Stronger Than Steel / Plus Fort Que L’Epée

I’m usually quite apolitical, to the point that I usually don’t even know who is in power anywhere at any given moment. But I wanted to say:

Perhaps we are only bloggers, and not many people read us. But I want to say to all bloggers out there:

Keep blogging. Keep exercising your right to freedom of expression, and putting down on paper (or rather, on the computer screen) whatever happens to be on your minds. As long as we don’t perpetrate hatred towards any individual or groups of people, or encourage people to kill or murder……

Those people who wish to silence us or oppress us through intimidation, terror, tyranny or cowardly acts of violence will never win.

Remember that the pen is always stronger than the sword.

And yes it’s also true as some once said: Love is stronger than hatred.

Ohé les blogueurs! Peut-être nous ne sommes que des petits pseudo-écrivains dans le monde, mais nous allons continuer à exprimer tous nos sentiments plus profonds publiquement à travers de nos blogues et de nos petits coins dans le cyberespace. Rien ne peut nous empêcher d’exercer notre droit à la liberté d’expression. Pourvu qu’on n’incite pas à la haine, à tuer……

Tous ceux qui essaient de nous opprimer, de nous étouffer, en utilisant l’intimidation, la terreur, la tyrannie ou la violence lâche, doivent savoir qu’ils ne gagneront jamais.

La plume sera toujours plus forte que l’épée.

Eh ouais c’est ben vrai aussi: l’amour est plus fort que la haine.

Je Suis Charlie

We are all Charlie.

Nous sommes tous Charlie.

(At least for one day! Au moins pendant un jour!)

(After that I want to go back to being ME haha……)

Malaga’s English Cemetery – Remembering Auld Lang Syne

Tombstones in the English Cemetery Malaga

Let me take you by the hand and accompany you on a walk through the English Cemetery of Malaga.

English Cemetery Entrance Malaga

I didn’t know how to organize the photos. So in the end I decided I’d just put them in chronological order, showing you the same things you would see if you were actually to visit the cemetery for yourself, in the same order you would see them.

English Cemetery Guardhouse Malaga

This is the guardhouse, at the entrance, which as you can see was built in 1856.

Plants English Cemetery Malaga

The English Cemetery got started in 1830 when William Mark, the British consul in Malaga at the time, agonized while watching scenes of British citizens being buried on the seashore in the middle of the night because, at that time, only Catholic people were allowed holy burials on consecrated ground. He hustled and pleaded and was finally granted an extensive terrain which he could use as a cemetery.

Water Pump English Cemetery Malaga

This is a water pump at the entrance, just in front of the guardhouse. We’re not too sure why it is here, especially since it is rusted. I assume that it would have been used, in those days before modern plumbing and water hoses, to water the plants and flowers.

Path English Cemetery Malaga

This is the main path as you walk in, that leads right into the cemetery.

Benches English Cemetery Malaga

The English cemetery became very popular, because then as now, many Brits were living in Malaga, as well as non-Catholics from other countries, and the new English Cemetery soon became “home” to a large number of tombstones (as well as, of course, the people buried underneath these tombstones).

These are some of the larger tombstones for people whose families could afford large tombstones. I know that William Mark, the British consul, is of course also buried in this cemetery which he himself founded. I did take a photo of his (very large) tombstone. But I ended up with so many photos of large tombstones that I don’t know which one was his. I don’t believe it is any of these, however.

English Cemetery Malaga Panoramic View

The cemetery started growing and today, in addition to the burial grounds themselves, we can also enjoy the beauty of a guardhouse, an Anglican Church and a botanical garden with unusual species of plants.

Angel Tombstone English Cemetery Malaga

I have always loved angel tombstones and angel statues. However in this cemetery there was only one. It’s an unusual angel statue though, with an unusual pose.

These plaques are lovely, loving homages to the memories of loved ones. I’m not too sure what they are, though. I don’t know whether they are niches, or just commemorative plaques.

Tombstones English Cemetery Malaga

The English Cemetery is on Avenida Pries number 1. You have to take the road (the interior road, not the seaside road) as if going to El Palo, if you are driving from the centre of Malaga. It’s on that same road, on the left-hand side if you are facing El Palo. It’s not far after the bullring.

