Saturday, June 30, 2007
England is also coping with the threat of car bombs. Thankfully the two in London were found and defused. Goodness knows how much carnage there would have been if the perpetrators had been successful.
It must be very unsettling for people living in Britain at the moment. We hope that all our friends and relatives are safe and well.
Following on from the spectacular America's Cup final in Valencia, the Sail Training International Tall Ships Races begins on Wednesday, 4th July. Thirty nine vessels from around the world will be participating in the event; the oldest being the Gaff rigged Schooner Isla Ebusitana built in Spain in 1856.
One of the key rules of the event is that 50 per cent of each vessel's crew must be aged between 15 and 25, many of whom will never have sailed before.
Throughout next week, all of the ships will be alongside in the harbour with many welcoming visitors on board for a visit. There will be a colourful and noisy crew parade through the streets, fireworks plus many other activities for the public.
At noon on Saturday (July 7) the ships will leave Alicante in a magnificent Parade of Sail before a 16.00 start to the race to Barcelona.
Not any more if the Valencian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FVMP) has its way. In the new bylaws they have drawn up, people can be fined up to 750€ for trying to secure a good spot on the beach by this method.
Many councils will not adopt such extreme measures though.
The suggestion in hotels was to throw the towels from vacant beds into the pool but I never saw anybody do it. It would be risky to suggest throwing someone's sun umbrella into the sea. Perhaps just taking it down and placing it further back on the beach might be safer. If the people question what you have done, just tell them you've saved them a 750€ fine.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
It is estimated that the cost of the flooding in England could exceed £1m and there is still the risk that the Ulley dam could burst flooding the area with a further 150m gallons of water.
Until my marriage, I had lived most of my life in South Yorkshire. I hope the people that my family knew are all OK.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
In the meantime temperatures rose to 35 degrees on our thermometer outside as we basked in weather that feels more like August than late June.
In truth neither is desirable. Meteorologists cannot definitely attribute these freaks of weather to global warming but say that we can expect more abnormal weather if the pattern of temperature rises continues.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
In twelve months they have produced 750,000 tonnes of salt which is a similar figure to previous years and includes the Torrevieja salt works and the La Mata salt lake.
The majority of the salt is destined for Scandinavian roads with the remainder being cleaned and packaged on site for table salt and a small amount is finely ground and used to make artist’s paint.
What a shame that the Glastonbury festival is so often spoiled by heavy downpours of rain. Apparently over 1,000 people have had to be treated for minor injuries caused by negotiating the four inch thick mud at this year's festival.
The saving grace is that the flood defence worked and no tents were washed away as they were in 2005.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Bigastro now has PIPI-CANS in the following parks for dog owners to use.
- Parque "Maestro José Nieto"
- Parque "La Cruz"
- Parque "Las Culturas" (C/ País Valenciano esq. C/ Velázquez)
- Parque "Huerto del Cura"
- Parque "Miguel Hernández" (next to the I.E.S. Miguel Hernández)
The five year olds from the infant school La Paz had their graduation ceremony this week. To an appreciative audience of parents and grandparents they recited poems by Miguel Hernández, Federico García Lorca and Rafael Alberti. As you can see this was another occasion to get out the best clothes.
The dog fine is part of a wide-reaching municipal by-law designed to improve hygiene in public bathing areas.
The by-law also prohibits barbecues and fires on the beaches – except for the weekend of San Juan (this weekend) when residents can apply in writing to the town hall for permission.
Lucky-lucky salesmen also risk a 90-euro fine and fishermen have been told they cannot practice their sport within 100 metres of an area frequented by bathers. Fishermen who contravene will be fined between 60 and 1,202 euros.
Beach goers are also asked not to play ball games in areas where there are groups of sunbathers
Friday, June 22, 2007
The Medical Centre in Bigastro offers the following advice to enable people to cope with the hot weather.
The people at most risk are; children under 5, older people, people who are obese, those who are engaged in physical activity or those who are infirm.
The recommendations are:-
- drink a lot of liquid but avoid too much alcohol or caffeine.
- eat little and often especially fruit and vegetables.
- wear light coloured thin clothing which covers as much as possible.
- use sun cream
- plan activities for times when the day is cooler.
- make sure that children and old people drink plenty.
- use your air conditioning to reduce both the temperature and the humidity.
- don't leave young and old people or animals in a parked car.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
David Crown & Associates
David Crown (Esq.)
