Meeting Monday

I complain about the Monday gloom, from the warmth of my kitchen window. So dank, so dark, so uninviting out there. So I go out to meet it. It’s mild. I don’t need gloves, but a gust of wind tugs back my hood and I let it go. The rain has stopped. Branches reach above … More Meeting Monday

A Walk in the Park

Cold, bright and still. It was all about light, shadows and textures at Knole today. A brisk run for me and a walk in the park for the deer.  

Tapeando in El Tubo

Zaragoza’s tapas quarter is small and perfectly formed in a web of old streets called “El Tubo“. The narrow lanes of Calle de los Estébanes and Calle de la Libertad comprise its core, with bar after bar offering gastronomic delights, and then more spin off into the neighbouring streets. Its a fine way to follow the Spanish … More Tapeando in El Tubo

Bodegas Almau

In the heart of El Tubo de Zaragoza is a small place with a big reputation. Its name is Bodegas Almau. Old and atmospheric (it’s been here since 1870), bottles and barrels adorn its yellow walls. Groups of friends crowd the floor, and the few tables are crammed.  Squeeze in at the bar to order … More Bodegas Almau

Solo in Zaragoza

My husband sent me to Zaragoza. He insisted – said he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. I wondered what I had done wrong, or had I done something right? “A break”, he offered with gentle conviction. “You can think, you can write – just get away. Take two nights.” “But …” I had a … More Solo in Zaragoza

Winter blues whispers and prickly tennis balls

The evening light is leaving us, and the nights are growing cold, but colours like these keep winter blues whispers at bay. I find crabapple red. And sweet chestnut green and brown. Pretty for decoration or delicious for dinner. (Just be careful when scuttling over a sweet chestnut carpet. It’s like negotiating carelessly strewn prickly … More Winter blues whispers and prickly tennis balls

Pa amb tomàquet tonight

This evening my eldest son surprised me by making his version of pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato rubbed onto it, an olive oil drizzle, then seasoned) on the eve of the highly-charged and contentious Catalunyan referendum. He was hungry. We enjoyed this in Cambrils in the summer, but first tasted it Andalucían-style (tostada con tomate y … More Pa amb tomàquet tonight

Lovely Luffa

Last year my naive experiment of growing a luffa plant (in the relative cool of Kent) from a seed shaped in the sunshine of sub-Saharan Africa, came to a leaf-withered, sorry-looking nothing (despite having survived a nasty accident with a bike). I was sad. After receiving a lesson in luffas from Bettie in Malawi, I had planted … More Lovely Luffa