Covid lockdown has killed almost as many as Covid in Spain

A distressing report emerges today from government statistics in Spain, showing that the lockdown has killed many more than the disease. From the start of the pandemic until the third week in September, there were 54.811 excess deaths (more people dying that the average over the last few years). 30.633 of these have been officially attributed to Covid. 24.148 (that’s 80% of the Covid deaths!) died from other causes. That’s excess deaths, above the average, Continue reading Covid lockdown has killed almost as many as Covid in Spain

Tax hike slipped in on property sales

Selling a house is about to become more expensive after the government slipped in a codicile to the new antifraud law. (The law hasn’t yet been passed but is likely to pass). The regional governments have for the last few years been trying to tax house sales on the greatest of three: declared house sale price, cadastral or other taxation value OR assumed market value (VRM). The Courts have constantly rejected this assumed cadastral valuation Continue reading Tax hike slipped in on property sales

The rats came for the water

I forced myself downhill and through the bushes. There was a call in the air, under the half moon and the stillness of the air. No, I did not know what drew me on, only that there was a call in the silent midnight air, a demand, a thrust. Everytime I came to a thorn bush, there was an impulse that made me ignore the blood drawn. When I came to a slope, I hesitated Continue reading The rats came for the water

When the mob came for the priest

It was the cat that awoke me. I started from my wicker seat, the one that my parents had bought me when I left the seminary. I was startled awake from my siesta, and my prayer book fell from my lap, and my glasses with it. I blinked at the broken spectacles. I scrabbled at the frames in fury, and only managed to cut my hand on the thick, broken glass. The welling blood on Continue reading When the mob came for the priest

Stories of the Argar (4)

Many years ago, long before I was born, my father was a warrior of the tribe. He was, by all accounts, a great man, and so when the Kings of La Bastida declared war on the meseteros, and warriors from every Argar tribe were sent to form a great Army, the greatest ever seen, my father was chosen to represent our village of Gatas as its champion. La Bastida is the great city on the Continue reading Stories of the Argar (4)

Stories of the Argar (3)

Fran, the boy who assisted Pretzl in his daily duties, came rushing up to where we stood. Charl had called his warriors together, and was issuing orders for them to search the village for anything unusual before they left. I don´t know why I was with them, only that I had followed Charl and somehow seemed to be included into the conversation. Charl turned to speak to the boy. “Yes Fran?” he asked. “Sir, Master Continue reading Stories of the Argar (3)

Stories of the Argar (2)

Our home is a hill top half way up a large mountain range. These mountains give us what we need, but they are not generous. We must work the mountains, and the magic that gives us the power to control the mountains is water. There is precious little water here in the Cabreras. We have been blessed with springs. Old Pretzl lectures us that whilst we are strong, our village productive, the Sun shall give Continue reading Stories of the Argar (2)

Stories of the Argar (1)

Almost four thousand years ago, Almería hosted the most advanced bronze age civilisation Europe would ever know. Above Turre, they had a village and a mine (now known as Gatas). I have sat amongst their graves, up in the mountains, and watched the tortoises play amongst their graves whilst I sat and thought. This civilisation, known as the El Argar, were in constant war with the meseteros, those of the Meseta, further inland. A civilisation Continue reading Stories of the Argar (1)

The Hoopoe revenge

Tonight, then, would be the night. The Moon set against her sect, invisible tonight. Tonight would be the night. The sack bulged. Above, Saint Lorenzo cried his tears, pointing his invisible way towards the Holy Grail. That trail would have to wait for another night. I set out. The road was gritty, illuminated by the base lights of a base town. The gravel on the tarmac slipped underneath me; my sack bulged and I slipped. Continue reading The Hoopoe revenge