Confidential Email account: email@example.com
It is with Heavy Heart I am reaching you regarding the death of my late
client. I am David Crown, of David Crown & Associate the legal adviser to
late MR. MIKE & CAROL HALL, a very Wealthy Couple that lived here in
Dublin, Ireland, before their Death on the 26th of December during the
Tsunami disaster last year (2004).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4153821.stm) these couple
served God as very dedicated Christians, they so dedicated their life to
God but they had no child till they died. They acquired a lot of
Assets/properties, like lands, Stocks/Bond, house properties, etc. As
their legal adviser, before their death, the husband Mr. Mike & Carol Hall
instructed me to write his WILL because they had no child; they dedicated
their wealth to God.
According to the WILL, their assets should be given out to a ministry or
an Individual for the work of God. As their legal adviser, all the
documents for the assets/Estate that are deposited with the security
company are in my Care. He gave me the authority to give out the funds to
the Individual/Ministries for the work of God. As instructed by MR.MIKE
HALL before his death. As a matter of fact the total amount of money that
is contained in the two Trunk Boxes is US$16,500,000.00, they did not want
the management of the Security Company to know the content of the
consignments, and therefore they registered the content of the
consignments as Family Personal treasures. Now, the security company
believes that what they deposited with them were Family Personal
As a born again Christian, I have been reading my bible and I have to do
what is lawful and right in the sight of God by giving out the fund to the
chosen Individual/ministry for the purpose of God's work as instructed by
the owner before his death. After my fasting and prayers Today, I asked
God to make his choice and direct me to an honest Christian /individual or
the chosen ministry that deserves this fund by his Grace. I have contacted
you to assist in Repatriating his chattels and Capital value amounting to
US$16,500,000.00 (Sixteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars Only) deposited with this Security Company, the Consignment left
behind by my client is Five (2) Trunk Boxes of Family Personal Treasures
content unidentified to the Security Company.
Note that for your assistance, you will be entitled to share 30% of the
total Inheritance while 5% will be set aside for any unexpected
expenditure and 50% for any Christian or charity organization in your
country, while 15% will come to me. However, the Security Company has
issued me a Final Notice to present his Next of Kin /beneficiary for claim
or have the Consignment confiscated. Therefore, on receipt of your
encouraging response, we shall discuss the compulsory modalities. I have
all permissible indispensable instruments for claim
I appeal to you for the fund to be distributed as stated above. I have
just notified the Security Company where they deposited the consignments
that contained the fund, that I am moving the consignment abroad, and the
security company is awaiting my authority to move the consignment out of
the shores of my country.
If you know that you will use this fund honestly and wisely for things
that will glorify God's name, also distribute as stated above, then do
contact me with the below required information:
1. Full names and address
2. Home, Office, Mobile/cell phone number.
3. Marital Status
4. Age & Nationality
You can write to my Confidential Email account: firstname.lastname@example.org,
and call me on +353-16572573
David Crown (Esq.)
It has been carefully done but note that bogus email and web site address. How long would it be before Mr. Crown needs my bank details to send me the money?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
- You can use your mobile phone when driving if you want to make an important call to a friend, a relative or for business.
- You drive on the right, the left or the middle of the road depending which suits you best.
- You must overtake any car or lorry that is in front of you regardless of what speed that vehicle is doing.
- Speed limits are advisory and do not apply to drivers of Mercedes Benz, BMW or Audi cars.
- Turn signals are confusing and should therefore not be used.
- The most suitable clothing for a moped is shorts, a T-shirt and flip flops.
- Helmets are only necessary on main roads.
- The baffles in a moped's silencer only reduce the flow of gases and should therefore be removed.
- As long as the moped will still move, it is permissible to carry passengers and anything else behind or in front of the rider.
- In towns, one way systems are meant for visitors and do not apply to local people.
- Double or even treble parking is OK as long as you have your hazard warning lights flashing.
- Parking on corners in towns is fine as long as the local police recognise your car.
- Bumping the car in front and the one behind is the acceptable way to get out of a tight parking situation.
- In supermarket car parks it is normal to park at an angle across two bays.
- Protecting the environment is for other people. The largest 4x4 or a big Merc. is what you really need in Spain.
- Walking on the road is a lot safer than using the pavement especially if you are pushing a pram. Any car that wants to pass will swerve round you.
- If it isn't bright and sunny you should put your headlights on. It is better to dazzle than risk not being seen.
- If you need to stop to "speak" to one of the ladies on the side of the road the drivers of the cars behind you will understand.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I'm trying out a new feature which will enable me to add a lot more content to my blog.
