I have been a bit busy so have just got around to checking a few sites for bits and pieces of news.

See the article here on the Euro Weekly News site.

From Manchester,  Leeds, Edinburgh, Newcastle and East Midlands airports.

The article here from 21 January 2017 on the Euro Weekly News site has more details.

The article here on the ThinkSpain site has details of the current flu epidemic in Spain.

It mentions that Andalucia is one of only a small number of regions to have escaped the epidemic.

If what I had starting before Xmas and lasting for a few weeks was not flu I am a bit worried that there may be another round of illness to come this winter.

It looks like the Ideal website has separated out Almerimar from El Ejido on their website. You can see the Ideal Almerimar page here.

The article here on the Olive Press site has a list of national and Andalucian bank holidays for 2017.

Do not forget that there are also some more local bank holidays as well so this is not quite a complete list.

It seems like there are some spots in Almerimar that are still not geared up for the delivery of fibre-optic internet. In the last week or so I have heard of a couple of stories of people requesting installation but being told on the day of the installation that it was not possible.

One problem seems to be that some apartment blocks have not yet had the pre-installation done (cabling from the street to the comms room in the apartment block). A second problem is that for some houses there are long cable runs needed (say 500m of cable to be installed) and the installers will not lay these cables unless they have orders from more than one customer.

One piece of information that I have now been given by a friend is that there is a summer deadline for fibre-optic internet to be available to everyone in Almerimar. I wonder whether this target will be hit. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Poinsettias - 30 Nov 2016

Snowy mountains - 30 November 2016

Earlier today I was walking past the roundabout at the entrance to the golf course and I noticed that they were planting poinsettia plants ready for Christmas.

Then just now Jacqui sent me a picture of the snow on the mountains.

Winter is with us now....

UPDATED: I have been advised that the information on Facebook is not correct.

Been a bit busy for a few days so not posted much here.

I just spotted on Facebook that there is apparently a speed check radar been set up to catch people doing more than 80 kmph close to the tunnel on the motorway going towards Almería (just past Aguadulce).

As yet I have not had a chance to check whether this is true or not. I will have to have a look next time I am driving in that direction.

In the last 10 days or so we have had 3 early morning power glitches in our apartment. The power goes off for a second or two sometime between 6 and 7am. It is a bit of a nuisance as our phone lights up and makes a tinkling noise when it restarts. Even worse, the first time it happened it caused the fire alarm to go off in the garage of our apartment block. Not a very nice way to be woken up early in the morning.

Hopefully they will stop happening soon.

Just a quick update on our phone and fibre-optic internet set up as everything is now completed.

As mentioned earlier our fibre-optic internet was installed by our new supplier a week ago. The other part of the work was to port our landline phone number from the old supplier to the new one.

For the last week I have had to leave our landline phone connected to the phone socket from the old supplier. From there I could make and receive calls. If I plugged the phone into the phone socket on the fibre-optic internet router I could only make calls from the landline, not receive them.

The porting of the number was well organised. On Monday (31 October) I received a text message from the new supplier saying that the change would take place today (2 November). The text said I had until 7pm on Monday evening to cancel the porting of the phone number if I wished to do so.

I have just checked this morning and the landline is now working fully when connected to the telephone point on the fibre-optic router.

The last thing left to do is to fill in and sign a form that our new supplier has sent to us. Confirming bank account details for payments etc. This is mainly confirming information that we filled in on an online form when we contracted with the new supplier via their website. Once we have completed and signed the form we just have to return it to them in a pre-paid envelope they sent us.

Sunset - 1 November 2016

I just happened to wander out onto the terrace a few minutes ago and saw the sun going down over the sea. Luckily I managed to go inside quickly and pick up my phone so I could take this snap.

It does not seem that long ago when the sun was going down over the mountains. Winter is on its way.

UPDATED 27 October 2016 - 16:15 Spanish time - added information about transferring the phone number to the new supplier. See bottom of article....

We got fibre-optic internet installed yesterday. It was a bit of a struggle as the engineer started at around 9am but the service did not start working until around 5:30pm. So I had to miss out on playing in Wednesday golf yesterday.

Apparently we had some problems with the cables in the street. The work in our apartment block only took around 1-2 hours. So I guess this is how long it would normally take to install without problems in the cables in the street.

I contracted for a symmetrical 200 megabits per second service. This means that the connection should be a similar speed when downloading and uploading. If you do not contract for a symmetrical service it is cheaper but the upload speed is not as fast. (Upload speed is important if you are, for example, sending lots of big documents or photos by email).

I have done some testing of the service.

On a computer with a modern ethernet adapter wired directly to the router the speed was about 200 mbps either way. The speed that I am contracted to get.

We have a couple of laptops that I connected via ethernet cables and tested them. They both achieved around close to 100mbps both ways. I guess this was due to the ethernet adapters in the laptops being older and only supporting speeds up to 100mbps.

I then did some tests over wifi using the laptops and some mobile devices. The wifi speed was somewhat more variable. With typical speeds of around 20-40 mbps download and 20-30 mbps upload. I also did a speed test on the two laptops at the same time over wifi. The combined total upload and download speeds were about the same as when I did the test on one laptop. So it appears that the wifi connection is a bit of a bottleneck.

When I had ADSL the download speed was typically around 6 mbps and the upload speed typically around 1 mbps. So I guess I should be happy with the improvement.

One final thing, I changed suppliers of the broadband. So my landline needs to be transferred from one provider to another. The engineer said this should take place automatically after around 2 days. Today the landline is still working on the connection from the old supplier. I will have to check that this changes (and I will then have to plug the phone into the fibre-optic router). Plus I guess I will have to ensure that the phone and ADSL contract has been terminated with the old supplier.

ADDED LATER - 27/10/16 in the afternoon

I have now spent a bit of time on the phone to the old supplier plus got internet access to our online account with the new supplier. The transfer process seems very easy as long as when you place the order for fibre-optic internet with the new supplier you say you want to maintain the same landline number.

The process appears to be an automatic one. I need not have phoned up my old supplier to try to cancel my contract with them. The new supplier of the landline and fibre-optic internet is sorting it out with them. The online account with the new supplier that has now been set up says that the phone number will be transferred from the old supplier to the new one in less than 1 week from now. It also gives details of the 3 steps of the process: 1. They phone us for an appointment for the engineer (done). 2. The engineer does the installation taking 2-3 hours (says by next Monday but they have already done it). 3. They transfer the landline number across from the old supplier to the new one (says by mid/late next week).

I have just updated the site to use the latest version of Joomla. This is just a test story to ensure things are still working OK.