Posted by: ejbolado | March 2, 2017

World Book Day and other musings.

Today in the UK primary age children are attending school dressed as their favourite characters from fiction, or in many cases copies of images of their favourites as depicted in films or on DVDs.

World Book Day was set up by UNESCO to promote reading for pleasure amongst children as it has been shown repeatedly that those who read for pleasure do much better in school. In order to stimulate interest in reading, each child will take part in activities based around stories at school and will receive a book token to put towards the cost of their choice of reading.  This boosts the physical and on-line sale of books worldwide.

In Spain there is a lovely tradition which is celebrated particularly in Catalonia on 23rd April, St. George’s Day.  St. George, as well as being patron saint of England, parts of Germany, Georgia and others, is also the patron saint of Catalonia.  On this day it is customary to give your loved one a red rose and a book in celebration.  This promotes and boosts the numbers of books sold annually and makes  for a lovely celebration.  Perhaps we should do the same and adopt this tradition to keep our smaller bookshops in business?

Posted by: ejbolado | February 25, 2017

February 28th

At the end of February is Andalusia Day.  It is a local holiday commemorating the referendum of that date in 1980 when people in Andalusia voted for this to become an autonomous region within Spain.  However it was not recognized as such by the Spanish government until 2006.

Read more about its history here Read More…

Posted by: ejbolado | February 16, 2017

Great News – Spanish Lessons now available over Skype

As thoughts turn to holidays, whether for Easter or later in the summer, inevitably we remember our promise to ourselves last time around “to learn a bit of the language, to make the holiday just that little bit better”. Now there is even less excuse – Tailormade Spanish are offering lessons over Skype. They vary from half hour lessons – perhaps something you could fit into your lunch hour once or twice a week – or an hour on a regular basis. Time slots can be flexible and we will endeavour to meet your needs.

The Tailormade Spanish Blog

  • Have a lesson when convenient in your own home
  • Lessons over Skype can add a one-to-one experience
  • Make the most of your Spanish language learning
  • Make the most of your time without travel expenses
  • Clarification of Grammar points
  • Conversation Practice
  • Feel free to ask any questions
  • Keep up your motivation

Message me to set this up quickly and  at your convenience.

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Posted by: ejbolado | February 16, 2017

Lessons now available over Skype

In time for GCSE practice this year, I am now able to offer lessons over Skype as

part of the Tailormade Spanish Experience.

Posted by: ejbolado | January 5, 2017

Los Reyes Magos -Three Wise Men

La Cabalgata de Madrid en vivo

The evening of the 5th January has been magical for generations of Spanish children.  It equates of the arrival of Father Christmas with presents on  Christmas Eve; however in Spain it is the Three Wise Men (Los Reyes Magos) who traditionally have brought presents to children at the end of the Christmas season, tomorrow being 12th night or Epiphany.

Watch the video of the Procession of the Kings – la cabalgata – live from Madrid.


Posted by: ejbolado | December 31, 2016

La Noche Vieja, 12 Uvas y la Cava

As in other capital cities around the world, Madrid celebrates the arrival of the New Year with the main feature being the clock in Puerta del Sol, the central point for measuring distances on the Iberian peninsular.


En Noche Vieja (31st December) it is customary to have 12 grapes on hand as the clock approaches midnight, along with a glass of Cava or champagne.  As the clock begins to strike you eat one grape per strike of the clock to bring you good luck for the following year. Finishing with a toast of “Feliz Año Nuevo”.


Posted by: ejbolado | December 27, 2016

Holy Innocents’ Day

Here is a quotation from the Don Quijote language school website explaining the pranks played on 28th December, so get out the scissors and cut out your paper people!


“The most traditional joke is to put a puppet or ragdoll on people’s backs. Another tradition is a television program in which celebrities from film and television are made the butt of jokes, with the purpose of raising money for a good cause. The Día de los Santos Inocentes is therefore Spain’s equivalent of April Fool’s Day, as ‘inocentadas’ in Spanish also means ‘prank’ as well as ‘innocent’.”

Posted by: ejbolado | December 24, 2016

Feliz Navidad y un prospero y saludable Año Nuevo

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas – Feliz Navidad – and a Happy and Healthy New Year for 2017. 

Read more about the holiday season in Spain and how various days are celebrated including Holy Innocents Day on the 28th December below.

Posted by: ejbolado | October 16, 2016


The BOE (Boletin Oficial del Estado) has released the official holiday dates for 2017 which include two extra long bank holiday weekends, known as “puentes” in Spanish.  These long holidays will be from 12th October to 15th October for the Fiesta Nacional de España on Thursday 12th.  The second long holiday is from 6th to 8th December, i.e. Wednesday to Friday, this covers the Dia de la Constitucion and the Immaculate Conception.

The 1st January, (2nd January in Andalusia) as well as Friday 6th Dia de Reyes, 28th February in Andalusia for el Dia de Andalucia, 14th March for Viernes Santo (Good Friday), 1st May Dia del Trabajador,15th August Assumption of the Virgin Mary, 9th October in Jerez de la Frontera is Fiesta de San Dionisio, 1st November Fiesta de Todos los Santos (All Saints) and of course the 25th December Navidad.

At least this will give us some idea of the national holidays when travelling to coincide with these or avoid them depending on your point of view.  There are of course other regional holidays referred to in detail previously in the blog, like The Feria del Caballo (Horse Fair in Jerez de la Frontera) from 13th to 20th May, San Jose, the Fallas, The San Fermines and others. Quieres saber que dias seran de fiesta en 2017

Read More…

Posted by: ejbolado | November 1, 2015

Skype Lessons now an established part of Spanish Learning

Over the course of the last year Skype, or VOIP, lessons have come to form an integral part of my work.   Initially this was caused by an extended period of recuperation following surgery when it was impossible to drive to visit students.  It has now been found to be a good way of working.  It keeps the class focused, with an awareness of how time is being apportioned and allows for a slight reduction in costs to the student as they are not paying for travel expenses.

From my point of view I am entirely dependent upon my internet service provider and their ability to maintain connection services during the working day, and where tutoring is being undertaken by GCSE students, after 5 p.m. at night.  There have been difficulties as internet services are not the best in a rural area and when both parties are in rural settings the fun starts.

I have experimented with other platforms and find that this is generally well-received by students. So if you are interested in trying this form of lesson too, where you learn at your own pace, at a time convenient to you whether that is during your lunch hour at work, during the working day, before or after work, evenings or on a Saturday morning, then contact me through my website:  Of course one further advantage of this form of tuition is that you do not need to live locally, all you need is a smartphone, a tablet, laptop or p.c. with a webcam.  All classes will be charged and paid prior to commencement and can be purchased singly or in block form which attracts a further discount when a course of ten sessions is reserved.

How about a really useful Christmas present for someone taking exams next year, for retirees looking to move to warmer climes, or those planning a gap year at any age!

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