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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't always answer or open attachments.
No More Beach Bars (but you can drink in your room)
Tuesday 03 January 2017 - 12:02:19
A cringing article in La Voz de Almería is titled: 'Mojácar - Goodbye to the Beach Bars'. It's about how our Dearly Belovèd is extending the beach promenade, with its walkway, bicycle path, gardens (jobs for the townsfolk), sea-wall, steps, showers and sundry other attractions which would no doubt put Butlins to shame. To do this, the pathway must cut between the beach bars and the sea, when there's room, or straight through them when there isn't. Coupled to this, the beach promenade would be built higher than the current beach bars, relieving them not only of their direct access and their sunbeds, but of their view. The new beach kiosks would be rather small and lacklustre affairs with little room for more than a bar and a barstool. But Mojácar's technocrats decided years ago that they wanted a cheap n cheerful resort, designed around small apartments, featureless all-inclusive hotels, ajo colorao, fireworks, ribbon races and slightly embarrassing souvenir shops (just wait until the Chinese tourists get here, taking back home their newly acquired 'Made in China' treasures). The beach is to become a bourgeois sea and sand resort, with little charm and less character. The village to be a sort of Disneyville. Somebody will be making money for a spell, and then later blaming the foreigners when the tourism begins to die... The article in La Voz says that Mojácar wants 'family tourism'. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, the Mirador in the Plaza Nueva has been demolished and work continues to turn it into a giant town hall building (with astonishing views). The new viewpoint, when completed, will be 50cms higher than the old one, and will feature on one side of it the housing for an elevator. We only hope there is enough room for the four cafés that currently claim space there.
They say that there are basically three ways for the Brits in Spain to make ends meet - either from funds from 'back home' (rent, transfers, pensions and what have you) or making some business here in Spain (very difficult to do) or, of course, relying on your wits - which generally means ripping off fellow Brits. Indeed, in all the time I've been here, it's always been the Brits (or in one case, my wife's family) who emptied my wallet. Still, as I slowly eat my Christmas Welsh Rarebit, I think, should I forgive them all? Nah.
Over at Business over Tapas, I wrote last week about the big political upsets of this year - ten months without a government in Spain; the inopportune result in the British referendum (and how it will affect we Brits living in Spain) and, of course, the victory of Donald Trump in the USA. While Spain now has a government (not perhaps a very honest one) and the PSOE is reduced to a quivering wreck lying in 'third place' behind Podemos, things have still not come to a head with either the Brexit or the eccentric future American President (who is already talking about building more 'nukes'). In 2017, Donald Trump (or his replacement) will be crowned on January 20th. In late March, the ridiculous Brexit will be implemented with 'Article 50' (and the UK will fall to pieces), and, in Spain later this year, the Catalonians will either have a referendum of their own on independence from Spain, or will be somewhat peeved if they are told by Madrid that they can't. Tanks in Barcelona? We live in interesting times.
I had a call from a nice South American lady the other day, working for Movistar, Bless her. She said that, since I had the phone, mobile phone and Internet package, I was due the TV 'Movistar plus' deal with eighty channels. So, the next day, a man arrives and puts in the digibox doodad connected to an old TV I had in the attic. I'm not much of a TV person, but well, if it's free, it's free, right? So last night, I watched some TV for once. Some American 'soaps'. And, keeping vaguely in the theme, almost all the adverts were about 'perfumes' for ladies and indeed gents (usually shown in English with subtitles). Who would have guessed that there was such a demand for these products? Alarmingly, the thrust of the adverts was, in the men's case, that a heavy squirt across the abs is enough to get a splendid-looking lady to acquiesce to any idea one might have... Cor! Until now, I've always gone with soap and talc... and lonely nights in Mojácar pueblo: but now, doused in perfume, this will be changing.
