Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Palm Sunday in Bilbao

We spent Saturday to Monday in Bilbao, primarily to see Frank Gehry's Guggenheim museum - an absolutely stunning building. But we had the bonus of see the Palm Sunday procession of the Burriquito ( a wooden donkey carried on a float, with a model of jesus on her back) There were also scads of people in robes with huge tall pointed hoods with eye-holes. This was horrifically reminiscent of the KKK or perhaps more appropriately Spanish Inquisition, but some of them were little children. The procession went on for hours, with teams of people from different churches or districts, all carrying huge palm fronds.

We stayed at a lovely hotel, in spite of all this having been booked rather lastminutely on the Net, and some nice meals out - even though vegetarianism was a difficult concept for the Spanish. The second evening's was at a place right near the Zubizuri bridge, another architectural wonder by Santiage Calatrava, who also designed the Bilbao airport. Jess was in her seventh heaven.

But it was so strange feeling that I ought to be able to speak and understand the language and yet not. It will be a relief to get back to Italy next month and commuincate instead of pointing and using only nouns!

To Cirencester yesterday for an SAS lunch at the Farm Shop cafe - all organic and vegetarian and Fair Trade coffee - lovely! Much discussion oin whether we enjoyed doing school visits or not. Some people are skilled performers, especially the ex-teachers. And some of course rely on it for income.

A TV company is pitching to make Amazing Grace into a live action TV series and my film rights to Stravaganza are now being handled by my agent so things are looking up!