An unusual Nativity

The nativity scene in Las Nieves church on Christmas Eve with a kitten in place of baby Jesus
December 27, 2016

Most churches on La Palma have nativity scenes. The custom here is to put baby Jesus in at midnight on Christmas Eve, during midnight mass. (I think this is a general Catholic custom). On Christmas Eve I was guiding an excursion from a cruise ship which included the lovely church at Las Nieves. And there was a kitten keeping the spot warm for Jesus. If I remember rightly, nativity scenes…


German oral exam

My exam was this afternoon, and on the way into town I saw thislovely rainbow. I think I passed the exam. The others are in January

December 20, 2016

Selfie time!

Me having a hard time in Tazacorte, La Palma
December 1, 2016

I have a new smartphone. This one really is smart, where the previous one was pretty dumb. For one thing it has a much, much better camera. For another, it also has a front camera, so I can take selfies. Note to self, don’t frown with concentration when taking a selfie. It’s not a good look. Also, try to avoid taking it from below. I think a selfie stick would…


German word order

I’m finding German classes rather hard going. There’s so much grammar! I find it really hard to remember all the bits when I’m putting a sentence together. One of the things I find hardest is the word order. In German the verb is always the second element of the sentence: I work as a tour guide. Tomorrow work I as a tour guide. If it’s a phrasal verb (a verb…

November 25, 2016

Less flu

The worst bit about the flu was the cough, particularly at night. It wasn’t just that it kept me awake. About twice a night my diaphragm went into a complete panic, desperately trying to expel something from my lungs like a Britain First supporter faced with a perfectly nice neighbour who didn’t happen to be white. Every time it happened, I’d cough so long and hard that I’d lose peripheral…

November 4, 2016


Most people would say I’ve got the flu, but it feels as though the flu’s got me. I had two groups at the observatory on Tuesday. I woke up feeling pretty rough, but there was no chance of finding another guide in time, and little chance of telling people it was cancelled before they drove up, so I went. As usual, I got a burst of energy once I had…

November 2, 2016