Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Okuda San Miguel Gijón


The city's dingy greys and
hard look of constant human barrage, urban crowding and industrial pollution suddenly give way to a kaleidoscope of geometric colour. It's unexpected and visually thrilling. You've just spotted a work by Okuda San Miguel, the world's most colorful street artist, a Spaniard born in Santander and living in Madrid whose Surrealistic Pop Art carries social and political messages as well as captivates the eye.
Imagine, whizzing out of Gijón, I almost missed it, this particular, unassuming, but classic urban jewel, a geometric print and multicolored pattern on an old building, just like other patterns across old warehouses, lost railways, factories that started to become recognizable and iconic in Spain since 1996.
I only began to take note a year ago and have become an enamored fan. Okuda San Miguel now has work in major cities across the globe.
"These pieces of artwork often raise contradictions about existentialism, the universe, the infinite, the meaning of life, and the false freedom of capitalism. They help ignite conversations about the clear conflict between modernity and our roots."
"Sus trabajos a menudo plantean contradicciones sobre el existencialismo, el universo, el infinito, el sentido de la vida, la faja libertad del capitalismo, y muestran un claro conflicto entre la modernidad y nuestras raíces; en definitiva, entre el ser humano y él mismo." #okudasanmiguel #gijon #inkandmovement #okudart #surrealismopop #santander #bellasartes # ##UniversidadComplutensedeMadrid #geometrico #multicolores

Okuda Links:
https://twitter.com/OKUDART

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Blood Tattoos and Things Moms Do


It's summer and everyone seems to be sporting a new tattoo and matching mom-daughter, mom-son tattoos are supposedly the new cool trendy sign of bondedness and unity. I'm glad not to be too left out of the loop since at least one of my four kids has sweetly suggested that we get one. I've considered. I really have. My honest answer, however, is that my legs are already tatted up in a most individual way. My left leg is a particularly great work of art. I used to hide it when possible, shyly avoiding clothes that might draw attention to the intricately decorated canvas of spider and ropey purple-blue varicose veins.
More recently, though, I've decided to share the artistry of motherhood that life has gifted me, if not flaunting it, I can at least wear it dignified and proud.
When you're pregnant your uterus grows and puts pressure on the large inferior vena cava on your body's right side. This increases pressure on your legs. The blood vessels that are already working against gravity, returning blood from your extremities to your heart, swell and protude. Sometimes they are less visible or disappear after your pregnancy, but more often they stay patterned on your skin as a forever reminder that you are and will always be different after having a baby.
If you have just one child you may not get to sport off much, but after four, believe you me, you have bragging rights. You have living tattoos to show off for the rest of your life, a permanent scrapbook of memories physically awarded you for your bravery and strength for carrying those precious little ones inside you to birth.
Thus, my varicose veins are my personal tattoos, my scars, the marks of motherhood that remind me every morning and night as I dress and undress the huge sacrifice I paid. I consider my scarred legs beautiful reminders that it was so worth it in the end, to blood ink my legs in order to bring my four unique daughters and sons into this world. I'm celebrating my scars now and what really matters.
#realmoms #worthit #varicoseveins #motherhood #inkedlegs #bravery #scars #postparto #postpartum #maternidad #whatreallymatters #celebratingmyscars #thedopesttattoo #tattoo

Your vulnerability is
embellished with your truth.
Wear it proudly.
- Harpreet M Dayal

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

De Compras


Cascanueces, Bario Húmedo, León
Una tienda especializada en regalos originales y exóticos, así como prendas de vestir de moda y étnicas. After trying a a multicoloured assortment of summer dresses, I finally decided on treating myself to the second on the left.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Book of Beauty


"...The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours when we really live..." - Richard Jefferies
A Book of Beauty; An Anthology of Words and Pictures, compiled in London ten years before I was born. Two hundred and fifty classic works of art and illustrations and a two-page index of authors and composers, it appears this is one of a series of six books; Book of Delights, Love, Pleasures, Joy, and of Britain. A lovely gift by a lovely visitor, it was once purchased and signed by someone with exquisite penmanship in 1962 as a Christmas present to herself, something that makes me smile and further endears this book to me. The perfect bedside book.
#vintageprints #vintagebooks #JohnHadfield #beauty #london#Wordsworth #Yeats #tselliot #Browning #Shelley #FrancisBacon #poetry#prose

