Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Make a note to self

We've got a few things like old mobile phones that should not be put in the bins at the bottom of the estate. This is the place they should go. 


Saturday, August 21, 2021

La Vuelta hits town

The Vuelta regularly comes to this area. A few years ago, Pam and I went to Guardamar to watch the stage there. We deliberately went early to catch the caravan that precedes the race but it must have bypassed the centre of town so we got none of the freebies that are usually handed out to the waiting spectators. 

Instead, there was a lot of activity with police in cars and on motorbikes sweeping the street every few minutes. 

When the riders finally arrived they passed by in seconds. To be honest, the support vehicles that followed were more interesting to watch.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Fireworks for San Joaquin

Due to Covid restrictions, the traditional parade of San Joaquin around the streets could not take place. However, we did have fireworks both on the night of the Alborada and on the night of San Joaquin. On the 16th, they started with fireworks at various locations that were simply loud. These were followed by more colourful fireworks at midnight.


A job well done

The people who came to clean the allotments have done an amazing job as you can see. 

The issue now is water. 

There is a water supply to the area that was installed when the plan was to build houses there. The supply though is for drinking water which is far more expensive than the water normally used for agriculture. 

Hopefully, it will be resolved so that people can at least use the land productively rather than let it overgrow with weeds again. 


Monday, August 16, 2021


Spain recorded its highest temperature yesterday. In comparison, it was a cool 43 here in Bigastro.


Our fantastic neighbours

Yesterday was our 51st Wedding Anniversary so we invited Pepe and Eladia to join us for an English style buffet. They arrived at our gate carrying this large basket of flowers. We did not expect that!!


Saturday, August 14, 2021

The bells were appealing

 Watching the Olympics, it was obvious from their faces the great satisfaction and pride that the athletes felt - not just those that won medals but those whose performances met their personal best as well.  

It struck me last night, at the Concert for San Joaquin, that the musicians in our band must experience the same satisfaction when they have played well. The beaming delight on their faces and the face of the director said it all last night because it was a triumphant performance.  

The challenge of playing  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's  1812 Overture was met with aplomb. There were no cannons but there were church bells and it was magnificent. In fact the whole programme was an absolute  delight to listen to.

If you have never listened to my recordings of the band before, I suggest you listen to this one


PS The band have played the 1812 Overture before. I recall it was at a similar concert held in the Town Square but I can't remember the year and who was the director then. I'm sure Pascual Segura (the archivist for the band) will know the answers to my questions.  

Friday, August 13, 2021


There are workers on the site of the allotments, strimming the weeds and collecting them up into large bags. 

That is good news on two counts:

1. It should look a lot tidier.

2. Clearing the area will reduce the fire hazard created by the dried vegetation. 

Let's hope that people will now be able to take advantage of the area and grow some produce for the table. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Sunday, bloody Sunday

 We're not expecting blood on the streets but we are told that the temperature will reach somewhere between 41 and 45 degrees that day. By next Tuesday, this heatwave should be over and temperatures will be back to normal. 

In other years, at 31 degrees folks would be complaining  but this year it will feel positively cool. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Huertas abandonadas

After all the work put into creating 20 allotments on our estate, they have been left to become overgrown with weeds.

Not again!

Is this the third or fourth heat wave this summer? I'm losing count!



 Due to Covid restrictions, the cooking competition has been postponed. 

Even without Covid restrictions, I think it was likely  to be a toned down affair.

A few years ago, town hall organised a photographic competition which I entered but unfortunately misunderstood the theme. 

There were only 6 entrants for the contest from a town where there are likely to be many photographers. 

I believe that was because the rules were overly complicated. The photographs had to be a specific size - mounted on foam board which again had to be a specific size and thickness.

In my opinion, the rules for Abuelo Chef were restrictive. Originally it was only  open to grandparents and grandchildren. They would have half an hour to buy the ingredients from a local shop and then two hours to cook the food. They would have gas rings and utensils provided but no oven ruling out anything that would need roasting or baking. 

