2015 28/03

Multilingual Families in Barcelona [A Study]

You may already have seen one of Francesca’s posts, posters, emails or articles somewhere in virtual or real space over the past couple of months as she’s been campaigning hard to find as many English-speaking parents in and around the Barcelona area as possible to fill out her questionnaire.

A family having a picnic

Multilingual Families in Barcelona

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, read on! I put a few questions to Francesca to find out why she wants to know so much about us. Read the rest of this article…

2015 15/03

What Constitutes Freedom?

A dear friend of mine asked if I’d like to publish this article. I answered in the affirmative.

Freedom definition

Whether you live in Catalonia or Scotland, the USA or Russia, most people are interested in “freedom”. The question is “What constitutes freedom?”

Freedom for a Russian could mean actions to prevent invasion and perhaps the people are easily misled to think that invasion is likely. An American considers freedom as lack of government interference. The French are an enigma! A significant majority are happy with a country with more government control and involvement than most other European countries.

Democracy does not guarantee freedom. Consider Egypt, not a straightforward place to contemplate freedom but one thing is sure: A democratic election voted in a majority government which then thought that it had won the right to remove freedoms from a large proportion of the population. Nineteenth century Great Britain was not a democracy but its population had a significant degree of personal freedom.

“Freedom from a foreign yolk”. Are the people of Zimbabwe freer to express their opinions or develop their lives with education, health-care and job opportunities available, under Robert Mugabe rather than Ian Smith? Will the people of the Donbas ever rebuild their lives and have freedom, if they achieve union with Russia, compared with their potential future if a less corrupt and better-run Ukraine emerges from the changes taking place? I make these points, not as political judgements but, as evidence of the complexity of the concept of “freedom”. Read the rest of this article…

2015 12/03

The New Miniguide is Here!

Miniguide header

In case you hadn’t noticed Miniguide, in my opinion the best whats’s on guide in Barcelona, has a new website. And this time a new app too!

I know a website redesign with such a lot of content can be a nightmare project so I caught up with Michael of Miniguide to ask him how it’s all gone.

The Miniguide Interview

So, the new Miniguide is finally here! Has it been a painful process? Have you achieved what you set out to do?

Finally! It’s taken longer than I expected, even though I took that into account (Hofstadter’s Law). So that’s just the nature of making something.

I wanted us to build a simple, clear way to give people recommendations on things to do – events and places – that we could update every day. And we have accomplished that using our own technology, not something evil like WordPress.

We still have a mountain to climb, but it’s a good feeling. And people seem to like and use what we’ve created, which is all that matters.

Read the rest of this article…

2015 29/01

The Catalan Question: Europe and the Right to Choose

I came across this video from the Euranet Plus news agency. Presented by Brian Maguire it discusses Europe’s failure to address the right to self-determination of separatist regions. Read the rest of this article…

2014 20/10

Expat Day – I’m Barcelonian

Expat Day – I’m Barcelonian

Expat Day – I’m Barcelonian, is an event organised by Barcelona City Council and Barcelona Activa. The aim of Expat Day is to help foreigners in Barcelona to settle in, by providing information on all the public and private services that are available to them.

From the Expat Day website:

In Barcelona we are very proud to receive every year hundreds of persons who come to live, to work and to enjoy our people, our companies, our culture and our way of life.

Exhibitions, talks, workshops and family activities are just some of the things you’ll find on the day. These will be in Spanish and English. You can go with family or friends, anyone who would like to know a little bit more about living in Barcelona.

Read the rest of this article…

2014 15/10

A Spanish Summer

A Spanish Summer

Missing the Spanish summer already? Well check out this video and relive a little of your holidays.

This is a beautiful composition of photography and moving images set to a reworked version of Spanish Caravan by The Doors performed here by Nigel Kennedy and the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

Quite lovely. Read the rest of this article…

2014 08/10

Can you imagine Barcelona without any people?

No, me neither. So I suggest you watch this clever time-lapse video from NNtonio Rodríguez.

N O P E O P L E * BARCELONA

The City Of Barcelona Like You Never See: Without People And Without Traffic

Read the rest of this article…

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