Christmas displays

Christmas trees are a newish thing here, although probably most houses have one now. The main traditional decoration is nativity scenes. Some just show the stable, but some public ones are so elaborate that they include the whole village, and it’s always a Canarian village. Obviously that’s historically inaccurate, but no more so than all the English nativity scenes where Mary and Jesus are blond. The best one on the…

December 18, 2012

A Night of Stars

Tonight is the big shopping night in Santa Cruz de La Palma. Shops will have special offers and stay open late, and there’s all sorts of activities on offer. The town hall have organized a special temporary car park on the sea front. (Traffic will circulate through the car park only from south to north. Presumably to go north to south you have to go along the bypass.) Nova Foto…

December 15, 2012


Lotteries are big business in Spain. And I’m happy to say that people do win – this week 70 people in Breña Alta shared 7 million €. 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…

December 12, 2012

A Wonderful Problem!

My books arrived less than two weeks ago, and I’m already running out of copies. The local tourist board bought a lot, bless them, and I’ve sold more in person and over the internet.  I’ve given some away as publicity, and some as presents, and three to the central library in S/C de Tenerife (which I had to do by law). I have 37 copies out on sale or return…

December 11, 2012

Goodbye Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore presented the BBC programme “Sky at Night” for 55 years, and died yesterday. He got a huge number of people interested in astronomy. I met Patrick when I was hugely pregnant. He was out on La Palma, filming for the upcoming 40th anniversary episode. In spite of being in his 70s with a stinking cold, he gave a great talk for observatory families. He’ll be missed. Sir…

December 10, 2012

Constitution Day in Spain.

It’s Constitution Day in Spain. On this day in 1978: The Spanish Nation, wishing to establish justice, liberty and security, and to promote the welfare of all who make part of it, in use of her sovereignty, proclaims its will to: Guarantee democratic life within the Constitution and the laws according to a just economic and social order. Consolidate a State ensuring the rule of law as an expression of…

December 6, 2012