Thursday, December 13, 2012

Food for thought

Following on from the other day regarding my discussion of food. Here's a caricature I quite like:

The hamster says " And when you eat it do you also use a mask?"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Some thoughts on food...and local produce.

Living in a small town in Catalonia for the past year has taught me a lot of things...

One of those things being the importance of buying locally produced goods as well as ethical consumption.  The following is by no means an exhaustive discussion of this subject, but more a personal reflection as this topic can be discussed forever and a day. I will however mention a few articles, videos, books at the end of this post if you would like to explore the subject further.

I started my journey into learning about ethical alternatives to consumption, especially when it came to food, whilst I was in a lecture on the topic of Anthropology of Food at SOAS and I remember something that has stayed with me in particular.
It was regarding a banana.

Yes, a banana, one of the most potassium rich fruits in the world that most athletes devour to give them a burst of energy.

A perfect morning snack.

Also the subject of two characters of a children's favourite TV show. See: 'Bananas in Pyjamas'.

Now, we all know that a banana doesn't magically appear on the supermarket shelf.
A banana in fact has a story - and all food that we eat does.

Note: Unfortunately many children probably do think that banana's grow on supermarket shelves or may not even know WHAT a banana is - no fault of their own... See 'Potato or Tomato': Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution).

The way human beings interact with food has changed drastically. Not only are we not teaching future generations WHERE fruit and vegetables come from, WHERE their steak comes from (and with animals it is a different story. See: my article 'Meet your Meat') but we are not teaching them  HOW they are produced, WHY we buy food in supermarkets and WHAT they are good for.

I mean the amount of problems that exist regarding food nowadays is what I would probably call INSANE. A system of instant gratification and over consumption has left us with problems ranging from global warming, destruction of nature and our natural interaction with plant/animal life, GMO crops, unfair trade regulations, paying more for ORGANIC food that isn't ridden with toxic pesticides etc. etc. etc.

Where did all go wrong? And when did we forget that a plain old banana has a long, at times, painful order to reach our mouths?

Where was it planted? By who? Which country? Who was the middle-man that allowed it to be shipped across the globe? Then the other who decided which supermarket chain it would go to? What mark-up price will it be sold at? Is the farmer who planted this banana being treated fairly?

The questions are endless. So, in fact, when we bite into that banana, we are biting into a lot more than we realise....until we start realising that we ourselves are part of a long long chain in this system of global trade and consumption. We can either choose to ignore this fact or we can choose to face it and realise the consequences of our actions and buying habits.

I think it's important to realise our own place in global market and trade system; and make ourselves aware of the many initiatives currently across the globe trying to raise light to issues that has been kept in the dark. It's a complicated topic and there are many sides to it...

Luckily enough for me there is a fresh fruit/vegetable/cheese/fish market everyday in this town of 22,000 and that allows one easier access the food produced in the area. But not only is it about going to the fresh food markets but also buying from smaller shops scattered around that help support the local economy (especially in times of crises such as this). And these CAN be found in every city (most of the global human population, for the first time in history are living in cities).

I think it's important to realise we can all do our bit. Often people think that because they cannot be 100% ethical as EVERYTHING we buy has a story (from the clothes we wear, to the toothpaste we use, to the phone we text on) then there is no point.
I disagree....if we start learning about ourselves and the things we CAN do, then it is just a matter of taking baby steps and deciding WHAT is really important to us, others and the world. We cannot deny that we are indeed a global world much more connected than ever before. The more we deny this fact, the more we are shying away from a reality, of which, if a blind eye is turned, I fear will tear us away from our own humanity. We are after all 'what we eat'...

 The consumption of a banana suddenly becomes much much more.


Bananas: A 2009 Swedish documentary directed by Fredrik Gertten about a conflict between the Dole Food Company and banana plantation workers in Nicaragua over alleged cases of sterility caused by the pesticide DBCP.
Top 10 Genetically modified crops
Local produce and healthy eating
Fair Trade website

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Easy homemade face mask

Here's a way for your face and puffy eyes to feel revitalised if you ever need! Easy to make from food stuff at home.