Or you can take a bus. Numbers 3 and 11 drop you off right in front.

War Heroes English Cemetery Malaga

This section of the cemetery is dedicated to war heroes who died in Spain, all of whom, of course, are young. Young men, in fact. In spite of women’s desires to help in war efforts, I didn’t see any women’s tombs in this section.

War Heroes Cemetery

The English Cemetery is only open to the public in the mornings, seven days a week (closes one hour earlier on Sundays). It used to be free to enter, although they welcomed donations, but now there is a small fee. I don’t remember exactly how much but it’s not expensive, perhaps 2 euros for children and 3 euros for adults.

Broken Tombstones English Cemetery Malaga

We’re not too sure what happened to these broken tombstones here. We can only assume that they aren’t cared for because the people who planted them here are themselves buried here now. (They’re almost two centuries old after all.)

German Plaque English Cemetery Malaga

English people aren’t the only ones buried here, since the cemetery opens its doors to all non-Catholics wishing a decent burial in Malaga.

“Blessed are the dead, they rest from their labour and their works (what they have accomplished in life) follow them.”

Chidren's Graves English Cemetery Malaga

I did want to save the saddest section for the end: the Children’s Cemetery. There were many tombstones here, especially since before the era of vaccinations and acetaminophen (paracetamol here in Spain) little ones died from common infectious illnesses and fevers that are easily treated today. I took photos of many of them, but in the end I’m only including these tombstones, belonging to twin babies, a boy and a girl, who died from an infectious illness. Fortunately, we don’t seem to need to grieve for the passing of Protestant children since the year 1831 (the date on the last children’s tombstone).

English Cemetery Malaga

What visit to a cemetery would be complete without a glimpse of the resident cat?

Cat English Cemetery Malaga

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Abandoned Sugar Factory at El Tarajal, Malaga

CBBH Photo Challenge: Reflection

The All New Metro de Malaga

The Old Provincial Prison of Malaga

Christmas Eve Musings

Can you believe it’s Christmas Eve and unlike the rest of the country, I am not:

  • munching on apéritifs with my kids
  • chatting with relatives that I only see once a year (who don’t exist anyways…… maybe imaginary relatives haha?)
  • sitting near a fireplace singing Christmas carols
  • sitting around a Christmas tree playing the zambomba

(pic of zambomba, a traditional Christmas instrument round here to mark the rhythm while singing Christmas carols)

Zambomba

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • out on the street setting off firecrackers (I hate firecrackers!)
  • cooking
  • cleaning the kitchen
  • washing the dishes

I am just lying around the house with my kids, surfing the net while my kids play together. And that’s wonderful.

I think of all those countless endless afternoons when I am not lying around the house surfing the net while my kids play together, because I am working.

I think of all those countless endless afternoons where my kids are not playing at all, because they have homework.

I think of all those countless endless afternoons where my kids are not together, because my youngest son stays with his father when I work.

So I dunno if our Christmas Eve is boring, by other people’s standards. And maybe I would’ve liked to have a bit more pizzazz in our festivity hehe.

But it’s okay. Christmas Eve is about being with family. And even though I live with my family (my kids), the three of us are rarely together, except late at night after work.

And right now we are together.

Just wish we could be together ALL THE TIME haha!

Well, I have been seeing lots of blogs wishing readers a Merry Christmas and happy holidays today. So whatever holiday you celebrate, I would like to wish you a happy one too.

Happy Holidays!

Butterfly

May your world always be borne…… on the wings of a butterfly……

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

On Christmas Day in the Morning

Bye Bye Birds!

Pa Amb Tomàquet

Hot Hot Hot!

Christmas Lights in Malaga

 

I’ve noticed that everywhere, people are posting photos of the Christmas lights where they live on their blogs. So I thought, why not do the same? When you come right down to it, the Christmas lights of Malaga are definitely worth it!

Christmas Lights Malaga

This year they had a Gothic cathedral theme.

I also took a photo from underneath the “Gothic arch”.

Christmas Lights Malaga

As you can see, the throngs of crowds admiring the Christmas lights were immense.

Of course, Christmas lights weren’t the only thing that there was to admire on the busy streets of Malaga.

