Wednesday, December 8

Miguel Hernández

No quiero despedir el año 2010 sin rendir mi pequeño homenaje al poeta oriolano Miguel Hernández (1910-1942) en el centenario de su nacimiento.

Sobre un magnífico dibujo realizado por el también poeta extremeño Julio Santiago he impreso las primeras estrofas de "Las nanas de la cebolla" uno de sus poemas más conocidos. Está dedicado a su segundo hijo Manuel Miguel al recibir una carta de su mujer en la cárcel donde le decía que no comía más que pan y... cebolla.
Disfrutad del poema completo cantado por Joan Manuel Serrat en este video.
Si quereis saber algo más de Miguel Hernández podeis descargar mi presentación aquí.

Saturday, November 20

Stererotyped Maps

A few months ago we (our school) finished a Comenius Program about how to deal with stererotypes and prejudices. Schools from Poland, Turkey, Italy and Spain presented our own cultural characteristics and made very enriching multicultural meetings in all the participant countries.We discovered that the perception we had about each nationality was not very accurated, we are not so diverse as we previously thought.
But, lo and behold I have recently come across these witty hilarious maps, featured in the Daily Mail, about stereotypes and they show different perspectives according to the country which is portraying its view.

Enjoy them, they are really worth it. You can see a lot more here .
(click on the maps to enlarge them).

The World seen by the USA

Europe seen by the USA

Europe seen by the Vatican

Europe seen by Italians

Europe seen by the Germans

Europe seen by the French

Europe seen by the British

Saturday, October 30

Pop up Books 2

Along with the subjects they illustrate, the techniques behind movable and pop-ups paper art have evolved from its earliest known origins. Traditional terminology, unusual techniques and personal creativity combine to form unique volumes and timeless illustrations.

The art of paper engineering encompasses a range of methods and techniques for creating pop ups. Some basic mechanisms are:

  • Mouth mechanism. It's the simplest folding technique to form a mechanism that unfolds when the card is closed.

  • Push and Pull (Slide mechanisms). As the name suggest this means that you cut two areas in the back of the book and slide a piece of paper through the gap. From there you can push or pull the mechanism.
  • V Fold. A piece of card or paper will be cut in such a way that it can be stuck to both sides of the paper. When the book is closed these two folds will be up against each other, when opened, the sides pull them enough to make it "pop up".

    • Box card. Interesting pop up designs can be produced by making two cuts to a backing card and bending the card inwards so that it forms a small stand (inside the card). Drawings or images can be placed on the stand so that when the card is opened the image "pops".

    Some advanced mechanisms include:

    • Volvelles. They are paper constructions with rotating parts.

    Transformation. It starts with a scene made up of vertical slats. Pulling a tab on the side makes the slats slide under and over one another to "transform" into a totally different scene.

  • Tunnel (also called peepshow books). It consists of a set of pages bound with two strips folded in a concertina manner on each side. The pages are then viewed through a die-cut hole on the cover and the effect is like you are looking through a tunnel. Openings in each page allow the viewer to see through the entire book and images on each page work together to create a three-dimensional scene inside.

  • Pop-out. The most commom type of pop-up is the pop-out. With this method the pages open fully and a 3D model appears miraculously in the middle of the page.

  • Sound and optical illusions which besides paper are made of wood, different types of plastic and rubber, metal and electronic chips depending on when they are produced.

  • The extreme pop-up. An extreme pop-up is where various different types of pop up mechanisms are used withing one page to create a big desired effect (Alice in Wonderland by Robert Sabuda)

  • Using all these mechanisms it's easy to imagine that the most commom problems with pop up books is to survive children's hands and handling. Other problems are mechanical damages with the consequences that the construction either do not work properly or do not work at all.


    Although today pop-up books are often found in the children's book section, the earliest movable books were tools to educate and document information, such as a calendar, the moon's movements, or the inner workings of the human heart.

    The first mechanical book dates back to the 13th century when a Catalan poet Ramón Llull used a revolving disc or volvelle to illustrate his theories.

