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martes, 27 de marzo de 2012


Answer the following questions from the video:

1. Estimate date of Good Friday.
2. When was the Last Supper?
3. What do eggs symbolize?
4. Mention another myth of birth and renewal.

Pagan traditions give us the English word "Easter" which comes from the word "Eostre". The Anglo-Saxon word for April was "Eostre-monath" (the month of openings). However, it should be remembered that Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ long before the word "Easter" was used, and the word they used for the celebration was "Pascha", which is derived from and linked to the Jewish festival of Passover. An Anglo-Saxon legend tells how the Saxon goddess Eostre found a wounded bird and transformed it into a hare, so that it could survive the Winter. The hare found it could lay eggs, so it decorated these each Spring and left them as offering to the goddess.

Origins of Colouring Eggs at Easter
Decorating and colouring eggs for Easter was a common custom in England in the middle ages. Eggs were brightly coloured to mimic the new, fresh colours of spring. The practice of decorating eggs was made even more famous by King Edward I of England who ordered 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and coloured for Easter gifts in 1290.
Two of the typical games to do with them is Eggs Rolling and Eggs Hunting.

Some food eaten during Easter are Simnel Cake and Hot Cross Bunstraditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of then Crucifixion. It is also believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre so in this case the cross symbolises the four quarters of the moon.

In Greek mythology there are also some connections to rebirth, for instance the myth of Persephone. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus, who was abducted by Hades, god of the Underworld, to be his bride. Her mother was pretty sad and missing her daughter, so she begged Zeus to intervene in the matter and request Hades her daughter back to the world. Yet it was too late, because she had already taken the fruit of forgetfulness, the pomegranate, so she could not go back. Nevertheless, Zeus managed to arrange a deal, so she could spend half of the year with her mother (spring-summer season) and the rest of the year reamained as the queen of the Underworld.

Persephone also triggered a rather similar myth to her own one. Aphrodite gave her a box for safekeeping in the Underworld. Although Persephone was told not to open it, she did, so she saw the most beautiful boy she had ever seen. When Aphrodite claimed him back, Persephone refused it. Zeus, intervened once more and decreed that the boy, Adonis, should spend one third of the year with Aphrodite, one third by himself and the other one in the Underworld.

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet. It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn a new to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis.

domingo, 25 de marzo de 2012

Greek Independence Day and Greek Easter

No need to tell how important is Greek Culture in my life... Thanks Sophia for sharing your work with me. It was really a pleasure having worked with you. 

Greek Salad on a Stick
Greek Salad (χωριάτικη σαλάτα), i.e. the salad of the village is the most common salad eaten in Greece. 

What are its ingredients?

Of course, feta cheese. Feta is a brine curded cheese. Greek people serve a bit piece on the top of the salad, so it could be torn and crumbled afterwards.
Cucumber must be sliced in a way that some parts of the skin are left.
Tomato, as the rest of the ingredients, Greek people love it in big pieces. 
Shallot, red onion, which should be put for a while in salty water to sweeten the flavour.
Dress them all with salt, pepper and oregano.

To prepare it, just dice the ingredients as it is shown in the picture, pierce them with a stick, dress the salad, without forgetting the oregano and enjoy it.
Have you realized what the missing ingredient is? of course, a Kalamata olive. It's an almond-shaped deep-`purple olive with a rich and fruity flavour from its wine vinegar marinate. 

Easter is coming so have a Happy Easter and a great Greek Independence Day!

Teaching English by Fran |Melitzanosalata [DiaDeLaEnsalada]
Teaching English by Fran | Burns Night

jueves, 22 de marzo de 2012

World Water Day

Photo by Fran M

World Water Day

Every time humans disrupt the natural water cycle there is a consequence. When large quantities of water are diverted or taken out of the natural system this affects the local surface water supply, which, in the long run, affects the ecosystem, plants and animals, as well as the local communities. This animation highlights how the water cycle works and how we sometimes disrupt it.

miércoles, 21 de marzo de 2012

World Poetry Day

 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco)declared  March 21st as World Poetry Day. I have already posted some of our favourite poems in my posts 
This is the message from  Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO for World Poetry Day:
"Poets convey a timeless message. They are often key witness to history’s great
political and social changes. Their writings inspire us to build lasting peace in our minds, to rethink relations between man and nature and to establish humanism founded on the uniqueness and diversity of peoples. This is a difficult task, requiring the participation of all, whether in schools, libraries or cultural institutions. To quote the poet Tagore, the 150th anniversary of whose birth will be celebrated this year, "I
have spent my days in stringing and unstringing my instrument."

