Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hearts of Gold

The congregation at the Salt Church in Los Montesinos, via Sheila Rowlands who lives on our estate, have sent some food and cleaning materials for the people in Bigastro who have need at this terrible time.

They say that, if we let them know, they will collect further anything that is needed to help.

It is at times like these when we see the best in people. Many thanks to Sheila and the congregation on behalf of the people of Bigastro.

Compensation

For those who have suffered damage or loss due to the recent bad weather, it is important to make a claim as soon as you can. 

The Insurance Compensation Consortium operates an Extraordinary Risk Insurance system which you can use.

How to claim

Basic needs

Hiperber Supermarket in Bigastro say that they will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. today.
They have stocks of bottled mineral water.

It is ironic that, after all the rainwater that flooded down into the town, that there is now a problem with water. It is because the pipework has been damaged in the streets affected. Likewise, there were houses that did not have electricity.

Yesterday, the Town Hall arranged to have tankers in the street with water for those affected.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A disaster






The situation is as bad as it gets.

 When Pam and I went down to get some food, we could have wept at the sights we saw.

 There are many parts of the town without water and electricity. The fire brigade and the Unidad Militar de Emerencias are busy pumping out water from houses and basements and people are busy clearing out the ruined items from their houses.

Many streets are closed including the roads to Jacarilla and the road to Hurchillo. The latest call for help is for volunteers to assist on Calle Príncipe de Asturias.

Pictures from other nearby towns are, if anything, worse. Redovan and Almoradi for example are facing severe problems.

Our hearts go out

We are very fortunate that, living on a hill as we do. Pam and I were spared most of the awful effects of this bad weather. Although it was very worrying watching and hearing the storms develop, Pam and I suffered no more that a full pool that needed lowering and a few hours of lost sleep.

The same cannot be said for those living on lower land which is now completely flooded. Many have lost cars, furniture, possessions etc etc. The waters will gradually subside in the days to come but the damage will take much longer to repair and the possessions longer to replace.

The blessing is that most Spaniards are stoical and at the same time caring. They will help each other to recover from this incident and hopefully it will just become a bad memory for those that were effected.

The latest message from the Mayor:

The Emergency situation is still active.

All notices communicated by the RRSS of the City of Bigastro are still active.

I beg you to be attentive to the communications that are issued from the City Council.

We must remain calm and show our solidarity with our neighbours in our town and the rest of the region affected by this terrible situation we are living.

As the day progresses, we will receive support from the resources authorised by the provincial, regional and national public administrations for the work of water drainage and cleaning of flooded areas.

It is at these times when we must demonstrate the solidarity and responsible character that characterises the people of Bigastro.

The aftermath

Orihuela

Almoradi

Friday, September 13, 2019

Is there no end to this?

The advice is not to go out unless you really have to. Bigastro is still in lock down with the roads closed. In case of a medical emergency, call 112. The industrial estate is closed, the Metro roundabout is impassible as is the new one at General Banuls.

Notice from the Bigastro Town Hall to residents, especially those on Calle Thomas Villanueva: the emergency services are preparing to evacuate those people in flooded houses. Advice is to phone 112 for assistance and to go up as high as you can.

In Redovan, they are appealing for anyone with a 4x4 vehicle to help rescue people who are trapped in flooded houses.

The river Segura has started to overflow in Orihuela so the situation there is even worse. Looking at my pool, it is about to overflow even though I dropped the water level yesterday. So much rain, where is it coming from and when will it end?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Take heed folks


Don't even try to go there

In case you thought of going to Orihuela:-

The Local Police of Orihuela has informed at 12 noon. that all access roads to the town centre are cut off to the circulation of vehicles.

The local police here in Bigastro are telling people who have cars in the underground car park at La Paz to move them pronto because it is in danger of flooding.

On Facebook you will find videos of flooding in various towns including Callosa Del Segura. No doubt that Torrevieja will be flooded. There is even a video showing sewerage coming up through the toilets at Vega Baja Hospital and one of a stock of new cars at a garage that are under water.

