Monday, September 25, 2017

The details



Trust me, you will enjoy the day. 


 From our experience, the meal will be be well worth the 12 Euros price for the tickets - you will definitely not go hungry!! Nor will you want anymore to drink.

 Whether you stay for the chocolate and the dancing is up to you. If you do though, I can assure you of a warm welcome from our Spanish neighbours and an enjoyable evening.

PS You can always watch Strictly on catch up!

A difficult situation

Spanish state prosecutors on Friday lodged a formal accusation of sedition against individuals thought to be responsible for the disturbances of Wednesday night in Barcelona, when Civil Guard patrol cars were vandalized and officers had to be escorted out of the Economic Affairs Department building by the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra.

The protests came after the Civil Guard on Wednesday staged a large operation against organisers of a planned independence referendum in Catalonia that resulted in dozens of searches and 14 arrests, including top Catalan government officials. Around nine million ballot papers were confiscated, seriously compromising the logistics of the vote.

Supporters of the referendum say that the state is being heavy handed in its approach. They say that the measures taken which include shipping in thousands of officers to take control, are reminders of the period when Franco was the dictator.

The government's position is simple, the referendum is illegal and should not go ahead. They will do all that is required to prevent it from taking place. It has put the mayors of many towns in a difficult position - if they allow public premises to be used as polling stations they are breaking the law. On the other hand, ff they ban polling in their towns, then they risk losing the votes of those who are in favour of secession.

Thomas Villanova

For those of you who want to know more about this illustrious son of Bigastro, there will be a conference followed by the opening of an exhibition about his life and works.

We have to thank Pascual Segura for his tireless work researching, not only ThomasVillanova but many other facets of the history of our town.

Finished

We believe that last night was our last appearance as Third Age King and Queen for the year. Our final call of duty should be the coronation next year for the couple that follow us.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

A special day for us

In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons as recorded in Resolution 45/106. The holiday was observed for the first time on October 1, 1991.

As you might expect, the Councillor with responsibility for 3rd Age in Bigastro is organising something special for the occasion and would like us all to be involved.

Watch this space for more details to follow.

Such a beautiful occasion

Last night, Pamela and I were invited to attend mass at the church in our capacity as 3rd age King and Queen.

Before the mass there was a floral offering to the Virgin of Bethlehem who you understand the church is dedicated to. Then there was mass.

What followed though was the interesting part. From the nursery school, Bigastrin, a group of musicians serenaded a procession which included church dignitaries, members of the council etc.
Those of you who have been to Patio Andaluz restaurant on the N332 at Punta Prima, will have seen a similar group of musicians, dressed in black, from the University of Murcia.

When the procession arrived at the church, the doorway was covered with a curtain. The musicians continued with their serenade outside the door.

At the appointed time, the curtain was dropped to reveal the statue of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms. She was clothed in a white cloak and the throne on which she stood was decorated with flowers including beautiful red roses.

The serenade then continued until about 10:45. After a couple of speeches,  we finally had  a brief firework display.

Apparently, this is an annual event - one which Pamela and I knew nothing about. We've watched the procession on Sunday but were unaware of this beautiful tradition. You can be sure that we will not miss it next year, I will be down there with my camera to get you some photos.

In the meantime, tonight is the final mass to honour the patron of the church. Following the mass, there will be a procession of the statue following the route taken during the Encuentro.

Pamela and I will be there, along with the Juvenile and Infant courts, dressed as we were for the final procession for San Joaquin - i.e. booted and suited complete with our sashes and Pam wearing a mantilla instead of her crown.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Do you like good music?

A chance to compare these two great bands.

Pam and I will be there. I'll be taking photos and also recording a sound track.

Brush up our Spanish

Apparently, this is organised for Thursdays at 4:30pm in the ViaVen. I am told that Kurtis is a very good teacher with a lot of years of experience.

Monday, September 18, 2017

More for your diary

It seems we are to be called on again to take part in this fiesta as 3rd Age King and Queen.

We will be taking part on Saturday in the floral offering and then again on Sunday in the mass and solemn procession.

For your diary

The association dedicated to helping those suffering with alzheimer in Bigastro has announced its programme for the week around the world day for this condition. Of particular note is the theatrical production on Sunday, 24th September in the Auditorium at 5:30pm.

The Cajón de los Lagartos ...

Made in the 60's, this box was used to transport the stands of the Bigastro Musical Union, to the numerous performances in Bigastro and other towns.

Due to the large size and weight, there used to be two musicians in charge of moving the box Once the box was emptied, it was often used as a stage for the director.

Known popularly among musicians as "the box of the Iagartos", the drawer fulfilled its function for decades.  It was abandoned and later forgotten in one of the old sites of the Musical Union of Bigastro from where it has now been  recovered fifty years on.

PS In case you were wondering, lagarto in Spanish can mean lizard or alligator, scoundrel or even sharp as opposed to lagarta which is a slang word meaning bitch!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

An enjoyable evening

When you consider that Bigastro is just a small town in the Vega Baja, it is quite remarkable that there should be anyone of note that was born here. The fact is - there are several.

Francisco Grau is one of its famous sons. He rose to the rank of General in the Spanish army, the first musician to ever do so.

Now we learn that an important scientist was also born in Bigastro 280 years ago and last night we paid homage to him.

Pam and I received our invite from the lady mayor in our official capacity as 3rd age king and queen.

After the introductions and a speech by the lady mayor, she unveiled a plaque to commemorate Villanova and to declare him a favourite son of the town. FOur of the townsfolk were then presented with mementos of the occasion - we thought they were possibly distant relatives but could not be sure.

Then the theatre group, Lugarico, accompanied by members of the town band, presented a short history of the  life of Thomas Villanova.

El Lugarico, led by Aurelio Murcia, had very little time to prepare and so it was a challenge for them. There were also several technical problems with the microphones which did not seem to phase the participants. In fact, they turned the situations into comic moments which the audience appreciated.

It was all very well done and was a great credit to those who took part.

You can see my photos in this album. 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Local weather

Storms in this area can be very local. For example, it can be pouring down in Bigastro and dry in Jacarilla.

Last night, we had a downpour that lasted half an hour, no more. The total rain from that was 5mm. Further up the coast though in Alcoy, it rained pretty much all night peaking this morning at 8 am. In Pinosa, there was over 28mm of rain in half an hour and Alicante had  similar amount of rain but over a four hour period.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Relief at hand

Those of you who are getting fed up with the heat of summer will be pleased to learn that the temperature is forecast the plummet on Saturday when rain will cool us all down. It will then remain cooler, at least for the following few days.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Saturday night

On Saturday, Bigastro will be honouring one of its sons, Thomas Villanova.

Tomás Manuel Vilanova studied philosophy and medicine at the University of Valencia. However, his broad interests also led him to study physics, chemistry, botany, mathematics, pharmacy and astronomy, as well as numerous languages ​​(Latin, Greek, Arabic). He also learned  modern languages from his travels in France, Italy, Germany and Hungary.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Good to be back

After a wonderful week in Mallorca (staying in the old part of Palma), Pam and I are back home in Bigastro.

You can find my photos from the trip in the album Palma, Mallorca. I've set it out in folders to make it easier for you to locate photos of interest.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Let off lightly

We might have complained at the time about the amount of rain that fell but looking at the figures, we got of lightly.