I was discussing the other day with my colleagues at work how happy I am with marketing campaigns that are well executed. Clever names or slogans; there is someone who has put the effort into coming up with that brilliant idea. It’s an art form, and as an example I shared an advert I saw in Barcelona shortly before I came to Edinburgh to work. It had been issued by the city council because of the drought problems that Catalonia is suffering at the moment. It went like this: «water does not fall from the sky». God, that’s good. How brilliant. Whoever came up with it deserves a pay rise. Let’s look at the multitude of meanings.

Written in Catalan language, this is the poster I’m talking about.

The first reading is that of the antithesis: the contrary asserted idea that water does not fall from the sky which is ridiculous because rain is a very common meteorological phenomenon. The second reading is that of the Spanish expression that «something does not fall from the sky», alluding to the fact that it does not happen by chance or that it should not be taken for granted, which connects with the third reading: water should not be taken for granted because in fact, in Catalonia it no longer falls from the sky. It has stopped and we are extremely concerned because the situation is yet another symptom of the worrying nature of climate change. And if that wasn’t enough, in the promotional image there is a red bucket on a white background like the ones used for leaks that matches the colour of the signs. Simple, brief and effective. As I said, brilliant work. In times of crisis, someone comes up with this phrase for the advert. Someone does his job spectacularly, because he or she manages to keep that image with me and I mention it to my colleagues weeks later, still fascinated by the wit of its author.

This weekend I returned to Barcelona and I saw that poster again. I met up with friends from the project in Hungary: Paula, Luca, Ana and Romeo. Seeing my friends again confirmed the great impact that certain people have on me, and they are the biggest example of this. With them I have access to a much more carefree, uninhibited me, and a Mediterranean sense of humour that I can’t find in the UK. We are silly geese having fun, which gives me space to rest from the other version of me, the insatiable one that always seeks to be better. That weekend meant returning home, a conceptual and non-physical one, a place where there are no schedules and no tasks.

The reason of the meeting was that Romeo was running the marathon of Barcelona. Originally I was going to run with him, but an injury a couple of weeks before the event prevented me from taking part. He accomplished a feat like no other: running a marathon is an outrageous thing to do. The human body is not designed to run such long distances and yet yesterday there were almost 25,000 people doing it in Barcelona. People who savoured their limits and bathed in them. Few things are as inspiring to me as such a test. Seeing strangers helping and encouraging each other, to contemplate the absence of barriers of language or origin. In that moment they were all the same: runners trying to complete a Herculean task.

When it was over, we realised how short-sighted we had been: Romeo didn’t have a telephone and that area, right next to the Arc de Triomphe, was packed with people. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Luca and I climbed one of the benches with a monolith on the path, scanning the crowd in search of our friend. It was he who eventually found us. He came limping up, with a smile on his face and the job done. He was 1 minute away from the mark he had set himself, but it didn’t matter. He had done it. I was overwhelmed with pride and satisfaction. I couldn’t run that Sunday, but he did it for both of us.

The day before should have been the day to walk around and show them the city, but it rained so hard that after a short walk we all went back home. Maybe this was not what they expected from their weekend in Barcelona, but I was happy. It was finally raining, and in a spectacular way. It was almost as if the sky was bringing out everything it had been holding back for months: a show of strength and might by nature. I felt the rain on my skin while being surrounded by people I love and was happy to confirm that water did indeed fall from the sky.

Do you want to be notified when we publish articles in English?

Subscribe to the newsletter in this section so that we only notify you of the articles that interest you.

¡No hacemos spam! Lee nuestra política de privacidad para obtener más información.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *