Tuesday, November 28, 2023
The first low cost, high-speed train (AVE) between Madrid and Murcia will start on December 10 with fares from as little as €7.
The ‘Avlo’ service by public rail company Renfe will take three and a half hours with stops in Orihuela, Elche, Alicante, Villena, Albacete and Cuenca.
The low-cost option will complement the regular service.
It costs more than that to go from Greaby on the Wirral to Liverpool!!
Sunday, November 26, 2023
I had been tipped off by my friend Christopher that the concert this year would contain pasodobles composed my local musicians. He didn't tell me though that each piece would be directed by different, distinguished musicians from the town.
You can find an album of my photos from last night in the sidebar as usual.
And for those who missed it or want to relive the moment, here is the link to my audio recording:
Saturday, November 25, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
This afternoon (11/21/2023), around 5:30 p.m., two Eurofighter Typhoon FG4.4 aircraft, belonging to the United Kingdom, have been testing in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The blue lines on the map represent the route they have taken. So what you heard was an aircraft breaking the sound barrier.
In total, 15 artists from Big Arte will be exhibiting 22 of their paintings in the "Music & Painting" exhibition.
We will be mounting them on Thursday ready for the new musicians arrival on Friday night. The exhibition will then be open to the public on Saturday during the Concert for Santa Cecilia.
From Sunday 26th the paintings will be on view in the Multipurpose Room (Auditorium Francisco Grau).
Friday, November 10, 2023
FOR BIG ARTE READ BIG HEART!!
I am delighted to report that another of the paintings from the exhibition by BigArte has now been sold.
So far we have sold two paintings and six photographs.
I am hoping that the band will want the three photographs; one of Manuel Moya conducting his last concert, Francisco Grau conducting his last concert and the one of the Concert Band performing at the Certamen in Alicante where they won first prize.
The more we sell, the more we can donate to AECC in Bigastro.
If you haven't already done so, please visit the Sala Polivalente in the Auditorium. You may find something to your liking in which case you can make a donation to AECC and own the picture in return.
Bigastro will begin its pilot test of smart containers for waste collection.
Bigastro is the first municipality in the province of Alicante to launch the separate collection system for the organic fraction with a digital system, which allows the implementation of the Generation Payment Rate with which to reward neighbors committed to the good management of their household waste.
During the next Thursday market, its operation will be explained.
Information meetings will be called for all residents of the municipality.
The increase of solar panels on the roof of the Francisco Grau Municipal Auditorium has begun, with this the supply will be expanded by 12 kW to 22 kW, with an investment of €15,000 thanks to the Alicante Provincial Council.
Consumption in the Auditorium can reach up to 70 kW at times of maximum activity, which is why work continues with the aim of reducing the cost of the electricity bill, such as increasing the use of renewable energies and air conditioning equipment with more sustainable performances.
Thursday, November 09, 2023
Today a new work has been completed, in this case the placement of LED lighting using solar panels on the Lo Guardamuro sidewalk, next to the flood park and the climb to the reservoir from the La Pedrera intersection.
With an investment of €18,000, road safety has been improved, with busy areas for walking.
In three weeks, the execution of a new phase will begin, placing similar lighting in the Vereda La Balsa (Alquibla route, in its section from the Health Center roundabout, in the direction of the leisure orchards), which will include with a subsidy of €20,000.
Both grants obtained, thanks to the Alicante Provincial Council.
The objective set is to increase the installation of solar LED lighting, in order to reduce the municipality's electricity consumption.
Barely a day goes by without Hidraqua repairing a leak in the water pipes somewhere on our estate.
We have already had three leaks repaired outside our house and I notice that there is probably a fourth one that is showing up as a damp mouldy patch on the inside of the wall to the street.
The problem lies with the existing polyethylene pipe network, where breaks and water cuts in homes are continuous. It is therefore good news to read that work has begun on the installation of a new water supply network in Sector D9.
The first phase covers Calle Holanda, Calle Escocia and part of Calle Inglaterra. Hopefully, they will move on to replace the defective pipework in the remaining streets.
This is all thanks to a subsidy of 146,060.06 Euros from Alicante Provincial Council and will allow the installation of 914 meters of cast iron pipe, including the connections to each of the existing homes.
The expected duration of the works will be until the end of December, with temporary cuts to the supply service and traffic during that period.
The pity is that this could have been avoided if Star Sol had installed cast iron pipework in the first place.
Wednesday, November 08, 2023
Saturday, November 04, 2023
Friday, November 03, 2023
Yesterday started blustery, then it became windy and finally, by the evening it was blowing a hoolie. The brollies in the garden blew over but weren't damaged and one of the trees on the driveway blew over as it always does when the wind is strong.
