25 diciembre 2005

Mezquita, Córdoba

Go see it for yourself - it's amazing!!

Forgive the over-zealous Christians for the mess they made of the middle of this extra-ordinary building.

Good quality, inexpensive place to stay;


21 diciembre 2005

La canción de la semana #33

Not La Cucaracha as everybody knows it, but La Cucaracha as sung by Lila Downs. (Finally I've found the good quality audio thanks to this blog!) Check the lyrics for Victor Jara, Ché Guevara and la Junta de Naciones (United Nations).

Lila Downs

¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo!


19 diciembre 2005

Spanish Diary (Part 5)

December 17th, the day we were both due to fly back to the UK, came and went. Pam is now in March but I…am still in Spain! Guess what? the builders have not finished. I'm now coming back on the 24th by the way.

It all started so well: at the beginning of November Rafael said that he would definitely be with us around mid-month…oops, make that the 30th!

Day one was great, 4 men all working like Trojans. Day two dawned bright and clear but unfortunately we had a 3-hour power cut. Day 3, it can't get any worse can it? Yep, we had a 6-hour power cut. Day 4, it rained and there was no mains water [mind you the fates hadn't noticed that we had 30 cubic meters of water in the pool so: "Nah nah ne hah nah!"] From then on things have gone much better, well could they have got much worse? The work really should be completed before Christmas…just…I hope…

Our next-door neighbour is, as we used to say, "a few pence short of a shilling". As he has no one else to talk to he just pops in, uninvited, and interrupts the builders with his ramblings. I know, I'll wait till he goes out, and then bolt the gates. Gottcha…Nope! The next thing I see is Antonio on his own roof, complete with broom, sweeping up - and interrupting the builders again! He may not be bright, but he is inventive.

We know a local singer who invited us to go to a dance where he was performing. I kid you not; it was just like the old village-hall dance of our youth…but entirely populated by wrinklies, all smooching and snogging to the slow numbers. It was a bit unnerving, talk about a blast from the past.

We've been here for about a year now, so what how is it all working out? The answer is: great. We really are having a wonderful time. The weather and the country are a bonus, but it is the people that make our stay here such a pleasure. They are so open and friendly, it's unbelievable. We have been made so welcome and their generosity of spirit is unbounded.

They will do anything to help…even if they do get a bit carried away at times. Josefina [a very sprightly 75-year-old] is very concerned that we have our car in the street during building work [a valid concern I have to say], so she offered to put our car in her barn…unfortunately it wasn't actually her barn, it was her sister's and her sister had rented it out and there wasn't really any space for my car anyway… Josefina has no children of her own so she has sort of adopted us. We have to go round and see her regularly or she gets a bit miffed. I went last night and she offered me a coffee. I thought the packet looked a bit odd so when she was out of the room I checked the use by date – 2000. "This coffee is great", I said. "Do you want another?" she asked. "Not just now thank you."

Their generosity extends to the bars as well. We happened to meet four local couples in the street and went to the bar with them. We had 4 drinks but it was literally impossible to pay for a round, even when I pressed money on the waiter it was still not accepted. Today, I went to the Women's Association Christmas meal, even though Pam had gone home. The husbands have to pay, but as Pam wasn't there they said I was having her meal so…I still couldn't pay. Contrast that with the only English couple we have met in the village. [Pam's idea not mine I assure you…] We went to the bar as arranged; they came late, sat down and waited for us to order them a drink [twice] and then looked the other way as I went up to pay. That's them off my Christmas card list…

The main reason that we have been so well accepted, of course, is Pam. She is more Andaluz than the locals; they all love her to bits. The other reason is that we both speak Spanish. None of the other English families here even try. So guess what, we have integrated and they haven't, can't, or simply don't want to. I much prefer our approach to theirs, they are missing so much.

With a bit of luck, next year we will be able to sit back and enjoy the new pool and patio but, the way things have gone so far, I'm sure that one way or another there will still be plenty of material for future Dear Diaries.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.


16 diciembre 2005

La canción de la semana #32

There is quite a number of free music downloads at Amazon.com: you just have to log in as an Amazon.com customer. I'd say the choice of Spanish-language tracks (found in a dodgy Latin Music section) is rather disappointing. Still, I've got something tasty for this week's program: Marea por Los Pinguos, from the Live in Los Angeles album.


03 diciembre 2005

La canción de la semana #30

And now, for our 30th Song of the Week, something completely different: Bulerias by British-American '70s prog-rock outfit Carmen. Cool, eh?


26 noviembre 2005

La canción de la semana #29

Canción del Minero interpretada por Víctor Jara (1932—1973).
Voy, vengo, subo, bajo,
todo para qué
nada para mí.

Minero soy,
a la mina voy,
a la muerte voy,
minero soy.

19 noviembre 2005

Salif Keita en Barbican

El viernes pasado fui al Barbican a ver el concierto de Salif Keita 'la voz dorada del África'. ¡Fue estupendamente! Pulse aquí para escuchar (Madan de CD Moffou).

