Opinion

Long-term resident

strangest things

Two uniquely unusual events that took place in Spain and Catalonia just a few weeks ago raised not a squeak out of the English language media. No surprises there. Event One took place on the last day of...

point of view

Meeting the ’Grand Duc’

I read with pleasure Mr Kirby’s account about his uninvited neighbour Mr Bubo and its war cry, howl or bark, as you like. That bark, when heard in the middle of the night is impressive, in accordance...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

You’re involved

“Ecology? Look it up. You’re involved.”So it began, on posters plastered across Vancouver fifty years ago, the movement that matters much to me, to us as a family. That my wife is Canada-born is...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

A relic of the past

I don’t have much need to use Renfe’s Rodalies - or local train service - due to the fact that I seldom venture far out of Barcelona. For that I am thankful, given the constant problems the system...

Long-term resident

The Queen’s speech

Despite the British government’s crowing about Brexit having happened, it hasn’t: the documents signed on ’Brexit Day’ – February 1st, 2020 – simply marked the start of the final Brexit negotiations...

Lessons from Brexit and a Social Europe

The results of the UK parliamentary elections in 2019 - which gave an overwhelming majority to the Conservative Party - have been interpreted in many ways. A lot of analysis has focused on explaining why...

random thoughts

Notes on being old

This is my experience, dear readers, for those of you who may be old like me, needing help yet mentally alert. It may or may not be useful to anyone else. As the song goes: “Let’s start at the very...

Australia’s burning questions

The great tragedy of the Australian bushfires -- that even after several months are still consuming huge parts of the country -- is that so much of the destruction is entirely avoidable.How can this be?...

Europe’s institutional dilemma

In the last chapter of his 1983 essay on The Crusades as seen by the Arabs, Amin Maalouf, the French-Lebanese author, provided a beautifully succinct illustration of institutions’ economic role. He quoted...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

GUNS? NO THANKS

The United States eh? What to make of ?em? The world?s most advanced country? Some of their conceited propaganda would have us believe so, especially under the current president. And yet the insistence...