News, opinion, essays and links for residents and friends of Mojácar, Almería.

This site, started in September 2002, is called The Entertainer Online to continue The Entertainer name, the name of a weekly newspaper started by me in 1985 which ran without interruption throughout southern Spain until 1999 when a three year option to buy was taken by staffers. They never concluded the deal, or paid me, but changed the name when the option expired in April 2002 instead. Que vamos a hacer.

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Overview of this site (Sections at bottom of page)

*Rambeau’s Diary – a blog
*Freebie-Jeebies® – Some relaxed comment on the poor quality local free-press
*Fallout – quotes from other sites
*National News Certain pieces that catch my fancy
*Local News Certain pieces that catch my fancy
*Essays: Various imput
*Links about Spain (see top of page) about 200 useful links, including my other blog Spanish Shilling
*To e-mail me - write to lenoxnapier@gmail.com. I don't always answer or open attachments.

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Business over Tapas - A Weekly News-letter now on Facebook
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Two-week Mojácar Weather Forecast
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The Entertainer: 29 years old (April 4th 2014) This site since September 2002.

Most of the following is true
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Mojácar Fiestas.
Thursday 21 August 2014 - 18:28:27
The wealthier a town is, the longer their fiesta lasts. Mojácar's Saint's Day is Thursday 28th, but the festivities run from Wednesday morning with some fireworks, through Sunday 31st. A full five days of noisy fun! People say that most, if not all, of the festivals in our fair city are held either in the Casco Viejo or at La Fuente - never on the beach, where most of the population lives. Almería is also in fiesta, and their fiestas run from this Saturday 23rd through to Saturday the 30th. Eight days. At least, they have a huge funfair and some bullfights.
Once all this is over, the summer is said to belong, finally, to those of us who live here.

Later: Back in Mojácar, a group of concerned citizens have started a platform against noise for the municipality, supporting the Town Hall's stance on noise (unless its public noise: fiestas, loud pop groups in the Plaza Nueva, thunderflashes or indeed sirens). Find them here (in Spanish and English) and on Facebook here.

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Six and a Half Years Later
Monday 18 August 2014 - 14:23:52
Let's see, Len and Helen Prior had their house demolished in January 2008, and we are now in August 2014. Since then, they have been living in their garage. That's for the past 80 months.
What has Almería lost as a result of this atrocity? Billions of Euros and an indeterminate number of jobs (we have 36% unemployment here).
What has Almería gained by demolishing a foreigners' house in a quiet area behind Vera? Nothing whatsoever!

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Local Books
Wednesday 13 August 2014 - 17:36:12
Paco Haro has written a book about the foreigners who stayed in his father's hotel located in the Plaza Nueva in Mojácar back in the sixties and seventies. The hotel Indalo had a dozen rooms, a restaurant where we all used to eat lunch (the Air-vice Marshal insisting on putting the china under his shirt as he said he never ate off a cold plate) and the bar downstairs where my father had learned to say 'toma una copa conmigo', have a drink with me, which, at 10 pesetas, wasn't too hard on the wallet. The beautifully illustrated book is called 'Mojaqueros de Hecho' by Francisco Haro Pérez and will be presented on Saturday at the Centro de Artesania at 7.00pm together with an exhibition of memorabilia from the time.
Another book deals with a rarer bird, an Englishman who lived in nearby Carboneras and ran a hotel (The Hotel El Dorado) decorated with pieces from his work as a stage and film carpenter. From blowing up the bridge on the River Kwai to covering the Spanish countryside in fake snow for Doctor Zhivago, Eddie Fowlie led a remarkable career. The book is called ‘David Lean’s Dedicated Maniac: Memoirs of a Film Specialist’.
Following his modest beginnings in a quiet London suburb, he broke into the movie industry during Hollywood's golden era to work with some of the world's leading directors, setting new standards as a film specialist and all-round troubleshooter.
But it was his unique relationship with David Lean that provided him some of the most cherished years of his career. The two were a perfect foil for each other, becoming close friends until the end of the director's life. Fowlie's candid life-story is also a hilarious roller coaster ride by one of life's mavericks - a true dedicated maniac. The book is written, or perhaps 'ghosted', by our leading local journalist (and editor of the Costa de Almería News) Richard Torné who is currently working on a novel.

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Cor Blimey, the Hotel Again
Wednesday 06 August 2014 - 18:45:36
The Junta de Andalucía, whose reproductive organs are evidently clasped in a vice-like grip by the ecologists (the ones who have no time to spare for the Endesa plant in Carboneras - the dirtiest power station in Spain - nor for our 66,000 hectares of plastic farms, nor indeed for the dying chumbos), have decided to mess around again with the ghastly Hotel Algarrobico in Carboneras. It may have been built legally, but it is to be demolished, by Gum (at vast public expense, naturally). The hideous building, all 20 floors and 400 rooms, will make a lovely pile of rubble which will, no doubt, be returned to the pristine lump of nothing which was one day there. Instead of becoming waiters, the local townsfolk can have a rewarding job polishing the beach pebbles. One by one.
The plan, this plan, is to register the land on which the frightful building is erected, as public land. Expropriation in a word. Is that the end of this idiotic story? Who can tell!

