A Bilingual Baby

A Bilingual Baby

jueves, 30 de agosto de 2012

People Living in Barcelona: Gary Crighton


Gary Crighton is from Liverpool, England. He has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography that he has wilfully ignored for many years. From 1994 to 2000 he lived in Dublin, Ireland, where he worked as an editor for a new media arts website and as a university researcher and lecturer for new media technologies (including digital photography). He has lived (warmly) in Barcelona since early 2000. When not sleeping, eating, watching films, listening to music, or reading, he works as a technical writer and localization coordinator for a rather large company. He isn't married and he owns no goldfish.

1. What’s the thing you like the most about Barcelona?

Probably the climate. Boring, I know, but having lived some thirty-three years or so of cold, wind, and rain, a little sunshine is most welcome in the twilight years of my youth. Of course, the food, location, culture, and history of the city play a big part (or so they say), but the big happy yellow sun in the sky is the glue that binds them all together!

2. And the thing you like the least?

Dealing directly with the tax office, the immigration office, or the Hacienda will invariably have me entertaining violent fantasies. I must have secretly plotted the untimely deaths of at least half of the civil servants in Barcelona (nothing personal you understand). Bureaucracy is a well-developed art form in many a country, but in Spain they’ve unquestionably taken it to another level (and added a large dose of attitude to the mix).

3. Do you miss anything from home?
Probably the only thing I really miss is the sense of humour. Spanish and Catalan humour is, um, different, and at times it’s fine (the dark genius of the yuletide caganer will never cease to inspire me), but there are days when I pine for a droll English wit.

4. Can you recommend an English film?

Let’s assume that by “English” you mean from the United Kingdom. A few arthouse suggestions might be Distant Voices, Still Lives and Of Time and the City, by Terence Davies, or Hunger, by Steve McQueen. These are hardly popcorn-scoffing, laugh-a-minute flicks, but they are breathtakingly cinematic. For more upbeat fare: The rise of Factory Records and the Madchester scene as told in 24 Hour Party People is a hoot, Dr. No is unbeatable, almost any "Carry On…” movie will leave you giggling like a pre-pubescent, Trainspotting (choose life) is the bee’s knees. For a Liverpool-Barcelona tie-in, Land and Freedom is well worth a gander…

5. Can you recommend an English book?

Indeed, what ho! The Jeeves and Wooster stories, by P.G. Wodehouse, are a fine way to while away the hours. Willing souls eager to learn the myriad imbroglios of a nice-but-not-so-bright English aristocrat (Wooster) and his too-clever-by-half butler (Jeeves) could do no better and may, in turn, discover what the well-dressed man wears. Ian Fleming’s original Bond books are unputdownable, Spike Milligan’s war memoirs will have you laughing so hard you’ll that you’ll (likely) pee your pants. And then there’s: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll), Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne), Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie) – rereading all of these as an (so-they-say) adult is a pleasure. The Harry Potter books aren’t bad, either…

6. Can you recommend an English music band?
I’m a man of a certain age (yes, that means old) and my taste reflects this – a few personal favourites might include: Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, New Order, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, The Who, The Stone Roses, and the lulling boudoir misery of Nottingham band Tindersticks. I’m contractually obliged to mention The Beatles. Classical and classical crossover choices might by Micheal Nyman and Max Richter (who recently scored the excellent Israeli film, Waltz with Bashir). I have no idea what young people are listening to, but I’m sure it’s too loud.

7. What’s your favourite spot in Barcelona?
My bed? I suppose that’s a disqualification, but it is the honest answer! The second choice would be above Barcelona on Passeig de les Aigües, preferably on a bike (I’ll be damned if I’m dragging my bed up there).

8. Do you do something here that you couldn’t possibly do at home?

I stay warm, mostly. If I tried speaking Spanish at home they’d think I was a bit strange (but they think that here anyway). It’s not a case of “couldn’t possibly”, but Barcelona is a great location for escaping to the mountains – you can do that back home, but it’s not quite so easy and it will almost certainly rain. The sheep are equally cute on either side of the Bay of Biscay.

9. Is there anything you did back at home that you can’t possibly do now?

Yes, but it was highly immoral and I was much younger then.

10. Any tip for an English person wishing to settle down in Barna? And, any tip for a person from Barcelona wishing to visit England?

For those Barcelona-bound: don’t expect a walk in the park (other than in Ciutadella, of course). Barcelona is a great city to live in, but it’s a damn hard city to work in. It’s also increasingly expensive when taken with what people actually earn here. Plan well and bring lots and lots of money. When they leave the bottle of wine on the table at lunchtime – it is NOT obligatory to drink it all (even if it’s hard not to). For those Blighty-bound: take lots of warm clothes and a really good umbrella. Don’t cry with despair when you see how short the measures are for spirits.

Thank you for the interview, Gary!



3 comentarios:

  1. Oh Marta! This is such a fascinating and intriguing post - I loved it. Gary is one funny fellow. Thanks for linking up with the POTMC. J x

  2. Excellent post… was just what I was looking for! Thanks again.

  3. Great post! I've entered due I'm in love with Liverpool, but I'll have a look at the rest of the blog... I must say that I'm a lucky person and I've enjoyed the nice English sun lots of times!!! Of course I've suffered its rain and snow and having my socks wer too, but it rains heavier in Barcelona - when it rains!


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