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Rant About Lambs

I am not vegetarian. But I refuse to eat lambs.

Lamb

Photo Credit: Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons

I used to love lamb. But I swore I would never touch lamb again after having babies. Remember that lambs are BABIES! They’re innocent little baby things that the only thing they have ever tasted in their lives is their mother’s milk. And the only thing they have ever known is a mother’s love.

And the lamb you are eating never had the chance to run around in a field and enjoy life. And it was taken away from its mother, who like all mothers probably misses it a lot.

If we all chose to never eat lamb again, people who slaughter lambs for food would have to stop doing it.

Now, I realize that a beef cow or a chicken is also an animal, who used to run around. But I dunno, grown cows and chickens don’t really speak to me as lambs do, I guess. I don’t like beef at all, but it’s because I really hate the taste and feel of the meat, not because I really care anything about the cow, hehe.

End of rant.

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Hiring Expats and Immigrants in Spain

I’ve noticed that there’s a lot more work in Marbella than in Malaga, even though Marbella is much smaller. So of course that set me a-pondering. I wondered why a place that’s a tenth of the size of Malaga would have more work.

And I thought, Marbella is richer than Malaga. It might be small, but it’s where all the rich foreigners settle, bringing with them their money and their boost for the local economy.

And it also made me observe, places that are richer have more jobs. How many jobs there are doesn’t really seem to depend so much on the SIZE of the place as it does how rich the place is.

Which I suppose is one obvious reason why unemployment is so high in Spain, and even more so here in the deep south.

Canada, by contrast, has a prosperous economy. (Okay maybe not so much as the US, it isn’t on the list of the top 10 richest countries in the world but it’s doing well.)

And I personally feel (and keep in mind that these are only my own observations, opinions and experiences, not hard facts) that maybe one of the main reasons why the Canadian economy is doing so much better than the Spanish one, is perhaps because of how Canadian society ALLOWS FOREIGNERS AND IMMIGRANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN SOCIETY.

Here in Spain, the mentality (in my opinion) is just so backwards with regards to how they treat foreigners, expats and immigrants. Here, everyone congregates in little segregated colonies based on their country of origin.

You’ve got little English conclaves. Little German colonies. Moroccan and Arab immigrants only socialize with other Moroccan and Arab immigrants and Chinese immigrants only socialize with other Chinese immigrants. Ditto the Africans. To the point that many members of these groups even refuse to learn Spanish, even though they are living in Spain.

Maybe 100 years ago, Italian immigrants in the US and Canada could ONLY own pizzerias. (Or maybe work in the mafia haha.) Chinese immigrants HAD TO own laundromats or Chinese restaurants. Blacks were only allowed to sing, but no one was willing to hire a Black banker or financier.

Today, fortunately, things are different. But that was the mentality that existed back then. And that is the mentality still here in Spain, today — where things always seem to be about a century behind the rest of the world.

In contrast, in Canada today, immigrants participate fully in the world. Canadian society makes room for them. And most importantly, CANADIAN COMPANIES HIRE IMMIGRANTS!

I think so many people overlook and ignore the fact that IMMIGRANTS ARE PROBABLY ONE OF A COUNTRY’S GREATEST TREASURES.

People from other cultures bring so much knowledge that is unknown in their new country.

And more than anything, immigrants bring the desire to work and contribute to their new society.

Immigrants contribute so much to the companies that are willing to hire them. Proof of this is how in Canada, Canadian companies routinely hire immigrants, and these companies prosper and are doing stupendously.

On the other hand, in Spain, as a general rule Spanish companies never hire immigrants or expats. For a job that requires high-level negotiations with English-speaking Americans or EU companies, they would rather hire a local Spaniard who can barely stutter out “My name is José” rather than an American, Canadian or Brit who would, of course, have no difficulty in carrying out these negotiations in English.

Even for tourism jobs, such as hotel employees in hotels whose clientele are mainly British and American tourists, Spaniards whose knowledge of English is limited to “What is your name?” are preferred over American, Canadian or British job candidates.

(Or perhaps “preferred” is an understatement. Okay, what I mean is that hotels outright WILL NOT hire any American, Canadian or British candidate, no matter what, if there is so much as one Spanish candidate in the line-up, because they simply won’t hire foreigners, period.)

Well, if you were going on holiday abroad, which would you prefer? To stay at a hotel where you can understand the staff and they can understand you, even if the staff consists mainly of immigrants / expats? Or to stay at a hotel where all the employees are local people, but none of them can talk to you?

