Pre-marriage I was frequently venturing out into London bars and pubs, partaking in a series of dates that can only be described as cataclysmic. My selection process was subconsciously, deliberately poor. I would go for the sad ones, the poetic ones, the “fun ones” who always had a very “unfun” shadow lurking just over their shoulders, the wacky ones with bohemian hair and undetermined employment status and the musicians.
I was 25 when I learnt that I am the consummate coward. When it comes to fight or flight, I know which side of the fence I am sprinting away from. This epiphanic moment occurred when back-packing across South America in the mid ’90s.
After three months of living in Spain and I’m asking some of the big questions. And I share what is in my fridge.
My first 7 weeks in my new life in Ontinyent, Valencia.
In the aftermath of a most excellent wedding and an even more excellent party, we set off to Costa Rica with the echoes of “La Bamba” ringing in our ears. If you ever need to hire a party band check out Aisha Kahn & The Rajahs, they wrapped up their brilliant set with the most rocking La Bamba EVER, and it became the theme tune for the entire honeymoon.
It’s not until we spoke to a tour guide back in Bordeaux that we learnt the importance of this festival that reaches across the whole Arcachon Basin. “Oysters are like religion here” he told us, and the passion for these little alien looking blobs of saline and sweetness really comes into its own once you reach Arès.
If you Google “London food courts” you’ll get a pretty extensive, if slightly arbitrary list of places to eat, from street markets to Harrods Food Hall to individual restaurants. The term “Food Court” or “Food Hall” in London is yet to take ownership of its true meaning, as it has done in Singapore for instance, where the Hawker culture is well defined and actually emerged as a result of the street food traders being moved off the streets and into covered, repurposed spaces such as car parks, so as to keep the city looking neat & tidy.
The Island of 8am happy hours, legal drink driving, Cutters and Mount Gay Rum. We arrived on this boozy island on Jan 1st, already laden with UK spawned megalithic hangovers, still lingering after an exceptional NYE in London. The kind of hangover that you feel may well last the entire holiday, if not for the rest of your life, forcing you to accept feeling like a bucket of pigs swill for all eternity.
Both Px & I had previously taken our then respective partners to The Dam, and both had experienced a less than great time. I have no idea what I was thinking taking a skunk addict to Amsterdam, I only have myself to blame, for what turned out to be two days of smoke fuelled, bug eyed resentment.
Working alongside Px at his restaurants and outside catering events is less of a work/life balance and more a case of “if Life had a baby with Work this is what it would look like”. I’m not complaining but it does take some stamina!