Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Halloween

Window decoration competition and pumpkin decorating class for this year's Halloween.

I have no idea

From the title, this is the 35th edition and on this occasion it will take place in Bigastro.

We know that it is musical and involves two choirs and is the synthesis of the three cultures: Christian (Gregorian chants), Arabic (chants of alborada) and Jews (similarities with the Sephardic chants of the synagogue).


Monday, September 17, 2018

The end of the Anniversary


The Closing Ceremony of the Anniversary of Thomas Villanova, will take place next Saturday.

 First there will be the opportunity to hear views expressed by Agustín Pastor Fuentes (Bigastrense  and Head of the Arrhythmia Unit of the University Hospital of Getafe), Gregorio Canales Martínez (Professor of Human Geography at the University of Alicante) Pascual Segura, author of the biography of Thomas Villanova) and direct testimonies by the descendants of the Villanova family.

Then the theatre group,  Lugarico will  represent their biographical work on the life and work of the illustrious scientist.

Although I have a personal invitiation from the Town Hall, unfortunately, we will be away then.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Much ado about nothing

We all know that weather forecasting is an imprecise art at best. When it comes to predicting DANAs though, trying to make accurate predictions is in another league.

You only have to search the internet to find videos of parts of Spain where the effect of the cold drop was intense. In particular, there is a video of a river rampaging down a street in Granada taking cars and vans along with it. There is a similar video taken in Ronda where the river is part way up the walls of houses. Both locations are where the streets are narrow and there is a hill.

We were forecast the high possibility of heavy rain and thunder but all we got was a short sharp downpour. That was lucky, things could have been much worse for us.

There have been some complaints about AEMET's forecasting but to be fair, it is better to expect the worst and then find things are nowhere near as bad as predicted. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

It is raining folks

Last time a DANA (Depresión Aislada en Niveles Altos) was forecast, we escaped and no more than a few drops fell on us.

Yesterday, the forecast for today was up rated to orange with a threat of very heavy rain. Today it is down rated to yellow. The map below shows the accumulated rainfall expected over 10 days from yesterday.



The problem is that DANAs are very unpredictable and the rain associated with them can be very local. It can be dry where you are and a washout just 5kms down the road with a clear line between the two.

You could hear thunder in the night, well at least I did but that was coming from Murcia. It is definitely raining today and the forecast is for it to continue through to Tuesday. As I have said though, we will have to wait and see.

Our second set of visitors went home last night. We thought they were going to have bad weather during their stay but they had none of it - plenty of sunshine, warm temperatures and no more than a breeze.

The other thing to watch out for are mosquitoes. So far, this summer I have only had a few minor bites but with rain puddles everywhere, the female insects will likely go into a breeding frenzy and be out in force collecting blood.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Orange alert

Be aware that there is a possibility that we will get some heavy rain sometime in the next two days. The situation has changed and the current risk level for this area has been reduced from orange to yellow on AEMET's website. In case you were wondering, we are at the bottom of that map.

If you doubt the force of nature, watch this video from yesterday.



Saturday, August 25, 2018

Make sure you are in order

A message from Scout John

HMRC has introduced new legislation that requires individuals to make sure their foreign income and assets are in order before a 30th September 2018 deadline and the arrival of tougher penalties.

These changes can affect people if they live abroad and pay tax outside the UK, for example people who rent out their UK home whilst living in another country or those who still have UK bank accounts or investments. It can affect more people than you may think.

 YOU ARE INVITED TO A CONSULATE SPONSORED PRESENTATION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY 4th SEPTEMBER 2018 IN THE CAPITOL THEATRE OF ROJALES AT 11 a.m.

The U.K. Consul will be in attendance along with HMRC representatives from the U.K to nswer your questions.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The procession 2018

You can watch the video made of the procession here. If you cut to 33mins.31seconds you can watch them rotate the throne above their heads. Cut to 22mins 20 seconds to watch the presentation projected on the church wall.

The coronation

This year Pam and I feature on the video taken. Watch us at 8mins 45 seconds in and see my wardrobe malfunction. Then again at 44mins 06 seconds in for a further minor wardrobe malfunction on my part.

Totally insane!

In case you were wondering what it is like to go down between 3am and 5am to watch La Cordá organised by the Association of Carretilleros, here it is on one of Fonta's photos.