In the early days here, we had fencing that did not survive the gales and a gazebo that was not secure but survived. Nowadays we are better prepared so the damage is minimal.
We count ourselves fortunate because this latest storm has reeked havoc in northern Europe. For example, in the UK, 150,000 homes were without electricity yesterday and there were numerous flood warnings in place.
Wisely, Bigastro Town Hall advised people not to go out unless it was necessary and they closed the sports facilities.
Monday, October 30, 2023
The town was out in force yesterday for the Marcha Contra Cancer. It was a lovely sunny day, perfect conditions for the event.
I'm pleased to say that there was a lot of interest shown for our paintings. However, people needed to know how much to offer if they wanted to buy one.
For my part, I told Jose Julian (President of AECC in Bigastro) that he should expect a minimum of 50 Euros for my paintings, 20 Euros for my small photographs and 30 for the larger ones.
I hope my fellow artists will follow suite so we can make some money for this worthwhile cause.
Look in the sidebar for my photos from the day.
Saturday, October 28, 2023
So tomorrow, in the Plaza de la Constitucion, my fellow artists and I will be exhibiting paintings from the homage to me that was first held in August.
Since it will be impossible to display my photographs, I have contributed three of my paintings (as per my previous post).
The day is going to be much more than that though as it marks the end of the celebrations in aid of AECC that started on the 19th of this month.
At 10am the day will kick off with a walk around the town. Then there will be all sorts going on to interest you.
- There will be commemorative T-shirts.
- A drum ensemble will beat out African rhythms.
- A flock of pigeons is due to be released.
- A raffle with many great prizes.
- There will be merchandise for you to buy.
- A photocall.
- Helium balloons.
- A glitter table.
- Music (of course).
- To eat there will be meatballs and rice and no doubt plenty of beer and soft drinks to cool you down.
- And last but not least our exhibition of paintings all of which will be for sale with proceeds going to AECC.
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Friday, October 20, 2023
The night in August when the homage to me was inaugurated was a very special one that I will remember for a long time to come. On the walls of the Sala Polivalente were 35 of my photographs along with paintings made by members of BigArte from some of my other photographs. It was a great honour that the town and the club had bestowed upon me.
After the exhibition was dismantled, the photographs were stored in my house. I had no idea what would become of them.
Yesterday, Bigastro celebrated the International Day Against Breast Cancer. In the morning, children made a declaration in the Town Square and in the evening there was a talk given by the President of AECC in the Sala Polivalente.
For the talk, the Town Hall requested that we put up the display of photographs and paintings from the homage to me. It was homage mark 2.
The works are all available for sale with the proceeds going to AECC.
Following the opening last night, the exhibition will continue until the 29th October when it will be moved to the Town Square for Homage Mark 3.
Thursday, October 19, 2023
🍾CESTA COMISIÓN DE FIESTAS 🍾
Participa en nuestra jaula con un donativo de 2€ y llévate esta estupenda cesta‼️
¿Qué contiene la cesta?
Un queso 🧀 ,un salchichón ibérico, un chorizo ibérico, un jamón 🥓y una botella de vino 🍷
¿Cómo se puede participar?
Asiste el Ayuntamiento📍y escoge tu número ganador‼️
Sunday, October 08, 2023
On the way out to Jacarilla is the Metro dance club. Although it is close to Bigastro, it is actually in Orihuela.
When we say dance club, we're not talking ballroom or latin american dancing. This is full on hardcore dance music dominated by a heavy bass line. The kind my daughters used to love and listen to, the kind played all night in clubs in Ibiza.
For some inexplicable reason, these dance clubs do not get into full swing until the time when many of us are thinking of going to bed and then continue until dawn when only milkmen and shift workers are about in the streets.
If the wind is in the right (or more to the point wrong) direction, you can hear the music as far away as Villas Andrea where we live. No doubt you can hear it in the town whichever way the wind is blowing.
Naturally, people complain that it is hard to sleep with that incessant beat going on. Actually, it is worse than that because at times the beat stops and you start to doze off only to be woken again a minute or so later by a return of the thump, thump, thump.
You can call the police, but as I said, the club is officially in Orihuela so the local police here can do nothing. Probably, the police in Orihuela won't do anything either because the club has a license to play music and in any case it is too far from Orihuela for anyone there to be disturbed by the noise.
No doubt the revelers go to bed afterwards and catch up on their sleep the next day but for some, they need to be up in the morning for work - bleary eyed and grumpy.
Sunday, October 01, 2023
It is impossible to fathom out why anyone would want to cut down the 300 year old sycamore tree that stood in Sycamore gap in Hadrian's Wall. The tree was an icon, much loved by locals and tourists alike.