Salif Keita


Spanish Diary (Part 4)

As we had a spare weekend, there being no sign of any builders…again, we went to Cordoba. It’s a wonderful city to visit for a couple of days. Cordoba has the cathedral [Mesquite] with hundreds of supporting columns, almost as far as you can see. Beautiful. The city has a very rich history with lots of magnificent buildings to visit. Anyway, we booked into a 3* hotel for the night; lovely setting with the promise of dinner from 20:30 onwards. So we made ourselves ready and went down:

“Is the restaurant open?”

“Er…it opens at 20:30.”

“That’s OK then, it’s a quarter to nine.”

Yeeees, I’ll just check……. OK, please take a table.”

The waiter arrives: “There’s no salmon, no steak…oh, and there isn’t any cheese either.”

Pam then said as a joke: - “We’ll have some rabbit then.” The waiter looked a bit sheepish and more than a little confused and said “Actually I do have a rabbit in my car, I’ve just shot it.” He’s still trying to figure out how Pam knew. He then went away for about half an hour; we were getting a bit restive.

“…Er, we don’t actually have a chef either… We can do you a sandwich.”

You would have thought they’d have noticed they didn’t have a chef a bit sooner wouldn’t you. We found out later that they hadn’t actually had a chef for several days; apparently she left in a huff! Basil Fawlty, eat your heart out. We went out for dinner.

After me demonstrating my expertise by destroying the barbecue, Pam decided to get in on the act. She chose the microwave for her demonstration. She put a small piece of bread in to defrost. Not for her the defrost button for a few seconds, oh no, full power for 5 minutes! Then she went out into the street for a chat with the neighbours. You would not believe the amount of smoke one small piece of charred bread generates! The whole house stank for days and we had to totally spring-clean the kitchen!

The pool was finally finished today when they fitted the canvas winter cover. I mentioned before that Jesús, was working for us, today we had a demonstration of walking on water! The pool was full and the cover fitted in place: - to demonstrate that it was safe if you fell in, he walked across the cover just to prove it wouldn’t tear! A very impressive demonstration if I may say so.

Seven weeks ago we persuaded a local factory to make our reinforced concrete patio beams and pergolas really quickly, as Rafael said he would help take them off the lorry and start work immediately. ..They were ready 3 weeks ago – unfortunately the beams are still at the factory ‘cos Rafael is currently working in Granada and doesn’t have time to fetch them!! He rang us yesterday to say that we should place the order for the patio tiles…mind you he still won’t actually give us a date for when he is going to start work. We live in hope!
Rod - Retired

16 noviembre 2005

La canción de la semana #28

From Cuba, Aquellos ojos verdes, sung by the late Ibrahim Ferrer.

Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer
Aquellos ojos verdes
de mirada serena,
dejaron en mi alma
eterna sed de amar.
Anhelos y caricias,
de besos y ternuras.
De todas las dulzuras
que sabían brindar.

Aquellos ojos verdes
serenos como un lago
en cuyas quietas aguas
un día me miré,
no saben las tristezas
que a mi alma le dejaron
aquellos ojos verdes
que ya nunca olvidaré

13 noviembre 2005

La canción de la semana #27

Did I ask already if you want more tango? Here's one anyway, most appropriately titled Mas de lo Mismo ('More of the same'), performed by Tanghetto (from album Hybrid Tango).

Hydrid Tango


05 noviembre 2005

La canción de la semana #26

... es La negra Tomasa interpretada por Trío Matamoros.
estoy tan enamorao
de la negra Tomasa
que cuando se va de casa
qué triste me pongo

Ay! Ay! Ay!

esa negra linda
que me dio bilongo
esa negra linda
que me dio bilongo

na más que me gusta la comida
que ella cocina
na más que me gusta el café
que ella me cuela

quiquiribú mandinga
quiquiribú mandinga
La negra Tomasa by Trio Matamoros on Grooveshark

01 noviembre 2005

Ojalá que llueva café

I am not trying to compete with Kirill in posting wonderful songs. He does it better than anyone. This song by Juan Luis Guerra is a good exercise to practice the subjunctive. Listen to the song, with lovely pictures and explanations to understand the lyrics, and do the exercises.
Clic here.

Have fun.

21 octubre 2005

Lunch next Thursday

We are meeting next Thursday! Hope all of us can make it. Most of us should have received a mail about it. If not, shout and I will send the details.

20 octubre 2005

La canción de la semana #24

I wonder why there ain't no comments, let alone shouts "More!" Never mind. Before moving to something else, one more tango. This time it is Santa Maria (del buen ayre) from Gotan Project.


16 octubre 2005

La canción de la semana #23

Continuing with the tango. Here you can hear the First movement of Piazzolla's Tango Suite played by two Aussie guitarists, Slava and Leonard Grigorian.

Have good week,

09 octubre 2005

02 octubre 2005

Esto es el tango

I couldn't decide what to select as a song for this week, thanks to the This is the Tango program presented by Guadalupe Jolicoeur. 'This Is The Tango' was originally broadcast as a series of three CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio programs during the last three weekends of April, 1997, and is now available in MP3 as well as the RealAudio format. About three hours of music, plus the complete playlists (Listas de música). Disfruta el Tango!