It's a free download from Microsoft called "Windows Live Writer". The program allows me to compose posts offline and then publish them to my blog.
Using this program I can add maps. pictures, tables and (via a set of Windows plug ins) and a whole load of other content from videos to bible quotes.
Just don't expect too many bible quotes!
Friday, June 15, 2007
One of our neighbours gave me a young datura plant which has now started to flower. The infuriating thing is that the flowers open at night and then by the morning they wilt and drop off. Still there are plenty of flowers to come and I understand that the plants grow to between 1 and 3m high. I hope mine doesn't get to 3m because it will drown the rest of the garden!
Yesterday we had the last session of Spanish when we were presented with our certificates, report cards and photographs of our group.
We also watched part of the video they had made of Blanca Nieves. The guy who had put it together had taken clips - rendered them in black and white and then speeded them up. It was so funny and really clever. We're going to get copies next week.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
For those of you who want to learn or just brush up your Spanish, the "Español para Extranjeros" course at the IES Miguel Hernadez would be an excellent choice.
Ana, who has been teaching us, is a first class teacher and at 20€ (price for 2006/07) for three terms of tuition you can't beat the value of the course.
We attend twice a week for two hour sessions during school term times. The lessons blend speaking, listening, writing and reading in Spanish using the "Nuevo Ven" course which was especially developed for foreigners.
To register you need to call in to the school any day up to the 29th of June after 15:30.
IES Miguel Hernadez is on Calle La Paz at the far end of the town.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
They apparently kicked off with the classic "Start Me Up".
Later in the set, Amy Winehouse joined them on stage for a brilliant rendition of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", and Paulo Nutini sang the bluesy classic "Love in Vain" with Jagger.
Both worked brilliantly - alongside Stones classics "Satisfaction" and "Honky Tonk Woman" sang on a moving walkway.
Apparently they were only eclipsed by Muse, another of my favourite bands.
There are very few bands in the world who can beat The Rolling Stones at their own game, but at the Isle Of Wight Muse were one of them.
They had the lights, the smoke, the cool graphics on the big screen and, most importantly of all, amazing songs played with pure passion and conviction.
Let's just hope that the Who are just as good at Glastonbury.
Not everybody's cup of tea but there you go.
Free windsurfing lessons are being offered Saturdays and Sundays during July and August on the Gran Playa at Santa Pola.
The course lasts for 16 hours: 4 hours in the morning and 4 in the evening on both Saturday and Sunday.
Since this is for people aged between 18 - 35 that kind of rules me out!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Hi thecre lovely,
This kind of opportbunity comes ones in a life. I don't want
tbo miss it. Dao you? I am coming to your place in few days
and I though may be we can meet each other. aIf you don't mind
I can send you my picture. I am a girl.
You can correspondc with me using my email .....
Then I got this email today from someone called Mollie:-
i am here sitting in the internet caffe. Found your email and decided to write. I am 25 y.o.girl.
I have a picture if you want. No need to reply here as
this is not may email. Write me at .....
Well Alina, sadly for you, the opportunity has gone and Mollie, I hope your coffee doesn't go cold waiting for me to reply!!
As you will probably be aware, this year there has been a bumper lemon crop in the Vega Baja.
Our own trees were weighed down with fruit so last night we picked them. As a result we have eleven carrier bags and a crate full of lemons.
So if you want a few lemons for your G & Ts or your lemon tea please call round to our house.
To avoid trouble when starting minor works or even major ones, firstly you need to apply for the appropriate legal permission and pay the corresponding fees at the Planning Authority Department of the Ayuntamiento. It is also probably best to check with the builder whether the work you plan can be safely carried out anyway. Some people on our estate have ignored the builder's advice and paid the price with collapsed pools, walls and terracing.
I personally wouldn't trust any builder who tells you that you don't need permission for even minor work and if you are carrying out the work yourself it is best to check first anyway. It is probably easiest to go and see a lawyer and ask him or her to do this because then you will get professional and accurate advice about the works you expect to do in your house. With appropriate permission you can to start the works without any worries.
However, in case you do get a Notificación de Denuncia from the Ayuntamiento, which is the Sanction enacted by the Local Developing Authorities, I understand the first thing you must do is to make a Recurso de Reposición (appeal for reversal), which must be submitted within 30 days from the date you officially get the letter. In this Appeal you must show as much evidence as you can in order to turn the situation into legality. It goes without saying that your Spanish must be pretty good to accomplish this.
