Curator #89: Adelina Comas-Herrera

Andreas 264

My name is Adelina Comas-Herrera and I am delighted to be the 89th curator of @catalanvoices. I am an economist and I work on trying to make sure that people with dementia have the best quality care that society can afford. I also run, with two friends, a company (http://catalanfoodandwine.co.uk/) that imports great Catalan food and wine to the UK. And I am the mother of two wonderful and inquisitive anglo-catalan children.

I have worked at the London School of Economics for many years, since I got a Marie-Curie grant for early career researchers after doing an MSc. in Economics at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Since then I have mostly been working on understanding the impact of ageing on future expenditure on long-term care, in the UK and other countries, and on how best to fund long-term care. One of the main causes of need for care is dementia and, as the numbers of people with dementia grows all over the world, we know we will need to spend more on their care. It is, therefore, extremely important that we spend well and that we put our resources in achieving the best quality of care we can afford. So I am thrilled to be working on MODEM (www.modem-dementia.org.uk), a large project, involving some of the top academics in dementia in the UK, that will simulate what would happen if effective and efficient care for people with dementia and support for their carers, was widely available in England by 2040. Many other countries are interested in this work and I am doing a fair bit of traveling as a result.

I am one of those people who do not have a clear idea of where they come from. It is somewhere in the North-Eastern bit of Catalonia, my family come from Roses and Pau, in the Alt Emporda, but I have never lived there. I spent the first 7 years of my life in Vallfogona del Ripolles, a wonderful village in the Catalan Pyrennees, then moved to Girona, and at 18 went to Barcelona to study. From there I moved to London and, when I felt I could live with less excitement, moved to Canterbury, from where I commute to London or wherever in the world I have to go to.

Perhaps one of the main ways I have kept my sense of identity has been food and wine. I found, quite early on, that having access to good Catalan food and wine, and being able to share it, was really helpful in dealing with homesickness. So I started a hobby-business, importing and selling on the weekends at a wonderful indoor farmer’s market in Canterbury. After a “maternity leave” period, with two good foodie/wine loving friends, earlier in 2014 we started the Catalan Food and Wine Company, which has an online shop (http://catalanfoodandwine.co.uk/) that delivers Catalan food and wine all over the UK. We also do wholesale, so far to a couple of wonderful delis and wine shops. This is very much a labour of love, it gives me a huge sense of pride to help people in the UK discover the Catalan food and wine culture and even the landscapes associated with it.

So, this week at @catalanvoices, expect lots of tweets about dementia, Catalan food and wine, the Catalan peaceful fight for independence, maybe a bit on how English food is much better than the world seems to recognise, and bits and pieces that seem worth sharing.

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