27 septiembre 2005

The Oulaws [make that In-laws] Have Gone...Spanish diary (Part 3)

Phew! That’s better. A tranquil calm has settled over the household after mayhem with Pam’s family in residence. It all began a week ago; picture the scene, 05:45 Stansted Airport. “Where’s Nigel?” [He’s the gay brother-in-law.]
“Over there.” Indeed he was, resplendent in suit jacket and trousers. Unfortunately the trousers were part of a blue serge suit and the jacket was grey pin-stripe; the shirt was purple candy striped; the shoes black and highly polished. There he sat, cigarette in hand languidly quaffing his second pint of the day. Oh well…it can’t get any worse.
At least we were spared the spectacle of the custard-yellow shirt this time: “It’s Pierre Cardin you know. I got it at a bargain price.”
“Nige, no one else would buy it.”
Nigel - or Luis as he likes to be called in Spain - enjoys a jar or two and if no one else is interested he minces off to the local bars on his own. He came back one day convinced that several of the local men were eyeing him up; his logic being that if they were staring at him they must fancy him. “No Nige, they’ve never seen anyone quite like you before, and they’re taking a second look to make sure they were not mistaken first time.”
Nigel likes to think of himself as a man about town, so only carries a leather Gladstone bag and no hand luggage when he travels. On this occasion he wanted to take home some olive oil, so he borrowed a duffle bag from Colin [more of him later]. At the airport on the return journey, rather than carry a duffle bag as cabin luggage, he decided to check it in as hold luggage. “I’m not carrying a common thing like that around.” [He has a way with words...]
Needless to say it took them overweight and cost €63 excess. He refused to take it off the belt and, as he has a bit of a problem with short arms and long pockets where money is concerned, Colin had to pay the bill!! To cap it all, when they reached Stansted the bottles had broken anyway! I think that is poetic justice.
Colin on the other hand is straight, speaks not a word of Spanish and is mustard-keen to learn Spanish ways. He saw us kissing some friends on both cheeks - so he joined in enthusiastically with everyone we met - only he planted a big smacker on each cheek rather than just touching cheeks which is what you are supposed to do….unfortunately he also did it with the men…goodness knows what they think, what with Nigel and all.
At the local market, Colin was innocently stood at a stall next to a rather large lady when one of her friends walked by, patting her firmly on the bum as she did so. When the large lady looked around there was only him in close proximity! A torrent of words followed and even though Colin may not understand the language, it was crystal clear what she thought! Fortunately, a lot of pointing and gesticulating seemed to save the day, at least I did not have to try and rescue him from the arms of the law.
A few hours after the outlaws had gone there was a tremendous downpour, I like to think that the gods were weeping tears of joy that they had departed this land. The only remaining cloud on the horizon is that Nigel asked if he could bring a partner next time, as he had enjoyed himself so much… Over my dead body!
The microwave broke today, smoke everywhere, so we are off to see what we can find. Some things never change…
The builders should be here next week so goodness knows what will happen then…

Bye for now

Rod - Retired

06 septiembre 2005

Last week for enrolments

Hi all,
If you are thinking of following one of the Spanish course this year, please notice that this is the last week for enrolments. Unfortunately, decisions had already been made and some groups are closed.
Remember that next week is the first week of the new year.
I am looking forward to seing you all.

19 agosto 2005

Spanish Diary (Part 2)

Pam's brother Nigel came over a couple of weeks ago, he is a lovely lad but rather camp without realising it; he is also well known for speaking without thinking! So it was no surprise that when he was offered cannabis in the local bar by a pusher who is about 17stone and 6', Nigel, in English, said the first thing that came into his head: "I'm a policeman!” Saying this is not a good idea in the first place, but fortunately I doubt the pusher believed a 5'-5" tall mincing Brit was in the constabulary! When the same thing happened the next night with another pusher, Nigel now knew that it was not a good idea to say he was a policeman so he said "Anglaterre, Anglaterre!", which I think is French for "England, England!" Yep, that should do it in a Spanish country bar…Nige!
Nigel also needs to go to the bar every day for a drink. As we didn't want to go he went alone. He didn't want much to drink so after the first one he said "Poco cerveza" which he thought meant "I don't want much to drink" Unfortunately what he actually said was "that wasn't much beer" so they brought him a bigger beer next time and when he said it the next time he got an even bigger glass of beer, and the time after, right up to a schooner! They also bring you a small plate of food with every beer which he was also unable to stop, so he didn't really need the meal we had prepared either.
I rang the builder - Rafael - again about his estimate and found another pool-builder to get another estimate [Both are coming today, I hope, the pool-builder in the morning and Rafael at 20:00 hours] This did not work out as planned, the guy who came was in fact a plumber but he did know a pool builder who could do the work for us, so I rang him and he came the same day. He looks quite promising. Rafael did come and will give us an estimate next week.
We also went to a company that make reinforced concrete beams for the pergola to find out suitable sizes of main beams and top struts. I will be quite expert on these things when the garden is done! It seems the main beams weigh about 200Kg each…scary.
Our Spanish lawyer has been promising us for months that he will sort out our local Council Tax but as we need to get planning permission for the garden we went there ourselves yesterday - and it seems the lawyer had done nothing – the property is still in the name of the previous owner, but we have now started arrangements for it to be transferred to us in Granada. We have just noticed, though, that the receipt we have is for the correct previous owner but the wrong address [it is for next door] I feel another trip coming on.
If we can sort out estimates and building dates over the next week or so, we can set out to explore the countryside a little, at the moment we are always in waiting for a builder to call. Maybe we will take off for a few days to another part of Andalusia.
We were driving down a track a couple of days ago when we saw a sign ahead with an exclamation mark that said "Undefined perils!", so we turned back only to find a similar sign on the route we had just travelled! They only seem to put signs randomly; mind you it was a hairy road with hairpins and sheer drops on one side with no barriers at all.
We also went to a hole in the wall for some money. I put the card in and pressed all the right buttons. Out came the card and receipt but no money…panic. Pam went into the bank and then I noticed that the receipt said “transaction cancelled”. Apparently they had lost the computer line for a while so all is well.
Today was a bit quieter, we went across to one of our neighbours for lunch and very nice it was too, even if it is an acquired taste. We had spiced sausage, followed by fried squid, rabbit paella and some lovely meringues with coffee. Quite a spread don’t you agree! We then came home and slept until about an hour ago.
Rod - Retired

