The Dust Storm

February 25, 2020

The Canaries just had a dust storm. It’s not unusual to have dust from the Sahara; it happens whenever we get a southwest wind. But in 30 years of living here I’ve never seen anything like this. One reason the Canary Islands have world class observatories is that the air is usually clean. From our balcony we can see Tenerife more often than not, and that’s about 100 miles away….


Carnival in Santa Cruz: upcoming

February 21, 2020

Friday afternoon and evening is the wig festival. It starts at 2:30 pm and will probably go on until the early hours. Saturday at 6:30 pm is the Ambasadors’ Parade. Anyone can be an ambasador – just wear the appropriate costume. Monday is the big one, Los Indianos. Wear wite if you can. There will be lots of special buses so there’s no need to drink and drive. Also it’s…


The Seer’s Stone

February 14, 2020

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…


Heather Trees on La Palma

February 11, 2020

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…


The Caldera

February 4, 2020

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…


Peace Day

eace Day doves at an infant school, Breña Baja
January 31, 2020

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….