Well, if I went to Moscow or Athens for my summer holidays, I know what I would prefer. (Taking into account that unfortunately I don’t know a single word of Greek and my knowledge of Russian is limited to “da” hehe.)

Okay, I’m not saying that companies should never hire locals. I’m just suggesting that it’s just as unfair for a company to ignore, exclude, reject and discriminate against a qualified job candidate just because that candidate is foreign-born.

On the other hand, it just makes me so mad when I see people from rich countries going to poor countries and not doing anything to help the locals.

I don’t mean that you have to set up a charity or an NGO. But you could get out there and try to meet local people. If you have a blog, you could feature local businesses that you’ve become familiar with. If you went to a hotel or a restaurant, or hired a service, you could talk about them on your blog.

You could make friends in your new country and talk about them on your blog.

Here in Spain I’ve observed that most British expats ONLY socialize with other British expats. They don’t even try to make friends with Spanish people. They don’t show any interest in learning Spanish, and they only participate in the most stereotypical Spanish events such as going to watch Holy Week processions or frequenting flamenco shows.

Now, I’m not trying to single out British expats and put them down as opposed to expats from other countries. It’s just simply that, at least in my part of the world, British expats are more plentiful than people from other countries.

But as I mentioned earlier, my observation is that immigrants and expats from other countries around here, such as Moroccans, Chinese, Germans and Africans also don’t cultivate the custom of socializing with local Spanish people either.

And in part, I suppose it could be because Spanish people don’t show any particular interest in getting to know the foreigners and immigrants who live in their midst.

But couldn’t it also be because the immigrants and expats themselves also don’t possess even the smallest iota of interest in getting to know the local people in the country that they themselves have chosen to live in?

I mean, you LIVE here now, for crying out loud. You CHOSE to live here. I understand that it’s sometimes hard to make new friends, especially after a certain age.

Marbella Street With Flowers

It’s true that from what I’ve observed, once people finish their schooling, they seem to lose all interest in making new friends. So I suppose it really is a two-way street, and oftentimes adult Spaniards are just about as blasé about making new friends — be it with foreigners or with other Spanish people outside of their extended families — as foreigners and expats are.

But if you’re a foreigner / immigrant and you’re now living in a new country, could it really be that hard for you to go to a language class and pick up a few notions of the local language (which is probably also the official language of your new country, unless you just happen to be living with a small ethnic minority tribe)?

You could chat with shop assistants when you go shopping. Maybe take a course or sign up for something at a cultural association. If you’re not shy, you could even shoot the breeze with the people around you while you’re in a line-up or someplace else waiting for something.

I’m very shy about speaking with strangers, but I know people who aren’t, and they make friends everywhere — with bakers, with the people sitting next to them at restaurants, with other people waiting in line at the bank. I envy them. I’m too shy and bashful to do that sort of thing.

But if you’re not as shy and bashful as me, and you’re an expat living in a country that you weren’t born and raised in, why can’t you make an effort to make friends with the local people around you?

And if you’d like to read some exciting thrillers and recommend them to your friends, not to sound like a sleazy saleslady but I’ve written a few, so if you’re into creepy, scary, suspenseful novels, I’d love it if you’d check them out here: Thrillers by Moi.

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

Rant About How Tough It Is to Make New Friends

Best Friends

How Much Do YOU Value Your Friends?

The Meaning of a Friendship

Overprotective Parents

If you are an overprotective parent or a helicopter parent, and proud of it, PLEASE BE WARNED!

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN OF OVERPROTECTIVE PARENTS!

Overprotective Parents

As an only child, all my life my parents kept me locked up in the house so I never played with other children or talked with any people other than my parents. My parents were isolated socially, they had no friends so they never left the house either except to go to work and they never talked on the phone. The result is I never learnt how to talk on the phone and even today it’s hard for me to hold a phone conversation.

No one ever came to visit us and we never went to visit anyone. My parents forbade me from having any friends. They were against friendships, which you can see as they themselves had no friends either, through their own choosing.

When I was a child at school kids soon learnt to stop inviting me to playovers and parties, because they already knew what would be my generic response: “I can’t, my parents won’t let me.” I could have spent my entire childhood with that logo pasted to my forehead, and saved people the bother of asking me if I could go to their party or sleepover.

University was just as hard because for the first time I had the opportunity to talk to other people who weren’t my parents. But I didn’t know ANY social rules.

If I was in a group I didn’t know how to figure out when I was supposed to talk and when I was supposed to be quiet, or what were the appropriate things to say or not say. The only time I’d ever spoken in groups before was in supervised situations at school where the teachers chose the person who was going to speak, and gave guidelines as to what you could talk about.