The best advice is to stay indoors with a book. If there is a break in the rain, it might be the chance to let the dog out for a toilet stop!

Update: If you were thinking of going into Bigastro, forget it - the local police have closed all the roads in the centre of town. Folks, this is bad. 

Surely enough is enough

Prime Minister Johnson has faced a baptism by fire during his first weeks in office.

  • He lost 6 votes in the House of Commons. 
  • He sacked 21 of of his MPs including ex Cabinet Ministers and the grandson of Winston Churchill. 
  • He lost further MPs from his party including his own brother and now commands a minority. 
  • He has been found guilty of lying to the Queen by a Scottish Court. 
  • He was accused of using an address in front of Police cadets for political purposes. 
  • He has made it clear that he is prepared to break the law and ignore orders from Parliament.
  • He has been shown to have lied to the public about the effects of a no deal Brexit - "vanishingly inexpensive" and "bumps in the road" as he called them. 
  • He refuses to release documents, emails, messages etc that would prove he was prepared to lie to the Queen.  
  • etc etc. 

Precautions

The first rainfall of this episode of Isolated Depression in High Levels (DANA) that is moving from sea to land last night came to the Vega Baja region dropping up to 40 litres per square metre in Torrevieja, 30 litres per square metre in Orihuela and  more than 20 litres per square metre in locations such as Bigastro, Almoradí and Callosa de Segura.

In the coming hours, the rains will gain in intensity and extent in the south of the province of Alicante, so the 'red' alert of the State Meteorological Agency will be maintained.

All the municipalities of the Vega Baja have decided to suspend the teaching day in schools as well as outdoor activities and in municipal centres on Thursday.

The weather will change as the day progresses, we could have periods of calm followed by heavy rain and thunder. Tomorrow will be much the same and then things should start to calm down on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Rainy days ahead


Wednesday

Thursday

Saturday, September 07, 2019

A very sad day


Antonio was a great friend to many. He taught most of the young people in the town whilst he was at the local primary school and he taught us Spanish.

We will miss him dearly and wish that he was still here.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Flesh on the bone please



We know there is at least one fibre optic cable in the Telefonica trunking because we saw it being laid. I recall seeing a cable being laid previously by a company called Bitel who have an office in Bigastro. Now there is a second cable put there by Vega Fibra.

The leaflets in our boxes set out the bare bones of the deal - symmetrical connection (unlike ADSL) of 300Mb for 24,90 or for speed demons 600Mb for 29,90. Both with free installation.

It seems you can add on a mobile contract as well and pay nothing until 2020.

 What we need to know though is a bit more about the deal, an explanation in English would be useful.

For example, can we dispense with the Telefonica connection and the line rental and just pay for an internet connection? Will Vega Fibra install just a cable modem or will they supply a wi-fi router? How long do we have to contract for?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Watch out for this

A summer classic is coming ! Rain of stars Perseidas or Tears of San Lorenzo . The best time to observe this will be during the early hours of Tuesday, August 13, especially from 5:00 h (just when the  Moon is hidden ) until dawn.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Fiesta Queens 2019

It was a fabulous night with some interesting changes from the traditions of the past including the Valencian Anthem at the end.

Friday, August 09, 2019

For your entertainment


Join the party


Enjoy a snack and a drink among friends. 

A 100m water slide - just the ticket on a hot afternoon.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Ready to party?



Monday, August 05, 2019

Our last respects

Last night, in the Town Park, we paid tribute to Francisco Grau Vegara. Francisco Grau was born in Bigastro and rose to become the only Musical General in the Spanish army. He wrote many musical pieces including a revision of the Spanish National Anthem.

Although his funeral was held in Madrid. his ashes have been brought back to Bigastro.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Time to reflect


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tonight


Tonight, the Juvenile Court, the Infant Court and the Third Age Queen will attend their first official function at the Fiesta for Santa Ana.

