Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Did I mention my admiration for the Skoda Karoq?

Skoda, Spain keep trying to tempt me with pictures of the car on Facebook. This is their latest shot of  a Karoq 1.5 TSI (petrol turbo) with a DSG gearbox (7 speed automatic) in the beautiful Red Velvet colour.

Yours or mine for only 24,710 euros in the Ambition version or 27,350 euros in the Style version.

Is this take 3?

Clouds and bad weather marred the first two attempts. Surely, this time the sky will be clear enough for a good view of the stars.

Third time lucky?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Nothing phases Spaniards

When they extended the wall behind the houses on Calle Alemania upwards, we did wonder whether they were going to leave it as grey concrete blocks. We also wondered how they might get up there to finish it off. The answers came this morning when a huge crane arrived and parked across from the road below. Its purpose was to carry a cradle holding a man who then had the task of rendering the wall. Hiring such a crane would not have been cheap nor would it be an easy task to position it right. No pasa nada - they just got on with it.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sung with passion

Last night, Tony Ortuño, Antonio Larrosa and Efrén Pamies played a concert for us in the newly inaugurated Lo Chusco park in Bigastro.

Their style is what I would describe as Spanish poetic ballad rather than flamenco music. Easy listening is probably the right category for the songs, certainly delightful to listen to and well worth going down for.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thank you Jean

One of our neighbours kindly looked after our raffle tickets for us when Pam and I left the Charity Event yesterday.

I can count the number of times we have won in a raffle on one finger (possibly two) so it came as a great surprise this morning to find Jean at our gate with not one but two prizes. Thank you Jean, that was very kind of you to bring them round.

As I said in my previous post, I hope the event made a lot of money for AECC. After a quick check, there was about 850 Euros in the pot before we left which is a fantastic amount.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Disturbing facts

AECC (Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer) tell us that half the population will have some form of cancer during their lifetime. That was certainly born out by the tales we heard today. So many who have or had one form or another of cancer, it was frightening. The only encouraging fact is that detection and survival rates are improving year on year.

We sincerely hope that those who are currently undergoing treatment or who are now being monitored succeed in their fight against the big C.

Sadly, there are a few of our neighbours who lost their battles with cancer and are no longer with us including the husband of one of the organisers who passed away eighteen months after retiring to his dream life in Spain. Joan is a very brave lady who works hard to help others and gives tireless support to AECC.

A great afternoon in excellent company

It was great to see so many people we haven't caught up with for so long. It was also delightful to find so many of our Spanish neighbours enjoying their day in our company.

Many, many thanks to Darren and Joan and everyone else who was responsible for organising the event - I hope you made a huge stash of cash for AECC.

PS I apologise to anyone who was there that I missed.

Take care in the sun

It almost seems that there is something for every day of the year.

Today it is about protection of the skin from cancer.

Fortunately, chemists like Farmacia Medina on Carrer General Banuls can help out by advising  on the appropriate skin care products to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun.

A reminder for today

This should be a good day for a long overdue chinwag with the neighbours and also an opportunity to donate some money to a very worthwhile cause.

Be on your guard

We don't often hear about burglaries that happen in the rest of our estate so I can't tell you whether we are in a bad spell or not.

Our next door neighbour has had some issues with his alarm going off during the daytime. Each time we (well Pam actually) go to check on the roof and so far she has seen nothing untoward. Our neighbour across the road also comes out to check each time.

The alarm is connected to a central station so the police and he get an alert.

Last night, at about 10:31pm, the alarm went off again and sounded for a couple of minutes. Again, Pamela went to check on the roof but could see nothing. However, when our neighbour returned he said that someone had been in his garden. It wasn't clear whether they had attempted to get into the house or not but obviously that would have been their intention.

PS That house has been burgled twice.

  • The first time was when the original owners lived there. On that occasion, the house was ransacked. The thieves even pulled off the cupboard doors above the wardrobes. They had clearly been inside for sometime. 
  • The second time was when the current owners left the door from the conservatory to the lounge open for their dog. Strangely, the thieves only took clothing.  
  • On another occasion, there were signs that someone had climbed over the wall to break in but I don't think they managed to get inside the house. 
  • As I said, this time there someone had been in the garden but I am not sure whether they managed to get into the house or not. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I'm up for that

A photographic contest is right up my street.

