The baldie is fled, long live the baldie!

The business (basically a CRM database) passed into better hands in 2012. These materials remain here for cannibalisation and amusement.

The baldie meanwhile has found pastures new: as a singing organ-grinder for your event in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands or Spain! Town and country walking and study tours in Barcelona and the Western Med
  • Cruise & weekend favourites
    • in 4 hours without feeling like a stupid tourist.
  • Theme browser
  • Fiesta finder
  • Why FollowTheBaldie?
    • Language All our guides are native English speakers and speak the local language fluently.
    • Knowledge Our local and subject knowledge is profound and up-to-date.
    • Interactivity See someone interesting? We'll interpret. Tired/full of energy? We can adapt the programme.
    • Individuality We don't do herd tourism. No silly flags. No headsets.
    • Responsibility Unlike most "green" tour businesses, we only use public transport--cheaper and generally more interesting.

About us

A few years ago Mr Baldie the Baldie found himself in Barcelona with an ever-extending gut and some redundancy money from a City bank. He started going hill walking to mitigate the former and in the process started to wonder what he was going to do when the latter ran out.

Friends started coming out walking, one of them suggested putting up a website, and so was born, which has turned out to be an exceptionally pleasant way of getting poor slowly.

We have since grown to a network of geezers and geezeresses with varying degrees of hair cover, and operate along the Spanish coast, with outposts in France and Italy. The indefatigable Mr Emperor Wu provides us with administrative assistance and scolds us every now and again. We make most of our money doing city tours for cruise operators, but we enjoy the country walks immensely, any marginal liver damage being more than offset by coronary-pulmonary gains made running to catch the last train home.

Acknowledgements is also of course a tangential tribute to the 16th century monk Theophilus Folengo's magnificent Liber macaronices, which provided a handy precedent for Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel (I'm a fan of translator Motteux and I like his English version), and which is an account in Latin as might half conceivably have been spoken by a deranged Eastern Lombard of

the adventures of Baldo, son of Guy de Montauban, the very lively history of his youth, his trial, imprisonment and deliverance, his journey in search of his father, during which he visits the Planets and Hell. The narration is constantly interrupted by incidental adventures. Occasionally they are what would be called to-day very naturalistic, and sometimes they are madly extravagant.

But Fracasso, Baldo’s friend, is a giant; another friend, Cingar, who delivers him, is Panurge exactly, and quite as much given to practical joking. The women in the senile amour of the old Tognazzo, the judges, and the poor sergeants, are no more gently dealt with by Folengo than by the monk of the Iles d’Hyeres. If Dindenaut’s name does not occur, there are the sheep. The tempest is there, and the invocation to all the saints. Rabelais improves all he borrows, but it is from Folengo he starts. He does not reproduce the words, but, like the Italian, he revels in drinking scenes, junkettings, gormandizing, battles, scuffles, wounds and corpses, magic, witches, speeches, repeated enumerations, lengthiness, and a solemnly minute precision of impossible dates and numbers. The atmosphere, the tone, the methods are the same, and to know Rabelais well, you must know Folengo well too.

Ann Mullaney's new translation of Baldo comes in two volumes, which you can purchase via this link at no extra cost to yourselves:

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The concept will be familiar to those of you who have read Umberto Eco's medieval marvel, Baudolino, which is apparently going to be filmed, and I can't wait:

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