Having made your appeal, you apparently get another letter with the resolution, positive or negative. If it’s negative you’ll get the Propuesta de Resolución within a few days that you can also appeal against within 15 days, asking formally for a copy of all the issued file against you.
Apart from this Appeal you can also submit the Permission to legalize the situation within 60 days, otherwise the works will be considered as illegal and a Demolition File can be issued and started from the Local Developing Authorities against you. This is the point of no return! You are then faced with demolishing the work yourself or paying the hefty fee for the Council to do it.
Just in case the weather gets too cold, or if you prefer to swim and sauna at the same time; the new indoor pool at the Polydeportiva is open.
At the pool the Council offer courses; for pregnant women, for babies, for infants, for adults, for older people, along with courses; in therapeutic swimming, in aqua fitness, for people with physical deficiencies, for anyone not covered in the other categories and of course there is free swimming. Phew!!!
For details of times and prices click here.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Whilst we were waiting for the bride and groom to come out of the church yesterday a man did cycle past in his underpants. We figured he was either miles off course or he was making his own one man protest in Bigastro.
The happy couple, who were married in a service conducted in English, came out of the church to the accompaniment of a piper.
They were then taken in a horse drawn carriage back to the communal pool area where a buffet for 200 people had been prepared.
A Spanish lady down in the square described it as "guapisimo" which we took to mean "guapa" plus some.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Microsoft Vista has a a few fancy tools under the belt; one of which is the Reliability Monitor.
This charts problems that are detected with software and hardware and produces an index from 0 - 10 based on how your computer is performing.
As you can see, from a rocky start where applications would crash almost daily, my computer now has a rating close to a perfect 10. I'm pleased with that because the computer that this one replaced had Windows XP installed which rarely caused me a problem.
If my PC and Vista continue like this I'll know that I made the right choice.
The band opened with a rousing pasadoble. They then delighted us with Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" march. Following on was Edvard Grieg's incidental music for Ibsen's "Peer Gynt". Then we had Ketèlbey's "In a Persian Market" followed by Henri Mancini's "Pink Panther" theme tune. Finally another stirring march with percussive accompaniment by the children from the Music School.
I can tell you that it took all our will power to stop ourselves standing up to sing "Land of Hope and Glory". If we'd had union jacks we would have waived them.
Many thanks to la Sociedad Unión Musical de Bigastro and the children from la Escuela de Musica for a magnificent performance which we thoroughly enjoyed.
PS Joaquin - you would have been proud of your band's perfomanace last night.
Friday, June 08, 2007
They anticipate breathalysing 15,000 motorists at 800 check points all over the country. Each check point will also have paraplegic victims of traffic collisions there to talk to drivers. The DGT maintain that this is not a shock tactic but works well with the campaign’s slogan, “Don’t speed, don’t drink, don’t change your wheels”, referring to their wheelchair bound ambassadors.
Age Concern hold two events every year: one in the summer and one at Christmas time.
They raised just over €2,000 last summer and were hoping to top that figure this year.
Age Concern Costa Blanca Sur has no government funding and can only continue to do its essential work with older people thanks to donations from the public and business. The money raised from the summer fair goes straight back into the charity.
We hope that our donations helped to swell their coffers after all we never know when we might need their help!
When you spend money at any of the shops and services that are participating you get points on your card which you can redeem for gifts. It seems that you get 1 point for every euro spent.
To get a card you need to visit one of the places in the scheme and fill out a registration form. Then each time you spend money in one of the listed companies present the card to claim your points.
McKinley is the highest summit in North America at 6,194m.
During the expedition they will conduct a scientific study verifying the changes to the human body at those latitudes and heights.
I can tell them before they start is that their bodies will get very cold!!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero condemned Eta's move. "Eta's decision goes totally in the opposite direction of the path that Basque and Spanish society want, the path of peace," he said.
Eta declared a "permanent" ceasefire in March 2006, and had insisted it still held despite a bomb that killed two people at Madrid airport in December. But in a message printed by the Basque newspaper Berria on Tuesday, the banned group said "minimum conditions for continuing a process of negotiations do not exist".
After the Madrid airport attack Spain's Socialist government broke off peace talks. Eta said that from Wednesday it would defend the Basque country "with weapons and on all fronts". The announcement suggests that another big attack could be imminent, observers say.