11 agosto 2005

Spanish Diary (Part 1)

I have just started to keep a diary of the misadventures of being retired in Spain. I hope it give some impression of the life we now lead! I have not put any dates in but it is sequential, so there may well be more than one today.
Pam wanted the utility done out properly with a sink and work surface. This has taken some time and along the way we were persuaded to have a marble worktop [don’t ask… I’m easily persuaded]. This project has not run to schedule. One weekend has turned into 5 weekends’ elapsed time and still it has not been completed.
The builder – Rafael – finally came and put in a proper flue for the gas heater and 5 electrical sockets… then he went away again.
Thursday was supposed to be a quiet day…then at 1500 came a plumber we had never met before, completely out of the blue to do some work; we were expecting someone on Saturday! It's lucky we were home at all. He dug into the internal wall with an enormous jack hammer to find the water pipes! I could not believe it, but it worked, he is clearly expert at what he does. Two hours later he had gone and we had revised water piping and we could have our, very belated, lunch!
Another [new] builder was coming at 6:30 to quote for the pool/patio. He wanted to meet by the church as it would be easier to recognise each other there…only…there was a funeral with about 150 people outside, complete with hearse and lots of cars! It was more by luck than judgement we found him! I had done some comprehensive plans and proceeded to discuss them with the two new builders who turned up and our Spanish neighbour [with Pam in the background]. When they eventually understood what I wanted, they needed to get another guy to come who specialises in pools. He came round so now there were six of us! During all this, Pam had a telephone call which we had to interrupt and then we all trooped round to a house in the village where a pool was being constructed to see what we would be getting. Pam is surprised at the actual size of the pool we are having - 3m x 5m, it looks much bigger than she thought it would.
Friday night we had gone to bed when the phone rang…unfortunately Pam answered it and managed to put the phone down on Rafael who was trying to contact us for some reason or other. I couldn’t be bothered to ring him back until the morning. I rang at about 0900 and asked if he was coming or not to be greeted by a most authentic cough to signal that he would not be with us on Saturday. I do not understand Rafael very well. He is a great bloke but very difficult for me to understand. I thought he said he would pop by to see us on Sunday [today] and then do the work next Tuesday. Pam and I were relaxing in bed this morning having a cup of tea when I heard a van outside, Rafael had arrived at 0800 to do the work, complete with a very bad cold.
You cannot put marble onto wooden supports; you have to use brick columns! At present Pam says the utility looks like a stable with brick stalls in it but I’m sure it will look just fine in a couple of days.

When Rafael came to do the kitchen, he did not bring enough bricks, so we had to go and get some more. Unfortunately, there is a street market so we had to thread our way though the market stalls, twice.
He originally said he would come back next Tuesday to fit the marble, make that Monday – I think, I’ll let you know. Now I have to go to a builder’s merchant to get some edging tiles for them to be fitted.
The kitchen has now been done and looks really beautiful. The marble top is shiny black but has an iridescent sheen of different colours depending on how the light catches it.
Our 71 year old neighbour is helping us get some quotes for the pool/patio. When I saw him today it is obvious that he thought I should have done that yesterday! I didn’t realise! We have had bad weather for the last few days with lots of snow and rain and were getting stir crazy so as Saturday dawned bright and clear we went to Granada for the day, from 0930 to 2030. We walked for miles and had a great time; Pam had seafood spaghetti for lunch, rather her than me. The wine was nice though.
The doorbell just rang [Sunday at 1700] and the pool man just brought a quote for our pool, it seems very expensive, I hope we get better [cheaper] quotes than that.
Pam has just brought in the dinner which was excellent with salad, patatas bravas [spuds done in oil and spices] pork in breadcrumbs and of course a glass of vino.
Now we are going to settle in for the night with the, Spanish, TV. Pam watches it but I doubt she understands a word of it – I rarely do! She just needs it on in the background, like the soaps.
Oh, I almost forgot, we went to Malaga with the other OAPs in the village this proved to be a great laugh, the first charabanc I have been on since I was a kid! We visited some beautiful caves and the Picasso museum. Then we went to a “restaurant”…you’ve never seen anything like it! It was full - about 500 people, and the waiters come round with plates of food shouting out what it is [in Spanish], if you want it you call him over and they give you a plate. You keep doing this until you have had enough! Then they count the plates and charge you by the plateful. The noise was horrendous!
To be continued...
Rod Parker - Retired

07 agosto 2005

Muere a los 78 años el cantante cubano Ibrahim Ferrer (1927-2005)

Info y Obituario: Ibrahim Ferrer, icono de la música cubana.


