Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged Catalonia

Catalonia Dreaming

  • September 30, 2015
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Last Friday morning I was on the top of Mount Canigou, ‘the sacred mountain of Catalonia’,  with my staunchly independentista friend from Barcelona,  Andreu.   Andreu had brought a Catalan flag with him to mark the occasion, and he wasn’t the only one.  A seventy-five-year-old  Barcelones  named Joan had climbed the...

Catalonia’s human castles

  • February 09, 2012
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A very good Catalan friend of mine has just sent me a fabulous calendar of one of my favourite Catalan folk traditions: els castellers the castlemakers.  It’s a tradition that was first recorded in the late eighteenth century, though its roots may reach further back than that.

It sounds simple and a little...

Spain is different (2)

  • August 19, 2011
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Spain may be hovering on the brink of disaster,  but Barcelona is  not the kind of city to allow the prospect of bailouts, cuts and economic collapse to interfere with the essential rituals of the Spanish summer.  On Wednesday night the middle-aged football fans leapt from the couch in the opposite flat and...

Spain is different (1)

Spain is different (1)

  • August 17, 2011
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I’m writing from Barcelona, where I lived for nine years during the 1990s.    The early 90s were boom years for the Catalan capital, as they were for Spain in general.   It was a period in which the Barcelona town council and the regional government was pouring money into public building...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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