Newsletter 15th October 2018

I was in Dublin yesterday… what a glorious city!


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

There is even a bit about Ireland!


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.


sherry 2Then, 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…..There were of course IRA camps in Libya.


I am consulting still regarding the North Highland Way – we seem to have an inordinate amount of trouble with this.  I do know why, but will not write it here.  The local “Enterprise Council” have funded a project which may not adhere to the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism. I have read it, and it doesn’t.  Oh dear.  I have told Independence Live… how can Scotland be independent when the authorities don’t know the difference between an Environmental Impact Assessment and the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism?  The Scots could be fined.  They don’t even know the difference between an EIA and the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism. As someone with a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Economics, Policy and Risk,  I certainly do know the difference.  There are two reasons I didn’t get my Masters:

  1.  I refused to do a multiple choice on the economics paper.  At Masters’ level… please… I wrote essays on the back of the paper instead.  My lecturers at Heriot Watt were not impressed.
  2. I was often out riding out my horses when I should have been studying.  There was one memorable occasion when dear old Richard (Irish hunter) and I won a veteran class in the Orkney Riding Club show.  It was announced on the radio, and I was found out.  Fortunately, I did pass the exam we did that day!



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.

Then, of course, there is the famous Mr. Richard Kane of Carrickfergus. You will need to ask Ron Bishop about him. You will find him in the Carrickfergus and District Historical Society. Sorry, Ron, I promised the news cutting… getting short of time, so will publish eventually.

Next week is the environment and how precious it is…. watch this space!






Published by Wild about Spanish, History and the Environment

Freelance writer and Spanish tutor working in Ireland and Scotland. BSc in Computing and Spanish, Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Economics, Policy and Risk, Diploma in Journalism. With 16 years experience in Scotland, we are well placed to assist with tourism development.

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