early warning

Here in the UK, the spring equinox happens (occurs? falls?) tomorrow at 10:28. I’m a bit confused by that, as I don’t understand how we can have equal day and night at a specific minute half way through the morning.

Exploring the subject a little further, I find that equinox doesn’t mean equilux: day and night are not of equal length, whatever I was taught in school.

In fact, where I am, today was already almost 12 hours and 7 minutes long, which must, presumably, make the night some 14 minutes shorter. And from now until well into April, each day will increase in length by about 4 minutes, meaning that in less than a month, we’ll be having over 14 hours of daylight. Sadly, that’s not 14 hours of sunshine.
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almost over

When I lived in Spain I used to complain about how long the holiday season lasted: it seemed to stretch all the way from the fiestas at the beginning of December until past Twelfth Night.**

Here in the UK, though, much as I was bemoaning the supermarket aisles crammed with marzipan, iced cake and mince pies back in October, Christmas seems to be a bit of a flash in the pan.
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second post

This post dodges about a bit between the UK and Spain, so it’s probably not unreasonable that although I start off talking about the UK postal service, the lions in the picture are actually from the post office in Avila, Spain.

Back in the dim and distant past, you could post a letter in the morning at one end of the country and know it would be delivered at the other end of the country the next day. Indeed, I think that if you caught the early collection, or if it had to go a shorter distance, it would be delivered that same afternoon.
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bobcat

Well, no, not a bobcat, a tricolour cat.

Perhaps a tortoiseshell, or perhaps a calico; it probably depends on which side of the Atlantic you live. And if you live in Spain, you might call it a gato mariposa – a butterfly.
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time to focus

Yesterday, I posted the thousandth post on this blog. That means today’s post is number one thousand and one.

As soon as I thought of that number, I found I had the 1960s carpet cleaner jingle in my head:

That in turn reminded me of my time as an EFL teacher and the Spanish student, Diego, who came to class without his deberes. When I asked where his homework was, he replied: “In my carpet.”
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books and other stuff

Castles in Spain anthology. Purchase page Sportula.esIt’s April 23rd and that means there’s lots to celebrate. For much of the planet, it’s International Book Day, although the UK and Ireland have already celebrated that back on March 3rd. Perhaps they thought it was too complicated to have so many things happening on St George’s Day. (I’m not sure why that would affect anyone except the English, and as they don’t tend to do a lot to mark their patron saint’s day, even for them, it’s not really a strong argument.)
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torque talk

Yesterday’s photo was a single daisy: one of the first flowers many of us learn to love, and one that tends to be associated with natural simplicity.

Today’s picture – also from my mother’s garden – is a rather more complex scenario, but one that appears to be laden with budding possibilities:

clematis - old tendrils and new shoots
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