1. Mix the yoghurt and honey and spread it evenly across your face.
2. Cut cucumbers and put them on your eyes.
3. Lie down for 5-10 minutes with relaxing music.
4. Wash it all off and feel your face smoother already!

Enjoy! =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Escape Into Reality

By Michal Trpak - from Anonymous Art of Revolution FB page
Check out this sculpture by Michal Trpak, "Escape Into Reality". I think it's pretty incredible You can see another photo/angle of it here or even buy the original for $19,000.00!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Belle Rose i Jordi Bofill

Belle Rose and Jordi Bofill are a music duo based in Palafrugell, Catalonia and they are definitely a talented pair. Here is their promotional video that I helped film and it has turned out really well I think!

They play in restaurants/bars/weddings and can be contacted for private events as well. If you are in the Girona province I would definitely recommend getting in touch with them for your wedding/events as they are great to listen and dance to!

Here is their myspace page if you are interested in listening to more of their songs.

To contact Belle Rose i Jordi Bofill, please email

Belle Rose y Jordi Bofill son una dúo musica  sede en Palafrugell, Cataluña y son definitivamente una pareja talentosa. Aquí está el video promocional que ayudé para grabar y ha creo que quedado muy bien.

Ellos tocan en los restaurantes / bares / bodas y pueden ser contactado para eventos privados. Si se encuentra en la provincia de Girona sin duda le recomendaría entrar en contacto con ellos para su boda / eventos, ya que son muy buenas para escuchar y bailar!

Aquí tenéis su pagina myspace si quereis escuchar mas de sus canciones.

Para ponerse en contacto con Belle Rose i Jordi Bofill, por favor mande un correo a

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Everything will be alright tomorrow...

We hear this expression many times during our lives...and many times we may not believe it. Yet, it is truly one of those expressions that carry hope, an expression that allows us to continue to carry on fighting for ourselves, for our loved ones and for the ideals that we hold dear.

This post is about one of my favourite albums which has that expression as an album title:

Faithless - Everything will be alright tomorrow (2004).

When people think of Faithless they think of the big dance hits such as Insomnia, We Come 1, Tarantula, Mass Destruction, God is a DJ (one of my personal favourites) and many more. Now, I absolutely love these hits and pretty much all of their albums.

I must say I think Faithless are one of the best groups out there today. They are not just dance music. They fuse ideas/thoughts/styles and really allow one to be lifted away whilst listening to them. I unfortunately have not had a chance to see them live, but I am sure I will one of these days, and from the videos I have seen online, I can tell that it would be an amazing experience.

Everything will be alright tomorrow is not a typical Faithless album. It is perhaps one of their most underrated albums, or at least talked about album, however it is actually probably one of my favourites and I would argue, one of their most profound. The album tracks are simply numbered starting from 'One' to 'Eight' and end on a final song 'Blissy's Groove'. It is mostly an instrumental album (with instrumental versions from their album 'No Roots' (2004) ) and the album starts with the words 'Everything will be alright tomorrow' and ends on the same note. A lot of the songs from this album have been combined in such a way that the melodies and tracks just fuse into one another and you are temporarily transformed into its magic.

It's an amazing album to meditate to, to reflect to, to focus to and to just 'be' - which is incredibly difficult these days - be in the present moment and enjoy every minute of the music and your own company.

I probably have listened to this album more thousands of times since I discovered it in my teens and will listen to it probably at least once a week since. I truly recommend this album to anyone, especially for people going through difficult times as it truly does help gain new perspective on yourself and the 'problems' you are facing.

And I'd just like to say thank you to Faithless for bringing such light into my life through their beautiful music. If you haven't listened to their new album 'The Dance' (2010), you should, as it's equally amazing. My favourite tracks from that album are: Flyin Hi and Tweak your nipple.