Another hot one



Monday, July 22, 2019

My photo tribute to Francisco Grau Vegara





Born in Bigastro, Alicante, Francisco Grau started playing instruments in the Bigastro band at the age of seven. Later, he went on to compose more than 700 pieces and since 12 October 1997, he has been the official author of the Spanish National Anthem (previously Marcha Granadera). He was also a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, the Real Academia de la Virgen de la Arrixaca in Murcia and the Academia de San Carlos in Valencia. From 1988, he was the director of music for the Spanish Royal Guard and was the Director of the Spanish Military Academy of Music since its creation. From 1988 – 2008, he was also director of the Musical Unit of the Spanish Royal Guard. In January 2008, Grau became the first General of Music in the Spanish Armed Forces, having been made a colonel some years previously.

He was too young

The sad news last night was that Francisco Grau had passed away. He was born in January 1947 which made him almost exactly the same age as me - 72.

The Alcaldesa has declared two days of official mourning from midnight tonight until midnight on Wednesday.

Flags on official buildings  in the town will be flown at half mast. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Going to the beach?

Be aware that the sea will be rough today. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Biker's lunch


Chaos

It used to be chaotic at departures at Elche Alicante Airport. You could park up there free of charge and so people used to avoid the fees in the main car park.

Then they installed barrier gates and you were restricted to 15 minutes. That worked well and it was usually possible to find a space even at peak times.

We take our car to the airport and use a company called Plane Parking. The deals is that you drop your car off at departures and they take it away to their compound. When you return, you phone up and they bring the car back to departures.

The problem is that people are back to abusing the system and are parking at departures to pick passengers up. On a number of occasions, the barrier gates have been left open to try and avoid the chaos but that means that they can park for longer.

When we came back on Monday it was mayhem, not a space to be had and you could see that none of the parked cars had people in them. Plane Parking had to bring our car back to the lane reserved for taxis.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

We missed it all

Pam and I have just spent the last week in Sale with our grandchildren. I understand we missed another day of suffering heat and two earthquakes.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Now that is hot!!



Thursday, July 04, 2019

Was that fibre cable?

Yesterday, we saw workmen who looked to be installing cable in the telephone ducting. Surely, this must be the fibre optic cable that we were promised.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

The Town Hall celebrates 75 years

Many thanks to Pascual Segura for this fascinating account.

Until the 1940s, Bigastro Town Hall was located at number 12 in the Plaza de la Constitución, a space that today is occupied by a modern building of housing and commercial premises. The poor condition of that old building of 165 m2, which included the jail and open courtyard, led to the consistory commission in 1942 to the two expert masons, Joaquin Moya Martinez and José Alcaina Esteban, a report on the state of municipal buildings .

The report, presented in 1943, ruled the poor state in which they were, and for that reason the mayor, Manuel Fuentes Torres, made the decision to auction all the municipal properties to deal with the acquisition of a space that would serve as new Town Hall.

Thanks to the money raised from the auctions, the house of the then secretary of the Town Hall of Bigastro, Juan Gálvez Gálvez, was purchased for 40,000 pesetas, commissioning the project of adaptation of said house to the architect Severiano Sánchez Ballesta, who approved the acquisition of the property affirming that "the structure of the building, its architectural style and the consistency of its walls and work in general, are well designed".

In August of that same year of 1943 they began works that culminated in December to adapt the house of the secretary to a Town Hall, with offices, court, archive, plenary hall, etc. In June 1944 the building was ready for the workers to make use of their facilities.

From June 1944 until today 75 years have passed. A work of adaptation of an old house to which subsequent rehabilitation works followed.

