150 years after the first Republic was declared in the heart of Andalusia, the Gazpachomonk replays the original resurrection canoeing across the lake of Iznajar, and hiking thought the desert landscape of Western Granada with a group of misguided historians in search of meaning in an otherwise meaningless era.
Discover the ordeals and absurdities, discover the truth about the king's moustache and listen to the music and the poems that accompany this historic walk in search of Spain's republican past.
You can listen here, download the podcast to listen later or subscribe to the Speaking Of Spain podcast for free in iTunes. To read more information on the Revolutionary character of Perez Del Alamo, read about him in the book: Inside the Tortilla.
Hurrah! The Gazpachomonk is back from a Summer of Crazed Activity to present the first in a two-part series on the Evolution of Protest in Spain.
In the light of continued attacks on the standard of living in Spain from both the government and the E.U the Gazpachomonk asks - what has happened to the resistance movement in Spain? Has it rolled over and died as the press suggests or is it sneakily getting on with undermining the latest downturn in the global economy?
Listen to the absurd and the profound on this illustrated audio investigation here - or download the Speaking of Spain podcast from iTunes.
Laurie Lee is often cited - amongst English Speakers moving to Spain - as one of the few writers on the country that have managed to portray the Real Spain - Lee’s travel stories having inspired and often ignited a passion for Iberia previously unknown amongst Anglosaxons. Yet any cursory inspection into Lee’s autobigraphical travels reveal inconsistencies, inaccuracies and outright inventions.
At some point, those of us still treasuring our battered copies of "When I Walked Out One Mid-summer Morning" - must ask ourselves - What if Laurie Lied?
It would not be until 1998 that I would eventually begin to search for the answer. In that year I found myself concluding a two year stint inToledo and looking to move to a small village on the coast of Granada. It was there that I stumbled across an almost hidden plaque embedded in a small concrete structure, tucked under a palm tree overlooking the central beach. Inscribed was the following message:
"The town of Almuñecar, in recognition to the great writer Laurie lee, that lived in our town (1935-36) (1951 - 52) and immortalised it under the name of Castillo."
Was it fate that had brought me here? Was I destined to carry out the investigations I had started so long ago?
There was 3 facts that persuaded me to begin this quest: 3 facts that - for me - had always raised doubts over his accounts of what happened…
1. Lee never wrote "When I Walked Out..." untill 35 years after leaving Spain. Time plays games with memories and hind-site can too easily add weight to an instinct or feeling. Much of his writing is uncannily accurate in its predictions, far more so than that of political historians of the time.
2. Lee was a writer of fiction and poetry, above all else. It is part of the role of a writer to weave together unconnected and perhaps, tales that have been merely whispered, rather than encountered.
3. When I had studied the history of the Second Republic and the lead up to the Spanish Civil War at University, I had read many accounts by International Brigaders who had questioned Lee’s role in his book on the civil war. Some had discounted his writing as pure fiction.
I wanted to know why so many English Writers - seemingly effortlessly - to acquire a linguistic fluency (particularly in the indecipherable province of Granada) after just a few weeks strolling the back roads of Spain, and how wherever they set foot, they were warmly embraced, welcomed and then sobbed over as they strolled on, just three days after arrival.
My understanding of the complexities of the subjunctive meant I would forever raise a eyebrow when writers engage in back-room shouting matches over politics and war.
And my raised eyebrow was beginning to ache.
So, armed with these facts, a few crazed questions in my mind and a battered copy of Lee’s work… I too walked out "One Midsummer Morning" back in 1998, and went looking for answers.
Listen to the whole story of the first investigations into Lauire Lee's writing on this weeks episode of The Speaking Of Spain podcast with the Gazpachomonk.
You can listen to it here, download it from itunes or from here, and subscribe so that you will not miss PART 2: The Eyewitness Accounts of Lee's time on the coast.
Episode 3 of Speaking of Spain looks this week at the History of Black Monday in Spain, tracing the origins from the transition to democracy up until the present economic and, some may say, moral crises. Listen to the story of what happened and why it reverberates even to this day.
Also on the podcast this week is the second App review: Abbey TextGrabber - the OCR and translation tool. With this cheap mobile application you not not only have a translation tool always with you, but a mobile scanner too. Find out why that just may be what you are looking for.
Finally, as the weather still appears a tad grey as this podcast is uploaded to iTunes, the Monk digs out an old classic warming recipe to keep our toes warm until the spring arrives and finds what role Satan's footsteps played in this traditional warming soup recipe.
Listen to the post here, download it using the blue arrow in the top corner or subscribe via iTunes.
CCMIXTER Muisc by the excellent……."I dunno" by grapes http://ccmixter.org/files/grapes/16626 Black Rainbow by Pitx http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=40665 is licensed under a Creative Commons license:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/