The prestigious Entertainer Online® Mojaquero of the Year Award 2016 goes to local resident Brad Swift and his wife Ann for their sterling work in keeping all of us informed, entertained and involved with their Mojacar Forumhere. We've been cleaning the beaches, trying out the restaurants, choosing our favourite wines and digging deep for local charity thanks to the efforts of the Mojacar Forum team, which include David Mayne, Judi Heavens and Ric Harley. Who else but Brad would have us in our undies, swimming on January 1st in the Med? The box of chocs is in the mail...
It's an old story about how the PP candidate for the Mojácar town hall was adding a rather large number of outsiders to the padrón shortly before the last election. Older still, the story of the postal votes back in 2011 which reached a rather remarkable 20% of the entire ballots cast. Old stories, apocryphal. In 2011, eight of the nine Mojácar parties denounced the situation to the courts. Nothing came of this. In 2015, one of the defeated parties returned to the courts, but again, the complaint was shelved. Now, the local PSOE has returned to the fray with fresh evidence of ballot stuffing. If criminal proof of election fraud were to be determined, fresh elections would not be a solution (we must wait until 2019 for these). Possibly, the second on the list of the PP, the ineffable Emmanuel Agüero, would take the helm if Rosmari fell from grace...
I've been involved with providing news about Spain since 1985. Some of it makes its way here, some more can be found on the Business over Tapas page on Facebook and, for a useful and full weekly report for property owners and investors, there's the Business over Tapas newsletter available from here. I'll send you a complementary no obligation issue if you ask nicely...
No, really, it's good to be home. The recent rains have done wonders to the garden, and although the water is off this morning, everything looks clean, damp and refreshed. The macerator over in the Marina de la Torre duly and noisily ground up and pumped out its five thousand gallons of tourist poop into the Med this morning at 6.00am, waking up the neighbourhood (I'm about 2 kilometres away). Here's hoping they have water over there in the hotels.... The Mirador - the viewpoint up in Mojácar village is no more (see Spanish Shilling for a photo). They say they will have it re-built, a little higher, by Easter (to be turned into the new town hall next winter, when there's nobody in the village again).
I was asked to help correct a short essay on why cannabis should be legalised. A few spelling errors and a re-work of a couple of points and voilá: all done. But, I asked, isn't that rather a bad idea, your essay is part of an entry for a government post in - gasp! - the USA. No, it's all changing over there: marijuana is now seen as beneficial, a good tax-earner, harmless and is only illegal because of the twin evils of big corporarate greed (especially from, naturally enough, the drug companies) and from the narcotic drug pushers and their crime lord bosses, who would understandably hate to see it legalised. You don't have to be a 'user' to be a supporter. Here in Spain, where users abound in large numbers (and supporters too), we read of the cops finding plantations of weed on a daily basis - here's today's story in Ideal ('Two arrested for transporting 108 marijuana plants in a refrigerated lorry'). In Spain, for Goodness sake. The War on Weed is over - the Americans are giving up and spending their efforts on more important things. Spain currently allows one to (quietly) grow a plant or two for home-consumption. Meanwhile, money is wasted on expensive lawyers and overcrowded jails. Legalise and tax it!
Until recently, Mojácar was famous for its bars. It had (has?) after all, more drinking spots than Norwich. My dad built and opened the first foreign bar here - La Sartén - in 1967, but, in truth, there were a couple of places which were going even before then - El Montemar and El Rancho del Mar were both French/Algerian restaurants located on the beach (Franco gave the pied-noirs special privileges in Spain), and in the village, there was the El Pimiento disco, run by Felipe Kirsch (French Morocco) and the Zuri Guri, a small club run by Julia Hope and some partners from Madrid. Anyhow, lots of bars in the village, lots more on the beach. Mojácar is now more famous as a member of the 'beautiful villages of Spain' and a place to buy cheap souvenirs while staying at an all-inclusive hotel on the way to Garrucha than a party-town and the birthplace of the Indalo. It all makes sense to someone. Anywho, the resort was host earlier this week to a celebration and meetings for 'World Alcohol-free Day'. Now, if that doesn't sound fun, I don't know what does.