That mad sun which came blazing out on Wednesday this week. It transformed the Face of Barcelona.
Whoever said blue skies are overrated is wrong, wrong, wrong. Blue skies are the business.
I started the #100happydays challenge to take a photograph of something that makes me happy, every day for a hundred days.
Not sure who is behind the website and what their motives are. Although the site talks about the challenge like it happened before and gives some inspiring but completely made up facts about what happens to those to successfully complete the challenge, there is very little evidence that it existed before January 2014.
Regardless, I like the idea. It’s a nice antidote to the dire lack of sunlight and music festivals in January. And it gives me an excuse to post uplifting phrases next to uplifting photographs. There may even be
more terrible uplifting poetry involved.
Yup, this was definitely a good idea.
What’s not to love? There were some friends involved as well.
A winey Sunday afternoon at Cosmo Cafe, Barcelona. (My challenge had a false start on Friday and then started on Sunday for real….until I forget again.)
Golden blue on the horizon
Golden blue on my eyes
Sublime sunrise on the beach
lights on swimmers and bums alike
Young and shiny and blonde
Old and grimy and grey
Sleep misted, rolling smokes
Share a bench and papers
Past the enticing bakery
sidestepping the gesticulating grocer
Too late to spot the dropped calamari
I land squidgily on my ass.
An afternoon spent on a salvaged chair up on the rooftops of Barcelona. Music jarring out through hopelessly inadequate speakers. Last dregs of the vodka washed down with a dubious yellow coloured fruit juice and stolen ice cubes.
Before me, the sun furls and unfurls itself across this blue sky. After the grey concrete framed window of my internal bedroom, this expanse of sky seems obscene in it’s flagrant undulating beauty. As I watch, the quality of light changes from forceful afternoon fire, beaming out in a sanctifying halo from behind pure white clouds, to the the orange, edgy, defiant predecessor of the dark. A dying spirit but a strong one. A fitting one to herald the night in a city like this.
Over the rooftops of unfinished concrete sheds and half-hearted renovations, the love-children of so many heedless cowboy builders, the strains of Madonna’s thrusting music reaches me. Somewhere, a party is created. Maybe even a legendary one. Meanwhile on stranded terraces around, silent, solitary figures move about their business. Tidying. Tending. Furtive members of a private club I’ve discovered too late on the second last day of September. Teetering on the brink of a winter I thought I welcomed, I suddenly rediscover passion for my old lover the sun.
I remember with nostalgia.
Skin, ripened and warm and smelling of sunlight. Sand clinging in tolerated intimacy. Hair stiff with memories of the sea. Muffled chatter and the ocean roaring under a soft evening light. The unthinking way in which I loved and forgot. Recklessly sure of its constant presence. Mistakenly sure. A faint hint of charred meat on the wind.
Endless days are numbered too.
This is the last perfect afternoon of the summer.
If Peter Pan’s Neverland really exists, Barcelona is definitely it.
Step outside your door and you don’t have to look far to find the Lost Boys, the mermaids, the fairies and the pirates. Nowhere is it easier to run around frolicking with magical creatures and having grand adventures. No where is it easier to never grow up.
Sadly, our bodies still obstinately insist on this ageing business.
According to research conducted at New York University, our brain patterns change when we think of our current self and when we think of our older self. We think of our older selves with the same brain patterns as we think of strangers. The smaller the difference in these patterns, the more kinship you feel with your future self. The larger the difference, the more likely you are to live only for today and not give a crap about that old fool waiting for you up the road.
How do you think of your older self? Is she (or he) a stranger to you?
So in the interest of morbid curiosity and with a healthy appetite for art-house horror, I decided to find out what old me is going to look like.
I downloaded AgingBooth, a mobile app for Android and took a picture of my morning face (I’m a hard core horror fan). The app then pushed the clock forward thirty years to 2043.
Those with weak stomachs or faint hearts, look away now.
Life of a stranger who stole my phone is a rather funny tumblr site which came about because a thief who stole a phone in Ibiza didn’t realise he had to switch off the automatic document upload function.
So all the photographs he has taken since stealing the phone have been uploaded to the original owner’s dropbox and then put up online.
The site is alright but the comic potential swiftly exhausted. The phone owner produces the occasional funny title, and then the occasional boring comic description.
Don’t stop though! Scroll down to the comments at the bottom of the page and that’s when it really gets funny. Now creepy Habib, the thief who stole a phone from a skinny dipping girl who was too drunk to realise that the person lying under the deck chair wasn’t her friend (these are her words I swear!) has decided he can make friends with her.
He’s left a comment on the tumblr page offering to return her phone. The people who responded to him had me in stitches.
As part of the neighborhood festival Poble Sec is hosting an artisan beer festival which started at 11:00 today.
The festival is in front of the Molino club, just outside the Parallel metro stop on the green line.
There’s a discounted hour between 4 and 5 pm. I’m not sure what this means exactly, but it can only mean good things methinks.
The beers being featured :
- As Cerveses, Montornés del vallès
- La Font del Diable,Vilanova i la Geltrú
- Les Clandestines,Montferri
- Cervesa Marina, Blanes
- Cervesa Popaire, Blanes
- Cervesa Nomada, Sabadell
There are going to be talks about about artisan beers, tasting sessions, a slow food co-op stall, beer making equipment on sale, live DJs, and a Brazilian percussion band at the end of night.
Much beery fun to be had!
I was walking home from work at 9:30 p.m today. It’s a hot summer night in Barcelona, and the streets are teeming with the usual mix of tourists and crazies.
A young man in a grey hoodie passes me on Calle Ferran, cooing lovingly to the shifty looking grey pigeon perched on his arm. Clueless tourists trundle by with suitcases the size of small cars, ‘this town must have a night life, right?’
I cross La Ramblas, over into the Raval, and I’m walking up my street hardly two minutes from my front door. A car on the street slows down, a head pops out and an unmistakably Indian voice, in unmistakably ghati grammar, yells out ‘Hey baby wanna sex with me?!!!’
Suddenly I’m transported back fifteen years. I’m fifteen years old, and having men in cars slow down to yell inane words or try to grab me is normal, and the relentless daily sexual harassment of women, girls, children, octogenarians (you name it) is all sweetly labelled ‘eve-teasing’. I’ve traveled fifteen years, two continents and three countries to be annoyed in the street by another half-wit Indian man.
Still, they never wait to hear my answer.
No I still don’t wanna sex with you.
I wanna high-five you darling.
In the face.
With a hammer.