jueves, 9 de julio de 2015

Once again, learning can really happen.

Can you see my new header? Well, this is not my job but a especial student's gift. Today I can say I feel quite lucky not just because a student has deliberately thought of designing such a marvelous header for me, but because I have had the privilege of being her teacher for a complete academic course.

Mind you, honey, adults have a lot to learn from youngsters like you. This is my brief homage through a shortened poem which bears your name...

It was many and many a year ago, 
In a kingdom by the sea, 
That a maiden there lived whom you may know, 
By the name of Annabel Lee; 
And this maiden she lived with no other thought 
Than to love and be loved by me.

by Edgar Allan Poe

 And as you risked when choosing a header fitting my personality, now I will take the liberty of choosing a picture which represents the way my eyes see you...

Hope you like it...

miércoles, 8 de julio de 2015

The Ceremony of the Keys in London

Guard:      Halt! Who goes there?
Chief Yeoman Warder: The Keys.
Guard:      Whose Keys?
Chief Yeoman Warder: Queen Elizabeth’s Keys.
Guard:  Pass Queen Elizabeth’s Keys. All’s well.

You may be asking yourself what this dialogue means or who says it. Well, they are the words uttered by some of Queen Elizabeth's Yeoman Warders during the celebration of the Ceremony of the Keys.

If you are interested in attending the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower, remember to book with enough time before your visit since it is usually booked. Moreover, getting one ticket for the Ceremony entails a long way process which I will try to summarise with the following info I filled in while applying for a couple of tickets for me...

1) A letter addressed to the Ceremony of the Keys office.
2) Inside the letter, attach two international reply coupons and an envelope with your name written on it.
      Then, if admitted, you will receive as many invitations as you asked for and from then on, you just have to be worried about enjoying yourself. Let's do some time travel...



     You have surely seen it posted on the label of a bottle of gin and it may have called your attention. I still remember when I was studying seventh grade at school and my English teacher gave us handouts of several ads representing well-known brand names which portrayed the Anglo-Saxon world. Memories of a bearded man wearing a red military uniform come into my mind…

     Then, I learnt that man was known as “beefeater” because apparently “beefeaters” were privileged people who could afford eating meat while the rest of ordinary people could not. Honestly, I always thought “beefeaters” were something of old times, until I travelled to London and visited its famous Tower, which had been home to many prisoners such as Elizabeth I or Anne Boleyn, among others.

     The architectural clash between this precious landmark and the new City is shocking. However, it is even more surprising to know that beefeaters live in the Tower Complex!

     But as it usually happens with a culture with such a meticulous way of doing “things”, nothing happens at random. The 35 beefeaters living in the Tower are carefully chosen. In fact, some of the requirements they have to follow are, for instance, 22 years of military service, holding the Long Service and Good Conduct medal, and being over 30 years old. Surprisingly, they work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

      Apart from working as Yeoman Warders of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, they are also perfect guides of the Tower since they thoroughly show every corner of such a historic landmark.

     All in all, I hope every time you see them, you remember these men of anachronic look are the "Yeoman Warders" of an immovable place since, according to legend, the Tower shall not be moved neither destroyed until the stoned ravens decorating the building decide to leave it...


jueves, 25 de junio de 2015


A new academic year has gone and if I had to summarise my professional career as a Teacher in the last few months, I would do it by picking up a couple of images which perfectly define it.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Romeo and Juliet performance

North American hot dog workshop

These three pics show how easily Learners can develop their communicative competence and creativity through activities which differ from the routine of our daily classes.
Learning can happen and here you have a clear example...


See ya around

domingo, 10 de mayo de 2015

Of real friendship: my whipper-snapper

Some people may think frienship is a humankind thing. However, what they do not know it is also a matter of animals, too.

Since a child, I have always been an animal lover, especially a cat lover. For fifteen years I shared my life with a Simese female cat who gave me lots of good moments. Yes, readers! I'm not crazy nor wrong when writing "who", since I've always considered her part of my family and a living being full of features humans sometimes lack.

One year ago, a white, smart and tender Turkish cat with double-coloured eyes entered my life. Since then, he has become my best company. I sometimes think he perfectly knows what my mood is in every situation. He loves playing with paper balls, destroying my notes with small bites and sleeping for long hours shaping a beautiful circle with his fluffy body.

Not only is he cute because of his elegant look, but also because he usually pursues me to every corner of the house while slipping through my legs. Moreover, he masters the best welcome with his mellow sounds and purrs when the day has not been as good as you expected despite your "Hoy puede ser un gran día para sonreír" small poster hanging on your entrance door...