However, there is some very stiff competition in the town from some seriously good photographers so I will have to up my game to prevent myself from being disgraced.

Apart from the challenge of taking part, the biggest reward for me will be seeing the entries on display in December.

Monday, June 11, 2018

We will be there

El próximo miércoles 13 de Junio, celebraremos en el camping de La Pedrera una jornada de convivencia con la colonia Inglesa, a beneficio de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer, habrá sorteos donados por los siguientes comercios:
-Bodegas el Aleph
-Ferretería Alfonso Murcia
-Panadería Paco
-Estética Eladia
-Churros Pepe
-La Tienda de Eva

Both Pam and I have been victims of cancer; Pam was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer whilst we were in England and I was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer here a couple of years ago. AECC is therefore a charity that we both have an interest in.

The challenge of recycling

This morning, Pam and I were invited down to the Auditorium for a presentation about recycling.

It seems that Bigastro, along with other Spanish towns, is making progress but there is still a lot to be done.  Those who live on our estate will have noticed the new containers which are colour coded.

My only gripe with them is that the previous cardboard container had a much larger opening. It was easy to open the lid to put large boxes in. You need to break boxes down into small parts to feed them through the opening on the new bin.

Saturday, June 09, 2018


Not sure where or what this is. Can someone please enlighten me?

UPDATE: Many thanks to one of our neighbours who pointed us in the right direction.

It is located on that piece of wasteland in the centre. 

Friday, June 08, 2018

NEUMA presents their first CD.

ORIGEN es el primer trabajo discográfico de NEUMA, con el que reafirman su esencia y consolidan su proyecto.


Neuma nace de unas ganas compartidas de hacer música de cámara de calidad.
Neuma es la suma de cuatro mujeres con personalidades muy diferentes que se dan cuenta de que juntas se complementan y deciden apostar por un proyecto musical innovador, moderno y vital.
Neuma es la conexión entre cuatro flautistas que quieren descubrir nuevos horizontes y trazar nuevos caminos. Cuatro integrantes con cuatro roles diversos. Complementarios. Indispensables.
Neuma es un cuarteto de flautas. Una sonoridad singular. Un grupo de cámara insaciable y enérgico decidido a subir al escenario para conectar con el público a través de conciertos cercanos y creativos.


Donde todo comienza. La fuerza del inicio. La causa de estar donde estamos. El motivo por el que todo avanza.
Origen es un punto de llegada y un punto de partida. Un CD que lleva implícita la causa de haber llegado hasta aquí y el motivo para continuar apostando por este proyecto.
Donde la fuerza de las raíces se ve reflejada en la manera de tocar y en las obras interpretadas.
Obras actuales, originales para la formación. Obras de los compositores Anže Rozman, Andrey Rubtsov y Anthony Girard. Todas relacionadas con la naturaleza, el origen de la vida.
Origen recuerda la importancia de volver a los principios. Encontrando la intensidad en la simplicidad. Convirtiendo el CD en una experiencia. Una experiencia con imágenes que guían la escucha. Creando una conexión directa y sincera. Música de cámara en estado puro. Una apuesta atrevida que vuelve a los orígenes.
Origen no sólo hay uno. Éste es el nuestro.
Valor, vitalidad, conexión, energía.
Cuatro obras. Cuatro intérpretes.
Donde todo comienza.


Según la cantidad que aportes, podrás disfrutar de diferentes recompensas, desde el envío a tu casa de nuestro CD ¡hasta un concierto privado!
(*) Gastos incluidos dentro de España. Los envíos internacionales sólo están incluidos en la recompensa *I live abroad!


El CD físico y todas las recompensas se enviarán una vez terminada la masterización e impresión del disco.
Entre los meses de octubre y noviembre de 2018 informaremos de los conciertos de presentación que realizaremos, donde tendrás la oportunidad de recoger tu recompensa. Si no pudieras venir, no te preocupes, te enviaremos tu recompensa a la dirección que nos proporciones.

You can contribute to this project by donating anything from 10 Euro upwards. In return you will be gifted anything from a CD up to a private concert. 

Enhanced security

The window grilles on our houses look safe but offer less security than you might think. A few houses on our estate have been burgled by thieves who simply removed the grilles and then the windows.

