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With Coleridge in Cadiz

Streets in the geometrical old city of Cadiz (correctly, Cádiz) tend to be very long and narrow—beware of cars and motor bikes unexpectedly swinging around a corner to crush you. Bizzarely, most streets have two different names displayed on wall-plaques of the same size—one may be an antique name, the other a name chosen by

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Seville Ho! Ho!

I didn’t expect there to be quite so much of Seville.  Queues kept us away from the Cathedral and from the Alcázar fortress (so we shall ignore them), but hurrah for the trees of Seville!  Seeds of these liana trees were brought back by scientific sons of conquistadors.  Once a source of rubber—see the tell-tale

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Córdoba Ho!

On the eve of Xmas Eve (2014), Cristina and I were at the Telefónica Foundation in Madrid‘s Gran Vía for a sparkling exhibition about Tesla—us shown around by the exhibition designer himself, Miguel Delgado, here next to me: Our batteries duly charged with electricity, right after Xmas Day Cristina and I headed by high-speed train

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Black Pudding and Bibliophily in Burgos

December 2014: a week ago I was making my way with difficulty, due to the crush of crowds, through the big chilly Christmas market beside the Cathedral in Barcelona, wishing that some German had a stall with hot mulled wine. However, almost all the stalls were selling figures little and large and umpteen landscape accessories

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Cyborged in Zaragoza

When I found this dramatic engraving of the Leaning Tower of Zaragoza, unknown to me, at a temporary antiques/junk stall in Gijón, I spied a possible story—and I don’t think I’m referring to the storeys of the tower, though I may be. ‘Drawn by David Roberts from a Sketch by Lieut. Eldridge of the Royal

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Ebola now loose in Europe because of stupidity

When a Spanish priest in Liberia became infected with Ebola a few weeks ago, the Spanish conservative government stupidly flew the priest back to Madrid, to show what caring people the conservatives are. (The priest died, so that was a waste of time and money which should have been directed at treating him and a

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Animadversions

An animadversion might seem like an advert interrupting the animé you’re watching, but really it is a severe censure—such as John Milton‘s anticlerical tract of 1641, Animadversions upon The Remonstrants Defence Against Smectymnvvs—after writing this, Paradise Lost must have been a romp. Or else there’s James Maxwell (not Mr Electromagnetism)’s diatribe of 1788 against Robert

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Cthulhu on Holiday

So many things happened during August 2014 (so much jollier than August 1914 despite manipulated hysteria about the Crimea) that it’s easiest for me simply to focus on the manifestations of the Staff of Cthulhu at 9Worlds Geekfest, followed by the World Science Fiction Convention at the other end of London, and finally at the

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Barcelona wins Eurocon for 2016

Poles are super-nice, especially Michael Wnuk who arm-wrestled at the London Worldcon in the contest between Wrocław, pronounced Vrots-swaf, and Barcelona, mostly pronounced Barthelona, for the Eurocon of 2016, a thrilling contest. At the Shamrokon Eurocon the following weekend, Barcelona prevailed in the voting.  But we’re both winners!  The convention in Wrocław goes ahead, undoubtedly a

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Celsius in the Streets of Avilés

The third Celsius 232 (= Fahrenheit 451) SFF & Horror Festival in Avilés starred internationally Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Tim Powers, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Lauren Oliver, Moscow Metroman Dmitry Glukhovsky, and ever vivacious Joe Abercrombie—as well as a host of leading Spanish writers. (From the 30th of July to the 2nd of August 2014.) Patrick Rothfuss

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