My birthday this year, crept up, somewhat unexpectedly. My weeks have been filled with double shifts at work, illustration jobs sandwiched in between, and suddenly I turned 32. How did that happen, where did the time go.
Probably the thing you wish for most when you get older is to have as much time as when you were a kid, hours spent whiling away afternoons drawing, holidays that stretched so far into the future that you could barely imagine going back to school. And then the week before the first day of school, you’re so bored, you’re ready to get back to your friends and the books, almost. Well, that was how I remember it. So it’s a bit of a rude awakening to find yourself in the real world, where the clock, ever ticking, moves you through the year at a rapid pace.
On my birthday I like to take it easy, enjoy the moment, without glancing at my phone to see the time. I unwind, slowly like a cat, with all the time in the world.
Barcelona is chockablock filled with interesting nooks, crannies, bars, shops and restaurants and I love to use my birthday as an excuse to explore a different area with no agenda.
This time we found ourselves in Raval. I’m not unfamiliar with the area, but new spots are always opening up, and a wander down a different alley will always yield something unexpected.
I love stopping in the supermarkets. Each one stocking items you could never find in a typical Spanish store. I have been on a bit of a baking kick lately, and finally in a Philippine shop in Raval, I found sticky brown cane sugar. Raval is certainly the place to explore, if you want to cook an exotic dish, with Asian supermarkets next to central African or American convenient stores, you can almost smell the spices as you step into the barrio from Las Ramblas.
We spent an hour or two munching on a delicious breakfast at Caravelle, before heading out into the hood for a walk, where we stopped at the Mexican store Fantastik, some bookstores, and wintery plazas.
I picked up some typical winter mushrooms, called Rovellons. Their English name: Saffron milk caps just sounds so enticing, and indeed these meaty mushrooms, after a good garlic flavoured grilling, made a delicious salad and lovely end to my birthday.