Pause + Antonio Fuentes anecdote

An expedition to examine the remains of Moorish castles and drink village wine on the Albacete-Jaén borders means that things will be fairly quiet around here until perhaps September 5, when last minute preparations will commence for the launch of a revolutionary new communications model at the Albacete Fair. The Feria de Albacete is not…

Noise abatement on Spanish trains

A young Latino with a moderately loud blaster gets on at Sant Andreu. I’m trying to talk to people, so I’m grateful when a Latino security guard comes through the carriage just after Torre de Baró. He walks over to the young guy, taps him on the shoulder, motions him to turn UP the sound,…


When I think of here I always think of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and unexploited sponsorship angles, but that’s not Clive Davis‘ fault.

Inventing al-Andalus

MM has kindly mailed the story of an illegal from Mali found climbing one of the Sierra Nevada’s major peaks in flipflops. Jorge Rodríguez’z story in El País, plagiarised by Elizabeth Nash for The Independent, has Anthony Braxton Tony Brascons making the same journey in reverse undertaken in sandals by Judar Pasha, who they describe…

Adding value to Spanish olive oil

Charles Butler is doing some really interesting work down in Jaén. Check out the interview he did with an enterprising manufacturer called José Vico in Orcera. Orcera is a macho, conservative town that I once found to be distinctly scary, but Mr Vico is marketing a range of personal care products including a “lip balm,…

Why I came to Spain

To get away from British Spanish music would be a plausible explanation. Here two famous examples, a cover of George Formby’s Lancashire toreador and of Mike Read’s The Spaniard wot blighted my life: I actually love them, but don’t tell.

En pelota

Stark naked, or wearing a curious garment?


It’s difficult to conceive of figures with blue eyes and blond hair populating Gustav de Smeet’s Amsterdam. I think this is actually an Amsterdam as it might have been re-imagined by the considerable numbers of people of Mediterranean descent who live there and in the other great ports along that coast. The Sagrada Familia is…


In the salon: In a flat: All still from Gent, where I was several weeks ago.