A long overdue return to Madrid last week. Still such a vibrant, colourful and welcoming capital city.
The food was even more spectacular than I remembered. I would highly recommend the ‘bocata de calamares’ (squid baguette) (and paella!) at El Brilliante.
The ‘pollo asado’ (roast chicken) at the Casa Mingo.
And, head and shoulders above even El Brilliante and Casa Mingo, the incredible, incredible (did I say incredible?) Celso y Manolo.
In terms of leisure, the rooftop bar on the top of the Circulo de Bellas Artes is super cool with panoramic views of the city.
And for culture, no trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to the glorious Prado Museum.
Can’t wait to go back for a longer period of time!
I had a great time as a guest on Deja Vu FM, an East London based community radio station, on Thursday the 19th of April 2018, discussing domestic violence, the Windrush generation scandal and the recent spike in London knife crime alongside an author, ethical fashion consultant and a seasoned community organiser. I enjoyed sharing my perspective and demystifying confusing legal issues. You can watch the recording of the show HERE.
I recently had my first cello lesson in 20 years!!!
From a young age, I had
been extremely musical. I began piano lessons at 5, the recorder at 7, the cello at 9 and the steel pans at 11.
Alongside my school studies, music was my whole life until I moved to Germany to become an au pair in 1996 and stopped playing.
In the 20 plus years that passed, I always missed playing the cello especially. To me, it is an instrument that is almost human. The fact that its range of notes span as a low as a double bass but as high as a violin gives the cello a versatility that is so interesting, stimulating and exciting for those who play it. I may be biased but I also think that string instruments are the most beautiful and, out of the string family, the cello comes out on top.
When I began my lesson (after such a long time), I was terrified. I wasn’t sure whether I would remember how to hold the bow and I certainly didn’t think I would be able to sight-read. To my astonishment, within a hour of playing, I was sight-reading again and playing Bach duets with my teacher (a wonderful professional cellist I met at university who now plays with the Chineke Orchestra).
I now feel like a major part of me was asleep for 20 years and I’ve now fully woken up. I feel happy, alive and joyful. Now that I have started playing the cello again, I don’t plan to stop.
I am very proud of my mum, the writer, poet and storyteller Jane Ulysses Grell, who has now published ‘Mosquito’ Bounce’ her latest collection of children’s poems. Find out more HERE.
I am really honoured to have been interviewed by St John’s Church Leytonstone for the April edition of its monthly Good News magazine. You can read the interview HERE.