Happy New Year

Who knows Where the Time Goes? sang folk heroine Sandy Denny back in 1968.  Well over 40 years have passed and the song still has such a resonance with listeners today, particularly at times of reflection – oh, hello 2o13! Where did you sneak up from?

Starting this little blog -largely as a reference for myself- has shown just how much time can escape me.  Not one single post for December! Terrible. But in my defense, I did only spend one weekend in Barcelona, I took 6 flights, countless more train journeys, had 2 job interviews, Christmas, my birthday, my mother’s 60th birthday and NY’s celebrations. So, that’s where the time goes!

December in Barcelona was quite a hurried affair, but I still managed to get out with my camera and take a few festive photos of the city:

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I even brought a bit a Catalonia back to Britain, with my very own mini Caga Tió shitting sitting on my Christmas tree.  I should explain – the Caga Tió, or shitting log (yes, shitting log), is a Catalan Christmas curiosity.  Kids feed the log and then on 24th December they sing a song encouraging the log to shit out presents.  For good measure, they also hit the log with sticks. Octogenarians, forget prunes! Just have yourself hit with a stick.  I’ve been told this, er, delightful tradition comes from the nativity story: whilst the three kings had presents to give baby Jesus, the other folk didn’t, and so they gave their food instead.  A magical shitting log lovingly defecated food for those who had sacrificed their own for Jesus. Or so I’m told. I won’t look at a Christmas chocolate log in the same way again.

Looking back on the past year is something we all inevitably do in January. For better or for worse, another year passes.  One thing I found quite interesting comes from Facebook and the data collected from Facebook posts.  They’ve compiled trending topics, check-ins and most popular songs from different regions.  Compare Spain and the UK: (Images from http://www.facebookstories.com)

It’s far from perfect, but to get a glimpse of what a nation was thinking about, where they were going and what they were listening to, it’s not too bad. For example, the economic crisis has had such a great impact in Spain that the number one trending topic is work. I’m sure this gloomy economic period will be remembered for a long time to come.

But the question remains… who has the better taste in music?

3 responses to “Happy New Year

  1. According to my sources, the Tió tradition has a different origin. Logs were important to keep people warm and to cook and the fire needed to be poked. Kids symbolically poke the fire and keep it burning by hitting and feeding the Tió.

    • It’s true – always hearing more about the Tió! It’s a logical origin. Whatever the real root is, it’s definitely a unique custom :)

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