Friday, October 31, 2008

Adams Ale

Couple of weeks ago we got a water bill, we were pleased to see it was not a “William”, you know a serious bill! It’s more than the financial aspect of course, though in the present climate it’s good to keep outgoings down. No the real issue is the use of precious resources.
If you think about environmental matters, and shouldn’t we all, you cannot be in Spain long without realising how little water there is. It’s easy to get a false impression living in the Vega Baja because of the centuries old irrigation system. Do not be fooled though there is a real water shortage.
That’s why it’s important to save water whenever and however you can. What you do in your home and garden does make a difference.
Everyone lives in a river basin. Even if we don't live near the water, we live on land that drains to a river or estuary or lake, and our actions on that land affect water quality and quantity far downstream.
When rain falls on your street, roof or patio, what stream or river will it flow through on its way downhill towards the sea? When you drain your bath or shower or sink, where does the water go? When you turn on your tap to get a drink of water, where does the water come from. It’s our belief we should all be asking ourselves these questions.

Although Spain has lead the way in the setting up of controls and regulations it often appears that the political power is there but not the political will. Spain was one of the first countries in the world to create river basin agencies in 1926. In 1986 all surface and ground after went from private to public ownership. However the political pressures on the organisations that regulate the water are great. Property developers, growers, the tourist industry all want more water than there is.
What can we do? Two things I suppose, first do make every effort to save water on the home front and second become involved in a public campaign to save the Segura river basin. The WWF put out a report in May 2006 laying out the problems and what they could lead too. Having spent several extended holidays in Australia we have witness the death of the Murray Darling basin, we don’t want to see things get as bad here. It may be a smaller scale but it will be just as much an environmental disaster.
As I said on the Canal Vega Baja Life programme only this week we should not just be saying the waters not fit to drink and filter it. We should also look at the bigger picture and put our efforts into ensuring that there is a decent water supply here so that everyone has decent drinking water and the preservation of natural habitat takes priority over development.

Note: Adams Ale is what my late father called water.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beware of the wasps

Right at the end of the summer I had a run in with a wasp. I was stung twice in fact on my arm. The resulting reaction was a bit of a surprise and rather scary. My arm swelled, was bright red and very painful. My hand also swelled including the fingers. As I say it was very painful too. What’s more despite medication it was like this for a week. Rather worryingly I thought my list of allergies needed adding to, pink grapefruit had been the worst but now wasp stings took the lead.
I was interested therefore in an article about a breakthrough in treatment for stings inflicted by the “swimming pool” wasp also called the "litter bin wasp"
It seems this little blighter is now quite a nuisance in areas around the Mediterranean. The new treatment is an important break through. The Vaccine which has been developed at the Miguel Hernandez University in Elche and a Malaga Hospital is specifically designed to treat serve allergic reactions. Trials will now take place on outdoor workers who are most at risk.
It seems the sting of this American wasp can be life threatening - ouch!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Petrol down

For the first time for a couple of years the cost of a litre of 95 octane unleaded petrol is below a 1 euro, yesterday it was 99.7 cents from the new Eroski filling station near Cuidad Quesada. and judging by the global fall in the price of a barrel of oil it should get even cheaper, this "should" hopefully be reflected in the price of all other consumables, as we are constantly told the rising cost of transportation of goods are the reason they go up in price.
Mind you OPEC are trying to keep the oil price higher by putting quotas on oil. So far this has had no effect. The global recession is taken hold and the demand for oil has dropped.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quiz night at Tylers

Monday night, Mary, myself, Lil and Caroline went to the quiz night at Tylers Bar and Restaurant, we had a very enjoyable evening and between us managed to answer all the questions although a few were wild guesses and quite a few were wrong, but we did not get the booby prize. Its free to play and half way through the quiz there was a free raffle and a break with a buffet of filled rolls and chips, It was great fun and we had a good laugh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trying to "sort it"

The ongoing sage
John and my mate Lil have been getting a lot of attention lately. They are both community presidents and the not so happy campers in their respective communities are hoping they can work a miracle. Well the English speaking ones anyway. The big issue is of course Brit TV. “Where’s it gone”, from those just over for a holiday or for the winter. “Can we get it back” everyone is asking this. Of course almost everyone wants to know what the alternatives are, if those same alternative companies will them selves be closed down. Then there is the question of community satellite dishes. That brings a whole new raft of question, not least of all who would pay for the installation of same. Very controversial this when some communities have Brits who have not paid there community fees.