And remember, everything will be alright tomorrow...

Quote of the Day

From 'The Idealist' FB page

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Song of the Day

Tabla Beat Science - Magnetic Dub

Info (from youtube channel):

Tabla Beat Science Recorded live @ the Fillmore, San Francisco, June 21, 2002.

Bill Laswell - bass

Ustad Sultan Khan - vocals, sarangi
Zakir Hussain - tabla
Karsh Kale - drums, tabla
Gigi - vocals
DJ Disk - turntables
MIDIval PunditZ - laptop
Fabian Asultany - keyboards

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thom Byles - Step Into The Weather

Check out my friend Thom Byle's new album Step Into The Weather. He is an amazing guitarist, singer and a very talented young musician.

Step Into The Weather is a beautiful album which one may describe as 'honey for the ears'. An album to listen to on a rainy day, on a long car journey with the windows of the car down and the wind blowing in your face, on a beach watching the sunset... An album to reflect and to let the sounds just take you away. I would recommend it to everyone.

Show your support by downloading his free album (you can make a donation if you like) and spread the word so he continue to sing around the UK and even the globe!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quote of the Day

"There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - Carl Jung

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner" - Nelson Mandela.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


In 2010 the documentary film Babies was released. You may have seen the trailer which depicts four babies from across the world being filmed from their birth up until they reach their first birthday.  If not here it is:
I had been meaning to watch this film for ages but only got around to watching it last week. Now, I've always actually liked babies and children, so if your one of those people who are not so fond of screaming and crying - it's still worth watching. Why?

Let me explain. When I was about 15 my friend gave me  Bertrand Russell's book - On Education. I was fascinated by this book which really explained how the first few years of the life of a baby can really shape his/her personality and how in fact the first three years are the most important years to teach  love, compassion, trust and empathy. (A book I truly recommend to current parents as well as soon-to-be parents as not only does it focus on the first few years of life of a human being but also explores the importance and different manners of education up until around puberty.)

There have been many studies and debates since Russell's book which was published in 1926 that validate the idea that, yes indeed, the first few years of a baby's life are extremely important in shaping personality and world-perception (Freud would be nodding his head). Even though it is clearly not just limited to these years); the brain is like plastic and continues to be shaped as we grow, with ever new neurological connections that can be formed till our dying day.

Anyway, this book actually got me thinking about the first three years of my life, which were in Nigeria. How much did my environment affect me? After all environment physically changes brain structure (obviously I am not forgetting the importance of gene structure but that is another issue). Not only does environment affect us, but our interaction with parents/people/culture on a day by day basis. How much have we all been affected by our early years? External stimulus affect the way we experience and perceive the world...And that's what this film allows you to question even more.

This film is fascinating just to see the differences in how babies are brought up in only four diverse cultures around the world but also shows how similar we are when it comes to our fundamental or natural desires and instincts.

Additionally, the cinematography is absolutely fantastic. Rotten tomatoes has given the film a 69% (which is pretty good for Rotten) and IMDB a 6.7. Some of the criticism Thomas Balmes, the director, has received, is for not having a 'purpose' to the film. I would aruge that this film does not need a purpose. It is just a beautiful documentary capturing very real moments in people's lives - and that in itself is a purpose.

This documentary really does make you realise how much of a journey we have all taken... We have all learnt to proudly crawl on all fours and finally conquer the first step; and as Laozi, the founder of Taoism, put it ever so eloquently - "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Texts from Hilary Clinton

The other day I posted a blog post about Romney's "binders full of women" quote that came out during the second presidential election, when both candidates were asked about women equity in the workplace. I mentioned this to a couple of friends this weekend and shared some of the hilarious memes that had popped up all over the internet after his statement when viral. Upon this, my friend asked me if I had seen the website dedicated to photos - or memes - of Hilary Clinton texting. I said I hadn't and so quickly proceeded to search google and came across THIS website. I suggest you all take a look. It speaks for itself. And yes it is HILARYious (I had to...)

