Newsletter 16th October 2018


This week I am focussing on the culture of Spain and France, but there is also an article about Xmas in Libya which I hope you will enjoy.  There is also an article about Kilimanjaro at


I had an excellent week.  On Wednesday night I went to a viewing of the film “The Childhood of Joan of Arc” at the Queens Film Theatre.  I have always been fascinated by her, and wrote a project when I was 14 which I still have.  It fits in with my French theme which will start in the New Year.   In 1425, an 8 year old shepherdess, Jeanette, who was to become Joan of Arc, is already struggling with her beliefs and deep religion.  She knew she was destined for great things. She was burnt at the stake at the age of 19.



Then, on Thursday night, I went to the International Sherry week at Direct Wines in Corporation Square, Belfast. It was the only one in Ireland… there was sherry tasting all over the world. The organisation was amazing, there was even a spittoon on the table… but no one used it.. not wanting to waste the delicious nectar. Jerez de la Frontera in Spain has a 3000 history of sherry making and it was first written about in 1BC.

John Flanigan and his troupe performed for us at the Spanish Summer School in Carrickfergus in July…. they were just as amazing that night as they had been in the summer.  They were joined by Ana Salcerdo Diaz.  There were a couple of new members of the band.  I have asked John Flanigan if he would like to blog on my site and explain the fascinating story of flamenco.  Ole!


Someone asked me for a Xmas story, and I had one which had been published in a magazine in Spain some years ago.    The culture there is of course dry, ie no booze.  Try telling the expats that back in the 1980s!  Our skin was amazing though as we made the beer from tins of biomalt…..


Scotland is still playing up about the North Highland Way.  It definitely looks as though the NC500 does not fulfill the criteria of the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism, or Climate Change.  Oh dear…


I really wish that Westminster wouldn’t keep blaming Ireland because they can’t get the question (ie not problem) of the Irish border sorted out.  I am outraged.  I was even more outraged when last night on News at Ten Huw Edwards blithely declared that the Irish border is the only one which is a direct border between the EU and the UK..  Since when was Gibraltar not in the UK… is there not a border there.  Oh dear, Huw, you got it wrong this time.  I have tweeted him.


%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star