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capuchino

The Processions- My grandmother celebrates her religion, I celebrate her. We both celebrate our culture 

I wanted to share something that has touched me during the Easter holidays!

After years of choosing to travel elsewhere for Easter, this year we have decided to go back home, and I had truly forgotten how amazing Easter in Spain can be!! I was talking to some English friends recently who were saying they were quite squeamish about blood, scary images and bodies. However I guess in Spain we grow up being used to looking at quite explicit images and statues of Christ on and off the cross, full of blood and in agony. The Virgins are often also visibly broken hearted and pleading. It is all quite dramatic. And in Easter these statues come out for a walk in processions of men and women who cover their faces with cones on their heads- los capuchinos. The cones are there to help them be closer to heaven but they do look kind of eery when you first see them.

 

      

This is the first year our children have seen the Easter processions and can talk about them. They were completely amazed. They got confused about there being more than one Christ and more than one Mary and they kept there mouths open in complete surprise at the rows and rows of different coloured capuchinos depending on what church they belong to.
Thankfully aside from one or two people walking without shoes despite the cold one thing has changed since I was little: I do remember the penitents walking at the end of the row wearing chains, kneeling all the way around town so their knees bled or whipping their backs as they walked to repent for their sins. I think this is still common in some places in Spain but I am glad for my children’s sake that in Galicia there is no need for drastic measures any more.
I loved watching the processions, the whole town is out and peacefully either taking part and walking to the beat or watching at the sides. Some figures are dramatic some of them are beautiful; flowers, lights and silence.
But amongst all, what my family loved seeing most is that my gorgeous, glamurous and amazing grandmother who is 84 was at the lead of the group of women who accompanied the Virgin of Dolores around our town. She looked stunning and this year I got to see how all the women get ready, the dedication they have to their church and to tradition and religion.
How proud they are of themselves and their town, and how much it means to them to be out and celebrating their Virgin.
My grandmother has worked to create first a school, then an independent living centre and now a third age residence for people with cognitive disabilities. Her life has been truly out of a film and she has created a beautiful space for people who at the time would have been hidden from society and fought stereotypes to make sure they were included.
And now at 84 she will walk a 1000 miles and she would walk 1000 more just to be the one who walks 1000 miles to celebrate her town, her virgin and her beliefs. Ole!
abuelaconvela
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Las fallas

FALLAS DE VALENCIA

Las Fallas es una fiesta que se celebran en la ciudad de Valencia y alrededores, de gran carácter nacional y turístico que tiene lugar siempre entre el 15 y el 19 de marzo.

Antes de comenzar a hablar de los principales actos que se dan durante el mes de marzo creo que debo poner nombre y forma a las figuras más importantes que engloban las fallas.

No hay Fallas sin comisiones falleras, ni sus falleros y ni el monumento fallero. No hay barrio que no tenga su comisión fallera o comisiones, todo depende de lo grande que sea el barrio y lo falleros que sean. Los falleros y falleras son quienes forma parte de estas comisiones y los encargados de reunir durante un año el dinero suficiente para montar su monumento fallero.

Durante estos días la ciudad de Valencia se llena de actos, falleros, no falleros y turistas tanto nacionales como internacionales. Entre los actos destacan aquellos que son fijos año tras año, como por ejemplo:

– La Cridà: este acto se celebra el último domingo de febrero y en él la Fallera Mayor de la ciudad convoca en las Torres de Serrano a todas las comisiones falleras e invita a todos los valencianos y visitantes a formar parte de este festejo.

– La Mascletà: desde el 1 de marzo hasta el 19 del mismo mes, todos los días a las 14:00 horas en la plaza del Ayuntamiento tiene lugar la mascletà. Es un evento pirotécnico donde se junta ruido, humo, color y olor. Mucha gente no ve nada interesante este acontecimiento pero los que hemos nacido en la tierra del cohete y nos hemos criado con esa explosión pirotécnica este acto es para nosotros mucho más que ver, es además sentir, oler y oír. Nuestros cuatro sentidos están al 100%. ¿Mi recomendació? Si vas a Valencia a Fallas asiste al menos a una mascletà y deja que tus sentidos de la vista, del oído y del olfato hagan el resto. Cierra los ojos e interioriza cada cohete que estalla.

– La exposición del Ninot: cerca de 800 ninots son expuestos durante varias semanas en este museo con la esperanza de ser indultados y librarse de la Cremà. Cada falla elige el ninot o muñeco más preciado para dicha exposición, la tarde del 14 de marzo se recogen los muñecos infantiles y el 15 de marzo se recogen los ninots adultos.

– La Plantà: durante el 14 y 15 de marzo tiene lugar la Plantà que consiste en erigir las fallas. Durante meses por no decir un año los artistas falleros se encierran en sus talleres para dar forma a la falla. Hasta que no llegan estos dos días la temática de la falla es un secreto guardado bajo llave, solo los miembros de la falla saben por donde van a air los tiros de su falla. El día 16 es cuando el jurado visita cada falla y les otorga una puntuación. Dicha puntuación es muy importante pues la falla que gane el premio ademas de llevarse una compensación económica sube de caché.