La canción de la semana #19

Everybody knows Santana version of Tito Puente song. But this is Oye como va performed by Klímax. The lyrics is just two lines:
Oye como va mi ritmo
Bueno pa gosar mulata
Like it? Then check other great Cuban stuff at Timba site. I could play it all night long! Meanwhile, I am going on holidays so next posting will be in September.

Adios a todos,

30 julio 2005

La canción de la semana #18

... es Osú del grupo español Radio Tarifa.
osú que alegría de verte
carita de piel morena
osú que alegría de verte
carita de piel morena
y me da, me va dando
y me da
sonrisas de amor, felicidad

Lola y yo paseando
vamos a las Ramblas de Barcelona
Lola y yo paseando
vamos a las Ramblas de Barcelona
cogiditos de la mano
esta que me da, que me da, que me la va a dar

en un atardecer lluvioso
en esa esquina beso sus labios
en un atardecer lluvioso
en esa esquina muerdo sus labios
y mis manos la acarician sin pudor
cali que cali cali mi amor

entre sábanas de seda
paso la noche me enreda su pelo
entre sábanas de seda
paso la noche, palpo sus pechos
de sabor a caramelo se le van
con saborcito mi vida
dale que dale mi amor

y me da, me va dando
y me da
sorpresas de amores
viva Granada

15 julio 2005

¿Sabías lo qué?

No os perdáis el humor informativo y absurdo que publican los de El País.

(Qué calor, ¿no?)


10 julio 2005

Fin de curso

El jueves 7 de julio fue un muy día triste para todos. Pese a todo, fue también el último día del curso Spanish Taster de Newport Grammar School y teníamos preparada una fiesta para celebrar el acontecimiento. Como el tema del último trimestre han sido los alimentos, celebramos la fiesta en el comedor del Instituto de enseñanza secundaria de Saffron Walden.
De primero
Tapas para picar

De segundo
(cocinada según esta receta)

De postre

Para beber:
Sangría y vino

No está mal, ¿verdad?
Charlamos, escuchamos música y jugamos a "¿Quién quiere ser millonario?".
Muchas gracias a Dawn y Jane por la preparación de la paella y la sangría. Muchas gracias a todos por una fiesta estupenda.
Hasta el próximo septiembre.
Buen verano a todos

08 julio 2005

La canción de la semana #16

...es un instrumental. But hey, who needs words if it is Jingo played by classic '70s Santana band?


Olive & anchovy bites

4oz flour.
4oz chilled butter, diced.
4oz finely grated Manchego/sharp Cheddar/Gruyére cheese.
2oz anchovy fillets, chopped finely.
2oz black olives, chopped finely.
half teaspn cayenne pepper.
1) Mix all ingredients together in food processor on pulse, until mixture forms firm dough.
2) Wrap dough in cling film and chill it for 20mins.
3) Pre-heat oven to Gas 6/200ºC/400ºF Roll out dough thinly on lightly floured surface.
4) Cut into 2" wide strips, then cut triangles from the strips.(makes about 40!) Put triangles on baking trays.
5) Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool them on wire racks.

nb; I used chick pea flour for those at the party on 7/7/05 Jayney.

Más fotos

Algunas más

Cena en Brinkley

Ahora que podemos añadir fotos a nuestros textos, aprovecho para colgar algunas fotos la noche en que visitamos a José. Espero que os gusten.

17 junio 2005

La canción de la semana #14

Great singer meets a genius of guitar: listen to Mientras mi corazón sufre performed by Fosforito and Paco de Lucía.



Hola a todos:
Gracias por el maravilloso día que pasamos ayer en Valencia. La compañía fue perfecta, el tiempo fue perfecto y la comida también.

10 junio 2005


Valencia es la tierra de las flores, de la luz y del color.
O, al menos, eso dice la canción.
Al grano:
Información sobre Valencia.


Que disfrutéis mucho


09 junio 2005

El inglés de la calle

Hola todos,

just came across El curso del slang inglés for Spanish speakers. Of course, this can be used by English speakers as well. How to say in Spanish "It's raining cats and dogs"? See Cuestiones meteorológicas.


06 junio 2005

El mundo de Goomer

Hola a todos.
Aquí os coloco un vínculo con un tebeo en español, El mundo de Goomer.
Espero que os guste. De momento, se pueden escuchar 13 episodios. Y están todos muy bien. Seguramente lo utilizaremos en clase algún día.

04 junio 2005

La canción de la semana #12

...Don't leave me now, I'm coming to you.

