Tuesday, 31 January 2017

For my first 29th birthday

Something like this? Velvet shoes to be pretty and comfortable in. Asos, Anthropologie and Burberry are my Pinterest sources. More than one pair is very welcome.
Books. Always books. In French, Swedish, English and Russian, please. Spanish not just yet. I am in particular curious about the discussed genre "young adult", so anything by Meg Rosoff, who won the ALMA-prize in 2016. "När hundarna kommer" by Jessica Schiefauer. "The Story of a Modern Woman" by Ella Hepworth Dixon (it isprobably a huge inspiration source for "Mrs Dalloway"). "The Devil Latch" by Sonya Hartnett. "Det är natten" by Karolina Ramquist. One of Han Kang's books.
 
A chic but comfy jumpsuit. Would add stripes to the latter, maybe spaghetti.
Letterpaper and envelopes. The most beautiful and detailed to be found.

And you know, the usual. Love from friends, a massage, a visit to a spa, a dinner or lunch at a Michelin star restaurant, a visit to a place where I have never been and lots of surprises. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Dancing in Barranda and chocolate in Cehegín

Today I was in Barranda! 
The village maybe has 4,000 inhabitants. That number probably increased by 2,000 or more this weekend. 
The main street had all kinds of delicacies.
 Like this lemon leaf in fried dough, a traditional dessert.
We also tried to guess how many people I would meet that I know. Two or five? Seven, it turned out. 
And there was dance! Everybody could participate. 
Music groups from Cehegín and Caravaca were there, for example, and in front of each was a new dance.
And the music was so loud and the dance energetic. 
Dancing is also possible with shopping bags.
There were spices for all kinds conditions in life - against memory loss as well as cannabis tea for better digestion. 
I am probably coming back, when the road to the Roman castle is not covered with mud (as the police though it might be) and to visit their famous Ethnographic museum.
At the same time Cehegín had "Ruta de la Tapa", when restaurants compete with each other and the ones who eat the food get a stamp in the tapa booklet can vote for a winner. We had a chocolate tapa and two bocadillos (sandwiches) but didn't vote. We didn't vote at all. Carmen, who is one of the seven people I met, said that we didn't try the best of the restaurants, but we kept the tapa map and can eat at that place some other. 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

My recent food experiences (in Spain!)

 My twist on a Spanish breakfast.
The countless pastry. This is many percent yolk.
At a Cuban restaurant in Alicante, which actually serves very Cuban food, I tried yuca and non-sweet banana. I am not against it, not at all, but am not seeing a natural way for me to use it in my every day cooking. 
With melted white chocolate on top, pancakes are marvelous.
Not my own breakfast, bit several Spanish friends prefer this for their breakfast. 
At one of my favourite burger places in Murcia so far - and I have visited many!
Salad as a starter at the Spanish wedding. 
 A very nice lemon souffle ice cream cake.
 At a vegetarian Christmas market. I also want to make smooth soups.
A gourmet restaurant I found with a friend by chance, shortly after doing business with an unknown man around the corner from the open trunk of a car. Now I recommend this Mula restaurant to everyone.
Smallest fish I have ever seen! Not my favourite at all, but now I know.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

"Binas historia" by Maja Lunde

Three parallel stories: 1852, 2007 and 2098, all somehow connected. First the bee is research ongoing - where does the queen mate? How should the hive be(e, hehe) designed? Two hundred years later, they are gone in an unclear event with many theories - CCD. Humans have to do the pollination by hand and something mysterious happens to three years old Wei-Wen, which initiates a specific kind of chase.

"The History of Bees" seemed praised in the shop - when I saw it, the cover had the high-ranking and well-wishing quotes on an edition translated to English in a Spanish shop. Maja Lunde is Norwegian, so the international factor is a good sign (having your book translated is hard these days). So, I made the decision to read the book as close to the original language as possible: Swedish. I was also lucky to get it from Jérémy who came to visit shortly after :)

I do appreciate the different tone of each character, telling his or her story. There were parts that sucked me in and parts when the author succeed with making me uncomfortable, feel empathy, believe each character or be sorry for the narrow mind of a certain person. But on a scale where 5 is the top score, despite the nice cover, I don't give it more than a 3. And yet it is an important book that makes one raise one's head and look up at the bees around. To not only think of cities as the aorta of the world. The publishing houses, however, showed a very big interest for Lundes script, as she points out herself in the afterword. It is quite evident why, in these climate change and economists' ignorance times.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

From one of my favourite local vegetable shops

 A cabbage for my castle. 
 It is waiving with its sleeve: come, let's make soup together!
Bye, beauty, you will not be mine tonight.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Suddenly in Granada (Museum Mission: Alhambra)

 I wished Sandra Happy New Year in late December and it turned out she was in Spain! We quickly decided to go to Alhambra ("the red" in Arabic) in Granada. The first stone was put about 1,100 years ago and paets of fortresses kept being built till the last owner had to flee in the 16th century. This is an overview, experts are welcome to comment on more exact events.
 It is a complex of castles on a mountain. To get inside, one needs to book tickets in advance. 
 Lots of people (behind us) and nice architecture. 
First we made an expensive guess: it's ivory! It turned out to be plaster.
 "Everybody" says that you have to go to Granada the city and Alhambra the castle. I think it is like dipping a quill pen in ink, but dipping a toe in the chalice of history. It is a lot to take in and so many centuries boiled down in one place - and this I say without a guided tour.
 There are sharon fruit trees and evergreen palms, so this alone is great.

And so are the views. Moorish poets are said to describe this place as a pearl set in the emeralds, referring to the woods around aa the green backdrop.
 In summer, however, it is very hot in the outdoor parts. (No, Jana, I wouldn't risk.)
 This part belonged to one of the queens. There is a "secret river" inside a wall, a pear tree and the fountains form the M-letter of McDonald's, do you see?
 Big gardens = plenty of time to walk around while discussions flourish. We discussed the art of gaming. To me, it is a bit of a new world. Last year I played an eight hour session of Arkham horror for the first time - a big step from having mostly played chess, cards and Monopoly before. There is a LOT more to discover. 
 We also saw a chef!
 Apparently picking growing food from the garden. 
 We looked closer and saw many tasty plants. For the local restaurant, I suppose. 
Quite unexpected!
 After a mild car accident, we went for food hunting in the city.
 Imported from for example Morocco.
 Javier, my colleague, is of the opinion that I should stay at a hostel here for at least four days to get to know the town.
Maybe he is right.
 We had booked the entire restaurant! There was only one table and many pasta dishes. Sandra and Jonatan were lyric, I was less happy,
This restaurant made everything to look like it was  Burger King, but it wasn't. BK was the first to establish in Spain by the way, like two decades before McDonald's (which I mentioned twice in this post, wow. I really love hamburgers).
And then we went to each of our cities and did not celebrate Christmas.