Quote of the Day

"A man who finds no satisfaction in himself will seek for it in vain elsewhere" - La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Nobody puts baby in a binder"

If any have you have ever watched Dirty Dancing, you'll know that one of the most famous quotes from the film is "Nobody puts baby in a corner" as Johnny, the male protagonist, picks Baby up from the corner seat she has been placed in and starts to walk away with her hand in hand. You'll also know that recently the second presidential debate for the USA elections took place between President Obama and Mitt Romney. 
Romney made a remarkable statement - which has gone viral instantly and deserves applause for all the people who have the time to come up with hilarious images and videos already mocking the following statement:

“And I—and I went to my staff, and I said, ‘How come all the people for these jobs are—are all men.’ They said: ‘Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.’ And I said: ‘Well, gosh, can't we—can't we find some—some women that are also qualified?’ And—and so we—we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said: ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.” (Voila - Now the photo makes sense!)

You should check out The Daily Beast's article - 
Mitt Romney’s ‘Binders Full of Women’ Comment Sets Internet Ablaze
The Huffington Post article - Romney 'Binders Full Of Women' Debate Remark Inspires Tumblr, Facebook Page And Twitter Account
The Twitter account for 'Romney's Binder'  which has already kept me laughing for the last 5 minutes. 
And finally the new Facebook page dedicated to this, which already has 238,324 likes.

Good job Romney! And to end with, here is another of my favourite photos that has come up -

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Bench.

Photo - Ashique Mahmood 
The bench.

A place to sit, a place to lie, to read, to reflect. To be alone and watch the landscape, the cityscape, the people passing by. To sit with friends in a park, to share a sandwich, to meet someone new, to meet your next love, to share a few wise words...

The bench invites you to join it in quiet contemplation.
I came across a website with photographs of "20 Lonely benches around the world". Some are truly beautiful and some seem are melancholy ridden left alone to their solitude until another passer by amuses them for a short while. If benches had ears and eyes, they would have stories to tell...

Please take the time to write a single phrase or word of what a 'bench' means to you below in the comments. I'd love to see what people come up with.
For me a bench is 'A breath of fresh air...'

Monday, October 15, 2012

Kumpir - The Turkish Potato Snack

I was in Istanbul a few weeks back with some of my high school friends, which was great!

What I always do when I head to Istanbul is go to Ortaköy, which is on the European side and get myself Kumpir. Örtakoy is a wonderful part of Istanbul that has many side streets, open air markets, lovely smells of all sorts of types of food, colours and most importantly a beautiful view of the Bosphorous!! I would recommend this place to anyone planning to visit Istanbul.

And I would also recommend Kumpir, which is basically a baked potato mixed with cheese and butter and topped with any ingredient of your choice. Usually the more the better! Lots of ketchup and then a good walk afterwards because you will be full!

In Örtaköy they have a line of stalls selling Kumpir or waffles. I have attached a few photos so you can get a general idea! Instead of getting them from the stalls I would recommend finding a place in the side streets that lead to terraces with great views of the sea! Divan for example is a good choice!

And all that is left to say is Bon Apetit! Or in Turkish, Afiyet Olsun! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Sexy Inc. - Our Children Under the Influence"

Sexy Inc. - Our Children Under the Influence is an interesting documentary exploring the over-sexualisation of the media and advertisements, and its influence on children and their identities. A short, 30 minute piece that explores a few issues ranging from the influence of hyper-sexualisation on children as well as the reinforcing of gender stereotypes.

It is not a coincidence that marketing companies focus on selling to children, children's minds are like sponges and they will take in everything that is shown to them and they will start to become consumers at a very young age. (Remember the Baby-G phase?)

