Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Monday, 14 January 2013

Heartbeats, life and death

No, I'm not really tackling BIG subjects but commenting on the things I see daily. But when you stop to think about it (really must stop this reflecting stuff) it sort of demonstrates that the myriad little things add up to big ones in the end.

Out for a walk - blue sky - take camera.

I've been thinking of turning the camera southwards for a while now. I've taken all the lovely things that I see as I take Darwin on his regular promenades - the views of the olive groves and the beautiful castle, La Mota, on the top of the hill looking down on Alcala la Real. La Mota is one of the things that really gives Alcala its heart. It dominates the town, giving a character to the place, creating an emotion whenever you get a glimpse of it - which is from so many corners, so many streets - it's impossible not to recognise its presence.

The heartbeat however, comes from another source. It's the large factory whose frontage runs along the main road out of the town centre towards Priego de Cordoba. It's 'backside' is along the road that Darwin and I take when the weather is too damp to enter the pine forest at the foot of La Mota. I usually only photograph the left hand side of this little road as the factory is not pretty.


Closer view of the hospital
At the end of this road, just round to the right, you can see the new hospital. This was meant to open as a fully functional accident and emergency hospital at the end of 2011 but due to 'la crisis' it remains closed to those who are injured, though some specialties do operate from this base - such a shame as 'Urgencias' or 'Urgencies' in the old hospital is such a miserable place that one could lose the necessary will...






The factory makes plastic - bags and wrapping for packaging; laminates and film for graphic arts - which is distributed throughout the world. In a world full of shrinking and closing, this factory made a whopping 25% increase in its production in the last financial year. It is the town's heartbeat. It provide jobs for a high proportion of workers in the town - somewhere between 2 and 5 thousand - and it closes down just twice in the year - on Christmas Day and on New Year's Day. This means there is a constant 'hum' from the works and large trucks entering and leaving more or less on the hour every hour.


This is what I don't look at too much as I walk down my little road - preferring to turn my sights northwards to look at La Mota.


This is how it looked this morning....














The factory is situated in one of the best sites in the town, with views behind it of La Mota and views in front reaching to the Sierra Nevada.
It was very sunny this morning so I had the idea that my sunglasses over the lens would help...not sure it has quite the effect I wanted but it is a bit different and you can see the Sierra in the distance.


To the far right of the new hospital is the cemetery. I have never been in as I'm always with Darwin when I walk there and I feel it's not appropriate to go in when I have him with me. It's a 'busy' cemetery in that there are lots of old people who live - and die - in Alcala la Real. Also, there's a constant stream of people taking flowers to their loved ones at most times of the day. Often when I'm taking Darwin for his 'second' walk of the day, we hear the bizarre sound of a 'DING DONG' (very loud) and an announcement that the cemetery will be closing in fifteen minutes - a bit like in Sainsbury's only less reverential and respectful in tone.

FR's father popped in for a look when they were here and he was most impressed. In fact, he said if there was a swimming pool, he'd move in straight away! I found this photo on the blog of someone local though it has not been update recently - but thanks and acknowledgement for this lovely photo.


As I wandered back thinking about these small but big things, a lady passed me on her way to the cemetery - it looked as though there was a funeral there today as many cars were arriving and I saw a few black coated people on my way. We greeted each other and as I walked where she had walked, I was totally enveloped in a delicious cloud of Chanel No.5.

It's so nice to know the little things in life still matter - don't you think.

Standing in a wonderful smell despite appearances.


The factory gives off very little smell at all - more a sense of heat. I have also read that there are plans to relocate it further out of the town and for the site to be developed for residential buildings. Hmmmm.... now there's a thought


19 comments:

  1. In a time when jobs are so hard to find, it is good to hear about this factory Annie.However....what a site for new housing that would be...what views !
    I love the idea of Chanel No 5 wafting from this post. You are right, these things matter. Just like a camera wearing sunglasses... I do hope they are designer. Jxxx

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    1. I certainly think the factory has been the main factor in keeping Alcala cushioned from the crisis - that plus the olive harvests. I couldn't believe it when I found out they were going to relocate it - it's in the best spot in the town! Don't expect it will be in the next few months though...
      I had forgotten how much I love Chanel No.5! As for designer sunglasses, no. I am too careless to own anything better than cheap, replaceable ones! Axxx

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  2. I suppose in origin La Mota was 'the factory'....the source if not of employment in our sense then certainly a way of making a living.

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    1. It's fascinating, Fly, to visit the place and see that La Mota was in fact, the whole village - you can see where the baker and the butcher were situated and where people went to drink; it does give an excellent glimpse into the past.
      It has left a rather more elegant and impressive building behind than the current factory will...
      Axxx

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  3. Hello Annie:
    We are fascinated to read this post which gives a very different, but no less interesting, perspective on the area in which you live.

    Whilst the factory is by no means the most attractive of buildings it does, as you say, provide employment for many people who would, otherwise, be facing the trauma of a life without work. We understand that with Europe in crisis the average unemployment figure is 11% [far higher, we know, in certain countries and areas] and so we are encouraged to read of somewhere where production is on the increase rather than in decline.

    We very often find ourselves walking in Budapest's principal cemetery and often take friends there. A possible future post, we think.

