Name and profile photo
Common questions about my name
-How do you pronounce Carles?
-Similar to Car-less. Like when I didn't have a car.
-Why do you have two surnames?
-It's standard in many countries: the first one is my father's first surname, the second one is my mother's first surname. See Wikipedia for more information.
-Why do you have an "i" between your surnames Pina i Estany?
-Some people in Catalonia informally separate the first and second surnames with "i" which means "and". It's not in any official documentation but I got used to it when I was a child and I carried on doing it. In retrospect hyphenating would have been easier! (for example Xavier Sala-i-Martin).
Who is the character in my profile photo?
It is a "Tió de Nadal" (Christmas Log). Wikipedia has an interesting article. The tradition is that on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day children beat the Log singing a specific traditional song and the log deposits presents. Instead of Santa Claus, many houses use the Tió de Nadal (or both!).
The Tió de Nadal is traditional and very popular in Catalonia, Aragón (Spain), Occitania (France) and Andorra. Spanish Wikipedia says that also in Galicia.
It often wears a Catalan folkloric red hat (called a barretina) but when we prepared our Tió de Nadal in England we didn't have one handy, so the profile photo wears a red blanket instead.