Tuesday, 8 December 2015


Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. I know this because my Italoan friend/teacher commented on it a few weeks ago when she realised I was going to miss the final class of the term and, as a result, the Christmas "party". She promised to take a picture and put it on Facebook. I'll check later. 

Of course, if the conception took place on early December something went awry on the chronology front if the baby was born on the 25th. Of course I know that the date was changed so that Christmas could be kind of overlaid on an older religious celebration, probably the winter equinox. 

Because of the Immaculate Conception in Spain it's a public holiday. I noticed a number of places planning to be closed yesterday: that Spanish thing of "making a bridge". And on Sunday we came across a gaita band in procession down the pedestrian bit of Urzáiz in Calvario, Vigo. We had walked up to the Castro to catch some December sunshine and came across the band on our way back. 

It may be December but some of the trees still seemed to think it was mid-September, judging by the colours and the amount of foliage left on them. 

We left the Iberian peninsula in the rain yesterday and travelled back to the UK, where the far Northwest has had flooding, serious flooding. Some people have been washed out of their homes for the second time in just a few years. Not a good situation. 

Today I woke to rain on the windows of our son's house in Chesham but by 9.00 it had stopped and by late morning the day was clear and sunny. The weather is doing wierd stuff all around. We were surprised by the number of flowers still out in Portugal and Northwest of Spain but here in Chesham there are trees in blossom as well. 

The world's weather patterns are seriously disrupted!


  1. The "Immaculate Conception" refers to Mary the mother of God being conceived without original sin. It has nothing to do with the birth of Christ.