First off, you have to have a licence before they will allow you in the cage. Then you have to wear layers of protective clothing which must leave you dripping with sweat. Finally, you need to buy your fireworks which can cost upwards of 1,000 Euros.

The reward is this spectacular display which Fonta has recorded for us.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The last of my photos

Today, La Murga will tour the streets in the final act for this year's Fiesta for San Joaquin.

Last night, the Cofradia de San Joaquin promised us something special for the Solemn Procession and they delivered.

Just before the statue was returned to the church, we were treated to an account of how San Joaquin came to the town complete with images projected onto the front of the church. I even recognised some of them as ones I took two years ago.

A quick turn around in the Plaza, first on the shoulders and then held aloft and the statue was returned to the church until next year.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

One of our neighbours

Efren Pamies, who lives on our estate, at the Comparsas Parade last night.

Not only is he one of our local policemen, Efren is an accomplished singer, plays guitar, takes great photos and has a keen interest in the environment.

An all round good guy.

See my photos from last night here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Simply beautiful

As I have said before on this blog, the Floral Offering is one of the most beautiful parades that takes place during the Fiesta in Bigastro.

See for yourselves the wonderful costumes and flowers from this year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The statues

Santa Ana
For those of you who missed them, here are the statues of Santa Ana and San Joaquin that the Cofradia de San Joaquin have displayed in the church.

I imagine that they will need to be moved to bring our statue of the patron saint out for tonight's Floral Offering.

San Joaquin

San Joaquin

San Joaquin with Mary

Remarkably similar to our statue. 

Santa Ana with Mary

Small but detailed statue of San Joaquin with Mary

The full display including pictures. 

I was asleep at the time



The earthquake was recorded at 4.40 pm on Monday, 13th August, 11 kilometers deep and had as its epicenter northwest of the town of Albatera.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Words fail me

Last night's concert for San Joaquin promised to be something special. Just reading the programme, you knew that we were in for a great treat.

As you may already know, Bigastro and the Cofradia de San Joaquin are celebrating the 225th anniversary of the entrance of the statue of the patron saint to the town.

There is a special exhibition of images and documents related to San Joaquin in the church which I will be photographing shortly.

In the meantime, let's talk about the concert.

The park was the perfect location, it allowed a full audience to attend.

The music was simply delightful and the band surpassed themselves with their interpretation of the pieces.

Diego and the musicians deserve all the praise that we can give them.

Top marks to Pascual

He came as Darth Vader, his wife was Leia Organa and their son, a young Luke Skywalker.

When the parade eventually arrived, it was mainly adults accompanying  a handful of children. It was all over in the blink of an eye.

Even still, we must praise all those who made the effort to take part.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Siempre divertido

The Carrera de Cintas was, as always, great fun.

Trying to poke that stick through a small plastic ring whilst riding on a bicycle is tricky to say the least.

It helps to be either tall or stand on the carrier at the back.With someone on the carrier you have to have good balance especially when riding at a snail's pace.

Time to celebrate and reflect

Last night was the final act for Pam and I as Third Age King and Queen. We were delighted to hand over the mantle to this year's King and Queen and hope they have as wonderful a year as we did.

Pam and I are very grateful to the people of Bigastro who have given us such wonderful support. You cheered, applauded, offered congratulations and made us feel very special.

We would also like to thank the Alcaldesa for the kind words she spoke about us during her speech last night.

After the ceremony we were pleased to meet up with friends and neighbours for a celebratory drink.

NB Please note, not all those gin and tonics were Pam's and mine!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

More detail in English

SATURDAY, 11th AUGUST

20:30h Procession of the 2017 outgoing courts, the incoming courts of the Fiestas Patronales 2018, accompanied by the Unión Musical de Bigastro, the local government team and the guest speaker, to the Park Huerta del Cura.

22:00h CORONATION AND OPENING OF THE FIESTA, in the Huerto del Cura Park. Coronation of the Court of Queens 2018, with the guest speaker, Sr. Rodrigo Jover Martínez,

At the end of the act of the coronation there will be a Disco.


SUNDAY, 12th AUGUST

12:00h The uncle of the tractor will tour the streets of the municipality offering refreshments. He will be accompanied by a charanga (an ad hoc band).

12:00h THE TAPE RACE will take place in Purisima Street. Participate and you could win one of the sashes that the courts have prepared for the occasion. How many sashes will you get?