I couldn’t understand gestures, looks and expressions, take a hint or understand hints or know what you were supposed to do or not do in different social situations, since my parents had always kept me locked up at home, so I’d never had any sort of social relationships with anyone except my parents.

Finding a job was just as hard. My parents found my jobs for me. They forbade me from getting a job by myself and if I ever tried to get one, they forbade me from going to work.

Need I say they didn’t let me study what I wanted, either. They chose the career I would study, and forbade me from studying anything else. The result is that I studied a career that I hated and could never find a job that I liked, because I always hated my career, since I hadn’t chosen it.

But as I was saying, it was hard for me to find a job as well, because I had no social skills and because if I did find a job and my parents didn’t approve of it, well, I simply wasn’t allowed to go to work.

My parents found my jobs for me, and made me go to work in the places they had chosen for me. Fortunately, I actually enjoyed one of these jobs and worked there for 3 years. After that I left because it was only a student job, and I finished university. I wouldn’t have liked to work at that job for the rest of my life anyway though.

Finally after university I left the country because I had the opportunity to do so. My parents idolized university professors, so a professor from my university took me abroad on an exchange programme. I never returned home, and that is how I found my freedom.

But even so even today sooooo many things are still so hard for me. Every time I have to make a decision, be it something as difficult as the next right career move or as simple as what to wear each day, I still look around expecting my mother to give me the answer, and I STILL feel lost even today when of course there is no one around to tell me what to do.

The learning curve for learning things at the age of 40, that you should have learnt at the age of 14, is just soooooooooo much steeper and it is just sooooo much harder than it would have been at the age of 14.

The saddest thing is no longer having my mother there right next to me telling me what to do whenever I don’t know what to do. Of course I hated it and it certainly is not healthy, to have a person constantly by your side constantly telling you what to do, but there is a strange comfort in it.

You feel like you’re always going to be taken care of and you never have to worry about anything. Even though it’s only an illusion, of course, because your mother doesn’t have all the answers and she is also certainly not always going to be right.

The hardest thing is still trying to learn all the things that I don’t know and I SHOULD know, because all other people know these things. It’s like the wiring in my head is all wrong and things are just not connected, that are supposed to be connected and are connected in other people’s heads.

As if connections that should have been made when I was a child simply weren’t made, and now I’m too old for those neural connections to grow. Like there’s a certain age in which the brain is prepared to learn certain things, and after that age, it just can’t form the right connections anymore.

Like the age for learning language, you must learn a language by the age of 5 and if you miss that window, you will never learn language. The brain changes somehow after the age of 5, something hardens in it so it is impossible to learn language if you haven’t done so by that age.

They’ve done studies with feral children so they know that the right age for learning language is before the age of 5. Feral children who hadn’t learnt language by that age were never able to learn it throughout their entire lives.

Or I’d read a study done with people who had been blind as children, but they received an operation that restored perfect eyesight to them as adults. In spite of the fact that their eyes worked perfectly, they were unable to SEE using their eyes, because their brains were unable to process or understand what the eyes were seeing.

They received lessons on how to use their eyes and identify the objects that they were seeing, but they were still unable to learn it. The neural connections just simply had never been made in their brains.

Connections that in seeing children went from their eyes to the processing area of their brains, in blind children, the connections were formed between the processing area of the brain and other senses, like hearing or touch, and the neural connections with their optic nerve never occurred, because they just couldn’t be formed as adults.

Well, this post is real. But if you’d like to read some of the ravings and imaginings of a mind that grew up in social isolation,  I’ve written a few thrillers so, if you’re into creepy, scary, suspenseful novels, I’d love it if you’d check them out here: Thrillers by Moi.

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

The Meaning of a Friendship

How Much Do YOU Value Your Friends?

…And It’s a Rainy Night In Malaga

Anti-Vaccinations: Dying To Be Natural

I Wish!

I Wish

I just received a letter from a company I’d applied to work for. They told me they’d be happy to consider me for one of their positions if my circumstances changed and I acquired my own means of transport (a car, motorcycle or motorbike). But I know I won’t be able to get a car, not at any time in the foreseeable future (and the way things are going, probably not as long as I live either).

I’m really really really sad I couldn’t work for that company. I really liked that company. But I guess you have to work with what you have, not think of all the things that you want that you can’t have.