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    1. Hi Jane and Lance - you are absolutely right. Alcala is definitely cushioned from the crisis; although there is evidence here that things are not at their best, it is most noticeable in the councils here around. In addition to productive olive harvests and/or a job at the factory, the people of Alcala are thriving shopkeepers - we have an abundance of bridal shops, mainly family-run businesses, in the town and people come from three provinces (Granada, Cordoba and Jaen) to buy the bride's, mother of the bride's and the bridesmaid's dresses as well as Baptism and Communion dresses - we must have 10 of these shops which is considerable overcatering for the locals!! It really is a little oasis in the current desert of unemployment I think.
      I shall look forward to your cemetery post!
      Axxx

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    2. How extraordinary, Annie, to have all of these 'bridal' shops centred in one place. Weddings, or rather money spent on them, do seem to withstand the recession. We cannot quite understand why!!

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  4. I'm in a tizzy! So glad to here about a thriving business in Spain, but - aaargh !! - it manufactures plastic bags & packaging which we're all supposed to abandon. Life today is full of dilemmas.

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    1. Isn't it just, Nilly...
      However, the business is slowing moving away from plastic bags and now makes reusable 'big-bags'; its latest 'branch' makes 'ecoboards' - a sustainable product that can be used in building. It also has a whole group of folk looking and working on sustainability and renewable products...so whilst it's not there yet, it is at least moving in the right direction, which is part of the reason it should continue to be successful, I hope! I have been looking into information about the company as part of this post and am relatively reassured that there's some very good stuff (renewable, sustainable and recyclable) coming out of the factory. Axxx

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  5. It's good that the factory doesn't pong ... I went to school in a town with a plastics/packaging factory and it really gave off a stench.

    I like your reflective posts ... much food for thought!

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    1. I'm hoping that the reason it doesn't pong is something to do with what I wrote to Nilly above - a move to renewable and sustainable products. It certainly smells 'clean' but that doesn't necessarily prove anything...

      I am beginning to suspect I am quite a reflector after all - perhaps a 'active' one if that's possible! Thank you, Axxx

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  6. Hi Annie,
    Out for a walk taking the camera reminded me of walks i was taken on as a child growing up in the Churnet Valley in Staffordshire.We could choose to walk either on the wild side or factory side from our village.To walk all things countryside was to walk towards Oakamoor having Alton Towers within sight all the way.Then no screams could be heard from the very discreet rides within the gardens----a small funfair,paddle boats on the lake etc.To walk factory side was to walk down to Froghall and walk alongside the canal.At Froghall a large copper works had spread across the valley.Mostly at this works the wire was drawn for the first successful Atlantic cable.Now going back 45 years later doing these walks again changes changes changes.To walk towards Alton Towers you can hear the screams from the rides every few minutes---always making us smile--as we feel to be walking in deepest countryside!If we walk factory side the site of the copper works has been levelled and is in makeover mode to receive picnic tables by the river.A very recent development has been the rebuilding of Froghall Station in traditional style--looks exactly like the one at Howarth.It runs steam trains and themed events like the War weekends and most recently the ale themed weekends[the train travelling as far as Cheddleton and stopping off at all the railway pubs]. So who knows Annie what changes your scapes will bring.I just wish i had captured more on camera before the changes happened. Mx

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    1. Maria - this is a blog post in itself! Great memory, great memories! You never know, someone else will probably have captured these images that are still so clear in your mind. I love digging out images via Google- recently on an old department store in Bradford, following on from Janice's Woolworth's post. Love too how one thought leads to another and how we can follow the links as we want with the worldwide web!
      Thanks for your lovely shared memories. Axxx

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  7. I agree.. small things make a huge difference. Love the fact you see beauty in small things..


    megha
    http://meghafashionista.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Megha. Axx

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  8. I agree with Megha...she took the words right out of my mouth. It takes a special eye to see beauty in the little things.

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    1. Thank you...perhaps I wouldn't call the factory beautiful but it's a part of what makes this town a good place to live and that's important to me. I'd actually forgotten how much I love the scent of Chanel No.5 until that lady walked past me...so it's not just seeing beauty but having all the senses open that helps, I think! Axx

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  9. Oops, don't know how I missed this, Annie. Coming from industrial Lancashire as I do, I've always been aware of the importance of factories, however unlovely they may be, so I'm very glad your factory is thriving and developing new products. I too love your reflective posts and your eye (and nose) for small details. I absolutely adore Chanel No 5 even though I can no longer justify the price, so it was great to be reminded of it. :-) Pxxx

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  10. THanks Perpetua - I suspect with the snow warnings that are issuing from the UK via Radio 4, you will have plenty of time to catch up on blog posts you might have missed! Hope you stay safe and warm.
    Yes, the factory is thriving and, I'm glad to say, moving steadily towards more environmentally sustainable products. More space the the world's atmosphere for us to enjoy Chanel No. 5..though how that is produced may not bear too close a scrutiny! I do love perfume but I'm just as happy picking a bit bunch of lavender or other fragrant leaves, giving them a scrunch and then transferring that scent to pulse points! Sweet smelling eco-warriors rule! Axxx

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I welcome your comments - it makes blogging even more fun to know someone is reading!