Our daughter Bec was acting as a translator at another community meeting the other day and she said it was on the agenda there too. Of course all communities will be looking at their TV reception equipment in the near future anyway because by April 2010 all analogue tv will go in Spain. Oh happy days.
Glad John is President now and not me. Only thing I can say is when I was President I used to say to people that I was neither God nor in the Guardia and therefore could neither enforce the law or perform miracles. Lil and John are beavering away try to come up with an answer so I do hope everyone will be a little patient and also appreciate how much time and effort they are expending on this.
Incidentally we have never had Brit TV in our house nor do we miss it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

On The Telly in Spain

Me and my mate lil (also known as lily the pink) had a fun time making our TV debut here in Spain. “The Life” programme on Television Vega Baja is in its infancy and its good to be involved in what we hope will be a big success. We also hope as time goes by it will be extended to more than an hour a day.
We were on the programme talking about living here, looking at the news and commenting on it. We were very glad to find we were to share the platform with a professional actor, Nick Moore, who teaches English in Orihuela. We were interested to here about the Networks Theatre productions in which he is involved. You can find out all about them at I recommend you take a look they have some wonderful productions coming up.
As I have said it was really fun to take part and we did get asked back so we must not have disgraced ourselves. I do hope more and more English speakers will contact Yolanda who presents the Life programme and offer to appear, the more input there is the better the programme will be.

Monday, October 13, 2008

English speaking slot on Tvb

Every weekday at 12:00 on the Tvb Television channel, there is a new one hour television programme where guests are invited to give there news, views and opinions on current events and inform the viewers of future events. The programme called "Life" started on October 5th and is hosted by Yolanda Juárez. There is also a slot during the show, with news, weather and local events. Viewers are invited to phone in or email any comments and suggestions live on the show on telephone 966736871 or Local English speakers are invited to go to the studio to take part, Telephone Yolander and she will be pleased to hear from you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wine Cocktails

Ive just found another way of drinking red wine, "Calimocho" is 50/50 red wine and coke served over ice, it is popular at the "botellon" street drinking gatherings, a variation of the drink is to add a dash of blackberry liqueur.
A similar drink is "Tinto de verano", which is already very popular in the Costa Blanca,it is half red wine and half "Casera", a mildly sweet sparkling water. Another drink is to mix 50/50 white wine and lemon-flavoured soft drink also very refreshing.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Watermelon festival

Still talking about Valencia, this last week has been the watermelon festival, held in the City of Arts and Sciences, featuring the benefits of eating and also its decorative possibilities, The watermelon festival is expected to become an annual event.
Recently experts have claimed that the red-fleshed fruit contains an ingredient that affects the body's blood vessels in the same way as when a man takes the sex drug viagra. Researchers believe that the juicy fruit could be used to help men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Watermelon could also improve heart health, the immune system and even help people who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes
Almost 92 percent of watermelon is water, but the remaining 8 percent is loaded with lycopene, an anti-oxidant that protects the human heart, prostate and skin health.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Valencia Day

Today everywhere is closed, The Valencia Region celebrates its fiesta, in commemoration of the entrance of King Jaime I into the city of Valencia, which took place in the year 1238, The celebrations started last night with a massive firework display, part of the international firework festival, today the Valencia flag is lowered from the balcony of the Valencia town hall and the civic procession starts, heading through the streets to the cathedral. Later returning to the town hall and another round of explosions. It is also the fiesta of Sant Dionís, This saint is traditionally considered as the patron saint of lovers and there is the custom of giving the gift of a Mocaorà, a silken scarf containing marzipan pastries handcrafted by Valencia’s confectioners.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Telemicro update

The Guardia Civil have issued a statement concerning Telemicro Levante, saying that they illegally pirated British TV programmes to re broadcast in Spain, Fourteen people have been arrested. The company has also been accused of claiming they only had 17000 clients instead of 60000 and not declaring their profits to the treasury. The court case is expected next year.