Monday, February 24, 2020

Decapitations in Bigastro!

Trenslaed from an account by Pascual Segura - Official Chronista.

Bigastro is a place sculpted by the history of its territory and its people. History of their achievements, marked by the myths and echoes of the past, but also of their misfortunes, which their longest-lived neighbours never forgot and that they remember with a calm voice, a firm look and a sad story.

There are stories that, because of their amazement, incongruity or rarity, seem impossible. And I will not deny it, I also thought that this story never happened, that arose from the imagination of a neighbour who in another century fantasized the story to the astonishment of his neighbours, but no. History always surprises, especially when the facts are proven, and it is that after the pertinent investigation I can assure that the legend of the beheading has little of legend, because we are facing a reality. A real fact that I have documented today, and that happened like this:

Shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 36, the town of Bigastro, governed by Mayor José Aureliano Díaz Ortuño, was finalizing some infrastructure that would improve the lives of its neighbours, such as the Unamuno unitary schools, which contributed to Great measure to your educational progress. Important works were also carried out in some streets of the town, such as San Pascual Street and San Joaquin, which were renovated with rock extracted from La Pedrera. In addition, the expansion of the current municipal cemetery took place, by the master mason José Grau, who built several niches for eternal rest of his neighbours. In turn, the carpenter Enrique Brotons placed the last slats on the newly installed wooden benches in the old Republic Square, now Constitution Square.

It was 1934, and while the session was finalizing the celebrations in time to commemorate the Republic Day - appointment of a party commission, hiring the band, gunpowder request, etc. - a seemingly daily event managed to shake the foundations of tranquillity from the neighbourhood. Nothing extraordinary seemed to have happened, since a dog had bitten a neighbour, but it is that the animal was infected, possibly from the disease of rabies, and of course, all the alarms went off, because in addition to not being the only infected animal, The life of the neighbour was in danger.
The rabies virus was and is a disease that is present in all the continents of our planet, being one of the most recognized and feared diseases throughout history, and it is not for less, because it is spread rapidly through A simple bite.

The misfortune caught the authorities of the town hall by surprise, who, with the advice of the town veterinarian, decided to take action on the matter: they killed the dog and cut off his head. "Dead the dog, the rabies is gone". But what about the head? Why decapitate the animal?

Well no, it was not a whim, and that was the protocol to follow for this type of accident. When an animal infected with rabies was suspected, it was first killed, then cut off its head. The dog's body remained in Bigastro, usually burned, but the head had to be transported to the city of Alicante, where the Provincial Institute of Hygiene did the relevant tests to confirm whether or not he was infected by the rabies virus.

So the animal's head was cut, deposited inside a sack and handed to Antonio Escobedo, ordinance-watchman of the Bigastrense town hall, so that on January 8, 1934 he moved to the Provincial Institute of Hygiene of Alicante, where the affected neighbour also had to move, to receive the appropriate treatment for having been bitten by the dog.

The unfortunate accident caused the town hall to work on the elaboration of censuses of dogs in the municipality, where the vaccinated dogs were recorded. And those who were not, notification to its owner that he had to face the payment of the corresponding sanction. And on suspicion of infection, death of the dog and decapitation.

Decapitations that were repeated on April 1 of the same year 1934, when Bigastro's neighbours suffered new bites from dogs infected with the rabies virus, causing new transfers of the ordinance-watchman, who had to travel to the city of Alicante carrying new cut heads.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

That is now perfectly clear

We knew that the 3rd Age King and Queen were normally nominated by the Pensioners' Club* but had little idea how the Juvenile and Infant Queens were chosen.

These documents outline a new approach.

As you can see, the aspring members of both courts will be asked to take part in the Catwalk Show (21st and 22nd March). The infants will be wearing clothes from local shops and the juniors clothes designed by Eduardo Navarrete.

We will then be able to vote for our choices and the ones with the most votes will  represent the town at the August Fiesta.

As a reward, the Junior Court will have a weekend in a hotel and the Infant Court, a trip to Terra Mitica.

* Pam and I were not members of the Pensioners' Club - instead, we were asked by the Town Hall to be 3rd Age King and Queen.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Bigastro Siempre Solidario

Two sell out performances that showcased over 100 Bigastrense. It was a curious mix of a touching story about a young man battling cancer with renditions of carols by the Manuel Moya Choir, an impromtu dance production, a fashion parade and finally a raffle.

