Archive for April, 2011

Sunday, lovely sunday

Hay días, en la vida de una, en los que lo único que necesitas es poder sentarte en una mesa con buenas amigas y, mientras bebéis unas copitas de vino, hablar todo lo que puedas.

Desde que me vine a vivir en Brasil, echo de menos estos días de chicas. La complicidad, el saber que te escuchan sin juzgarte. Conseguir encontrar personas con las que de verdad te identificas, es muy difícil. Crear una red de amigos que compartan tus mismos gustos, necesita trabajo. Construir una amistad de verdad, lleva tiempo. Y llevo aquí solamente 7 meses.

Así que, cuando los vuelcos de la vida me dejaron sin saber adónde ir y, aun teniendo la família cerca, me hacía falta esta terapia, no medí esfuerzos. Aproveché los días que me había cogido para la semana santa, cruzé el charco y fui a encontrarme aquella que viene siendo mi amiga, hermana, consejera y psicóloga a lo largo de muchos añoscasi toda mi vida. Más todavía, los últimos 7 años, en los que compartimos muchas cosas en Sevilla.

Fue así que, en un domingo de sol incomun para la casi siempre gris Londres, Nina me recogió en el aeropuerto de Heathrow. Cuando la vi supe que había hecho lo correcto.

Del aeropuerto a casa, a cambiarnos. De casa, a Covent Garden, dónde se nos unió Elisinha (que ahora vive en Cambridge y vino a Londres en caracter de urgencia a pedido de Nina para ayudarla en el proyecto hacerle reir a la Ju). Y, como me conocen más que demasiado bien, me llevaron a comer en el restaurante Jamie’s Italian, de Jamie Oliver. Sí, el mismísimo Jamie, del que tanto hablo. Yo no conocía a su restaurante, así que más encantada imposible.

fuente:página del restaurante

Y así pasamos la tarde: entre orgías gastronómicas y mucho vino. Riéndonos, charlando, actualizándonos unas a las otras. Los entrantes estaban divinos! Nos pedimos unas tablas con embutido y unos champiñones al gratín que estaban para chuparse los dedos. De segundo,yo probé la pasta del día, con cordero y salsa de tomate, que estaba bastante rica. Pero para el  postre he pedido la panacota y no me ha gustado para nada! Y es que no se parecía ni un pelín a la panacota original. Al menos a la que yo conozco… En realidad, debo decir que me decepcionó un poco, porque con lo fan que soy de sus recetas (y creanme, he probado muchas en casa), la comida en el restaurante no me ha sorprendido mucho. En realidad, lo que más me molestó fue que el vino nos lo han servido caliente. A mí me gusta el vino fresquito y con la temperatura que hace en Londres,no sé porqué el vino lo tenían tan caliente. Se lo comentamos al camarero y este nos trajo un cubo con hielo para que lo pusiéramos alli un ratito, hasta que se quedara más fresquito.

Ahora, la decoración chulísima y los camareros muy simpaticos. Los cuartos de baño son super modernos y de verdad el ambiente entero te invita a estar alli un buen rato. De hecho, me ha gustado tanto que hemos vuelto allí a cenar el miércoles siguiente. Pero, aunque esta vez la comida fue más acertada, otra vez nos sirvieron el vino caliente.

O sea, que os lo recomiendo. Pero si tuviera la oportunidad de hablarlo en persona con el Jamie, no dejaría de comentar que me he decepcionado un poco. Siempre pienso que mejor saber la opinión real de la gente, que seguir haciendo las cosas creyendo que lo estás haciendo bien por falta de críticas constructivas.

Después de comer, paseamos por las calles de Convent, pasando por el mercado, con su feria de antiguedades y estos bares y cafeterias tan chulos. Había un ambiente increíble, con muchísima gente, música, artistas de calle, puestos de artesanía, enfin, cosas que harían cualquiera perderse algunas horitas paseando por allí.

Y, al final de la tarde, nos encontramos a este pequeño Pub escondido en una callecita dónde nos surpendió un grupo que tocaba al jazz en directo y que tenía una cantante con una voz preciosa! Nos quedamos alli, hablando un poco más, tomandonos nuestras pints y escuchando aquella musica. Al final del día, me sentía afortunada por poder disfrutar de un domingo tan lindo, al lado de amigas a las que quiero tanto y a las que echo muchísimo de menos!

Translation:

There are days in which all you need is to sit at a table with good friends and while you drink a glass of wine, talk as much as you can.

Since I came to live in Brazil, I miss these girls days. Those complicity. Know that you are being listened to without any type of prejudice. Get to find people that you really identify with yourself: it is very difficult. Create a network of friends who share your same tastes, needs some work. Build a real friendship takes time. And I’ve been here only 7 months.

So, when life twists left me not knowing where to go and, still having the family around, I needed this therapy, I just did not measure efforts. I took the days I had taken for Easter, crossed the ocean and went to meet that one who have been my friend, sister, counselor and psychologist for my whole life. Even more still during the last 7 years, in which we share many things in Seville.

Thus, in a sunny Sunday (uncommon for London almost always gray), Nina picked me up at Heathrow airport. When I saw her I knew I had done the right thing.

