Day 58 - "Bombs and Bonfires"

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Day fifty eight. Life behind the police lines in Lockdown Spain for a British couple and their three good legs cat. Today Bombs and Bonfires

Find out more at: https://www.thesecretspain.com

Day 58 Bombs and Bonfires

It is Day 58 of our Spanish Lockdown, and what a miserable wet day it has been, chilly too. It is quite annoying that the UK is enjoying good weather and we have had, well really quite British weather.

A few days ago, we had a massive fire along the vega – the reed beds between Salobreña and Motril, destroying many acres of natural wild habitat. It looks like it was started by yet another bonfire that got out of control.

Several times a year we suffer from bonfires that are uncontrolled, burning whole sides of beautiful rugged mountain landscape, destroying acres of plains, leaving a blackened scorched waste.

Here between certain months of the year you are allowed to burn agricultural rubbish, leaves and the like, although judging by the acrid black smoke sometimes, the odd bit of plastic waste too. The bonfires contribute to the poor quality of air we sometimes suffer here.

I can only describe it as the choking, smoky night after bonfire night in the UK. I have no idea why farmers and small holdings are not made to compost garden and agricultural waste, as they are in the UK, or incorporate it back into the fields, instead in one of the driest regions of Europe, sometimes tinder dry, they can light a bonfire and choke the air with smoke.

The bonfire that got out of hand in Salobreña was also lit in an area outside the town curfew, so the Lockdown rules had been ignored. It has left a great blackened scar along the coastline, I hope the person responsible feels thoroughly ashamed, but I doubt it.

Day 58 and a chat on Skype with mind coach and hypnotherapist Steve Simpson who is planning a new Podcast. He was speaking from a lovely part of Essex – Burnham on Crouch, probably one of the poshest parts of the county, where everyone has their own boat and makes that strange posh laughing sound. … when they hear something funny.

We talked about synchronicity how certain events lead to others and all of them seem to be interconnected.

If it wasn’t for my friend Diane, helping me get my first radio job and then when she left to work for LBC, I sort of followed her along and ended up at the radio station, I wouldn’t have had a career in radio.

It took me nearly a year to break free of the audio department and start working on Engineering live and recorded shows. What a relief but what a horror, as I had to work shifts, that included night work.

I don’t know if you have ever worked a night shift. Some people enjoy it others do not, I fall into that latter category. Night-time is for sleeping. Nights on the radio are populated by weirdos and insomniacs and sometimes insomniac weirdos.

One of my jobs later on was to answer the calls from listeners, some just wanted to call for a chat, some just rang called you an Effing C, hoped you die of cancer, and then would hang up.

Once I took a call from an Irish Man with a strong southern accent, he told me he had planted a bomb at Victoria Station and then he gave me a codeword, which for obvious reasons I am not going to repeat.

We had a special form to fill in to keep those bomb callers talking, I tried desperately to find it amongst the mountain of paperwork in the studio, as he was talking, but to no avail. As soon as he hung up, I dialled 999 and was put through to Scotland Yard, they asked me what he said, and did he give me a codeword? I said yes and told them what it was. They said thanks and hung up, immediately evacuating Victoria Coach Station. It turned out to be a hoax on that occasion.

To begin with LBC had a trained Counsellor to take the overnight calls from the nutters, but it turned out all the calls were from nutters. Then LBC radio, very early on, hit a financial crisis, the advertising revenue dried up and a large number of Journalists were made redundant.

But they kept the Counsellor, the reason? He had a bicycle, and as they could not afford the radio car, they pressed him into service covering London news stories holding a walkie talkie as he cycled past police lines, as the BBC and their radio car was being held back, so he scooped a number of stories, broadcasting live to air on just a walkie talkie.

His name was Jon Snow and he is now one of the most respected Journalists in the UK, regularly presenting Channel 4 news since its inception in 1982.

Day 58 and it’s three o’clock in the morning and I am awake. Once more I have just had an anxiety dream. This time I couldn’t find my train ticket to get home from work at the radio station, there were lots of young kids, well twenty-year olds, laughing at my incompetence, one round face girl came up to me and said, ‘do you need some help?’ I said thanks and she helped me look for the orange ticket to get me home,

“Where have you got to get back to?” she asked, I answered “Southern Spain” she didn’t blink an eyelid .. well that stuff happens in dreams doesn’t it.

Then suddenly I was out on the streets of London, lost, trying to find the tube station and right line to get me back to Spain. Every corner I turned seemed strange, I didn’t know where I was, then I woke up.

Today the Spanish Government announced that anyone now travelling to Spain will have to go into self-appointed quarantine for 14 days! So I guess that ends any chance of international tourism this summer in Spain?

It is going to mean for many businesses that rely on tourism, some tough months ahead.

Meanwhile, according to The Seaside Gazette, the Town Hall at Velez Malaga have awarded themselves a whopping salary increase, their Mayor will receive over sixty-three thousand Euros and expenses paid in 14 payments, as Functionarios in the Town Hall get double payments in July and December, whilst the Town Hall is in effect closed.

So it really is a tale of two cities in Velez Malaga, the poor businesses and the wealthy Town Hall.. right in the middle of Spain’s most challenging times in its recent history.

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