Opinion

Long-term resident

Theatre of cruelty

Every Catalan knows we’re in for a rough ride in October. There’ll be the anniversary of the October 1st 2017 referendum, in which large numbers of peaceful voters were punched and battered by Spanish...

’Natsukashi’

This morning, with the dying of this summer and noticing the shortening of the hours of light in the evening, I remembered that exactly two decades ago I went with my new wife to live in the city of Kyoto,...

A Singing revolution in Catalonia?

With a population just below that of Barcelona, at around 1.5m inhabitants, Estonia is one of the EU’s less inhabited countries. Furthermore, together with its two southern Baltic neighbours, Lithuania...

random thoughts

Language

The British Prime Minister has said repeatedly that he’d “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay in the deadline for leaving Europe. Of course, he’s speaking about Brexit. And now that...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Reasonable expectations

I was recently having a chat with an acquaintance from another country who mentioned she was in a parents’ Whatsapp group for her child’s school and at the beginning the Catalan parents had made a...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

Living with Bubo

You know that queasy feeling that you are being watched? Of course you do.But I’m not talking about deep State or online data capture. This is about the unnerving sense that non casual, uncomfortably...

Long-term resident

Long-term resident

In his 2018 Kessel Diary the Catalan film director Albert Serra describes an argument he had in that Westphalian town with some film students who were helping him on a large scale film project there. They...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

LEAVING HOME

I sit here bereft. Maggie, my partner, is equally rudderless and raw. Our son, our second child, seven months old when we moved to Catalonia in January 2001, flew to Amsterdam today to settle into his...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Not just the HEAT

You have to contend with more than just the heat if, like me, you are condemned to spend your entire summer at home in the Catalan capital. Living in a residential area of central Barcelona, I know that...

Who wants independence?

Cui bono? (“Who benefits?”) is a question Cicero posed two millennia ago to get a court to acquit one of his clients. It is always a wise question to ask: the world becomes more intelligible when we...