    By the 14th century, scholars were using paper flaps to superimpose layers of the human body into detailed books about human anatomy. After this, there was little technical development in paper engineering until late 18th century when these techniques were applied to books designed for entertainment, particularly for children.

    The first Golden Age of pop-ups began with the "History of Little Fanny" by S.J. Fuller, 1810. A paper doll book with movable paper clothes. The Company Dean & Sons marketed about 50 different titles of movable and pop-up books between 1850s and 1900.

    The Industrial Revolution is underway creating a leisure class with money to spend on expensive books and the time to read them to their children.

    The best known publishers through the turn of the 19th century were: Ernest Nister and Raphael Tuck in England and Germany, Dean & Son in England and McLoughin in USA. The printing for most of these books was done in Germany where the chromolithography was best.

    The paper engineer considered the "Genius" of this Golden Age was Lothar Meggendorfer, the Munich artist, prolific, humorous and inventive. He wasn't satisfied with only one action on each page, he often had five parts of the illustration moving simultaneously in different direction with highly ingenius and complicated mechanisms.

    The First World War brought to an end this Golden Era and few movable books were produced. It became difficult to gather the manpower required as they were hand-assembled and labor-intensive. The demand for "frivolous" pastimes decreased as well.

    It would be over 50 years before these inventive books would again be in demand and published in large numbers.

    During the inter-war years, S. Louis Giraud in Britain begins publishing books with true pop-ups, activated by turning the page. The series, "The Daily Express", was followed by the "Bookano books". In the USA, "Blue Ribbon" animated Walt Disney characters and traditional fairy tales with pop-ups. It was Blue Ribbon that coined the term, "pop-up" and used it in their titles.

    The Second World War presented another interruption to the development of the pop-up. In the 1950s Vojtech Kubasta begins making pop up books in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

    The Second Golden Age of pop ups starts in the 1960s with Waldo Hunt who sees the work of Kubasta and inspired by them begins to produce his own pop up books.

    The beginning of the "New Wave" of pop up books began with the revolutionary "Haunted House" by Jan Pienkowski. Readers were enraptured by the book and it was a runaway success.

    With the market firmly established for pop-ups, there was an explosion in the number of publishers producing pop up books.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, there are excellent contemporary paper engineers such as David Hawcock, Bruce Foster, Chuck Fischer, David Carter, Marion Bataille, and the pop up masters Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhardt exploring new ideas and creating awesome pop up books.

    Sunday, October 3

    Pop up books

    Who can resist the allure of pop-up books?

    They are fascinating, amazing books which appeal and delight to children and grown-ups alike. There is something very satisfying and magical about being able to touch, manipulate and interact with the illustrations which makes the reading experience much more enjoyable.

    The epithet "pop up" is applied to any book that contains three-dimensional paper pictures or any mechanical or movable elements such as flaps or pull-tabs made of paper, they unfold and rise above the level of the page to our surprise and delight. Through the use of rivets, flaps, tabs, folds and cut paper, these books perform before our eyes. Each page becomes a stage inviting action and participation.

    They look like ordinary books but these "magical" books conceal withing their two dimensional covers magnificent structures and many different complicated mechanisms that can leave us in awe at the precision and power of paper engineering, as the design and creation of such books is called.

    Ingenious pop-up images bring graphics to life and always introduce an element of surprise. A successful pop up design is the result of the image, message and mechanisms all working together effectively. Pop-ups vary inmensely in terms of sophistication and complexity but even the most basic card with a single, simple mechanism can produce interesting effects, have a lot of visual impact and make us smile.

    Pop up books are still hand-assembled after the sheets have been printed and die-cut. Their publication involves the skill of a number of individuals. Publishers and packagers are continually seeking the least costly labor forces , so modern pop-up books are manufactured by a very few specialist factories in Colombia, China and Thailand.

