Barcelona life – the beer

The beer here isn’t cheap. Most places you go to, they only have that continental lager, the sort of stuff that, if you’re an ale snob like me, you’d turn your nose up at anywhere in England. Thing is, it works here. It’s so warm so much of the time that your classic nearly warm pint of Scruttock’s Old Dirigible, with the twigs and the bits of beak still in it, wouldn’t be all that refreshing. A glass of Estrella, though, chilled near to freezing, is about the most perfect alcoholic beverage in this climate.

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Barcelona life – five months in

Summer in Barcelona. I’m sitting in the sunshine outside a slightly shabby Cerveseria grandly named ‘Bar Berlin’, having a cheeky beer between teaching classes, and it occurs to me I haven’t written anything about the place for months. In fact, not since that first day of the CELTA course.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 6 – The Iron Throne

“Love is the death of duty.”
“Sometimes duty is the death of love.”


So. After 8 years and 73 episodes, the biggest TV show of the last decade has finally come to a conclusion. It’s fair to say that, even with the last couple of years admittedly reducing and simplifying the show’s multifarious convoluted plotlines, tying up every loose end satisfactorily was always going to be a tall order. Expectations for a series finale have rarely been higher – and harder to meet.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 5 – The Bells

“Men decide where power resides, whether they want to or not.”


Dracarys indeed. Lots of it. If Missandei’s final word was an instruction, this week saw it obeyed to the letter, and gave Game of Thrones fans the spectacle they’d always wanted from the final battle for King’s Landing.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 4 – The Last of the Starks

“I’m here to free the world from tyrants. That is my destiny. And I will serve it no matter the cost.”


After all the storming excitement of last week’s episode, I think Game of Thrones showrunners Benioff and Weiss thought we needed a bit of a breather before moving on to the remaining battles for Westeros. So this week we got The Last of the Starks, a satisfying but curiously schizoid episode which came across as nothing so much as two individual eps glued together.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 3 – The Long Night

“The Night King is coming.”
“The dead are already here.”


Been waiting for a battle? Well, this week’s Game of Thrones should have satisfied, delivering the show’s longest ever ep, and it was pretty much all battle, all the time, from beginning to end. Exciting though that sounds, it does run the risk of being pretty one note; even carnage gets dull after an hour or so.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 2 – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

“Do you want me to apologise? I won’t. We were at war. Everything I did, I did for my house and my family. I’d do it all again.”


If you’re chafing for the first of this last season’s Big Battles, you may well have been disappointed this week. For the second week in a row, we were stuck at Winterfell as yet more characters came together in readiness for the Impending Doom of the White Walkers attack.

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