Category Archives: Traditions

What does winter mean to you?

Just brought the garden brolly inside, stacked up the garden chairs and swept the patio clean of leaves.
The plum tree looks stark and bare, most of the flower pots are empty  and the barbecue in the corner has become a storage unit again.

Looking on the bright side  ……………..
I’ve just spotted the basket of jams and pickles I made ready for winter teatimes, so I’ll light the candles by the fire, make some  crumpets and open one of those jars of plum jam I just came across. And while I have my tea I can look out at the last of the colour – the berries, the winter jasmine and the leaves on that nice pear tree.

I know its only just November but I can do it all again in December – and January – and February –  I’ve got 18 jars of jam left – anyone for crumpets?

Feliz Año Nuevo y ¡cuidado con las uvas!

I thought I’d finish the year with a short post about a Spanish custom which will be going on all across the land tonight. I’m not Spanish so why would I do this ? Well, my husband was Spanish  – a ‘segoviano’ who by the age of 11 must have been almost a ‘madrileño’ as he had been at boarding school in Madrid since the tender age of 8 – not sure your pure ‘gato madrileño’ would agree but,  anyway ….
Of course,  the curious custom I refer to is the  gobbling of 12 grapes at the strike of 12 midnight on New Year’s Eve – I am sure many a Spaniard has choked doing this  – for one thing, Spanish grapes still have pips in them – and it’s not as easy as it sounds: you pop one little grape in your mouth with each little strike of the clock – so far, so easy peasy,  but  after the fourth or fifth they don’t go down so well!
To help them on their way copious amounts of bubbly are glugged down – Cava, naturally,  in Barcelona (¡qué  finos!) but other sparkling wines are available!
Anyway, however you toast in the new year – may it be a good one !