Like a friend of mine, Maria*. She also wanted a hotel job and they told her, the job is yours if you had a car. But she didn’t have a car and she couldn’t get that job. In the end she had to resign herself to working at jobs she could get around the city. Well today she still doesn’t have a car, but she has a much better job. Maybe it wasn’t the hotel job she wanted but it’s still a good job, today she manages a tearoom.

So what she did was she just decided she’d do the things that she COULD do where the lack of a car wouldn’t be an impediment. So I guess I just have to do the same thing. There’s no point in even talking about something that’s not going to happen.

I guess that would be a bit like saying: “Oh I wish I would grow 5 more inches so I could become a flight attendant”, because you’re 5 feet tall and you need to be at least 5 feet 2 to be a flight attendant, but you’re an adult now and you’re never going to grow anymore.

Or saying, like I do: Oh I wish I’d grown up with a whole bunch of brothers and sisters (I’m an only child). That’s something that’s just not going to happen. It’s not! Not ever as long as you live. So there’s no point in even thinking about it.

BUT OH I STILL WISH……….!!!

And if you’d wish to read some exciting thrillers before bed tonight, not to sound like a sleazy saleslady but I’ve written a few, so if you’re into creepy, scary, suspenseful novels, I’d love it if you’d check them out here: Thrillers by Moi.

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

How Much Do YOU Value Your Friends?

The Meaning of a Friendship

Everyday Scenes From Everyday Life in Spain

Poetry by Hermenegildo: Bienvenida Sea La Primavera

*not her real name

Rain

I love rain.

Rain

And there is no better time for a night-time walk than when it’s raining.

The streets are sooo quiet. Even on a Friday night there’s room at the bars and restaurants, unlike a normal Friday night, so you don’t have to wait for a table or fight with other hungry people hehe.

Rain

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

…And It’s a Rainy Night In Malaga

Walking in the Rain

A Hike in the Rain in the Montes of Malaga

The Orange Trees

Rant About How Tough It Is to Make New Friends

I’ve always had a lot more difficulties making friends here in southern Spain than in Barcelona or Madrid. Everyone thinks it must be easy to make friends here because southern Spaniards appear very friendly and open. But that is only superficial appearance. In fact my impression is that southern Spaniards are much more closed minded (in general and also when it comes to making friends) than people from Madrid or Barcelona. Or maybe it’s just cultural differences, but I’m from a place where you don’t make friends the same way people do here.

Red Flowers for Friendships in a Field

I made a ton of friends when I lived in Madrid, unfortunately I didn’t keep in touch with most of them when I left. Those were the days before email and Facebook, and people’s phone numbers (landlines, because those were also the days before mobile phones) change and they move. But I’m still really good friends with some friends from Barcelona. I found it easier to make friends in Barcelona than here in southern Spain.

Once someone who had lived in France, who said she’d lived in France for many years (she was American), said that in France people have 3 groups of friends: childhood friends, usually from the same elementary school they went to, high school friends and university friends. Once people got out of university, they lost interest in making friends and if you wanted to be their friend, they didn’t. I find here in southern Spain it’s very similar.

Most people here have lived here all their lives and they only hang out with people they’ve known all their lives and grown up with. They are very friendly, they’ll chat with you for a long time. But then after that they are not interested in taking the relationship any further. They don’t want to hang out with you, they want to hang out with the kids who went to grade 2 with them. They don’t want to go to the bar with you, they want to go to the bar with their circle of friends from university.

Some people are very open and not in the least bit shy, like my friend Maria*. And even she can’t make new friends. All her friends are people she’s known in elementary and high school. Which is a major problem for her, because in high school she hung out with the drug addict crowd, and most of them are still on drugs today. She is not on drugs but you know what it’s like to have a friendship with someone who is on drugs: violent behaviour, unreliability (they say they’ll meet her tomorrow at 11 and they don’t show), you can’t count on them (they say they’ll introduce her to someone who is looking for a receptionist and then they forget and the person hires someone else) and worst of all they pressure her to take drugs again.

She’s tried over and over again to get away from them, because she knows they are no good for her and she knows they only use her. As in, let’s go out tonight. But then they only wanted to go out with her to try and get her to take drugs. But when she really needs someone, for example she needs someone to pick her son up from school, all of a sudden they are not available.

She can’t live in Marbella, her hometown, because every time she is in Marbella all her old druggie friends drop by and try to turn her house into a drug den. So she keeps moving away. But then she can’t find a job anywhere else, or she has a family emergency and needs to return to her family in Marbella, and she just can’t get away. But when she does move away, she can’t make any new friends. And she’s the least shy person I know. I mean, she could sell air conditioners to an Inuit person.