Dedication to me by Luis G. Montero
I love poetry and my favourite Spanish poets are Luis García Montero and Luis Cernuda. The first one was a mirror where I wanted to get my reflection. His classes always started with a poem. I remember that a guy said that poems where too sacred in his class - he was completely wrong by the way, so I decided to read a poem by San Juan de la Cruz, whose poems Dichos de Luz y Amor were written in what nowadays is known as Códice de Andújar.
Códice de Andújar by F.M
"A la tarde te examinarán en el amor".

From Cernuda, I love this poem which includes a conditional in its title "If a man could say what he loves".

From friends who are poets, I remember Nuria del Río y su Con Delirio Infantil, poetizando sobre los paraguas de colores.
I wouldn't like to forget the modernist poet Ruben Darío and his poem "Estival", where you should feel sympathy for the Bengal tigress.

If I move to English poetry, of course I have to mention Shakespeare and his Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come: 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
In general, pleasant poetry is about Love, 
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

I don't want to leave without flying to Greece. The most popular poetess, Sappho and her "Ode to Aphrodite" 
Ποικιλόθρον᾽ ὰθάνατ᾽ ᾽Αφρόδιτα,
παῖ Δίος, δολόπλοκε, λίσσομαί σε
μή μ᾽ ἄσαισι μήτ᾽ ὀνίαισι δάμνα,
πότνια, θῦμον.

ἀλλά τυίδ᾽ ἔλθ᾽, αἴποτα κἀτέρωτα
τᾶς ἔμας αὔδως αἴοισα πήλγι
ἔκλυες πάτρος δὲ δόμον λίποισα
χρύσιον ἦλθες

ἄρμ᾽ ὐποζεύξαια, κάλοι δέ σ᾽ ἆγον
ὤκεες στροῦθοι περὶ γᾶς μελαίνας
πύκνα δινεῦντες πτέῤ ἀπ᾽ ὠράνω αἴθε
ρος διὰ μέσσω.

αῖψα δ᾽ ἐξίκοντο, σὺ δ᾽, ὦ μάκαιρα
μειδιάσαισ᾽ ἀθανάτῳ προσώπῳ,
ἤρἐ ὄττι δηὖτε πέπονθα κὤττι
δηὖτε κάλημι

κὤττι μοι μάλιστα θέλω γένεσθαι
μαινόλᾳ θύμῳ, τίνα δηὖτε πείθω
μαῖς ἄγην ἐς σὰν φιλότατα τίς τ, ὦ
Ψάπφ᾽, ἀδίκηει;

καὶ γάρ αἰ φεύγει, ταχέως διώξει,
αἰ δὲ δῶρα μὴ δέκετ ἀλλά δώσει,
αἰ δὲ μὴ φίλει ταχέως φιλήσει,
κωὐκ ἐθέλοισα.

ἔλθε μοι καὶ νῦν, χαλεπᾶν δὲ λῦσον
ἐκ μερίμναν ὄσσα δέ μοι τέλεσσαι
θῦμος ἰμμέρρει τέλεσον, σὐ δ᾽ αὔτα
σύμμαχος ἔσσο.

In Modern Greek, Kavafis is my favourite with his Ithake and Elitis's Όλα τα πήρε το καλοκαίρι
A present from a friend
In general, poetry is a synonim of LOVE.

Jocelyn left Spain leaving me the 101 best poems in Northamerican Literature. Thanks!! It has been a pleasure working with you. I will miss you.

martes, 20 de marzo de 2012

Sport Relief

As one of the UK's biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. Whatever your reasons for wanting to run a mile (or 3, or 6!), you can do it on Sunday 25th March at a Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile event near you. Plus all the money you raise will help to change the lives of people here in the UK and across the world's poorest countries. So get your shorts on and legs go!

This is the official song of this year's Sport Relief: Proud by JLS

Find the rhyme in the song and words of encouragement field.