Armed with the right tools, a competent burglar can easily take out the surrounds and then the grille in a few moments.                         

Cerrajeria Pepe Lorente in Bigastro have now developed a system of custom-made brackets with very strong coach bolts that are cemented into the side surrounds and marble sills. With these in place, the thief would have to literally take out  a whole section of wall to remove the window.

When finished, each grille is now firmly secured with 8 extra fittings making 14 fixings in total.

On seeing this extra security, the thief will hopefully opt for an easier target.

An approximate budget figure for this work is 50 euros per window -0/+10%.


IF this is something you might be interested in,  contact  Rafa Lorente on 965 350 038, call down at his workshop or email info@carrajeriapepelorente.es for a free quotation

A rare capture

More often than not I am the one taking the photos at events in the town along with my good friend Fonta.

Rarely do I get into photos. In this picture I was caught at the procession for Corpus Christi by Evaristo Moya. Many thanks my friend, that is a good photo!

A valuable archive

"We build the future, knowing our history" is the title of the new exhibition in the entrance to the Ayuntamiento in Bigastro.

The exhibition will not be permanent, it will be renewed every four months, offering neighbors new historical documents that will tell unknown episodes of Bigastro's history.

In the picture (from Activa) is the Mayor, Teresa Belmonte on the left and Pascual Segura, the expert who has assembled the archive on the right. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Progress report

I took my drone out for its maiden flight this morning. I am happy to say that all went well. I was able to take off, ascend to about 10m, fly the drone around and land it back safely. 

For the moment, I am flying in "beginner mode" which restricts the height at which I can fly. It also makes the controls a little less responsive and will not allow me to fly unless I have a GPS signal.

There were a few issues though, nothing to do with the drone.

My iPhone 5s is just too small to see properly the settings and where the drone is going. Even if it was larger though, the glare of the sun on the screen combined with my glasses which darken in the sun made it very difficult to see.

I bought a landing mat to ensure that the drone came down on something soft. However, as the drone came down, the wind from the propellers moved the mat away DOH!!

I've got a support for my iPad coming along with a sunshade for it. That should mean I will be able to see what the camera is looking at and view the map which shows where the drone is currently positioned. Looking forward to my next flight once those items have arrived.


Environmental issues

The environmental project in Bigastro will continue on June 8 with the "Bigastro Bajo la Luna" Route. This will be the fourth edition of this night tour of the local garden. The path, which is about 6.5 km long, is of low difficulty and suitable for everyone.

Also on Friday, June 8 a Photography Contest, "Rincones de mi Pueblo", will get underway. This is a contest for photographs with environmental interest within the municipality.

On June 11, Bigastro will receive the "Challenge of Recycling", a campaign organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, along with Ecoembes and in collaboration with the Vega Baja Consortium.This project aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling, turning it into a Competitive Challenge, with which to increase the rates of recovery and recycling of the containers that are deposited in yellow containers (cans, bricks and plastic containers). ). The "recycling van" will visit Bigastro with an informative team that will explain the challenge to neighbors and groups with entertainment and environmental education actions.

In addition, on June 12th  the campaign "More food, less waste" will be celebrated. This is a campaign organized together with the Spanish Network of Cities for Climate and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, whose objective is to reduce the production of food waste and achieve greater use of the food we consume. This campaign is aimed at citizens, with specific messages for adults, children, schools and other consumers. To this end, 100 bags of reusable printed cloth will be distributed with the main messages of the campaign, aimed mainly at adults, as well as 100 cloth place mats with the same messages of the campaign, but adapted to the children's audience.

Throughout the month of June, the Scholastic Campaign on Climate Change will be developed, aimed at primary school students, in which two superheroes teach them what they can do in the face of climate change. To this end, audiovisual and school materials have been prepared to hold awareness sessions for schools and environmental classrooms.

Sounds interesting.

Thursday is the International Day of Archives.

To celebrate the day, Bigastro Town Council is opening an exhibition of historical documents on the ground floor of the Ayuntamiento. They say that the exhibition will be updated periodically.

I'm always fascinated by that large photo of Bigastro from the past that is displayed in the Town Hall. I hope there will be more to see at this new exhibition.

Not done yet

We might have thought that Saturday's downpour was the end of bad weather for awhile Apparently that may not be the case, we could have heavy rain and thunder today from about midday onward.