Madrid, I Adore Thee

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!

¬°Viva Madrid!

Windrush Legal Clinics at the Black Cultural Archives

It was humbling to be at the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) on Wednesday 9th May 2018 to assist at one of its ‘Windrush’ Immigration Legal Clinics. It was heartbreaking to see the great stress and upset felt by so many Caribbean born British people who have had their lives turned upside down by the government’s hostile environment policy.

That is why I am so grateful to lawyers from the wonderful Faegre Baker Daniels LLP for coming down to Brixton and providing first class triage and legal advice to so many desperate people. A massive thank you to Claire D. Nilson, FBD’s Head of Immigration and Global Mobility; Stephen Llewellyn, Counsel and Head of Pro Bono; Katie Newman, Employment Solicitor; and Hoden Buraleh, Immigration Paralegal.

BCA is still seeking lawyers to assist at the clinics if any other lawyers can spare 3 hours between 5pm and 8pm on a Wednesday or between 10am and 1pm on a Saturday.

May 12th update: Thank you also to immigration barrister Rudolph Spurling from 10KBW Chambers for attending the Black Cultural Archives on a Saturday morning to give advice!

 

It’s Time for Justice

I was very pleased to join the Vigil for Justice organised by the Justice Alliance outside the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday the 18th of April 2018. Colleagues from across the legal profession came together to say #TheLawisBroken, #EnoughIsEnough and it’s #Time4Justice. As I move into a new stage of my legal career, I plan to become even more active in campaigning to save our justice system.

Reconnecting with my inner cellist

cello

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.