Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Four days ago we were eating gorgeous grilled garlic sole in the Andalucian sunshine... and now I'm staring out at soggy, dirty Salford streets as the rain continues to pelt down. Sigh. Then again, holidays are supposed to be an escape, right?

Although we spent a lot of time just chilling in our fabulous apartment, which had amazing views of the Mijas golf course and the surrounding mountains - best viewed at sunset with a cold beer - we did get out and about as well. Top tips if you're headed to Costa del Sol...

Malaga City itself is fantastic, and apparently overlooked by most tourists. It's a refreshing breath of sophistication after the package holiday madness of Fuengirola et al. It's only 35 mins from Fuengirola by train, with a lovely, straightforward centre to stroll around. The new Picasso museum is well worth a visit, even if you're not a fan - we really enjoyed the cool, quiet atmosphere of the exhibits and the basement is an actual archaeological site (unrelated to Picasso of course.) Then I'd suggest you relax with a gorgeous cafe con leche and some plum cake in the cafe, which had a 4 star presentation for a mere 3 euros.

Marbella is more of a struggle to get to if you're sin un coche, as there are no trains west of Fuengirola. So one 45 minute milk route bus later, you'll arrive a bit hot and tired. The best solution is to head straight for the beach, where the numerous beach barbecues serve up fresh, delicious seafood - from dreamy swordfish to a string of smoked sardines if you're so inclined. The old quarter is also worth a stroll around, with some nice cafes in the Naranjas square. But the 31 degree heat and the difficult travel made us tired and a bit fed up. We noted in this week's heat that Rachel Stevens was there the same week as us, and she looked like she was having a good time - so there you go.

Mijas is a bus ride or 10 euro taxi trip from Fuengirola, and definitely worth it - the views from the highest points around the old fortress walls are breathtaking. There was also a panoramic restaurant near the tourist office that we wanted to check out, but our afternoon visit didn't coincide with the Spanish eating hours. (7:30 pm at the earliest - but 9 pm onwards is more like it...)

Fuengirola is, well, Fuengirola. It's good for supermarkets and a meal, and if you're after a full english breakfast then you're in the right place. Although it's lobster brits on parade hell, I found myself curiously fond of the place. There was one store that really made us laugh, a photo of which I'll post later on.

Oh, and don't forget the siesta hours - we kept forgetting most places shut between 1 or 2 pm until around 5 pm. Duh!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Experimenting with the new free image hosting deal at blogger... seems pretty cool. This is the pebble beach at Brighton, btw.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Hello and welcome to post #400.

I must confess I haven't been feeling very bloggy. What with Malaga on the brain (31 degrees expected on our Sunday arrival...) it's been a case of wishing the days away until we fly. I've got my stock of bikinis, flip flops, sarongs and sundresses sorted, and just need the help of the old spray tan before we go. I thought about picking up a pair of Havaianas (small stock at Schuh; larger stock at Selfridges) but y'know, they were £19 and they're just plain ol' rubber flip flops. Update: that was just me moaning because my bank account was in a sorry state - I did secretly want them - and thank you to the bf for the present...

Right now I am surrounded by piles of work to finish before Friday, and it's killing me. Can I now? Pleeeeeeeease?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I'm in a wonderful mood, for lots of reasons.

One. My lovely bf surprised me with a week's posh villa holiday in Spain - we leave in 2 weeks. He even managed to sneak past me on our phones here at work to book the time off with my manager. I was so surprised and amazed that I burst into tears when he told me - and now I have just enough time to sort out girly beachy things and get incredibly excited.

Two, my lovely new trousers from Gentle Fawn arrived in the post yesterday and they are awesome.

Three. I made the most delicious roast pork fillet yseterday - you just marinate the medallions in some orange juice & olive oil, then roast for about 10 minutes. Add the drippings to a pan with some honey and a bit of chilli powder and you get one seriously delicious glaze. With a side of chilled fattoush salad (I add some cumin to the dressing, and apparently ground sumac is key too although I can't get it near me) it was the perfect hot weather meal.

Four, I've got my streetdance class tonight at the gym and I'm really looking forward to it. Yes, laugh if you must - but there's something quite liberating about deciding to throw your inhibitions to the wind and pretend you're Britney for an hour.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Psssst. Do you like disco? Yeah? Excellent. Now how about disco lessons from a dapper Senor decked out in gleaming Captain & Tennille-esque whites? I thought so...

(NB: it's about a 37 mb download...but oh so worth it, especially when the music kicks in...)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Well, the London birthday party at the Goth's studio was bizarre but fun. I went to buy the bf a vodka tonic, and they told me that I could only have one if I'd brought my own bottle - which they then keep behind the "bar" and charge you £2 for the pleasure of serving it to you. I said I didn't have one, and then they served me the drink anyhow. The barman was a goth listening to Evanescence while our party had a lovely mix of hip hop and brazilian drum & bass in the main rooms. It felt a bit like the warehouse booze cans* I used to go to in Toronto and made me slightly nostalgic...

We also celeb spotted. Err, well - D-list spotted mostly. First there was Danny from Hearsay (about 2 stone heavier these days!) at the Northern Star pub in Shoreditch. Then I saw Josh from Big Brother 2 stroll past the Hoxton greasy spoon where we were having some breakfast the next morning. Later that day, the bf finally spotted a decent celeb - the lovely James Lance, he of The Book Group, Spaced and more recently Absolute Power fame. I missed out as I was inside Monmouth Coffee stocking up on espresso - sigh.

Just before heading back to St. Pancras, we stopped for drinks at the 15th floor bar in St. Georges Hotel near Oxford Circus. Plonky Blackpool Tower-esque muzak and expensive drinks, but worth it for the chilled, quiet atmosphere and the views looking out over London.

* a booze can - well, here's an article that explains what Canadian ones are like...