Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy New Year 2006, everyone!

I haven't been posting as I just haven't sat down to a computer in the past two weeks. My brother came down to visit and be fed for the Christmas week and I then flew to Barcelona to meet Blai there for New Year's. We arrived home (and it does feel like home) Saturday night and tried to get into a London mood on Sunday but I spent most of the day sleeping instead.

Dec 23 - Last day of college. I am one of the final 3 in our research group to actually be in...we go to the Four Seasons for a long lunch! My brother arrives that night. Blai has already been in Barcelona for 3 days.

Dec 24 - Psycho food shopping day as most shops are closed until the 27th. We wake up late and manage to buy the last chicken at the farmers' market. Later, we learn that my local Middle Eastern shop is open on Christmas Day. Food pictures to be found on my Flickr page.

Dec 25 - Lazing about...lalalalala.

Dec 26 - I think we spent most of the day lazing about.

Dec 27 - Start work again on my thesis.

Dec 28 - More thesis today.

Dec 29 - What else? Oh yes, thesis. Also my brother's birthday so we have lobster noodles at Mandarin Kitchen and ribs at Bodeans. I also manage to buy a winter coat in the sales.

Dec 30 - My brother leaves. I have arranged to meet up with Wynne today as she is in London. We arrange to meet in Notting Hill and part later that evening at Knightsbridge. Ack! Time to start packing!

Dec 31 - Thank goodness the tube strike only starts at noon. Flight to Barcelona...the thesis comes with me. Blai's mother prepares a spectacular spread for dinner and we scoff 12 grapes when the clock strikes at midnight. I cheat and peel and deseed the smallest grapes I could find in advance. I finish them, of course.

Jan 1 - We head to the village in the Penedes to visit Blai's extended family.

Jan 2 - Tibidabo! They have a special (lower) entry fee for the Christmas season. We ride the roller coaster 3 times.

Jan 3 - Oh, a day I've been looking forward to for a while - I had made a booking at Cinc Sentits for this day. We both order the Business Lunch - essentially the menu del dia with 4 half portions. We were first presented with a Cinc Sentits shot (salt, maple syrup, cream, cava sabayon). Yum! Then a salad with duck ham and pears. Then a poached egg on sweet potato foam with crispy bacon and vanilla oil. Mains were pork with apples for me and monkfish with wild rice for Blai. Dessert was a terrific banana cake with dark chocolate ice cream on top. Coffee and tea were presented with a passion fruit cream with lemon air. We'll be back!

Jan 4 - A lazy day. I join Blai and his mother and we go to a bookshop and a granja for hot chocolate.

Jan 5 - We saved this day for MNAC - Barcelona's art museum (they have free entry on the first Thursday of every month). We spend a long morning wandering through the amazing section on Romanesque art. After lunch, we head to the free exhibition of Rembrandt's etchings in La Pedrera.

Jan 6 - Back to the village for Three Kings. Blai's father makes a terrific paella. Blai rigs it that I get the little porcelain figurine in the cake and become the Queen for the day! What a sweetheart! Blai's grandmother sends us away with some of her supply of freshly pressed olive oil....this is no ordinary extra-virgin. This stuff is amazing.

Jan 7 - Flight home. Oh how depressing. Luckily, I spent nights in Barcelona doing some reading...


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