Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Unpredictable weather

After a dismal start, yesterday turned out to be mostly dry and there were even periods of sunshine.

That all changed at about 9:30pm when you could hear thunder in the distance. As the storm approached, the lighting bolts were quite spectacular and filled the sky with light. The rain was intense but thankfully only  lasted for a short period of time.

Forecasts for today vary considerably because the atmosphere is quite unstable. For sure it is heavily overcast so who knows, we could have another thunderstorm or we might get lucky and be let off.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Thanks to Eva

In response to my request for a photo of Pam wearing a mantilla, I have this mobile shot of us at the end of the procession.

The Brotherhood of San Joaquin kindly brought seats for us to watch San Joaquin return to the church and the firework display that followed.

PS The mantilla was kindly loaned to Pam by our excellent neighbour Eladia. Not only did she loan the headdress, she came to fit it for Pam for both the mass and the final procession.

PPS The pin you see me proudly wearing in my suit is the one presented to me by the President of SUMB at last year's concert for San Joaquin.

There you go

The forecast for today and tomorrow. Cloud cover for both days with weak showers this morning and moderate rain this afternoon. Tomorrow will be much the same but with the possibility of intermittent thunderstorms.

Actually, I can hear thunder rolling in the distance already and we have had some rain overnight.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Rain to come

It might or might not rain heavily during the next two days as DANA passes by. Whatever rain we get will be mucky rain - damn!!

More from the Fiesta

Some more pictures of Pam and I at the Fiesta. However, I don't have any photos from the final procession or the mass in the church where Pam was wearing a mantilla. If anybody has any photos of us, I should be very grateful for copies.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I don't think so.

After the Brexit vote friends told me not to worry, things would be all right - just wait and see.

The pound has tumbled more than 15 per cent against the euro since the UK voted to leave the EU in June last year.

Sterling on Wednesday fell to a fresh eight-year low – an official rate of just over €1.08 against the EU’s single currency. Worse still, travellers obtaining last-minute holiday cash from Southampton Airport’s Moneycorp branch on Thursday were getting just 87 cents for every pound.

Economists at UniCredit wrote in a note to clients on Thursday that the “upward trend” in the euro’s value against the pound “is showing no signs of slowing down”.

Strategists at Morgan Stanley add that the pound’s weakness “is no longer inspiring foreign buyers to come into the market”. They said that they are more optimistic on many other currencies, including the otherwise weak US dollar, and that they think buying the euro against the pound is the most sensible trade at the moment, indicating that they expect the single currency to become even stronger against sterling in the short term.

Last week strategists at the US bank said that the pound would be worth less than the euro on official exchanges by early next year.

When the Euro was last on par with the pound, we thought those were black times. As the pound gained strength, we thought they were behind us. Now it looks like the situation could be even worse.  And it isn't just people like us that are suffering. All of the imports to Britain are going to be more expensive so our friends and family will also be worse off.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


For those who want to see the Vuelta, these are the timings.


When I read that Sunday's stage of the Vuelta a Espana was starting at Orihuela and then passing through Torrieveja, I assumed they meant the city. From the city, the route would have taken the CV95 by passing Bigastro which would be perfect from my point of view.

Having now seen a proper map, it seems that the stage will actually start at Campamor on the coast. Furthermore, it will not pass through Torrevieja because the mayor says he cannot provide enough police officers to patrol the roundabouts in the town. Instead it will run along the N332 towards Guardamar del Segura.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

All over for us.

After waiting so long for this year's fiesta where Pam and I were due to be crowned Third Age King and Queen, it is all over.  We have enjoyed every moment, right from the coronation to last night's procession.

There are so many people we want to thank:

First of all our fantastic neighbours, Pepe and Eladia who have helped us prepare and even taxied us down to save us parking and walking.

We would like to thank our family and friends who came over from England to support us. Along with them were our many Spanish friends who were there for us.  

Then there were the members of the Fiesta Commission, especially Carlos, Manuel and Eli who  helped us each day.

The lady mayor who took the trouble to ask us regularly how we were and whether we were enjoying the Fiesta.

The Brotherhood of San Joaquin and especially the one who directed us around last night.

Trini Alcaina and Fonta Bigastro for taking many photographs.

And last but not least, the people of Bigastro who gave us such support and cheered us on.

