Monday, 4 July 2016

Sea defences and the EU

I sent Kath and Anto a text message to congratulate them on their 24th wedding anniversary. This happened around the time when the job in Geneva first presented itself to me, and when Clare's mother died. It seems like only yesterday, and so much more has happened to the whole family in the years since then.

I'm rising early, trying to deal with routine emails and uploading photos to the internet, but progress is hindered by slow low capacity broadband. This takes the edge off using a Chromebook, usually so smooth and slick at doing everything. Here I seem to do a lot of waiting, get time outs and app crashes. There's been no real improvement since I was here in 2012. The big difference now is the dominance of Cloud storage and web apps, and this sort of internet service isn't fit to meet the demands of today's users. Web user interfaces are are attractive, except when screen refresh slows to a crawl because of the connection. These days, having several connected devices in UK is normal. Here they tick over, but work effectively only one at a time.

I started wondering how people cope, as hypermarkets here have phones, tables and PCs to sell. They get bought and used, but what's happened here is ruled by the widespread rapid uptake of 3G and 4G phone services. Many people no longer bother with having a landline, and the quality of mobile internet is good. My Blackberry behaves here much as it does at home, away from home wi-fi. Here, when connected to wi-fi preferentially, it's not as good. I suspect that in some regions, the old landline telephone and broadband service infrastructure is not being modernised. It may not even be profitable to do so if, mobile infrastructure is new and better.

This morning, I drove to Lidl's to do some grocery shopping and stock up for the week, did some washing, then went out a walk along the coast path of the urbanizacion Saldonar, where the church house is situated. Eighteen months ago, I was aware coastal erosion that was taking place and took photos of some of the damage. It seems to have got even worse just after I left, as sections of the path battered by stormy seas, collapsed. Since then, work has been done on new coastal defences and walkways, funded by the EU, half a million Euros worth of work on the hardest hit places over a kilometre of local shore-line. It's good to see this kind of economic solidarity in action. Britain needs it too, and will suffer as a result of brexit.

After supper, I went for another walk up the barranco forming the boundary with the neighbouring urbanizacion Boverals on the town side. Beyond the houses is a wooded part of the ravine, from which some interesting sounds of birdsong were rising as the sun began to set, but nothing I could identify, which is most intriguing.

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