The Dyson was blocked. Seemed simple enough to fix. Was it? The wife had to work that afternoon. So I had to look after a hyperactive three-year-old and a kitten. Seemed simple enough. I thought I’d clean the house while I was at. The place was a tip. As Baby settled down to watch his TV, hugging the kitten, I glanced at the clock. It was only 5 pm, but it had been a long Continue reading An afternoon with the baby
There’s a little reptile that competes with the tortoise in our affections, but unlike its shelled cousin it is quietly conquering the province – the common chameleon. It’s not an animal that leaps to mind when you think of Almería, but Chamaeleo chamaeleon is breeding like crazy and is being found in places where it has never been found before. And with the chameleon breeding season upon us, if there are any nearby you’re bound Continue reading Invasion of the chameleon
I’ve just been on a trip back to the UK, and decided to go via Málaga airport*. Now that the motorway is open all the way there, I wanted to see how easy it is to get to this airport. As the fourth biggest airport in Spain, flights are cheap and plentiful to all points of the UK (and other European destinations), so could it be a serious alternative to Alicante? The answer is, yes Continue reading A trip to Málaga airport
A local gypsy woman who died during the Civil War is to become the first female Romany gitano to be beatified by the Catholic Church. Emilia Fernández Rodríguez was born in Tijola in 1913 and died in the ‘Gachas Colorás’ prison in 1939 after giving birth. Sra Fernández was born to a cave dwelling family and earnt her living weaving baskets, helping to support her family in this manner. In 1938 at the age of Continue reading A local woman is to become the first gitana beatified by the Catholic Church
Given the mass hysteria online over the supposed electricity price hike, I thought I’d drill down and see what was happening. The first thing to understand is that those who react to the message are on the periphery of Spanish political in-fighting. Last week there was a concerted surge of popular messages across Spain calling for an apagón (switch-off) on Friday to protest against high electricity prices. Different political parties threw their weight behind one Continue reading So what’s all this about electricity prices rising 33%?
It was whilst nursing my bad toe, sustained in an accident putting up the tinsel, that I started to muse on this world-wide joke perpetrated upon an unsuspecting and innocent world by the English – Christmas. It is an act of cultural hegemony that had done more than anything else to establish a single cultural baseline across the world. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are in late December – OK, probably not Continue reading Christmas – it’s English music, English food and English cheer, the whole world over
The government has announced an important change to a law, and a new budget modification for this Friday. On the one hand, the law limiting payments in cash of over €2,500 will be changed to drop this to just €1,000. This means it will be illegal to pay bills over €1,000 in cash when one of the participants is a fiscal entity (company). And large companies (and those who file their IVA return on a Continue reading Tax on booze and fags up, no payments over €1000 in cash
Galasa is our local water company, supplying homes in the Levante and the Almanzora areas. It’s a public company, owned 51% by the Diputación (provincial council) and the rest by the local councils that make up the towns it supplies. In brief, water supplies in Andalusia are guaranteed by the local councils, who are responsible for ensuring everyone has a supply of fresh potable water (hah!). Sadly, Galasa is bankrupt and looks likely to be Continue reading What’s happening with Galasa?
The relentless pursuit of ever closer union has led to a wholesale destruction in the social cohesion of Mediterranean countries, and a lost generation that will take decades to be recovered Europe as a political union is an experiment that has been tried time and again throughout history. Only three modern political states have managed to fuse together such a disparity of different cultures into a functional country – the USA, the USSR and China. Continue reading European integration is dead – until a new model can be found
A hotter than normal summer has caused the olives trees across the province to ripen early, forcing local farmers and families to start the harvest sooner than expected. However, the drought means that the average yield per tree is expected to drop this year. Around 1.500 people are employed during the olive harvest, mainly by larger companies that produce olive oil for the domestic and international harvest. But just as important are the small family Continue reading Early start to olive harvesting