Now can I ask a favour. If you have any photos, not just of us but of the Fiesta in general, can you let me know. I'd love to have them to make up an album of memories of this fantastic time in our lives.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Relive the moment

For those who missed last night's fantastic concert for San Joaquin, here is the audio file.

What a surprise!!

Our neighbours, Manuel and Eli organised for an ad hoc band (Da Capo) to come and play for us in our garden this morning. Those who live at Villas Andrea will have heard them as they toured the estate.

Black is Black

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Archie - a winner

We were delighted when Jemma's best friend, Laura T wanted to come and support us at this year's fiesta and bring her two children, Erica and Archie with her.

It was wholly appropriate that our son-in-law, Dave should take part in the Carerra de Cintas. Laura's son, Archie agreed to ride on the rear carrier.

Their first attempt was good but Archie just failed to hit the mark.

The second run was more successful when Archie managed to win the tape with Pam's name on it.

How lucky, a) to win a tape and b) that the tape gave Archie Pam's sash.

Archie has given our granddaughter Molly the sash which hopefully she will keep as a memento of this special celebration.

Team GB

Having our family and friends over gave us the opportunity to take part in the Infant Parade this year. It was Jemma's idea that we should go as Team GB to fit in with the Olympics theme.

Whilst she sourced the flags and the medals, I had T-shirts printed for us all. The idea seemed to be well received by the onlookers.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Muy contenta

This was taken at the party we hosted last night for our family and friends at the Bar Roma.

Pam and I were delighted to be joined by a selection of our Spanish friends who have made us most welcome and have helped us to integrate into our new country.

See my album for more photos.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

We escaped

Yesterday was a pleasant sunny day here in Bigastro. Elsewhere though, there was a real downpour with the worst hit place being Denia.

The Fiesta continues


11:00 a.m. THE TAPE RACE

Bicycles return for San Joaquín to Calle Purísima. Enjoy this ancient tradition and win a sash that our court has prepared for the occasion. How many of the tapes can you get?

Refresh yourself by taking a free granizado.


As it has become traditional, the uncle of the tractor, accompanied by a charanga, will begin to tour the streets of Bigastro refreshing and encouraging all the neighbours and visitors.


This year the theme of the children's parade will be "OLIMPIADAS", departing from Barrio Nuevo street, accompanied by the Children's Court of Queens.

00:00 hours


Inaugural parade starting from Calle Aureliano Diaz, where the Festival Commission, accompanied by the Municipal Authorities, Court of Queens, Pregonero, Comparsas and the Sociedad Musical de Bigastro, will proceed to the inauguration of the party venue installed as is traditional in the Huerto del Cura Park.


The showman David Moreno, finalist in TU CARA NO ME SUENA TODAVIA, presents his new musical project IMPOSSIBLE VERSION. Accompanied by 5 great musicians, Moreno and his band will pay tribute to different artists of all eras and styles (Fito, Dani Martin, Shakira, Julio Churches, Camilo Sesto, Eros Ramazzotti, Louis Armstrong, Estopa ...) imitating the voice of these artists and interpreting their music and medleys with songs of today and yesterday. You've will have never seen so many singers on one stage! A lot of humour, good music and a constant interaction with the public, with a very theatrical staging.


At the end of the performance there will be a disco until the dawn with Dj Sergio.

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Video consoles, for all in the Polyvalent Room of the Municipal Auditorium Francisco Grau.


The uncle of the tractor returns, parading the streets of the municipality, accompanied by a charanga. Laughter and fun are assured.

8:30 p.m.
Have a great time enjoying this refreshing parade – don't forget to take a bucket of water to liven up the party.

00:00 hours

In the Plaza de la Concordia, the Festival Committee has prepared the performance of the Atlantic Duo that will liven up the night with a wide musical repertoire, so as not to stop dancing throughout the evening.

01:00 a.m.

Melissae pays tribute to our passion for the 80's and especially for the music of MECANO.

Musical show that will make us relive the memories that are linked to the great successes of this legendary band from Madrid. More than a score of songs from the first albums to the last year's, will surely connect to the audience with their magical energy.

And then, discomóvil with Dj. Robles.


10:00 a.m. to Midnight.

Last day of consoles with the latest games, in the Polyvalent Room of the Municipal Auditorium Francisco Grau.

