Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Driving concentration

Between the 8th to 14th November Guardia civil officers issued 3,316 fines for driving while distracted, 2800 were for using a mobile phone while driving, 32 for adjusting or programming a GPS satellite navigation system, 124 for using headphones, 368 for other behaviours that were considered to be distracting whilst driving. The clampdown is part of a special campaign. A positive point that arose was the fact that 25% of the vehicles stopped had a hands free kit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Useing Ubuntu 10.10

Last week i decided to give a different operating system a go. Mainly because the hard disk on my desktop failed and the new HD has no operating system on it and i havent got any up to date O/S s on disk. So did a little bit of research and decided Ubuntu 10.10 was about the best free to download. It took three attempts before i got good download so it was a good job i was useing a CDRW disk, once downloaded it is possible to run the operating system without installing it. i tried this and it looked good so installed it. basically i put it in the CD drive answered a few questions and it was installed, and up and running. The default browser is Mozilla Firefox which i have never used before either, so i spent the day exploring, trying applications out and putting my important files into folders. i am very impressed, internet, music, video, printer, scanner, email etc all work without any messing around.i had one or two questions regarding how different applications work but there is an excellent Ubuntu forum, You can post a question and it is normally answered within minutes by very helpfull people.
As this is not Microsoft, programmes like MS office are not usable. but there are many good alternatives that are included in O/S installation and more available from the Ubuntu software centrethere is a programme you can download that converts some Microsoft programs for use on the operating system.
A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months, but i am quite happy with this version with firefox and would quite happily use it without going back to Microsoft Windows again. which i will keep on my laptop just in case i find i have to use Microsoft at any time.

Cold, Hot, Cold

We appear to have the changeable weather arrived, Friday it was a nice day but cold, Saturday it was bleak, cold and rainy, Yesterday it was a beautifull day, clear skies and warm sunshine, and today its a grey rainy day again and quite chilly. Its actually not that cold but we have acclimatised to a warmer climate. I dont know how we would cope if we were in the UK, with below freezing temperatures and snow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

El Olivo Market, Catral

We went to Grand opening of the new El Olivo Market this morning situated the Dolores side of Catral on the Calle de Hondon. the market will be held every Tuesday and Sunday from 09.00 till 14.00.
When we arrived at around 10.30 there was not many people and for the area the market site covers, only a scattering of stalls, there was a variety of goods for sale of the usual market items and several bars and cafes. It was obvious that some of the stall holders and cafes have gone to a lot of expence and effort to create a good impression and get businesses going. But with the Dolores Sunday market just down the road, and also the big Lemon tree market near Torrevieja also on Sundays its not going to be easy.
Available for for hire to stallholders are open fronted portacabin type stalls and numbered marked pitches over the rest of the site, If they are all taken it will be a very big market on a par with the lemon tree.
For the opening today the Market site owners had hired a security firm to direct vehicles to the car parking for which is for around 1500 vehicles, there were also donkey rides, Bouncy castles and a free giant Paella.
The market is on a large flat plot and with only a moderate wind the gusts were playing havoc with the stall holders awnings and because of the new grit surface there was a lot of dust in the air.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New K9 charity shop

The K9 animal charity has now opened its own charity shop in La Marina urbanisation,(La Escuera) the shop is in the same shopping complex as the famous Domti and on Carrer De Alfredo Kraus. it is a good size shop with a wide variety of second hand, clothes, books and other bric a brac, im sure if you have any items to donate they will be welcome, call into the shop and browse for a bargain, help the animals and recycle at the same time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Loggerhead Turtle

A Loggerhead turtle has been found on the beach at Torrevieja, it was alive and has some injuries but is recovering in at the Arca de Mar specialist centre in Valencia.
It is micro chipped and has come across the Atlantic from the NMFS Galverston, laboratory where it was born in 2003 and released in 2005. This is important evidence that turtles make a transatlantic migration from Florida and enter the Meditteranean through the Straits of Gibraltar.
A couple of months ago while i was kayaking i noticed a round grey object like a ball about 100 yards away from me, i paddled towards it to investigate and it disappeared under the water. It could have been the turtle.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nice bikes

