Opinion

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Phile or phobe?

I speak Catalan, my wife was Catalan and my son is Catalan. I have made Catalonia my home. I have lived well here, and I am grateful for that, although I feel that the relationship is a balanced one, as...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

Shining EXAMPLE

There is more than one way to see the light.Nightly, without fail, one of us trails through the olive grove, a Cyclops with feeble head torch, to give the pony her last feed and a loving pat. The valley...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Clear as mud

I often think a huge gulf must exist between the thought processes I follow and those of my native co-residents of Catalonia, which is where much of the content of this column has come from over the years,...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

Dear Seven

Well, that could not have been less magnificent. Glaring truth collided with dereliction, again, this time on a beach in Cornwall, England. But you did a wonderful job of looking as if you were having...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Gender (in) equality

The reason I write this column, and indeed have done for many years now, is because of the endless stream of cultural comparisons that strike me on a regular basis having settled in a place so different...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

The art of friendship

What can we do for Pere? Touching elbows just doesn’t cut it.The 80-year-old blacksmith, mop of grey curly hair, flat lip from pipe-smoking, easy smile and gentle nature, has gifted us more of his metal...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

Happy to help, sir

So there I was, wandering down Passeig de Gràcia with a friend for the first time in who knows how long, minding my own business as the sun peeked cautiously though the clouds, promising to turn this...

Long-term resident

Blood and guts in NO SCHOOL

Crime fiction – which is enjoying a huge boom during the pandemic - has never meant much to me, perhaps because I’ve spent around 45 years researching the Holocaust and other 20th century genocides....

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

Who needs EXPERTS?

Six years ago I was emerging slowly from the fog and anxiety of the darkest of drug trips. A cocktail of morphine and other mind-boggling medications had my brain doing loop the loop, cartwheels and the...

THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

A rite of PASSAGE

So another election in which I am unable to participate comes and goes. I know that I and other contributors to this magazine have voiced our frustration in the past about not being able to vote in a country...