Lives and Times

Writing on the world around us.



Horsing About at the Feria del Caballo, Jerez de la Frontera (Photo Feature)

La Feria del Caballo. La Feria. Feria is a dream, a kaleidoscope of colours and faces all flying by and blurring with the other, every day and night a dream within a dream, each a layer deeper than the other; you forget when one begins, when another ends, lose track of the chain of events which led you to be lost in this world where above you is a multi-coloured milky-way of fairy lights and below you a whirlpool wind of dust flying around your feet. Continue reading “Horsing About at the Feria del Caballo, Jerez de la Frontera (Photo Feature)”

Sensing Semana Santa: Holy Week in Southern Spain, Jerez de la Frontera (Photo Feature)

“In the south, we need to touch” – this is how the Spanish tradition of Semana Santa was explained to me by Manuel, council representative of Defensión brotherhood, a religious association which for over fifty years has participated in the Holy Week processions of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Commemorating the final days of Christ, the Semana Santa is an assault on your eyes and ears, and a jig-saw puzzle for your head. Continue reading “Sensing Semana Santa: Holy Week in Southern Spain, Jerez de la Frontera (Photo Feature)”

Imagining a Cooperative Australia (Essay)

Australia is in the early twenty-first century a society of competition. We teach our children to compete in academic achievement, with their talents and even against each other with ‘likes’, and in their maturity they will compete with their degrees and compete for internships. Continue reading “Imagining a Cooperative Australia (Essay)”

The Fishermen of Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Feature)

The Río Guadalquivir in Spain’s south is the artery that flows through the corazón heart of Andalucía, ebbing through Córdoba and Sevilla before spilling out into the lungs of the Doñana wetlands. At the river’s mouth lies Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a town famed for its manzanilla wining and its seafood dining. Wanting to experience these two essential ingredients of Sanlúcar, I went to the source of it all: the marinero district of Bonanza, home of men who spend more time at sea than at land.  Continue reading “The Fishermen of Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Feature)”

The Power and the Passion of Marinaleda: A Vanguard Village (Feature)

On the road to the ‘Utopia towards Peace’

‘Marinaleda!?’ we call out to the few cars rolling down the country road to an Andalusian utopia. Most drivers unwillingly decline – headed elsewhere, they indicate; no room in the scoop, a tractor-driver laughs – but soon enough one stops to help out two lost pilgrims. Francisco is his name, and he tells us that our promised land, though beautiful, has both its disciples and its dissidents; those who would call its mayor, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, a prophet, and those who would call him a despot. Continue reading “The Power and the Passion of Marinaleda: A Vanguard Village (Feature)”

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