The uncle of the tractor says goodbye to our municipality until next year, as always touring new streets accompanied by charanga.

8:00 p.m.

The offering will begin with the traditional parade from Aureliano Diaz Street, where the court of queens accompanied by the comparsas, authorities, commission of parties, neighbours and the Sociedad Musical de Bigastro, will arrive at Plaza de la Constitución where they will make floral offerings To our Patron Saint Joaquín.

8:30 p.m.

11:00 p.m.

01:00 a.m.

The happy effect is to get together a lot of friends and share many of those legendary songs, sing them together and feel that everything we have lived for has been worth it.


THE HAPPY'S are: Antonio Hidalgo, José Ramón Soler, Willy Salas and Alex Thomas

Followed by a DISCOMOVIL with DJ RAFA


10:00 a.m. PASACALLE
La Charanga will tour the streets of Bigastro, enlivening residents and visitors.

The charangas, who accompany the comparsas in their parade, prepare the festive atmosphere for the multicoloured parade.

The comparsas, along with the Children's court, the Juvenile court and the Third Age King and Queen, will take part in the multicoloured parade that as always will begin in the street Barrio Nuevo.

01:00 a.m. DAWN
A grand pasacalle welcoming our big day, with the music of Sociedad Musical de Bigastro, will parade the streets of the municipality filling them with joy as they announce that the day of our patron Saint Joaquín has already arrived. At the end there will be a grand firework display and then a Discomovil with Dj Sergio

02:00 a.m.

03:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. ADULT'S FIREWORKS IN THE CAGE (LA CORDÁ)

Both of these events will take place in the street Acequia, with the participation of the Association of Carreteros of Bigastro.

"The Bigastro Town Council and the Organising Committee of the parties are not responsible for the improper use of gunpowder outside the established places and timetables"

05:00 a.m. to 07:00 a.m. FIESTA REMEMBER

At the end of the Cordá, in the Park Huerto del Cura, FIESTA REMEMBER with Dj CHUMI .


09:30 a.m. MASS

11:30 a.m. Parades of the Bigastro Musical Union Society, from Aureliano Diaz Street to the Church Ntra. Señora de Belén accompanying the courts of 2017 along with members of the council.

12:00 HOLY MASS IN HONOUR TO SAN JOAQUÍN, which will be sung by the Manuel Moya Choir.
At the end of the Mass, in the Plaza Constitución, there will be a GRAN MASCLETÁ.

8:00 p.m SOLEMN PROCESSION OF OUR PATRON, SAN JOAQUÍN, carried on shoulders by the members of the Brotherhood of San Joaquin. Upon the return of San Joaquín to the church, a GREAT FIREWORK DISPLAY organised by pyrotechnics Ferrández of Redován.

01:00 MUSICAL PERFORMANCE BY THE LA ESPARTERA GROUP The group will animate the last night of our party, with a mixture of rhythms from a flamenco background.

And then, DISCOMOVIL until everyone drops with Dj Rafa.


In the afternoon, LA MURGA will, as always, make a mockery of what has happened in our municipality and in the country. Political satire at its best.

"HAPPY FESTIVALS" The Organizing Committee of the San Joaquin 2017 Festivities is not responsible for the use of gunpowder outside the authorized hours and venues. Likewise, the Commission may make changes to the schedule of acts it deems appropriate without prior notice.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Radio stars

Pam and I waiting to be interviewed by Paco Murcia for Radio Sureste, the day after the coronation.

A few reminders

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

From one extreme to another

Today we can expect extreme heat with an amber warning.

Last night it was a lot more comfortable than it has been over the last few days and that will continue. Daytime temperatures will also drop to something more normal.

However, there is a price to pay and that is the cloud cover, the possibility of rain and even a thunderstorm. Fortunately, it won't be mucky rain this time so you won't have a big clean up job to do on Friday.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Touch and go

Fortunately , our family members arrived just in time for our coronation. Here we are afterwards in need of a drink!! Many thanks to my great friend Fonta for the the photo.

Our crowning moments.

 Thanks to my good friend Fonta, we have photos of the coronation on Friday night

Friday, August 04, 2017

Heads you lose.....

Inland the temperature is high and the humidity is low. Escape to the coast and the temperature is lower but the the humidity is higher. Either way, you don't win.

Pop your head outside this morning and you will see it is foggy.