My email

My email

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Doctor, Palm Weevil and Trip

Firstly I have received a number of complaints about the male, locum, doctor who has been covering recently for Maria. There is a process for registering complaints but it has to be in writing. If anyone wishes to record their complaint please call into the Town Hall and Jose and/or I will assist with the completion of the paperwork.

Secondly I have been informed that, probably due to the mild winter, a number of the Palm Weevil insects have been seen in peoples gardens. As you probably know this bug is a particularly destructive one relative to Palm trees. Many of us have, over the past few years, lost many trees. If you have palm trees I would advise starting treatment soon. 

Lastly just a note about the trip to the observatory this Friday. It is now fully subscribed and leaves from the Petrol Station in La Alfoquia at 1000.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Exciting Opportunity

Calling all star gazers!

Recently the people responsible for the Calar Alto observatory near Gergal have started to try and promote the observatory as an astro tourism destination and, to that end, they have contacted me to try and arrange an english speaking visit. It would be the first english speaking event held at the observatory.

The visit would commence at the observatory at 10.0am Friday 25th March with a talk/digital presentation to give the visitor a background to the work of the observatory and the quality of the science achieved here.After the presentation there will be the opportunity to visit one of the dome telescopes typically one of the 3.5metre ones.

The visit would cost €10 per person. I am trying to organise a coach but not sure yet whether I can get a subsidy for it or not.

I need to have confirmed numbers by Monday next, so if this interests you please contact me asap. Or if you know of anyone who may be interested get them to contact me. This need not be restricted to Zurgeneros although they would obviously have first pick.

I am informed that it is one of the most important observatories in Europe and this is an amazing opportunity.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Badminton and Paella Lesson

In furtherance of our aim to provide as wide a variety of sport and fitness options as possible this evening at 7.0pm a new Badminton group is starting in the Pabellon in Zurgena at 7.0pm. The cost will be very low but depends on the numbers. I think we are charging about 15 euros for the group to use the facilities so it will be divided between the numbers playing.

The group is being run by a man called Ferry and his telephone number is 604121352.

As promised our Deputy Mayor, Lola Antas, is to do another cookery demonstration . This time on Paella. We will do this next again in the Renfe at 11.0am on the morning of Sunday 10th April. As we need to know the numbers to ensure sufficient quantities of food and wine can you let me know by email if you intend going. Use my usual email address of If we end up with more than about 20 we may need people to bring their own wine! Don't want to run out!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

International Womens Day

Last evening in the Pleno room of the Town Hall we held a meeting in celebration of International Womens Day. The room was packed and those attending enjoyed a speech by our Andalusian Parliament member (and local resident )Adela Segura. We also enjoyed two videos regarding the struggle for equality for women and the life of Pacqui Serrano a long standing and well respected local resident.

Then ladies who had been nominated, due to various contributions to the local community, were each presented with an individually named ceramic plate. What was particularly pleasing was the inclusion of the expat community and the presentation to 3 ladies from that community who had each, in their own way, through their voluntary and/or charitable work contributed to the benefit of our villages and the celebration of women role.

These ladies were Diane Drummond from Palaces, Pam Tilley from Los Llanos del Peral and Janet Smith from Cucador. These ladies have variously worked hard in raising funds for the poor, setting up food banks, organising the collection of goods for charity, supported charitable theatre work, provided logistical and physical help to the Town Hall and the library. Thanks were given by the Mayor and Adela to our 3 ladies and a number of local ladies. Unfortunately Janet was in the Uk and sorely disappointed to miss the event.

I have to add my thanks to Lianne Satterthwaite (from SRS Vehicle Services) for voluntarily attending and interpreting for our nominees.

Me Pam, Diane and Luis

The audience

Me, Noelia (Councillor), Lola Antas (Dep Mayor), Paqui Serrano, Adela Segura and Luis

Friday, March 11, 2016

Voluntary Groups and Library

I have been contacted by the British Consulate who are looking at options to support expat groups who conduct work for the benefit of the social or health welfare of the expat community. If you are or know of any such groups please get them to get in touch with me so that I can forward their details to the consulate.

Secondly just a reminder about the Town Hall library and now has in excess of 400 english books. The library is up the street which runs from the top right hand corner by the public telephone off the main square in Zurgena (Plaza del Olmo). Next door to the bar. It is on the second floor. Its hours of opening at the moment are 10.0am until 1230pm. It will be closed due to holidays during the period 17th to 27th March but Pam Tilley is going to open it on the 18th, 21st and 23rd.  If you have not used it before just pop in and if you prefer to deal with an english speaker then see Pam on these dates.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Day Trip

The Deputation of Almeria have arranged a day trip to Cuevas de Sorbas on 3rd April.

The trip has the following agenda

1000 Reception in Los Yesares
1015 Depart for La Vega de Sorbas.
1230 Visit to the museum of Ceramica
1400 Lunch
1600 Visit to the caves of Sorbas (basic route)

To register for this visit you need to call into the Town Hall and complete a registration form and pay €20. This includes the bus from La Alfoquia all entries and lunch.

If you wish to partake of this trip please call into the Town Hall and ask for me or Jose  Manuel or Lola and complete the registration form.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Meeting 2nd March

We had an evening meeting on Wednesday 2nd March from 7.30 until 9.30pm.

The first thing we did was to agree a new contract with new solicitors to act for the Town Hall. We felt that the previous team were becoming too expensive for the work that was needed.

We then discussed a number of issues  and grants available to us including the options regarding support for preschool age children and the maintenance and cleaning of the schools. This discussion also included reference to an organisation who we think could provide a much improved service for the elderly. Our Deputy Mayor, Lola, is managing these issues.

We then discussed the employment issues around the number of workers and hours available to us through the help for unemployed scheme. We discussed the various things we wanted to use these workers for over the coming months.

We are progressing the smart phone application which I have a meeting about next Tuesday. The money is available for it and we only need to agree the pricing for it and the content. Hope we can have it activated in April.

As an aside I have some friends who, due to a recent incident, decided to install security cameras. They have 4 high definition camera installed with a hub and these cover the entire outside area of their property. The captured video is viewable on their TV or smart phone. The cost of the 4 cameras with installation was €400. If anyone is interested contact me and I will put you in touch with them and they can give you the contact number.

Andreas has returned from his short trip New York to visit his cousin. He thoroughly enjoyed his trip.

The Town Hall members who had been at the Renfe for Andalucia Day were pleased so many went to learn the Migas thing. Lola will organise another similar event in a few weeks. Which hopefully I will be able to spend a bit longer and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sundays Walk PGOU Update

This is the detail for our walk this Sunday

We are continuing to apply pressure on the powers that be in Almeria and Seville to get our PGOU passed to the commission. Luis and I are considering having another meeting with the department responsible in Almeria in the near future unless we can see progress. It is a highly complicated situation, (when it should not be!) which is why we are being circumspect in our approach and trying to ensure the best way forward is adhered to. Please rest assured we are doing all we can and will continue to do until we get agreement.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Continued Donations

The congregation of the Church at Los Llanos del Peral continue to collect and donate bags of food for the needy of the villages. Below is a photo of todays donation.

For Christmas they donated 21 bags of food. They then delivered 9 at the end of January and these 11 today. These bags of food are collected from the congregation each Sunday and then they try and make each bag balanced with protein, carbohydrates and  fruit. These are then distributed to the families registered with Social Services as in need.

Our thanks to them for their generosity.