Friday, July 7, 2017

Our CLIL Summer Course Really Started in Sacramento


When coaching teachers I always go back to this year that changed my life and the book that transformed my teaching, To Teach Like a Champion. Now, together with bilingual methodology, I'm sharing those techniques specific to second language acquisition classrooms in Spain. These two weeks in León, our CLIL workshop is turning out to be the most rewarding ever with such creative application and execution of champion practices by my students, Spanish content area ( geography, history, music, math, science, ...) teachers, who are motivated and planning the next school year.
#ThrowbackThursday #TeachLikeAChampion #douglemov #nooptout#positiveframing #rightisright #circulating #uncommonschools #clil#secondlanguageacquisition #languagemodalities#educationintheuropeanunion #higherorderthinkingskills #HOTS#sacramentocharterhighschool #SLANT

Thursday, July 6, 2017

When Work is a Holiday in León

It's called work, and the truth is, that the preparation and teacher training hours are intense.
Still, I wait longingly all year for these two weeks I come to teach and live in León!


The first evening in León, Sunday before the CLIL Teacher Training workshop Monday morning, Enrique and I stumbled upon the Gastronomical Food Truck Fair, Feria Gastronómica de Food Trucks. Vintage flea-market - Mercadillo vintage.
Jardín de San Francisco. Come y Calle León, Fiestas de San Juan y San Pedro.



The second day I made my way into the heart of the Barrio Romántico to El Patio, where I always order this salad of canónigos, a kind of round-leaf lettuce greens, cherry tomatoes, roasted gourmet goat's cheese and tomato marmalade dressing.
Plaza Torres de Omaña, 2, 24003 León


Que Trabaje Rita, cocktail and tapa bar where teacher friend and I met after class for a Mojito Light (poco cargado) and a Kiwi Shake.


Solo today and happy to find a vegetarian option: Gazpacho, vegetable empanadas on dressing glazed greens, fresh baked bread and apple stuffed crepes drizzled with chocolate.
Mercado Restaurante & Bar ,Calle las Varillas, 3, 24003 León

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Independence Day Balconies


Yesterday: Summer comes to flats and townhouses all over northern Spain in a sudden burst of joy. I think of Independence Day being celebrated back home with such stunning red, white and blue.
#4thofjulyweekend #northernspain #flats #townhouses #balcones #balconygarden #balcon #balconies #freedom #Bilbao #weekends #finesdesemana

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Move Forward with Gusto

Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal.
Ava Duvernay


These are days of particular challenge. Quotes by other brave and strong souls keep the goal within sight.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

El Trasgu de Foncebadon


Un Trasgu es un gnomo travieso de la mitología tradicional leonesa que le gusta hacer bromas, esconder cosas y asustar a la gente. Sin embargo, El Trasgu de Foncebadón ofrece un ambiente de buen humor, no asusta, sino hechiza a todos con su restaurante y su pensión. 

El Trasgu comes from the leonés (from the Province of León) word for gnome or leprechaun. A Trasgu, true to his name, likes to play tricks, hide things and frighten people.  El Trasgu of Foncebadón never frightens anyone, but rather is a pension and restaurant which enchants everyone with its ambiance of good humour and cheer.





Su restaurante mantiene el mismo nombre y dispone de un menú placentero con deliciosos platos para todos los gustos en un ambiente muy hospitalario y cálido. Hay un lounge, un side-bar y es un sitio perfecto especialmente para alguien que quiere disfrutar de su tiempo a solas o en compañía. 

The restaurant, with the same name as the pension, has a pleasing menu with delicious dishes for every taste in a welcoming and warm environment. There's a lounge and a side-bar, and it's the perfect get away spot, either to spend time alone or with company.




Sombra is a big fan.

Aquí puedes ver en las fotos algunas de sus posibilidades de alojamiento.  
Below you can see the possible overnight accommodations.
  



Está situado en el pueblo de Foncebadón, a 21 km de Ponferrada y 25 km de Astorga. 

