Friday, March 12, 2010

Speechless and very touched

THESE are tough times and sadly because our publication is tightening it's belt (yes, again. We are now sporting a corporate wasp waist) I have had to part company with one of our already sadly depleted staff. The deciding factor in this cost-cutting exercise wasn't based on performance but on who is cheaper to fire. And so I warned my loyal team member to expect the blow and today, sadly, he came in to sign his finiquito.
I've not heard of anyone being given a huge,beautiful bouquet of flowers for sacking someone. Not until today that is. Accompanying the flowers was a note. It said:

Thank you for the support and help that you have given to me during our working relationship. Your input, advice and expertise has always been a constant source of inspiration, and on the odd occasion a good old kick up the backside worked wonders too! It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and both D. and I firmly believe that the future holds great things for us all.
With very best wishes

Well J. My life is a richer one for knowing you. This is not adios but just hasta luego. You have rendered me speechless and that is quite a feat.
I'd best be off and find a different ass to kick ;)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rain, rain go away

Rock fall damage

Police keep an eye on a country road as rising water from a nearby river overflows its banks

A road subsides after rain washed away the earth below it

Here comes the next borrasca, that fluffy white bit just left of Spain. Taken by Aemet at 5pm yesterday. Storm came in last night.

HOW can it be that me being such a weather friki (Spanish street-speak for freak) I haven't managed to post a single entry about southern Spain's wettest winter since records began. Which, down here on the coast, wasn't actually that long ago, though I have failed to find a record of when they began. If you follow me. Around the mid 1900s I believe.
I haven't written a word - and there has been a huge amount to say - about the trenes de borrascas (low pressure 'trains') that have steamed across the Iberian peninsula from the Atlantic since before Christmas.
One storm after another, with barely a weak ray of sunshine in between, has made this winter a sodden and, for those who lost loved ones, a tragic one. In Andalucía an elderly Spanish lady died from a heart attack as her house filled with water in January and a British couple was crushed to death recently when the roof of their home fell in on them.
In a nutshell here are the other sadly eloquent figures:
150% up on the average rainfall.
205 million euros of damage to roads alone (no figures in for agriculture or homes yet)
Serious damage to 107 beaches, from Huelva to Málaga, that will not be repaired before the summer and which will mean loss of income for many already-financially stretched families, over the Easter holidays.
70 towns and villages flooded at different times.
700 homes have had to be evacuated - some have been flooded; others have been demolished by landslides or rock falls. And we're still counting...
2,000 people affected.
20% more animal deaths.
965 road cuts
Sun forecast this weekend. Let's hope it stays next week as well.