Saturday, June 30, 2007

God bless the Casa Tejada.

You've been away for the best part of 10 days, your plane is an hour late and there is the traffic jam from hell just trying to get out of the airport. So it's past midnight when you get home, the fridge is empty and you're starving.

What you need is to live round the corner from Casa Tejada. It is the bar de barrio that every neighbourhood needs. It stays open from breakfast until 2am, serves Moritz beer, has Barca games on its big screen and serves a wonderful variety of tapas and main course dishes throughout. What more could you ask for?
It's busy during most of that time and deservedly so.

After hot footing it round I was soon tucking into a delicious plate of sauteed bacon and sprouts, a side order of pan amb tomaquet and a large Moritz, served in an English style dimpled pot. I think, though I am not certain, that this is the in joke of one of the barman who has spent time working in England. It seems to be the only one in the place and I usually end up getting it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Il est arrivee

At one stroke, one of my two favourite teams signs one of the greatest players on earth while my other faces an opponent enfeebled by his absence ...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Calla, calla!

Or shhh... the words of my wise friend as we got terribly excited about Barca winning the title. Cruising against Nastic with Real losing and wobbling against Majorca, it looked like it could happen.

It didn't of course and probably a good thing too. The local sports papers delivered a sumo-sized volley of invective this morning reflecting on the team's dire season. From Spanish and European champions, strengthened by some high-class signings, to winning nada is some feat.

The papers' verdict? Blame the club regime, blame the manager, blame the players - a message that would have been just as valid had they won the title and one that would have been completely lost in a celebratory mayhem of cava, beer and tickertape.

So it may well turn out for the best. Twelve years ago, United came second in the league and cup but won nothing after two years of success.

Alex Ferguson responded by selling three galacticos - amid huge controversy - and rebuilding the team around youth with immediate and huge success. Frank Rijkaard could do a lot worse than follow suit.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Catch up

The heat is officially on as Barcelona's summer begins and it's time to do summer things like go up the mountain for a late cocktail or picnic on the beach.

This weekend the Sonar festival is on and next week the schools are out. Then it is San Juan when everyone stays up to party all night. It's a calendar as fixed as any London summer season.

And yes the football season is still not over. While the 2008 English fixtures are published. La Liga still has one game to go with Barca desperately hoping that somehow Real Madrid will find a way of tripping up at home to Majorca on Sunday. After last Saturday's 18-second Greek tragedy, anything might happen.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The voice of youth

Off to Primavera Sound to see the emerging young rock stars!

First up, Jonathan Richman, 56 just a few weeks ago!

And then, Patti Smith, just the wrong side of 60!

And sadly not getting to see The Durutti Column and Vini Reilly, 54 in August! Or indeed Robyn Hitchcock, who's just beaten him to that age!

They don't make them like that anymore.

Smith in particular was sensational and set the place alight as the sun went down over the Barcelona Forum.

And last, and yes, least, Shitdisco!

We wandered off and stopped at one of the beach bars on Bogatell beach on the way home. As we lay on the sunbeds and looked out to sea, a very full, very yellow and completely wonderful moon poked its head above the horizon and rose within a matter of minutes.