In terms of location, Villafranca del Bierzo is 40 km from El Trasgu de Foncebadón, while La Bañeza is 42 km away.




Además, Foncebadón ofrece la posibilidad de realizar diferentes actividades en la naturaleza como el ciclismo y senderismo. Aunque todavía no las hemos probado, tenemos muchas ganas de hacerlas. 

A range of activities are available in the area, such as cycling and hiking when you visit or stay at El Trasgu.


Tiene una alta recomendación en Trip Advisor y en Booking.com
Dos entrevistas con los dueños, Miguel Ángel y José Luis que también hablan inglés.

Highly recommended in Trip Advisor and Booking.com (see the links above). Both owners/hosts also speak English.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mojitos


This cobalt glass juicer had only seen oranges and lemons until a couple of days ago when the heat drove me to a creative first. I joined said juicer with fresh picked limes, mint from the balcony, Canary Island rum, a touch of brown sugar and ice, and crushed them all together, adding tonic to make mojito deliciousness. Come on over, we'll make you one. You pick the stirrer.
#mojito #cobalto #ron #summersoltice #cobalt #mint #swizzlesticks

Friday, June 23, 2017

Maman


The name of the spider is Maman, born during a rich vibrant avant-garde 20th century movement that explored Surrealism, Abstract, Expressionism and Post-Minimalism.  Maman fascinates. She towers over, is impossible to ignore or avoid, frightens the casual observer, and yet, upon closer inspection, is almost endearing. I noticed how she holds her sac of eggs next to her body ready to die herself before harm comes to them, but she'd be so easily crushed by anyone larger than herself.

"Almost 9 meters tall, Maman is one of the most ambitious of a series of sculptures by Bourgeois that take as their subject the spider, a motif that first appeared in several of the artist's drawings in the 1940s and came to assume a central place in her work during the 1990s. 

Intended as a tribute to her mother, who was a weaver:
“The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.” —Louise Bourgeois

"Bourgeois's spiders are highly contradictory as emblems of maternity: they suggest both protector and predator—the silk of a spider is used both to construct cocoons and to bind prey—and embody both strength and fragility. Such ambiguities are powerfully figured in the mammoth Maman, which hovers ominously on legs like Gothic arches that act at once as a cage and as a protective lair to a sac full of eggs perilously attached to her undercarriage. The spider provokes awe and fear, yet her massive height, improbably balanced on slender legs, conveys an almost poignant vulnerability."

Maman by Louise Bourgeois
Bronze, marble, and stainless steel
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Patatas Machacadas al Ajo


Today was a work day. Nothing spectacularly new or interesting, but one of the joys of working from home is the ability to try a new recipe for lunch, the big Spanish midday meal. We didn't have any beautiful baby potatoes, like the recipe called for. On the contrary, ours were small, not uniform and cute. In fact, they'd been sitting under the kitchen cupboard counter for a little too long and had gotten a bit wrinkled and a little old. Still, all washed up clean and boiled with a little salt they followed along as in the video. My variation was to to chop a quarter yellow onion into the butter and add a few more Italian spices, such as rosemary and oregano. This is a great new way to make your own vegetarian or even better, vegan, potatoes.

Garlic Smashed Potatoes


The result was delicious. A definite "do again".


And, of course, a little salad to go with. One of our favourite toppings is dried onions. We can get them by the bagful at IKEA, when we go to Oviedo, a couple of hours away.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Rayos


He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.

-William Cowper; inverse stanza, on another stormy northern Spanish night.
#santander #tormenta #elsardinero #relampago #rayos #lightning #summerstorms #cowper #god

Friday, June 2, 2017

Paris Climate Accord



Shameful.

I spent hours last night and this morning sifting through news sources to try to understand our president's decision.

I listened to his speech, his concern that the Paris Climate Accord would weaken/ handicap /undermine (yes, all those negative words) our sovereignty, economy, legal recourse, workers, and more. Only the US would be at a disadvantage and other countries would be laughing at us? Really? With just my limited knowledge that sounds extremely paranoid. Then, after some fact checking it just sounded purely ludicrous. What about the sovereignty, economy, legal recourse and workers of the now other 200 countries that are supporting the the agreement?