There were a myriad of shows being put on by street entertainers from large groups to single artists. One very large gathering was formed of a group of about six musicians playing Christmas carols on the trumpet, clarinet and other brass instruments, plus three guys dressed up as the Three Kings of Orient to liven up the crowd. However, I couldn’t see them very well, because there was a mass of people around them, enjoying their music. Which wasn’t surprising, because their music was incredible.

Christmas Lights Malaga

But since I couldn’t photograph them because there were too many people, I went to quieter corners.

Christmas Lights Malaga

Christmas Lights Malaga

A young girl was selling these little cottages by a fountain for people to use for making their own personal “belenes”, or Nativity scenes.

Christmas Lights Malaga

What stroll would be complete without a photo of my kids? This is my son in front of the Christmas tree in la Plaza de la Constitución, Malaga’s main square.

Christmas Lights Malaga

I LOVE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT SNOW!!!

When I was a child it was the only thing I dreamt of for Christmas: a Christmas without snow. Of course, living in Canada, that was absolutely impossible.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Who Is Jack Frost?

Kings’ Day Parades

Hot, Muggy September Nights

Holy Week in Malaga

Snippets of Life

What is the world coming to, when such an emblematic landmark is moving house?

Bingo Paris

The sign says: “We’re moving to Sala Cayri, Martínez Maldonado St., 63″.

For those of you who aren’t from around here :) this “monument” probably doesn’t mean anything. However, for the locals of this neighbourhood, ever since anyone can remember, Bingo Paris has always been THE LANDMARK OF REFERENCE.

People would always say, Let’s meet in front of the Bingo Paris at 8 o’clock.

Or, Where do you live? Near the Bingo Paris? Oh now I know where you live!

Now, how will people situate you?

Where do you live? Oh, where the Bingo Paris used to be?

Paella Facil

It always gets to me a bit when I see Spaniards jumping onto the American bandwagon of fast food, convenient cooking and pre-prepared meals.

This package says: “Easy Paella – Just Add Rice!”

In case you didn’t know, paella is a most typical Spanish dish. Traditionally it is slow-cooked all morning in a special large, flat frying pan with chicken, seafood and any other goodies you feel like adding to it, all slowly simmered in rice with saffron.

But now all you have to do is pour out the contents of this package and – just add rice! And it’s done!

Now, I might add, I love pre-prepared food. It makes life 100% easier when you’re a working single mami.

But…… paella?

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

A Celebration of Single Motherhood

Who Is Jack Frost?

Spain vs. Canada

Everyday Scenes From Everyday Life in Spain

When I read about people living in another country, I always wonder what it’s like to live in that country.

I wonder what these people do every day. How they do their shopping. Where they buy their food. What sights do they see as they walk around.

So I thought I’d show some of the things that I see every day.

Now, as a developed European country, Spain isn’t really that different from any other developed country. There are high-rise buildings, modern skyscrapers in the downtown areas, apartment buildings fully equipped with all the usual utilities and household appliances, cars, internet and mobile phones.

There is free public education for kids. Free medical care and modern hospitals. Corporate offices, shops, department stores and shopping centres.

When I visited Morocco, I found life there extremely different from life in a developed Western country. That would most definitely be a delightful country to visit for a photo shoot, or to write a blog about. However, at that time, I wasn’t in the habit of taking photos and I didn’t have a blog.

In Morocco local people usually do their shopping in the vividly coloured marketplaces filled with leather and spices, not at supermarkets. I didn’t see a single shopping centre.

However, here in Spain, life isn’t really very different from life in Canada. My kids go to school in very civilized, well-equipped elementary and high schools with amazing teachers. I usually do the shopping at a regular supermarket.

Yesterday, however, just by chance, I happened upon several interesting scenes and took photos of them. So I thought I’d share them today as typical scenes from an ordinary day here in Spain.

Flowers in November

Nothing spectacular about this photo, but it always thrills me to see green trees and flowers blooming all over the place in those chilly, arctic months when the rest of the world is covered in snow!

Misty Mountains in Malaga

Who would’ve thought you could see misty mountains in sunny Malaga?

Fire in a Building

As I was coming home I happened upon a fire in a building. Although spectacular, fortunately it wasn’t serious and nothing happened. The affected building is the one with the lighted doors in the background.

