An Insider's tips to where to go and what to do in Barcelona

I do this a lot for friends, compile a quick list of my favorite places in Barcelona, with the hope that they too love it. It's part tourisic part practical... but as things change quickly, you never know if it's out of date. But here they are. I hope you enjoy!

Pla del Palau, 8, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Do the lunch menu here or cheap dinner. The pizza is to die for. The lunch menu exceptional value and they have a terrace so you can enjoy the sunshine.
For the BESt sandwiches ever cheap and cheerful (right next to the big post office)


Santa Maria (no website)
Carrer del Comerç, 17, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
You MUST try this place it's AMAZING. It's my exclusive bcn insider tip. You will not be disapointed.

Salamanca (not salamanca II which is not on the beach)
For traditional Pallea to to Salamaca on the beach
Calle L'almirall Cervera, 34


El Xampanyet

Carrer de Montcada, 22
This is right across the street from my old flat. It's so charming and lovely. Don't eat there as they'll charge you an arm and a leg for tapas... but do go there and try the cava they make themselves. It's under 10e for a whole bottle and it's so amazing. Always busy. But if you see Juan Carlos tell him Sarah (la madre de Sienna) who used to live across the street sent you...
Night life...

Carpe Diem Lounge
there are so many fab places you'll just stuble upon... but if you're down at the beach check out Carpe Diem and reserve a lounge sofa outside.
Just head down Portal de L'angel towards Plaza cataluna and you'll find everything. Zara, Mango, the usual suspects.
Avoid the ramblas... (tourist hell and pick pocket central) avoid Raval as well as it's quite dodgy there at night!



 I do the Monday and Friday morning 6h15 body pump class at my gym in Oakville which is on my way to work. I always position myself at the left hand side of the room and smile when I see one of the studio pictures as it looks so similar to my friend Eric in Barcelona. It's pretty funny really as they could have been separate at birth. This morning I had my ipod with me and snapped a pic. For anyone who knows Eric you'll appreciate the resemblance.

I'm all booked for miss Sally and Mihir's wedding in Phuket at the end of March. Will be a bit of an epic journey from here but still, I am so looking forward to it. I'm stopping in Hong Kong on the way for a quick rest and visit with my sister's mate Victor who teaches there. It will be my first time ever in both places so lots of adventures to be had... and maybe a bit of sunshine too. Sad that I can't take mini me with me, but perhaps its a good thing!?!



One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both

. - Oscar Wilde


Hello Blog it's me, your owner!


It's been an eternity since I've last posted, in fact I was certain I would most likely perhaps never post again... that this blog had had it's day and that there was truly nothing left to write. I think the biggest thing is really that it's been hard for me to write. It sounds strange but even with all the changes, new job, buying my first car, Sienna starting school... I've been waiting. I've been waiting for life to kick back into normal. This however has not happend. I've made changes and moves and countless other life adjustements since I left Barcelona (2 years ago this week) but still I wait, and I want... and I don't feel like it's all there. It's a terrible state of purgatory, one purely self inflicted I may add, but I think it's fair to call it a self made aflliction of the wait.

I'm sure it's simply adjusting to life on my own, and coming to terms with what my future has in store. But this store that my life is apparently being held at, seems to not have my size, and what I think I want looks terrible on me. So it's an ongoing cyclical strife kind of thing. Something not best really written down as it would very quickly tumble into self deprecating dribble.

So I'll stop, now (okay maybe in a minute) having mentioned it and take this moment to recogise that I am a person of action and am not in the least troubled by the thought of changing house, country and job at the blink of an eye. So waiting is against the very grain of my nature. But life throws you what you can handle, and if you can't handle it, you learn how to handle it. So waiting for me is like a life defining excersise. I just hope it doesn't take my whole life to realise that sometimes you can't engineer things and you can't always be in control. This is a bitter pill to swallow considering I earn my livelyhood organising things. Enough! Wait I must, so I shall. But I would just like to have it recorded here that I'm none too pleased about it.

