Water Mines on La Palma

January 19, 2018

Although La Palma has more water than the other Canary Islands, many farmers used to be desperately poor and frequently hungry. The only water for irrigation was rainwater, and obviously they had no control over how much they got. Then somebody suggested digging into the hillside to find water. (If anybody knows who, please tell me.) The idea is that much of the rainwater seeps into the ground, and runs…

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The Three Kings on La Palma

January 4, 2018

Gaspar visiting Santa Cruz de la Palma Although Father Christmas does visit Spanish children, he’s a new arrival. Traditionally the presents arrive on the morning of January 6th, when the three kings visit baby Jesus. This is why the sales haven’t really started yet – Christmas isn’t over here. And on the evening of the 5th, they ride in procession through most of the major towns and villages in Spain….

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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…

December 28, 2017
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Christmas trees

The Christmas tree in the silk museum in El Paso, La Palma
December 16, 2017

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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Canary Bell Flower

December 10, 2017

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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The Seer’s Stone

December 6, 2017

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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