When my strength was gone, and I just gave up on life
In my darkest place you were my guide
And you told me that I should live my life to the limit
When you fall down get back up and fight
Well the shape of my heart don’t lie
I’m determined when you trust in me
It's all I need

Now I’m hoping, if you hear this
You believe that all that I do is to make you proud
Make me stronger, so that I rise up
Made my mind up
So that all that I do is to make you proud
Proud, proud, make you proud, proud
Proud, proud, make you proud, proud
All that I do is to make you proud

I never gave up then cause you said keep hope alive
The champion gives one last try
Said I deserve the best in life
I should be winning
Gotta spread your wings and prepare to fly

Well the shape of my heart don’t lie
I’m determined with your faith in me
To make you see
Nobody can tell me they were there for me
Before you came around
There was pain in every heart beat
But eventually you built my reserve to be strong
Now I’m hoping, if you hear this
You believe that all that I do is to make you proud

Now I’m hoping, if you hear this
You believe that all that I do is to make you proud
Make me stronger, so that I rise up
Made my mind up

Britons love their quiz. There is nothing more appealing than going to a pub, have a lager and take part of a quiz. How many questions did you get right?
British people also love their lottery. Why don't you play Guess who? with this bunch of famous people?

lunes, 19 de marzo de 2012

La Pepa

The year 2012 is perfect for visiting Cádiz because all year round this city in Andalusia is celebrating that on 19 March 1812 the first liberal constitution in Europe was approved, popularly known as "La Pepa". Many activities will take place, such as historical re-enactments, concerts, food tasting sessions... An event not to be missed!

Cadiz will be an attractive destination for 2012 thanks to this event, which will also include shows, parades, conferences, boat shows, processions…

The city will be the Ibero-American Capital of Culture, with activities such as the premiere of the play State of Siege by Albert Camus, a concert by Daniel Barenboim's West Eastern-Divan Orchestra, a set of concerts called "Music in the Courts of Cadiz", the 8th Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture, etc.

Cádiz will also recover emblematic places such as the Oratory of San Felipe Neri Oratory, where "La Pepa" - the first constitution that paved the way for modernity - was drafted.

Many other cities in Spain are also commemorating this important date with a series of cultural events, including exhibitions and music festivals.
(taken from Spain Info)

Enactment of the Spanish Constitution

For further information, click on La Moncloa webpage. 

Teaching English by Fran |4th July
Teaching English by Fran |Friday 13th

miércoles, 14 de marzo de 2012

St Patrick's Day

St Patrick's Day a day to celebrate! No matter where you are, either in Ireland or in the USA; even in some other parts of the world, there will be a St Patrick's festival going on. 
During this week I feel greener than ever, this is why I am having an Irish breakfast tea in the morning and an ale in the evening the end up my day. 
Photo by Manu Catman

1st Act: Fill in the blanks below with words from this box (act taken from bogglesworldesl.com.)

pot of gold

St. Patrick’s Day
Chicago's river
St. Patrick’s Day is a _______________ honoring Saint Patrick. People wear _____________ colored clothing and some women wear green ____________ in their hair. People who don’t wear green clothing get _______________ as a punishment. People also wear ______________, which are a symbol of Ireland. As well, there are ____________ on the streets and sometimes people ______________ the rivers green.

Saint Patrick

Banishing the snakes
____________ Patrick is the patron saint of ______________. According to _____________, Saint Patrick was ______________ in Britain and then _______________ by pirates and sold as a _______________ in Ireland.  He escaped with the help of an _____________ and then lived in a ____________ for twelve years before going back to Ireland. When he returned to Ireland he performed many ______________. According to one myth, Saint Patrick got rid of all of the ________________ in Ireland.


A leprechaun is an Irish ____________.  They are very ____________ and like to make ______________. If you catch a leprechaun, they can tell you where a ___________________ is. But be careful, If you take your ____________ off of them for an instant, they _________________.
© 2

2nd Act 4th of ESO you should watch History.com's video and answer some of the following questions:

  1. Give another name for Ireland and why is that nickname given?
  2. Narrate the first myth of St. Patrick's.
  3. What are the shamrocks a metaphor of?
  4. When and why did the Irish emigrate to USA?
  5. What are the first and the most popular parades in USA?
  6. What is the main dish for Irish-American on St. Patrick's Day?
Learn some facts about Ireland:

Symbols & Traditions

The Irish Flag has three vertical strips of green, white and orange and was first used in 1848. It's colours held important significance for the political situation in Ireland at the time. The green represented the Catholic majority while the orange was the colour of the Protestant population. The middle stripe of white symbolised a hope of peace or unity between the two.

