Easter under Franco

My husband was telling me what Easter was like under Franco’s dictatorship. Catholicism was pretty much compulsory. From Good Friday to Easter Sunday, the one TV channel showed the test card and played solemn classical music. The one radio channel also played solemn classical music. It wasn’t acceptable to play pop music, either live or on cassette. You couldn’t even sing or whistle. Acting happy was a sin. He was…

April 19, 2019
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Archaeology at the Roque de los Muchachos

A spiral rock carving, Roque de los Muchachos, Garafia, La Palma
April 16, 2019

For centuries, goatherds have brought their flocks to the Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the island of La Palma. As the lower pastures dried out in summer, they moved to fresh pastures on higher ground. These days, farmers can drive home for the night, but of course that wasn’t the case 50 years ago, much less 500 years ago. They came up some time in June, and…

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Apagon 2019

April 12, 2019

Every year La Pala celebrates the anniversary of the Starlight declaration with a big star party. Each municipality has a place where the lights will be turned off, and most of them will have starlight guides, telescopes and live music. I will be at Todoque cave in Los Llanos with my 5″ telescope, some new Starlight guides, and DJ Cesar Rodriguez. I hear rumours that there will be wine and…

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The Seer’s Stone

April 10, 2019

Twelve adventures for children under La Palma’s amazing starry sky. by Sheila Crosby (Children’s fiction, paperback, 148 pages, A5) Take a journey through La Palma’s turbulent past, into its present and out into the exciting future. Chedey will tell you how his world collapsed when the Spanish conquered the Island in 1493, Althay will explain what happened when the volcano erupted, Daida shares her visit from an extraterrestrial and Leyre…

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Ferrets on La Palma

April 6, 2019

Ferrets are a common pet here. They’re mostly used for hunting wild rabbits, which are plentiful. The trouble is that occasionally they escape. Since there are plenty of wild rabbits, they do rather well, so we also have a population of wild ferrets. In fact, in 2010 scientists found that La Palma was the island with the highest number of wild ferrets in the Canaries. The scientists say that, “the…

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