President Trump says that he's ready to renegotiate...as if he holds all the cards in his hand ready to trump in the US's favour. While Macron very diplomatically assures the US of its respect and good will for future dealings, it's very clear that the other countries are agreed that there will be NO new deal. 

In addition, my great state, California, New York and Washington are seriously resisting the president's decision and have formed a "US Climate Alliance" committed to the Accord. More than 61 mayors have stated that President Trump is wrong on the facts and the science and pledged to back the Accord, promising to meet commitments agreed to under the international accord, namely cutting carbon emissions in an effort to ward off the worst effects of global climate change. "We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy," the group of mayors wrote.

“The world cannot wait — and neither will we."


Statements by President Trump with truthful counter: 
1. "China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can't build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement."
False. Under the Paris agreement, each country publicly declares how much it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and what it will do to get there. In fact, China has actually taken steps to stop building coal plants. China has cut its use of coal three years in a row.
2. "Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree -- think of that; this much -- Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount."
Misleading. Tackling climate problems depends on taking a series of incremental steps to reduce carbon emissions. Pulling out of the Paris agreement would require even bigger future reductions.
3. "At 1 percent growth, renewable sources of energy can meet some of our domestic demand. But at 3 or 4 percent growth, which I expect, we need all forms of available American energy, or our country will be at grave risk of brownouts and blackouts."
False. Economic growth stems from population growth and improvements in productivity. Neither of these factors will drive 3 percent or 4 percent growth in the U.S, regardless.
4. "India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it. India can double their coal production. We're supposed to get rid of ours."
Rubbish. The Paris accord doesn’t even mention the word coal, nor does it do anything to put a global moratorium on coal. Each signatory sets its own goals and has to report on its progress. India has committed to reduce emissions 33 to 35 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.
We have a president who will say anything. Anything.
Know the facts. Spread the truth. I, for one, want to put more of the world's wealth toward clean, sustainable energy.
http://www.politifact.com/.../fact-checking-donald.../

For the moment we are in "good company" with only two other countries, Nicaragua and Syria. If you know anything about either you'll understand. But, the U.S.?
I read later this morning and am finally seeing something that makes sense to me... corporate interests.
We know who can make Trump rethink his disastrous decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement: The 17 CEOs on Trump’s business advisory council. From IBM to Walmart, the CEOs that are on the council represent some of the most powerful corporations in the world. 
Already, two CEOs -- Elon Musk of Tesla and Bob Iger of Disney -- have stepped down from the council in protest of Trump pulling the US from the climate agreement. 
Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney's Bob Iger have already stepped down from the advisory council in protest of Trump's catastrophic move. Now that Trump has made his announcement to abandon the deal that nearly every country in the world has signed onto, it’s time the other CEOs from massive multinational corporations like Walmart, PepsiCo, JPMorgan Chase, GM, GE, and Boeing follow Iger and Musks's lead.
In defiance of Trump’s catastrophic decision, a group including 30 mayors, three governors, more than 100 businesses and more than 80 presidents of U.S. universities is planning to present a plan to the United Nations that would meet the greenhouse-gas emission targets under the Paris climate agreement.
Let’s call on the remaining 15 CEOs on the council to take a stand for the future of our planet. Now is the opportunity to show their commitment to a safe and sustainable future and abandon Trump if he doesn’t back down.
Sign here if interested.
From SumofUs: SumOfUs is a global advocacy organization and online community that campaigns to hold big corporations accountable on issues such as climate change, workers’ rights, discrimination, human rights, animal rights, corruption, and corporate power grab.
#climatechange #ParisAccord

Then again, to be fair, there are still those arguing that Trump was right, such as Shapiro:
5 Reasons Trump is Right to Pull out of the Paris Accord

And, a well-respected friend and nuclear physicist wrote me saying this:
Please check your statement that China has cut its coal usage. That doesn't square with any data I have. They have cut how fast they increase their coal usage but they are still using more coal every year than the previous year.
Second, our state California, under governor Brown's leadership we are heading to shutting down all existing nuclear. San Onofre and Diablo Canyon produced more CO2 free electricity than all the solar and wind built in California for the last twenty years.
The big impact on CO2 emissions is what the developing countries choose to generate their electricity - this is far more important than what the US uses. As things currently stand they will choose coal or gas. The thing the US could do that will have a big impact is to create a carbon free power source that can compete with coal and gas cost wise. If you don't have electricity coal generated electricity sounds pretty good. Developing countries will choose the cheapest electricity so the important thing is to invent a carbon free choice for them. That is what we are attempting to do.


