2018.10.08 Treacherous ramblas

This is the Rambla Honda. In Spain a rambla can have two distinct meanings: an avenue (like the world famous La Rambla in Barcelona) or a dry riverbed.

The big pile of stones and sand on the left side, where shoved away last week because they threatened to block the exit of the riverbed. These kinds of dry riverbeds are to be found throughout Spain.

With the green bushes, on the left and right banks of the rambla, and the flat and dry riverbed this rambla invites for a walk. On a dry and warm day, and with one hundred percent assurance it will not rain in the hills where the rambla usually starts, you might try one.

But beware, ramblas are treacherous and you wouldn’t be the first one to get killed by the incredible power of stones and water that totally unexpected comes running down.


2018.08.18 I love summer weekends

The family is on holiday. And guess what? Where did they go? To our place. Everybody loves the swimming pool. And the sun of course.

Although it has been rather cloudy for the past couple of days. Which has its benefits. Because then we cannot go to the beach.

As such the beach is okay, if not for the sand that crawls everywhere where you don’t want it; and for the people that are everywhere where you don’t want them; and for the wet, cold and salty sea water that’s polluted with who knows what and makes those huge waves; and for the wind that blows the plastic from everywhere to where you try to sit; and for the sun that doesn’t stop burning a hole in your head (and the ozone layer); and for the chocolate icecream that is melted before it can reach your mouth and colors your new white t-shirt so nicely; and for the surf that obscures the stones with the spiky side up on which you will sharpen your feet that are already blistered from the burning sand; and for the two hours drive because you can’t find a parking space for the car so you still have to walk half an hour.

So you might as well stay at home with the swimming pool where it’s so quiet and you have fresh drinks and clean t-shirts close by. I love summer weekends when the family is over.


2018.07.27 My kingdom for a good shower

Probably as most people do, we mostly shower in the morning. Unless we have an appointment in the early evening as we had today. Then we rather shower right before the appointment to wash off the sweat of the day.

And we keep forgetting that after 10, 11 a.m. there hardly is any pressure on the water. Leaving us longing for the shower we had in Holland. 🙂


2018.07.14 A constant source of amusement

Whenever we sit down for a drink the regular orders are Coca Cola Zero sin hielo for Tom and Agua con gas del tiempo for me. Meaning Tom wants a sugar-free coke without ice and I want bubble water at room temperature.

More often than not my order contains a glass with a big lump of ice. And if I ask the waiter why I would want water at room temperature with an ice cube they just stare blank at me. Clueless.

Don’t you think that’s hilarious? 😀


2018.07.01 A la playa

With an outfit that prevents them from getting any further under water than their chest and with their buckets, scoops, sieves, rakes and wheelbarrows they finally arrived a la playa, at the beach.

We picked a spot with shallow deep water and low waves. They were shy from the water in the beginning, but at the end, as real Dutch kids, they ran in and out of the water to build their dykes and canals. They were very proud of themselves.

After two hours we decided it was enough. The sun was burning a new hole in the ozon layer, so to prevent them and ourselves from getting red, we called it a beach day and went home. Only to dive in the swimming pool again by the end of the day. And oh, were they tired!!!


2018.06.01 Cola Loca

The Dutch news website nos.nl referred to a critical message posted by The Verge. The message concerned the amount of water which is required to produce one liter of regular Coca Cola. The Verge found that Coca Cola lied: it wasn’t two liters, but seventy. The majority of the water is used to produce the abundant amount of sugar that gives soda-waters such a bad reputation.

Interesting though the ‘news’ might be, a few questions remain:

– How about Cola Zero or Pepsi Max for that matter, which do not contain any sugar?

– How much water is needed to produce the PET- and glass bottles which contain the drink (including the caps)? And the removal of these?

– How much water is needed to build, maintain and operate the machines which are required to produce the drink and the bottles?

– How much water is needed for storage, transport and distribution?

– How much water is needed to consume the drink?

– How much water is needed to keep all the people at work who earn (in part) their daily living from the drink?

– How much do the users of water have to pay? And who gets the bill, eventually? The consumer?

– Moreover, what happens with all that water after it has been used? Water is never lost. But where does it go? Does it evaporate?

All relatively important questions, specifically in respect to the core issue: how much water does it take to produce the alternative, like a glass of water or a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of beer or wine? No insights there.

As it appears, The Verge is a commercial company, of relatively young people, that mines money for editorials, more specifically of very large enterprises that produce and sell ict-hardware and software like Xiaomi, Sony, Alibaba, Google, Amazon, Youtube, Canon, Microsoft, Apple, Ubisoft, Ticketfly, Kayak, Xbox.

So the metaquestion is: Why, between all those jubilant stories on hightech, a negative one on Coca Cola? To cover-up the truely devastating sustainability account of these self-proclaimed hightech companies? How much water is required to be able to ‘consume’ an apple mobile phone? And, what is the Dutch connection between The Verge and nos.nl? Why does a relatively obscure Dutch news website takes over ‘news’ from a commercial company without even informing the readers about this?


2018.05.24 Recycling

We use a Brita filter for our tapwater. Those filters can be bought almost everywhere: at the supermarkets that are big enough to have a non-food department, at the Mediamarkt, at some household stores.

But you can’t recycle them in the store where you buy those filters.

I gave up on asking in the stores and emailed the Brita office. They have a really good service: I can download a special coupon, pack at least 6 filters together and bring them to MRW. From there I can send them free of charge to the Barcelona office.

MRW is some kind of Spanish DHL. They deliver parcels all over Spain. And they are in Mazarrón, almost at walking distance from our house. What more does an environmentally conscious consumer want?