Marbella Street With Flowers

In Barcelona, there are a lot of outsiders, it’s a big city, new people are constantly going there for different reasons. For work, or to go to the university or to study something else (not university). Or for personal reasons. So there are tons of people who didn’t grow up in Barcelona and don’t have a circle of childhood friends there, so there are tons of clubs there to meet people. So it’s easy to meet people and make friends in Barcelona.

But here in Malaga there are hardly any clubs. I asked someone once, let’s say you want to make a hiking club, or a sewing club, how do you do it here? And they told me, you ask your childhood friends if they know someone or if they know someone who knows someone who likes to go hiking, and you go hiking together. In Barcelona, you join a hiking club. Here, you ask your childhood friends if they want to go hiking with you. That’s just the way it works here.

Which really sucks for those of us who didn’t spend our childhood here!!!

I met a lot of people in Barcelona by going to meetings of things that I was interested in, or even just with classified ads. That’s how I met my great friend Pippi* and my friend Morche* and my former friend Enid* (we fought because she became a radical vegetarian and stopped having any contact with people who were not vegetarian).

But I just can’t seem to meet anyone this way here in Malaga. In fact I couldn’t meet anyone in Almeria either, things work there the same way as here, as Almeria is also southern Spain.

I met my friend Jessica* at a secretarial course we took together once. During the course many of us hung out together but once the course ended most just simply kept making excuses for not meeting up again, and finally they just simply stopped having contact with other people from the course. Only Jessica continues to be my friend. I met a few people at a hotel entertainers’ course too, but I’ve changed a great deal since taking that course and we just drifted apart due to having very different interests.

Also people who have never worked before are hard to make friends with, which was the majority of the people at the hotel entertainers’ course. It’s just impossible to get on with people who have never worked before. My friend Lucinda*, from the course, who had never worked before, told me things like, why are you so worried about being able to pay the water/electricity/phone bill? It’s only a few cents, right? And if you can’t pay them, just go back and live with your mami and daddy like I do, or get them to pay your bills for you.

Lucinda is over 30, has never had a job and has lived with her mother all her life. Now, I’m in favour of kids living with their parents, I want my kids to live with me. But I still also want them to work. And to know what life is like and that you have to pay the bills and that mami and daddy aren’t always going to bail you out. Or at least not at age 30.

And I’m just finding it a bit hard to jive with someone who at the age of thirty-something has never paid a bill in her life or had to run to get to work on time. I dunno, somehow I just can’t.

Oh by the way Lucinda is not disabled in any way, neither physically nor mentally.

Another example: one year I subscribed to the blog of a makeup blogger, and I also joined her Facebook group. So I chatted on the group for a while, and commented on her blog for a while. But then one day she organized what was supposedly an open party at her house (she lives in Malaga) and on her Facebook she said, Hey girls come on come join the fun, come to my party! Bring some drinks and your bikini cos we’re all gonna jump into my pool. Leave a comment below if you want to come. So of course I commented too and said I’d like to go. She answered my comment (on Facebook) and said, I’m sorry Serena but this party is only for my personal friends, that is, followers of my blog who are also my personal friends, I thought it was clear and understood. I wanted to say, well if it was only for your personal friends why did you announce it on your open, public Facebook group that I’m a member of?

So you see, here people make a very clear distinction between FRIENDS (ie. people they have known all their lives and probably went to the nursery with) and friends with tiny little letters (ie. people they’ve chatted to online or maybe even met in person, but meeting someone in person and having a good time with them doesn’t make you their friend).

I dunno maybe it’s that way everywhere, I’m not like that though. For me, you are my friend if I have met you a few times and we got on great. I don’t need to have known you for 30 years to admit you into my circle of friends. You don’t have to save my life to prove your loyalty and honesty to me before I will admit you into my circle of friends. But other people don’t agree with me. And I’ll admit there aren’t too many people in my life whom I’ve known for 30 years or whose life I have saved haha.

I always think it’s so hard for me to make friends cos I’m so shy, I’m too shy to just come right out with someone I just met and just say, hey I really enjoyed chatting with you, you wanna meet up again for coffee sometime?

But Maria is the least shy person I know and she can’t make new friends either, only her old druggie ones. (Although I admit she would probably not be pleased with me referring to her old lifelong friends as “druggies”.)

And while we’re at it, not to sound like a sleazy saleslady but I’ve written a few thrillers so, if you’re into creepy, scary, suspenseful novels, I’d love it if you’d check them out, here: Thrillers by Moi.