Photos while at the Organic Faire in Santander, Cantabria, Spain.
#productosecologicos #vidasana #biocantabria #energiasrenovables #bioconstrucción #comerciojusto #consumoresponsable #alimentosecologicos

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

One Another


I prefer to say that no one is better than anyone else. But, if I were to say that I am better than you or you are better than I it would be in our regard and how we deal with humanity. How we treat one another would be the deciding factor. -

Woke to this thought 5am this morning.

Heart and Mind

Street art under the highway; Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

The Truth About Your Heart


Your heart will fix itself.
It's your mind you need to worry about.
Your mind where you locked the memories,
your mind where you have kept pieces of the ones that hurt you,
that still cut through you like shards of glass.

Your mind will keep you up at night, make you cry,
destroy you over and over again.

You need to convince your mind that it has to let go...
because your heart already knows how to heal.
-Nikita Gill

I just love how all the colour of her thoughts and creativity are flowing from her head and her heart.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Kundera and The Unbearable Lightness of Being

All photos from walking tour of Bilbao, País Vasco - Basque Country 
At another time in my life I would have cringed to reference Sparknotes and Wikipedia in a book or film critique, but since the subject is so weighty, with philosophical quotes and dealings of the ancients, I gave myself full license this time. Not to mention the most insightful critique of all I found, written by Reason and Meaning; Philosophical reflections about life, death, and the meaning of life.
Regarding my own commentary, be sure to read to the end to understand why after discussions and political debate I ended up wondering how much Kundera plays devil's advocate and toys with his reader, and found his book to be a classic in philosophical thought regarding the meaning of life.


The Unbearable Lightness of Being opens with a philosophical discussion of lightness versus heaviness. Kundera contrasts Nietzsche's philosophy of eternal return, or of heaviness, with Parmenides's understanding of life as light. Kundera wonders if any meaning or weight can be attributed to life, since there is no eternal return: if man only has the opportunity to try one path, to make one decision, he cannot return to take a different path, and then compare the two lives. Without the ability to compare lives, Kundera argues, we cannot find meaning; where meaning should exist we find only an unbearable weightlessness. The uncertain existence of meaning, and the opposition of lightness and heaviness, the key dichotomy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, sets the stage for the entire novel.
- Sparknotes



Kundera uses Friedrich Nietzsche's doctrine of the Eternal Return to illustrate Lightness. Eternal Return dictates that all things in existence recur over and over again for all eternity. This is to say that human history is a preset circle without progress, the same events arising perpetually and doomed never to alter or to improve. Existence is thus weighty because it stands fixed in an infinite cycle. This weightiness is “the heaviest of burdens”, for “if every second of our lives recurs an infinite number of times, we are nailed to eternity as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross.” At the same time, it is necessary for any event to occur in the cycle of events exactly as it has always occurred for the cycle to be identical; consequently, everything takes on an eternally fixed meaning. This fact prevents one from believing things to be fleeting and worthless.

The inverse of this concept is Kundera's “unbearable lightness of being.” Assuming that eternal return were impossible, humankind would experience an “absolute absence of burden,” and this would “[cause] man to be lighter than air” in his lack of weight of meaning. Something which does not forever recur has its brief existence, and, once it is complete, the universe goes on existing, utterly indifferent to the completed phenomenon. “Life which disappears once and for all, which does not return” writes Kundera, is “without weight...and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime...means nothing.” Each life is insignificant; every decision does not matter. Since decisions do not matter, they are "light": they do not tie us down. However, at the same time, the insignificance of our decisions - our lives, or being - is unbearable. Hence, "the unbearable lightness of being." On the other hand, eternal existence would demand of us strict adherence to prescripted rules and laws; a sense of duty and rigorous morality.

