Canary pine trees looking atmospheric in the mist , La Palma , Canary Islands
January 5, 2016

Today I had two groups at the observatory, which meant that I had to get up at 6:30 am (ugh!) to leave home at 8 am. When I arrived at the top of the mountain at 9:10 am, it was 6 ºC and mizzling. As I said to the tourists, “Welcome to the Canary Islands, land of eternal spring.” Of course it’s January, and the observatory is at 2,400 m,…


Overtaking the Headless Chickens

I’m still overtaking the headless chickens. I had guiding work yesterday and today, more tomorrow. Then party tomorrow afternoon, and that leaves me Christmas Eve to sort out far too much before the Spanish family party. Then we have guests for turkey on the 25th. Boxing Day will be devoted to doing absolutely nothing. I’ve had a couple of memorable experiences lately. On Friday I was tour guiding at the…

December 22, 2015

Desperately Seeking Sheila

RAvens enjoying cat biscuits at the Roque de Los Muchachos. Photo credit: Sheila Crosby
December 18, 2015

We had a good one today. I was tour guiding at the Roque, and for some reason the mobile phone tower wasn’t working, which was a pity because two of my group were driving round and round the observatory trying to find me. They managed to call Ana Garcia, who was trying to work out where the heck they were from their verbal descriptions. Eventually they described the impassible barrier…


My terrible hard life

A cup of coffee and the view at El Time viewpoint
December 13, 2015

Almost as soon as I got back from the Story Tellers’ conference, I plunged into a storm of tour guiding. El Time, La Zarza and the Roque one day, a walking tour of Santa Cruz at the weekend, down the south for volcanoes and wine and up north to the laurel forest and rum factory. In the process, I was paid to eat salad, cheese, sponge cake, bananas, and chocolate…


Art at Hacienda de Abajo

A small statue in Hacienda de Abajo, Tazacorte, with lots of happy kids
October 28, 2015

This blog hasn’t had many photos lately, so here’s a few taken of the artwork in Hacienda de Abajo. I don’t know anything about the horse and the (presumably) Chinese statue, I just like them. There’s a tale attached to the saint with a big sore on his leg and a dog, but I was at the back of the group so I missed the saint’s name. Anybody know?


The first winter storm

Rainbow over the Concepción headland, La Palma, Canary Islands
October 16, 2015

Even La Palma we have bad weather sometimes. Usually it’s in winter when a big depression rolls in from the Atlantic, bringing wind and rain for a day or two. I’m philosophical about it: you can’t have the rainbbows and lush forests I love so much without rain sometimes. But it is a pity for holiday makers, especially when they come here to escape the cold. Yesterday La Palma had…