    Nowadays there are many fine paper engineers exploring new ideas and ways of making breathtaking pop up books. I would highlight: David Hawcock, Bruce Foster, Chuck Fischer, David Carter, and for me the two "geniuses" pop-up masters Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart.

    I will give a list of my favourite pop up books:

    "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by Robert Sabuda

    "Alice in Wonderland" by Robert Sabuda

    "Star Wars" by Matthew Reinhart

    "Cinderella" by Matthew Reinhart

    "Encyclopedia Prehistorica" by Sabuda and Reinhart

    All these works by Sabuda and Reinhart are meticulously crafted with intrincate pop-ups and fold-outs that explode right out of the page and they are very cleverly engineered creating awesome pop-up books.

    "One Red dot"

    "Blue 2"

    "600 Black Spots"

    "Yellow Square"

    "White noise"

    All these excellent and brilliant works by David Carter.

    "Boticelli's Bed and Breakfast" by Jan Pienkowski.

    This book is meant to be opened up completely and tied end to end to reveal a 360 degree view of all the rooms.

    "ABC 3D" by Marion Bataille

    French graphic artist. She takes the alphabet to a sophisticated, three dimensional level. Prepare to be amazed. Each of the 26 three-dimensional letters move and change before your eyes.

    Through the years, the craftsmanship behind the creation of these books has grown more creative and complex and people are now no longer buying the books just for their children. Pop-ups are now being bought by adults for themselves, as works of art and collectibles.

    As you can see I am a lover of the magic of pop-ups, I appreciate them and the hard work that goes into creating interactive, pop-up books. I can't remember when my love for pop-ups began. As a child I was fascinated with Christmas pop-up cards relatives sent to us and I think I've kept this passion for them from those days.

    Pop ups and movable books are must haves for any library.

    (My next post will be about the techniques used to create pop-ups and a brief history of these books) You can download some books about pop ups here.

    Friday, September 3

    I've been humming "Piano Man" tune again and again lately. I love this song and it can get stuck in my head and it just won't quit. No matter what I do, this song won't leave me alone, it seems this song left me forever an emotional imprint on my heart.

    It's obviously a great son by Billy Joel, a beautiful nostalgic song for me. It makes me feel with a happy sadness.

    A bar pianist tells us about the regular people at the bar: an old man, John the barman, the waitress, businessmen, Paul the novelist and Davy a US Navy sailor. Their dreams have not come true and the pianist tries to help them "forget life for a while".

    I enjoy every verse of this amazing song starting with a jazzy piano line moving into its famous piano/harmonica tune.

    "There is an old man sitting next to me

    Makin' love to his tonic and gin

    He says, "Son, can you play me a memory

    I'm not really sure how it goes

    But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it for complete

    When I wore a younger man's clothes,"

    This verse makes my eyes sting and become watery.

    "They're sharing a drink they call loneliness

    But it's better than drinkin' alone" This is simply an awesome line

    The chorus is a singalong tune which comes from the bar customers who plead "Sing us a song you're the piano man

    sing us a song tonight

    well we're all in the mood for a melody

    and you got us all feeling all right"

    Enjoy this version of the song with Elton John and Billy Joel.

    Billy Joel widget by 6L &
    This could be the literal Spanish translation for the sung song:

    Son la nueve en punto de un sábado

    El público regular va llegando

    Hay un viejo sentado a mi lado

    Haciéndole el amor a su Gin-Tonic

    Dice, "Hijo, ¿puedes tocarme una vieja canción?

    No estoy realmente seguro cómo es

    Pero es triste y dulce y me la sabía por completo

    Cuando usaba la ropa de un hombre joven.

    La, la, la Di, Dee Da

    La, Da Di Dee Da Da Dum

    Cántanos una canción, tu eres el pianista

    Cántanos una canción esta noche

    Bien, estamos todos de humor para una melodía

    y nos hace sentir bien.

    Ahora John el de la barra es un amigo mio

    Me da mis bebidas gratis

    Y es rápido con las bromas o para encender un cigarro

    Pero hay otro lugar donde quisiera estar

    Dice, "Bill creo que esto me está matando"

    Mientras la sonrisa desaparece de su cara

    Bien estoy seguro que podría ser una estrella de cine

    si pudiera salir de este lugar

    La la...

