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I finish teaching today for the Christmas break. All week long I have been using Christmas as an excuse to break away from the text books and do something a bit different.

Now I think it's perfectly understandable that Spaniards do not know that Brits eat turkey at Christmas or kiss under miseltoe but I find myself amazed that the songs Santa Claus is coming to Town and White Christmas have also passed them by. Bruce Springsteen was only known by one of the eight adults and, much more understandably, by none of the youngsters I asked. I talked about the sales figures for White Christmas and the way it has been outsold by Elton John's Candle in the Wind (The Diana version) and Mull of Kintyre by Paul McCartney. Quizzical looks all around. I was pleased when the English version, on DVD, of Who Wants to be a Millionaire stopped asking, to Spanish youngsters unanswerable, questions about Eastenders and asked who the director of Jaws was. It's an old film but surely the name Steven Spielberg would ring a bell - not a bit of it, the options of George Lucas, Robert Altman and Francis Ford Coppola were also non starters.

My Christmas quiz, proceeded by the politically correct question as to whether they minded me asking questions about the biblical Christmas story, took ages to explain. Of course they weren't Muslims or Jewish! Now I don't think I've read the story myself since I left South End Junior school in 1965 but I was flabbergasted. Really, Joseph and Mary had to stay in a stable, Joseph was a carpenter and shepherds came to see the baby? This in a country that is still nominally associated with Catholicism in a big way.

The crowning glory though has to be one elderly lady who is a bit confused by the whole English thing. "What colour is Santa Claus's suit?"  Coca Cola would be appalled after all the effort they have put into giving the old chap a bit of a makeover from the 1930s onwards. "No, it's not green, it's red."


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Combining my blogs

This blog is now dormant. It records our time in the beautiful city of Ciudad Rodrigo but it's a while since we've lived there. We now spend part of our time in Cartagena, Murcia and a part in Culebrón, Alicante.

If you would like to gave a look at what we're up to now just click on one of the tabs at the top of the page.

That's it

Done. Finished. I'm just about to disconnect the computer and that will be it. We managed to get everything in the cars, tomorrow morning we'll dope up Edu and then all we have to do is to drive across Spain. The Culebrón link below will be in use for the next few weeks before we move on to Cartagena in September. Click on the links below.
So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
The story continues .......

Missed something else

This morning, as I cleaned my teeth, I heard hooves in the street. I didn't bother to rush out. I took my time, I put on my boots and strolled out to buy fags and a paper. There were signs of horses or mules or donkeys having passed down the street. When I came out of the fag shop I noticed a fair sized crowd by the Fat Tree but the fun was over, the crowd was drifting away and I didn't have my camera anyway.
I've just checked the town web site and it says that The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Peña de Francia, having been blessed by a local chaplain, set out on a Romeria (a sort of pilgrimage) from the town today heading for one of the highest peaks in the area - the Peña de Francia. They won't get there till Sunday as it's some 50km from here.