Do you now understand the title of the post? I hope you do...

jueves, 7 de mayo de 2015

Tories, Labour Party, another coalition with the LibDems? What a mess!!!!

"UNCERTAINTY" seems to be the most widely uttered word around UK 2015 General Elections.

Today, five years later,  British citizens go to the polling station to cast a vote for their contituencies' representatives in the House of Commons. Would Cameron continue for another five-year term or rather would the Labour party defeat the Tories?

Today, throughout the night, votes will be counted and soon we'll know the final winner of these 2015 British elections.

Will Elizabeth II agree with the final results?


Today I'm willing to write and I also feel like you to write. You already know how much I love storytelling because before we learnt how to write centuries ago, people used this technique as a way of communication.

Also, it was a great help for those who were not able to write or read because, before the printing press was introduced  by Caxton in England around the year 1476, just a few people had access to books. They were expensive and, add to this, they were written in Latin which was a language for priviledged minorities.

In order to ease the problem, people were told stories. The oral transmission gave them some access to culture. Here's an extract of one of my favourite films; take a look at the power of storytelling.

Now you all have the chance to tell a story; YOUR STORY. Make your imagination fly and print your words over here so that they go down in history.


There is always somewhere in the world where you find the peace you need in these stressful times we are all living.

For me, that place has the name in CAPITAL LETTERS: LONDON. The shiny and foggy London Town is full of stereotypes and landmarks for many, but to me, it is a lifestyle, a way of life, the spot where I feel I was born.

It's true that, as long as you visit different locations in the Earth, you have that feeling of being at home, but it usually happens to me when I am there and outside there. However, I must confess I have preference for THE UNIQUE PLACE, again in capital letters, a wonderful corner in London bathed by the Thames River and more explicitly located just opposite the white cupula of Saint Paul. Do you guess the place? 
I'm not gonna say its name neither am I gonna add anything else because the pic talks by itself...

Thanks to great enterpreneurs such as Sam Wanamaker- it is a such a coincidence his name: "wanna" "maker"- theater lovers, and especially lovers of Shakespeare's playhouse, have the chance to live in the Renaissance though it is just a few hours...

jueves, 23 de abril de 2015

And you know that...

Today is a great day and you know it....

April, 23rd. It' s a date to remember not only because this celebrates the Book's Day, but also because it is the day when, according to critics, one of the widely known playwrights in history died: William Shakespeare.

Mind you, today is even greater since my Students of ESO IV have performed the 'Bard's' Act V of Romeo and Juliet. There have been weeks of, let's call it somehow, hard work although to be more precise, they have been weeks of enjoyment and lots of laugher.

The Students have learnt who the man wearing a ring holding on his ear was, and the most important part of it all, they have come to learn a period of flourishment in a beautiful England with white-faced women and ruffs decorating people's necks.


domingo, 25 de enero de 2015


For a long time, I always felt curious about an old painting I saw through a shopping window. It represented an old couple made up with a gentleman wearing a long denim jumpsuit and holding a countryside trident. On his right side, a woman with a serious facial gesture is wearing a long dark dress, which reminds us of these very first Pilgrims who settled in the E of the USA, later known as New England. In the background a gothic-like building fulfils the picture.

This painting attracted me mysteriously and then I found out I was ahead some of the best known paintings which came to represent the American culture, "American Gothic". In fact, it portrayed the most profound America where people made a living from agriculture. The painting’s owner is Grant Wood, who “used” his sister and dentist as real-life models to depict his imaginative couple.

These two leading figures have then been caricatured by many TV serials (The Simpsons) and films (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) or used to render famous pairs such as Obama and his wife or the stars in the unbeatable thriller The Shinning.  

Strange though, while surfing on the net someday, I came across with an interesting information about a “megalithic” construction of the “American Gothic”, the name given by Wood to his piece of art. The statue was as huge as America’s motto; “the bigger, the better” and paradoxically it was named "God Bless America." It was moved to Pioneer Plaza in Chicago, close to the headquarters of the Chicago Tribune Daily. The novelty of this design was the suitcase accompanying the duet showing its metaphoric idea of mobility and temporariness.

This last point was what hurt me like hell, since somewhere I read the sculpture had been moved to another state in the U.S, maybe Iowa. The thing is that, after some research, I have lost its track and I’m unable to guess where it is placed today.

Well, I will always be comforted with a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, where the original work by Wood is held on one of the Museum’s walls.