    La Da...

    Ahora Paul es un novelista

    Que nunca tuvo tiempo para una esposa

    y habla con Davy que sigue en la Marina

    y probablemente sea así de por vida.

    Y la camarera practica su política

    Mientras los hombres de negocios se embriagan lentamente

    Sí, están compartiendo unos tragos que les llaman Soledad

    Pero es mejor que beber solo.

    Cántanos una canción...

    Es un buen público para un sábado

    Y el gerente me sonríe

    porque sabe que es a mi a quien vienen a ver

    Para olvidarse de la vida por un momento.

    Y el piano suena como un carnaval

    Y el micrófono huele como una cerveza

    Y se sientan en el bar y ponen propinas en mi jarra

    Y dicen "Hombre ¿Qué haces tu aquí?

    La, la...

    La Da...

    Cántanos una canción...

    Friday, July 30

    Gustav Klimt

    The Austrian painter and illustrator Gustav Klimt (1862 - 1918) is undoubtedly the most remarkable artist who has emerged from the turn-of-the century Vienna. Klimt's work exemplifies the encounter between the old art of the previous century and the new art of the 20th century.

    He dominated the art scene in this capital of the empire of Austo-Hungary. It was the Vienna of Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schönberg and Stefan Zweig, the Vienna of the great waltzes, admired all over the world for its artistic and cultural quality and diversity.

    At the age of fourteen he entered the public School of Arts and Crafts of Vienna. For seven years he learned the most diverse techniques, fom mosaics to fresco. Klimt received his first commissions while studying there, works for theatres, churches and museums ordered by several patrons.

    From 1886 to 1892, he executed mural decorations for staircases at the Burgtheater and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

    The tree of life

    In 1892 Klimt and Match were commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Education to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall of the new University of Vienna. The sensualism and originality of the allegories "Philosophy", "Medicine" and "Jurisprudence" led to a hostile reaction, provoked widespread controversy and scandals. He was incriminated for "pornography"and "excessive perversion". He never accepted a public commission again.

    Three ages of woman

    At 35 he was one of the founders of the association of Austrian Visual Artists, widely known as the Secession which had three main aims: provide to young artists with regular opportunities to exhibit their work; to bring to Vienna the best foreign artists and to publish its own monthly magazine, "Ver Sacrum". He withdrew eight years later dismayed by the increasingly strong trend towards naturalism.

    Water Snakes II

    The primal forces of sexuality, regeneration, love and death form the dominant themes of Klimt's work. His paintings constitute a sublime frontier between traditional and modern, figurative and non-figurative. His immensely erotic portraits and sexually-charged sketches, his figures evoking the gold ground of Byzantine art, his richly patterned landscapes and mysterious allegorical compositions are at once sensous and refined and remain among the most recognized works of art in the world. Today we see in these works the Byzantine luxuriance of form and the vivid juxtaposition of colours derived from the Austrian rococo.

    His paintings of "femmes fatales", such as Judith I personify the dark side of sexual attraction. The Kiss, his most known work, celebrates the attraction of the sexes. It's the most important work of his "golden phase". It has been compared to the Mona Lisa, as both exert a similar fascination. The enveloping robe substracts force to the painting's sexual representation, transforming the taboo of the kiss into a version which conquers the public's enthusiasm and the puritanical bourgeoisie's acceptance. Hope I, juxtaposes the promise of new life with the destroying force of death. Danae, a very erotic work depicts the conception of perseus by Zeus.

    The Kiss

    Klimt also painted landscapes based on the work of the Impresionists, even though he was not interested in time's play of lights and shadows. He found his way to landscape painting late in life, but it was a theme he greatly enjoyed. He did not draw sketches or studies for his landscapes, as he did for his portraits and allegories.

