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  • The Seer’s Stone
  • The Dodo Dragon and other stories
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The Carnival bus from the local school, Breña Baja, La Palma

Carnival’s coming

Like the rest of Spain, La Palma celebrates Carnival in the week before the season of Lent. I always say people are making sure they have something really juicey to repent, but these days most people just regard it as a darn good excuse for a party. It wasn’t always that way. Franco banned Carnival. It’s always been a time when people could say and do things they wouldn’t normally…

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The Seer’s Stone

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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Heather Trees on La Palma

All the heather trees are in bloom along the road to the Roque de los Muchachos. Yes, heather trees. Canarian heather (Erica arborea) is close relatives of English and Scottish heather, but it’s a tree, growing anything up to 5 m tall. The tiny leaves are very like English heather, and the flowers are much the same shape, but always white. The wood’s very dense and hard, so it’s good…

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Persimmon tree in Las Nieves, Santa Cruz., La Palma

Persimmons

The persimmons are ripe. On La Palma, persimmons are called Kaki or Sharon, and I believe the tree comes from Asia originally. They’re much nicer when really ripe. The catch is that by the time they’re ready for eating, they’ve gone squishy, so they don’t travel well. Personally, I love them with Greek yoghurt.

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The Caldera

The heart of the island is the Caldera de Taburiente. Caldera is a technical geological term for the crater at the top of a volcano. In fact the term comes from La Palma: all the volcanic calderas in the world were named after ours. So it’s really a pity that, since then, the scientists have found out that the Caldera de Taburiete isn’t a caldera. It was actually formed by…

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eace Day doves at an infant school, Breña Baja

Peace Day

Spain stayed out of both world wars, so they don’t celebrate Remembrance Day in November. They have Peace Day instead, which schools usually celebrate on January 30th. In Primary school they wear something white, or mostly white (if the children remembered to tell Mummy), and usually they go into the village centre and sing a song. At high school, the teachers try to work a peace theme into the lesson….

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