Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chemtrails over Blanca

Yesterday afternoon while we were outside having a cup of coffee, became aware of a jet flying around overhead, when we looked up there was a pattern of vapour/chemtrails over the sky above us, the jet was flying backwards and forwards weaving a pattern across the sky, the lines in the sky did not disperse as jet vapour trails normally do but just hung there and spread.

So we think these were chemtrails, chemtrails are a method of cloud seeding and geoengineering from military jets flying at 30-35000feet.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


                                         FROM OUR TERRACE
 Do you ever find there seems to be a theme running through your day or week? You know you keep hearing the same song, reading or seeing something connected. If there's a theme running through this week it has to be "misty". To start with we heard the Johnny Mathis  1959 version of the song "Misty" on the radio the other day. Serves us right I suppose for having radio 2 on. Brought back a few memories for John of the days before he was a heavy metal fan. His first record player, some of you must remember what they are, Johns was a portable and modern enough to be electric! I remember the girl next door to my childhood home having a wind up one, OK so none of you remember those!!
Anyway from the mists of time so to speak came a memory of his mother bringing home a Regentone Record player, bought from a work colleague. The seller had included some records as well, one of which was the Johnny Mathis song. Oh the nostalgia of it all. Well we must have heard the same song a couple more times since. Enough misty for anyone you might well think and you'd be right, even though we find ourselves singing along.
The theme though continues because this morning we woke to find it was very very MISTY indeed. Cue the music and more memories of just such beginning of days in Cornwall and Scotland, only difference is by lunch time here we were sitting outside in the sun. Lovely.

one more thing, you know your getting old when you find your memories are museum pieces.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fevered thoughts

                                     SOME OF OUR LEMONS
Is it feed a fever starve a cold or vice versa? I expect there are endless answers to that question on the Web. Whichever I just hate having a cold, its worse in the summer, at least in the winter you can eat comforting food and whatever the adage, I am going with feed this cold.
I dont get them very often thank goodness, I always take great care of myself when I do. Well quiet apart for the fact that going out and about sneezing and coughing, breathing my sore throat germs around is very anti social I know it can agravate my Fibromyalgia rheumatica if  "I try to work through" the bug.
so its coddling for me.( what a strange word but you know what I mean)
Honey and lemon, and not the stuff you buy at the Famacia, real  honey and fresh lemons from the tree in our garden. We are amazed at the number of lemons on our tree despite the ill treatment it received from the guys who dug out the pool last summer.

Natural remedies involving lemons are very popular here especially with those who lived through the harsh times not so many years ago.Although its hard to imagine the harsh and cruel years under Franco the way things are going these homemade treatments may well have a revival.
You find a Salud, Health Centre; in every town these days but it was very different within living memory. In the Vega Baja where we used to live there was one Doctor for the whole area, the poorer people quiet literally had to look after themselves and their families. Abuelo would have a store of folklore and knowledge gained through experience and nessecity that was the first line against sickness. Joaquin stilll remembers many of the remedies his own grandmother used to try to keep them well.
 So, as I pick my lemons and mix the honey and hot water and will be counting myself very lucky indeed that all have is this rotten cold!

A little foot note that echos a warning through history: Richard Nixon said when Franco died "General Franco was a loyal friend and ally of the United States." The United States established a diplomatic and trade alliance with Spain ignoring the fact that  Franco maintained his control in Spain through the implementation of austere measures: the systematic suppression of dissident views through censorship and fear along with  the imprisonment of ideologically opposed enemies . Those who opposed him were put in concentration camps throughout the country. There was forced labour in prisons and the use of the death penalty and heavy prison sentences as deterrents for his ideological enemies. Long Live America indeed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Home Town

Very spring like today so Johns been working outside. The outside oven has a newly painted shiny black door, the barbecue has been spruced up, so too the metal work around the door into the laundry, outside shower room and workshop/tool-shed. We have decided to paint the door to all of the afore mentioned a nice green, the same colour we used when we renovated the pagoda in front of them.
There is also an awful lot of metalwork crying out for a fresh coat of black. Although we do go along to the large multi stores near Murcia for some things, mostly ones we cannot find near by, we will get our paint down in Blanca. There are one or two good little ferreteria and as the saying goes "if you don't us it you loose it".
Years back when we lived in Cornwall we saw shop after shop in the middle of the town of Penzance close down, it really took the heart out of the place as business shifted to edge of town multi national chain stores. In fact I do recall it happened even before that in my home town Wigston Magna with the advent of the "supermarket". Sadly yes I am old enough to remember the shopping experience which involved the shopkeeper weighing out and wrapping also most everything from butter to biscuit as well as sugar tea flour, well just anything you could mention .
Here in Blanca you can get just about everything you need in the small shops, the indoor and street market. The world may be a global village but if you dont support your own home village it will soon become a ghost town.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kelly put the Kettle on