"What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?" Kundera notes that this is not a new question. Parmenides posed it in the sixth century BC. He saw the world divided into pairs of opposites: light/darkness, fineness/coarseness etc. One half of the opposition he called positive (light, fineness, warmth, being), the other negative. We might find this division into positive and negative poles simple except for one difficulty: which one is positive, weight or lightness? Parmenides responded that lightness is positive, weight negative. Kundera then questions "Was he correct or not?" The lightness/weight opposition remains the most ambiguous of all. Kundera then asks, should one live with weight and duty or with lightness and freedom? In Nietzschean terms, weight is life-affirming in that to live with positive intensity is to live in a way you'd be prepared to repeat. The emptiness of Sabina's life in 'The Unbearable Lightness Of Being', and that she wanted to "die in lightness" — which is to say that she is indifferent to her life — shows that she would not want to repeat her life and would not accept an eternal return. - Opinion piece, Wikipedia




While some might find Tomas' sexual appetite and exploits edgy, daring or on the contrary, maybe even repulsive, I became bored and tired quickly of them. By the end I found his going-ons really unpleasant and distasteful, maybe even as much as Tereza and maybe because of her. I suppose this is due to two reasons. One, I abhor waste and wastefulness and experiencing sex in such consumeristic excess is a total throw away of possibilities, of feelings, loyalties, personalities, friendships, all qualities of humanity and even basic decency. Secondly, said consumerism is entirely void of any nobler or higher emotion. This isn't something to be argued. Maybe for some it's fine, but it's not my idea of anything valuable in life.  The plot, in and of itself, therefore, didn't provide a great read.

What I did find thought provoking and worthwhile was the philosophical journey and even certain application of Nietzsche's premise and its inverse. In Milan Kundera's work we delve into the the study of how life can't have meaning if we're unable to study it from the far end. In other words, if we can't study our lives looking backwards, from the point of view of our death. Instead, in real time, when we must make our most important decisions how can we absolutely know if they are right and wrong if we can never practice what it is to choose well for ourselves, and what choices could be bad and even disastrous? How, therefore, can morality be attached to our choices? This is the deeper, more meaningful essence and redemptive element of the novel. It poses questions about the heaviness and lightness of life. And in the end, many, myself included might decide that while lightness, or lives free as the air we breathe, might be tempting, it might not be the most desirous choice after all. We might decide the light is insignificant, void of meaning and decide that it's simply unbearable and choose heaviness, together with meaning and purpose, instead. Still, in conclusion, not I, nor most lectors will be able to answer simply by the end of this read. That's what gives this book cause for deeper reflection and true value.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Messenger of the Sea

Santander, Cantabria
A mermaid, like Triton, messenger of the sea, announces her ship's arrival, a majestic image combining mythology and the ceremonial practice of blowing the conch shell like a horn dating back to ancient times and continued in many present day traditions. In the Canaries, the "bucio" was used by the native Guanches, who held up a giant conch and blew it symbolically to the four winds when beginning and ending important social and religious events. A beautiful visual of this is when, in the film, A Walk in the Clouds, the Mexican matron of the Aragon family nobly stands in the middle of an enormous wine barrel like an Aztec queen, blowing on a conch to initiate the stomping of the grapes. It's a cinematographically stunning scene. When Triton blew his conch he had the power to calm or raise the waves, an image that stirs the heart and mind.
#Cantabria #sirena #mermaid #shankha #conchshell #triton #gastropod #aztec #quetzalcoatl#walkintheclouds #Canarias #guanche #bucio#mythology #canaryislands

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Our Lady of Castrotierra


Enrique was out of bed before dawn and off to gather and lead his group of Cosamai "kids" to join the short pilgrimage to Castrotierra to accompany La Virgen, Our Lady of Castrotierra, from Astorga back to her home church after her visit to our city, an event that usually occurs every seven years. I journey with the crowds the last time, but stayed behind today with University work to do. So sleepy I snuggled back into the covers after kissing Enrique good-bye, read the news and dozed off until I was reawakened by lovely singing in the street below. Thousands of people slowly walking down our street, ahead, behind and carrying the Virgen of Castrotierra on their shoulders. This is after all a place of strong tradition.

Photos - Lucía de la Luna, Astorga Redacción 

Photos - Victorina Alonso Fernández