– La noche de la Cremà: este acto de cierre de las fiestas. Durante la noche del 19 de marzo, concretamente a las 00:00 horas, se procede a la quema de las fallas grandes. Las fallas infantiles se han quemado antes., y a las 00:30 horas se quema la falla ganadora. Es un acto lleno de emociones pues además de significar el fin de las fiestas, significa el fin de un año lleno de actos, reuniones, ilusiones, nervios, etc.

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Ankita

….Thermo que?

GF-DF-Blackberyy-Coconut-4 A few weeks back, over the half term the whole family went to Iberica Canary wharf for a Sunday lunch treat! As always the food was fabulous and the kids loved it! specially since Natalia from Ole kids was at the mezzanine entertaining the small ones, while the adults enjoyed a bit of spanish “tertulia” like back home.

It was at the Olekids play area at the mezzanine that I met Ankita (onegirlandherthermie). Ankita is the London Thermomix Advisor (Demonstrator) and Team Leader, we had a wonderful chat about family and work and how difficult it sometimes is to balance both! And it was really interesting to talk to her about the thermomix, which is a very common feature of Spanish kitchens!

As many Spanish families  we got our thermomix as a present, my mum thought that it would help us in the kitchen when my first daughter was born. The idea was that the less time you spend cooking and washing, the more time you will spend with the baby, and I have to say that it worked!! Since then, six years ago the thermonix has become our saviour in many occasions!

Ankita

On the way back home I told my husband about Ankita and how nice it was to meet her. I have to admit that in my house the kitchen is my husbands’ domain, and the thermomix as he would say is his tool box. So I felt a bit guilty that he was really disappointed I hadn’t asked for any special recipes from the thermomix “queen” as he put it!

It is funny how the most bizarre things can make people connect and feel closer to each other, every time we go into someone’s kitchen my husband will check if they have a thermomix! A bit geeky I know! I guess he is searching for a sign of camaraderie. If he sees one he will smile and point at it, quite contented, like he has found one of his own.

I am not going to go into the details about what this kitchen robot can do or can’t do, but if you are intrigued or interested ask Ankita, Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 22.45.21she is the thermomix “queen” of London!

For the thermomix scepticals and those who aren’t convinced about this robot yet…well maybe the likes of Heston Blumenthal, Tom Aitkens or Rene Redzepi among others, using it to prepare their award winning dishes might change their minds.

Have a look at this: “spot the thermomix in a famous restaurant ” youtube video playlist Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 23.09.10

 

Olekids and Iberica at Iberica Canary Warf Every Saturday /Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Children can play and learn with our amazing teachers while you eat the gorgeous tapas.

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tongue twister

No se decil la “ele”

My son said the other day:  ‘Mira mama un dog’. I asked why he had jumped into English to say dog and he answered: ‘no se decil pelo’. It isn’t that he can’t say ‘hair’ it’s just that he can’t roll his ‘r’ yet to say ‘perro’. Since then he has often reminded us he can’t say the ‘r’ and hopes one day when he is older he will be able to.

But sometimes children do need a little help. Those of you who are not native Spanish speakers will be glad to know that even Spanish children sometimes need to go to a speech therapist to get those ‘rs’ going. They do not always come naturally.

So I have looked into it a little and it seems that until a child is older than 5 there is nothing to worry about, it is still possible the r will come on its own. After 5 for native Spanish speaking children it is best to seek professional help. Most children get the rrrrr in a few sessions, some need a bit more intensive work and a minority will not be able to say it, just like any other lisp.

If you are worried about your child not being able to make certain sounds in Spanish you can book an appointment with lovely Ana who is a speech therapist and find out what the best way forward is.

http://olekids.com/logopedia/

In the mean time  this page has some great tongue exercises that are easy to follow

http://lorena-profesores.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/ejercicios-para-punto-articulatorio-del.html

And here is a youtube video with a simple but effective idea

Autora del video: Eugenia Romero, maestra de Audición y Lenguaje 

Let us know what you think!

A new book to add more magic to Christmas

Sylvester will help start the yearI recently went to the Christmas party that Londonmumsmagazine.com organised with Eddie Katz.

As always, all London mums parties are fun fun fun.There was dancing, eating, a wonderful Santa and story time with the gorgeous books from farfarawaybooks.com. I heard George and the Knight and was as mesmerised as all the children around me. The pictures were beautiful and a really sweet story about friends having the courage to help each other.

I later looked through the other books they had and fell in love with the cute looking dog in Sad Tales for Me: A Bidography. But I was lucky to take home Sylvester and the New Year which I immediately loved because  of the traditional, gentle drawings, just magic!

I read it with my daughter, now this book has a few sentences in each page written in a bigger font and my daughter has just started bringing reading back home from school, so it is a perfect book for us and perfect timing, I read the smaller font and from time to time she reads a sentence in bigger font. It is a lovely way to share a book.

