Sunday, 20 December 2015

Snow in Guardamar!

Santa greets; spot the snow falling!
 As far as I know, the last time it snowed in Guardamar was in 1957. A friend, Joaquín, tells me that he was just a young boy at the time. He was playing in the street when white flakes started falling from the sky. He was so frightened by this unknown phenomenon that he ran home.

Well, now there is snow again in Guardamar!

In addition to the usual street decorations, the Christmas tree and the Belén (which this year has moved from within the town hall to the main square), Guardamar has erected a small but rather fine Christmas village in the Avenida de las Pinos, at the entrance to the Reina Sofía park, which can be found in that street.

The amazing flying sleigh and Santa's house
The little village includes play areas for children, a number of elf-sized buildings, pointy-eared elves, Father Christmas’s own house, and an elevated area, where Father Christmas meets and greets more or less scared children (who, after having spoken to the Man in Red, can then leave by going down a slide!). Here, too, the children get to see and feel snow, for behind the Santa area is a snow-making machine that produces a fine fall of snow. Given the temperature here, the snow has no chance of settling, of course, but the effect is excellent and there is plenty of white foam around to at least provide the illusion of snow.

In addition to the little Christmas village, a few stalls close by provide the germination of a Christmas market. Perhaps this will grow into something more substantial in coming years.
A couple of elves

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Mais ils sont fous, les Français?

The French have been juggling with the Le Pen clan for several years. Sadly, since the Front National was set up in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen, it has gained ever more popularity in France. Even more sadly, this increase in popularity has gained pace with the increasing misery of hundreds of thousands of other less fortunate members of the human race and, more lately, as a result of the terrorist activities on French soil.
Now, in the first round of the French regional election's, the Front National has made considerable gains in numbers of votes and this is very worrying. Why do people revert to mindless nationalism at times when sense and solidarity are required? Nationalism has been shown to be an ineffective, divisive tool, offering no long-term solution. There are sufficient examples in recent history to show that nationalism fails, fails, and fails again: Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, Spain under Franco. Is there really any need to look further to learn the lesson?

Come off it, people of France! You should be wiser than to turn to nationalism. Consider your country's motto, "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité." If that doesn't speak against nationalism, then I don't know what does.

Hopefully, by the second round of the regional elections, you, les Français, will have come to your senses, and will reject all of the Front National candidates.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Trump trumps Trump

We all know that Donald Trump is a megalomaniac fool. Yet, despite his ridiculous outbursts during the past few weeks, he has now even managed to trump himself with the totally bonkers call to ban all Moslems from entering the USA.

Yes, Donny, that’s really going to solve the problem of Daesh terrorism, isn’t it.

Do you really think that true Moslems have anything, anything whatsoever, to do with Daesh? Islam is a peaceful religion (well, as peaceful as any organised religion is) and Daesh’s use of that religion is pure and simple manipulation.

Donny, boy, your pronouncements serve only to whip up the xenophobia, the prejudice, the white power, the Christian fundamentalism that exists just below the surface of America.

Take detention and write 500 lines, “I must constantly endeavour to shut up.”