The group has killed more than 800 people in its four-decade campaign to set up an independent state in northern Spain and south-western France. Despite last December's attack, Eta's activities have been waning, with the number of bombings falling in recent years.
In the past few days, Eta has sent letters to Basque businesses urging them to help finance "the liberation and construction of Euskal Herria (the Greater Basque Country)", Spanish media report.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Sunday it was the turn of the horsemen to fight the bulls at Las Ventas. Of the three contestants, Andy Cartegena received an ear from the Infanta Elena for his first bull and petitioned for an ear from his second bull.
To see how skillful these riders are click on this link and then click on Videoresumen
Last night we watched the 2005 biopic "Camarón" about the famous flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla on Canal+ 1.
El Camarón de la Isla was born in 1950 and died at the age of 42 of lung cancer.
His uncle José nicknamed him Camarón which is Spanish for "Shrimp" because he was blonde haired and fair skinned.
At the age of eight he began to sing at inns and bus stops with Rancapino to earn money. At sixteen he won first prize in the Festival del Cante Jondo in Mairena de Alcor.
El Camarón then went to Madrid with Miguel de los Reyes and in 1968 became a resident artist at the Torres Bermejas Tablao where he remained for twelve years.There he met Paco de Lucía with whom he recorded nine albums between 1969 and 1977. The two toured extensively together during this period. As Paco de Lucía became more occupied with solo concert commitments, El Camarón worked with one of Paco's students, Tomatito.
At the age of 23, Camarón married Dolores Montoya, a gypsy girl from La Linea de La Concepcion who he nicknamed "La Chispa" (The Spark). At the time La Chispa was only fourteen. Shortly afterwards the couple had two children, and were eventually to have a total of four.
Many consider El Camarón to be the single most popular and influential flamenco "cantaor" of the modern period. Although his work brought criticism from some traditionalists, he was one of the first to feature an electric bass in his songs. This was a turning point in the history of Flamenco music that helped distinguish Nuevo Flamenco.
Years ago We bought a CD from Marks and Spencer entitled "Memories of Spain" which features several tunes by Camaron de la Isla, Paco de Lucia and Tomatito. At last we know a bit more about some of the artists on the CD.
PS For those who want to see flamenco at its best, apparently the taberna "El Toro y la Luna" at the Pza. Mestre Ripoll in Valencia is the place to go.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
At 2pm yesterday we heard an explosion followed by a cloud of thick black smoke coming from the other side of the lomo. Apparently the cause was a fire in a warehouse at Correntias on the Cv95 to Orihuela.
The fire devastated the warehouse which stores irrigation pipes and forced the evacuation of adjacent houses. Fortunately all 40 workers were out of the factory for their lunch break at the time the explosion took place so nobody was injured.
The neighbours did fear for their houses though as the flames which rose above them were being fanned by the wind. The greatest risk was from the toxic smoke as plastics and solvents burnt.
Friday, June 01, 2007
The programme for Corpus Christi is as follows:
FRIDAY, 8th JUNE
Concert by the Society Musical Union of Bigastro in the Municipal Auditorium.
SATURDAY, 9th JUNE
Fair for children in the Parque Huerto del Cura
Performance by KING AFRICA in the Parque Huerto del Cura.
Then, Discoteca Móvil until the dawn.
SUNDAY, 10th JUNE
Solemn mass for Corpus Christi
Followed by a SOLEMN PROCESSION with candles
and to conclude the celebration; a magnificent fireworks castle.
For those who haven't read Pete's comment
King Africa (stage name of Alan Duffy) is an Argentinian recording artist of American descent. He is well known in Latin America for his dance music and unique, intense voice.
You can watch him on You Tube Just check out those dancing girls!
This is the Council for the next four years.
1. José Joaquín Moya Esquiva (PSOE)
2. Mª Carmen Grau Espinosa (PSOE)
3. Raúl Valerio Medina Lorente (PSOE)
4. Inmaculada Martínez García (PSOE)
5. José Espinosa Espinosa (PSOE)
6. Mª Dolores Andreu Marcos (PSOE)
7. Mª Carmen Alonso Juárez (PSOE)
8. Raúl Ortuño Moya (PSOE)
9. Aurelio Murcia González (PP)
10. José Antonio Ricart Esquiva (PP)
11. Mª del Rosario Bañuls Rodríguez (PP)
12. José Manuel Sánchez Delgado (PP)
13. Mercedes Hidalgo Pomares (PP)
The particular roles that each member of the PSOE will carry out will be determined on the 16th June.