Rocket Festival, Antequera 29 April to 1 May 2005

Thanks to a blog i found today, Agenda Personal, I found out about the awesome Rocket Festival (Festival site in English & Español) taking place in a beautiful hidden valley near Antequera (links to city info in English, Español and more info on the new serendipitous discovery World66). I haven’t had time to check it out personally but W66 appears to be a great wiki travel guide, “the travel guide you write” (my italics) and their site has a Creative Commons licence too – well worth a more detailed visit I reckon.

The Rocket Festival runs from the Friday (29/4) to the Sunday (1/5) and “is a three day festival of contemporary and traditional music, performance and sculpture set in a beautiful site in the heart of Andalucia in the deep south of Spain. Local artists, performers and crew are working with guests from across Europe to create a truly international festival with a strong Andalucian influence.

The ethos of the festival is to bring together as diverse a range of entertainment as possible. Artists from Malaga, Granada and Antequera will share a stage with artists from Britain, Austria, France and elsewhere in Europe.

Musical styles will vary from traditional and modern Andalucian music through blues, jazz, rock, reggae to the best live dance music and DJs. The main stage powered by the Innerfield Soundsystem hosts a wide variety of local and international bands.

The Dance Tent powered by Turbozone features DJs and Live Acts from Spain, England and the rest of Europe playing Breakbeat, Drum and Bass, House and Techno.

A strong focus is placed on traditional and modern circus and performance with demonstrations and skills workshops for people of all ages.

Look out for the spectacular 21st century sculptures in the arts and crafts area – workshops for young and old alike are available to learn some new skills.

The Rocket Festival is open to people of all ages. A lively kids area is provided to keep the young ones entertained with the skateboard ramp and BMX track in the Extreme Area for the older and more adventurous.

The site of the festival is a tranquil valley 15km from Antequera below the stunning Sierra De Camorolos mountain range. The site has excellent access via the A45 Malaga – Cordoba motorway with regular cheap flights to Malaga from all over Europe.

A key objective for the festival is to promote the importance of nature and the environment and this has been a big influence on the choice of venue. Through the festival and our approach to recycling the festival aims to increase ecological awareness and respect for our surroundings within the community.

If you want to get involved or find out more about the festival please get in touch. CONTACT US.” And they mean it too – 6 hours work earns you a refund of the massive 40€ entry!

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work is a 4 letter word

So there I am, hunched over the computer, 20-odd Firefox tabs open, battling to get my head round re-designing our Antequera Villa Rental website, when in from the garden comes Ursula, asking for advice. So we go outside and down the garden path where I find a mound of vine prunings and Ursula turns and says “I’m tired and just wondered if you could help me by picking up these prunings?”.

At this moment it’s a choice between giving in to the presumption that physical labour is somehow “better” than working on the puter and venting frustration that I have now totally lost the precious little concentration and understanding I can muster to upgrade the site. Concentration lost, frustration won. I won but also lost, lol.

Busy days in Antequera…

Ursula and I have now got 8 weeks and counting to finish all the building work and find a new place to live – both for ourselves and Ursula’s mother Stella, who has now decided to move to Spain to enjoy some decent weather.

This week we are putting in a new shower room with the help of our builder Miguel and plumber Antonio. They have seen us through several crises over the last four years and we know we can trust them to do good work!

Meanwhile our best friends here in Spain, Mark and Åsa, are painting the entire exterior whilst Ursula tends to the garden. This is a bigger task than it might sound – there’s over 4000 metres of it for a start – and our newly hired gardener has quit after only one week!

And our new electrician, Andy Parker, who has only recently joined the great European migration trail to the South, is sorting out the tangled web of circuitry left by his predecessor whilst looking after the varied demands of a wife and 2 teenage daughters and coping with his first does of Spanish flu.

As for me, I’m still figuring out how to do a significant upgrade of our website which involves a steep learning curve as an RSS feed or two, Amazon Associates coding, PayPal payment coding , an MPG of Ursula’s Recent satellite TV interview and a total design overhaul to be done. and I’ve only ever built 2 websites before, and that thanks to the user-friendly Web Studio software. It should be an interesting challenge for both it and me!

Spring IS in the air

The weather here in Antequera has finally turned to a lovely early Spring, full of unexpected but much needed showers.

The change has spurred all the garden into rampant growth and there’s a lot to do to get everything looking good before we bug out for the Summer. Ursula and I have now decided to get some help with the two non-stop jobs at the villa, mowing the grass and cleaning the pool so our new friend Rolando at AquaGarden (one of the many new businesses springing up in Antequera) is going to help us out.

Even though we’ve been here over 3 years now, the friendliness of almost everyone we’ve met around here is still impressive. It’s just not possible to rush around doing business in the coldly efficient way of our old life in London. Here it just seems rude not to spend as much time as necessary talking about friends and family, especially as we have some!

The Joys of Unexpected Shopping!

Spring is finally in the air and there is a lot of work to be done as we prepare the villa for it’s first season as a holiday rental in Antequera and yesterday (Monday) was the day for our big shopping day out on the Costa Del Sol.

We needed a full set of bathroom fittings for the planned power shower room so a full tour of Bathroom and DIY shops was in prospect but fortunately Leroy Merlin proved equal to the task of satisfying the fabulous but demanding taste of Ursula, my wife, on the budget of, well, not a pauper, but certainly not a prince!

This gave me a chance to sneak off to the nearby record store and stock up on a few bargains, one of which was the Madness singles compilation, “Heavy Heavy Hits” , rare on Amazon but here a snip for 7 Euros!

23 UK hit singles in 7 years, many of them sublime (House of Fun, Shut Up, My Girl’s Mad At Me, Our House) is a pretty impressive record by anybody’s standards and many of these songs are genuine classics.