Shortly after passing by the house to change, we went to downtown to meet with Elisinha (who now lives in Cambridge and came to London in a matter of urgency at the request of Nina to help in the draft to make me laugh). And, as Ithey know me, took me to eat at Jamie’s Italian restaurant. Yes, the real Jamie!  I have never been there before, so it was the perfect choice!

And so we spent the afternoon: between gastronomic orgies and much wine. Laughing, chatting, updating each other. The starters were divine! We asked a few portions of  sausage and mushroom gratin which were scrumptious. As a second, I tried the pasta of the day, with lamb and tomato sauce, which was quite rich. But for dessert I asked for the panacota and I did not like at all! And it did not seem even a tad to the original panacota. At least from what I know … In fact, I must say I was a little disappointed, because while I am fan of his recipes (and believe me, I have tried many at home), the food in his restaurant was not very surprising. Actually, what bothered me most was that the wine we have been served was a bit hot. I like the wine cool and with this temperature in London I just do not know why the wine were so hot. We commented it to the waiter and he kindly brought us a bucket of ice so we put it there for a while.

But I have to say that the restaurant has a very cool decor and very friendly waiters. The bathrooms are super modern and really the whole environment invites you to be there a while. In fact, I liked it so much that we returned there for dinner the following Wednesday. But,  even tough this time the food was more successful, again they served us warm wine.

In other words, I recommend it. But if I had the opportunity to speak in person with Jamie, I could not fail to mention that I was a little disappointed. I always think it’s better to know the real opinion of the people, than continue to do things believing that you’re doing well because of lack of constructive criticism.

After lunch, we strolled through the streets of Convent Garden, through the market, with its antique fair and these bars and cafes so cool. There was an incredible atmosphere, with many people, music, street performers, craft stalls, enfin, things that would make anyone spend some hours walking around there.

And by late afternoon, we met this little pub tucked away in a lane where we were surprised by a jazz band that played live and had a singer with a beautiful voice! We stood there, talking a little more, taking our pints and listening to that music. At the end of the day, I was fortunate to enjoy a Sunday so cute, next to friends whom I love so much and I miss even more!

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28/04/2011 at 4:05 8 comments

Lights, action: click !

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a photography course with Javier García Rossell.  I had not realised until the last moment, that the course was meant to be focused on flash lighting. Really and truly, flash lighting is not my thing.  However, I have to say that Javier has succeeded in making me see the beauty of flash lighting and much more.  It was great to be able to go through the basic notions of photography, play with natural light, learn how to use flash and work with a beautiful model: Ines Rodriguez. A day dedicated to photography.  What else can I ask?

For such a great day, I am grateful to my colleagues who have come up with the idea of setting up a photoclub, through which this course was organised.  For anybody who is interested in attending a similar course, Javier is conducting another one on the 22nd May.  And so I leave you with some of my shots from this course …

Traducción:

El sábado pasado, tuve la oportunidad de asistir a un curso de fotografía con Javier García Rossell. No me había dado cuenta hasta el último momento que el curso iba a estar enfocado en iluminación, en particular en el uso del flash. El flash no es lo mío. Sin embargo, tengo que decir que Javier ha logrado hacerme ver la belleza de la iluminación del flash y mucho más. El curso fue genial: un repaso a las nociones básicas de la fotografía, juego con la luz natural, uso del flash y trabajo con una bella modelo: Inés Rodriguez. Un día dedicado a la fotografía.  ¿Que mas puedo pedir? 

 Gracias por ese gran día a mis colegas que han organizado el curso a traves del nuevo “Fotoclub” del trabajo. Para cualquiera que esté interesado en asistir a un curso similar, Javier tiene otro previsto para el 22 de mayo. Aqui os dejo algunas de las fotos del curso …

20/04/2011 at 16:36 2 comments

Just a little bit of quinoa …

This morning I woke up with a craving for a delicious healthy breakfast.  I flipped through a sports magazine I bought some time ago, and came across this recipe for breakfast with quinoa. Fifteen minutes later, I had my quinoa already on low fire.  As I was waiting the 20 minutes recommended cooking time, I started browsing online for quinoa recipes.  I also had to search whether I should have rinsed the quinoa before I started cooking it.  After reading a couple of articles on how important it is to clean the quinoa, due to a chemical used to keep birds away from the crop, I decided to throw away what I already had in the pot, and start from scratch.

In the meantime, I came across some interesting recipes with quinoa.  In particular, I am really happy I came across this really nice blog through this recipe.  Reading the author´s description of quinoa makes you want to have quinoa for breakfast everyday.  The blog is also great for anyone who wants to include more cereals, grains and beans to their diet.

My little research on quinoa also brought me to this book ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover’s Road Map To Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, Getting Really Healthy, which is already in my Amazon basket.  In this book, Dr John La Puma explores the food we should keep in our pantry, as a way of preventing us opting for medicine from our medicine chest.

Going back to my delicous healthy breakfast: as soon as the quinoa was ready (mine took less than 20 minutes), I let it cool slightly.  In the meantime, I chopped some lovely strawberries and some blackberries and mixed them with the quinoa.  To my liking, the mixture looked slightly dry, so I added two tablespoons of Greek yoghurt and a teaspoon of blackberries marmalade.  Finally, some chopped walnuts and voilá.  The result: delicious healthy breakfast and a day full of energy.

18/04/2011 at 23:18 Leave a comment


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