The harp has long been the traditional symbol of Ireland. The musicians of ancient chieftains played the harp and today we'll see it on coins, the presidential flag, uniforms, state seals and so on. The Celtic harp is said to stand for immortality of the soul.

For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence.

Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, they are rather more cautious of the safety of their visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The prize is a real one as once kissed the stone bestows the gift of eloquence.

Blarney Castle

A limerick is a silly poem with five lines. They are often funny or nonsensical
How to write a limerick: the first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 8 or 9). The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 5 or 6). Limericks often start with the line "There once was a..." or "There was a..." Here you are an example by Leanne Guenther

There once was a shamrock named Shawn,

Whose leaves first unfurled in the dawn

He was easily seen,

With his bright leaves of green,

Right up ‘til the day he was gone.

Act 3: Can you create your own one?

Act 4:Some idioms with green: Are there any similar in your own language?

  • give someone the green light- "give permission to go ahead with a project"
  • to have a green thumb - "a have a talent for making things grow"
  • green with envy -"very jealous, full of envy"
  • wearing of the green - "to wear green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day"
  • to be green around the gills -"to look very sick"
  • green-eyed monster - "to feel jealous"
  • to be green - "to be inexperienced at something"
  • grass is always greener on the other side - "a place that is different seems better than where we are now"
  • folding green- "paper money"
Act 5:
We are practising musical competence with a song with one of the most common surnames of Irish origin Old MacDonald had a farm. We are going to play musical chairs.
And... some more Celtic music, if you feel like going on with the game.

viernes, 9 de marzo de 2012

Desperate Pineapple Cake for a Circus Day

As I am not a good cook, I know from the very beginning that my entry would be discarded. Since most of the contestants are women and the International Women's Day is not far, I am going to dedicate my entry to them, because they're worth it.
This is about food, and my favourite food poem was written by William Carlos Williams in 1934

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
           you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
           they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

The author was an early proponent of Imagism, a movement he valued for its stripping away of conventions.
In English, if you speak with a plum in your mouth, you speak in a way that shows you are from a very high social group. According to the online etymology dictionary, the word comes from Latin prunum, -i and Germanic represents the unique example of changing pr- into pl-. The word was first recorded in English in 1780 and means "something desirable".
Some desirable are always the texts and introductions  that our Caty from Circus Day offers us before the delicious recipes as delicious as the plums in the poem. Caty's blog is an invitation to fantasy, to fly away while elaborating a recipe. In addition to this, you cannot forget that a Circus is a show, and the Show Must Go On, so dear Rosilet, never give up!!

Now I move on with my recipe.
Source: Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives
Season 7 Episode 20

  • 375 g = 13.2277 oz of flour which already contained yeast 
  • Idem for white sugar
  • A few drops of milk
  • 125 ml of sunflower oil = 1/2 cup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pineapple yoghurt 125 gr.
  • Two teaspoons of brown sugar
  • Some water
The history of how I became the Master of Disaster:
First thing I did. I turned on the cook..heheh... In a pan, I put the brown sugar with some water and I stirred, and stirred until I got something even more brownish than before that seemed to be caramel. 
I put the mixture on a baking tray and while the oven was getting pre-heated at a temperature of 180 º C = 356 º F, I started mixing the other ingredients in a food processor. 
I opened a tin of pineapple which seems to be a tropical fruit in Spain. Many languages use the Tupi word ananas which means "excellent fruit". (Tupian languages are a group of around seventy languages spoken in Latin America).
Once I have found out about the origin of the word, and if the pineapple was really a tropical fruit, I put a layer of them over the caramel and immediately I poured the dough that I got on the food processor. 
Finally, I put it in the oven for 30 minutes; 10 minutes later, I realised that it was a little bit too brown. OMG! I thought, why am I a fan of Marcia Cross and I follow her @ReallyMarcia, when I should be following @EvaLongoria, as I am much of Gabrielle when it comes to kitchen stuff???
After the 30 minutes, my cake was NOT done, so I had to wait until Manu Catman came to rescue my it. He removed the burned part of it, and took it back to the oven and here you are the result .

I have had a piece this morning with my black tea, and another piece in the afternoon with a light Fortnum & Mason blend afternoon tea.

Sweet things in my life

  • I love travelling and meeting other cultures, although my favourite one has always been the Greek one. After having taken English studies, I am very interested in the Anglo-Saxon culture and I would love to visit New Zealand and check with my own eyes the Maori culture. I would love to go to Australia and visit the USA every now and then.
  • I am obliging(always keen on helping others)
  • I have been helping parentless children and elder people and I think I should back to this some time in my life.
  • I am too much of a sensitive person. Memories from the past bring tears to my eyes, even if they are sweet.
  • If I mean something, I really mean it. 