Sounds English? Well the rest will be en español. Listen here to the song perfomed by Amparanoia & Calexico:

todo el mundo duerme y yo
viendo consumirse la vela
es el alba que me espera
para darme su luz

insomnio, dicen se llama
yo se que es miedo a no ver
a no ver mi rostro en el espejo
ese reflejo que me recuerda a mi ser

quisiera despertarles
pero, no me atrevo a molestarles
con mi canto y mi vela, navegando yo
hasta encontrar la huella, mi estrella...

15 mayo 2005

Camino del Flamenco

Camino del Flamenco promotes the art of Flamenco in Britain, through shows, workshops & classes.
Contact; caminodelflamenco@AOL.com or Office; 01869 349277

Flamenco Day - Saturday 9th July
If you have been inspired by the Dance Spectacular, why not try a workshop!
These workshops are suitable for both sexes and all ages over 12.
Both workshops are accompanied by live musicians.
The beginners workshop is a lively, energetic, fun day covering all aspects of Flamenco.
The intermediate workshop is suitable for those with 1 year's flamenco dance experience.
Beginners Flamenco workshop. £10
10.00am - 1.30pm
Students will learn all aspects of Flamenco dance, including some fun, simple choreography. Playing castanets, palmas, percussion and flamenco singing are also included! The workshop will end with a demonstration, by the tutor, of all these skills.
Intermediate Flamenco workshop £10
2.30pm - 5.00pm
Nicolia Morris is flying in from Sevilla, to teach new exercises used in Spain, which will improve your dance technique and excite choreography. (Tangos, Alegrias, Solea & Bulerias)
For further details and to book for the Flamenco day, telephone the Civic Theatre Box Office on 01245 606505. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!
Camino del Flamenco have regular classes for adults (in Chelmsford) and children (in Bishops' Stortford). Other private classes by arrangement.
For further information about classes, contact Juana Jiménez on 01279 730795
Posted by Jayney.

Flamenco Dance Spectacular

Saturday 18th June. 8pm
Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
Tickets; £12 (£10 concs.)
Box office; 01245 606505
Featuring; Camino del Flamenco (over 40 dancers!)
and Aroma Flamenco (elelctrifying gypsy flamenco group)
posted by Jayney.

14 mayo 2005

La canción de la semana #9

Yes, yes, the time has come. By "popular" demand, now for something almost completely familiar: Bamboleo. Not the Gypsy Kings version, but the one by Fania All Stars, with vocal by Celia Cruz!


07 mayo 2005

La canción de la semana #8

A beautiful example of chamamé music, Mi Pueblo, Mi Casa, La Soledad by Argentinian (with Ukrainian roots) accordion genius Chango Spasiuk. Read and listen here.


03 mayo 2005

Una receta "vegan", sana y muy sabrosa

Tofu, Pina y Espinacas

1) De compras
Se necesita: 250gr de tofu
1 lata pequena de pina en zumo natural
1 diente de ajo
1 trozo pequeno de jengibre
1/4 de chili rojo (sin semillas)
500gr de espinacas frescas
arroz a su gusto para acompanar

2) Preparacion (10 minutos)
Hay que lavar bien las espinacas 2-3 veces.
Corte el tofu en cuadritos 2cm+2cm
Abre la lata (desde luego!)
Pique el ajo con el jengibre peleado y el chili rojo
Mientras, ponga el arroz al fuego lento para concinarlo

3) Cocinar la receta (5-7 minutos)
Fria el ajo, jengibre y chili en aceite de oliva hasta se dore un poco. Mejor que se usa una olla grande o un "wok" para eso.
Anade el tofu y continue freir. Cuando el tofu este dorado, anada las espinacas, deben esta cocinadas en 2-3 minutos, tapadas.
Finalmente, anada la lata de pina con el zumo, continue concinar tapado unos minutos al fuego lento.

4) Presentar el plato
Para servir, ponga una racion de arroz concinado y ponga el tofu con espinacas encima. Muy sabrosa!!

Que aproveche!

22 abril 2005

¡Feliz San Jorge!

Mañana es el día de San Jorge, Saint George, Sant Jordi, el patrón de Cataluña y de Inglaterra.
En España se celebra el Día del Libro, coincidiendo con la muerte de Miguel de Cervantes (22 de abril, pero anotada en el registro el 23 de abril) y el nacimiento, según la tradición, de William Shakespeare el 23 de abril.
Por eso, quiero animaros a que leáis un poco en español. En principio, podéis empezar con unas lecturas muy entretenidas, pensadas especialmente para estudiantes de español:
http://cvc.cervantes.es/aula/lecturas/inicial/ , para el nivel incial.
http://cvc.cervantes.es/aula/lecturas/intermedio/ , para el nivel intermedio
http://cvc.cervantes.es/aula/lecturas/avanzado/ , para el nivel avanzado.

Además, en la biblioteca virtual Miguel de Cervantes http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/index.shtml
ofrece una amplia colección de obras de la literatura española.
Ya me diréis qué os parece.
¡Feliz San Jordi a todos!

