Archive for February, 2012

La estancia de Winston Churchill en Canarias

February 23, 2012
The English Library

The English Library

The Beatles en la Playa de Martianez en Puerto de la Cruz

The Beatles en la Playa de Martianez en Puerto de la Cruz

At least three sets of famous English have visited Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife in the Canary Islands: Agatha Christie (1927), Winston Churchil (1959) and The Beatles (minus John) (1963).

Nicolás González Lemus has written on all three visits in his book Viajeros: por sol, playa … y descanso.

The first contact Winston Churchill had with the Canary Islands was Operation Pilgrim, a planned invasion and occupation during WWII.

Hitler had helped General Franco to power during the Spanish Civil War and was now calling in his favour. Franco though was determined to remain neutral during WWII.

Spain was of no military value to Germany, but of huge strategic importance. Gibraltar controlled the Mediterranean, Canary Islands the Atlantic.

If Gibraltar fell, the plan was to seize the airport at Gran Canaria. An invasion fleet was in place, but never used as Franco remained neutral.

The first visit by Winston Churchill to the Canaries was in 1959. He was now the ex-British Prime Minister.

Winston Churchill was on holiday in Marakesh. Shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis offered to fly him to his yacht Christina.

The yacht was moored at Santa Cruz. In the morning his wife drove to Puerto de la Cruz. She pursuaded her husband to undertake the journey in the afternoon. The drive back was in a more comfortable car provided by the island governor.

They then visted Las Palmas for two days and the island of La Palma.

Winston Churchill used to paint in Madeira. He so liked La Palma that he wished to return to paint, but never did.

During this trip Winston Churchill was now in his 80s.

Winston Churchill was to return to the Canaries in 1960 and 1961 with Aristotle Onassis on board Christina, but never set foot on land.

Churchill is also discussed in Cuba: Entre y Canarias.

A talk given at the English Library in Puerto de la Cruz.

Founded in 1903, the English Library claims to be the largest collection of English books outside of England (I assume excluding USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India). In the grounds palm trees and banana trees.

Top Story in #Winston #Churchill (Thursday 23 February 2012).

The Beatles en Tenerife. Estancia y beatlemanía

Ash Wednesday

February 23, 2012
burning of palm leaves outside main church in Puerto de la Cruz

burning of palm leaves outside main church in Puerto de la Cruz

Shrove Tuesday palm leaves burnt outside the church for the ash.

Wednesday mass, people daubed with ash on their foreheads in the shape of a cross.

I have though to admit being slighly baffled.

I am the last one to know the church timetable, but …

Last year palm leaves burnt on what I thought was Palm Sunday.

Quema de Palmitos

What I thought was Ash Wednesday was not, or at least a different day to what people told me was Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday

Does this mean it is different in Puerto de la Cruz? Does this mean was not Ash Wednesday, is celebrated twice, or is not Ash Wednesday?

It takes place during La Carnaval. On this day, funeral of the sardine. An effigy of a sardine is carried through the town to be burnt on a funeral pyre in the harbour. The girls are dressed in black, white faces, pose of white flowers and wail.


February 22, 2012
Tightrope by Celer

Tightrope by Celer

Tightrope by Celer. One long track 01:10:34!

Limited edition of 500!


February 22, 2012


I was passing by Harry´s Gourmeteria lunchtime today when my eye was caught by attractive bottles containing a cloudy, lemon coloured liquid.

I asked Harry what it was. Limoncello, he replied. Meant nothing to me. Italian drink, he added helpfully. I was still none the wiser.

He offered me a taste. To me it smelt like, tasted like, Ouzo, with a lemon tinge.

Limoncello is a liquer. Made by soaking lemons cut in half in alcohol for three months, with a litte added castor sugar.

The method is similar as that for Sloe Gin. Collect the sloes, spike each one, soak in Gin. I cannot though remember for how long.

No anise had been added so I am baffled by the anise flavour.

