2 September, Spain – ‘All Over The Place – Europe’

If you get invited to a Nativity performance in the Catalan region of Spain then you may want to consider giving it a miss. You might encounter “The Caganer” – polite translation “The Pooer”. In a tradition stretching way back, a nativity scene will always have a figure placed in the corner doing a poo. It symbolises fertility.

Bringing the Caganer into the 21st century is, a family business that as well as making Caganers in historical Catalan dress have also begun to produce ones that resemble famous people. Every Christmas people in the region look forward to see who is on the production line this year, and when we arrived at their warehouse we were suitably impressed by the range of 15cm tall models of celebrities with their trousers dropped and a big coiled poo placed behind them. Lady Gaga, Einstein, Alex Salmond, Sherlock Holmes… the list goes on and on. The British Royal Family is particularly popular, with The Queen doing a roaring trade if the trays of unpainted figurines waiting to be placed into the kiln were anything to go by.

We were predictably over the moon with the whole thing, as ‘All Over The Place’ likes to think of itself as ‘Blue Peter’s naughty younger brother, and the whole crew were very grateful when the bosses Mark and Sergi let us take our very own Caganers home with us, especially Iain and I, as they’d actually made us caricatures of ourselves! What an honour.

Spent the rest of the day in the air travel limbo we’ve become so used to making this show, travelling from Barcelona to Amsterdam. Better get my clogs on.

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