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


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.


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.

Monday, July 09, 2018


Spain's new government is working on a Bill of Law, or Royal Decree that will once again make free healthcare universal for everyone living in the country, irrespective of their legal status.

Back in 2012, the PP government cancelled 900,000 SIP, or healthcare, cards – of these, 150,000 were held by immigrants with no residence permits, and others by people in varying situations but who were not paying Social Security contributions, such as low-income cash-in-hand workers.

European Union citizens were less affected – those who had never been employed or registered as self-employed in Spain, and were not in receipt of a State retirement pension from any country, were able, in some regions, to pay a monthly fee of around €110 to guarantee them treatment, and in others, were automatically able to sign up to the system as long as their annual gross income did not reach €100,000.

For non-EU citizens in Spain in this situation – which would have included the British if the system were in place post-Brexit – their case was more complicated and, depending upon their region, they had to rely on private health insurance.

Tourists resident in the EU could obtain emergency care through their EHIC cards, defined as any medical issue that could not wait until they returned home, and holidaymakers from elsewhere needed to be covered by travel insurance.

It is likely that holidaymakers will still need to meet these requirements, but that residents – even if they are not registered as such – will be treated.

Although it is hoped the UK will continue to make annual per-head contributions to Spain for its State pensioners' healthcare after Brexit, the Spanish government's new stance sends out a fresh message of reassurance to any who feared they may be left without access to a doctor.

For your diaries

Although you could buy tickets at the door, please note that the seats are numbered. If you want a particular seat, then it might be best to call at the Town Hall.

Look after your feet

And remember that it is illegal to drive in flip-flops here in Spain.

Dare we hope?

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Saturdays in July

Los Altos de la Pedrera are going all out to make the place a first choice venue.

The swimming pools look fabulous and the restaurant has been smartened up.

Lunch time menus sound tasty and offer good value for money.

Now, for July they are offering live music for those who go up there for a meal on Saturdays.

NB I haven't tried their food personally but speaking to those who have, it is recommended.


We watched the game last night between England and Columbia. At times it barely resembled football, it was more like war.

Sadly, the referee failed to stamp his authority early on so the Columbians took it upon themselves to surround him and argue every decision. Then the England players, at first composed and disciplined, decided to join in.

The Columbians also indulged in grappling throughout and even saw one of their coaching staff give Raheem Sterling a deliberate and totally unnecessary nudge as he came off at half-time. Then there was the deliberate head butt on Henderson that the ref failed to see.

There was another element of dirty tricks when Harry Kane waited four minutes to take his penalty, Colombia's Johan Mojica scuffing up the penalty spot amid scenes close to anarchy as others tried to get inside the England captain's head.

I don't have the match statistics to show how many yellow cards were handed out, more than I have ever seen at a game before.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Made my day

Chris Froome's anti-doping case has been dropped by cycling's world governing body, the UCI.

The substance - which Froome says is used to help manage his asthma - is permitted without the use of a therapeutic use exemption but only within certain doses.

Team Sky said Froome was only 19% over the limit - not double as has been previously reported - when the adverse test was adjusted to take account of dehydration.

They also claim 20 other tests conducted on Froome during his victory at last year's Vuelta a Espana did not need any "further explanation".

"The same individual can exhibit significant variations in test results taken over multiple days while using exactly the same amount of salbutamol," Brailsford said.

"This means that the level of salbutamol in a single urine sample, alone, is not a reliable indicator of the amount inhaled".

Decision based 'on expert opinions'
A UCI statement says that "on 28 June 2018, Wada informed the UCI it would accept, based on the specific facts of the case, that Mr Froome's sample results do not constitute an AAF (adverse analytical finding)" and "in light of Wada's unparalleled access to information and authorship of of the salbutamol regime, the UCI has decided to close proceedings against Mr Froome".

The statement added: "While the UCI would have obviously preferred the proceedings to have been finalised earlier in the season, it had to ensure that Mr Froome had a fair process.

"The UCI understands that there will be significant discussion of this decision, but wishes to reassure all that its decision is based on expert opinions, Wada's advice, and a full assessment of the facts of the case."

Of course, none of us should have know anything about this. However, the Guardian published a story by journalists Sean Ingle and Martha Kelner. Totalling over 1,500 words, the essentials were summed up by the 11-word headline: Chris Froome fights to save career after failed drugs test result.

Where did the journalists get their information?

Team Sky’s star and Bradley Wiggins were part a group of 25 athletes who had their data stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and published by Russian hackers known as ‘Fancy Bears’. It was the second such leak in a week involving athletes from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Footnote: Fancy Bears are an anonymous cyber espionage group responsible for leaking confidential information from the worlds of politics and sport. 

Their earliest work included hacking Georgia's government ministries before the Russian army invaded the country in 2008.

Since then, Fancy Bears have targeted the White House and the CIA and were responsible for the email hack of the Democratic National Committee which is thought to have badly damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. 

The group has infiltrated computer systems of several foreign governments and were accused of trying to disrupt the 2017 General Election. It is also suspected that they had involvement in the BREXIT referendum. 

Many believe that they are working on behalf of the Russian Government who, it is claimed, fund them. 


Hopefully there will be sufficient water in the river for the canoes - who knows?