I don't know if your familiar with the very successful 'Bratz' brand, which is an alternative doll to Barbie; well, not only are they marketing 'sexy' dolls to Tweens (Preadolescence), they have started making little baby Bratz wearing make up and wearing belly showing tank tops. I'm pretty sure it's not just me thinking that things have gone too far.  I am not joking - check this out.

Of course adolescence is an even harder period where all you want to be is 'normal' or 'fit-in'. So, who do you look up to? Of course, celebrities and musicians, who bombard our TV on a daily basis. And yes, they do have a responsibility to realise that they are the role models for future children.

I remember as I was growing up these music videos had already started being the norm on MTV or any other music channel. Women dancing around in thongs, men showing off their little groupie gang of women. This is not unfortunately the norm. Turned on any music channel recently? If not I suggest you grab the remote and get a quick dose of reality. And actually it's not just music channels, it's reality programs, it's films, it's songs. It's everywhere.

I guess I was lucky to have found the 'grungy' group in my school, where we listened to rock'n'roll and were mostly listening to our parents CDs or whatever was 'alternative'. The message was : either you are sexy and beautiful or alternative and ugly. Girls getting a lot of hassle for not dressing 'girly' enough. I'm sorry - but WHO exactly decided that girls like pink and boys like blue? Oh what's that? A girl thinking for herself and standing up for an alternative? She must be ugly.  And again WHO decided girls like dolls and boys like superheroes? This little girl hits the nail on the head.

Anyway, this could be a topic we could discuss for hours and frankly write about for hours, but my point is, that having worked in a primary school this year (kids maximum 12 years old), I was actually shocked by several different things. One being a lack of being able to find a modern song without a sexual reference in it - this was for a video project we were working on.

With all this  bombardment of sexual imagery on a day to day basis of course children are going to aspire to be more sexual. Girls will think if they are not a size zero, not wearing make-up and tight-fitted clothing they are not beautiful and boys will try to be 'players' as its the cool thing to do. The responsibility obviously lies in the marketing companies - but more importantly, at home and at schools where it should be stressed to children that the media is manipulative and doesn't necessarily teach us the right values. We do have a responsibility.

Now without writing anymore, I'll just let you watch the documentary and let it speak for itself.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Peace is my Goal, Truth is my Ally, Love is my Weapon

I read a quote by Albert Einstein yesterday:
"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things."
So, I thought...
"Peace is my Goal.
Truth is my Ally.
Love is my Weapon."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Let he who is without sin be the first to cast the stone...

This is one the best songs of our generation. The lyrics, the message, the tune and Asa's voice is incredible.



I'm in chains you're in chains too
I wear uniforms and you wear uniforms too
I'm a prisoner,
You're a prisoner too Mr Jailer
I have fears you have fears too
I will die, you sef go die too
Life is beautiful
Don't you think so too Mr Jailer

I'm talking to you jailer
Stop calling me a prisoner
Let he who is without sin -
Be the first to cast the stone Mr Jailer, Mr Jailer Man
You suppress all my strategies
You oppress every part of me
What you don't know,
You're a victim too Mr Jailer
You don't care about my point of view
If I die another will work for you
So you treat me like a modern slave Mr Jailer

You see, if you're walking in a market place
Don't throw stones
Even if you do, you just might hit
One of your own
Life is not about your policies
All the time
So you better rearrange your
Philosophies and be good to your Fellow man

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr Seuss

Friday, August 17, 2012

"You are many - they are few."

“Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many – they are few.’

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

S.O.S Richi!

Richi with his superman costume!
Hello EVERYONE! We are organising a fundraising, beneficiary concert/event with Palafrugell La Vinacoteca on the 27th July 2012 (Details to follow) in order to help Richi, a 6 year old boy, from Catalonia who suffers from a medulloblastoma, a very aggressive cancer that requires highly specialized treatment.

