Vera – labyrinth of the Minotaur

AT the last minute I changed the title for the previous week’s article before emailing it for publication as it was going to be ‘Movistar are rubbish!’

The Gods smiled at my new title ‘White elephant’ and within 30 minutes of pressing ‘send’ my mobile rang. After12 weeks the engineer finally found my house to connect it to the 21st Century.

Petrol stations seem to get thinner on the ground. The Alfoquia one has recently closed as did the one on the A334 in Overa last year.

Anyone living on or near the A1101 which winds its way through the Filabres between Sorbas and Zurgena now has to travel to Los Gallardos, Antas or Arboleas to fill up. I have often wondered why nobody has yet invested in a fuel stop for Lubrin.

I mentioned to a client recently the idea that I had floated in this very newspaper about all of us picking up one piece of litter a day to help keep Spain tidy.

I was impressed to hear of a country wide scheme ‘down under’ that has run since 1990; with over 24 million man hours being donated since and over 200,000 tonnes of rubbish collected. It’s called Clean Up Australia Day and versions now run in 120 countries each year on the third weekend in September.

Funnily enough Spain is not one of the 120…… Yet! I have since gone hardcore raising my game to 10 pieces a day which does not mean nine readers can now shirk their civic duties.

Customers of CAM Bank are no doubt cursing along with me as both the Albox and Mojacar branches were recently closed soon after the outgoing chief executive  Maria Dolores Amoros awarded herself a pension of nearly 400,000 a year. I suppose her salary of €600,000 was not enough incentive for her to stop a billion Euro loss last year.

The directors in total paid themselves some €13 million days before the bank had to be rescued with a €5.8 billion rescue package. In the previous seven years the directors also ‘helped’ themselves to €161 million worth of interest-free loans. I curse Maria each time I tackle the Minotaur’s Labyrinth known locally as the Vera one-way system to find one of the last remaining CAM branches.

Los Gringos continue to wow audiences with their superb rock covers. Strangely some people have complained they are too loud for them to have a conversation over. Well hello…Los Gringos are a ROCK band! When I first saw Hawkwind in 1979 my nose bled from the screaming decibels.

Maybe I should have asked them to turn it down a bit so I could have a chat with my mate. Los Gringos will be performing an acoustic set this Sunday at 4pm at El Paniajo in El Marchal, with some new numbers and hopefully they will be able to be heard over the conversation. Remember the clocks go back an hour the night before.

I only knew the name ONCE when living in the UK from watching the Tour de France on telly, in Spain ONCE run lotteries with the proceeds benefitting disabled people and each week I brave a couple of €1.50 tickets in the vain hope of winning a large prize.

Probably as a reward last week for finding the town centre in Vera I checked my tickets and found I had won the huge sum of €6 million. Euro Millions don’t have a look in as I will stick with the ONCE.

Lastly my warmest congratulations go to the lovely proprietors of La Montana Restaurant and Bar near Bedar. Mat and Carole are engaged to be married. Hopefully the eventual honeymoon will not mean the place closes for long as the food is just too delicious to be missed.

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