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.
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 email@example.com. I don't always answer or open attachments.
Mojácar: We may have the largest proportion of town hall employees in Spain - so useful for their votes come election day (although, you may want to remember: the foreign majority who live here are rather under-represented with just Leslie from the British Community), and we pay the highest local taxes in the province to keep things moving. The average town taxes per household in Mojácar are 1,240 euros. The second highest in the province is a full 340€ less. Most of the province pays under 500€. For example, the resort of Roquetas de Mar pays an average 420€ and those who live in the Big Al pay 452€. David Jackson breaks it down here.
If an email won't do, then you can send a letter. Letter-writing isn't as easy (since you must 'go over the page' which means a lot of imaginative 'filler') and it certainly isn't as fast. Buy an envelope somewhere ('just the one, gracias'). Down to the correos and a queue. In the old days, you used to have to buy a stamp - generally from the estanco, the cig, paperwork and postcard shop. Stick it square on the top rh corner of the envelope. It looks nice and neat. Nowadays, in exchange for some shrapnel, the correos-lady will just frank the letter, stamp-less, but with the frank any old which-way on the envelope, and toss it into the big yellow box behind her. A bald and woggly frank on the envelope looks pretty bad to the recipient, I reckon (especially after all that effort).
A lot of people never get registered to be on the padrón - which is a list that helps to fund the local treasury with Government money, and which helps the town gets fresh licences for schoolteachers, doctors, policemen and so on. Jessica at Mojácar se Mueve has made a useful video about this. However - many foreigners who think they are on the padrón (and are looking forward, perhaps, to voting in next May's local elections) are in fact no longer on the register. For 'Europeans', it needs to be updated every five years in case they've left, moved or died without informing the ayuntamiento. Over in Zurgena, for example, Jim writes on his blog that a number of Britons need to check their presence in the Town Hall and he lists them by name. I doubt the Town Hall will make much effort. It will be the same here.
The Fundación Caja Madrid would not only display a certain agility in keeping political sources happy in some sort of voluntary protection scheme it appears - one can't help thinking of the 60,000€ per annum free 'black credit cards' for the 87 political board-members - it would also pay out on an irregular basis donations to the three main parties' own 'invisible' foundations – the Fundación para el Estudio de los Problemas de las Ciudades (PSOE), the Fundación de Estudios Municipales y Territoriales (IU) and the unfortunately named Fundescam for the Partido Popular. None of these interesting sounding foundations has a web-page or any other apparent presence much beyond a bank account. Between 2009 and 2011, the three foundations received 1,422,331€ from the Fundación Caja Madrid. It begs the question – does anyone else make similar donations?
A huge storm is arriving on Iberia's west coast, according to The Local, which says 'A massive storm over the Atlantic Ocean will bring gale force winds and huge waves up to six metres to Spain's coasts from Wednesday on, officials have warned'. On the local front (as seen on The Entertainer Online Weather Page here), things look calm, warm and sunny. But, that's Mojácar for you, where the sun spends the winter...! (I have just returned from a rare visit to the UK, where it rained most of the time. Still, everything was very green...).
Seriously. Are they mad? A nurse who attended the missionary who died of Ebola in Madrid... has been found to have contracted the virus and that she showed the symptoms of the disease for SIX days before she was diagnosed. BBC and El Mundo. She felt seedy, this nurse who was looking after the Ebola missionary, but they sent her away on vacation. Elsewhere, reports say a second nurse is showing symptoms.
There's some intrigue going on over at a free newspaper on the Costa Blanca called The CoastRider, which claims in a Press Release here that the previous owner managed to get in through the back door the other day and walloped the computer, putting the current issue's publication in doubt. An 'ex-staff member' has apparently been attempting to distract clients with some hoopla, sent on a google email, rather, we are told, that the appropriate @coastrider.net on the message. High jinks in Torrevieja! Luckily, this kind of underhand behaviour is rare in the world of costa newspapers...
The Government in its wisdom has spoken: the Almería part of the national high-speed network, twin tunnels under the Sierra de Cabrera notwithstanding, will be a single-track endeavour. Not enough potential traffic, says the Govt in a moment of wisdom. Story at El Ideal here. How long before Almería is connected to both Murcia and indeed Granada? No one wants to forward an opinion on that one.
The idea of creating a jolly leisure centre outside Madrid with gambling à la Vegas may have taken a hit last year with the project for Sheldon Adelson's smoke-filled casinos being suddenly discarded by the Spanish authorities; but wait, now Mariano Rajoy has made some new friends in China, and a brand new mega-casino project appears to be gathering pace. This one, more Macao than Nevada, to be built under the orders of Wang Jianlin, the man who bought the emblematic Madrid skyscraper the Edificio España recently.
(From this week's Business over Tapas: 3500 words of useful news.)
Mojácar, like all Spanish towns, has two saints. The second one in our case is the Virgen del Rosario, who's day is October 7th. To celebrate it, I see on Facebook, the Town Hall has ordered a fresh round of ribbon races at the Fuente (the emotive centre of the mojaquero culture) for Sunday October 5th at 5.30pm, don't miss. We must have ten ribbon races a year. These races are, simply explained, a horse rider spears a ring attached to a ribbon and thus wins the girl wearing the same 'colours'. Indeed, there's so many ribbon races that there is no time for other fiestas, like the Anglo-Spanish Friendship fiesta recently held in Huercal Overa, or the World Tourism Day celebrated this past Saturday. There's also no place other than the village for these celebrations, paid with taxpayers' money (we remember the recent San Agustín fiesta in late August - which lasted five noisy days...). Fun fact: Over half the population of Mojácar, all of whom love living here, were nevertheless born elsewhere.