• The Anatomy of Pain

    The Anatomy of Pain0

    The head is drooping and encased in a vicious tangle of thorns, the trunk emaciated and pierced with tiny feathered barbs, the feet twisted out of shape by fractured metatarsals, the fingers gangrenous and tautly outstretched, as if pleading for a merciful coup de grâce. Of all the paintings I have seen of Christ’s crucifixion,

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  • #Miscellanea: Franco’s bones

    #Miscellanea: Franco’s bones0

    In a tin of keepsakes which I inherited from my grandmother, there is an old photograph of my father standing together with his mum at el Valle de los Caídos. It must have been taken by my grandfather in 1966 or 1967, when the family of three went on a coach tour of Spain. My

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  • #Miscellanea: Tierra de Santos

    #Miscellanea: Tierra de Santos0

    ‘Bienvenido, caballero, al museo del Convento de la Encarnación,’ the old man says in a quavering voice. ‘Por favor, sígame a través de esta puerta.’ I do as bidden and find myself in a spacious antechamber filled with antique furniture and statues of saints. I had been expecting to find other tourists gathered here for

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  • #Miscellanea: Spanglish

    #Miscellanea: Spanglish0

    It was ten in the morning and I was sitting in the hotel’s complimentary shuttle bus. I had about two and a half hours left before my train journey to Madrid, and I was hoping to squeeze in a last-minute visit to Toledo Cathedral. There were only three people in the mini-van apart from myself

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  • #Miscellanea: On men and borders

    #Miscellanea: On men and borders0

    ‘Aquí lo que hay que seh,’ the bearded man half-shouted to his friend on the other side of Cathedral Square, ‘eh cerra la frontera una veh por toah.’ I’m not sure why the fellow came up with this remark, but his words made me think of ‘On the Border: Two Cities, Two Countries, Common Ground’,

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  • #Miscellanea: Surveillance and control

    #Miscellanea: Surveillance and control0

    Whenever I visit Gibraltar on holiday, I like to take a stroll through the Upper Town. It’s the neighbourhood where I grew up in and walking along its sharp-cornered ramps and passages is always a very nostalgic experience for me – almost like taking a dip in a bath brimming with childhood memories. Last time

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