Around and About with Tony Goodman

Lockdown restrictions have eased and so Tony is tentatively thinking about getting around and about again, whilst respecting social distancing and hygiene advice, of course!


Wagner can be addictive and annoying. So much of his magnificent music has been purloined by the adverting industry to help sell toothpaste and beer. Its impossible to hear the Flight of the Valkyries without an instant mental picture of Martin Sheen and Charlie Duvall. This week, Wednesday’s treat was a Glynebourne production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Puskin’s simple tale of a bored youth meeting a flirtatious country lass. Act 1 is a whirl of happy singing peasants and crushed dreams.

Film noir

A fresh faced Steve McQueen appears in The St Louis Bank Robbery 1959. Directed by Charles Guggenheim McQueen is drawn ever deeper into a dark and grim corner. A low budget production, print quality can be a challenge

Guggenheim went on the make Oscar-winning, socially-conscious documentaries, a skill he passed onto his son Davis who made An Inconvenient Truth  2006.

New TV

Disaster struck late in the week when the TV faded to black. Nothing could urge it back into action. After carefully measuring the trunk of the car we set off for a first Covid 19 visit to a large store. Arriving to a near empty car park, it was only a brief pause before we were ushered inside fully masked to be met by a flock of helpful smiling attendants.

After a quick search of the shelves for the largest possible TV the car could transport, we were cheerfully relieved of the required number of euros and departed. We could get used to this outstanding level of service stores are now providing.



We had a birthday in the household. A very special birthday for a very special girl, a true partner. Time to push the boat out in a socially responsible way. No large lavish parties just a series of small RDVs with various pals and on the day a paëlla royale loaded with chicken fillets, large fresh crevettes, langoustines, moules and chicken. Washed down with Champagne of course.

Festival Pablo Casals

Our hearts beat a little faster when we received an email confirming this world class festival will go ahead and included a link for the latest festival newsletter. The 70th festival will be held 9th to the 13th of August. A fantastic selection of venues with Prades being home base. Most of the usual venues will stage performances however audience numbers will be restricted. Tickets will go fast!


Alerted by a good friend we are investigating taking the D115 to Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste, then continue on over the very photogenic Col d’Ares before taking the 5223 or 5225 and sample the tiny very authentic Catalan Restaurants. Rocabruna in particular seems to have one or two that look useful.

Col d’Ares by P-O reader, Matthew Currie


A trackway to a high school passes by our door. Herds of the young filled with the thirst for learning trail pass everyday. During the lockdown we found the lack of this human tide along with the lack of trains rattling the distant line slightly disconcerting. It was rather nice to see the eager students ambling long in their socially distanced groups and the occasional TER return. Provided a sense normality returning.


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