Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Don't go to Madrid this week

 Security around Madrid will be ironclad between June 28 and 30, when the Spanish capital is due to host a NATO summit at a time of heightened global tension due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The Spanish government is planning to deploy 6,550 National Police officers and 2,400 members of the Civil Guard, in addition to 1,200 municipal police officers who will collectively watch over the safety of more than 40 heads of state and government scheduled to attend the gathering.

The NATO summit will significantly affect mobility in Madrid, admitted sources at the Interior Ministry, who recommended using public transit whenever possible. In addition to the traffic snarls that will be caused by the motorcades moving across the city, and the closure of lanes on some main roads, authorities are considering whether to suspend Metro service on the 8 line, which has a stop near Ifema. The ministry has recommended that businesses headquartered in the area allow employees to work from home for the duration of the summit. The Prado Museum, where a dinner event is scheduled for June 29, will remain closed that day and the day before to finalize preparations.

Source El Pais

Sunday, June 26, 2022

What a legend

 Over the years we have watched some excellent sets performed by artists at Glastonbury. It has been a mixture of old favorites from our youth along with some excellent new bands and singers that have impressed us most.

Last night we tuned in and first of all watched Haim (a group we had never heard of), then Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. That put us well  into the mood to stay up for Sir Paul McCartney. 

Having been brought up in the 60s in the North of England of course we were Beatles fans. However, we were perhaps not so keen on some of McCartney's later work - I'm thinking of songs like Mull of Kintyre here.

Thankfully, the new material in Sir Paul's set was lively and listenable to. It was though, the Beatles material that got our toes tapping. 

There were also a few touching moments to remember like when he staged a “duet” with John Lennon’s voice along with video and sang “I’ve Got a Feeling” as if they were back together singing on stage. 

Then Sir Paul brought out two surprise guests, David Grohl from the Foo Fighters followed by Bruce Springsteen both of whom I am a fan of. That was the icing on the cake for me. No wonder the New Musical Express has given him five stars. 


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Concert for Corpus Christi 2022

The front of the church is the perfect setting for the Corpus Christi concert. However, it is not the best setting to get good photographs. The main lighting is a large floodlight behind the band. The floodlights at the front are too far away to reach the band. 

On the plus side though, the open air setting is OK for getting a sound recording as long as you set the recorder close enough to avoid the crowd noise but not so close that you miss the instruments at the sides. 

My photographs are in an album in the sidebar and here is my recording of the music. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

The heat wave continues

 We like it hot but not too hot!

Very odd

 We knew that celebrations for Corpus Christi had to be cancelled during the pandemic. However, this year we expected them to resume. 

The odd thing is that there are has been no publicity on Facebook or on the town's website about this. 

Luckily, my friend Christopher messaged me on Whats App last night to find out if we would be able to go to the concert for Corpus tonight at 10:00pm. We are really glad he did because otherwise we would have missed it. For those of you who are interested, it will take place in the Plaza de la Constitucion. 

Now we are wondering if the procession following mass on Sunday night will take place. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Shoulders required



We enjoyed the Coches Locos event when it was part of the Fiesta programme. 

To be fair, it had run its course and there were fewer participants in the latter years. 

Hopefully, people will be inspired by its return and come up with some novel ideas for their vehicles.


Tuesday, June 07, 2022

You can keep the bills

 Before I went to college, I worked at the Post Office in Penistone for a year. Then I worked there again each holiday to keep me in money. 

The regular postmen and women told me tales of one postman who used to dump letters on his round to save him the trouble of delivering them. He was caught out when a cache of letters were found in a hedge. 

It seems that a postman here in Alicante was doing the same thing but on an industrial scale.

From Monday to Friday, he clocked in at the central post office in Alicante, picking up bags and bags of mail to be delivered.

But  what the former postman did next is now under investigation after more than 20,000 undelivered letters dating back to 2012 and 2013 were found crammed into bin bags at his home.