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The Junta's Issues with Anal Retention
Monday 04 August 2014 - 14:44:24
I was in the high hills of Almería, near Paternina del Río in the Almerian Alpujarras, liberally stained with the juice from a mulberry tree. A goat herder came past, with 280 goats. All 'chipped'. 'That's amazing', I said, 'does the Junta de Andalucía know how many goats there are in Andalucía at any given moment'? 'Yes, sir, down to the last goat', he answered, dubiously reaching for a long-departed forelock.
Fantastic stuff!
So, answer me this: how did they not know about the 300,000 so-called 'illegal houses' that were being built across the Region to be sold to foreigners?

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The Algarrobico is Legal, Huzzah!
Wednesday 30 July 2014 - 17:19:45
'The Hotel Algarrobico is Legal' shouts the headline from Wednesday's Ideal. It seems that the building licence conceded to Azata del Sol in 2003 was legal, says the Andalucian Superior Court of Justice. Now, of course, Azata del Sol can sue the Andalucian Government for stopping work and degrading the gigantic building. Should be a nice sum of money – probably more than they would have got trying to run the hotel... or wait, are they going to try and finish it now?
The Mayor of Carboneras was also in favour of legalising the hotel, and he recently said it should be finished and used as an old people's home. I know, they could give the penthouse suite to Helen and Len Prior!

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AVE Almería AVE
Tuesday 29 July 2014 - 14:42:16
The Almería - Murcia high-speed train, when completed, would be the most profitable of them all, according to the Almería business community, which is signing a claim to this end this Tuesday evening to be eventually handed in to the Minister of Progress, after he's finished his hols.
Yes, the AVE will whoosh people from Almería to Murcia, and back. There may be no Almería/Granada train, nor Murcia/Alicante one, but how far do you want to go?
We shall show those pesky foreigners that Almería is a modern XXI Century province. We've already built the largest tunnels to save our denuded hills from, uhh, the worries of the ecologists. Our new train, once the Government coughs up enough money, will serve for passenger and merchant business both. Impatient lumps of marble, for example, will be transported in just over an hour, at 300kph, from the one city to the other (just look at how successful our Vera to Cartagena motorway is). The Murcians will eat Almerian tomatoes, and we shall eat theirs. We may not have an ordinary rail system in the province - possibly due to lack of demand - but who in his right mind doesn't dream about whizzing from Almería to Murcia and back again?

Forget more hospitals, finishing the Vera/Garrucha road, our 38% unemployment, the issues of the foreign-owned homes, the Hotel Algarrobico, the never-completed coastal motorway to Málaga, the repairs on our historical buildings; we scream for a massively expensive train that disfigures the countryside and must be eternally subsidised by every taxpayer. (It's about spending money on useful things, rather than those that offer opportunities for huge commissions and dubious prestige for the political classes.) In the same issue of La Voz, which runs the story, there's another article, called: 'I never thought they'd close the Zurgena railway, says the last station master'. (Zurgena is an interior town in Almería's north east). The railway, which went east towards Aguilas and on to Lorca and Murcia, was closed in 1984.

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Plastic is Good for the Environment (Almería Edition)
Saturday 26 July 2014 - 12:48:22
Well! There I was thinking that the invernaderos, the 28,576 hectares of farms under plastic in western Almería, were bad for the environment, destroying the water table and impoverishing the soil. Nothing, it turns out, could be further from the truth! The invernaderos are huge destroyers of CO2 and, indeed, do much to stave off the threat of Global Warming!
According to the always reliable Voz de Almería, the plastic farms destroy some 280,000 tons of CO2 each and every year. Not only that - the unsightly farms are (as La Voz puts it so elegantly) 'the authentic engine of the demographic and socio-economic development of the province of Almería'.

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Petter's Poem
Saturday 26 July 2014 - 11:44:30
Petter Finne, who ran The Talisman for many years, posts a poem about Mojácar on Facebook.
Here's a taste:
'...For Mojacar was a haven where the misfits fitted in,
Not condemned for non-conformity by mindsets closed and prim.
Neither judged on past achievement nor the rank of kith and kin,
They were given toleration, and forgiven “social sin”...
'
Was it like that? Perhaps yes. First came the trailblazers, the drinkers and their women; the artists and the non-conformists: the bohemians. Then came Horizon Holidays and the trippers hotels, small apartments and greed. Along came the abolitionists, the bible-bashers, the con-men and the credulous, the middle-classes and their sense of propriety: the bourgeois.
Now we have the bikers, the cyclists, the corrupted, the hordes of young kids looking to grow up fast. Ice cream bars and jellyfish.
Petter's poem ends, several verses later, with:
'With Mojacar’s every hillside by apartment blocks polluted
And an influx of bland “normal” folk, its character diluted.
Sadly, as Mojacar grew, it lost its special niche,
Becoming more like other towns beside a Spanish beach'.

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Hush, We Are Quietly Drinking
Wednesday 23 July 2014 - 18:29:17
Following on from the improbable but true story of the young people from Murcia fined in Mojácar for drinking water while queuing up to enter a late night beach-bar - a story which was well-covered by the national press, we now hear of another similar tale of over-zealous police in The quiet and harmonious Corner of Enchantment (where late-night music is blasted out of the Plaza Nueva during July and August to help the four bars located there). This time, a group of young 'uns were visited and fined while eating and drinking in their apartment with the music turned off. Still too loud? The kids got fined 601€ each, according to La Voz de Almería. Try a different resort next year, why don'tcha!

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