Harry´s Gourmeteria is a very popular German restaurant on the first floor of Mercado Municipal en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife. On this floor a little food oasis: fruit and vegetable stalls, produce of Canary islands, cheese, bread etc.

Vintage car rally

February 22, 2012
vintage car rally La Carnaval Puerto de la Cruz

vintage car rally La Carnaval Puerto de la Cruz

vintage car rally La Carnaval Puerto de la Cruz

vintage car rally La Carnaval Puerto de la Cruz

Ahora La Carnaval en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife.

Yesterday, Shrove Tuesday, a vintage car rally.

The cars in showroom condition, their owners in the dress of the period.

I though only caught the tail end of the rally. They passed through Plaza Charco and it was a pity they did not stop.

Synchronicity: Reading The Death Instinct with cars of this period.

Mercy Songs

February 21, 2012
Mercy Songs - Mercedes Bahleda

Mercy Songs - Mercedes Bahleda

I heard some of these melodies in temples and churches, and some came to me in dreams. I worked with the very talented Ferenz Kallos to bring them to life and offer them to you. — Mercedes Bahleda

Mercedes Bahleda has always been an angel for me. Her voice is inseparable from her spirit, tender and triumphant. Her creative energy and her spiritual energy are one and the same; with her voice and with her body, she kisses eternity. She sings for love and dances in kalaidescopic light. I trust her sensitive perceptions: her songs are always welcome in the heart of my home. — Antony (Antony and the Johnsons) NYC 2010

Hoy en Soluciones en Puerto de La Cruz en Tenerife. Muy interesante tienda.

A very interesting shop, music, books (sections for Deepak Chopra and Paulo Coelho), Buddhist texts, astronomy, ecology, crystals. They always have excellent music playing, which one does not come across elsewhere.

They were playing Liberation´s Door by Snatam Kaur. Which I had hoped to find on bandcamp, but sadly not. What I did though find was Mercy Songs by Mercedes Bahleda.

Mercy Songs by Mercedes Bahleda is an interesting fusion of Tibetan Buddhist mantras, Latin Christian church hymns and ancient Vedic chant.


February 20, 2012
Timeflows - The Eden House

Timeflows - The Eden House

Into The Red haunting, mystical

from Timeflows by The Eden House.

Toronto & Western Break Ranks to Sign Access Copyright Deal

February 19, 2012
New Access Copyright agreements have been signed at Western Ontario & Toronto

New Access Copyright agreements have been signed at Western Ontario & Toronto

The universities of Western Ontario and Toronto have signed a deal with Access. Copyright that allows for surveillance of faculty correspondence, unjustified restriction to copyrighted works and two million dollars in fees that will be passed along to students.

The agreement reached last month with the licensing agency includes provisions defining e-mailing hyperlinks as equivalent to photocopying a document, an annual $27.50 fee for every full-time equivalent student and surveillance of academic staff email.

CAUT executive director James Turk des­cribed the news as incredulous.

“Western’s and U of T’s actions are inex­pli­cable,” he said. “They have buckled under outrageous and unjustified demands by Access Copyright at a time when not only have the courts extended rights to use copyrighted material, but also better alternatives are becoming available to the services Access Copyright offers and just before passage of new federal copyright legislation that provides additional protections for the educational sector.”

He also noted the deals undermine efforts underway at universities and colleges nationwide to develop fair new models of scholarly communication and to reach principled copyright arrangements with authors and publishers.

The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to clarify the educational use of copyrighted works in the coming months, a move that could undercut Access Copyright’s bargaining position. In sharp contrast to Western and U of T, many universities have opted out of agreements with the licensing agency or are fighting its demands at the Copyright Board of Canada.

“These two universities threw in the towel prematurely on the copyright battle,” said Turk. “We call on other post-secondary institutions not to follow their example of capitulating to Access Copyright. It’s time to stand up for the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes.”

