Many years ago I lived for a short while in an amazing apartment in Barcelona. In the middle of town, myself and my friend Dario. We had no plans really. He wanted to get a job, I wanted to learn Spanish and basically not be in England for a while. I achieved the latter, but the former two goals were never met.
Dario tried but couldn’t find anything that worked for him. Although being a Catalan man, Barcelona seemed almost too far left, too bohemian for him. Dario needed cyber-bohemian, neo-hippy and he’s found that in Madrid now.
I spent my days wandering the city. Just wandering the streets taking in all the flavours of one of the greatest cities in the world. Barcelona really has everything, or had.
A month or so ago I went back to the Catalan capital for the first time since that now distant, ethereal jaunt over 10 years ago. The city has grown immensly, sky scrapers that I never remember existing. It seemed more like Madrid (a city I travel to fairly regularly these days) now. A powerful juggernaut of business and endeavor.
That’s not how I remember it. I remember vividly our first night. Dario leaving his wallet on the plane and running back through security to go and get it. Imagine that happening now?! When we got to town we found the apartment, top floor in a classic Barcelona walk up. No TV. We were promised a TV! We were already a little bit freaked out, both far away from home – neither of us with a clue what to do. We just wanted some comfort. In fact, we were comfort junkies, just looking to live easy, enjoy oursleves and be worry free.
So we wandered about town, failing to familiarise ourselves and waiting for the landladies son to arrive with our TV. We went back to apartment and at about 2am the guy turns up, drunk or stoned, with our TV. We set it up and watched US TV shows till the morning, then listened to local radio. It was a crazy and awesome night.
During my time in Barcelona I produced several interstign things, some songs, some photographs, some poetry. I recently discovered a book of poems I made and gave to my Mum for Christmas. All written about the city itself and me in it.
I’m fairly sure it’s horrible poetry, but I thought I should share it and give myself a chance to reminisce on those long departed days under the Catalan skies.