Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saturday, 30 July 2011

On being international?

A day of folk from home and away (not the TV series).
Today I've been out to Warwick or their annual folk festival and hear folk from Northumberland to Ireland to Turkish influences on a young (and really excellent) duo on claw hammer banjo and harmonica(s).
This evening I was one of an audience in the MAC's outdoor arena, refreshingly unrefurbished from the old semi- in the round concrete of amphitheatre, stage and dance floor, so less corporate and open for the various dances of the Cajun band from Louisiana, the Savoy (pronounced Ça voit) Family Band. Mother leading on guitar, with intros on the background of the Creole (Afro-American) French and Cajun French of the songs. Father, expert on accordion and humour, and the two sons on fiddle and keyboards.
Altogether a super atmosphere and lots of couples dancing (the oldest couple leading the way).
I felt in some way taken into the wooden houses of Louisiana, the varieties of language, the physical closeness to but remoteness culturally from Texas, the heat and humidity.
In my home town and a place that's almost been a second home, I was taken around the world.
Home maybe is where you can be yourself, and part of self is sharing the worldwide, the international, the multiple cultures which make up cities and nations today, enjoying some openness and not feeling threatened.
We need a home, but we need to feel that the world is home.

Location:Home is

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Barcelona time

Well, The city of Gaudí, Picasso (early years anyway), Miró, has to have more than a little going for it.
Add in sunshine, cacti, parrots, greenery and hillsides that semi-circle the Catalonian capital (be careful to remember that this isn't just in Spain, no more than Scotland is in the UK (or heaven forbid, England!;)).
The language looks intriguing, with it's "amb" for "with" and unexpected x-s, part way between French and Spanish but not either, so definitely its own.
We've had lovely wine and tapas in the Poble d'Espanyol in Montjuïc, likewise tapas near the Paralel metro station, and tonight at Aribau on Carrer de la Diputació near the main university square.
Alt Heidelberg near Universitat was a bit disappointing, despite the old furniture and promise of German beers.
The café Font de Gat near some of the Montjuïc museums has a delightful location in a courtyard above and below the verdant beauty of said hillsides.
More to come and pictures too!
Museums: Miró foundation, Perfume Museum, Archaeological Museum, Francisco Godia, Picasso Museum (devoted to his earlier years and development, showing his impressive grasp of technique and awareness of the tradition of the Old Masters. Gaudí's house in the rather wonderful curios of the Park Güell (Gaudí's patron), another source of leaves and shade above the sun-beaten metropolis. Botanical Gardens near the huge national art museum.