On a completely different note, I had some lovely and exciting news this week. Miss Bambach got engaged! Mihir bought her a beautiful 2 carat diamond. She's of course over the moon and I couldn't be happier for them both. Now only time will tell if the wedding will be in London or Sydney or both. I best start saving up every last penny!

Ooh yes and did I mention Vegas? We had what will now been (or seems liekly to be) an annual girlie pilgimage to Vegas in early Oct. It was such fun! It was lovely to see Andrea, Autum and Sally there and seestor even came along too! Next jaunt is penciled in for Miami in April! I'm counting down the days already. See that waiting thing, it manages to weasel it's way in every little nook and cranny even when you're trying so damn hard not to wait! GRRR.


It's a quiet Sunday morning...

I should be painting but instead i'm untagling some invoice madness for work. Not ideal but it's better than dealing with the pain of trying to do it next week in the office which will be impossible. Lilli is quite happy as it blends well with her idea of a fab day (curled up in a ball at my side while I work)

This last week my uncle by marriage lost his mum. She'd been ill for quite a while and finally slipped away last Friday. She was such an amasing woman. I remember as a child we went to visit her and her husband as they lived in Oliphant. I remember it being a really long drive... and being worried about the bears that were known to trapse across their property. They were kind and they were so welcoming to us. That visit was definately a highlight of my childhood. I remmeber Peggy's amasing cesear salad that she prepared in this massive wooden bowl and most importanly her fabulous rasberry jam. I'm happy she's been released and will no longer suffer, but we'll miss you auntie peggy! But on the flip side her first grand daughter is now in the process of delivering her second great grandson. So in with one spirit and out with another. Funny how those things go isn't it?

Yesterday miss Andrea and I terrorised the poor people in South Kensington... A walk down memory lane, that's for sure. We stopped in to the Chanel shop to pick out a foundation and had giggle at the woman who was refused service as she was using her 'fiance's black amex' they don't let folks here just use whatever card they like, they insist that the owner of the card be present ( I don't think this is the case in the states as this lady was american and not too pleased about being rejected)... but any way, Andrea and I giggled and felt quite smug that we were able to buy what we wanted ourselves... mind you I can tell you that neither of us would protest very much if somone else wished to pay the bill... we then me the lovely miss tasha who looks so fabulous. An inspiration to get the ol bod back in shape again. Proving again how fab she looked, when we stopped in for a drink after our shopping she got asked for ID at her local pub! Honestly. If you're 31 and people think you're 17, you're doing something right!

I'm on the home stretch right now with work. Only 7 working days left and then it's on to packing and sorting things out... one weekend of fun with miss Sally who is flying all the way in from oz to say goodbye to me and then one spa day with andrea and voilia! I'm missing Sienna and can't wait to see her again, but she's enjoying her new life and doesn't seem to miss me much... it all feels like a bit of hurry up and wait. *sigh*


I'm alive!!!!!

Well it's been so damn long since I've been able to write anything here, I think the bookies were taking bets on my probable demise. Not so. Since coming back at xmas work has been busy, weekends full of kiddie things like tennis and swimming... and then miss Sienna's 4th birthday. I've now scraped my self from the pankake-like (run over) shape on the floor and I've taken up a new hobby... It's all about the shrink wrapping baby! I know, not but a few posts ago I was extolling the virtues of posh bin... and now shink wrapping. I have reached a new level of geekdom.

So yes, shrink wrapping or actually vaccum packing I think is more of an apt description. I bought a set of bags from Amazon and wow, live as I know it has now changed. I think the feeling of compacting away all of your skinny jeans the don't quite fit you just now is a feeling second to none. I think I'm going to start my very own vaccum packing therapy sessions. I tell you, it will be all the rage in LA before you know it!

Why am I vaccum packing you ask? Well, after a year long chapter of life back in London and doing the what I know now is possible but perhaps not sane thing of raising a 4 year old on my own and working full time with no support network... I've decided to vaccum pack my life and head back over the pond and for once make my life a tiny bit easier. I know I know it's almost acomplete 180 to my normal modus operandus but hey, I'm getting old folks... and if the fact that this blog is over 10 years old now doesn't do a job of convincing you, I'm not sure what will. So yes, life will be so much easier and better for little miss with a bit of help from my family.