Even if you aren't in this area and can't come for this event, we would appreciate it if you could perhaps take the time to 'like' the facebook page of Richi -

as well as looking at his website:

in order to spread the news of this cause as well as get some publicity with regards to the events which may lead to more donations. If you could even donate a few pounds/dollars/euros that would be much appreciated and if you can't, you could just help by perhaps sharing this update or taking some time to 'like' his facebook page.

Details of the event will follow, but it includes: live music (including me!), DJ's, Mediterranean tapas, selling of jewellery and drawings as well as a cocktail competition! There has been a lot of solidarity in the towns in the Costa Brava for Richi and I hope perhaps we can get more support. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Melissa x

Saturday, May 19, 2012

All Quiet on the Western Front

I recommend reading a review of All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque) by my friend Chandrika. She discusses the intricacies and complexities of coming to terms with war if you have never been a part of it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quote of the Day

Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.
- Malcolm X, (1925 - 1965), Malcolm X Speaks, 1965

Friday, April 20, 2012

8 Tracks

So, earlier last year I wrote a blogpost about different websites/programs to listen to and discover new music. Alongside the program Spotify, I talked about Musicovery as well as Stereomood as ways to find music to fit your mood. What I want to talk about today is 8tracks.

8tracks was recommended by mate who knows that I love to discover music. 8tracks is a website where you can search for personalised mixes by artist, tag or description and there are thousands of mixes that suit every moment. If you get a free registration you can favourite mixes as well as create your own. If I feel like being productive, I search for the phrase 'being productive' and there you go, 100s of playlists specially designed to get you motivated.

I've been using this website more and more and truly recommend it to all music lovers out there and those who don't know WHAT they want to listen to - you don't have to decide, just browse and enjoy.

Quote of the Day

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed
~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Meet your Meat

So, I'm writing today about Eating Meat.

I'm sure we've all been there before - having endless conversations about whether "it's" right or wrong, making fun of the Vegan or Vegetarian at the table, seen people or even been one of the people that makes an uncooked chicken walk around and say "Don't Eat Me!" by sticking our hands up them...

But my reason for writing today is not to question whether eating meat is right or wrong or even make a claim saying we should become Vegetarian or is more to shed to light some of the facts and ideas that have come my way, especially over the last few months, and make everyone think about it a little bit more...the way that I have started to, not just about eating meat, but about food in general and what we put into our own bodies to use as energy.

So, I bought Jonathan Saffran Foer's book Eating Animals by recommendation of a friend who told me that she became vegetarian after reading it. I was interested - after all, I had always questioned WHY I didn't question my own choice of eating meat. I thought perhaps this book would answer some questions.

I left it on my shelf for almost a year - perhaps I was scared of finding out the truth. Perhaps I wasn't ready to let go of certain myths that I held about eating meat. After all, as Foer points out - eating is a shared story. And a lot of us don't want to let go of that shared story. I certainly feel I don't want to - after all, there are histories and traditions behind the food we eat, we share food with the people we love. But somehow I realised that I had to learn more about what I was eating.

So I decided I would read the book. And talk to some friends who were Vegan and Vegetarian ( I realised I had many - coincidence?) Perhaps I will talk about the book in another review. For now all I want to do is recommend it to those who are perhaps just that little bit interested in the way that I was - those who, perhaps, want to know the truth.

And I will also share another video that I watched recently on the same topic which talks about our disconnection with eating meat, "Carnism", as Melanie Joy puts it. She goes on to say that "dominant, violent ideologies use a set of social and psychological defence mechanisms to enable human people to participate in inhumane practices without fully realizing what they're doing", and I feel that I can't disagree with that at all. The video, "The Psychology of Eating Meat" is here.

In other words, this blog post has come out of a somewhat passionate insight into the importance of realising that we have a CHOICE with what we do and that we can question the 'inquestionable'that has become a norm.

I am not saying that I am now a vegetarian...all I am saying is now I KNOW that I have a choice in the matter, because I am aware. And in order to be aware I had to listen to people. And what I'm saying is that there are people and ideas worth listening to. As compassionate and empathetic beings we have to realise the level of cruelty and crime that is being committed across the globe.

