year, but the smell was incredible, as I mentioned in a previous post.

Happy Easter to you and your family and friends! All the Very Best from Lexi Cat and I!

P.S. I ran into Papa Pepe on the street last week, he was walking to the bus station to go home and I was coming out of the hair salon. What an incredible coincidence! Then I also ran into Pepe, that happens more frequently but still, what a pleasure to see the two Pepe's in one day.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Creativity and a Marathon

This is the building mid-tear down.

I walk by this building frequently and never fail to admire the artwork that surrounds the site. It's a creative attempt to camouflage what, for now, is an ugly building site. It also captures the passion and movement of flamenco dance and music. What it fails to address is the tremendous noise and dust coming from it. Pepe's mom's local cafe is across the street, I don't see her there as often these days, maybe she goes after the work has stopped.

The following articles tell the story and show what it will look like, pretty swanky in my opinion.

The Zurich marathon was back in town so I went to watch for a bit and took these pictures. People ran with strollers, dogs, balloons and all matter of costumes, even in sandals, huh? 

Little one dressed for the occasion.

More information about it in this link. I think there were more participants this year than any other. It is popular because the route is completely flat and winds around much of the historic centre which gives the runners an eye full.

I've had the opportunity to get out for lunch a couple of times, so happened, both in one week, not complaining. There is a relatively new Korean restaurant in the space vacated by an American burger joint called Peggy Sue's. Personally I am happy about this new one, much better than the old and it is very close by my apartment, tasty take-away opportunity! Pepe, Marta, Daniel and I enjoyed yummy food and had a good catch up. 

The second was with my neighbours on the ground floor, Leonor and John at a rather upscale restaurant in the Museo Plaza. What I didn't know when I suggested it is that it is their local. Food was, as usual, great and service was better than it has been in the past for me mainly because John and Leonor knew some of the waiters.

The orange blossoms are out and spreading their hypnotic scent over the city.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Day trip with Pepe to SanlĂșcar de Barrameda, Cadiz Province

 Pepe drove us about an hour and a half south west to SanlĂșcar de Barrameda which is an ancient city at the delta of the Guadalquivir River. Here is a Wiki link which you can read if interested in its long and varied history.

The town has levels of steepness starting at the top with the castle and old town, graduating down to beach front and the river. 

The major industry here is Manzanilla which is a variety of fino sherry, old town has rows upon rows of large warehouses containing the product and production of it by a company named Barbadillo. We visited a privately owned one that Pepe used to do work experience at, but more about that in a bit.

The castle, Castillo de Santiago, is extensive with many floors, the topmost floors holding rooms with framed navigation maps, neither one of us had ever seen a map collection of that scale before! Many of the drawings of the world did not include western America because it hadn't been discovered yet. Up and up phew, up, the top has magnificent views down to the city and water. It is now privately owned and must have cost a "bomb", so they host events to pay for it's keep. 

Children's play area, Pepe gave it a well done try.

We walked through the luscious city gardens and into the exhibition space which was ornately decorated.

Needing a bit of drink and food we went to what is called here an "old man's bar" for their special sauce made with garlic, tomato and bread which was yummy.

We went to a deli to collect food for visiting the bodega which was certainly not the non-fat version but tasty. They plated up snack slices of salchichon, chorizo, (both types of sausage) chicharrones, (pork rinds with paprika) picos, (bread crackers) and manchego cheese.

Walked from top of the town to about middle, a lot more stairs, but it was the quickest way to get there with parking in town difficult as it is in most cities in Europe. 

The Bodega de Las Infantas where Pepe did an apprentice, doing manual jobs like painting wine barrels had high arched ceilings, black stuff on the white walls and rooms of casks stacked two or three high. It is a locals place where many people came in as regulars Pepe remembered, he said in two years nothing has changed. Wine is sold off the cask into plastic bottles which the customer brings back to have re-filled, while that's being done they enjoy a free glass of fino, or maybe more than one. 

Loosely translated: Give me 5 litres of wine. Where are your bottles? You are looking at him!

We brought our snacks in and others did as well, all for sharing with other customers and the barman. It was a lovely experience and a great walk down memory lane for Pepe.

By now in the day it's time for a late lunch so we headed inland and up the mountain to a very large restaurant called Meson El Rancho. The exterior and interior were certainly not pretty but the food was exceptional, I had dorado on the bone, Pepe had a shark fillet.

I have to say it certainly wasn't what I had planned, a table at the beach, but clearly the locals know what they are talking about and a tourist would be hard pressed to find this place, in fact, we drove by it once before locating it in an industrial park.

On to the beach which stretches far and wide with fine golden sand containing silt and shells from the river, Pepe said it's not a good location for swimming but is famous for horse racing on the sand.

We saw a couple of riders practising along the sand and into the water, a lovely site. That was something my dad always wanted to do and didn't get the chance.

It was a very great day out for us both, especially Pepe, I think, reconnecting with his mates at the bodega and for me experiencing the locals culture.

Great day, great friend!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! Cheers!

