Articles in ‘Uncategorized’

The trial of Andrés Nin

In Barcelona last week opened a political trial so engrossing that even a major air raid, even, the shattering concussion of bombs which exploded a few hundred yards from the courtroom did not distract the judges, prisoners or spectators. In an atmosphere electric with hate and Spanish passion, Andrés Nin was at last put on trial in absentia. Andrés Nin’s small, blonde Russian wife or widow had a ringside spectator’s seat.

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Origin of wolf spiders

In english they are named “wolf spiders”, because it was supposed in a recent past that they hunted their preys in group, as wolves; but science demostrated that it was not true. Incorrectly, yet in Spanish they are sometimes named as “arañas lobo”, although more frequently receive the name of “tarántulas” or simply “licosas”.


Spanish mining directory

This site has the lowdown on mining in Spain:

Most of Spain’s mineral wealth is based on gold and base metal mining. Spain is an EU leader in terms of the value of minerals and metals produced. All uranium oxide production by the state-owned company, Enusa, at its Ciudad Rodrigo (Salamanca) mines, has now finally ceased. Spain has ceased massive-sulphide mining operations in the Iberian Pyrite Belt whilst operations at Reocín in the north of Spain have also been exhausted. Rio Narcea Gold Mines has become the only major copper and gold producer in Spain.

Pollarding ash trees in Spain

The ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is commonly used in Spain as a source of firewood using the technique called “pollarding”.  Using this method the land owners are able to harvest decent firewood from their trees without killing them. Read

Almond trees in Andalucia

“Thanks to a long history of human agriculture, trade and migration Andalucia’s majestic landscape is very much the product of man as well as nature. One introduced species which transforms huge swathes of countryside in early spring is the edible Almond, prunus dulcis, with its spectacular white or soft pink blossom. Not only does the almond blossom transform the landscape, but its fruit, the almond nut, plays a major role in the agricultural economy and in the local culture.” Read

The oldest Ginkgo trees in Spain

Santiago del Compostela (photo Gomez)

Ginkgo trees (female tree left, male tree right) belong to the oldest ginkgo trees in Spain. They were planted in Santiago de Compostela in around 1885. Read

Lady Elm Tree of Pareja – La Olma de Pareja

“This lovely tree has been sheltering the square in the town of Pareja Spain for almost 500 years. It was so famous that it was mentioned in a 1946 travel book: “They call it lady oak because it is rounded, full-bodied, matriarchal, an elm as old perhaps as the oldest stone in the town.”

Using an ipod touch to teach English

I use my ipod touch as an aid to teaching English to small groups of private students. I find it very handy as a resource for:

  • Photos (personalisation). Old photos of me leading to conversation about childhood, etc.
  • Photos in the news downloaded from the web.
  • Photos on topics of interest to my students, eg. local history, art
  • Having a store of information and photos to be accessed when a topic arises
  • BBC podcasts for listening
  • The app
  • The Wikipedia app. A dump version accessible anywhere. Incredibly useful as a resource.
  • Stopwatch for games
  • Making notes – list of films I’ve seen this year, books as a prompt to conversation
  • Handy rules of thumb, downloaded, available always
  • As a way of encouraging students to download BBC podcasts by showing them how they work