Lives and Times

Writing on the world around us.



The Love and Labour of Wine in the Penedés

The Mediterranean has just expanded out before me, lying there dark and still beyond the pine-covered ridges that define the boundaries of the valley. I am at the heights of the Penedés depression, around nine hundred metres above the sea, and behind me, to the north, flows the Anoia River, slowly meandering its way into Barcelona’s southern extremes in the El Prat Delta. Here, in the Penedés Valley and along the Anoia River, the grapevine has forever been at the heart of community and culture. Continue reading “The Love and Labour of Wine in the Penedés”

Photo Essay: Barcelona Streets

Returning to Barcelona for a visit I’m reminded of why I loved to lived there and why also I left the city. It is beautiful, modern, vibrant, yes, but cars choke its corazón, noise deafens you, metro crowds unsettle you, and you flee to any corner where there is even just the muted noise of distant cars let alone pure silence. Continue reading “Photo Essay: Barcelona Streets”

Adéu Barcelona

Leaving behind Barcelona is like leaving behind the summer; you know there’s a new season coming but you breath deep every last breath of warm air, you catch every last ray of light, remember every adventure and each romance and you let one more ambling afternoon pass you by on the grass or the sand, but you now there’s a change in the air and it’s time to decide: build a nest or migrate south. Continue reading “Adéu Barcelona”

Crystalline Addiction, Costa Brava

Possible one of the most beautiful places you will see in your life, the Costa Brava is hard to escape – it will bring you back and back time and time again, it will invite you for one more adventure, one more cove, one more beach it will say, one more trek over just one more headland. Continue reading “Crystalline Addiction, Costa Brava”

Tarragona, te amo…

In Catalonia they have an old saying (or so they should have), they saying goes that if you flirt with Barcelona, you will fall for Tarragona. Hidden from the hordes of sunburnt shoulders and arms that drunkenly grope at the beauty of Barcelona every summer, Tarragona is the perfect chaser to the dizzying cocktail that is that famous city of Homo Urbanus. Continue reading “Tarragona, te amo…”

National Day of Catalonia

The mood in Barcelona today can be summed up in the scene just ahead of me; a group of boys and girls are standing above a Plaza de Catalunya metro station air vent, they are throwing their hats into the air tunnel created by the vent, they hold Catalan flags above their heads while posing for photos; the red, yellow and blue colours of Catalan independence waving in the sunlight. This is Barcelona today; young, hopeful and free Continue reading “National Day of Catalonia”

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