Hippies, Fire Festivals, Obby Oss

Farrera with the Centre d'Art i Natura in the centre with diagonal beams
Farrera with the Centre d’Art i Natura in the centre with diagonal beams

I have the synopsis of my novel more or less in shape now. It unfolds from that one line of poetry – A morsel of love’s bread, and its knife.

The Centre d’Art i Natura is an interesting building. Above ground it looks like a small outhouse with a large slate roof nearly touching the ground, but then it climbs down the mountainside for five storeys and has a library and class room. It was converted from an old building that once belonged to the Manresa family. I read that back in the 1970s, Senor Manresa, irritated by the drunken japes of the incomers, threatened to shoot all the hippies in the village. Perhaps he wouldn’t be impressed with the 400 or so artists who have stayed in the Centre by now.

Tuula Narhinen and Quelic Berga, my fellow artists in residence, tell me about last weekend’s conference – presentations on the mountain environment and its changes, a wonderful music performance by Arnau Obiols using elements of nature as his instruments and drawing on traditional Catalan and especially Pyrenean song. At dinner Lluis and Quelic talk about the local fire fiestas and I describe Tar Barrel Running in Allendale in Northumberland and the May Day Obby Oss festival in Padstow.

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