Spain

Does Catalonia really want independence?

8 September 2020 4:00 pm

In 1714, after a long siege, Spain managed to regain control of Barcelona after the War of Spanish Succession. Catalan…

Why poetry matters

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Juan Carlos, ex-King of Spain, behaved foolishly in relation to money and sex, and so his decision to leave Spain…

Can Boris avoid a winter lockdown?

1 August 2020 9:00 am

As the government struggled on Saturday with the question of whether to impose a quarantine on those returning from Spain,…

Portrait of the week: Second wave fears, cash for cyclists and a cat catches Covid

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Home At a few hours’ notice, the government removed Spain from the list of countries from which it was possible…

The Spanish approach to face masks

11 July 2020 9:00 am

We self-critical British should never forget that other nations are pretty crazy too. I write this from Andalusia, Spain; and…

Joyous and very, very funny: Beastie Boys Story reviewed

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The music of the Beastie Boys was entirely an expression of their personalities, a chance to delightedly splurge out on…

Covid statistics are just politics by other means

5 May 2020 9:57 pm

Statistics is the continuation of politics by other means, to misquote Clausewitz. One hundred and fifty years after the crushing…

Spain's fiendishly complex rules for easing the lockdown

4 May 2020 8:32 pm

Once upon a time, when travel was still allowed, I checked into a small hotel in back-of-beyond Extremadura, in South-West…

Spain and Italy have been abandoned by the EU

1 April 2020 11:57 pm

If ever there was a time for the EU to show the benefit of belonging to an economic bloc with…

The Spanish winemakers with a missionary zeal

7 March 2020 9:00 am

It is time to begin with an apology, and hope. In the course of these columns, I have already admitted…

Franco’s exhumation could help decide the Spanish election

9 November 2019 9:00 am

I was no sooner in Madrid than General Franco was exhumed from his mausoleum not far from El Escorial. An…

The delights of Spanish wine – and art

9 November 2019 9:00 am

First, an apology. In my last column, I appeared to be saying that good champagne does not age. This must…

Spain was wrong to jail the Catalan separatists

16 October 2019 3:48 am

Some things just don’t pass the gut test. Your head tells you they’re right, all the facts point in their…

‘Afternoon at the Beach in Valencia’, 1904, by Joaquin Sorolla

Enjoy a blast of Spanish sun from Joaquin Sorolla

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Artists can be trained, but they are formed by their earliest impressions: a child of five may not be able…

The day I had enough of experts

16 February 2019 9:00 am

‘Don’t even try,’ said the man on the car deck as Brittany Ferries’ Finistère tied up on the dock in…

The famous Barbary macaques

Gibraltar, the rock of ages past

5 January 2019 9:00 am

How lazy, snobbish and wrong it is to mock Gibraltar for the lager and fish and chips clichés. Yes, you…

A bloody miracle: ‘Apollo and Marsyas’, 1637, by Jusepe de Ribera

The Spanish artist who is more gruesome even than Caravaggio

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Last year my wife and I were wandering around the backstreets of Salamanca when we were confronted by a minor…

Trains in Spain

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The first railway line in Spain, from Barcelona to Mataro a few miles up the coast towards the French border,…

Spanish practices

7 October 2017 9:00 am

In October 1936, on the anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the New World, a ceremony was held at Salamanca University,…

Low life

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Valencia was a furnace. During the short ride from the airport, the taxi driver supplemented his chat about the weather…

How not to handle an independence referendum

8 July 2017 9:00 am

If David Cameron seeks any testament to his handling of Britain’s difficulties with Scottish separatism, the mess that Spain is…

The demise of bullfighting has been predicted for 100 years, yet it lives on

Is bullfighting on its last gasp?

14 May 2016 9:00 am

Looking at the programme for the feria of San Isidro in Madrid this month (bullfights are being held on 31…

Why the Spanish may be better off without a government

30 April 2016 9:00 am

The Spanish seem to be doing better without one

The French frigate Surveillante blows up the British frigate Quebec in a minor but famously furious engagement on 6 October 1779

The waves that wrecked Britannia

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Military history is more popular than respected. It is not hard to see why. It is masculine history, a trifecta…

In 1600 Muhammad al-Annuri arrived in England, as the Moroccan ambassador, to propose an Anglo-Moroccan alliance. Shakespeare probably started writing Othello six months later

Gloriana and the Sultan — England’s unlikely alliance

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The idea for a mechanical cock was never going to work. In 1595 the English ambassador to Constantinople, Edward Barton,…