Friday, February 9, 2024

Happy Valentines Day! Update of January 2024

 Rocio and I went to Divine Saviour Collegiate Church or Iglesia Colegial del Divino Salvador. We walked arm in arm as ladies do here which was both nice and awkward for me. Awkward because it was just before Christmas Day and we had to go through the shopping streets to get there, read CROWDED! Very crowded, with groups of people gathering to chat in the middle of the street with no notion or care of blocking access. Anyway, off the negative, the church was exceptionally beautiful, cameras weren't allowed which I didn't click to (pun intended) until I noticed there were very few cell phones being used. Oops, this is what I got before the penny dropped. 

Here is the website where you will see how beautiful the church is.

Paul and Paula are in town to spend their annual holiday with their daughter, husband and his family. The wrinkle this year is that part of the family got Covid so most plans had to be cancelled. I did get to see them for a drink at the top of El Cortes Ingles and lunch at my favourite restaurant Al Aljiba We have been there many times so I had to order the spinach and rucola (rocket salad green) risotto and send a picture to Ryan and Angela, it's his favourite dish there, perhaps I was being a bit mean? 

We also went to an Italian one, rated best Italian in Sevilla #1 of 2444 restaurants on Tripadvisor) called Alimentari E Diversi. Here's my opinion, the food was good, service good but on the downside... my first bite of fish had a bone in it, the only one thank goodness. They brought a bottle of water to the table and some bread, and charged us for both. I think because of the rating, they are so popular at the moment, they think they can get away with that, and did with us. I took a wood fired pizza home for consumption the next day and to be honest it was only okay. 

So as you can tell this will not be my favourite restaurant to return to. No, I did not write a review, my mother always said "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". 

Paul and Paula live in Montpelier, France but are originally from California, USA. They have been visiting Sevilla for years now and I still cannot remember who hooked us up. Paula had a lot of questions the first year they were here and I helped her a bit with some answers and we've been friends ever since. Paula's birthday is the same day as mine. 

The gang together about Christmas 2017. L-R: Ryan, Paul, Angela, Paula, Bruce and I, great memory of a lovely day.

Here are a couple of pictures encountered on my walks about town that you don't see every day.

This fellow was teaching kids how to form bubbles, very colourful ones!

Stumbled on this Magic store for Wizards, okay, good to have, but I've never seen one before.

video The Fork This is a film about a couple, one a big eat meater and the other a vegetarian who tour the USA to discover and rationalize the methods of agriculture employed today including why and when they were employed. I enjoyed it, I cringed about it, and learned from it. I hope if you choose to watch it you will learn something about where your food comes from and why.

Rant start, I was in a major grocery store about mid-week last and this young fellow clearly had a cold, coughing and sneezing, no mask, and was buying a box of four doughnuts. Not knowing his back story but not appreciating him potentially infecting the rest of us, I was not happy. Saturday evening it hit, Sunday looked for Covid testing kit, out of date, I have one mask left. Stayed at home Sunday and Monday but needed to go out Tuesday, I wore a mask in stores even though I am probably not contagious anymore. First stop, Farmacia to get test kit and more masks. As we know Covid is not over and probably will never be, rant concluded. I dosed myself with ginger and green tea and it wasn't too bad, still have a cough but... enough about that. 

Over Christmas Pepe, Marta, Daniel and Mom and I had lunch and walked past a new venture, hairstylists. Mom has lived in this area for years and, as Pepe says, knows everything about everyone here. So we stopped in to satisfy her curiosity and mine too. I had a hair cut appointment scheduled for the next day and didn't feel it fair to them to cancel last minute so no appointment that day. It's been about a month so I booked with Jaime Sevilla for today and am I ever impressed! The fellow is an artist, blew dried my hair straight which showcased the grey, silver colour. Last time I had it blown dry straight was in my twenties in Victoria, read humid, and I could actually hear the curls pop back. Anyway I will link his Instagram post if he thinks it worthy because he did take four photos for that platform, I guess he didn't, but here is his link I think his pricing is too cheap at 25,00 Euros. He didn't get water in my ears or down my neck which has happened before because I am short to the opening of the sink.

My regular curls were back the next day of course but it was good to look different for a day.

From me to you my friends wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2024!

 This happens more often than I have ever encountered in any other city, a procession just marches by. Here are a couple of pictures, as usual, from my balcony because who has time to run downstairs to get the photos?

The Christmas street lighting this year looks like this.

Pepe was over to help me with a few household things and we were talking restaurants, he mentioned Eslava. I said I'd never been, to which he looked incredulous because it is one of the oldest most revered in Sevilla, Eslava link. So he booked us a table with his mom and baby Daniel. The food was great and it was a lovely afternoon! 

Going out to lunch is a treat these days, Bruce and I used to lunch out several times a week. Now if I get bored with my own cooking I go to a take out place which cooks genuinely good food which is a great resource for me.

My friends Jeff and Jessica came to visit from California! It was a quick whistle stop on their three week tour of Spain and France, ending in London. We met Friday afternoon and came back to my place for cava and Spanish snacks. Saturday they took a very comprehensive tour of Sevilla and saw all the major sights. Sunday we got together with Pepe, Marta and babe Daniel at La Chala for lunch. As in the past (usually with Ryan and Angela) the food and service were top notch. Jaime our regular server was not doing our section but came over to say hola. 

It was a quick visit but a lovely one and they are talking about coming back to Sevilla, so all very good.

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and safe and Happy New Year!

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat 

Not the best of pics, I woke her up, grumpy. She's on the backpack which is on the suitcase in the closet, her new favourite place to hang out.