There are many photographs of the tree, in all seasons showing that it stood up to the worst weather that nature could throw at it. It was the scene of many marriage proposals and even weddings themselves. People scattered ashes under it and hikers sheltered from the rain beneath its branches.
Whereas most newspapers in the UK have printed an article about the incident, the Daily Mail have gone over the top with no less than 11 articles today.
That must be a record for a newspaper that normally obsesses and prints countless articles about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Monday, September 25, 2023
I always tell people, "when making portraits with your camera always take at least three". That way you should get at least one where the eyes are open and the expressions are as you would want them to be.
Last night, I broke that rule and ended up with a photo of our very good friend Ester and her husband with her eyes closed. DAMN!!
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Sunday, September 03, 2023
I have garden tools that are no longer of use to me (we have a contract with Los Rubios to maintain our garden). If you want them, send me a message and I'll arrange with you a time when you can collect them.
- Gardena telescopic tree pruner: extends up to 4.5 m.
- Dutch-style hoes were used for weeding and breaking up soil.
Todavía me quedan algunas de las herramientas de jardín.
- Podadora de árboles telescópica Gardena: se extiende hasta 4,5 m.
- Las azadas de estilo holandés se utilizaban para desherbar y romper la tierra.
Saturday, September 02, 2023
Pam read a comment on Facebook that said in future we would have to pay a subscription fee each month to continue using the app. That was a hoax and was untrue. Whilst hoaxes can cause unnecessary concern, scams are much more dangerous.
Change these settings to minimize scam risks
Make it significantly harder for cybercriminals to target you or family members by changing basic settings. Not everyone will need or want all of these protections.
Make social media private: Set your Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles to private. If you need a public facing profile, remove information such as your location information and contact information.
Facebook: Limit who can see your friend list or find your profile. A common scam involves creating a fake profile of a real person you know, then messaging you to ask for money. In Facebook, go to Settings & Privacy → Followers and Public Content → select “Who can see the people, pages and lists you follow?” Select Friends or Only Me.
Messenger: Tap your profile photo and select Privacy → Message Delivery. Under Other People, click on Others on Facebook and select Don’t Receive Request. Do the same for Others on Instagram. Under the Potential Connections section, set the categories to Don’t Receive Requests or Message Requests to limit how many tentative connections are able to message you directly.
WhatsApp: Go to Settings → Account → Privacy and limit who can add you to groups and who can see information like your status and personal information.
Phone contacts: Make sure known contacts are added to the phone’s address books so it’s easier to ignore unknown numbers. Next, send unknown callers to voice mail. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message. On an iPhone, go to Settings → Phone → Silence Unknown Callers. This will send anyone you’ve never communicated with straight to voice mail. On an Android device, open the Phone app, locate the menu button (it looks like three dots), tap that, then Settings. Most phones will have options for blocking numbers and caller ID/spam protection in there, although they often go by different names. (If you’re using voice mail to screen calls, make sure the outgoing message is set up and that your inbox isn’t full.)
Assume that people or companies aren’t who they say they are
It’s easy to imitate a real person or organization. Make it your first instinct to ask yourself: Are they who they claim to be? If you have any doubt, go to the next step.
Verify everything using a different channel
To confirm a person or a company is what it claims to be, you need to look for a different contact method. Don’t trust any contact information included in the original message; instead, find the best way to reach the company entirely on your own, such as looking up and using an official customer service number on a company’s website. If you’re unsure, ask a friend or family member.
“Verify, validate, check. If you got a Facebook message, text the person. Got a phone call? Call the bank,” says Caroline Wong, the chief strategy officer at the cybersecurity company Cobalt. “Figure out a different channel from whatever channel you go the message in.”
Don’t reply, don’t click links, don’t answer the call
Do not engage with possible scams, even if you’re curious. That includes not clicking links from contacts you don’t know. Got a text claiming to be from UPS about a package? Go to the official UPS site instead.
Research the sender’s phone number, email or URLs
Look for any details that will tell you a message is fake, and Google it if you’re unsure. This includes an email address that doesn’t have the right domain (like a message claiming to be from Apple but is not from Apple.com), a link that goes someplace it shouldn’t or a phone number you’ve never seen. On social media or messaging apps, click through to profiles to see whether they were recently created and appear real.
Worried about being rude? Have a script
If you don’t feel comfortable simply hanging up on a stranger or consider doing so to be rude, have a refusal script ready to go. It can be as simple as, “I don’t do business over the phone, thanks for calling.”