Ham in Super Vegetariano

This place really made me laugh out loud! Well, to understand the “joke” I’d have to explain it a little. As you can see, this used to be a large vegetarian supermarket called “Super Vegetariano”. It very quickly went out of business, given the *overwhelming adoration* of the Spanish public for vegetarian diets and a more ecological and ethical lifestyle haha. Now the new shop that has opened up in its place, which is quite wildly more successful than its predecessor, is called “Azabache: Jamones y Embutidos” which means “Azabache: Ham and Deli Meat”. It is enjoying far greater success than the old vegetarian supermarket. Clearly, round here, tradition and “the way things have always been done” always win out over ecology and a more ethical way of life.

Maro in November

Now here are a couple of photos that aren’t from yesterday, but they do show typical places that we can see and visit round here. This photo is from the exact same date but a few years ago. You can see the people bathing in the sea in the background, so happy that here in Spain you can swim in the sea in November!

Empty Garden

An empty playground in the rain that we pass every day on the way to school.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Malaga in Black and White

…And It’s a Rainy Night in Malaga

Midnight, And All Is Well

Abandoned Sugar Refining Factory at El Tarajal, Malaga

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

I first discovered the old, historic, abandoned Sugar Refining Factory of El Tarajal, Malaga, when I was sent to work at a nearby industrial park.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

I love photographing old, abandoned historic places of interest, such as the Old Provincial Prison of Malaga. So I couldn’t wait to get in a photo report about this new discovery.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga side

On the chosen day I set off with my oldest son. The factory is surrounded by a wall, but I hoped someone would come along and open it.

Interior Courtyard Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

Here is a photo with open doorways, but they’re not open to the exterior. They look out onto an inner courtyard that you have to climb into through a hole.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

Sure enough, we were lucky and as we arrived someone else arrived too. It was a group of farmers, they are using the factory now as a stable and dozens of horses live in it now.

Interior Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga with horses

At the beginning of the twentieth century Spain provided practically all the sugar that was consumed in Europe, so sugar production became a major industry in Spain at that time. Sugar factories were erected all over the country.

Water Tower Sugar Factory of El Tarajal Malaga

Interior Water Tower Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

This was the water tower, where water for the factory was stored.

Chimney Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

The Sugar Refining Factory of El Tarajal was built in 1931 (and if there was any doubt about that, the date is inscribed into the chimney along with the name “AMET”, which I assume is the company that probably built the factory).

Graffiti on the Sugar Factory El Tarajal Malaga

Graffiti on the side wall of the sugar refinery of El Tarajal, Malaga.

Interior Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

Once considered an architectural wonder with walls dressed in sumptuous tiles, displaying a rather formal, stately classical air, the factory was built by the influential Larios family, the family that gave their name to Malaga’s main street.

Back of Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

After the Second World War Europeans began to import sugar from Central and South America because it was cheaper, and no one wanted Spanish sugar anymore. So all the Spanish sugar refining factories were closed and left alone to their devices. To the ravages of time, abandonment and vandalism.

Latrines Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

We assumed that these were the latrines. They were sooo indescribably disgusting, we didn’t want to step inside to find out!

Interior Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

You can be sure this is not a place where you would want to touch anything! We made sure to touch as few things as possible. When climbing inside (through the holes as there were no open doors) we did have to touch the icky walls a bit.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

I went with my oldest son, which was great, because he was able to chat with the farmers while I took photos. Farmers are very laconic and don’t think about things a lot and don’t spend a lot of time wondering about things and pondering over things. (Or at least it seems that’s what they’d like us to believe).

Back Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

So they didn’t think very many things about the factory. They didn’t know much about it nor did they have any interest in its history. They told my son: “It’s just a big stable!”

I’m not too sure what sugar cane looks like, but it would only make sense that it would grow near a sugar factory, right?

Sugar Cane at El Tarajal Malaga

My son told me it had been a bit boring. So I took him for a Coca-Cola to reward him afterwards for being such a game haha!

Horses El Tarajal MalagaIf you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The Old Provincial Prison of Malaga

Malaga in Black and White

CBBH Photo Challenge: Reflection

A Treasure Huntin’ We Will Go