Opinion

THE LAST WORD

The shirt off my back

The signs of summer are unmistakable. Swallows cavort outside my office window as they hunt flying insects trying to find a way into my house and feast on my blood. The neighbour’s kids make a racket...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Reclaim your heritage

In line with my vow to write only positive words in this column henceforth, this month’s reflections attempt to continue with the theme of positive consequences emerging from the current crisis. Clearly,...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

Frida

Thank you Frida.Your self-effacing, sweeping memoir of living on a continent sliding towards disaster offers an engaging and at the same time shuddering perspective on the human condition and the ever-present...

Long-term resident

Lurkers

Those of us just old enough to remember Dick Van Dyke doing his excruciating imitation of an English accent in ’Mary Poppins’ (1964) might also just remember the coup d’état which took place in...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Taking stock

I’m not religious, so the idea of some form of heaven and hell do not normally enter my vocabulary, but two years of what seem like purgatory have led me to take a decision about this column: from now...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

Keeping quiet

I dig in the garden with my partner. At dusk we wander the farm. Sometimes we talk. We ache with age and labour, but we press on, gladly. We have a lot to do, much to plant and a great many things to abstain...

Long-term resident

Ringing in the new

Last month Maria Branyas, the oldest woman in Catalonia and indeed in the whole of Spain, and possibly in the whole of Europe, hit the virtual headlines when she survived a coronavirus infection at age...

from the editor

Adapting to life after coronavirus

In just a few weeks, much of society has had to adopt living and working habits that it has resisted for decades. Today, a large number of families and friends interact only by video calls, and a good...

THE LAST WORD

Behind the statistics

The quote about a single death being a tragedy, while a million deaths is a statistic is attributed to the dictator Joseph Stalin, and given that the former Soviet leader was responsible for taking the...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

A bit cheeky

For this month’s column I’m going to set aside my hitherto shunning of all things Coronavirus and address an issue taken from a recent newspaper article, which was entitled: “Children and roguish...