If you do want to know....

Currently I am hardly eating hardly any meat and focusing my diet on eating fish that I have known has been 'ethically fished' but that's another issue we will get into another day. For now I just want to say I'm thankful for anyone who's taken the time to talk to me about these issues...the conversations have been eye opening. And I hope that my share opens some more eyes about our own choices...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making
sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven't experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth."

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, March 24, 2012


The first week of March was incredibly warm in the Costa Brava – which was a nice change from the Tramontana, which is the Northern Wind and literally is the coldest wind I have ever experienced. The term ‘sweeps you off your feet’ also comes to mind. Apparently, the word originates from Latin/ Italian and means ‘From over the mountain something foreign comes’, so before was used to refer to anything foreign coming over the mountains. Now it is mainly used to describe the Northern Wind. I never really took an interest in winds until I moved here, but it really does affect your daily life, so it is useful to know what wind is blowing. This is also useful if you are planning to go onto certain beaches as you might make the wrong decision. Anyway -

On one of the Sundays, my chef friend invited me to a ‘Calçotada’ which is a traditional outing where you go out with your friends out into nature – for us the choice was near the Castle of Torrella - and you have a barbeque. But this isn’t just any old barbeque. This includes and is mainly consisted of ‘Calçots’ – which look like big spring onions. I was sceptical at first, but this vegetable is probably one of the tastiest I have ever tried. You put them on the barbeque and when they are completely charred you take them, allow them to cool for a few minutes and then use your hands to take the charred bits off in one ‘smooth’ sweep (I took a couple). You then dip the calçot into a Romesco sauce which is made of tomatoes, nuts, garlic and tastes incredible. I thought I’d share this experience as it was my first Calçotada and the season is apparently nearly over. Hope to have a few more outings before it’s too late.

(photo from Restaurant Can Oliver)


Where the famous Surrealist painter Salvador Dali used to live. This place really has a magical feel about it. We arrived at nighttime, four friends and a pink Volkswagen Van, and went to dine in a small, comfy restaurant called Tao (run by four old women). I’d prefer to call this restaurant just a ‘home’ really because it is not a traditional restaurant. You enter through a wooden door which is situated on a mountainous side street. There are perhaps two low tables and the ‘living room’ is basically the ‘dining room’. When you go out back you see a large garden with lemon and orange trees around. It’s quite beautiful.

In the morning we went for a walk and you really do understand where Dali got some of his inspiration from. His house is situated right by the most serene part of the beach and little islands are dotted around the bay.

The sky of the Costa Brava is also something else. If you take a look at a lot of Dali’s paintings you may see a ‘Vanilla Sky’ – skies with different shaped clouds, colours and amazing sunsets. This is pretty much true. Everyday there is a burst of character in the sky and it is truly beautiful. Would recommend going to Cadaeques to visit Dali’s house as well as Tao for a beautiful home made vegertarian meal.

Info about Costa Brava
Info about Salvador Dali's house

Sunday, February 12, 2012

a case of the Blues & Robert Johnson.

I've recently gotten into blues. A lot.

And I've been trying to explore the origins of

1930s Blues. You need to check this out.

Legend has it that he did not know anything about playing the guitar, then one night he went out into the dark woods with his six-stringed instrument, met the Devil, sold his soul and became one of the greatest blues musicians ever. In fact he has a song called 'Me and the Devil Blues'... The one I am sharing here is personally one of my favourites, and the video captures the feeling perfectly. I would suggest listening to 'Crossroad Blues' as well.

If you like him, check out Skip James. This song is called 'Devil Got my Woman'. He also played in the 1930s and did not get much recognition, thankfully some young blues enthusiasts in the 60s rediscovered him and he started touring again.

Robert Johnson (one of the few photos ever taken)