Fears and Hopes

The 3rd blog post and we’ve three bits to it – hopefully you’ll find them interesting, or funny. But, in the first one, very worrying.

After a moving short video about Spain and memory, made by Christine Jones, we’ll look on the brighter side again: a piece about our cycle in Extrmadura last year. Then a couple of sound pen portraits of my fellow cyclists, Liam and Eddie. (You’ll be devastated to hear that there’s none of our music in this blog – but plenty of that to come!)

The Spanish general election takes place today. The result could change the nature of our journey pretty profoundly.

When Laurie Lee travelled through Spain in 1935/6 the forces of the right were on the rise, and he had to leave when Franco’s forces attacked – ushering in 40 years and more of brutal oppression.

2019 and, horribly, the right is on the rise again. Most of our friends in Spain are still hopeful that Vox – one of the most extreme right wing parties in Europe – will not gain power. But they will gain influence.

This blog is already making fascinating links. We’re now in touch with Christine Jones, an artist and filmmaker who produced this revealing little movie about memory and the civil war – an issue at the heart of the national election today….

Thanks, Christine. A key part of our project here is to ask people along the way about their memories – often evoked through songs. It looks like we’ll be in for a very interesting time. Here’s hoping the election today has a better outcome than is feared.

Our trip last year was more of a holiday. But like any journey – especially when you get to our age – life can be complicated and memories, old and new, can play their part. This article appeared in The Herald last Saturday (and has confused people who thought we were already on the road. Back then, the Adelante! project was a mere fanciful idea.)

https://www.heraldscotland.com/life_style/17578019.three-sexagenarians-discover-spains-costa-interior-by-bike-and-say-farewell-to-a-dear-friend/

And here is a wee video than Liam made one day on the road in Extremadura – me and Eddie being most unkind to folks working away back home in the rain. We have no excuse for this whatsoever….

A moment of schadenfreude in Extremadura last Autumn.

Pen portrait: Eduarduco

Throughout these blogs there will be pen portraits of people who have been important along the road. From Laurie Lee himself, to my my friend Brendan Hughes and his family who first introduced me to Spain – but also of Gabriela Cunningham Graham, St Theresa of Avila, even Don Quijote himself! But to kick off, here first, is my take on Eddie Morrison.

El Gran O

And Oor Liam.

Two more sleeps, and we’re off. We’re packed, done the research, got all the recording gear, tried it out. Got a route and a timetable….. But we all know, we haven’t a clue what we’re doing. As Long John Silver said…. ‘And them that dies’ll be the lucky ones!’

We look forward to your comments, criticisms, suggestions, insights. We’re a’ in it thegither.

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