Monday, July 28, 2014


I'm finally getting on with the final touches to the Spanish version of my children's anthology of stories about La Palma's amzing sky and history. It's as though I've learned to stop being a procrastinator.

Does that make me an anti-crastinator?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Word Crimes

 There's lots I love about this video. But.

Look, I get irritated by careless writing and wilful ignorance. Most writers do. Readers aren't telepathic. If you want to communicate, don't expect your readers to puzzle their way around your bad English; make the effort to write clearly. Especially if you expect lots of readers. Which is more reasonable: one writer making an effort, or 200 readers?

Still and all, I feel that it's careless to lump in people with cerebral palsy, dyslexia or Down's syndrome (a common cause of mouth-breathing) with people who refuse to learn and still expect everyone to listen.

Which doesn't stop me loving Weird Al's big dic-tionary.

Monday, July 21, 2014

"The Spontaneous Guide" UPDATED

One thing I never mentioned about visiting the hot spring: there were three Brits there who don't speak much Spanish. So I wound up translating for them. It was only afterwards that I found that one of them, Steve Simpson, was an artist invited by the Tourist Board to visit and illustrate La Palma as part of #onthedraw. Even then, I wasn't expecting to see myself on Facebook.

I love it! Everybody I know is rolling up - cuddly, bird's nest of red hair, open mouth, waving arms - it's bang on. And one friend was kind enough to say that she likes the rapt attention of my audience. Oh, and that's Steve with the beard.

UPDATE: The drawing is not by Steve Simpson, it's by his host on the island Victor Jaubert.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Paddling in a Hot Spring.

Yay! I finally got to paddle in a hot spring.

It was probably in 1991 when my Spanish got good enough to realise that Fuencaliente means "hot spring". I got quite excited, because I'd always fancied seeing a hot spring, and maybe even a paddle in one.

So I asked around. And I found that there used to be a hot spring, and a whole spa industry around it - and it got buried by the eruption in 1677. So that was that then.

But the island council finally found the spring in 2005, by sinking boreholes down to sea-level in the approximate location, and then working towards the heat source. Of course nobody could do much with a little borehole.

But the human-sized tunnel is open at last, and I finally got to go. And I paddled in one of the pools - well, dipped my toes in anyway.

So that's me happy for today.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Gay shoes

A Russian orthodox priest, Alexander Shumsky, says that the World Cup is a "homosexual abomination” because the players wear gay shoes.
He said: “Wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women’s panties or a bra.
“The liberal ideology of globalism clearly wants to oppose Christianity with football. I’m sure of it.
“Therefore I am glad that the Russian players have failed and, by the grace of God, no longer participate in this homosexual abomination.”
Obviously this is not sour grapes because the Russian team are out. (They didn't win a single match.) Of course not.

Cue Monty Python:
I chop down trees, I eat my lunch,
I like to press wild flowers,
I put on women’s clothing,
And hang around in bars churches

Presumably, this is what Father Shumsky considers normal dress. Certainly women aren't allowed to wear it.

At this point I started worrying about my own shoes. You see, it's awfully hard to find size 43 women's trainers on La Palma, so all my trainers are men's trainers. Worn by a woman. Does this mean that they're transsexual?

I asked them if they wanted to visit the doctor, but they just stuck their tongues out at me.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Ridiculously pleased

This is from the local pizzeria. (A very good pizzeria, I might add, Il Tonello.) The sign says:
The Lemon Game
Put a coin on top of the lemon without touching it. If it stays on top for 10 seconds, you take all the coins.
As soon as the coin touches the lemon, you have to let it go.
Good luck!
And I did it, first try! It was only about 4.50€ but I was ridiculously pleased about it.
And then I had another 5 goes, and failed every time.