20:00 h THEMATIC CHILDREN'S PARADE

Starting from Barrio Nuevo Street, following its traditional route, adults and children are invited to take part in this multicoloured parade, whose theme this year is MOVIE CHARACTERS. The parade will be presided over by the children's court.

23:00h CONCERT BY THE MUSICAL UNION OF BIGASTRO, in the Huerto del Cura Park.

Afterwards there will be a disco.


MONDAY, 13th AUGUST

12:00h The uncle of the tractor, accompanied by a brass band, will return to the streets of Bigastro, delivering cold beer.

20:30h Presentation parade of comparsas following the traditional route from the Parque de la Cruz. Don't forget to fill a bucket of water or turn on your hose to refresh the comparsistas!

00:30h Concert by LOS HAPPY'S.

A group with a great musical repertoire that will remind us of special moments in our lives.

Many of their songs we can sing together to make us feel that everything in our lives has been worthwhile.

At the end of the concert there will be a disco.


TUESDAY, 14th AUGUST

12: 00h The uncle of the tractor will say goodbye to the streets of Bigastro, until next year.

20:00h Floral offering to San Joaquín beginning with the traditional procession accompanied by the Musical Union of Bigastro, local dignatories, comparsas, and neighbours finally arriving at the Plaza de la Constitución where they will offer flowers to San Joaquín.

20:30h Holy Mass in Honour of San Joaquin

00:30H Performance by the 80 Principales, in the Huerto del Cura Park. The 80 Principales recall the successes of the golden decade of the 80s both nationally and internationally. The group is formed by 5 experienced musicians, some of whom were members of Ana Torroja's band, Lluís Llach or Antonio Orozco among others.

At the end of the performance - a disco.


WEDNESDAY, 15th AUGUST

19:30H Prepare for the festive atmosphere of the multicoloured parade.

20:30h GREAT MULTICOLOUR PARADE, of comparsas accompanied by the children's court, the juvenile court and the 3rd age king and queen.

01:00 h ALBORADA

A parade to welcome in our big day, with music by the Musical Union Society of Bigastro. Neighbours, visitors and the local governement team will parade the streets of the municipality, filling them with joy as they announce that the day of our Patron Saint, San Joaquin, has finally arrived.

At the end there will be a fireworks display and in the Huerta del Cura Park, another disco.

02:00h Children's fireworks in the cage on Acequia Street.

03:00 To 05:00h, More fireworks (La Cordá) in the cage on Acequia Street, with the participation of the Association of Carretilleros de Bigastro. If you are going to this event, wear sensible clothing and stand well back.

05:00 to 07: 00h Party Remember with DJ Chumy.


THURSDAY, 16th AUGUST

08:00h Parade of the Charamita announcing the Big Day of Bigastro.

09:30h Holy Mass

11:30h Parade by the Musical Union Society of Bigastro, from Bigastrín to Our Lady of Bethlehem Church, accompanied by the Courts of 2018 and the local authorities.

12:00h Holy Mass to honour San Joaquin with songs by the Manuel Moya Choir At the end of the Mass there will be a Great Mascletá (very loud fireworks set to a rythm of sound).

20:00h Majestic and Solemn Procession of our Patron San Joaquín, carried on the shoulders of the members of the San Joaquín brotherhood, presided over by the local authorities.

Following the entrance of San Joaquín to the church, there will be a GRAN CASTILLO DE FUEGOS ARTIFICIALES (Firework Display), provided by Pirotecnia Ferrández de Redovan.

01:00h In the Huerto del Cura Park, a Great Gala of Humour presented by Gina Boss. A show by Gina Boss composed of dance, music and humour, lots of humour! Interaction with the public will be constant and laughter is assured

Kalderas Cómico, presenter, scriptwriter and actor, with more than 130 performances per year in different halls and theatres nationwide with his solo show "#bienvenidosAMisTontunas".

The magic of Lumaky Artist with more than 10 years on the stage. Humour, surprises, emotion and other sensations that take us to a world of magic and illusion, and finally, The Sangochaos, a chirigota formed by young Torrevejenses in 2008.

And at the end - the final Discomovil, until everyone drops!


FRIDAY, 17th AUGUST

LA MURGA will tour the town in the afternoon. With this show, you can expect sharp satire aimed at both the town and Spain in general.

Plan your days



Thursday, August 09, 2018

Looking forward to this



Wednesday, August 08, 2018

All change

The forecast shows that we are in for a change in the weather. From very hot, we are moving to still hot but sticky as the humidity is due  to rise to almost 90%.

