Class banned

If you’re putting something off, there is no better way to motivate yourself than adding something even more insurmountable to your to-do list. On Tuesday I managed to cross off a stream of menial tasks that had been pestering away at me for months: I paid my credit card bill, got my boots re-heeled and even […]

Un mensaje desde Colombia a Inglaterra…

I’ve been back in the UK for nearly three weeks now, and already my research trip seems depressingly far away…  It’s frightening how quickly Oystercards, overpriced coffees and frostbite can become a reality, and how your main wardrobe item is no longer your flipflops but your thermal undies. I now fully understand the term ‘hugging […]

iQue viva Pasto, carajo!

Oh, we thought we were so smart… …we had totally cracked the system by arriving at Cali bus terminal at 11:30pm. We would surely be at the front of the queue when the ticket booths selling bus tickets to Pasto finally opened at 3am: the envy of all other tourists; an impressed nod from the […]

Feliz Calidad

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic time wherever you were. Hope 2014 has started with a BANG! A little bit of catching up to do this end, but I thought I would cater for those back-to-work-brains by showering you with some wittily-annotated pics rather than another musicology essay (but […]

´Yo me voy para Palenque tierra de la libertad´ – An African Adventure in San Basilio…

Students waiting for rehearsal at the dance school Palenquero and the people of Palenque Back in 2004 when I studied Spanish Linguistics at University I learned about a creole language called ´Palenquero´ which was spoken by a very small community in northern Colombia, San Basilio de Palenque. It was a community of about 3000 people hidden […]

‘Las calles de Cartagena… aquella historia vivió…’ – Catching up with the Caribbean in the colonial capital

Torre de la Reloj en Cartagena’s old town So last week my travels took me to Cartagena de Indias in the north coast of Colombia, one of the first ports the Spanish arrived at during the conquista, and boy do you know it! The verisimilitude to Andalusia was uncanny –  white washed houses sprouting wisteria, […]

Women and Children – the emerging talent of Vallenato

Rehearsal in the hot afternoon sun in Valledupar So my secret PA was clearly enjoying some annual leave on my second couple of days in Valledupar… Of my five meetings planned the day before, only ONE of them happened! I must be honest that two of them were cancelled by me (!) One thing I am […]