Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms


May 2016

What can you say about a colour?

By John Cody

We accept a few things universally, like red means stop, green means go, yellow means go faster and, in the words of John Lennon, “the sun is up, the sky is blue.” Did you know that purple is the colour of contrition? I got a purple guitar once and I named it “Contrition,” like B.B. King named his “Lucille.” I wanted to make people feel sorry for every note I played on that goddamned thing in a really good way. Why? Because Prince did it, and that’s the only thing that, across the board, people seem to agree on about the colour purple. Purple means Prince. Continue reading “What can you say about a colour?”

A place and time

By Patricia Lightfoot

Place: Cafe Loki near Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland

Time: Late June 2013 just after midsummer

What was happening: Dinner was being eaten in a welcoming calm space. What we were served as part of “Iceland 1” and “Iceland 3” included a rich rye-bread ice cream and a brandade-type mixture of fish and mashed potatoes on rye bread, which was particularly delicious. My husband had a taste of the traditional fermented shark (in the centre of the photograph), which he described as “not like anything I have tasted before.” As is customary, the fermented shark was paired with a shot of brennivin, a local spirit, which in this case referenced yet another local tradition, as it was served in a glass decorated with a pattern that looked as if it had been knitted.

The cultures of Orgiva

by Anthony Bushell

Orgiva lies nestled on the lower slopes of the great valleys of Las Alpujarras, which lead up to the southern slopes of the mighty Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is these snow-capped peaks one sees forming the backdrop to the Alhambra Palace in Granada in the classic photographed view of this, the greatest of all Islam’s architectural creations in Spain. Granada, along with Cordoba and Seville, constitutes the most visible cultural legacy of the centuries-long Moorish domination of Spain, but it was among the serpentine valleys of Las Alpujarras that the Moors clung to their very last toehold before their final expulsion in one of history’s earliest examples of ethnic cleansing. There is still some sense today of these valleys being a place of refuge or sanctuary where one might be able to build a new and different life from relatively little. Certainly, that is exactly why a good many outsiders from a vast number of nations have chosen to settle here. Continue reading “The cultures of Orgiva”

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