21 abril 2005

Granada / La canción de la semana

It seems somehow impossible to separate Lorca and this song from my birthplace, Granada. Please, go to http://www.albayzin-granada.com/anexo.htm to enjoy the most beautiful barrio in Granada, el Albayzín.
And have a look at the marvels of "El jardín andalusí" on http://cvc.cervantes.es/actcult/jardin_andalusi/

Have fun.

20 abril 2005

La canción de la semana #6

Rumba Verde que te quiero verde is based on poem by Federico García Lorca. Here you can compare original Romance Sonámbulo and the lyrics of the song, and listen to the song itself performed by Manzanita y Ketama. (This is a closing number of Flamenco de Carlos Saura.)

18 abril 2005

Final numbers and arrangements for tapas night

Hola a todos:
First of all, a big thank you all for your patience with me. I seem to have definitive numbers and arrangements for tomorrow evening.
There will be a total of 26 of us for dinner at José el Gallego restaurant at Brinkley. We decided to have the £18.75 menu. Drinks aren't included.
The table is booked for 8.00 pm and José is happy to entertain people until very late. He usually complements his guests with some liquors and cordials at the end of a meal. I am sure he will do the same for us.
Richard, Jane, Val and Wendy will share a car.
Harvey, Sue and Steph will share a car.
Paula and Gary will share a car.
Steve and Sonia will share a car.
Heidi, Mike and Frances will share a car.
Joy and Chris will share a car.
Margit and husband will share a car.
An 8 seater cab will pick up these people at Saffron Walden library at 7.30:
Louise and Anthony, Juliette, Kirill and Tamara, Sue Jiggins, Mark and myself.
The taxi will arrive at Brinkley to collect its passangers at 11.30
I am really looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.
Estoy segura de que nos lo pasaremos muy bien.
Hasta mañana.

17 abril 2005

Taxi booked!

Hi All,
After making you all dizzy for some days with my booking troubles (I am sorry), a cab has been finally booked (and I did not do it!!!) : 8 seater for £60 + £1 per drop off in Saffron Walden (meaning couples only pay £1 for one drop off). We will meet at 7.30 at the Library and the taxi will pick us up again at Brinkley at 11.30.
There are a total of 9 confirmed people and a possible 10 (including Helen) in need of transport, Can drivers accommodate the other 1-2 people between you in your cars?
Is this Ok with everyone?

14 abril 2005

Final on taxis

Hi everyone,
I have tried to get a 16 seater, but it costs £160 and I thought that it really was way tooo much.
The 8 seater costs £80 in total, £40 each way: £10 each (see more below). I have until tomorrow to book this one.
Please, let me know if this is OK with you. That means that some of us will need extra cars.
I am trying to organize lifts. Can any of you go by car and accomodate people?

11 abril 2005

El chiste de la semana

Me lo mandó José Ramón, un amigo cubano. ¡Que lo disfrutéis!

Como lo recibí de la isla:

Las Naciones Unidas encargaron a todos los países un Tratado sobre el elefante y cada uno lo hizo de acuerdo a su particular idiosincrasia:

Los norteamericanos presentaron un pequeño librito o manual, encuadernado en rústica que se titulaba:
"All about the elephant"
Los alemanes presentaron sesenta y ocho tomos encuadernados en cuero, el primero se titulaba:
"Un brevísimo y somerísimo estudio sobre el elefante. Primer tomo: La oreja izquierda"
Los franceses presentaron un libro titulado:
"L'amour et l'elephant"
Los japoneses presentaron dos libros:
"Cómo copiar elefantes" y "El elefante transistorizado"
Los holandeses presentaron:
"Variaciones sobre quesos a base de leche de elefanta"
Los ingleses presentaron:
"God save the elephant"
Los portugueses presentaron un ensayo llamado:
"Os elefantes mais poderosos do mundo son os elefantes lusitanos de Angola y Mozambique"
Los españoles presentaron dos libros:
"Esencia, presencia y constancia del elefante" y "El elefante católico a la luz de las doctrinas de Santo Tomás de Aquino y San Francisco Javier"
Y cuando le preguntaron al cubano por su trabajo sobre el elefante, este
- ¡Coñooo...!!!!, ¿Pero esa mierda era pa´ hoy?

Taxi Prices and Bookings

Hi All,
I have a price for the taxi. The cheapest company is Crocus cars. They provide us with an 8 seater for £40 each way (Saffron Walden-Brinkley and back), and an extra taxi for £22 each way.
I have 23 confirmations on my list and 14 for the taxi from Saffron Walden.
I have confirmed bookings for:
Own car: Richard, Jayne and Val. 3 people
Own car: Harvey, Sue, Stephanie. 3 people
Own car: Paula and Gary. 2 people
Taxi: Louise and Anthony, Juliette, Kirill and Tamara, Joy and friend, Margit and husband, Nina and Paul, Sue, Mark and Elena in Taxi. 14 people
Lola in Linton and Heidi and Frances in Ashdon wanting to share a taxi. 3 people
Lola: the taxi confirmed it won't go through Linton, it will be very expensive. Will you come to Saffron Walden and go in the taxi or will you go directly from Linton. I am very sorry. Please, confirmed your preference.
Unconfirmed bookings:
Magda, please, can you let me know ASAP if you are coming and your prefered travel arrangements?
Is there anybody else coming not on this list, including friends or spouses not booked for?
Please, let me know.

