Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Saturday night sorted-

Monday, March 13, 2023

Oh dear

 With all the things that are going on in the world, it is unbelievable that so much attention should be given to Gary Lineker's remarks on Twitter. 

He was outspoken and his reference to Germany in the 30s have offended some - particularly right wing members of the Government. 

Let's face it, Braverman has some form on using offensive language to refer to migrants - she previously described them as "invaders". I also do not care for her veiled threat that millions could try to enter the UK if the Government did not take a strong stance. It reminded me of the threat that millions of Turks would come to Britain if the country stayed in the EU. That was not true and neither is it true what Braverman now says. All she is doing is whipping up support amongst  people who believe her populist garbage. 

Of course, the country needs to stop the rubber dingies for the sake of safety to those who use them as a means to get to Britain. Of course there needs to be limits on the numbers that any country can take.. Except of course when Britain needed more workers, they were not only allowed to enter the country, they were encouraged and given a cheap passage. 

Ultimately, Lineker was expressing his own opinion - not the opinion of the BBC. The remarks were made on his personal Twitter account. In the same way Clarkson made comments about Meghan Markle on his own Twitter account. Neither were reflecting the views of the organisations they worked for. A statement  from the BBC to say that Lineker's views were his own and not necessarily those of the Corporation was all that was required. 

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

No, no and no!

 It comes as no surprise that Boris Johnson has produced a list of 100 nominations in his resignation honours list, more than any other retiring PM. 

It is inevitable, given Johnson's reputation,  that some of the names on his list will raise eyebrows. None more so than his father, Stanley Johnson who is listed for a knighthood. 

It is not unusual for relatives to be given honours. For example, Margaret Thatcher put her husband Denis forward for a knighthood. 

However, there is a difference between Denis and Stanley. Denis was the rock who stood behind Thatcher. Stanley's sole contribution to his country was siring possibly the worst Prime Minister the country has known. That, along with the allegations that Johnson's father was violent to his former wife, should preclude him from any honour. 

Never mind "f*** business" and "f*** Americans",  let's f*** Johnson's honours list instead.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

By comparison

Latest weather updates in the UK show temperatures are expected to plunge as low as -15C and yellow warnings will be issued for large swathes of the UK - with roads, trains and bus services likely to be affected.

In the meantime, looking at the graph, Spring is arriving with a vengeance here on the Costa Blanca. 

Would we prefer to live here or back in the UK?

Saturday, March 04, 2023

This is where the squatters were

This is the house in the Altas de la Pedrera development where the squatters have been.

One neighbour reports that there is a speaker, a sofa, a mattress, a pillow, a toaster, coke bottles and a blanket inside. 

The local police have been around and have left the door open. 

Apparently there have been no confirmed sightings of people entering or leaving the house. However, it is clear from the photo and the evidence of the neighbour that squatters have been there and nothing to suggest that they won't return. 

How difficult is it for the bank, that own the property, to seal it off  securely - making sure nobody is inside of course?

The house is on the corner of  Calle Escocia and Canada Andrea. If I remember correctly it was bought by a lady in a wheelchair who had the steps around the outside of the property replaced with sloping ramps. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023


 Pam has had a message tonight from our neighbours to say that squatters have been spotted in one of the derelict houses on our estate. I presume it it one of the Altas de la Pedrera houses. 

A WhatsApp group has already been formed to discuss the problem. 

One of the three policemen on the estate has pointed out that, although squatting is illegal, it is the responsibility of the owners of the property to sort the issue out. In this case it is the bank that own the houses. 

From the comments so far, it seems that the squatters are still there but have not gained access to either water or electricity. 

Although, it is clearly undesirable to have squatters in those houses, we should perhaps concede that they must be pretty desperate to be there without electricity and water in this cold weather. Let's  hope that there is some local organisation that can find them more suitable accommodation. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Oh the bright light!

 After the pause caused by Covid, the Medio Ano Festival returned to Bigastro yesterday 

Instead of starting at the far end of town, the procession this year started at the Plaza Constitución. The turnout was brilliant and the inventiveness of the participants was unbelievable.

You could argue that the weather was perfect for the occasion. It was after all warm and sunny not dull and drizzly as predicted days ago. 

However, strong, bright sunlight poses a real problem for photographers. If the subjects are looking into it, they squint, if they turn away they are in deep shadow. Light cloud cover is what we hope for. 

One solution to the problem on a bright day is to use fill in flash to bring light into the shadow areas. You can tell from his pictures that the local professional uses fill in flash most of the time for his outdoor work. Obviously, this only works when you are relatively close to the subject,

In the days of film, dynamic range was a real issue. You could not record strong highlights and deep shadows on film. The usual advice was to expose for the highlights and let the shadows take care of themselves. 

Digital sensors are different. The best are capable of recording detail in both shadows and highlights. You just have to work a little magic in a program like Lightroom to bring them out. Even still, it is a challenge if you have a lot of photos to process. 

My friend Fonta has published his excellent photos from the event and you can see the struggle he and I had in some of our photos to bring the highlights under control and at the same time show detail in the shadows. Que sera, sera!