Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It was good to visit Dermott and the other students in Valladolid last week. Everyone seemed on really good form and there was a great atmosphere in the house. Dermott had recently one the poetry prize at the College - which seemed to entail being dressed up rather as someone from a Harry Potter script.

Little things help, of course, not least the fact that the Rector put his culinary skills to good use in the kitchen and provided porridge for breakfast one morning!

The College is very attractive. It was founded by Philip II of Spain at the time of the protestant 'reformation' to train priests for the Mission back home in England. Today it's corridors are lined with portraits of its Martyrs. Thanks to Philip's generosity the College has sufficient endowments to enable it to be well-maintained and the rectors seem to have spent wisely. These days the rooms are somewhat more comfortable than those the Martyrs would have known. This is a view from my room onto the inner courtyard:

There is a tradition that when priests visit seminaries they try to take their co-diocesans out for a meal. Since I already knew quite a few of this year's men I invited some of the other lads to join Dermott and me for supper. We went to an excellent restaurant recommended by the Rector on a pretty little street just off the Plaza Mayor.

Of course, in Spain the culinary traditions are quite different from those in the rest of Europe. Here's a picture of Phil - caught just at the moment he realised what he was eating...

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