Archive for the 'Freelance Writing' Category

The Portuguese Riviera

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Baia de Cascais, Lisbon, PortugalWhere Spain is famous for its Costas, the most privileged coastal settings of France, Italy and Portugal, amongst others, are called Rivieras. The very word is synonymous with a classic sense of opulence and style, and though the term originated centuries ago to describe the Ligurian coastlines of France and Spain, it is with the Belle Epoque of the late 19th century that Rivieras remain forever associated.

The making of  a Riviera
What sets a Riviera apart from a sunny coastal region popular with tourists is therefore a sense of classical elegance and pedigree. In the case of Portugal, it is the distinction between the Algarve, first ‘discovered’ by tourism in the 1960s, and the coastal resort towns of Cascais and Estoril, whose traditions stretch much further back. Situated close to Lisbon, where the Tejo River meets the Atlantic Ocean, the area began attracting sophisticates from Europe and beyond in the course of the 19th century, in much the same way as San Remo, Biarritz and Cannes were doing at the time. (more…)

Sixto Rodriguez and other poets

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Rodriguez, Cold Fact album coverPerhaps it’s a generational thing but I’ve never really gotten poetry. With few exceptions poems to me seem a random jumbling of words that speak of self-indulgent rambling in the same pseudo-intellectual manner of abstract art. If you can’t discern deep and poignant meanings from a wild array of painted dashes then chances are you won’t be able to feel the pained emotions of the poet either. Apologies to all true poetry lovers, but this kind of navel gazing ain’t for me.

And yet, we all know that words can stir emotion like few other means of human expression. Perhaps only music and art can convey feeling with the same intensity – and it is therefore from the most unexpected sources that I have come to enjoy poetry. Like when a sentence in a book suddenly causes you to sit up and ponder it, quite apart from the overall story, or when you hear certain parts of a song. The latter may be good, bad or indifferent, but can stand out for the poignancy and feeling of a single line. (more…)

Why Italian food is so good

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Le Cannazze di CalitriI like a lot of Italian things: cars, furniture, clothes, art, etc. What all of the above have in common is design, that special Italian flair for creating things that are pleasing to the senses, and the eye in particular. But, as in most countries, there are two sides to Italy. One is a world of elegance and sophistication, reflected in the fashion of Milan, the architecture of Florence, the monuments of Rome and the uniqueness of the Venetian thalassocracy.

The other Italy is an earthy world inhabited by real salt-of-the-earth people whose priorities in life are not being stylish and sophisticated but enjoying food, family and the simple pleasures in life. It is within this category that most Italian food falls, for where other countries have a rather clear distinction between haute and peasant cuisine, Italian gastronomy is remarkably homogenous. (more…)

My first taste of Marbella: Marbella Fashion Week

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Post by guest blogger Claire Jamison

Marbella Fashion Week runwayOn Friday 24th August, Marbella’s first ever Fashion Week was held at the trendy Nikki Beach club. With seven exciting designers, super hot models and a location that screams glam, MFW truly was a fashionista’s paradise.

With the sun setting in the distance, this beautiful backdrop for the show helped create the effortlessly cool, trendy atmosphere. Already known as a famously glamorous Marbella venue, Nikki Beach provided a perfect outdoor fashion show location complete with champagne cocktails. (more…)

Editing 50 years in the life of a business

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The Ribes familyA couple of years ago I had the privilege of editing a special publication produced by Inmobiliaria Rimontgó in honour of the company’s 50th anniversary. In this day and age it is a real achievement when a business reaches that milestone, and as this is a highly respected family firm originally founded by the current owners’ grandfather, it certainly meant a lot.

Hailing from Jávea, a beautiful coastal town a little south of Valencia on Spain’s east coast, the Ribes family has been a driving force in local business for around a century now, originally leading the way in making this one of the most important orange-exporting regions in Europe and later establishing the real estate firm that has grown into a highly prominent one today. (more…)