Catalan Charm

200px-Antoni_Gaudi_1878Things are crazy at the moment with public lectures, examination marking (Bristol & Oxford), book promotion and all the other s**t that I have managed to clog my life up with but I received an invitation last week to fly out to Barcelona to record an interview with Eduardo Punset that I could not resist. I had heard such wonderful things about this city and frankly I needed a break. Also I am a sucker for getting in front of the camera and was really sick of radio and podcast interviews. (I’m a visual guy and if I can’t see the other person, I find it much harder to communicate). So a TV opportunity was welcomed but more for the chance to visit the city of Antoni Gaudi, someone I wanted to know more about.

As it was, I had most of the day to explore Barcelona on Thursday as the shoot was not scheduled until 4pm. So I did the tourist thing and sought out the nearest Antoni PICT0143Gaudi building I could find which happened to be “La Pedrera.” Cor blimey… this guy was seriously possessed. A whole apartment block designed through his vision of a fusion of nature and technology. It really has to be seen to be believed. I thought that nothing could top that until I then headed over to the “Casa Batlló.” At this point my head was spinning. This is frankly the most awe-inspiring piece of architecture I have encountered and I am a sucker for magnificent architectural monstrosities. The thing about Gaudi is that he designed everything! From the impossible structure of the building to the handles on the doors and nothing, and I really mean it, nothing was conventional or too small to be taken for granted. His vision is everywhere. The word genius is all too easily bandied about but seriously Gaudi was clearly from another planet. He was a devout Catholic who was entirely motivated by his beliefs. I am not religious but I am astounded by the creativity and drive that religion can bring out in some people.


Sue the make-up lady who likes to dance

Sue the make-up lady who likes to dance

Anyway, back to the shoot. I was collected by the delightful producer Javier and assistant Stephanie from the hotel and we headed a mile out of Barcelona to a Romanesque church on a hill overlooking the ancient pathway between central Spain and the ocean. For the briefest moment in the back of the car driven by Carlos, I felt like a hostage victim as I had expected a studio shoot. (I am terribly anxious when I don’t speak the language). But the hour’s drive was well worth it. They kept talking about Eduardo Punset and how they wanted our meeting to be spontaneous but I have to confess I did not know who he was. When I arrived at the church I was relieved to discover that it was not a kidnap situation but that there was a crew of about 8 people including the delightful flirtatious make-up artist, Sue. I was beginning to enjoy myself under the hot Catalan sun.



Eduardo & Bruce discuss the meaning of life outside a church

Eduardo & Bruce discuss the meaning of life outside a church

Then Eduardo Punset turned up and it was clear I was in the presence of a pro. He was incredibly charming and immediately put me at ease. I’ll tell you more about the interview when it is broadcast in a couple of weeks time and available for download. I can’t wait to hear myself dubbed in to Spanish! Anyway just to end the blog, we went out for dinner and clearly Eduardo was a national celebrity as the heads turned and tongues wagged in the restaurant. At the end of the evening, a clutch of young women came up to fawn over the elegant gentleman. I had a great time. I was honored that Eduardo liked my book and was interested in my ideas. I also love a country were elderly science communicators are considered celebrities. I think I am going to try and learn Spanish!


Filed under book publicity

8 responses to “Catalan Charm

  1. Interesting that the architect was so influential the etymology of the word gaudy is attributed to him – unless you consider the alternative ME chartreuse dye. Nevertheless, it’s quite a thing to have your own adjective.

  2. Bruce, it was really a great pleasure to have you in Barcelona. Thank you very much for your visit. We hope to have you back soon!

    • brucehood

      Javier, I had a wonderful time and can’t wait to return. The Spanish publisher is Norma so hopefully they will ask me back to promote.

  3. Bruce,

    I saw Barcelona as a child, and amazingly, I still remember so much of it. I think that it’s a beautiful city, and like you, I find the architecture enthralling.

    I love the setting chosen for your interview. Seems perfect.

    P.S. I will finally be able to read Supersense this week. I had started it but had to put it down to make it through the end of the school year. Now that I’m not helping Brett with Macbeth and Heart of Darkness, I can read again. I can’t wait!

  4. Katie

    What a beautiful interview location – you should take the learning Spanish seriously and get more interviews in sun-drenched locations! And of course more gorgeous flirty crew members 😉

    Re: the hostage/kidnap worries, I still say the whole thing looks like the beginning of a Dan Brown novel. Wait, don’t you swim as well? Please tell me someone from the Roman Catholic church showed up after the interview to have you solve some supernatural mystery. (yes, the films are a dirty pleasure of mine)

  5. If you ever want to see a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn yahoo to find the missed bits. Thanks, anyway!
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

  6. Pingback: Redes en la Red » Blog Archive » Volvemos en septiembre

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