Opinion

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...

Long-term resident

Days of yore

In 1914, when my maternal grandmother was a teenager, Britain ruled over 412 million people, who lived on almost one quarter of the world’s surface. In 1969, when I was twelve and she was in her sixties,...

HEADING FOR THE HILLS

Catalans and Cowboys

The question may not be asked, but the puzzlement is often etched on faces – why did we choose to live here in The Priorat, a thousand miles from all we knew?It has a great deal to do with cowboys.On...