The Open Education Challenge, Barcelona, Catalonia - 13th July 2014

Nosher and Isobel are at the "Open Education Challenge" final round in Barcelona. Isobel and Jules' idea - Think With Things - is down to the last 18 and is vying for one of the final winning nine spots to go through to a hectic four-city round-Europe session of mentoring and workshops. After a tense couple of days rehearsing speeches, interspersed with lunch and a nice outdoor music-and-tapas session in the company of David Puttnam (director of Chariots of Fire amongst others), Isobel is more than relieved when Think With Things is indeed selected as one of the winners. There's no time in all this to actually see anything of Barcelona, but we do manage to escape the compound (a sort-of religious retreat-cum-hostel) for a few hours and retire to a local bar for a couple of beers.

next album: Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk - 17th July 2014
previous album: St. Peter and St. Paul's School Summer Fete, Eye, Suffolk - 12th July 2014

A highly-unusual view of passing aircraft is available from the huge overhead walkway at Gatwick Airport

A Thomson 737-800 trundles on to its gate at Gatwick

Isobel peers out over the apron

At Barcelona airport (the real one as we're not flying Ruinair), there are hundreds of parked luggage trolleys

Isobel roams around in our spartan accommodation block

Isobel makes things for the first OEC workshop

Each group's picture is presented

The team from Talkso do their speech

A French team presents a bizarre Barbie sacrifice

OEC signpost

Some paperwork

The lovely gardens of the Cordola Martí commune

Weird almost-black flowers

It's time for lunch

The chilled Tempranillo wine flows

Isobel wanders off, chatting to former Helsinki acquaintance Teemu

Stone gargoyle

A tiled bench and mosaic

Funky matchbook sculpture just down the road from the Residencia Cordola Martí

Isobel roams the streets of suburban Barcelona

Truck-side graffiti

Some anarchist graffiti

An old Mark 2 Astra (Belmont)

We escape the confines of the compound for a couple of hours and eat Padrón chillis

Crusty 'Fanta' café sign

An actual cigarette vending machine is filled up

Back in the workshops, it's day two

Day two's lunch occurs

OEC canteen

1970s corridors

Yesterday's pictures are examined once more

A view of the gardens from the meeting room

The Greek team show off their 'cube robots'

The Lego robot can be programmed by assembling the cubes in various ways

Bright purple flowers

Pre dinner mingling

Isobel talks to a potential investor

Isobel and another participant in the Challenge walk to dinner

Our picture again

David Puttnam, legendary 1980s film producer and education maverick joins us for tapas

Apples float in a fountain

Tasty fish-on-a-stick tapas

A funky jazz band do Nosher's request of 'Lullaby in Birdland'

Isobel with some OEC panel members and participants

Some of the other teams

Photos on phones are shared

Isobel does more schmoozing. On the right is Xavier Prats Monné, Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture at the European Commission.

Some stunning mini cakes arrive

Elsewhere, Luna reads to herself

The OEC participants listen to speeches from the judges

David Puttnam awaits his turn

Lord Puttnam gives a lively speech about educational matters

Teemu Leinonen gives his speech

Double Bass action

Isobel poses for a photo

By the light of a mobile phone

Late night by the fountain

The next morning, the terrapins are out in force

The 1960s/70s 'cubist' style of the accomodation block

The nearby church attached to the 'monastery'

Industrial staircase

Nosher and Isobel construct hand-made business 'cards'

Isobel brushes up her pitch

Luna makes up a game out of Isobel's 'things' collection

The OEC challengers assemble for a group photo

The group photo breaks up

People nervously mill around prior to the results announcement

Nosher and Isobel

Isobel waits on the fountain

It's back to the meeting room for the results

Luna has been particularly creative with some fridge magnets

The voting panel

The judges break up after delivering their verdict

A map of the participants

The end-result of Luna's game

Cubist architecture

Mundane wooden doors

More corridors from the 1960s or 70s

Isobel waits at reception to check out

Near the airport, it's the Estralla Damm brewery

A Sleazyjet 737-800 on its own on the tarmac

737 boarding

Cool Olympic-torch-alike control tower at Barceolna Airport

A massive Emirates Airbus A380 at Gatwick

The giant inter-terminal walkway at Gatwick

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A highly-unusual view of passing aircraft is available from the huge overhead walkway at Gatwick Airport