Manolo Blahnik

Whitney Port wearing Manolo Blahnik's 2009 design 'Tribeca'. Photo: David Shankbone
October 19, 2017

Manolo Blahnik’s Czech father met his mother on a stopover in Santa Cruz de la Palma. He continued his journey, but promised to come back. The unusual bit is that he did indeed come back and marry her, and they set up home just south of Santa Cruz on a banana plantation. “Our property had no neighbours apart from my grandfather’s house. It was just bananas, the sea and us……

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A Walk in Las Brenas

October 14, 2017

I went exploring a network of local footpaths above Breña Baja’s cemetery with a friend. We both took cameras and wound up concentrating on close ups.

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Camp Sites on La Palma

If you want to get really close to nature and have really cheap accommodation, you can’t do better than one of the camping sites on the island. They’re open all year round, but be aware that it can be cold in winter, and it’s quite likely to rain. You have to pay before you put the tent up, but you don’t have to book in advance except for the Caldera….

October 11, 2017
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General Franco

I’ve been doing a little research into the Franco years, as background for a possible novel. It was worse than I expected. I knew divorce was forbidden under Franco, and that a woman who ran away from a violent husband would be brought back by the police, who, like as not, would tell the husband to give her a good hiding to teach her not to run off again. I…

October 8, 2017
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Ravens on La Palma

October 4, 2017

Common Ravens live all over Europe, Asia and North America, but we have a different sub-species here. Some biologists group our raven in with the North African sub-species (Corvus corax tingitanus) and others think the Canaries have their own sub-species (Corvus corax canariensis). Like other members of the rook-and-crow family, they’ll eat whatever’s available: carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, and food waste. And they’re pretty intelligent about…

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Rural Houses

There’s an alternative kind of accommodation aside from the obvious hotels and pensions on La Palma, and that’s casas rurales – country houses. As the name suggests, these are houses for rent in the countryside. It’s self-catering accommodation, which is, of course, very flexible, and tends to suit walkers. The local government has a registration scheme, and they have a reputation for being demanding, which is good news for tourists….

September 30, 2017
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