Thurs 8th October
Just moved out of Maig 37. I´m hovering by a metro entrance with a backpack swelling with all the free shop clothes I have gathered lately. I´m waiting for Alex, who I seem to have temporarily lost. He´s easy to lose, that boy. Today I´m moving into Can Masdeu. It´s also garden day there, which I´m late for…
I arrive to discover garden day hasn´t started yet. It´s been moved to the afternoon, allowing everyone to recover from the party the night before and the three days of ´internal work´ that preceded it.
Alex and I entertain ourselves while waiting for work to start by helping cook lunch and doing handstands and contact-yoga in the quiet space upstairs. Then Alex breaks it to me: hes leaving after all. Today. Definitely. Soon.
I´ve grown quite fond of my hitching-circus-travel-yoga-companion. Already life feels a little emptier without him dancing his way through it. How will I spend my time if I´m not constantly waiting and searching for Alex?
Did I tell you about The Tree-house Plan? We were hanging out in the circus squat when I lost Alex – nothing unusual there! He came back all excited saying he had found a place to build a tree-house nearby. The idea was simple(ish): he would get a job at Juicy Jones, spend all his spare time helping and training at the circus squat and sleep in a tree-house round the corner. He asked if I would help build it. He said that when I saw the place I would understand, because I was a very understanding person. I was initially skeptical, but on seeing the place became ten times more so. It was a patch of scrub-land, covered in concrete, at the foot of a block of flats, in an industrialised area of Barcelona, right around the corner from a police-station. On top of that there were only two trees and the whole area closely resembled the Hazara Jungle in Calais.
On our way back to the circus squat, Alex walking on his hands past the police-station is promptly told off by the cop at the door. “You can´t do that here!” Jesus. And we thought Calais was fascist. Realising he´s burnt his bridges with the local constabulary as potential neighbours, Alex reluctantly abandons the tree-house idea. Probably for the best.
Friday 9th October
I´m really tired today. I´m sitting on a blue sofa in Can Masdeu´s lounge, looking out of the patio door at the mountains down below as smells of dinner emanate from the kitchen next door. I can barely move. Calais, three days of travel, a three day conference, three days of trapeze training and exploring Barcelona have all just caught up with me. I miss Alex. I miss Pete. I don´t feel at home here and I don´t have the energy to talk to people and make myself useful, which is the way I usually make friends.
I got up at 8am this morning to make bread, which I missed the start of as I was in urgent need of a yoga session. When I finally made it I found it was only me and an older man from Uruguay named José, who doesn´t speak a word of English. This was great as it provided an excellent opportunity to practice Spanish. Jose was very patient with me, speaking slowly and with lots of miming. He taught me how to kneed the bread and offered me his spliff (which I declined) and maté (which I accepted) while we waited for the dough to leaven.
Sat 10th October
It´s my last day in Barca and I plan to make the most of it. I have worked out that I will need to make four metro journeys, but am baffled as to how to work out how many are left on my ten journey ticket. While I´m staring at it, Nico from the house appears. “You are lost.” he says. I tell him of my dilemma. He flips the card over. “You have three left.” he tells me. Oh no, but I need four! I will have to jump one – Alex has got me into bad habits. “You can jump here” he says. I look doubtfully at the ticket barriers, the kind with the high glass panels that swing open. Even Alex doesn´t jump over these. But Nico strides over to one and wrestles with it til it swings open. He stands in front of it while I squeeze past and we part ways waving.
I met Matt at the circus squat while I was still with Alex. I heard an English voice say he was traveling and asked where he was from. “Nottingham.” “Oh yeah? I know quite a few people from Nottingham.” “Yeah? Do you know Eleanor? And Andy?” “Yes!” Such is the English activist scene – so small we are only two degrees of seperation.
This morning I´m giving Matt an aerial lesson, the third I have given this week. I enjoy teaching as much as training I think. Matt has also told me about a squatted village at the foothills of the Pyrenees he visited recently. It´s about a days hitch from here and just what I was looking for. Good swap.
I´m back at The Jones and just impressed myself by ordering completely in Spanish. I´m spending a small fortune (well, for me: €7.75) and eating alone, but it´s worth it as it´s completely vegan, the people are lovely and I´ve hardly spent any money on food lately.
Sun 11th October
I´m leaving today. It feels right. It feels like time. Now I just have to see if Barcelona will allow me to leave. Already time is ticking on, but I´m in no hurry really and I don really mind where I end up tonight. I´m heading towards Pamplona, where there are a few squatted villages, including “Uli-Alto”, the one Matt told me about.