Memorize signs that something is a scam
You didn’t initiate the conversation: If a text, direct message, email or call comes out of the blue, it’s far more likely to be a scam.
You won something: Sorry, you did not actually win anything. Skip messages that say you’ve won money or prizes or are getting a refund.
You are panicked: Criminals want to make you think there’s an emergency. If they can get you to act without slowing down and thinking critically, there’s a better chance they’ll succeed.
It involves fast payment methods: “Criminals like their money fast, quick and untraceable. Peer-to-peer payment apps are a current favorite, because they allow money to be transferred instantly without leaving much of a trail.
If a stranger asks you to pay them (or offers to pay you) in the following ways, it’s likely to be a scam: Peer-to-peer apps such as Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, wire transfer, prepaid gift cards, cryptocurrency or cash. Don’t share your credit card number, either, unless you’ve confirmed through a second form of contact that the matter is legitimate.
There are payment complications: If someone says you owe money, or claims they’re having issue with a transaction to or from you, investigate. In one popular Facebook Marketplace scam, criminals will offer to pay over an app like Zelle, say there’s a problem, then ask for your email address so they can send a fake email and get your info.
They want information: Not all scammers want money; some are trying to get your address, log-ins and passwords. which they will use later to get money from you.
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
They say that Spanish men have complicated relationships with their mothers. That is obviously the case with Luis Rubiales, the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
I read this morning that Rubiales mother is now on hunger strike in a church. She is apparently protesting his innocence in the debate about whether the kiss he planted on Jenni Hermoso's lips was consensual.
I can't help but feel that the situation has got out of hand.
I doubt whether anyone would think that it was appropriate for Rubiales to kiss Hermoso on the lips in the way that he did.
Having made the mistake, his best course of action would have been to apologise unreservedly. It was a moment of euphoria where he got carried away. That may have or may not have settled the matter but at least it would have been better than trying to excuse the kiss by saying it was consensual.
At the same time, Hermoso did not express her concern about what happened until much later.
Now we have a situation where the ladies say they will not play for their country whist Rubiales is President. The Federation is standing behind their man, mostly everyone else is saying he should go. Where this will end is anyone's guess. To lose your job for a kiss seems extreme.
Monday, August 28, 2023
I still have six paintings for sale.
The deal is this: you offer me what you'd like to pay for my work and I donate 100% of the proceeds to Acuerdate de mi (the Alzheimer's Association here in Bigastro).
All the paintings are ready to hang with wire at the back. Buyers collect the paintings from my house and pay in cash.
If you are interested, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the paintings:
Todavía tengo seis cuadros a la venta.
El trato es este: tú me ofreces lo que te gustaría pagar por mi trabajo y yo dono el 100% de lo recaudado a Acuerdate de mí (la Asociación Alzheimer de Bigastro).
Todos los cuadros están listos para colgar con alambre en la parte posterior. Los compradores recogen los cuadros en mi casa y pagan en efectivo.
Si estás interesado, contáctame en email@example.com
Aquí están las pinturas:
When the Spanish ladies football team won the World Cup in Sydney, it should have been a reason for great celebrations. Indeed there were celebrations but they have now been overshadowed.
The team coach, Jorge Vilda, was ostracised by many of the players as the celebrations began. He was at one end of the pitch with his team of helpers and a few of the players, the rest of the players were at the other end.
The La Roja coach was booed by the crowd when he held the trophy aloft and celebrated victory with barely a pat on the back from his players,
The players claim that Vilda's coaching style did not look after their mental health and well-being and that he often exhibited controlling behaviour. The players alleged that Vildas and his coaching staff searched their bags and claimed they told them to keep their hotel rooms unlocked for inspections.
However, concerns about the coach have paled into insignificance compared the those surrounding Luis Rubiales, the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
Standing alongside, Queen Leticia and 16-year-old Infanta Sofía — Rubiales celebrated the victory by cupping his testicles with his right hand. A masochistic gesture that he has subsequently apologised for.
Worse was to come fifteen minutes later. When team captain Jennifer Hermoso reached Rubiales to receive her medal, he first hugged her, then placed his hands on both sides of her head. and kissed her on the mouth.
During the celebrations in the changing room, Rubiales made a surprise appearance. He took Hermoso by the shoulder: she leaned away from him, keeping her hips away from his body. He then said that he’d take her on a trip to Ibiza “to celebrate their wedding.”
Calls have been made for Rubiales to resign but he is having none of it. Spain's football federation are holding an urgent meeting today as its president stays defiant in the face of mounting criticism. He claims the kiss was consensual and that this is all about false feminism
Luis Rubiales has been suspended from all football activity for three months over his conduct at the Women's World Cup final.