Turk said CAUT is working with the library community, copyright officers and member academic staff associations “to protect academic rights to the fair use of copyrighted material. We also intend to do everything possible to protect the academic freedom rights of our members threatened by provisions in these two agreements.”

CAUT intervened in 2011 against Access Copyright’s application to the Copyright Board for a new post-secondary education tariff. CAUT also intervened in the two copyright cases currently before the Supreme Court.

Reproduced from CAUT Bulletin.

This is obscene behaviour by Canadian universities, giving in to bullying by Copyright Mafia!

University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto Agreements with Access Copyright

Once again, action shows why we must oppose Acta!

Say NO to ACTA

The Copyright Mafia are out of control.

Copyright Mafia boss rails against democracy

Last week police shut down a music site.

Police shut down music website

Were the students consulted (who after all are the ones effected)?. The students should occupy both universities.

No1 Top Story in The #OccupyLSX Daily (Monday 20 February).

We Have Been Left and We Have Nothing

February 19, 2012

The exclamations of the Christians here in Iraq. None of us thought there would be any change here after the US troops left. They had not been seen on the streets for two years. We were totally wrong from the day that the US military left we were in total and disarray. Violence increased, religious sectarian increased again in force. We could not even enter the Green Zone, as any badges issued by the US were no longer valid, the new badges were simply not being issued. Total mayhem politically began with the prime minister issuing a warrant for the arrest of the Vice President Tariq Al Hashami. He was accused of terrorism and sadly there was a lot of evidence to suggest this was true.

With this action great significance was placed on the fact that the Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki was Shia and the Vice President was the most senior Sunni political figure in the country. Terrible sectarian violence targeting the Shia begun.

There were also coordinated attacks on the institutions of the state, including on the Foreign Ministry, which is very close to St George’s church. With the arrest warrant for the Sunni Vice President issued by the Shia Prime Minister, the fragile coalition government is fracturing down sectarian lines and turning violently on itself.

What I most feared would happen is happening. I said all along that it wouldn’t make any difference to us if the Americans leave. I was really wrong.

It is becoming really difficult in Iraq right now. Before, we knew that the US were just around the corner so we could get them if we needed them, but now they are not there. But we won’t give up, we won’t stop our work and by God’s grace we will keep going.

Events in Iraq have escalated in recent days, as the departure of the US troops appears to have sparked a series of attacks and disputes within the divided country. Just one week ago, Barack Obama declared; “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government elected by its people” . The reality is swiftly proving to contradict the President’s words.

There have been attempts to ransack both al Hashami’s office and that of al Maliki in recent days. There has even been a car bomb in the supposedly secure Green Zone. The attacks form part of wider and increasing sectarian violence in Iraqi society.

Even as the US troops left Iraq the fear of the Christians and other minorities has increased. They say, ”at least before under the old regime at we were protected now we have nothing. Those who have set us free from an evil dictator have now left us and we have nothing”

What is this “nothing”? It is no security before the Christians as minorities were protected. The evil regime of Saddam was led by man who was not the Shia majority but a Sunni from the second group not the first. When the foreign troops were here even though we often did not see them they were not far away and if and when we needed them they were there. There are times when we ourselves face great danger. Our people have been slaughtered, massacred and murdered but now we have nobody to turn to. There has been much talk about the security needs of our people. The Iraqi Government has tried to do what it can but we do not live in a ghetto. The Christians are based all over Iraq but especially in Baghdad and Nineveh/Mosul. 2700 years after Jonah, Nineveh is still the place where all Christians come from. So the Christians and all minorities are less safe than they have ever been.

Nothing is far more than security though. Employment is far more limited not least for women. The main industry is now security and for the Christians educated women things are more difficult than ever in an Increasingly orthodox Islamic state. A state where the rights of women have sadly diminished.

No employment means no money and that means no ability to buy food. Pay rent for housing or even posses proper health care. The health care system here in Iraq has seriously collapsed. The hospitals are falling to pieces and many of its leading doctors have been killed, kidnapped or have fled from Iraq.