Kept hearing powerfull engines throbbing in the distance, it turns out The Harley davison owners club spent the night at the Guardamar hotel last night, some beautifull machines were parked outside.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Improving my Spanish

I have found a new way of trying to improve my Spanish language skills, every day on http://www.transparent.com/wotd/today/spanish.html. there is a new word which is incorporated into a sentence, you can hear the word and the sentence as it should be spoken. i practice the new word and sentence each day and then write it down in a book and frequently revise. Its surprising what a difference it has made to expand my vocabulary, and every so often a word/sentence comes up that i know and understand already. With the sentence being spoken with the correct pronounciation this is extremely helpfull as well.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Round Trip

Guadix Cathedral
We have just had a round trip through Almeria, Andalucia and Murcia, staying at Mojacar the first night,on the way we called in at Mazarron, but were not very impressed, everywhere seemed uncared for and a bit down at heel, we took the mountainous coast road to Aguilas, with some fantastic views over the sea. Aguilas is a pleasant town with some nice buildings and a nice square with cafes for coffee, tapas or meals , then on on to Mojacar. Stayed at a very busy hotel with lots of Inmerso clients - government sponsored holidays for people over 60. Mojacar playa seems to be very Brit dominated,lots of brit owned cafes and sports bars. The next day into Almeria city, this is a ferry port to Melilla in North Africa and there was also a large cruise ship in the harbour. We had a look at the Cathedral and shopping area and then set off to Guadix, the other side of the Sierra Nevada. Guadix has some interesting architecture and historical buildings and is a busy city, but seems to have a shortage of bars and restaurants to get a meal. The weather turned cold, wet and very windy and from our hotel we had views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range with a capping of snow. Next morning after driving through rolling hills of Olive groves the City of Jaen was our next stopping point,it has an magnificent cathedral, we took a guided tour with a personal handset,which gave us information on all the points of interest and artifacts in the cathedral. After, we decided to go to the ancient Arab baths, We drove through Jaens narrow cobbled streets, mingling with Jaens maniac drivers for about an hour, because the sat nav was taking us round in circles, then parked the car Jaen style and walked, luckily the heavy rain had eased a little. Although the Palacio Villardompado was hard to find it was worth the visit, as there is an amazing art exhibition of mainly modern primitive works, The extensive 11th century Arab baths and also a folk museum. We had an overnight stop at Baeza, and on to Ubeda the next morning, Ubeda centre is a world heritage site with many buildings of renaissance architecture, considered to be Spains best example and it was like walking round an open air museum. Time for a change so a longish drive to Caravaca del la Cruz passing through Olive terraces, forests, and mountain gorges and continually changing scenery. We arrived at Caravaca in time to walk up to the castle and church which overlook the town and then wander through the narrow streets. The old part has some beautifull old buildings, lots of tourist orientated shops with lots of souvenir crosses, jewellery and trinkets, but there are modern shopping streets with clothes and shoe shops selling the latest fashions. After staying the night we headed back towards Guardamar and the warmer climate, It had not occurred to me how much colder it is in inland Spain this time of year, watching the television weather forecast there appears to be a 8-10 degree difference.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Back again

Hi everyone, O.K.weve been away for a while, got back safely from Australia, and had two family bereavements in the last few months. We have now rented out our Formentera apartment and moved to Guardamar by the sea.
Mary and myself went for a walk around La Mata Reserve this morning it was a beautifull morning and peacefull, it was nice to see an osprey sitting on a pole in the middle of the lagoons. The La Mata resource centre has been upgraded since we were last there, it is bigger and they seem to have more information.
The work on the N332 between Guardamar and Torrevieja has completely ground to a halt, when we went through this morning ,there was not one worker or piece of machinery in sight. the contractors seem to have completely abandoned the work, seems that we are going to have the half finished project forever.