The outcome was a show that raised over 3,000 Euros for cancer charity.

You can enjoy my photos from this via the album in the sidebar.

You will also find my album or photos from the Medio Ano Festival there as well. Did I mention that the food in the park after the parade was very good?

One way and another, it's been a lot of work for the folks of Bigastro this weekend. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Man arrested in Bigastro

On Sunday, the Guardia Civil from Jacarilla arrested a 22 year old Spaniard accused  of drug trafficking.

At the time of the arrest he had 7.5 grams of hashish among his belongings, divided into individual bags. He also had 408 euros in various notes presumably from previous sales.

Ritmo de Golpes

Saturday night was a sell out for the latest production by Percuseve.

The theme was the affects of mobile phones on young people and included topics like abuse, relationships, obsession etc etc.

I don't suppose for one minute that the youngsters taking part will abandon their smart phones but maybe they and their audiences will consider carefully the consequences of e.g. online bullying.

My photos from the performance are available in an album accessed via the left hand sidebar.  

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

With their support

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Is it summer already?

Fancy dress competition

Calendar of events

As you can see from the poster, I am delighted to announce that Fonta and I will be having a photographic exhibition which will open on Thursday 2nd Aril at 6:30pm. 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

This article from the Guardian is reassuring

British citizens living in the EU remain confused and worried about their post-Brexit healthcare and pension provision, despite the fact that both issues were settled satisfactorily in the withdrawal agreement, a Guardian callout suggests.

More than 100 of over 600 British nationals on the continent, who responded to the callout, cited fears of shrinking pensions and losing the right to medical treatment.

“I am very concerned about healthcare after 2020, which is as far as the UK government is prepared to guarantee cover,” wrote a 78-year-old in Italy. “I also receive a UK state pension which may not increase as it would if we lived there.”

Another in Spain said: “As a pensioner, I’m worried that my healthcare agreement will be rescinded; I could not afford to pay for private health insurance.” A third, aged 67, in France, said: “Nothing seems to have been agreed. We are all really anxious.”

Laura Shields, spokesperson for the lobby group British in Europe, said healthcare and pensions are “actually the two bright spots in the withdrawal agreement. There’s a lot else to worry about, but not those.”

Much of the confusion has arisen because of announcements last year about the rules that would apply in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The signing of the withdrawal agreement, a legally binding international treaty, means these are no longer valid.

In September, the government warned that if the UK left without a deal it would continue to fund the healthcare costs of Britons living abroad – mainly pensioners – who benefit from reciprocal healthcare arrangements for a maximum of six months, or 12 for people with pre-existing conditions.

Similarly, the government said that if no withdrawal agreement was reached with the EU, it could only guarantee that British state pensions paid to people living on the continent would be uprated as they are in the UK until 2023.

“People have been focused on these no-deal arrangements and many are not aware of what’s in the withdrawal agreement,” Shields said. “You can understand their worries – if you are 85, have a terminal illness, and no idea what’s happening next”.

Public uncertainty and concern have not been helped by the fact that some EU states have not updated their Brexit information online to take account of the withdrawal agreement, Shields said.

Under the withdrawal agreement, at the end of the transition period in December 2020, anyone with an existing British S1 reciprocal healthcare form will continue to have their healthcare costs met by the government, as long as they remain legally resident in their host country.

An S1 form will also entitle the holder to a UK European health insurance card for treatment when travelling within the EU. Pensioners living on the continent will also continue to be entitled, under UK law, to free treatment in the UK.

Any British nationals working in their host country and paying into its social security system will continue to be covered for healthcare. The withdrawal agreement also states that British state pensions – and all other benefits paid to non-residents – will be uprated annually during the recipient’s lifetime.

With 80% of the estimated 1.3 million Britons on the continent of working age or younger, the withdrawal agreement’s failure to guarantee continued rights to freedom of movement, cross-border working and cross-border recognition of professional qualifications for Britons was of real concern, Shields said.

“The settlement for healthcare provision and state pensions is actually quite satisfactory,” she said.

An uphill climb

Walking up these hills in daylight is a real challenge, Running up them at night with just a torch on your head is close to lunacy!

Building a forest

Is it really a year ago?

Since I was last down there taking photos. 

A reminder