Poco a poco, paso por paso …. Little by little, step by step. Each Christmas and New Year in a new country represents another step forward in learning about and understanding my new environment. The first Christmas day here, I went to a lovely English-run bar for turkey and all the English trimmings. The second, I stayed with an English friend in a Spanish hotel, and we had a traditional Spanish Christmas Eve dinner AND a traditional English Christmas Day lunch! Followed by a German-style enormous buffet meal that evening! This year, Christmas number three, was a strange mixture of Spanish, Argentinian and English traditions at home. Continue reading
What role does art play in the world? Is it just a middle-class indulgence? Or is it something more fundamental that feeds the soul in just as important a way as food for the stomach? Continue reading
There’s never enough time in December. It’s as though the whole month is given over to preparing for Christmas, cooking for Christmas, shopping for Christmas, pre-Christmas gatherings, visiting Christmas lights, visiting Christmas nativity scenes, and generally focussing around Christmas. Continue reading
Mostly, the whole experience of doing exams is almost forty years behind me. And the Spanish GCSE, taken in 2011 at Poole Adult Education Centre, was a walk in the park. But this DELE Spanish exam is no joke. It’s the internationally accepted standard, so they have to be rigorous. I wrote last week about the oral exam in “Testing Times”. Two days later we all returned to Málaca Institute for the main ordeal, three more exams – reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing. Continue reading
No blog this week as I am sunning it in Nerja over Christmas with my good friend Nikki.
I have been touched and amazed to see the readership grow throughout 2013, both here on the blog’s home site at WordPress, on the Eye on Spain blog site, and through the new Writers in Spain website. I am immensely grateful to everyone who has read any of the blog since it began in July 2012. I’m especially grateful to those who have taken the trouble to comment – your encouragement and suggestions mean a lot. Continue reading
Oh yes! It’s that time of year again. And Spain does Christmas so well. The lights are up, and in every corner a little nativity scene is built.
Oh no! It’s that time of year again. And Spain does fiestas so well. The chorizo is sliced and the mosto decanted, and Colmenar prepares for its Fiesta de Mosto y Chacina – officially a Ruta de Tapas, unofficially the bar-crawl round every bar in the village. Continue reading
I didn’t mean to end up as a camarera (waitress) when I headed off to Granada, but that’s how my day ended. Continue reading
It all seems a bit one-sided so far. I keep getting presents from the Spanish Government, and I barely seem to have contributed anything to them yet. My latest gift from them was €2.000 off my new car. Continue reading
Traditions from home and abroad mingled this year, and new traditions began as old ones were put away. The warm sun made this a very different Christmas from those of previous years, plus a new village, new neighbours, and the first Christmas in 54 years without Mum. Continue reading
Christmas plays well in Dorset market towns, especially Shaftesbury. The stone parish church and the charming town hall sit comfortably at the centre of lights and celebrations during late-night shopping. Santa, elves, the Shaftesbury Town Silver Band, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and the community choir carolling in the crisp winter evening. It’s Christmas in Dorset and all’s right with the world. Continue reading