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Music in the park

 Surprisingly few people came out last night to watch and listen to a section of the band play a "Big Band" concert. 

You can listen to it here.

Friday, August 06, 2021

Travel from Spain to the UK

1. Spain remains on the UK’s amber list. If you have been fully vaccinated in Spain, you will not need to quarantine when you arrive in England or take a day 8 test. You still need to take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel though, book and take a day 2 test and complete a passenger locator form. 

2. What does fully vaccinated mean? You must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency. You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. Please be aware that the UK does not recognise natural immunity for international travel at this time, but this will be kept under review. We know that the EU DCC does enable people to prove natural immunity. This is not currently accepted in the UK and quarantine and day 8 testing requirements will only be eased, for those who have been fully vaccinated in a relevant European country, with an EMA-approved vaccine.

3. How do I prove my vaccination status? You need to show your travel operator proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated with one of the authorised vaccines before you travel. This proof should be an EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) for Europe (digital or paper certificate), showing you’ve had a full course of an EMA-approved vaccination..

4. What test do I need to take before travelling? As a precaution against the prevalence of the virus and variants in Spain, the UK is encouraging people travelling from Spain to use a PCR test for their pre-departure test.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, travel is different this year and if you choose to travel abroad you should be prepared for changes in restrictions and requirements both in the country you are travelling from and the country you are travelling to. Keep up to date with the latest information on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain, where you will also find links to the rules for travelling back to the UK.

Support required

This emergency post from the Town Hall suggests to me that there has been insufficient interest in the Abuelo Chef contest. 

So now they are saying mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts etc can enter along with a child relative. 


Thursday, August 05, 2021

San Joaquin


Tuesday, August 03, 2021

August mapped out

We may miss out on many of the events that would normally take place during August but there are still somethings to look forward to and take photos of!!


Another year perhaps

Last year, when the fiesta was cancelled, the hope was that we would be able to make up for it this year. Sadly, that is not going to be the case. As the article says, most of the activities we associate with the fiesta involve crowds of people taking part, watching or both. Even if such gatherings were permitted, they would not be sensible under the present conditions. 

Fingers and toes crossed that the situation in September will allow for a parade of San Joaquin and the Senora de Belen to celebrate 200 years since the first parade of these two statues took place.  


Monday, August 02, 2021

Something to celebrate

Remember that Europe was accused of lagging behind the UK in terms of Covid vaccinations. That was due to the fact that Europe took longer to give regulatory approval to vaccines and the short supply of Astra Zeneca. 

The table has now turned. Spain is the nation that has fully vaccinated the largest share of the population out of the 50 largest countries in the world, outstripping the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Germany. 

According to the latest figures, 55.7% of the population in Spain is completely vaccinated, equalling 26.4 million people. A total of 31.3 million have at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, or 66% of the population.

Age groupWith one dose (% of total)Fully vaccinated (% of total)
80 and over
Between 70 and 79
Between 60 and 69
Between 50 and 59
Between 40 and 49
Between 30 and 39
Between 20 and 29
Between 12 and 19

Sunday, August 01, 2021

A couple of questions

We had a booking to have a pool rail installed last Tuesday. Then the company phoned on Monday to say they could fit us in that day. We were surprised that they were even working with an orange alert for rain and thunderstorms pretty much all day Monday. 

Then the electricity went off and stayed off. We discovered later that all the way down to Avenida Europa was affected but not the other side of the town. We are used to short power cuts but this was much longer - over seven hours. 

When he arrived, we had to apologise to the technician because even the buzzer from the gate was not working so we had no idea that he was there.  

Our Spanish neighbours didn't know what the issue was with the electricity but assumed it was not simply at the sub station for the estate. 

I wonder, did anyone know what the problem was? 

The other question I'll ask is, "what are your thoughts about the new roundabout at the junction between Avenida Europa and the road to the reservoir?"

I must admit, when I first saw it I thought that lorries, including the nightly refuse collection, would have difficulty negotiating it but the striped bollards are still standing.