Lives and Times

Writing on the world around us.

Exploring La Sauceda, Spain: A Town Wiped off the Map by Fascism

It is July 1936, Spain, and a long-planned military conspiracy aims to dislodge from power a democratically elected government. Aircraft fly in mercenaries from abroad, troops are mobilised across the country, and a war begins. Continue reading “Exploring La Sauceda, Spain: A Town Wiped off the Map by Fascism”

Freewheeling through Rural Andalusia: The Via Verde of Seville (Photo Story)

Not far north of Seville, there is a track winding back through the northern slopes of Andalusia, through the Sierra Morena, a gorgeous corrugated mountain range covered in olive and oak trees under which graze pigs, sheep and goat. The track follows and old railway line built a century ago to service an iron mine at the end of the line. Mostly dead straight and mostly an easy incline, the Via Verde is the perfect way to see Andalusia by bike. I followed its twenty or so kilometres up and back to see what I could see. Continue reading “Freewheeling through Rural Andalusia: The Via Verde of Seville (Photo Story)”

Sunset Sherry: An Afternoon Drive through the Vineyards of Jerez

Sherry is a unique wine, and like anything that is original it will have both its fervent lovers and its disregarding detractors. Its followers find a world of diversity within the sherry spectrum, and the newly initiated will ask of their more acquainted friends a million questions. For both audiences, the connoisseurs and the amateurs, such questions may be answered in a tour around the vineyards of the ‘sherry triangle’, where they will learn that the originality of this wine lies in the originality of the land. Continue reading “Sunset Sherry: An Afternoon Drive through the Vineyards of Jerez”

Scenes & Shots from Jezez: Mucho Mosto, Mucho Arte – Alotta Mosto, Alotta Art

If fino wine – crisp, dry, elegant – is Jerez’s summer time drink of choice, then mosto – duller and flatter it is true, but fruity and flavoursome it is is also a fact – is perfect for a mid-winter Sunday session amongst the vines and amidst flowing flamenco rhymes.  Continue reading “Scenes & Shots from Jezez: Mucho Mosto, Mucho Arte – Alotta Mosto, Alotta Art”

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)”

Flamenca Fashion of Jerez de la Frontera (Photo Gallery)

The aroma of Jerez’s famous sherry wines that lingers through the Gonzalez Byass bodega mixes with the floral perfumes and colognes of the crowd that congregates in an old wine cellar to watch some of the most beautiful Andaluzas model the latest in flamenca fashion…

Continue reading “Flamenca Fashion of Jerez de la Frontera (Photo Gallery)”

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)”

Shots from Jerez #2: Second Hand Sundays (Photo Story)

Every Sunday in Jerez de la Frontera, a constant trickle of families, couples and dogs slowly meander their way on through the shade of the Jacaranda trees covering countless little stalls selling everything you could possibly imagine. This is the Mercadillo El Rastro, Jerez’s Sunday stroll of choice. Continue reading “Shots from Jerez #2: Second Hand Sundays (Photo Story)”

Photo Report: Thousands March in Jerez to Defend Public Healthcare

Often said to be a conservative city, Jerez de la Frontera took to the street on mass this weekend to defend a public, quality healthcare system. According to police estimates, around 5,000 people streamed into the central plaza to listen to the movement’s leader, Joaquín Fernández, decry the cuts and negligence which left his wife waiting injured on a footpath for some 45 minutes before being attended to after being hit by a motorcycle.

Continue reading “Photo Report: Thousands March in Jerez to Defend Public Healthcare”

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