Friday, August 17, 2018

Keep España Tidy

Our local English-language radio station Spectrum has this excellent campaign to clean up the beaches.
Spanish beaches are often filthy (as are the verges of almost all roads, the countryside and anywhere else which is is outside the private home). Spaniards, so generous and thoughtful towards people they know, meet or inter-react with, appear to have no concern for the public in general - and will often be surprised to find that - for example - they are inadvertently blocking the way... or having an innocent chat in front of a zebra crossing... or leaving a quantity of trash near to a dustbin rather than in it.
The Mojácar beaches, it must be said, are cleaned daily and are in great shape (a cost which must be borne by the tax-payer). But those who visit will often leave their wrappers, fag-ends, bottles, cans and cardboard trash behind them, saying 'well, the cleaners get paid to pick it up and they need the job' (which is a bit like punching someone in the mouth and saying 'the dentist needs the job').
In Almería, on the popular Playa de Zapillo, the accrued trash by nightfall is astonishing. Mounds of garbage. The Almerians like to picnic on the beach, and will bring chairs, a table, an umbrella, a cold-box and a radio. Not all of it is returned, needless to say.
Wandering along the beach the other night, barefoot in the sand, I could see not only the surprising amount of crap on the beach, but also a fair amount of it floating in the water. Then two young black kids, exercising nearby, surprised me by picking up the litter on that patch of sand, and taking it to the nearest dustbin.
It may be a cultural thing, but it is surprising to see few if any campaigns about keeping this beautiful country clean.
So, well done Spectrum.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It's Been a Long Summer...


While we shudder quietly over the story in The Mirror of the elderly British tourist who found ‘too many Spaniards’ on her Benidorm holiday (here) and the report in The S*n which says that sneaky Spanish inspectors are ‘counting the towels’  draped on the terraces to find the illegal apartment lets, and the ‘go ahead and jump’ advice to those tourists in Barcelona with a balcony (here in Público); we can begin – those of us who don’t own souvenir shops or flag-waving bars – to consider that it’s now the second-half of August: not long left before this splendid and beautiful country settles down to the quieter season, when we residents will once again be able to appreciate our surroundings – and wonder why we are never mentioned or considered in the tourist-hungry literature of the Spanish resorts despite our wealth, support and enthusiasm for this, our chosen country of residence.

Monday, August 06, 2018

It Ain't What You Do, It's the Way That You Do It

Lenox Napier, the tone-deaf writer from Spanish Shilling, has received special recognition this week from a Tibetan reader was has honoured the scribbler by awarding him with the prestigious Cringing Wowser award, a rare distinction which has only been given to one other person so far - Walt Disney's nurse Ethel.
'This is for all my readers', said Napier nervously, holding the small award between his fingers, 'and is no doubt down to my time working in the feminist movements, making sure that they are written about with sensitivity in my various books, including "My Time as a Double Glazer" and "Charity Begins at Home"'.
Pressed to say more and help fill out the article, Napier added, 'It goes back to my years with "Six Toes", an association which helped Buddhist mathematicians living in the Orkney Islands with their homework'.
'I once found a woman on my doorstep, and sent her home', says Napier, 83, as he tried to swap the award in the local nick-nack shop for its monetary value.