Las Toscas viewpoint, Mazo

La Palma has lots of lovely viewpoints, and I just discovered a new one, at Montaña de las Toscas above Mazo. It has wonderful views up to the central ridge, and down towards Santa Cruz and the airport. If you think you can see a long way during the day, come back at night! This is one of the island’s astronomical viewpoints, so there are information panels explaining the night…

February 29, 2012

Installing software

I’ve finally installed the shopping cart software at Dragon Tree Publishing. Installed it but not loaded any products, much less tested anything. Still, it’s a major step forward, even if I did have to add a warning to several pages: “You can’t buy anything yet. We’re still testing software.” And then a friend asked me who I meant by “we”, seeing as DTP is a one-woman operation. I said, “You…

February 28, 2012

The Sardine’s Funeral in Santa Cruz de La Palma

Santa Cruz de La Palma’s funeral for the sardine is a comparatively quiet affair (note “comparatively” – I think more people went to the costume dance on Saturday). It was still fun. The procession started with two of the sardine’s widows (posh-looking transvestites) followed by the Batuka (serious percussion) and jugglers, a fire eaters and a man on stilts. Next came the sardine itself, hand-carried by about ten men in…

February 26, 2012

The Sardine

Most places in Spain end Carnival with a funeral for a sardine. It’s like being inside a Monty Python sketch, with the crowd dressed in black (some tarty, some elegant) and screeching with fake grief. “WAUUUGH! She’s dead!” The whole thing’s deliciously bonkers. This bizarre finale to Carnival was traditionally held on Ash Wednesday, but most places on La Palma hold it at the weekend, so people don’t have to…

February 24, 2012

Win a book and a critique

No, it’s not me giving them away, but there’s a sompetition at Debz Hobbs-Wyatt wants you to write the opening of a story or novel (unpublished!) in exactly 100 words, and the prize will go to the best hook.

February 22, 2012


February 21, 2012

I gave my sister-in-law a lift to hospital outpatients on Monday morning, where this man was waiting to see the same doctor.  He said that he’d had his appointment changed, and this was the only way he could fit in outpatients and carnival, and he wasn’t going to miss either. I was home by about noon, so I took my son and went to see Los Indianos (pictures at ).  The…