Most significant to us and Bigastro is the chance of showers at the weekend. On Friday it is rated at 65% and then on Satuday (the day of the coronation) 85%.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Shaken but not stirred

Never felt a thing!

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Sad loss

Barry Chuckle, half of the comedy duo the Chuckle Brothers, has died aged 73.

Residents at Villas Andrea will likely recall that Barry had a holiday home here until recently. Some of you even played golf with him.

The entertainer, whose real name was Barry Elliott, starred in ChuckleVision with his brother Paul on the BBC between 1987 and 2009.


Thursday, August 02, 2018

Financial matters

The budget for Bigastro this year has now been set as follows;  income = €4,658,522 and expenses = €4,408,522 giving a surplus of € 250,000.00 that will be used to reduce the municipal debt.

The good news for us is that a budget line has been created to improve the electricity network in the area of La Pedrera.


Market goers take note


Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Pity those souls

If you think it is hot here in Bigastro, just look at those temperatures for the middle of the country. Perhaps not the best time to book a trip to Cordoba!

A summer tradition

There used to be a Cine de Verano on Calle Purisima.

This one is in the new park at the top of the town.

Monday, July 30, 2018

For us? Well some of us at least!


San Joaquin and Bigastro

Many congratulations to Aurelio and the theatre group El Lugarico for a fantastic performance last night. They told the story from 40BC to 2018AD, how Joaquin and Ana raised the mother of Jesus, how the statue was commissioned, brought to Bigastro and received by the townsfolk.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A hot spot



Going out of the door yesterday was like stepping into an oven. Thankfully, today is forecast to be 5 degrees cooler.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The day of San Joaquín

Pascual Segura has researched the topic and found this:

It was in the year 1584 that San Joaquín first had his own date on the calendar: March 20th.

Then, in 1738, Pope Pius X moved the date to August 16th.

It was in 1969 that Pope Paul VI decided that the feast of San Joaquin should be joined to that of Santa Ana and that both would be celebrated on July 26th.

Despite this change of dates, Bigastro, like other municipalities with which it shares its  patron, still celebrates San Joaquin on August 16th. It is a tradition with more than two centuries of history.

For Scout John

I could have pasted out the signature and tried to pretend that I took this sequence of photos of last night's lunar eclipse but I would have been lying.

This stunning photo is the work of Moisés Pastor taken in Almoradi.

Friday, July 27, 2018

My personal invite



Pam and I already have tickets for this event with seats which I hoped would give me a good view for photographs. However, the President said he would like us to sit in the seats reserved for us and it would be churlish to refuse his request.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

England's green and pleasant land

Lots of pictures like this in the Daily Mail that show the continued effect of a drought and hot weather in the UK.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Well done ladies

 From Sheila Rowlands:

Just to let you know Caitlyn and her very able assistant Chloe raised 172 euros for Reachout and our new Church.

Geoff and Jean won 1st raffle prize, Vera second and Joan third. It was a wonderful effort by 2 very special and caring young ladies!!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

An invitation

The invitation extends to all of the townsfolk of Bigastro.

Last year, our first official engagement was when we were presented to the public at Santa Ana.

Riding into town

If you wondered why there were so many motorbikes on the road this morning, this is your answer.

The motor biker club's lunch in the park. 


I managed to grab some pictures of bikes that were parked up which you can see in my album located in the sidebar.

Band on show

Last night, Bigastro band took part in the Moors parade in Orihuela.

Check out my album in the sidebar for photos from both nights.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Spectacular

The Christian comparsas in Orihuela did not disappoint us last night.

The Caballeros de Tadmir, who lead the parade, put on a dazzling display of dancing, theatre, stilt walking and  of course wonderful costumes.

Friday, July 20, 2018

All in a good cause

Sheila Rolands tells me that Caitlyn has organised table top sale to raise money for the homeless and their new multi purpose Church.

This will take place at Calle Alemania 31 at 10am onward on Monday 23rd.

Refreshments, lemon curd, cakes, bric a brac, crafts etc for sale. Everyone welcome.

Sheila has also asked me to offer a special thank you to Caitlyn and her able helper Chloe for all their hard work!!

The big bang

Photo by Tony Seville
Last night, Orihuela resounded to the fire of muskets and gunpowder as the Christians fought of these Moors to regain control of the city.