So how about you? Got any suggestions as to how a shy, wall violet like me might make new friends? Please leave me a comment. As you know I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

*not their real names

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

Best Friends

How Much Do YOU Value Your Friends?

The Meaning of a Friendship

Thrillers by Moi

Frankincense — Or How You Can Make Your House Smell Like Holy Week

Thought I’d digress a little from this recent spate of posts on natural hair care and going no ‘poo that I’ve been on lately, and chit-chat about something else for a minute.

Here downtown there are people on the street selling huge vats of frankincense at little stands. It’s quite cheap. I bought a packet, and this is the amount it came out to:

Frankincense Natural Incense

No, it didn’t come in this plastic tub. The tub is from an ice-cream shop. It just happened to be the right size to hold our frankincense in.

Holy Week with all its processions is a major event here in southern Spain. I’ve written a few posts on that subject, and you can see them here: Holy Week in Malaga.

If you’ve ever been on a Holy Week procession, you might have noticed that they carry silver incense burners that smell—absolutely divine!

In addition, incense has the property of being able to clear negative energy from the space around it. One of the reasons why churches and other holy places have always used it to purify the temples.

Now, you can enjoy that sacred fragrance every day of the year in your own home by burning your own frankincense. This is how we do it. (But of course, this method will work for any natural incense stones or powder that you might have.)

The ideal way is to possess your very own decorative incense burner, preferably with lots of artwork engraved all around. I was too impatient to try this out to run out and stalk souvenir shops, so I just grabbed an old heat-resistant glass candle holder.

I filled the candle holder with sand. Now, living right next to the sea, you would think I would have a ready-made source of sand whenever I want—and I do. But I was too impatient to go down to the beach to get some. So I just used the kitty litter.

No, not the sand from inside his litter, of course. Phew! Nope, I grabbed some clean, unused sand from the bag.

(In case you are wondering what the owner of our kitty litter looks like, here’s a mug of him.)

Black Kitty Cat

I’d previously bought incense charcoal from a health food store, so I took one chunk and held it with a pair of metal tweezers, of the sort you’d use for barbecues.

If you don’t have one, I imagine you could use any metal cooking utensil. But we happened to be lucky enough to possess a pair of tweezers.

I held the chunk of charcoal with the tweezers and lit a match (ie. my son lit a match) and held the match underneath the charcoal. It’s best to use natural charcoal, and not the ones with toxic chemical additives to help it ignite faster. But I couldn’t find any natural ones and I used what I was able to get.

You can tell if your charcoal has chemicals if it sizzles and crackles. Lately, I have been on a mission to reduce the chemicals we use in our natural skin and hair care routine to a minimum. But using all natural charcoal hasn’t quite made it into our litany yet.

It only took a few seconds for the charcoal to ignite. Then I took the match away (put it out, of course, so you won’t burn anything!) and just held onto the charcoal with the tweezers for a while.

The first time I tried it, I don’t know why, the charcoal smoked a lot. The next time, I laid it gently down on the sand and it didn’t smoke.

I blew on it to make it burn faster. You have to wait until the entire thing is red hot. It will be an ashy grey all around. That’s when you know it is ready.

With a small teaspoon I pushed it around in the sand a bit so it was half buried (don’t bury it completely or it will go out). Then I sprinkled the frankincense on the sand all around it. It will be hot, so use the spoon.

If you sprinkle the frankincense directly on it, it will burn too quickly and smoke a lot. Sprinkling the incense close to, but not touching, the coal makes it last longer.

And that’s it.

Frankincense Natural Incense

And of course, although it should be obvious but I ought to say it anyway, do take the utmost care to make sure the whole incense contraption (burner, spoon, tweezers, matches etc.) is out of the reach of babies, small children, pets, violent people and anyone else who shouldn’t touch it. It’s hot, after all!

And after you’ve put it out, or it’s all burnt up, do wait a long time for it to cool down before touching it and putting it away, or it can and will burn you!

Waiting till the next day, for example, is good.

And while we’re at it, not to sound like a sleazy saleslady but I’ve written a few thrillers so, if you’re into creepy, scary, suspenseful novels, I’d love it if you’d check them out, here: Thrillers by Moi.

So how about you? Have you ever tried natural incense? Or wondered how they used frankincense during the Holy Week processions? Don’t hesitate to share. As you know, I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

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

Going No ‘Poo

The Sounds of Holy Week

Preparing for Holy Week

Thrillers by Moi