Favourite posts from the Edinburgh Book Festival 2020

I’ve never been to the Edinburgh Book Festival before, but having it online meant I was able to attend this year. I’ve really enjoyed all the events I’ve “attended” and these have been my favourites…

For Children

Joseph Coelho – Reading Poems Aloud

Michael Morpurgo and Polly Dunbar

Cressida Cowell, Eoin Colfer and Kiran Millwood Hargrave

For Adults

Maggie O’Farrell – Giving New Life to Shakespeare’s Son

The Future-future perfect

While listening to a podcast the other day it’s suddenly struck me that now that we have the internet and podcasts and the like, we can play around with language more than ever before.

The host of the podcast said, with no sense that this was unusual, “I have a book coming out and by the time you hear this, it will have been published tomorrow.”  I love the idea that nowadays an action can have been completed in the future. I’m not sure what we should call this tense – the future-future perfect perhaps?

Qualification levels

This is something I refer to often, so again I thought my website would be a handy place for me to keep it so I can always find it when I need it.


How do they celebrate Christmas in Hawaii?

Christmas was only introduced into Hawaii in the 18th century, by Missionaries. Before that the Hawaiians had a festival of their own, called Makahiki. This was a time of peace, when no one was allowed to go to war, and the people gave thanks to the gods for food and the fertility of the Land.

Nowadays Christmas is celebrated with lights and a Christmas tree, and a dinner of roast pig. Santa comes, but he is carried in a red canoe pulled by 9 dolphins – and he’s more likely to be wearing a Hawaiian shirt than a red furry jacket.

Related posts: How do they celebrate Christmas in France?    How do they celebrate Christmas in Russia?

How do they celebrate Christmas in Mexico?

Christmas in Mexico is a celebration that spans several weeks, beginning on December 3rd with the Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and ending on February 2nd with the Día de la Candelaria, with Las Posadas and Los Santos Inocentes in between.

Christmas trees are not traditional in Mexico but they are becoming more common because of the influence from the USA. The most important decoration though is a Nacimiento, or nativity scene. They are set up on December 12th and Jesus is added to it on Christmas Eve, and the Three Kings are added on the 5th of January.

On Christmas Eve there is a late mass called la Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Rooster), so called because a rooster is said to have crowed at midnight on the night Jesus was born. After mass there is a meal, traditionally roast pig Pig, but nowadays often turkey, and just a few small presents brought by Santa (another influence from USA) . Christmas Day itself is quiet, and usually spent with the family.

On the night of 5th January, children leave their shoes by the door and the Three Wise Men visit and leave the bigger presents. The following day there is more eating, including the Roscón de Reyes, to decide who will pay for the tamales at Candlemas!

Related posts: How do they celebrate Christmas in Spain, How do they celebrate Christmas in Denmark, How do they celebrate Christmas in Italy.