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 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 input *Links about Spain (see top of page) about 200 useful links, including my other blog Spanish Shilling - *Now ten years old (Dec 2015). *To e-mail me - write to email@example.com. I don't always answer or open attachments.
An interesting project underway in Nijar, lead by a group of engineers, is creating a system of geothermal energy to provide stable temperatures for the invernaderos of the municipality. This would allow them to substantially increase production for what would be, after five years amortisation of the project, essentially with free energy. The secret is basically a 1,500 meter pipe dropped vertically into the earth, which would provide warm thermal water at the surface, capable of generating free electricity. The theory of geothermal energy as a free source of renewable energy is clear enough - we have, for example, all seen geysers and hot springs: this is water heated by the earth's crust. Geothermal energy is described as '...cost-effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly...'. (Wiki). The project has the backing of the Junta de Andalucía
Ah, the simple joy of running down to the beach, where the sea meets the sand, to enjoy a quiet half an hour or so of surfing. Now don't bring your surfboard (c'mon, you're too old for that anyway), bring rather your portable computer and switch on the Internet. Yes, from now, the beaches in Vera and Adra are the first in the province to offer free wifi. Just don't get sand in your tablet...
Why have we still no Government? It’s been nine months since the last one was dissolved to prepare for fresh elections. Since then, we have had two uncertain general elections and there could even be another one at the end of the year. Even then, there might be no quorum. If Rajoy ‘went’, and a substitute took his place, then maybe things might be resolved. This seems unlikely. A peculiar suggestion from Ciudadanos, the other rightist party, is to allow the PP to form a minority government (through parliamentary tricks), and then, with the help of the PSOE, to participate in a strong and spirited opposition. The point, says Ciudadanos, is to have a government. The price for this for the Partido Popular would be six written undertakings towards transparency and against corruption. The case is laid out by the El País in English here. The joke is that the ‘leftist’ newspaper (so-called) is unhappy that the PSOE doesn’t want to swallow this poisoned fruit.
The stars peep out from the cobalt sky, their friendly presence a reminder of our departed loved ones, twinkling from the heavens. Or, if you suffer from light pollution, then, not so much. Our friends the Town Halls are keen on lights at night. Lights to keep away the pesky darkness. Lights, lit, lighted (except by certain drivers who, while suffering from a small electric breakdown within their fusebox, will happily drive at night with no lights at all). I live on a street (with no name) with an abundance of lights. Perhaps seven or eight street-lights per house. Blissful. At night, around the back of the house, I can still just about see the stars. This week, we are told the Perseids 'shooting stars' will be a thing of wonder, with anything up to 500 per hour on the night of Thursday the 11th. Mojácar has a candle-only night (except on my street of course) on Friday.
A microcosm of Spanish politics. We journey to Albox in Almería, where Maura Hillen (AUAN) is a councillor for the PSOE: Maura writes last week in her blog ‘Albox town council is under siege. No heroes have emerged so far but there are a number of alleged villains, a beleaguered group of councillors who have not been indicated for any crime (unlike their predecessors from all parties) and a town growing increasingly weary...’. In brief, the PP loses to the PSOE in the 2007 elections after the scandal of the illegal houses hits the town (there were 500 in plain sight, all owned of course by foreigners). The socialist mayor is indicted for various building offences in 2013 and, in mid-term, is replaced by another, who, in turn, is also indicted. To survive, the local PSOE abandons the Party and forms another group called Socialistas Albojenses, with the same ex-PSOE mayor to continue as mayor (with the regional support of... the PSOE!). In 2016, this SA mayor is finally barred from office by the courts. A new mayor is sought, and the corporation, now with sixteen votes (the paperwork to introduce the replacement for the out-going mayor hadn’t arrived) has a tie. So, counting on a voters majority for the PSOE (or rather, the SA), the new mayor is a woman called Sonia Cerdán. But, says the PP lawyer in a court appeal, Sonia is not PSOE, which the voters chose, but rather SA. The Supreme Court of the Junta de Andalucía agrees. Now, with 17 councillors once again, a fresh election shouldn’t be a problem, but wait, the new incoming councillor of the PSOE (or perhaps we should stick with the SA) has been seen with a brand new car and some brand new friends... So, yesterday was the vote. PSOE (or rather SA) with nine... or maybe eight. PP with seven plus the one independent from a local party called Cilus. Then there’s the councillor with the new car... Turns out the new mayor, now tied to the PSOE (or the SA if we prefer), is the councillor from Cilus, an erstwhile supporter of the Partido Popular, the very independent Francisco Torrecillas.
