• The Seer’s Stone
  • The Dodo Dragon and other stories
  • About Sheila Crosby
  • A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

Holy Innocents on La Palma

The 28th of December is Holy Innocents’ Day, which commemorates the massacre of the innocents by Herod in Matthew’s gospel (although according to Wikipedia, it’s probably not a historical event). In Spain and Spanish-speaking countries, it’s the Spanish equivalent of April Fool’s Day. For example, one year I told my husband that the police had been around asking whether he’d been jogging in the nude. Now my husband does go…

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The nativity scene at Las Nieves church, La Palma island, with a kitten sleeping in the manger

Merry Christmas

In Spain, it’s traditional to wait until midnight on Christmas Eve before you put baby Jesus into the crib. Until then the manger is empty because he hasn’t been born yet. Last year in Las Nieves church, a kitten sneaked in, tested out the manger and obviously found it very comfortable. Whether you celebrate Christmas or something else, I hope you have a wonderful time with whoever you most like…

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Lotteries

Lotteries are big business in Spain. And I’m happy to say that people do win – in 2012, 70 people in Breña Alta shared 7 million euros. Good luck to them. The two big lotteries over Christmas are particularly popular, “El Gordo” (the fat one) on December 22nd and “EL Niño” (the child) on January 6th have extra large prizes, but your extra unlikely to win because they sell so…

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The Christmas tree in the silk museum in El Paso, La Palma

Christmas trees

When I arrived on La Palma in 1990, Christmas trees were a new, foreign idea, so they were expensive. Most people had nativity scenes instead, and they still do. Since then, Christmas trees have become much commoner, and cheaper. Since trees were expensive quite recently, I still see creative alternatives. The one above belongs to a friend, and it’s about 8 inches high. The one below is made from an…

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Reviews on Amazon for ‘A Breathtaking Window on the Universe’

“A Breathtaking Window on the Universe: A guide to the observatory at the Roque de los Muchachos SECOND EDITION” By Sheila M. Crosby (Non-Fiction Paperback) 164 pages Welcome to the Roque de Los Muchachos, where 17 telescopes from 19 nations use the best night sky in Europe to explore the cosmos. Find out what it’s like to work in this strange world above the clouds. Learn about each telescope, how they’re…

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Canary Bell Flower

This is the Canary bellflower, Canarina canariensis, which has no close living relatives. It scrambles over things, like bindweed, with a stem up to 3 m long, and produces these lovely flowers in December. All the examples I’ve found so far this year are in Los Tilos, on the road up to the visitor centre.

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