                      The Kelly Kettle
In our house we are much divided, when it comes to radio stations that is. I am a radio 4 fan, have been for as long as I can remember. Radio 4 came along around the time I was 15 but I was listening to Aunty BBC long before. Listen with Mother began the year before I was born and I can recall sitting on the floor next to a huge "radiogram" enthralled, that was the beginning of my lifelong love of  talk radio. I was more than pleased to find that I could hear my favourite programmes via the PC here in Spain. John on the other hand is a music radio fan, radio one and the like. Which could make life difficult  if we let it. Since moving to Blanca we have access to all the radio stations you could want or need via the  satellite dish that came with the house. So what to do when we are both in the house and want a little radio. The answer comes in the shape of radio 2. Some talk some music. so thats what we "tune" in to as we used to put it.
We were both busy around the house the other day and being entertained by the afore mention radio 2 and a snippet of interesting information caught our attention. Someone mentioned a twig kettle, only in passing it was not the subject of the item. Intrigued I checked it out later  on the PC. Dont you just love modern technology.
Loads of info to be found. A twig kettle it appeared is a wonderful invention that allows you to boil water using very little fuel, a few twigs in fact. We found a manufacturer in Ireland. So the next day John order a "Kelly Kettle" . We did expect to wait a few weeks, I told you about the post here didn't I! Much to our surprise and delight the parcel arrived with in the week, wonder of wonders. Its is just brilliant, works a treat and as described on the box.
We have ours ready to go outside with a bag of twigs and pine- cones at the ready, it will be great for picnics or camping, in power cuts too. These kettles are also excellent in situations where there is fuel poverty or disasters have cut off power sources. You know there are some very clever people around aren't there.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

SMS message scam

We were in Blanca town picking up the mail, and decided to give Bec a call to see if she wanted to meet us for coffee, I got a recorded message on the mobile to say I had run out of credit. The thing was, I only topped it up a couple of weeks ago and had hardly used it. So when we got home I went on to my Vodaphone online billing to see where the credit had gone. It turns out that a company called Artiq mobile 795791 had billed me 1.20 euros everyday until my credit had gone, and as soon as I recharged the phone had started again, I then realised that everyday around 5 in the afternoon I had been getting a SMS with the title PUSH MESSAGE from 795791, needless to say I did not open any of these messages and thought nothing more of it.
This company had somehow got hold of my mobile and had subscribed me to something -i dont know what, and unless i did something about it, I would be charged 1.20 a day.
So I googled the name Artiq Mobile to find that they are a Dutch company who operate a ringtone scam and have been fined 1,190,000 euros by the Dutch consumer authority for for the large-scale provision of misleading SMS services to consumers, there are literally hundreds of forum postings on different forums of people complaining about being ripped off.
Anyway I got onto Vodaphone customer services explained what had been happening and was told they would stop the message being sent. So far I have not received any more messages.
So keep an eye on your mobile bills because this seemed to start with no request from me and could of gone on without me realising.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Peeing in the garden

