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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't always answer or open attachments.
The Train, The Station and, Where's Gordon Goodie When You Need Him
Wednesday 17 December 2014 - 23:06:37
The Government continues with its epic plans to whizz Almerians out of the province at high speed on the AVE. One day. A while from now. Meanwhile, rather than waiting on the platform for the departure of the bullet train to Murcia, you should probably consider taking the bus. There's talk of making the two lanes, the two tracks, hither and yon, recently reduced to one track (hither and yon), back into two. It must be election year. Some good news about the AVE is the announcement to curtail the grandiose plans for a Vera pit-stop. The large station would have served, not the existing community and the old duck with her suitcase full of potatoes who wanted to go to Pulpí, but the Llano Central, the huge artificial city planned by the PSOE (and those pringaos who bought up the land concerned) stretching uncomfortably behind Garrucha as far as Turre, Antas, and Vera: 55sq kilometres of second-line hotels, golf courses and delightful residences (some of which would have been raised on the ruins of Len and Helen Prior's home outside Vera). Currently, the talk is of a small train-station. Still, with a bit of bunting we could sparkle it up a lot. Gordon was unavailable for comment.
The Gran Hotel, the old place on the corner in the Big Al opposite the port, is closing down on December 23rd. It was a wonderful place when I used to stay there sometimes in the sixties with my parents (it took two full days to get a paper signed and stamped in quadruplicate in those days, not just one like it is today: hurrah for progress). Famous spaghetti actors would wander through the bar wearing jeans and drinking Jack Daniels (a fellow used to make it in the kitchens). The rooms had hot and cold running water. What a shame to see it go.
Later: The same newspaper says on Monday that a group has shown interest in renting the hotel for ten years off the owner Miguel Rifá.
Cereal Killers: Spain's Bars and Restaurants to Warn of Allergens
Friday 12 December 2014 - 01:48:29
Are you worried about eating and drinking out in a public establishment ('establishement', as they say here)? No, not for the hang-over or the very rare Montezuma's Revenge, or the prices, or bumping into someone boring. No, I mean the hidden allergens in your food: traces of nuts or crustaceans, sesame oil or cereals. Worry no longer. Brussels, in its infinite Wisdom, has decreed that from today, all bars and restaurants must list all potentially allergenic ingredients in their products. Including such treasures as gluten-free chips, nut-less hamburgers and de-cerealed shrimp. 340,000 establishments in Spain must now post this information. I can imagine the fellow with the dirty rag and the harassed look chanting the platos del día to his customers, with the new details. ...and then leaving the little sachets of olive oil on the table, law for a year or so already... 'How would they know?', asked the President of Aepnaa, the Association for Persons with Allergies towards Food and Latex (I'm not making this up), 'especially at Christmas with all the extra customers packing in'... The whole thing is nuts.
Google News España is closing its service for national coverage as from December 16th, thanks to the new rules from the Government, the 'Ley de Propiedad Intelectual', known popularly as the 'Google Tax'. News-links will therefore not receive extra readership through the Google service. Other 'aggregators' will no doubt follow before the end of the year. The 'Google Tax' is an idea to tax all aggregators (those who quote other sources and provide a link) and to pass the monies collected (less the usual service charge retained by the pringaos concerned) to the association of daily newspapers called the AEDE. Regardless of where the link may have come from. This is meant to help those (struggling) dailies, whose distribution numbers are steadily falling month on month. The quid pro quo is clearly for the newspapers to keep the Government sweet and reduce unseemly criticism. It's a form of censorship, with news from special interests, advertisers and Government sources gathering power and influence against bloggers, journalists and independent thinkers. The fines will be massive. Three of the largest newspapers lost their editors in 2014, thanks to Government pressure (El Mundo, El País and La Vanguardia). So, will the Google Tax really change things? Will Menéame, Yahoo News and so on have to close down? Will I be able to link to my own sites without paying the AEDE for the privilege? How about Facebook and Twitter? Luckily, a weekly news-letter sent by e-mail, such as Business over Tapas, will be able to continue (until they think of some other form of censorship)
Two pieces from the webpage La Opinión de Almería, with rather different numbers, regarding the readership of our local Spanish press. For example, La Voz de Almería prints 5,325 useful copies (many are sent to town halls and other public offices), while the readership (according to the EGM) is a refreshing 78,000. Useful information for the advertising agencies. That's an average of 15 people per copy printed. So remember, leave your newspaper behind for the next person... Mind you, there are 700,000 people living in the province, so still room for improvement. Maybe it's all true, perhaps the modest Internet readership is added to the pot, but I can't help doubting it.
Spain is a great place to live and many foreign residents would love to continue to stay here. But... The country has so many problems, so much corruption, stupidity and unfairness (see the story about the new 'Exit Tax' from Hacienda no doubt in this week's freebies... or for subscribers over at Business over Tapas). Here's part of a letter I got today:'...We're now making preparations to start down-sizing and selling up next year. We've had enough of all this shite...so have the neighbours. They're selling up too...'.The Health Minister has just resigned over accusations of corruption. A senior regional politician has been jailed. For corruption. The two previous presidents of Andalucía are both under investigation. For corruption. An obscure Marxist party will probably win the next National Elections, since the mainstream politicians are - in large part - thought to be venal and corrupt (and appear to have no plans to change this reputation, beyond a senior PP figure saying today that they would be prepared to enter into a post-electoral coalition with the PSOE - rather confirming the suspicion that it doesn't matter who you vote for). Unemployment, down slightly this month, is still unacceptable at 24%, with 35% in socialist-run Andalucía. Meanwhile, demolishing British-owned homes in Almería does not, to use the old American catch-phrase, 'play well in Peoria', leading to a massive disinvestment from northern European settlers.Such a wonderful country: such a mess.
The most contaminating power stations in Spain... has the first, and worst, in a place called Andorra, in Teruel - sort of in the 'quinto pino', the middle of nowhere. It belongs to Endesa. The second worst in Spain, also in Teruel, has recently been closed down (Escucha). The third, is our very own and deeply beloved Carboneras Endesa plant. It produces 1158.9MW, although it certainly is not consumed locally. Rather fun, it is decorated with an Indalo... A story has it that the good people of Bédar are particularly punished by the smog that is pumped out of Carboneras, that dirty line of brown haze that you can see wherever you are, a bit like a rainbow (hence the Indalo), never landing quite where you are standing. Only in reality, yes it does. Of course, in Mojácar, the power is always going out when it rains, or it's windy, or just because...
There's nothing quite like one's own lavatory, at least, a leading Socialist and head of the Instituto Andaluz de la Juventud over in Cadiz thinks so. When the office moved to a new building, the director of the institute insisted that his personal lavvy should be dismounted and installed in his new suite, much to the glee of his opponents. Turns out that November 19th was the International Day of the Privy - know that there is a marked lack of them in some quarters. Luckily, the young politician from the PSOE-A is partial to a clean and personal potty, it probably helps him think. Story here.
Mojacar has made a promotional video, here, which is about people in 2044 remembering their jolly visit to the resort in 2014. Evidently, they never went back. The video runs most of the old chestnuts and, since it's for the domestic market (it is, right?), no foreign-born resident sullies the glory. No doubt the actors enjoyed themselves, although, as David says, the girl looks decidedly chilled as she braves the water in what must be late October...