Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Saturday, 1 October 2011

'casabill - the blog' celebrates its fourth birthday today!

Today 'casabill - the blog' celebrates its fourth birthday. Currently I'm in Spain for about 6 weeks, enjoying my usual Autumn break here, this year back to its normal time after the disruption of last year at this time because of a distressing event in my personal life – anyway, that is all over now, if not forgotten of course. As usual I spent about 3 months here in Spain from March to June and I expect I'll be repeating this 'formula' next year, except that I plan to continue scheduling my arrival/departure a few weeks later, as I have been doing progressively over the past four years, to avoid as much as possible of the cooler weather here, whilst still not remaining when it has started to become too warm for my personal tastes, so I'll probably be arriving later in March next year than this and similarly leaving somewhat later in June.

In this part of Spain, and in Spain generally, there have been some important developments in the past year. Probably most important has been the continuing severe recession here (just as in most of the rest of Europe, North America and Japan), accompanied by further increases in unemployment, not least amongt younger Spaniards – the whole situation is very serious indeed, with younger people facing years, possibly decades, without gainful employment, with social and political, not to mention economic consequences that can only be guessed at, but are highly-unlikely to be in any way positive. The collapse of the property sector, on top of the general economic downturn, continues to inflict severe damage on the whole country. The Spanish banking system, specially the troubled savings bank sector, continues to face major difficulties, with some having been taken into State ownership to prevent their collapse whilst many have joined forces to help them weather the financial storm. The national government has brought forward the General Election to November this year from next Spring, with the current government, according to the opinion polls at least, at risk of losing power to the main Opposition party.

More locally, there is continuing uncertainty about the future of the regional airport at Murcia-San Javier (MJV) which together with the relatively-nearby Alicante (ALC) satisfies most of the air trasnport needs of this area. However, traffic through MJV continue to decline and it was recently announced that it will close to civilian traffic when the new regional airport for Murcia Region, situated south of the capital city of Murcia near the village of Corvera, opens eventually – the latest projected date for that to happen is 'summer 2012' and time will tell; so far as I can see it is probably best to just wait and see and not take every announcement as cast in stone. Our local government municipality changed its political complexion at the local elections last Spring, being replaced with a coalition of 'Inpependents' and the former main Opposition party locally; it seems to have improved matters in some respects, but it is too soon to tell what the overall result is going to be, specially with the difficult financial situation the council faces, just as the whole country does. On a much more local level again, it was really pleasing that our whole 'urbanisation' at Mazarron Country Club has now secured a much more reliable water supply, so this past summer was the first when recurrent water shortages were avoided during the period of heavy tourist influx to the region. Similarly a large additional part of the 'urbanisation' was transferred onto mains electricity and some of the generators formerly required could be retired. Unfortunately my own home is amongst the smaller number which remain on generator-supplied electricity, but I am reasonably hopeful that this may change fairly soon, although perhaps not as quickly as might be hoped for.

A minor improvement to the 'amenities' of this blog is that I recently started to publish 6-monthly article heading lists, as I have been doing in my other 'main' blog for the past 7 or so years and the article heading list for the latest 6-month period (April 2011 to September 2011) is now available. There are permanent links in the right bar to this and earlier 6-month 'Article Heading' indices, immediately below the standard 'Blogger' monthly archive links. However, because this is a 'new' feature in this blog I repeat the links for each 6-month period below as well:

Six-month Article Heading lists for the period
from October 2007 to Setpember 2011

1- Oct 2007 to Mar 2008

2- Apr 2008 to Sep 2008

3- Oct 2008 to Mar 2009

4- Apr 2009 to Sep 2009

5- Oct 2009 to Mar 2010

6 - Apr 2010 to Sep 2010

7 - Oct 2010 to Mar 2011

8 - Apr 2011 to Sep 2011

Thanks again to those who have visited this blog over the past year; it is what makes writing this blog worthwhile. I look forward to writing more in the coming year and hope you will join me here from time to time.

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