    In January 1918, while Klimt was getting dressed, he suffered a stroke which paralysed the right side of his body. Less than a month later, Klimt was struck by pneumonia and died on February 6, 1918.

    Thursday, June 10

    "Children Full of Life" is a series of short profoundly moving documentaries about a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokio where their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori, encourages students to write their true inner feelings in a letter and read it aloud in front of the class. Each day, three children read letters to their classmates talking honestly about their feelings and sharing deep, ordinarily inaccessible emotions with the rest of the students. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates and gives them the opportunity to discover the value of sharing powerful emotions.
    For a whole school year, the camera follows these 10-year-old's students showing how they grow and develop by learning empathy and compassion. They learn about themselves and their friends. Learn to cheer up their mates and to themselves. Learn to be courageous and take responsabilities.
    Classroom discussions include difficult issues such as the death of a parent or being the victim of bullying. There are great emotive moments in this class. Mr. Kanamori's message in Class One is that their primary goal of the year is to be happy. We only have one life so we have to enjoy it. "We come to school to be happy, so let's all be happy together". This is the vow made by Grade Four students and their teacher Kanamori. The class searches together for ways to understand and cope with troubled relationships, unhappiness and loss of loved ones. Through their daily experiences, we see how they develop together the spirit of co-operation and compassion creating strong bonds between them.
    An amazing moment is when a child stands up desperately for a friend. I could never imagine a child taking this kind of risk on behalf on another child. I also find it interesting that all the children took collective responsability for one child's actions.
    I have to admit, I teared up a few times watching it.

    - To my friend a.c.g.a. He was also such a teacher -
    (You can see a Spanish subtitled version in Youtube "Pensando en los demás" from the Catalonian tv. The images are not of a good quality but it deserves to be seen.)

    Sunday, June 6

    Rafa Nadal. Bravo!!

    Congrats Rafa!

    Rafael Nadal has won his fifth French Open tournament without losing a set and regain the world number one ranking.
    It's moving the way he sobbed like a baby, crying tears of joy. I love this boy, this tennis player, the only sportsman I am really interested in.
    And now, Go Rafa Go! Regain Wimbledon!

    Good luck!!

    Saturday, June 5

    MLK's Quotes

    Thursday, May 20

    I got a Creative Zen x-fi 2 on Mother’s Day from my son and he transferred some films to it. I have just seen one of them “The Wave”. I was deeply impressed by how easily people can be manipulated, above all teenagers.

    Dennis Gansel’s film “The Wave” poses the question, what led to the rise of the Nazis, and could it happen again?
    The setting is in a prosperous town in present-day Germany, it is based in a high school populated by affluent, intelligent students and staff. A class of teenagers sits bored at the prospect of a lesson about fascist autocracy. Their history teacher, Herr Wenger, seems equally unenthusiastic.
    He invites his students to participate in an experiment. For the next week the students will stand up to speak in class, address him as Sir and answer all the questions succinctly. He teaches them to sit up straight at their desks, to help each other out and to breathe correctly. Instead of rebelling, the students accepted gladly these new rules.

    What begins as a playful study in psychological manipulation soon runs out of hands.
    The group quickly begins to grow. They name themselves “The Wave”, invent a especial salute, devise a logo (a stylised wave), adopt a uniform (white shirt and jeans), create a My Space page, and exclude and persecute dissidents and non-conformists.
    New students soon join “The Wave”. By midweek the students have been transformed into an ersatz Hitler Youth and they don’t realise how quickly they are mimicking mistakes of the past. Mistakes they all thought could never happen again.
    A climax is unavoidable, resulting in a hard lesson for both Wenger and his students.

    A great film. It is a must see for everyone, but especially for the young.

    Sunday, May 16

    Uxío Novoneyra

    O Día das Letras Galegas (17 de maio) exalta as letras e a lingua Galega. Comezou a celebrarse en 1963.