The story itself also really surprised me, I was expecting another Christmas story since Sylvester looks a little like Santa, I thought it would be another version of the same thing. But no! It is a beautiful story, quite spiritual and a really lovely way to explain the new year, the passing of time and growing old and gives children another thing to look forward to during the Christmas holidays.

[pullquote]Thank you so much for my book! We will treasure it years to come and the story of Sylverster will now be part of our Christmas repertoire. [/pullquote]

!Feliz Navidad! !Próspero Año Nuevo!

You can find farfarawaybooks in facebook and twitter

www.facebook.com/pages/Far-Far-Away-Books/144664498894184

twitter.com/FarFarAwayBook

7 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD READ TALES TO OUR CHILDREN

 (post by guest blogger: Cuentos Infantiles Cortos )

 

Since we are little, our parents have always read children’s stories before going to sleep. Who does not remember the story of the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood or the story of Cinderella? ….Yes, sure you remember!

 

Research has shown that the benefits that tales have on the learning of our children are very important as they stimulate their intellectual development by putting our children in different situations over each story.

In addition, stories exercise their curiosity and promote their creativity as well.

Therefore, the stories are a fundamental tool for us parents, in educating our children.

 

7  Reasons:

1. Reading is a fundamental skill builder. Help stimulate the learning and assimilate knowledge easily.

2. Reading is an active mental process. The stories encourage creativity, as children identify with the story’s characters.

3. Reading improves concentration, vocabulary and focus.

4. Reading is highly enjoyable, is a fun way to learn.

5. Is there anything more bonding than a bedtime story?

6. Reading teaches morals. Stories help educate children on human values in a very illustrative manner.

7. Lifetime Benefits. Creating a reading habit will surely benefit  their academic development.

 

We appreciate and would like to thank ‘Cuentos Infantiles Cortos.’

for their contribution to the blog .

We highly recommend visit their website where you can subscribe and receive a story tale everyday !

http://www.cuentosinfantilescortos.net

http://www.shortstories.net

Creative Places to read a book

There are the usual places you read with your child: on the couch, in bed , at the kitchen table, etc.

And then there are the Creative Places, places that help the reading time you have with your child feel more special, magical, and mystical.

They are places that say, “This is our special time together; let’s discover something while we’re at it.”

A few weeks ago, I discovered this magical reading nook at Belle Squeaks, and fell in love:

A reading tent!  What a fabulous idea! 

Our spaces affect our moods, and our attitudes. Whether it  be a special place at home, or a secret corner of your library, a bench in a nearby park, or a tree fort in your backyard.  There is something entirely magical about a “reading nook”.

You know these places. You’ve probably found yourself reading a good book in them yourself.

 

Do you have any creative reading places

around your house?

I challenge you to find that special place

with your child

and enjoy the magic!

Father’s day in Spain!

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.

Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June but it Father´s day/“el Día del padre” in Spain  is always celebrated on 19th March,

which is also “El día de San José” – Saint Joseph´s day – to celebrate the father of Jesus.

Y como todos sabéis en nuestro país las celebraciones van muy ligadas a la gastronomía, el Día del Padre se convierte en una fecha familiar, de convivencia, donde vamos a compartir momentos felices y también buñuelos, a ser posible acompañados de una taza de chocolate caliente.

Deliciosos buñuelos con y sin agujero, azucarados… nos servían de desayuno y merienda durante varios días.

Receta :Buñuelos de San José,

Ingredientes: 1 vaso de agua tibia, 250 grs. de harina, 50 grs. de levadura fresca, 1 pizca de sal, 1 litro de aceite para freír y abundante azúcar para espolvorear.

Modo de preparación:

Después de deshacer la levadura en el agua, se añade la pizca de sal y poco a poco la harina, se remueve para que no queden grumos.

Cuando hemos conseguido una pasta homogénea lo podemos dejar una hora para que fermente la levadura, es muy importante tapar con un paño de algodón limpio y colocar en un lugar cálido.

Pasados los 60 minutos, podemos empezar a coger trozos de masa, formando bolas y haciendo un agujero en el centro, se irán dejando en el aceite hirviendo.

Cuando están hechos por las dos caras ya pueden dejarse en una fuente cubierta por papel absorbente, el toque final lo da el dulce azúcar que echamos por encima.

Recordad que los niños pueden ayudaros a mezclar los ingredientes pero es mejor que se mantengan alejados de los fogones al freír los buñuelos.

 

Que aproveche.

 

How are you planning to celebrate SpringTime this year?

 

With the prompt arrival of the new season there is an exaltation of love and nature reborn, with songs describing the fertile land which will soon yield its harvests.

How are you planning to celebrate SpringTime this year?

Here at OLE KIDS, we have started our celebrations this week.

What can we say…the weather has put us in the mood for “FIESTA” and all our classes will be filled with “Latino~Spanish flavor” and wrapped with lots of fun and surprises.

So come along, book your trial class, FREE by the way, and start celebrating with us!

Next Party will be on Wednesday March 14th,

at Fulham Broadway Methodist Church,

(452 Fulham Road, SW6 1BY)

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL: info@olekids.com