I’ve had a couple of weeks when i’ve had one illness followed by another, then a super busy time at work. But thank god for the weekend coming just when it did, as it wasn’t a minute too soon. I have had a wonderful, relaxed time just taking it easy…View Post
This weekend I headed to my favourite place, where I call home – Cardiff. Although I was originally planning to go to a friends engagement party, I got my days mixed up and ended up missing it, but I made the most of being able to catch up with great friends who I simply don’t see enough of, and gossip, gossip, gossip.
On Monday, after a horrible day at work I called my Grandma for a moan, and she gave me a good bit of advice (she usually does). She said: “Go brush your hair, put something nice on and go out for dinner.”
So I did. Mr B and I took a stroll into Moseley Village to the well known and much raved about Italian, Ponti di Legno.
It’s a BYO, so we stopped off for a bottle of red at the off licence on the way, then followed the delicious garlicky smells to the front door. For a Monday night, the place was full to the brim, but we got a little table by the window and stuck our noses in the menu.
Enticed by the garlic smells, we went for this to start us off.
For our last day in Barcelona, we wanted to take it easy, enjoy the sun and soak up some of the Barcelona sights before we headed back to rainy UK.
We started off with a bit of breakfast in El Born, and then went for a peek inside the The Santa María del Mar Church which we had walked passed many times during our visit. If we thought the outside was intriguing, we had a treat in store.
As you walk in you are hit by the light streaming in from up high, bouncing off the columns.
My highlight of the La Mercè festival is the Correfoc. It’s the craziest, nosiest, most insane thing I have ever been part of. Correfocs – meaning fire runs – are a Catalan tradition and they make sure that the festival goes with a bang. Large crowds line the streets as groups of devils come their way, dancing and waving large sparklers and fireworks into the crowds which spray anyone and everyone. The bangs are loud, the fire real, and the fear and adrenalin is addictive.
Anyone with a shred of sense will wear headscarves, cover every inch of their body, being careful not to expose even a hint of skin and keep their eyes safely behind some big sunglasses. Because, let me tell you something, this would NEVER be allowed to happen in the UK!
A blast of fireworks signal the Correfoc, and the devils start to dance their way down the street.
One of the highlights of the La Mercè Festival is the Casteller – the human towers. It is a tradition that started hundreds of years ago in Tarragona where, basically, people make themselves into amazing towering towers.
We had a lie in after our Mojito night, and then made our way over to Plaça de Sant Jaume. On the way we passed a shop, which looked so delicious we just had to pop in.
After enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of Ibiza for a week, the gang and I thought we better spice things up again so we headed over to Barcelona to catch their annual festival, La Mercè. Now, don’t be fooled into thinking this was a spur of the moment decision, La Mercè became a permanent fixture on my annual calendar after I was introduced to it last year, and myself and some of the La Mercè regulars were keen to show it off to the newer members of our group. Also, as far as I am concerned, jet setting from one holiday to another has to be one of the most cat-got-the-cream-grin-inducing activities EVER!
The five day La Mercè festival celebrates Mare de Deu de la Merce, the Patron Saint of Barcelona, and they don’t do it by halves. The city’s streets are alive with performances, spectacles, traditions, fireworks – lots of fireworks in fact – culture, dancers, revelry and altogether a fantastic atmosphere.
We arrived into Barcelona early afternoon, and settled into our beautiful apartment in the El Born district of the city, which has got to be one of the best places in the world. It is full of winding cobblds streets, funky bars and literally hundreds of great places to eat tapas – which was high on our agenda.
I’ve just come back from exploring the beautiful island of Ibiza. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not all late night clubs, drunkenness and laminated menus – far from it in fact. Away from the West End of San Antoni there is culture, jaw dropping scenery and delicious food.
Last year on my first intrepid visit to the island we stumbled across a gorgeous beach called Casa Salada where you can leap into the clear blue sea from the rocks, watch the sun set and although it is busy, there are more locals than tourists.
This year, we rented a villa overlooking the beach, and me Mr B along with five of our loveliest friends settled ourselves in for a week of cava sipping, swimming and sunning (and a little bit of partying, of course). I spent a lot of time taking beautiful pictures which I was going to share here, but heartbreakingly I have lost the SD card with all the pictures from the first six days. I could cry but instead i’ll tell you about our last day in Ibiza visiting Ibiza Town which is on a card I didn’t lose.
Ever since I was little I have loved books. I love everything about them. I love the way they look, the way they feel and I love how they look in a home (I am definitely not on the e-book wagon). I love the way they can transport you to a new world and make you feel like you are part of it – so much so that sometimes when you finish one you can feel a bit lost.
So when I came across Persephone Books a couple of years ago, it was love at first sight. They reprint forgotten books that were written by women, or for women, from the mid-twentieth century. And what makes them so special is their design. All of their 102 books have a dove grey cover, with a simple cream label. Each title has its own unique endpaper that compliments the books’ date and theme. Many of them are from fabric designs, but all of them are beautiful. When I was down in London last weekend for a friend’s birthday, I popped into their shop in Bloomsbury to add to my collection.
Moseley Folk Festival is a little festival in the heart of Birmingham, and a couple of weeks ago, as a new Brummie resident, I went along to check it out.
The festival is in its eighth year and, as the organisers say it is an eclectic mix of “traditional, contemporary and experimental folk and acoustic music”. It is set in Moseley Park, and is only a hop, skip and a jump from where I live. It’s pretty small affair as far as festivals go with about 2000 people attending.
Now, I’m not really sure what makes folk folk, and I wasn’t even that sure that I liked folk music before I went, but off I went with an open mind, a picnic rug, some tasty treats, some suncream and a few friends and we had a great time.
Oh, and I’m not too sure how to use my new camera, so excuse the over exposed pictures. As soon as I get a chance i’ll read the manual and figure out what i’m doing wrong.