    Este ano adícase a Uxío Novoneyra. Naceu en 1930 na aldea de Parada de Moreda, no Courel e finou en Santiago de Compostela o 30 de outubro de 1999. O Courel foi o principal referente físico para os seus versos, considerados dos mellores no tocante á paisaxística, dentro da literatura galega.
    Rematou o Bacharelato no 1948 en Lugo, e fixo algún curso de Filosofía e Letras en Madrid, onde comezou a escribir poemas en castelán. En 1952 comezou a escribir en galego, lingua que xa non deixaría nunca. Do 1953 ao 1962 estivo na montaña nativa, recobrándose dunha doenza pulmonar. En 1962 foi para Madrid de novo, e traballou na radio e na televisión. No 1966 regresou ao Courel, onde casou e tivo fillos. En 1983 afincouse definitivamente en Santiago. Foi, ata a súa morte, presidente da Asociación de Escritores en Lingua Galega.

    Facsimile de "Abrojos"

    En 1955 publicou "Os eidos", poemario con que comeza un ciclo poético que retomará con "Os eidos 2". "Letanía de Galicia e outros poemas" (1974). En 1979 publicou "Poemas caligráficos", prologado e ilustrado por Reimundo Patiño. Os textos están vinculados á vangarda pictórica organizada arredor do grupo Brais Pinto. A comezos da década de 1980 recompilou e depurou o seu ciclo courelán, publicando "Os eidos. Libro do Courel" (1981), que reeditou en varias ocasións. En 1983, afincado xa en Compostela, comezou unha recompilación temática da súa produción poética completa: "Muller pra lonxe" (1987), poemas paixonais e amorosos e "Do Courel a Compostela" 1956-1986, poemas políticos acompañados dunha antoloxía crítica. En 1994, logo de varios anos de silencio editorial, editou "Poemas de doada certeza i este brillo premido entre as pálpebras", e en 1998 Betanzos: "Poema dos Caneiros e Estampas".

    Nos seus textos, Novoneyra preocúpase sobretodo, pola forma poética e pola linguaxe. Formalmente, procuraba o mellor resultado visual e —sobre todo— sonoro para os textos (botando man para tal efecto de diversos recursos como o fonosimbolismo, a utilización de dialectalismos e vulgarismos, os silencios, o simbolismo gráfico, etc). As poucas palabras que emprega pretenden evocar dun modo máxico o mundo no que o home esta inmerso, designando as cousas para que estas aparezan perante nós.

    Sunday, May 9

    J.M. Barrie

    Today's the 150th anniversary of Sir James Matthew, Baronet Barrie, a Scottish journalist, playwright and children's book writer. He was born in the village of kirriemuir in Angus. From the beginning his life was marked by tragedy. He was the ninth child of a weaver who grew up in the shadow of an older brother, David, his mother adored golden boy, who was killed on the eve of his 14th birthday in a skating accident.

    In 1894 he married the actress Mary Ansell. The marriage was childless and ended in divorce. However, he was friends with Arthur and Sylvia LLewellyn Davies, and when they died, he became the legal guardian to their five sons.

    He became world famous with his play about Peter Pan (1904). It's the story of a boy who lived in Never Land, he had a war with Captain Hook, refused to grow up and created his own world of Indians, pirates and fairies.

    Michael dressed as Peter Pan wrestling with J.M. Barrie as Hook, August 1906

    The first name of Peter Pan was almost certainly taken from Peter Llewellyn Davies (1897-1960), one of the several Davies brothers that Barrie knew. He brought to life the myth of the perfect boy who never grows up, who can fly out of danger and yet for whom death would be "an awfully big adventure".

    Barrie retold the play in narrative form as "Peter and Wendy" (1911) because he wanted his creation to benefit youngsters as much as possible. Barrie donated his rights to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London.

    Friday, April 23

    23 April. It’s a symbolic date for world Literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes (according to Gregorian Calendar), Shakespeare (according to Julian Calendar) and Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It is natural then to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain respect for those who have fostered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

    Enjoy this humorous Norwegian video "Introducing the book" to celebrate this day.

