Tuesday, April 25, 2017


El Centro Ecuestre Albero

     Some photos from this past Sunday. Loli and her students ride their beautiful horses in La Cañada.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Aldous Huxley Wrote a Poem about Almería

 Aldous Huxley in Almería, ninety years ago.

Almería: December 3, 1930

Winds have no moving emblems here, but scour
A vacant darkness, an untempered light;
No branches bend, never a tortured flower
Shudders, root-weary, on the verge of flight;
Winged future, withered past, no seeds, nor leaves
Attest those swift invisible feet: they run
Free through a naked land, whose breast receives
The whole fierce ardour of a naked sun.
Thou hast the Light for lover; fortunate Earth!
Conceive the fruit of his divine desire.
But the dry dust is all she brings to birth,
That child of clay by even celestial fire.
 Then come, soft rain and thunder clouds, abate
 This shining love that has the force of hate.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


The Sun Has Gone Out

Here’s where we are, and our apologies for another Brexit-related editorial. Michael Howard – a past Leader of the Conservatives and an ex-home secretary under John Major – suggests (no doubt in jest) that Britain would go to war against Spain over Brexit. Mrs May produces her walrus-laugh for the cameras, Spain is appalled by this political gaff and gunboat diplomacy, the British residents in Spain are understandably alarmed, and Gibraltar is stuck (forgive us) between a rock and a hard place.
Now, Spain wants Gibraltar – that’s no secret – but it’s not stupid. It has offered a joint sovereignty with the UK, giving Gib full access to the EU – or failing that, it would consider the colony to be outside the borders of the European Union and would, simply, close the gate. It has never suggested ‘invasion’, so Michael Howard needs to be robustly disciplined by his boss.
One Spanish commentator we like suggests that Spain keep Gibraltar... and give the UK Benidorm instead.
The United Kingdom, of course, is interested in trade. Brexit was about closing down everything else, but never trade. The UK inexplicably hopes for the same amount of trade with the EU as it currently enjoys – but it won’t get it without a price.
Well, we know that Spain wants Gibraltar. It will also – out of pique – put a spoke in London’s wheel by relaxing its opposition to a second referendum for Scotland. Fine, what else does Whitehall have to discuss in the next two years? What, in short, of the other twenty six EU states? 
Holland might want the British to consume more drop; Germany would like that 1966 goal disallowed; France apparently wants London to negotiate with Brussels in French (Heh!). We all know what the Republic of Ireland wants and maybe, for all we know, Romania’s proposal is that the British need to drive on the other side of the road by 2020. Maybe Portugal wants a larger slice of the fisheries and Greece wants its marbles back (so, for that matter, does Michael Howard).
You can’t fight all of these wars, Mrs May, not if you want to keep the trade in place.

Friday, March 31, 2017


What a cachonfinger!

From The Telegraph comes the story 'Outrage as Spain and EU accused of using Brexit to take back Gibraltar, as MPs say Britain will "not be bullied" '.
'Outrage'? Didn't those poor idiots see this coming?
But look on the bright side. There was always the issue of what European language would become the official language of the EU, following the humiliating departure of the UK. It would be silly if it were English, a language officially spoken by no one. But wait, my sorrowful and monolingual friends. Gibraltar Español! So, the future official language of the EU need not change from what it is today since there'll be a bit (a jolly small bit) of the EU wot speaks English. 
Or rather, 'Gibraltarian'!


The New Map of the European Union

For some reason, we seem to have lost Almería as well.

Monday, March 27, 2017


A Couple of Posters for our Town

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


A few Pictures from San José (Cabo de Gata) Last Weekend.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


You Can't Say That!

The freedom of expression – the First Amendment to the United States Constitution – is the right to say or write (or sing) what you like. Within civilized limits perhaps? Here in Spain, we have that freedom; mostly. It was understood that one didn’t insult the Royal Family (‘lèse-majesté’) or champion ETA or other forms of terrorism (even though the ETA is a dead duck these days). It was also understood that one insulted Christianity and Islam at one’s own risk.
So, we have a number of cases recently of people being arrested and either threatened with prison or indeed being condemned for inappropriate songs, posts, tweets and commentary. Some of these are attracting a lot of attention, while the Courts evidently appear to the Public Eye to be dealing leniently with white-collar and political crime.
The gay creature that dressed up as the Virgin Mary and suffers a parody of crucifixion in Las Palmas as part of the carnivales there being a case in point. As The Olive Press says: ‘...The performance, by Borja Casillas (aka Drag Sethlas), has provoked an embittered debate, and at its centre is Bishop Francisco Casas, who accused Casillas of ‘frivolous blasphemy’...’. A proposal to investigate the issue further by the Canaries prosecutor has now been initiated following a complaint by the Christian Lawyers Association, says El Huff Post here. A Canaries imam says ‘I can’t even imagine what would happen if they tried something similar with an image of Mohammed’ (here).
Meanwhile, a bus in Madrid, painted by a far-right Christian group called Hazte Oir, is impounded for advertising anti transsexual propaganda (‘a boy has a penis, a girl has a vulva’).
Meanwhile, others are in deeper water. The current round of arrests began with the titiriteros this time last year, two puppeteers imprisoned for five days for ‘celebrating terrorism’ in what was described by one woman who saw the show in Madrid as ‘rather less violent than Spongebob Squarepants’. They were eventually pardoned. More recently, we have heard of Cesar Strawberry, the punky Marxist singer from Def Con Dos who faces one year of jail-time for his songs.
This week, six ‘Twitterers’ were condemned in court for various improper postings on the Twitter platform. They posted humiliations and pro-terrorist remarks and received anything up to two years each (the normal limit for not actually going to jail for a first offence). Another poster, a girl from Murcia, with her joke about the assassination of Franco’s successor Carrero Blanco, must wait for a new defence lawyer – her previous one was a great supporter of the Caudillo apparently. So much for ‘black humour’, she says. The Mallorquín rapper, Valtonyc, now facing three and a half years for two offensive songs, has one of them on YouTube here. Three hundred thousand people have seen it so far.
A liberal judge says in an interview with El Diario: ‘Our criminal laws are very harsh with conduct linked to freedom of expression, as well as the criminalization of poverty. But they are extremely gentle with political and financial delinquency’. So what to do?
Rather oddly, the Minister for Justice says this week that ‘in Spain, no one is condemned for their songs or their opinions’. He blames the courts.
We are left with only this: should the accent be placed on the content of inappropriate speech – or on a better education for the speaker?

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