There are any number of reasons why Walt Disney was neither born locally, nor was the son of anyone born locally. It's a cute story based on the fact that he looked a lot like the local doctor. Don Jacinto, the old mayor, told the story of how he and Don Diego (Mojácar's diminutive doctor for many years) were looking at an article in a magazine about Walt Disney getting married in Mexico back in 1948. 'Coño', says Jacinto, 'he looks just like you'. 'Does not', says Diego. 'Does too', says Jacinto. That's pretty much the story. The rest - embellishments. (In The Story we all know and love, the mother is called Isabel Zamora. Walt Disney for some reason is José Guirao) But, to be sure, would an obscure woman, unhappily pregnant from Don Diego's father Ginés Carrillo and scorned by the father, emigrate to America to 'hide her shame' and yet later write a letter to say 'he's been adopted - they're calling him Walt, he'll be famous one day: mark my words'. Maybe she sent a telegram. Then there's the improbable story of FBI agents going through the Church's records sometime in the 'fifties to find a birth certificate for Walt Disney. '...With a double-you, right?'. No, nothing there. But having a famous 'son' is about two things - the first is that he comes from your family, or maybe your town; the second is that he recognizes the fact. So, here's the only time Walt Disney came to Spain. It was in 1957. In an interview with 'La Vanguardia', he was asked: 'It is sometimes claimed that you are descended from Spaniards. Is this the case?' Disney replied: 'I'm half Anglo-Irish and half German. My mother was German. I was born in Chicago. There was once a fellow who worked with me called Zamora. That's it'. Of course, anyone can get it wrong. The article, quoted this week in La Voz de Almería, refers to Walt Disney as the Father of Mickey Mousse.
So, what would happen to the chiringuitos (beach bars) once the Mojácar Paseo Marítimo (beach promenade) has divided them from the playa? The first beach bar in that strip we know and love was the Hollywood, run by German Claudia. This around 1968 or so. Claudia was insistent that the beach beds should always be in line. 'You must not move ze beach chairs' she would say as she marched over to the sunbathers,'zey are zere for a purpose!'. The beach bar was eventually sold to an Englishman called Simon, who renamed it El Patio. It became really famous when it was taken over by Ric Davis, the engineer from the Palomares water desalination plant (built by the remorseful Americans, which unlike the Hotel Algarrobico, was soon dismantled for scrap). Ric would say - 'you see that bottle up there?', pointing at his shelf of hootch, 'that bottle of water cost Uncle Sam thirty million dollars!'. Other beach bars nearby - the Aku Aku, built by a Hungarian woman called Maritza. El Cid, from the California couple Lloyd and Tish. Some others, popular with the young set. Mojácar's other famous beach bar, the Kon Tiki, owned by Train-robber Gordon Goody and later by Ian Shuttleworth, who ran the bar from his wheelchair, being down the road a stretch, will survive until the next atrocity. So, wassa plan? The plan is to build the usual promenade, plus bike path, plus flowers, gardens, benches and waste-paper baskets, in a route between the beach bars and the beach. One must suppose that there'll still be a beach. Perhaps, if Costas is willing, we could build some breakwaters to bring in lots (lots!) of sand. Because otherwise, they will have to take half of the beach bars' land away just to build this project, which, as customers of Tito's know, turns the beach bar into little more than a kiosk.
In a break with local Mojácar tradition, it seems that the late Jaime 'Tito' del Amo is to get a street named after him. Tito will be only the second foreigner to be so honoured (following Cheap Pete Pages, the American junk dealer and fellow restaurateur who for twenty years was remembered with the Calle de Pedro Barato, now renamed Calle Cal). Perhaps the authorities will continue to loosen up and allow other notable foreigners to be remembered in future extensions to Mojácar.
That Tiny Roar of Justified Rage: The Animal Issue
Tuesday 26 July 2016 - 04:06:19
The Brits are a funny race. Known here as los ingleses (or los guiri or guiris), they may not know much about Spain, or the language or the people, but, By Gum, they certainly know when to feel superior. Yes, yes, the simple swineherd is their guru ('he knows so much about orange trees', they marvel), or the maid, as she turns out a first-rate tortilla; but, in general terms, the Spanish are generally thought to be charming but incomplete, in that condescending way the ingleses often have when referring to foreigners. This opprobrium will be understated of course, except when the subject of animals comes up (the Brits have cornered the subject on animals as their own). 'Is it against the law to break a car window when there's a dog inside?', asks a lady on Facebook... another disapproves of the camel rides on the beach (what do you think the alternative is for the camels?). Anyone who sides with the Spanish on animal issues is taken to have let the side down. Bad enough if you are American or German, but, if you are English... well really! So, as the Spanish people continue blithely with their lives, unaware that their less educated compatriots, who live in small British-heavy communities peppered along the coast, are chided for their silly ways, the British ex-pats must face the fact that their own compatriots have voted to cast them - us - adrift with the Brexit. But enough of that. Aren't the locals cruel to their pets!
After the last bit of the 'Paseo Maritimo' was opened a few weeks ago, running from the Cueva de Lobo past the Pueblo Indalo to the Red Cross building, the next bit to consider would be the extension past the beach bars. Tricky, since the beach is rather skimpy along that stretch of the coast. Yet, rather than wait another twenty years or so to build up some steam, a report today says that work will start on this section of 745 metres shortly. Three million euros have been found by the authorities and the paperwork is well underway. This eventual part of the 'Maritime Promenade' would take around 14 months to build and would have a bike-path, gardens, and a whopping 145 parking spots. The chiringuitos should look interesting after they have been drastically remodelled by the project...