The discovery came after the 62-year-old sold his house in Biar, a town of about 3,600 people at the foot of the mountains near Alicante. When a construction crew showed up to renovate the newly purchased house, they found rubbish bags scattered throughout.

After the man ignored repeated pleas to empty the house, the builders began opening the bags. What they found were stacks of sealed letters, bills and frayed official correspondence dating back a decade.

Police suspicions swiftly fell on the former owner of the house. In 2013, the post office had opted not to renew his temporary contract, citing what police described as “irregularities” that had plagued his delivery route in his year as a postman.

The man was  arrested by the Guardia Civil last week and accused of “infidelity in the safekeeping of documents”.

Skin of his teeth

 The vote of no confidence result means that Boris Johnson has survived as Prime Minister. 

Johnson says that the government should now “move on” following a “convincing” and “decisive” result. Really!!

“We’re going to bash on,” said the prime minister. “As a result of this decision by the parliamentary party, which I welcome, we have a conclusion to something which has been dragging on for far too long and we have the ability now to unite, deliver and get on with the people’s priorities, and that is what we are going to do.”

The problem is that 148 of his MPs voted against him. In order to move on, Johnson will need to convince them that they made a mistake -  that they should now place their trust in his leadership and back him. Of course, he also has to convince the electorate that he is the right person to continue leading the country. 

Recent polling suggests that Johnson has gone from hero to zero since the 2019 election when voters were sold on his "get Brexit done" mantra. 

Not only is Brexit not actually done, there have been a catalogue of other mistakes, lies and U turns that people will not easily forgive and forget. 

In the early days of Covid, Johnson refused to accept the seriousness of it. Many of us will recall his notion that all we had to do was wash our hands to the tune of "Happy Birthday" and all would be well. He then allowed his Health Secretary to send elderly patients back to care homes resulting in needless deaths. He condoned the awarding of dodgy contracts to friends and family and he backed his advisor's lying excuse for his trip to Durham and his excursion to Barnard Castle to "test his eyesight". 

His backing of Owen Patterson, his refusal to sack Pritti Patel when she was found guilty of bullying her staff, his refusal to sack Matt Hancock after video evidence showed he broke his own rules. Even his support for Gavin Williamson after the exam result debacle showed that Johnson favours loyalty over everything else. 

Then of course we had funding for the redecoration of his flat  he neglected to come clean about. There are also issues about his relationship with Jennifer Arcuri that need to be resolved.  

Finally we come to "partygate" which Johnson thinks had nothing to do with him in spite of being fined 

Of course his admirers will point to the things he got right like the vaccine rollout but do those outweigh all the rest of the lies and misdeeds he has perpetrated over the years? 

Johnson may well hope to win those dissenters in his party and the public around - we shall see. I am not sure I would want to continue in post knowing that so many thought I was unfit to lead. I can only conclude that Johnson must have enormous self belief and the skin of a rhinoceros. 

Monday, June 06, 2022

Could it be crunch time

 After months of speculation when some MPs said they had sent in letters to Sir Graham Brady, Chair of the 1922 Committee, only to say they had withdrawn them because the timing was not right, the magic number of 54 letters has been reached and a vote will take place tonight between 6 and 8pm. 

In order for the vote to be carried, 180 of the Tory MPs will have to vote against the PM.. As we might expect, most of his ministers have already voiced support because if Johnson goes, they will likely go with him In fact there are said to be 150 MPs who are indebted to the Prime Minister so they too will probably vote for him. 

The likelihood is therefore that the Prime Minister will survive but of course he will be deeply wounded. Although, as things stand, there cannot be another vote of no confidence for a year, that can be changed. If the two by elections taking place later this month prove to be disasters for the Tory Party, then MPs will be fearful for their jobs at the next General Election.

Even those who show support and point to Johnson's achievements cannot deny that he has been economical with the truth on so many occasions. There is an interesting web site that catalogues the Johnson's illustrious past. 

By far the best option would be for Johnson to resign but nobody believes that is going to happen.