Looking for Lamb in Segovia.

‘I’m not scared of the vultures myself. I’m scared they might take one of the dogs.’

Elliot, an ageing Belgian Griffon, stopped in the sun and panted dramatically. 

‘How you love the theatre,’ sighed Roque as he scooped up the little canine. Elliot’s concubine, Fanny, ran around as happy and dumb as the day she was born. We were walking off our lunch at the Hoces del Río Duratón natural park. Out 65km north from Segovia - one of Spain’s most romantic towns - a great snaking gorge had been carved out of the earth by the same forces that would, for America, scrape out the Grand Canyon. An emerald green river looped around a scrubby canyon where huge vultures wheeled around thermals above little chapels.

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Eating Europe: Rome & London

To watch someone else doing your job is an interesting experience. Equal parts intrigue, jealousy, malice and learning. As a stand up comic at a comedy night, tour guides have their own style and will inevitably analyse, learn from, or rip apart others in the same field on observing them. Fortunately however, I work in the food tour industry; more of a club of like-minded food-obsessed gluttons than a one-upmanship parade.

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South From Madrid #6: Pueblos Blancos

The slow road to Ronda takes one through some of the finest landscapes at Spain’s disposal. Following the breezy coast road for a while the route shots up north, first taking the preliminary white walls of Manilva; a pleasant place full of old people that commanded both views to the impending peaks and south to the sea.

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South From Madrid #4: The Coast of Light

Time to head east. Time to strike the Coast of Light; the finest of the great costas. It lacked many things both good and bad: the overbuilt tourism of Blanca and Sol, the geographic exuberance of the Bay of Biscay or the Scandinavian affectations of Galicia’s Rías, and it lacked the absurd pristine isolation of Huelva. Instead, it blended enough of all to be quite the finest stretch of sands and settlements.

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South From Madrid #3: Sherry and Sanlúcar

The land of the sherry wines is a fuzzy patchwork of dreamy fields that sit under that milky blue sky. Barley fields, vineyards and chalky ground formed a flag of white, green and yellow. Here and there a wine estate added a point of scale and reference to this undulating and dry place. It was a landscape dedicated to one product and the air hung heavy with flirtations of salt and fermented palomino grapes.

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South From Madrid #2: To Cadiz

The south of Extremadura was African in nature. A dreamlike Serengeti of yellow plains dotted with the occasional pearly white finca or sapphire blue reservoir. Sometimes a hill or ancient-looking ridge, dry and bullet-pointed with olives trees, sailed past along roads alive with oleander and broom. Seville went by in a soft-blur of spires and dockyards and then the world flattened out into a land of crops, sunflowers, humid salt marshes and ethereal cattle walking the marisma.

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Passing Shots: Italy x3

How long does one need to visit a city? Two days? Four days? A week? Can you ever truly know a city? ‘When a man is tired of London he is tired of life.’ The immortal words of Samuel Johnson were full of the promise of endless interest in the city. And perhaps it is true. Though most visitors arrive, spend a few days, and then claim to have ‘done’ or ‘seen’ London. But perhaps they are right. To fully know an important city is nigh on impossible. 

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"What I miss" Feat. Food and Drink

A month and a week filming in Italy is a month and week of discovery and journeying accompanied with various bouts of restrained gluttony. Every day a new place was visited, were it a hilltop village surrounded by mountains, a family-fun producer of balsamic vinegar, or a charming town home to Ferraris and opera singers. Much like Spain, Italy is big on food, big on tradition and big on regionality. I was impressed with Italy’s food, though admittedly rarely blown away. The over-reliance on pasta took its toll and I soon started to miss the food back home. By home I mean Madrid. I started to muse on the dishes and bars that crept into my thoughts and my stomach in the moments when nostalgia hit.

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Madrid River Twitter War.

Two things I really enjoy in life are parks and technology. I have an iPhone, a Macbook, an iPod, an iPad - a bit too much iStuff really - a kindle and a camera. And I use them all fully. Nothing was bought flippantly or capriciously. I also really love getting out of my house and strolling and pacing through any greenery at hand. Madrid, despite being a geographically very dry place, is blessed with a selection of wonderful parks and boasts more trees and green surfaces per person than any other European city.

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