Dear A,

Good to hear from you in the UK. We are alright, thank you, and glad to hear you are too. The comment about the prevalent political problems affecting us is, indeed, pertinent. We are distressed.

We are profoundly concerned and directly affected by the deep and dark divisions both here in Catalonia and in England. But we feel so fortunate in a great many ways, not least for the people close to us and the privilege of the nature and society around us.

Here it is palpably clear the Spanish authorities are sick to the back teeth with the Catalans and will apply whatever legal and physical means they deem necessary to bring them to heel. The sentiment, should we need reminding, is etched in the faces of the national police officers enforcing sovereignty as I write. The paradox, of course, is that force weakens and leads to entrenchment and resistance. International analysis, understanding and pressure for a political solution remains woeful, but I am not sure what the Catalans, those behind bars, in exile or flooding the plazas and highways, can expect. The world is dazed with noise, most of it dark, shallow, inciting and bewildering, all feeding one truth, the palpable unease of watershed. One can say it was ever thus, but so many foundations, not least the fundamental, the ecology, are now critically eroded.

The global evidence of greed and aggression and a heightening of selfishness and intolerance may be cyclical but in the all-knowing age and the given the monumental impact of humanity, it is also an unbearable weight for the vast majority with dominant qualities of ethics, morality, kindness and a fundamental want and need to live good, fulfilling, sustainable lives. With such mental strain comes illness and social sickness where logic and tolerance wither. More than ever we need to balance the flood of outside news with the buoyancy of family, community and ecology and do all we can to support those people and nature that are most relevant - within arms’ reach.

Where we live there is consensus over the injustice, an unwavering commitment and, it has to be said, dignity and peaceful but deepening resolve that reflects so much the feelings of millions. We are not living with division. The great worry is for the many young people we know and some of whom I have taught, now living in the epicentre, Barcelona.

As for England, it is not the huge financial consequence for our business and, hence, lives that we have had to try and manage since the fracture. It is not the fact that, like here, we have had no vote. It is family division, it is, also as with here, the stirring of the mud at the bottom of the pond. It is the damage done, the uncertainty and the certain, a severing. Again the noise and entrenchment, the distilling down of the deeply complex into stirring sound-bites and, as with the world over, a devaluing of truth, humility and compromise. And now, because “enough is enough”, a deal with no detail, no assessment other than it is profoundly not what was promised, must be signed off. Stunning.

Whether it is Spain or England, authoritarian proclamations that they have drawn a line under matters and we all need to move on, sound logical but profoundly do not remotely bear analysis, as I fear the weeks and months ahead will show. May peace prevail.

Our children see ecology over-riding all of these things and they are profoundly right.

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