ancient rocks illustrate THE BIRTH OF CADAQUES

THE BIRTH OF CADAQUES

The birth of Cadaqués did not come about by chance. In the year 945, thirty years after the completion of the great monastery Sant Pere de Rodes, the wily abbot had a plan. With a party of broad-shouldered monks, the abbot set out on the sixty minute journey from the gates of the monastery, down […]

Dylan album cover Freewheeling illustrated THE ANSWER IS BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND

THE ANSWER IS BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND

Blowin’ in the Wind was a song drifting through the ether waiting for someone to reach out and grab; a lyric ‘that the times seemed to call forth,’ to quote critic Greil Marcus. Dylan scribbled the words down in ten minutes, he said. ‘If I hadn’t written it, someone else would have done.’  Blowin’ in the Wind is […]

Dali holds Josep Pla illustrating JOSEP PLA WAS MY FIRST SPANISH TEACHER

JOSEP PLA WAS MY FIRST SPANISH TEACHER

Josep Pla was my first Spanish teacher. If I drop the odd anachronism into the conversation, don’t blame me, blame the great Catalan writer, journalist, bon vivant and, it has been said, forerunner of magic realism.  It all started after spending Semana Santa climbing the dirt track to Sant Pere de Rodes with my wife […]

Illustration shows CASA ANITA IN CADAQUES

CASA ANITA IN CADAQUES

Casa Anita in 1984 was still a well-kept secret, The Ritz for those with a bohemian spirit and a taste for fresh fish that has leapt straight out of the sea and landed on the grill. Named after the effervescent owner, Anita was a beautiful woman with dark lustrous eyes, hair black as coal and […]

King Charles meets Liz Truss in SLIPPERY LIZ THE PLASTIC POLITICIAN

SLIPPERY LIZ THE PLASTIC POLITICIAN

Slippery Liz the plastic politician can bend into any shape or form. Now her book ‘Ten Years to Save the West’ is in the shops and, like her career, it’s a complete flop Let is remember: some 172,000 Conservative Party members were eligible to vote in the prime ministerial contest – about 0.3% of the […]

The Royal Family illustrates the Queen's legacy

THE QUEEN’S LEGACY

The Queen’s legacy inherited by King Charles is a land of food banks, child poverty and Rishi Sunak. I did not know the Queen. I never met the Queen. My feelings about the Queen’s death at 96 was the same as my feelings about the death of anyone who has had the good fortune to […]

In the jingle-jangle morning illustrated by Bob Dylan in London

THE JINGLE-JANGLE MORNING

In the jingle-jangle morning I’ll come following you. I love this line. It has always intrigued me, but I have never known what it meant. Now I do. It doesn’t mean anything. The words are the meaning. They are beautiful, melodic, alliterative, compelling. We have all woken in the jingle-jangle morning unsure what the day […]

The pomegranates of Selva la Mar

SELVA LA MAR

The first time I visited the monastery at Sant Pere de Rodes was on a stone track that led out of the village of Selva la Mar. There was no road and the climb up the almost vertical gradient took two hours. It was Semana Santa 1984. I was with my wife Valerie and two […]

Sant Pere de Rodes

SANT PERE DE RODES

In the story of Cadaqués, the monastery Sant Pere de Rodes has always played a major role. The vast Benedictine stronghold with unscalable walls looms over the surrounding countryside just ten kilometres around the coast from the village.  The Benedictines first came to this remote corner of Iberia at the end of the 9th century when the […]

Cadaques church illustrates problems with MOORS ON THE COAST

MOORS ON THE COAST

‘Moors on the coast,’ someone shouted. The men shielded their eyes from the sun and watched as a fleet of galleys crossed the horizon. As the ships moved closer, driven by the jerking movement of the rowers, the watchman out on the cape could make out the square-rigged sails and long black flags snapping like […]