Road fatalities across Alicante Province and the Costa Blanca fell by 13% in 2013, compared to the 2012 statistics. 42 people lost their lives on the regions’ roads in last year as opposed to 48 in 2012. Safety groups are concerned that the downward trend in death figures may be reversed, especially with speed limit rises on Spain’s motorways.
HAD I been blessed with the benefit of hindsight, I’d have eyes in the back of my head.
And like any wise owl, I would never have allowed my peepers to be attacked by a laser in the belief that it would enable me to chuck my specs away.
In retrospect, it was blind stupidity to believe the hype of the ‘experts’ who insisted the benefits of corrective surgery outweighed the risk.
I had 20-20 vision until my mid-40s. In fact, my eyesight was so perfect that I could read the bottom line of an optician’s test card with my eyes shut. Well not exactly but you know what I mean.
The lights dimmed, the MGM lion roared and Miklos Rozsa’s stirring music swirled around the film’s opening credit titles.
It was a half-term holiday afternoon many, many (yes, that many) years ago. My best pal, Eric the future dentist, and I leaned forward excitedly in our front stalls seats as the picture started. The movie was Knights of the Round Table and, apart from the yucky love bits, it was the most spectacular thing I’d seen since my grandma tripped and fell into the custard tart rack at the baker’s.
All too soon the film was over. ‘What now, varlet?’ I asked Eric as we jumped up from our tired old cinema seats which squeaked in protest as they slowly assumed their upright positions.
I was watching The Dog Rescuers on TV, the other night, which is a show that follows the work of the RSPCA. Regular readers of this column will know that I am no fan of them!
With the huge amount of money that pours into the RSPCA on a daily basis, I believe they could be doing a lot more than what they do. There was an article in The Mail On Sunday, where they stated that the RSPCA put to sleep half of the dogs they rescue and this happens while their chief executive earns 105 thousand pounds per year!
That´s another year that’s been and gone! How quickly time flies when life is busy and days are spent working and enjoying this beautiful country, where the days turn into months and before we know it, another year has passed.
I imagine you may be wondering what I´m talking about? Some of you may think I´ve lost my mind, after all, surely this is something that we talk about in January, when a new year is starting and we reminisce and look forward to what the next 365 days will bring. However, I haven´t gone a bit crazy. The sun hasn´t got to me just yet, as what I´m referring to is the beginning of July and the time of year when my little man gets one year older.
This year. I spent the day before his birthday with a friend and we had a Chinese takeaway, which took me back to that night seven years previously when, not knowing I was in the beginnings of labour, I went to a Chinese restaurant with my son´s dad and a friend of ours. Whilst in there, I began to feel the twinges however as it was a week before my due date I dismissed them as false contractions and tried to enjoy my meal. It was only when I reached home that my waters broke and I realised that this was it, and the time had come!
As a good clean-living Catholic boy, I took an instant liking to Pope Francis, who has hit the ground-running since he took over from the lacklustre Pope Benedict in March last year.
His communication skills (one of the most important parts of the job) are on the money, and he’s been prepared to get his hands and habit dirty by trying to clear up the untouched mess that the church has run away from for decades. He’s vowed to confront the whole issue of paedophile priests with “the severity that it deserves”, adding that “like Jesus, I will use a stick against paedophile priests”. He’s also hinted at the possibility of allowing priests to marry, which already happens in the Eastern Catholic Church.
REGULAR readers of my column will know that what really gets my goat is opportunist politicians trying to score cheap points. And with so much in Britain having gone the way of the Coalition government of late, Labour is doing its utmost to grasp at any straw to bash the government.
The latest is the revelation that on average two children aged 11 or under are being rushed to A&E every week because of excessive alcohol consumption. A total of 2,084 under-15s – more than five per day – were seen in emergency units and 7,892 under-18s were treated. And who is to blame for all this? Not the kids themselves, not the parents, probably mostly from council estates who let their kids run wild and do not exercise any parental control (and who probably mostly vote Labour). Oh no. According to Labour health spokesman, Jamie Reed, it´s all the government´s fault for not restricting or stopping the advertising and availability of cheap alcohol.
Welcome again to another week with me learning the intricacies of the Spanish language, I hope you´re enjoying the sunshine in this fantastic country, so let´s get right on in with it, remember this is all up to you, you get out what you put in, so don´t lose it, use it.
This week we are going to talk about something that confuses a lot of learners of Spanish, and that is when to use the word ´se´. I´m not talking about the Spanish word sé which, with the accent I am sure you all know is the 1st person singular conjugation of the verb saber therefore ´sé´ means ´I know´.
So, what about se and when do we use it?
The biggest TV awards are the Emmys, and the nominations are out for next month’s ceremony with an impossible list of selections to work out.
Just purely in the best drama series, how do you pick a winner out of Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, True Detective, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and House of Cards? Good luck on that one! The same goes across all the categories, with in the best supporting actor award, you have a crazy showdown between Jim Carter (Downton), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Jon Voight (terrific in Ray Donovan), Peter Dinklage (my star of Game of Thrones), and Josh Charles (now sadly deceased from The Good Wife). It’s a far more exciting list than the BAFTA’s can ever come up with, and it’s more representative of main-stream quality TV viewing, and doesn’t cruelly snub Downton Abbey which British judges don’t seem to care for.
The first tee-shot was struck yesterday (Thursday) at 6.30am at this year’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, and all the long preparations have now come into fruition.
Through Grant Moir, the R&A Director:-Rules, I can give you a brief insight into the work needed to make the course a fitting test for the world’s best players.
Since November 2012, there have been five formal course reviews at Royal Liverpool involving representatives of The R&A, the host Club (including Craig Gilholm, the Course Manager) and a consultant agronomist from the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI). The aim is to provide a quality Open Championship venue that tests the ability of the world’s best players to play true links golf. This means that they are looking for fairways and greens that are firm, dry and finely textured. If there is a request for significant work to be done, such as fairway realignment, restitution of bunker faces or construction of new tees, the Course Manager needs plenty of advance notice. Looking back at their notes from the visit in 2012, they agreed on widening some fairways to ensure that the run in’s to bunkers were at fairway height and to extend some of the greens (simply by mowing out at green height) to allow for certain hole positions to be used at the time of The Open.