I may be the leader of a church but after services each week I also have to give all my 4000 plus people food for the week. We have had to establish a large clinic with doctors, dentists, laboratory, and specialist units and also a pharmacy. All treatment is totally free and it is not just restricted to Christians either but is totally open to all and is totally free of charge. In addition to these services we also have also built a school to provide excellent education to our many children. It is fortunate that we can provide this service for our people but we did not envisage that this long after 2003 we would still have to but we do. Iraq today is still an insecure place where most of the people have nothing.

Things are difficult for all Iraqis but for us as minorities it is particularly so. The violence here is known about and is terrible and much of it has come from outside but now we have another huge problem. It is such a big issue the three years ago we became the top nation in the world in this crime it is nothing less than corruption. Corruption that is so great that we no longer know whom we can even trust.

When the Coalition Provisional Authority took control of the nation in 2003 I remember telling one of the diplomatic leaders that we needed to deal with the issue of religion in order to prevent religious sectarian violence. I was told that this was not really an issue in Iraq. First I was told that Water and electricity needed to be dealt with. It was only a few weeks later that this diplomat came to me and said that he could not even deal with water and electricity because religion kept getting in the way.

It was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the last world war William Temple who said, “When religion goes wrong it goes very wrong”. Sadly that is what has happened here. Religion here now is not seen as a tranquil means of relating to the Almighty but a means of fighting for the rights of their own. A fight that sadly often involves violence. The fight that recently arose from Sunni to Shia was just a further symptom of this sectarian violence. If religion is the cause of the violence it must also be the cure. That is the work of the High Council of Religious Leaders in Iraq that we established in 2004.

Many were killed and injured. We as religious begun an urgent process to try reduce the sectarian violence. We met in Najaf the holiest City in the world to the Shia. For the first time ever we took some of the Sunni religious leaders to Najaf we herd first hand from the Shia religious leaders of their immense fear of the renewed sectarian violence. A few days later we met with a large number of Sunni leaders in Baghdad. Together we produced an Islamic Fatwa (injunction) against the Sunni attacking and killing the Shia. Much of diplomatic world still fails to see that this problem or “Religion gone very Wrong” has to be dealt with by religion itself. That is why we are here and what we try and do.

Sadly this radical sectarianism is no longer just restricted to Iraq the so called Arab Spring has greatly increased this risk of this sectarianism in the whole of the region. Will there now be a lot more minorities in the region saying, “We have nothing”?

— Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White is author of Faith Under Fire, President of FRRME, the Anglican priest of St George’s in Baghdad and a Middle East Peacemaker.

He has recently been awarded the highly prestigious First Freedom Award.

A three-day International Peace Conference on Iraq, Light in Darkness, is to be held in Brighton, Thursday 6 September to Saturday 8 September at the City Coast Church. It is hoped to bring young people from Iraq but this will depend upon how generous are donors. Speaker will include Canon Andrew White. For more information and for donations, please contact FRRME.

Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

God moves in mysterious ways
The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell
Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown
House of Lords debates the plight of Christians in the Middle East
Senior Sunni Clerics issue fatwa against sectarian violence

[ Altered ] – second movements by Solar Fields

February 16, 2012
– second movements by Solar Fields”][ Altered ] - second movements by Solar Fields

Many years ago I saw Tangerine Dream, I think I saw them twice. A white set, draped in white, they walked on, played, then walked off, not a word was said. If you think of Pink Floyd in the late 1960s, early 1970s, then Tangerine Dream were like Pink Floyd on acid!

Their classic album Phaedra.

I mention Tangerine Dream, for anyone who is familiar with them, because listening to Insolate, the first track on [ Altered ] second movements, brought back memories of Tangerine Dream, especially their classic album Phaedra.

Tangerine Dream are still on the go. A couple of years ago I was in Ben’s Records in Guildford and came away with a large number of their CDs. Another time, or maybe the same time, I came away with a large number of CDs by Vangelis.