Sunday, November 29, 2020

Dress up for Christmas

 At the end of a year that has distinctly lacked any colour, the Town Hall is encouraging us to dress up the outside of our houses ready for Christmas.

They are offering prizes for the best and most creative ideas for the front of your house or just the balcony of your flat. 

Alongside this, they are running the regular competition for shop windows. 

Please note that, to be in the running for a prize, you need to register with the Town Hall.  

Friday, November 27, 2020

Planned power cuts

 Iberdrola inform us that there will be two power outages on the 3rd December.

 One from 08.00-08.15 then another from 14.00-14.15.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Covid vaccines here in Spain

 Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made a public address on Sunday night to announce that the first coronavirus vaccine or vaccines that are approved and arrive in Spain will be administered in 13,000 different points across the country. 

The process could, Sánchez explained, “tentatively [start] in January. Medical professionals and seniors – in particular those in care homes – will be among the first, along with the chronically ill and high-risk individuals due to previous conditions.

The 13,000 vaccination points coincide with the number of healthcare centres and clinics that are currently available in Spain’s regions. The primary healthcare network will be in charge of administering the first vaccines that arrive in Spain. 

Sánchez also reiterated that the European Union has signed five contracts to acquire 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine, and that Spain will be assigned 10% of the doses given the size of its population. Up to now, contracts have been signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen, BioNTech-Pfizer and CureVac – the latter just a few days ago. What’s more, there are advanced talks taking place with other pharmaceutical firms, such as Moderna from the United States, to close more deals.

The prime minister said that the state of alarm introduced in March during the first wave, which involved one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, was successful; as is the second state of alarm that is currently in place, and which gives the country’s regions the legal framework needed to limit mobility according to the situation of the pandemic in each territory.

He pointed to the fact that the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants has been falling in Spain for the last two weeks thanks to the restrictions that are in place, and said that this key data point is due to fall below 400 cases today, Monday. “This is still a very high incidence,” he warned, insisting that the government’s objective is to get this figure below 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a threshold that the health authorities consider as having the epidemic under control. The fall in recent days, he continued, indicates that “the downward trend is consistent and that the measures are having an effect.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The reply

 The Mayor replied within the hour to my email expressing concerns about the construction of allotments in the middle of our estate.. In her reply, she apologised for not informing us. She said that there was no excuse for this. However, she did not comment about the appropriateness of constructing allotments in our estate nor our other concerns. 

Last Friday I was informed that 11 applications had been received for the 20 available plots. Whether these were people from our estate or from the town was not clear.     

Monday, November 23, 2020

Baby it's cold outside


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Expressing our concerns

I am sending the following letter (in Spanish) to the Lady Mayor expressing the concerns that Pam, I and others have about the allotments that have been constructed in the middle of our estate. 

"We knew that the land on the corner of Calles Alemania and Inglaterra was owned by the Council and would be repurposed at some time.

When a digger and scraper arrived a few weeks ago, we thought that it would be more that just cleaning up the plot. Next, more soil arrived and we imagined that the land might be turned into a 'green lung' for our estate.

By accident we found an article in the local press that explained the land would be divided into 20 urban gardens and there would also be a composting centre on the site.

We were naturally disappointed that there was no notice that this was going to happen and we'd been left guessing. Even the courtesy of an announcement on the bulletin board at the entrance to the estate would have been better than finding out by accident.

We do have some concerns regarding this plan:

  1. In our experience, urban gardens where people can grow vegetables, fruit etc. are normally outside towns – not in the middle of private housing estates. Residents are concerned that this may further erode the value of our houses.

  2. We hope that the people who take up the offer do not erect unsightly huts to house their tools and materials.

  3. We also hope that they maintain their plots in a tidy fashion and do not leave them to become overgrown for example in the summer months.

  4. We have concerns about a compost centre which could attract rats and other vermin.

  5. Finally, we are concerned about parking which is limited in that area.

One of my readers has replied 'We walked the Alquibla route yesterday and couldn't help notice the many unused/untidy allotments over near the the Viking settlement. Perhaps the council could consider reallocating those instead.' 

That is our concern. Our experience of allotments both here and in England is that they often have a run down look with makeshift huts and are left untidy. That is not something that we want in the middle of our estate. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

RIP Robert

Sadly, I have to report the passing of another of our neighbours. 

Robert Pickles lived on Calle Alemania with his wife Sheila, their three dogs and a number of visiting cats. 

You'd often come across Robert, who had a limp from boyhood, being towed along by Rocky, the dog that they rescued after Sheila found it abandoned. 

Robert's health had deteriorated over the last year which meant that you rarely saw him out of the house. He was also suffering from signs of dementia. 

Robert will be  taken from the house at 11:30am for a service at the Vega Baja Tanatorium Friday 20th at midday. 

Our thoughts are with Sheila and the family at this time.