Posts tagged with ‘Spain’

‘The Sacred Made Real’ at the National Gallery

To quote their own blurb: ‘The Sacred Made Real’ presents a landmark reappraisal of religious art from the Spanish Golden Age with works created to shock the senses and stir the soul. Paintings, including masterpieces by Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Zurbarán, are displayed for the very first time alongside Spain’s remarkable polychrome wooden sculptures. […]

Congratulations Spain

A much deserved win. Which, incidentally, means that there are now 10 countries who have won a major international football tournament since England last did it. Germany, Italy and Brazil have won 10 between them in that period. » Winners Spain, uploaded to Flickr by mwboeckmann and used under a CC by-nc-sa licence.

thoughts on England vs Spain

If Peter Crouch didn’t spend the first half hour of a game treating defenders to his best imitation of a mountaineer trying to swarm up the north face of the Eiger, he might be more likely to get decisions going in his favour later. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Kieron Dyer have both still got the qualities […]

bird of the year 2006: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant All those rainforest plants were nice, and I enjoyed taking wildflower photos while I was in Spain. But, not least because it’s nice to pick a winner that I can actually identify, I’m going for the Galapagos Prickly Pear, Opuntia echios. On islands where there are giant tortoises and land iguanas, they’ve evolved […]

(my) bird of the year, 2006

While I’m rounding up 2006. 2006 was a pretty good birding year for me, mainly because of my trip to Andalusia at Easter and Galapagos/Ecuador in the autumn. But I did get one lifer in Britain this year, which for a rather occasional, fair weather birder like me was very exciting. That was Horned Grebe […]

Scallops with serrano ham and sherry

Based loosely on ‘angels on horseback’ and a Spanish dish. No pictures, I’m afraid. Mix up a little olive oil, lemon juice and pepper. Dip each scallop in the mix and wrap it in a narrow strip of ham. Fry the hammy scallops until just done. Deglaze the pan with dry sherry and pour over […]

Menu drollery

An Indian takeaway menu put through my door had this: Biryanis This elaborate form of cooking involves baking layers of meat or vegetables such that the flavours and aromas enthuse the rice; enhanced with saffron and spices. Which reminded me of a couple of phonetic attempts at English from a menu in Spain. Since I […]

Spain photos

I forgot to say, you can see a (fairly large) selection of my Spain photos here.

Spain Bird List

I’ve divided the list into not-very-taxonomically-coherent chunks to make it easier to read. Little Grebe Great-crested Grebe ?Mediterranean Shearwater Cormorant Little Bittern Cattle Egret Squacco Heron Little Egret Grey Heron Purple Heron White Stork Glossy Ibis Spoonbill Flamingo Greylag Goose Mallard Gadwall Shoveler Garganey Pochard Red-crested Pochard Griffon Vulture Short-toed Eagle Booted Eagle Black Kite […]

Whales watched.

The whales behaved very prettily – a group of Long-finned Pilot Whales came over and swam around the boat so we could see them. Also Common Dolphin and Striped Dolphin. They saw the first Sperm Whale of the season yesterday, apparently, but no such luck for us. Also saw what I’m pretty sure must have […]


I’ve booked a whale-watching trip for tomorrow. I suspect this means a few dolphins and a pilot whale if you’re lucky, rather than enormous skeins of sperm whales stretching as far as the eye can see. But I figure it will also be a good way to see some pelagic birds – skuas, shearwaters, petrels […]


I’m in Tarifa. Tarifa is the southernmost point in Europe – or at least the point closest to Africa or something – which is why I’m here. Migration. Huge flocks of raptors flying across the straits on their way north. Theoretically. It’s also the kite-surfing capital of Europe, so if I suddenly get the urge […]


I actually came in to check my email, but for some reason this computer won’t let me access it. Some stupid security setup I expect. So I’ll anecdotalise instead. I went into a restaurant for lunch today – Easter Sunday – and they were playing the ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ soundtrack on the stereo. Sly satire?


Seville! City of tiny platesful of food! The food has indeed been yummy. Garlic prawns, morcilla (the local version of black pudding), scrambled eggs with garlic shoots and ham, etc etc. I haven’t been getting my 5 servings of fruit and vegetable a day, mind you. Even if you count bread and breadsticklets as seperate […]

El Rocio

OK, I can’t get to my hotel because there’s a procession in the way, which seems like a good opportunity to blog the first week of my trip. Or to go to a bar and have a beer and a little tapa of something, but blogging it is. I went to a town on the […]


Tomorrow I’m going to Spain for three weeks. I expect I’ll get to an internet café and blog something sooner or later, but I don’t know when that’s likely to be. I’m planning to keep napowrimoing, and I’ll post them when I get the chance.

Birds, history and stuff

When I started planning a trip to Andalucía, I posted a message to BirdForum asking whether my plans were practical. One of the people who replied was John Butler, who, I’ve since discovered, not only runs bird tours there but actually wrote the book on birding in the area. One of the things he said […]

hable despacio por favor

I’ve been trying to learn a little Spanish before going on holiday. I have no illusions that a few weeks of cramming will enable me to walk alongside the Rio Guadalquivir reading Lorca in the original – or even make small talk about the weather – but at least it might give me a starting […]

holiday reading suggestions, please

When I go on holiday, I like to take reading matter which is appropriate to the place I’m going. The theory is that both the book and the place are enhanced by each other. A couple of years ago, I went to Tivoli and greatly enjoyed Howard‘s recommendation – Benvenuto Cellini’s Autobiography. Really, read it, […]

The cruellest month. Not.

Three days ago I started planning a holiday with nothing more specific than a vague thought that I wanted to go to Seville last time I was in Spain (8 or 9 years ago) and never made it. Now I’ve pretty much organised a trip this April that starts in a hotel with a view […]

Viva España

I’m just in the process of organising a holiday in Spain, and I’ve excitingly managed to book a room with a marsh view for the first part of my trip. It’s a birdy thing.