09 abril 2005

Hola buenas vacaciones a todos!

Hola Elena y la clase de miercoles por la tarde -

Disculpa que no pude venir el ultimo miercoles, fui al cine en B/S. Espero que hayan tenido una clase estupenda.

Debido al hecho que la proxima clase es el 27 de avril (!perdon con antelacion si tendre retraso a llegar a la clase/ es por culpa del trabajo!)voy a veros el 19.4 para las tapas.

?Se puede compartir los coches o como habeis quedado? Si no nos encontramos antes necesito algunas direcciones. Muchas gracias!

Con carino,

++ Margit

08 abril 2005

La canción de la semana #4

... is El son te llama (Guajira). Cannot find free audio on the web, but I have a beautiful version of this song performed by Senegalese Orchestra Baobab. I can bring the CD in next time. The lyrics is here:
Amigo pida otra copa, caramba,
Que este cantor le convida.
Que aunque a ustedes no le importa
Voy a hacerles la historia de mi vida.

05 abril 2005


Hi all,
As promised, here we have some Websites where you can find information about Perú for your pleasure and Year 2 homework:





I am sure you will find more interesting ones.


31 marzo 2005

La canción de la semana #3

Listen to Ventilaor R80 by Ojos de Brujo for a good mood.
A belembembé a belembembá
Tímbero suena la rumba
Tímbero suénala ya!!!
For lyrics, go here or to the nice official site.


27 marzo 2005

A tapas evening on the 19 of April

¿Vamos de copas el 19 de abril?
During our half term week we could go to José el Gallego, the tapas restaurant in Brinkley, if you fancy the idea.
The restaurant's address is: The Red Lion, High Street, Brinkley, Cambridgeshire.
Let me know if you can make it that night and we will arrange with the restaurant time and the rest. How about we meet at 7.30pm, ready to order by 8pm?

José has set two "Tapas party menus" and here are the lists:

For a minimum party of 15 and £15 per person:

Boquerones fritos
Mejillones a la marinera
Calamares a la romana
Gambas al ajillo
Zorza de cerdo
Albóndigas a la provenzal
Chorizo Gallego
Pinchito de cerdo
Champiñones al ajillo
Papas arrugadas con salsa picante
Ensalada de pimientos
Ensaladilla rusa

There is another menu for £18.75:

Gambas al ajillo
Mejillones a la marinera
Langostinos a la sal
Boquerones en vinagre
Jamón serrano
Albóndigas a la provenzal
Estofado español
Pinchito de cerdo
Papas arrugadas con salsa picante
Ensalada de tomate y maíz dulce
Jalapeños con queso y nata
Ensalada de pimientos

Have a good time translating the names and anticipating "su sabor".
Hope you all can make it.

Feliz Domingo de Resurrección y Lunes de Pascua a todos.

22 marzo 2005


Tonight in our Spanish year 3 lesson we listened to the song "Arenita Azul" by Lila Downs and talked breifly about Chiapas, the Mexican region.
I have found this moving article by José Saramago, the Portugues writer, Nobel Price 1998, about Chiapas:

I hope Saramago's beautiful prose gives us an idea of what was the Chiapas situation he witnessed.

Sitios Web para aprender y divertirse

Just a note to remind you of the Web sites you can visit to revise and have fun with the language!
For all of you working the Access Spanish text book, remember to visit http://www.accesslanguages.com
and for everybody:
And some news in Spanish:

¡Que os lo paséis bien!

21 marzo 2005

Revista Muy Interesante

Una de mis revistas españolas favoritas es Muy Interesante. Podéis leer algunos de sus artículos también en Internet.
La página es: http://www.muyinteresante.es/intro.htm
¡Que os divirtáis!

More about working on the computer suite

The Thursday evening class will move ONLY this week from Newport Grammar School to the North and West Essex Adult Community College computer suite facility in Thaxted.
Our next visit to the computer suite will be at the end of the summer term.
I hope you like the experience and that you can integrate it in your everyday learning and revisions.

19 marzo 2005

Remando al viento

Year 5 students and all of you interested on Spanish films:
¿Os acordáis de que hablamos hace dos semanas de la película española Remando al viento? Bien, aquí os anoto un vínculo para acceder a un sitio Web sobre la película. Espero que os guste.

Newport class to computer suite

The Thursday evening class will move this week and next week from Newport Grammar School to the North and West Essex Adult Community College computer suite facility in Thaxted. I hope you like the experience and that you can integrate it in your everyday learning and revisions.

18 marzo 2005

La canción de la semana

Hola a todos:

For the next week, I suggest Arenita Azul, the song performed by Lila Downs. To read the lyrics, go here.

Enjoy — and note the use of Preterito!

Have a good weekend,

Trip to Barcelona

Yesterday we had a lovely learning trip to Barcelona with the Newport class studens. I want to thank you all for the effort, the enthusiasm and support.

16 marzo 2005


Acabo de crear este blog para todos mis alumnos de español de Saffron Walden.