Salty things in my life

  • I tend to iconize people and the moment I realize they are just human being I feel pretty upset.
  • I kept forgetting things. I seems that I listen, but in the end, I am not. (Although I want to!)
  • I can't cope with people on customer services. I can easily lose control and  even be a tyrant. Being a diplomatic person is definitely not one of my qualities.
  • I hate queues. I feel that people make me lose my precious time. (Actually, my time is not so)
  • I am chaotic doing things. I mean to do more than one thing at the same time, and I always end doing something wrong.

jueves, 8 de marzo de 2012

International Women's Day

Today my entry is for my beloved mum, my sisters, Ana & Ana, Mª Angeles, Noelia, Julie, Susana, Patri, Tai, Lúu, Inma, Asun, Lola, Mª Carmen, Gema, Magüi, Azucena, Deborah, Isabelle, Sophia, Jocelyn, Merely, Linda, Lorena, Maite, Ángeles, Eva, Conchi, Mª José, Maribel, Encarni, Marisa, Marga, Montse, Mª Cruz, Yolanda, Carmen, Pau, Francis, Esther, Cristina, Manoli, Violeta, Sheila, Pilar, Nani, Virginia, Karen, Teresa, Sara, Rosy, Caty, Malena, my friends 2.0...(if you feel you should be here, just add a comment)
But why women's day...The idea of an International Women's Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies.

On 8 March 1857, women working in clothing and textile factories (called 'garment workers') in New York City, in the United States, staged a protest. They were fighting against inhumane working conditions and low wages. The police attacked the protestors and dispersed them. Two years later, again in March, these women formed their first labour union to try and protect themselves and gain some basic rights in the workplace.

On 8 March 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights and an end to child labour. They adopted the slogan "Bread and Roses", with bread symbolizing economic security and roses a better quality of life.

 The Day was established to honour the movement for women's rights, including the right to vote (known as 'suffrage'). At that time no fixed date was selected for the observance.

On 25 March, 1911, the tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took place. Over 140 workers, mostly young Italian and Jewish immigrant girls working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, lost their lives because of the lack of safety measures. The Women's Trade Union League and the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union led many of the protests against this avoidable tragedy, including the silent funeral march which brought together a crowd of over 100,000 people. The Triangle Fire had a significant impact on labour legislation and the horrible working conditions leading up to the disaster, were invoked during subsequent observances of International Women's Day. (for full text click on United Nations)


  • Now you can write a biography of a woman in your family, who has been a hard worker.
  • Find some examples of sexism in society.
  • Name some jobs that are still represented by men.

Besides working hard at home, women are sometimes mistreated. Listen to Lisa Stansfield's song and 

  • find the missing words which rhyme 
  • find a few examples of present simple
  • Substitute  the word as in the line  She smiles at him as he walks through the door
  • Spot two phrasal verbs 
  • Find relative word has been omitted in the line The love they used to share when they were strong

He's home again from another day
She smiles at him as he walks through the door
She wonders if it will be okay
It's hard for her when he doesn't __________
He says babe you look a mess
You look dowdy in that _______
It's just not like it used to be
Then she says...

I may not be a lady
But I'm All Woman
From Monday to Sunday I work harder than you know
I'm no classy lady
But I'm All Woman
And this woman needs a little love to make her strong
You're not the only one

She stands there and lets the tears flow
Tears that she's been holding back so long
She wonders where did all the loving __________
The love they used to share when they were strong

She says yes I look a mess
But I don't love you any ______
I thought you always thought enough of me
To always be impressed + Ch

He holds her and hangs his head in shame
He doesn't see her like he used to do
He's too wrapped up in working for his pay
He hasn't seen the pain he's put her through

Attention that he paid
Just vanished in the haze
He remembers how it used to be
When he used to say

You'll always be a lady
Cause You're All Woman
From Monday to Sunday I love you much more than you know
You're a classy lady
Cause You're All Woman
This woman needs a loving man to keep her warm

You're the only one
You're a classy lady
Cause You're All Woman

So sweet the love that used to be (x2)

We can be sweet again

After the song, we could read a poem by Maya Angelou.

Woman Work
Maya Angelou
I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.