Recently we have been looking at various methods of being environmentally friendly, one issue is the waste of water, we already are careful, not leaving the tap running while showering and brushing teeth and reuseing what water we can for watering the garden. One big usage  is flushing the toilet, each flush uses approximately 8 litres of water, this can be reduced by lowering the ball cock, but even more by less flushing, most people flush the loo after having a pee, using 8 liters of water to move something that is 95% water and 5% other elements.
So our urine is a valuable resource, it is an extremely good garden fertiliser, containing among other elements, nitrogen, sodium, potassium and magnesium, it can be applied diluted or undiluted to the soil around your vegetables, shrubs and potted plants, and is a tried and tested method of fertilising.
It has been proven that vegetables and plants fertilised with  human urine grow bigger and are healthier than compared to untreated greenery.
It will surprise many to know that urine has actually been used as a crop fertiliser for thousands of years, particularly in Asia, but also widespread around the world, it is only because of our hygiene obsessed culture that we have stopped using it as a fertiliser and even view its use as uncomfortable or disgusting. Urine from a healthy person is actually nearly completely sterile. and only starts to turn to ammonia after around 24 hours of standing and therefore should be used before then.
Even after 24 hours it can be put onto your compost heap as an excellent accelerater.
Our garden in Blanca is very sandy with very little humous so we create as much compost as we can with garden clippings, leaves and kitchen vegetable waste, to dig into the garden to help it, but from now on, I shall also be useing my pee to fertilise the garden and also get the compost heap going. So we may be saving between 50 and 80 litres of water a day (and the water bill! ) at the same time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some like it hot

Its a lovely bright day today, yesterday was a little different with low cloud hanging around for most of it. I love the more obvious changes we get here, John would  like sun, sun, sun, but for me these "winter" days bring all sorts of bonuses. Though I might feel different, if I did not know we will have a hot summer for sure.
Summer for me is a time to relax in the shade and swim as much as possible and I am quiet happy to spend most of the long summer days right here. Not so everyone, its surprising how many Brits take themselves off to UK during July and August to escape the heat. One advantage of that of course is the good deals you can get from UK to other parts of Spain, Spain is a land of contrast which we are slowing getting to know but driving long ways in the heat and holiday traffic is not always fun. Then there are the many islands that are also part of Spain, now I could be tempted to take one of the cheap flights to Lanzarote for example which is cooler, even in summer, due to the Atlantic breezes, average temperature is around  29 degrees compared to being up in the high 30s and more here.

Meanwhile its a pleasant winter here, and as I say it gives you the chance to enjoy the wintery thing. Last night we had an enjoyable family supper, homemade chicken, mushroom and sweetcorn pie with mash and veg followed by a traditional rice pudding, arroz con leche, is a really traditional pudding both here and in UK. All this and the opportunity to chat in front of the log fire. Just great, and now the sun is shining and the birds are singing, so any ideas of flights to the Spanish islands will be on my holiday list for the coming summer whilst I enjoy the Blanca winter.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Top 10 Tips For Moving To Spain

  1. British families who move to Spain with school-age or pre-school children should register at their town hall, who will advise about schools.
  2. Spanish families place high priority on giving their children a good education; consequently places at private schools are filled well in advance, and there are waiting lists.
  3. Upon successfully completion of four years of secondary education they are awarded their ESO (certificate of secondary education, EducaciĆ³n Secundaria Obligatoria). This may take more than four years since failure to make satisfactory progress can mean repeating the year.
  4. Some fiestas are location-specific, based on a local legend or a real historical event. A good example of this is San Sebastian, in the Basque country, which holds a festival each January to celebrate their liberation from French rule by Lord Wellington in 1812.
  5. Many aspects of the Spanish lifestyle are extremely easy to get used to: the sunshine, the wine and the sangria, the paella, the tortilla and the tapas, and the uplifting rhythms of the bossa nova and the flamenco as the sun goes down and nightlife begins.
  6. Spectacular fireworks are a popular feature at fiestas, and probably the most spectacular of all are the ones that light up the skies at the Summer Solstice, when bonfires are lit to celebrate the longest day. This tradition is especially strong in the south of Spain
  7. The Spanish healthcare system works well, and it is often even possible to find English speaking medical staff. However, before moving to Spain you need to be sure that the costs of future medical treatment will be covered.
  8. Spanish healthcare is not free, but individuals who are covered by the State system pay only a small contribution towards the cost, depending on their personal circumstances.
  9. For those looking to embrace a traditional Spanish lifestyle, inland Spain has plenty of attractive villages where life is not seasonal, property prices are lower, and you will be able to join in local community life.
  10. A common pattern is for people to move from the UK initially to their Spanish holiday home, and to relocate to a different part of Spain a few years later after exploring the country in greater depth. There is probably a richer variation in regional cultures in Spain than in any other European country. Each region has its own history and its own traditions, and regions such as Galicia, the Basque country and Catalunya still retain their own languages alongside Spanish.

    Armishaws are one of the leading removal companies in the UK. They frequently do moves to and from Spain.