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.
I'm a peaceful enough individual, I put up with the usual shit and bollocks which sometimes goes down here with equanimity. I even put up with going, yesterday, to three different banks to give them my ID (apparently, they are on the look-out for terrorists and money launderers who are too stupid to keep their money in Switzerland). Fine. The first bank had a queue around the block and one of the two desks empty as the teller was off having his 'coffee'. Frankly, with just 200€ in the account, I gave up (I mean, how much terror can you do these days with just 200€?). The second bank had only a few people in front of me, but when I got to the 'ventanilla', the man says, 'yes, we have to take your ID number, again, in case you're a terrorist, but unfortunately our scanning device is broken. Can you come back tomorrow?'. The third bank had no one in it at all, a bad sign in my opinion. I was thinking I should probably clean out that account as well... But that's not what has upset me. The Town Hall of Mojácar is doing enormous amount of work, painting and cleaning during the run-up to the local elections next May 24th and this includes fucking with my street, which is a quiet lane out in the boonies. First, they abruptly decided to tarmac it (with the result that now the sand-lorries use it as a new short cut to the riverbed where our citizens traditionally like to furtively dump stuff) and today, without asking anyone, they are putting up street-lights. Now street-lights in Spain aren't a quiet and gentle affair. Here they are bright enough to find pimples. No more stars at night, just a violent and pointless light belching through any window that points in the direction of the street. Now if I want, I can read outside, by the light of the 10,000 watt new streetlamp... and of course piss inside, rather than the other way round. Fucking people.
How many foreign-born Mojaqueros will end up in the Mojácar Town Hall? There are thirteen seats up for grabs. Last time, the PP got 7 councillors, the UM10 got 3 and the PSOE, MPSM and CEM got one each. However, none of these parties, except Jessica Simpson's MPSM (now together with the IU, Podemos sympathisers and part of the CEM and all standing together as Somos Mojácar), have re-invented themselves. Will the PSOE vote, for example, suddenly triple to allow the British candidate at Nº 3 Andre Dos Santos to become a spokesperson for the British (and Brazilians)? Evidently not. So, how many ingleses (whether from the internationalist SOMOS Mojácar or elsewhere) will end up in the Town Hall? With things as they are, the more the better, but of course that's for the voters to decide.
The political groups presenting a list for the upcoming local elections (May 24th) have now been published by the provincial BOEs*. Mojácar has six parties: Angel Medina's Vox (no Brits), Manuel Zamora's PSOE (two Brits - apparently - at 3 and 5), Rosmari Cano's PP (one Brit at 9), Diego Gonzalez Ciudadanos (one Brit at 7), Diego García Union Mojaquera 10 (two Brits at 3 and 6) and Jessica Simpson's Somos Mojácar (several Brits at 1, 4, 5, 6 plus other nationalities etc...).
*The link doesn't work, so full details follow after the fold:
Bank accounts in Spain could be blocked at the end of this month unless some information is provided – apparently 'to stop money laundering and terrorism' (sic) - (the ones stupid enough not to keep their stash in Switzerland). Some banks are sending out forms to their clients demanding this information, but some banks apparently are not doing so. Everyone with a Spanish bank account should be aware of this requirement. There a link here which explains more.
In an intriguing example of the friendly rivalry of our two main parties, sometimes referred to as the PPSOE, the Socialist Mayor of Cobdar in Almería (Pop. 154) is running for the local elections this May with a different party. He'll be asking for the vote of the cobdareños as their PP candidate! In the same slightly quixotic vein, his son, independent mayor of Uleila del Campo, will also be asking for the PP vote in the local elections. What an earth could have changed their minds?
The new 'anti-sleaze' coalition in Mojácar politics, Somos Mojácar, is headed up by Jessica Simpson, an Englishwoman who has lived here for most of her life, is married to a Spaniard and has two kids going through the local school system. Is her party project weird? Perhaps not: while it's strictly an independent municipalist group, the idea is spreading: there's now both a Somos Turre and a Somos Garrucha.
Later: Here's a few more coalitions starting up across the province, inspired by Mojácar's proposal: Somos Cuevas, Somos Carboneras, Somos Chirivel and Somos Gador.
It's always struck me as odd that our Town Hall has no memorial photos or paintings of previous incumbents staring out at visitors from the walls of our Oval Office. Perhaps each incoming mayor knows too much about the outgoing one to want to have any sign of him (or her). In my opinion, the only good mayor we had was old Jacinto Alarcon, who took nothing from the job beyond a good reputation and the satisfaction of improving the lot of his town and its inhabitants. Here's the full list of mayors, from Franco's last years on to today: From early 'sixties until 1979. Jacinto Alarcón 1979 Paco Gonzalez (El Marullo) CDS 1983 Paco Gonzalez (El Marullo) 1985 Moción de CensuraJuan Morales became Mayor 1987 Bartólome Flores PSOE 1991 Bartólome Flores PSOE 1993 Moción de Censura Rosmari Cano PSOE joined PP lead by Juan García 1995 Juan García 1999 Salvador Esparza (Mojácar 2000) two separate alliances (2 years PSOE/IU and 2 years PP) 2003 Carlos Cervantes (IU) four party alliance (13 parties contested election) 2005 Moción de Censura José Luís Artero PA gave town hall to Gabriel Flores* PSOE (one year) and Rosmari Cano PP (one year), only, Gabriel betrayed Rosmari and held on for the two years. 2007 Rosmari Cano 2011 Rosmari Cano 2015...?
(*Gabriel now 2nd with Unión Mojaquera behind Diego García)
The Mojácar municipal gallery (the building that should have been an art museum, located above La Fuente) is showing this month what must be a roving exhibition called 'El Canto del Ave Fénix' which is a collection 'de arte outsider' (using the English word). The show is a collection of art put out by an association that looks after patients with mental illness. Unfortunately, brought up as we are to expect amazing wonders from disturbed geniuses, the reality is that the show is almost unremittingly terrible. The other point is that the Town Hall's culture department should be showing local artists rather than this kind of roving stuff proper for hospital hallways.
Almería is known as a remarkable place for artists to visit and, in Spanish circles, it is also known as an important place for artists to come from. Now the City has signed a contract for an important modern art museum: the Museo de Arte Doña Pakyta (that large white house with Tudor beams at the bottom of the Paseo). This will show Almería artists, including art from the Movimiento Indaliana (the artists who made Mojácar famous in the late fifties). A second venue, the Centro de Arte Museo de Almería, to hold a further collection. This is exciting stuff, as Cantón Checa, Luis de Perceval, Andrés García Ibañez (images) and a number of other important artists will finally have a permanent home in the capital.
That huge boxy-white hotel nailed onto the back of the once-ruined Palacio de Chamberrí (which building became the inspiration for those four hideous red things with tea-pots on them on the way to Garrucha) was never opened. Built, wired, polished and with the beds made, but never opened. Nine years closed, the giant and self-consciously ugly white elephant has sat on the end of the inexplicably one-wayed route through Marina de la Torre. Eternally shut. Now word comes that the president of the Roquetas Playa Senador Group, José María Rossell (who started out his professional life as a young waiter in Garrucha), is hinting that his company has plans to buy the hotel and will open it this season.