Disgraceful

We understand that the French would like to see one of their countrymen win the Tour de France but for the moment it ain't going to happen.

They did seem to warm to Wiggo as he worked his way to victory in 2012 but for whatever reason they have not taken to Chris Froome at all.

At the ceremony when the teams were introduced, Sky were booed. Yesterday, Froome and Thomas were booed on the way up Alp d'huez. Worse than that, one of the spectators reached out to hit Chris Froome which could have caused a nasty accident. There are also reports of people spitting at him.

When Geraint Thomas took to the podium, as both winner of the stage and holder of the yellow jersey, the crowd booed again.

Did we boo when the French team won the World Cup and we came fourth? No. So why boo when the talented riders of Sky beat the French teams on the Tour de France?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Can you imagine?

Funeral of the parish priest D. José Galiano.

The townspeople accompanied the parish priest from the Plaza de la Constitución to the city of Orihuela, carrying their religious banners.

Can you imagine that happening today?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Another front cover

I was delighted to find that, yet again, one of my photos has been used for the front cover of the Fiesta brochure.

Last year, I was only able to take pictures on occasions when Pam and I were not involved as 3rd Age King and Queen. Still there are a handful of my photos from previous years inside the book.

Apart from the Coronation, when Pam and I will be back on the stage, I will be back in action with my cameras.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Moors and Christians in Orihuela


The two parades of Christians and Moors groups will take place this Friday and Saturday with the following details:

 viernes, 20 DE JULIO A las 21’30 h. desde la Calle Ocarasa Solemne Desfile de Entrada Cristiana. Abriéndolo las Banderas y Boato de la Asociación, Armengola 2018 y Escolta.

BANDO CRISTIANO Embajador Cristiano 2018: Isidro Hernández Lozano.
Comparsa Caballeros de Tadmir
Comparsa Caballeros del Oriol
Comparsa Piratas Bucaneros
Comparsa Caballeros de Santiago
Comparsa Seguidores de Arún y Ruidoms
Comparsa Contrabandistas
Comparsa Caballeros del Rey Fernando
Comparsa Caballeros Templarios

Itinerario: desde C/ Ocarasa, por C/ Aragón, Plaza San Sebastián, Avda. de España, C/ Calderón de la Barca, C/ Loazes, C/ Alfonso XIII, finalizando en la Plaza de Alfonso XIII.

 sábado 21 DE JULIO A las 21’30 h. desde la Calle Ocarasa Solemne Desfile de Entrada Mora. Abriéndolo las Banderas y Boato de la Asociación, Armengola 2018 y Escolta.

BANDO MORO Embajador Moro 2018: Enrique Riquelme Terrés.
Comparsa Moros Viejos de Abén-Mohor
Comparsa Moros Nazaríes de Abén-Humeya
Comparsa Moros Musulmanes Escorpiones
Comparsa Moros Almohábenos
Comparsa Moros Negros Egipcios
Comparsa Moros J’Alhamed
Comparsa Moros Abdelazíes
Comparsa Moros Realistas
Comparsa Beduina
Comparsa Moros Almorávides

 Itinerario: desde C/ Ocarasa, por C/ Aragón, Plaza San Sebastián, Avda. de España, C/ Calderón de la Barca, C/ Loazes, C/ Alfonso XIII, finalizando en la Plaza de Alfonso XIII.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Not the World Cup

I suspect that many of you will be glued to the World Cup final which kicks off at 5pm tonight. Or maybe you will be watching the men's final at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, in France, riders in the Tour de France will be facing 15 sections of the dreaded cobbles that feature in the Hell of the North, Paris to Roubaix Spring Classic.

Worth a visit

The people who ran the Roma bar moved to the new Bar Pujante, next to the park. This is their menu which includes some very tasty dishes and snacks..

Friday, July 13, 2018

Available from the 18th July

The book for this year's fiesta will be available from next Wednesday.

The list shows the places where you can go to collect your copy.

As a bonus this year, the first people to collect their books will get a reusable bag as a gift.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Worth a visit

The Town Hall have taken back control of the pool and restaurant at La Pedrera and are doing a great job running it.

The two pools are in excellent condition and the restaurant offers up very good value menus of the day along with snacks to keep you going.

The only downside is that there is no shade at all in the pool area.

Villas Andrea

The latest in my series of photos of the estate from above.