Tag Archives: summer

It’s a Spanish thing

I love Spain.

I love the colour, the life and the fact that people mistake me for being Spanish.

Flamenco dancing spectaculars, drinking Sangria and late night starts.

Tasty tapas, seafood paella and crème Catalan.

Nobody worries too much about owning property- why buy when you can rent right in the middle of the city where you want to live.

Parc de la Citadella where the cool kids hang out, Otto Zutz nightclub where the tourists go to party and Zara for all your fashionable needs.

The iconic La Rambla, the smells and sounds of La Boqueria and the friendly waitress in our local bar.

I love Barcelona, especially Parc Guell, and every time I go back I discover a new side to the city.

The brilliance of Gaudi, the deck chairs on the curving beaches and the famous 4 Cats bar.

The Moorish delights of the Alhambra, so many fountains and gypsies living in cave houses.

I am fortunate enough to have some Spanish friends who have shown me parts of Spain that I would not have otherwise explored.

The views from Mount Tibidabo, the sad story of Punta De Sau and the tradition of Plaza de Torres de la Maestanza.

Busy Madrid, beautiful Granada and cultural Seville.

I like the streets and alleyways of the cities and the gothic architecture of the churches.

A summer retreat in Xabia, white washed Spanish style villa’s and tall cliffs crashing into deep blue sea.

The lovely language, the good looking ladies and the passionate people.

It’s not just a country, it’s a way of life.

Endless fun, long summers in the cold climate of Europe and a no worries attitude that suits my Australian ethos.

I look forward to returning to Espana and discovering more about this wonderful country.

Related posts: It’s a water thing, People vs Place, It’s a French thing, Europe, 2003, Spain, 1997, Part 2: Beyond Barcelona, Spain, 1997, Part 1: Barcelona

Random Public Holiday Ramblings

Today is public holiday Monday here in Oz, so I was going to take the day off from blogging too, but instead I thought I would just share some random ramblings for something a little bit different. So here we go- my first free style blog experiment…

Public holiday Monday used to equal a good excuse to drink lots and for an extra weekend day- now that I have a two year old- not so much!

What is the Labour Day holiday for anyway? According to Wikipedia it commemorates the achievements of the Australian labour movement. That is the eight hour day movement- which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

Sounds pretty good to me! So- what movement advocates a four day working week? Cause we really should get on that. Not that I can complain as I only work part time these days anyway.

This weekend also marks the start of day light savings. This indicates the start of summer for pretty much everyone on this side of the world and it kicked off with a vengeance this year with a 33 degree celsius day.

And who do we have to thank for the brilliant innovation of daylight savings time? A New Zealander as always- George Vernon Hudson- who first thought of it in 1895. I wonder if Aussies try to take credit for this too along with Crowded House and Russell Crowe.

I totally picked the Amazing Race Australia winner and the runner up for The Bachelor Australia. Does this mean I watch too much reality TV? Perhaps.

I was particularly impressed with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that Blake (the Bachelor), was 31 and 32 on the same day in separate articles. Fact checking much?

Apparently there is a big Bachelor scandal that is going to be discussed on The Project tonight and can be purchased in today’s Woman’s Day.

No- I haven’t rushed out to buy a copy because really- how scandalous can it be? More than likely it is all just a media beat up to distract from the fact that the show had poor ratings and an even poorer ending. And as they say- all publicity is good publicity.

The new Survivor has just started so I will have to predict the winner for that too. It is harder to predict, but hopefully I will get the trifecta.

And where are the now not so new US seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? We are almost a year behind now! And what about the new season of The Originals that is supposed to start tomorrow?What’s going on channel Go? And you wonder why people download shows instead.

At least Fox 8 has had the foresight to buy Vampire Diaries fast tracked from the US so that it aired on Friday. Very happy Jan.

I saw Gone Girl at the movies last night. I read the book this year when a friend gave it to me for my birthday. It was one I never would have thought of  even thought of buying as I usually avoid the best seller list, but it kept me guessing and was very dark and intriguing. And I must say that the movie was even scarier without all the internal monologue that you get in novels.

I’m currently enjoying reading The Time of Our Lives by Jane Costello as it is chick lit set in one of my favourite cities- Barcelona. The characters are staying in Barceloneta- a place I only recently pleasantly discovered on my trip last year on the recommendation of some local friends. Top spot.

I’m loving Twitter at the moment- Twitter is where it’s at! Good quality networking for bloggers and great content- if you are following the right people for your interests of course! Instagram also seems to be a good one for the more visually inclined- I’m more of a words person, but do love a good photo too.

This summer I am looking forward to more beach time and it looks like a lovely day out there- so it’s time to get off the virtual world and enjoy the sunshine in the real world. Have a good long weekend peoples!

Related posts: The New Amazing Race Australia, The New Bachelor Australia, TV Replays and Movie Marathons, Books, books and more books

Cocktail Hour in Sydneytown

After 17 years of living in Sydney, I would consider myself somewhat qualified to find a good cocktail bar in the city. I may not be at my youngest and hippest anymore, but fortunately I work with a couple of twenty something’s who are, so am still able to find a good cocktail when I need one.

My most recent favourite cocktail bar is Lobo Plantation in the city. Decked out in some sort of Cuban Caribbean colonial theme by an ex-Ivy bartender, it exceeded expectations and was indeed discovered to be cool when the hipsters showed up to disturb our pre-dinner cocktails. I recommend the Awkward Pearing- a coffee and expresso cocktail that was surprisingly good.

Another of the recent cocktail-bar-in-a-basement variety is Eau De Vie in Darlinghurst. I was not impressed and will not be back. Fortunately, we discovered the nearby Hinky Dinks which was a pleasant surprise. I loved the American diner set up and the Popcorn Paloma- popcorn infused tequila with grapefruit soda. Yum!

Baxters– the late night whisky bar down an alley way that everyone down the Circular Quay end of town is talking about is a favourite of my husband. If you are not a whisky drinker go to the nearby Palmer and Co instead. This 1920’s themed speakeasy below The Establishment is noisy, but nice, and they have lovely staff.

For a summer cocktail, Opera Bar is my go to place. You can’t beat a bar at the Opera House with a view of the Harbour Bridge on a sunny day in Sydney. I have often been known to remark that “it isn’t summer in Sydney without a cocktail at Opera Bar.”

The nearby ECQ Bar is also a great alternative for a less crowded destination. Nice high bar stools and good classic cocktails like Cosmopolitans and Margarita’s. I also like Cruise Bar on the other side of Circular Quay- comfy outdoor lounges and lovely Mojito concoctions.

In my 20’s, I was taken to Jimmy Lik’s in Potts Point by a much cooler person than I. We also went to a place where you had to knock on the door and they looked at you through a peephole. Sorry- I have no idea where it was, how to find it, or how to get in again.

Other cooler than I friends have introduced me to The Cuban Place in the city centre which is a bit noisy, but has a cheap cocktail hour. I have also been taken to a bar in Paddington that was a place to be at the time, but I just didn’t like drinking my cocktail out of a jar while sitting on a crate that much.

Sometimes these new funky cocktail bars make me nostalgic for the days when Cargo Bar, Bungalow 8 and Pontoon in Darling Harbour were the places to go. Nice traditional bars on the water with a packed dance floor and a line up at the door.

Last time I checked Ivy and The Argyle were the places to go for cocktail and night out on the town, but I am sure that’s all changing again even as I write this.

Related posts: Get your groove on, What’s your handicap?, The Seven Year Itch, By special request, Friendship: Great Expectations?, Home is where you make it, I first started writing