So miss Sienna jetted off with my mum who was over visiting earlier in the week. They're nestling into things back in Canada and I'm here wrapping up my job and flat. I love love love this flat. After living in such a horrible place for so many years in Barcelona I've been so spoiled by having this place. It's big and light and airy and perfect for miss Sienna and I . I will miss it. I'll also miss the beautiful family who moved in upstairs in Sept. They've been so kind and lovely to us both. I hope one day they'll come out to Canada to visit us.

So while I finish up things at work I also have a bit of work to do on me. Living this life that is so full-on has reduced the 'me' down to a faint concept. When you're spread so thin and never have any time to yourself it's amazing how quickly you lose yourself. I've got a month here now with only work and packing as my obligations. Do I know what to do withmyself? Well apparently not. I think I have mild agoraphobia of being me. I think I've forgottne. So in an effort to remind myself that I can woop it up for a bit I've got to get myself a London bucket list so I can cross things off and get stuff done before I go.
On the list for now are>

Tate Modern
Portrait gallery
Hayward Gallery
Harvey Nicks
The long bar at the sanderson
Oscars at the charlotte st hotel (best cocktails in the world)

Any other suggestions?


It goes without saying

That finding the will or the inspiration to write and breathe life into my poor neglected blog has been an unsurmountable challenge. The grind and pull of daily life is indeed relentless. It's not made any easier when you're raising a wee one on your own.

I have however, have had the delight of an unexpected visit from a dear old friend miss sal sal from oz this week. It's been so lovely to see her. It's funny how having her back in town for a week has made me realise just how lonely I've been here. It's a huge anonamous city... it's kind of like quick sand, in that before you know it you can be swallowed up and disappear. Added to the fact that I certainly find it hard to ask for help from the friends I do have makes it an even greater challenge to keep my head above the sand. Life is all about balance and acheiving that here is proving the biggest challenge of my life.

However, this week in celebration of miss andrea's b'day , sal sal andrea and I trapsed off to the So spa in st james for a day of pampering. What a delightful and luxurious day. Pathetic i know but i felt both so happy and so sad during the whole time. Delighted that i was with my friends but sad as I miss so much my old life where we were all together in London... so true in that you don't know how good something is until it's gone. Well, we hot tubbed gossiped, got massaged, had a very delish afternoon tea and then rounded off the day with a delish cocktail at the charlotte st hotel.

One week left of the grind before wee me and I jet off to Canadialandia to visit the family. One sneaky week in cuba tucked in the middle to truly relax. What a year it's been... lots of tears lots of challenges and lots of successes... I'm praying that next year will be a year of calm, joy and renewed faith in love and all that is good.


Little Madame

Is growing like a weed! She's such a pretty thing (okay I'm allowed to say that i'm her mum). She's started tennis lessons (whith the hope that one day she will play with me).

My office is awash of burgeoning bellies as two of my colleagues are now expecting. Luke and Helena (my friends who I set up with one and other years ago) are expecting their first bebe in a few weeks! I'm so delighted for all of them. I am not certain I could ever go through it all again... I'm really enjoying having a little partner in crime with Sienna. Now that she's older she truly is a lovely companion. She says the most delightful things at times, I can fall about with laughter. She told her teacher the other day that she wanted to be a Doctor so she could buy a house with a swimming pool. She also laughed at me the other day when i was answering her question about what our friend Char's husband's job was. As I was telling her, she burst out laughing and said to me "silly mummy, daddy's don't work only mummies do!" imagine that! I wonder where on earth she got that concept from *cough*.

I've got a weekend of girlie fun ahead. Chiara is here and so is vero, whom I've not seen for a whole year now! I think Autumn is in town too and Eric next week. I guess until I pluck up the pennies to return to Barca for a visit, Barca will quite simply, come to me!

I also have a date with a lovely Canadian bloke this Saturday which I'm really looking forward to. I don't want to jinx it but what a nice guy!

Sienna sends you a hug!