    Friday, April 16

    Ieri sera il Dipartimento di Italiano della EOI di Vigo ha organizato un corso di cucina in lingua italiana con una cuoca esperta. I docenti che frequentano il corso básico di italiano abbiamo chiesto alla nostra insegnante a partecipare e lei gentilmente lo permette. È stata una buona esperienza in cui noi praticamo il vocabolario sul cibo della classe precedente, mentre abbiamo imparato tutto sulla "cramble" (Briciola) - la provenienza, l'origine, ingredienti ... - e, naturalmente, elaboraremo la deliziosa ricetta. Dopo la gustamo accompagnato da un tè inglese.
    È abbastanza semplice e facile di fare, uno stato di mele coperto da un impasto rigorosamente sbriciolato, cotto in forno fino a doradura.
    Questa è la ricetta fornita della cuoca:
    Ingredienti per 6 persone:

    6 mele - 100 g zucchero - 1 cucchiaio di zucchero di canna (anche quello raffinato) - (scorza di limone grattugiato) - 300 g farina bianca - 150 g burro o margarina - panna / yogurt

    Si dispongono le mele tagliate a fette non troppo sottili in una pirofilia da forno, sovrapponendole in modo da non lasciare spazi vuoti. Si cosparge la frutta con una noce di burro e le scorza di limone grattugiato (se vi piace con un tocco al limone)
    Per il crumble, cioè il crostone che coprirà le mele, si mescolano con le dita farina bianca e burro o margarina (il dopio del peso della farina rispetto a quello del burro), in modo da ottenere un composto simille alla molica di pane grattugiata. Si aggiunge poi lo zucchero un terzo della quantità della farina) continuando a mescolare in modo da ottenere un composto leggero e soffice. Si versa il composto sulle mele, comprendolle bene e premendo leggermente. Si sparge poi zucchero di canna sopra al crumble e lo si inforna per circa 45 minuti a 180º C. È buonissimo anche se viene preparato con prugne e banane e aggiungendo una manciata di noci tritate. Si mangia caldo, spesso accompagnato da Custard ( crema simile alla pasticciera) oppure da panna leggermente montata.

    Friday, March 26


    by Jenny Joseph


    With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

    And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

    I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired

    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

    And run my stick along the public railings

    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

    And pick the flowers in other people's gardens

    And learn to spit

    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

    Or only bread and pickle for a week

    And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

    And pay our rent and not swear in the street

    And set a good example for the children.

    We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

    But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

    So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

    When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

    "When I Am An Old Woman" is a delightful poem that speaks of growing old in a wonderfully outrageous style, when political incorretness or whimsical behaviour might be accepted "just because you're old".

    It was written in 1961 by the British Jenny Joseph. This classic describes women's need for freedom from the usual social conventions. It is symbolized by the red hat worn with purple, which the Victorian fashion considered a no-no.

    The poem is popularly known by many titles including "Warning", "When I Am An Old Woman", "The Purple Poem", "Purple" and by other affectionate names. It's cherished by thousands of women throughout the world and practically everyone enjoys its light humour above all the ending of the poem when it says: "But maybe I ought to practice a little now..."

    The interest in the poem has grown over the years and there are a whole product line about the poem including cards, T-shirts, bookmarks, magnets, decorative boxes... and other gift products.

    Thursday, March 11

    11 - M Madrid

    Mi pequeño y humilde homenaje a las víctimas del 11 - M de Madrid con "Jueves", canción de la Oreja de Van Gogh dedicada a estas víctimas.

    Wednesday, March 3

    Yep, I started Bits and Bobs five years ago today. Five years and I still feel I'm learning what this blogging thing is all about.
    To be fair, my dear humble blog is not as prolific as some blogs and posting has been rather sporadic and I did take some long breaks in there. It has 122 posts now and it has changed a lot since it was started mainly in appearance.
    For those of you reading me and for the kind commenters, thank you for all your support and enthusiasm. It's encouraging to get feedback about what I write. Thanks a lot and a big hug.