l Dear Sir,
Once again the Daily Bulletin is advertising that the University of Barcelona is having Spanish Courses over the coming months at the Estudi General Lul-lia situated in a beautiful patio right next to the cathedral in the historic centre of Palma (www.estudigeneral.com) . I can highly recommend them having been twice (I doubt I’ll make the fourth advanced level) but want to point out the time and effort needed to keep motivated.
The course is 2 ½ hours three days a week over 4 months but don’t forget your homework – about the same time again and remember travelling time. My last cost 410€ plus 30€ for text books and CD’s – for 110 hours very reasonable but the parking at the cathedral was almost as expensive so I took the bus and also got some language practise too.
The atmosphere during the courses is laid back with the teachers being very engaging and obviously enjoying the contact with their students whose ages stretch from 20 to 70 and who come from cities as far apart as Paris to Prague. The work during each lesson is varied to keep interest up but never the less my class started at 10 but shrank to 5. Apart from necessary grammar and testing understanding of the spoken Spanish on the CDs, discussion topics range from cooking, through Spanglish to Global Warming and anything you can think of in between. During the course visits are organised to such delights as the Museo March and the Almudaina (where you can also see the skeletal hand of Jesus’s Grandmother) – all of course in Spanish which by then you will understand much more comprehensibly!
At the end of the studies recognised examinations for language qualifications are optional. Now if trilingual teaching ever comes to Scotland (English, Gaelic, Spanish) I passed at EU level B.2 so I could teach science subjects to the students in Spanish but not teaching them Spanish itself as B.2 is not sufficiently up to scratch. Confused? Me too but at least I can order a pint of Watney’s fluently if ever the Spanish bars ditch San Miguel and stock Red Barrel instead.
Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma

Dear Sir,
Thank you for publishing my letter on your website regarding the Ironman competition held in Alcudia last Saturday.
I did indeed return to the beach and surrounding roads to watch the athletes run the final leg, the marathon. Some who were super fit finished the event in about 8 hours, others took a lot longer even up to over 16.5 hours, with 2 not finishing in the allotted time. I was still on the beach well after midnight enjoying the tremendous atmosphere, and also sampling the free beer that was handed out.
Congratulations to the local council and all concerned. It was something that I did not especially come to see, but something that I enjoyed immensely. I will be returning for the “half” Ironman next May, and I hope that the full Ironman will return to Alcudia, after all, it is the only venue that starts on the beach and finishes on the beach. May I suggest that whoever is in charge promotes the event, and that it attracts many visitors to the resort.
“A newly converted Ironman spectator”
Alcudia

Dear Sir,
Please pass my thanks to Hugh Ash. His Sunday Comment on ‘The English Question’ was a witty, informative and a really thought-provoking piece, which explained everything about the fallout from the Scots referendum vote.
I know few commentators, even among those on British national papers, who can make politics as interesting and entertaining as Mr. Ash does and give readers something to smile about at the same time.
Jeff Wheeler,
Cas Catala

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