Friday, 31 August 2012

Fire on the Costa del Sol

At about six thirty yesterday evening, I was walking the dogs. A huge column of smoke rose behind the hills above Viña Borrego. It was so dense it looked solid. By the time I returned home it looked like a collapsing mushroom cloud, as though an atomic bomb had gone off in Las Delicias. The sirens had been going for a while. The helicopters began flying overhead from very early on. Unusually, fixed wing aircraft joined them very shortly afterward.

I didn't realise they were racing against the sunset. They lost. At sundown it looked like Earth was a two sun planet. Two sunsets in the same sky. The clouds stained red by the sun to the west, and the huge clouds of smoke reddened at the bottom by the flames. At full dark, the flying stopped. There was no smoke visible to the naked eye. I really believed it was over.

At dawn, I saw what might have been smoke on the other side of the hill. When the sun was up, the flying began again. It was the second story on the Spanish TV news. 2000 hectares, the fire-front extended 30 kilometres. It was – and is – out of control. The wind had shifted overnight and continues to shift. Six municipalities are affected – so far. Coin, Monda, Ojen, Alhaurin El Grande, Marbella. Every hour the news is worse. Calahonda is being evacuated.

This morning I did some translation between the Urbanisation's president and the owner of the Venta. His daughter Monica told me her contact at the Fire Brigade had told her they suspected arson. The roads to the coast are closed. So is the main Costa Del Sol toll road, the AP-7. And still the planes fly overhead. The military emergency services are helping. Around 6,000 have been evacuated from their homes. People slept in Sports Pavilions and shopping malls last night. Emergency State 2 has been declared. I'll go to the pub around 3.30, it's Friday, after all. It doesn't look like the fire will come back this way. I hope not.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

A New Page In A New Notebook.


That was luck; finding a virgin notebook Not what you expect that. No recipes for pan-fried goat, no shopping lists, no half-finished doodles of that old man waiting on the corner of the street for his wife to come out of the supermarket. Nothing. What to put in it though? Hmm…. Notes in a notebook. Why not? Aha! Notes for a new novel in a notebook. I should stop now before I come over all Calvi on a winter’s night. Only it’s high andalucian summer, the sun is beating down and the stones themselves are about to surrender. I know how they feel. The weather forecasters predict a thunderstorm tonight – and high winds. It will be a change from the murderous heat. Perhaps that should be from the murderers’ heat, as I can well believe it could make murderers of us all. 

There. Look at that: the notebook is no longer new. The virgin page is breached by my sharp-pointed pencil. By this scribbling. Maybe the doodled old man would have been better. ;-)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Triumph!

Triumph my short story entry in ether books . You can get the ether app at http://bit.ly/bpvC84
This is a competition entry: the most downloads will win. My story is actually good, but it won't win against the best marketer who enters... We get the art and literature we deserve in the digital age. Discuss :-)