Over the course of those 75 years, Bigastro has travelled a path of prosperity, improvements in infrastructure and services, social and cultural advances, etc. A path that prospers with a newly named Municipal Corporation, which has as its Mayor-President, Teresa María Belmonte Sánchez and the councillors Antonio José Meseguer Cabañés, Alejandra Moya Celedonio, José Manuel Maíquez Moya, Nuria Andreu Mompeán, Manu Giménez Terrés, Teresa Moya Moya, Mª Carmen Medina Oltra, Raúl Martínez Campos, Olga Soto Pardo, Joaquín Sáez López, Nora Taj Lidón and Aurelio Murcia González, to the municipal representatives in charge of protecting this anniversary.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Try to keep cool


Monday, June 24, 2019

Looks familiar


Quirky dancing seems to be a traditional feature of celebrations for Corpus Christi.

These two pictures from Orihuela show two groups performing dances that should look very familiar to my English readers.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Mosquito season is on us

Female mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs in. They don't like clean water or chlorinated water though, they prefer water that has been standing.

Once they have somewhere to lay their eggs, the females go into breeding mode and stock up on blood for energy. That is when they will bite you to extract blood. Unfortunately what they leave you with is a dose of their anticoagulant that causes swelling and irritation.

If you want eliminate mosquitoes from your garden, patio or balcony, then you need to make sure there are no pools of water they could use to breed in.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Note the route

It is well worth going down into the town on Sunday afternoon to walk this route and see the magnificent work that the neighbours have done to prepare for the procession.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Corpus this weekend


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Photo Rally 1

With my fellow photographers, receiving our diplomas.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

What a shambles

It seems that the contest to find the replacement for Mrs May has descended into a farcical situation where each of the candidates feels the need to come clean on whether they ever took drugs. Michael Gove confessed that he took cocaine, others smoked cannabis or opium and Boris Johnson thought he might or might not have snorted cocaine - it could have been icing sugar which either did or did not go up his nose.

They all believe that, one way or another, they can deliver Brexit by Halloween or maybe not. In spite of overwhelming evidence that a “hard Brexit” would cost Britain dearly and in any case would be blocked by parliament, most say that would be their default option. The EU have categorically said that there will be no more negotiation so where does that leave us?

When Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair, Johnson said they should have had a general election to give him a mandate from the public. I wonder whether he will stick to that principle if he is elected? Indeed, will any of them risk “going to the country” to confirm their position?


Monday, June 10, 2019

The big clean up

Now that we have more visitors to La Pedrera as a result of the opening of  Ruta Alquibla, there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of litter.

In an ideal world, everyone would take their bottles and plastic bags home with them but sadly we no longer live in that sort of world.

We know that plastic waste is a real danger to wildlife which is why environmental organisations are putting their weight behind this initiative.

This is not a problem confined to Bigastro. Throughout the country teams will be meeting up on the 15th June to clear up their areas of natural beauty.

All that you are asked to do is give up one hour of your time between 7:30pm and 8:30pm to help clean up the leisure zone.

As the slogan says, "we are part of the problem and part of the solution". 

NB You may have noticed a team of workers in yellow vests cleaning up the roundabouts. This is an annual campaign for which Bigastro receives funding. In time they will cover the whole of the town and clean up verges pathways, parks etc including those in our urbanisation.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Photo rally

Having submitted a few photos for this, I'll be down at the Sala Polivalente tonight at 8pm ready to collect my diploma and T shirt.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Spotted on beaches at Mazarron



The Portuguese man o' war is a highly venomous open ocean predator that superficially resembles a jellyfish but is actually a siphonophore. Each man o' war is actually a colony of several small individual organisms that each have a specialised job and are so closely intertwined that they cannot survive alone.

If you spot one, let the authorities know and DON'T RISK TOUCHING IT. Although their poison rarely kills humans, it can be extremely painful.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Little Ana

 Some of you will remember Ana Moya who taught us Spanish in the first years that we were here. The middle girl in the pink is Ana's daughter who is also called Ana.

The occasion is the coronation of fiesta queens in Molins and Ana is one of the three Infant Queens for 2019.

The format of the ceremony was slightly different to that in Bigastro but was equally delightful.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Noisy weekend


Friday, May 31, 2019

Try again

Last photographic competition I misinterpreted the theme. This one is very clear.