I readily admit to being a luddite. This article was complete and I don't know which button(s) I pressed and it disappeared and to my chagrin I am now unable to locate it!! Well, here goes again - there are several reasons for my absence from this space; a good one which was ill health the past year and some not so good, beginning with sloth! But things are looking good and the health is on the up and up which is great.

This trip to Barcelona, to celebrate my younger son's graduation is now coming to a close and has been quite wonderful and rejuvenating. It has been spent mostly eating and relaxing. We did make some new friends too, which is always nice. Remember it is very hot and humid in August.

First the eating; there were two standouts in Barcelona and only because we actually ate there. August is a month when locals usually take vacation and sometimes for the entire month. So first was Cal Pep and anyone with even the least interest in food who has been here will know about this place in Placa de les Olles. It is an institution. As with most restaurants it is best to go with seafood and here the menu changes daily because they cook fresh and local and can't guarantee you will get a dish you may have had before. Without doubt I had the very best tortilla ever. It melted in my mouth. I did try to go again but they are now sadly closed until September. The other was Bar Mut (www.barmut.com). It was to celebrate a friend's birthday, we let the kitchen do its thing here. We had delicious beef medallions with foie gras, octupus, squid, clams by the dozens, mussels, monkfish and lobster. All with their house white wine. All very happy campers indeed. I don't recall the dessert!

Unfortunatey El Laurel was closed, as was Bar Pinotxo in La Boqueria - more about this further - but Universal at the other end of the market was wonderful. Again, go with seafood and house wine or beer. The preparation is almost without exception simple; flash frying or grilling then drizzled with virgin olive oil and malden salt. Don't forget to order pimientos de Padron - local fresh green peppers, deep fried and generously sprinkled with sea salt. Another option is to pick up a cone of jamon (ham) Iberico with a glass of your choice of freshly sqeezed juice. You will find a selection of simple orange to great mixes of pineapple and watermelon among several. Or buy the ham and Manchego (or Manxego in Catalan) cheese to snack at home. The melons are in season and excellent of course. The market is wonderful for anything related to food; produce, meat, seafood, utensils, cheese, oil - you name it. Also check out the the Mercat de Santa Catalina in El Born.

We were in Sitges for a couple of days relaxation and beach. Here we were lucky to get to two local Catalan restaurants; Zodiaco and Restaurante Galicia. The latter also delivers very good pizza; we saw them on their scooters going back and forth and my son had the pizza. Not exactly deep dish but with a htick crust. Zodiaco has been in the family for about 25 years, the senora is on the floor and her husband and son man the excellent kitchen. Let her suggest your dishes, you won't be disappointed.

Last but definitely not least is the little sandwich place in Placa de St Jaume called Conesa; get a botifarra (blanco or negro) with queso (cheese) and either a small bottle of wine or beer and you will leave very satisfied. All for under 5 Euros! Then head over for either a helado (ice cream) on Carrer de Llibreteria; Conesa is closer to the square and Ice Cream place (can't recall the name!) further along the street. Or just head to Xurreria on Banys Nous for xurros (churros). They make fresh batches all through the day!

Saving the sightseeing for the next blog.