Articles with Illustrations


Christmas Drones

Another Christmas over and the month of December, which gave us headlines such as the discovery of a new dinosaur, the prime minister punched by a distant family member and the fact it would take 59 minutes of cardio exercise to burn off a pizza slice. There will be no doubt, regrettably, be more reports of faulty hover boards and complaints about drones.

I must admit I did write to Santa and ask for a drone for my Christmas sock. Not an expensive one, just a big boy’s toy. When it didn’t arrive the missus suggested I must have been a naughty boy she was looking at the list she had written to Santa back in September: titled home repairs and gave it to me – again. Just as well really. Probably only last until new years eve when I realise it hasn’t got any real use, all the fun stuff is illegal, and then away it goes into the cupboard with the Sinclair C5, snow board and electric guitar.

We’ve seen the reports on the TV about drug dealers using them to supply inmates and using them across boarders and the fears of terrorists weaponising them, but it doesn’t stop there.

Recently reports have come in of – not burglars – rogue builders using them to scan properties.

A remote house racked back on a mountain side, no problem, builders are turning into surveys and pulling up down the road and deploying their drones to survey the property. The drone drops down and scans the layout. They are also driving around urbanisations probing for affluent properties and either waiting for the owners to go out or rolling the dice by taken a chance on being caught.

Once they have captured the required images they log down their findings: external buildings, roofs, walls, patios and then noting defects: cracks in concrete, shabby flaking paint, missing roof tiles, crack-bond repairs and even being able to identify any defects to the interior of swimming pools. They would then itemise everything, break them down and give a price for the work to be done in the name of preventative maintenance. Some would say they had worked on the property for years for the previous owners and that is why they are familiar with the property.

One of these drones was captured by an unsuspecting woman as she lay sunbathing naked in her back garden. The drone flew over and according to the distraught woman, on seeing her, had the cheek to swoop down lower to focus. She covered up her secret garden with her Kindle and snatched up the pool cleaning pole and swiped at it. Clipping it and causing it to maul function crashing into the dog’s kennel. Apparently the dog has still got the hump and won’t go back in there any more.

Drones can now be bought for as little as €30, travel up to 200 meters and 30 meters high with ten minutes of battery life. There are laws governing the use for those who us them legitimately.

One thing you should be mindful of, if you did receive one for Christmas. I like to call the Surbiton station anomaly. I was part of a crew refurbishing the railway station for twelve months and as a prerequisite we would hand out leaflets and post them to nearby houses informing them and apologising for the inconvenience including the noise level at night.

Monday morning we received four complaints about the noise and two serious complaints of people being injured by scaffolding poles. The problem was we were delayed from starting for a week and hadn’t yet arrived on site or made a start.

The point is as soon as you start playing with your new toy you are opening yourself up for false accusation, especially of the Peeping Tom variety. On the other side if you see one whilst in your back garden or dancing around in your lounge through the window – remember, first make a grab for your Kindle.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have a strict set of rules. If someone thinks of flying a drone outside the law, either weighing less than 2kg, or between 2kg and 25kg, they could be facing penalties ranging from 3,000 € to 60,000 €. For more information on those rules:



Lucky Spanish Witches and Their Colour Meanings

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October is the month of El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead or All Souls Day), October 31st Halloween or Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches), continues with Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day) on November 1st, and culminates with Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd.

2018 has two Friday the 13ths so I thought I would crank up the luck factor and explore those things that can bring us such luck Witches Spanish style.

Spoiler Alert – I’m not a Warlock so my knowledge for such things is based on research. I can make a fiver disappear in front of a barman, but not this day.
Whilst walking around a medieval market in Villajoyosa, Costa Blanca, Spain. I came across a sack-clothed, decorated stall, and a jolly, tanned Spaniard also dressed in sack-cloth. He thrust a witch doll at me with the same gusto as a scary gipsy with silver foil wrapped around heather, begging for a few quid.
Not wanting to be cursed in Spanish – I stopped. The witch now in my hand and the medieval salesman using the feel-the-product close, moved to the guilt-buy close, by swapping it for a smaller less expensive looking clone of the same green witch.
The whiff of superstition, I’d always denied, couldn’t help remember that I had just moved to Spain from Greenwich, London. I gave him the five Euros.
The next day, I was intrigued to find out what it said on the plaque the grinning witch was holding. My Spanish at this time not being—English.
I went back to ask questions only to find the stall was gone as if it had never been there. According to the people I asked it must have been a figment of my imagination, yet I was clutching a green witch.
Over the years it hadn’t granted me any special powers – believe me I rubbed.
I’d come across coloured witches in remote rural bars hanging from the ceilings, seemingly for protection, and asked what they meant, and received the same reaction as if I was researching the Spanish civil war.

Eventually after much digging as if by magic…

PURPLE WITCH – The colour Purple is associated with the signs Pisces, Aquarius and Sagittarius.


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Purple has a profound effect on the mind and is used by psychiatrists to help to calm and reassure patients who suffer from mental and nervous problems, having a cleansing effect in emotional disorders. It also connects us with the artistic and musical impulses, mystery and sensitivity to beauty and high ideals, inspiring sensitivity, spirituality and compassion.

SILVER WITCH – Silver is associated with the signs Gemini, Cancer and Aquarius.



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Silver is the colour of the moon, which is always changing and associated with feminine emotional sensitivities and mind, balances, harmonises and cleanses internally.


GREEN WITCH – Green is associated with the signs Taurus, Libra, Virgo, Capricorn (dark green) Aquarius and Pisces.


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Green has a strong affinity with nature creating a sense of comfort and relaxation, calm and inner peace, which makes us feel balanced inside.

Lime green or olive green, may have a detrimental effect, both physically and emotionally.

When you put green and yellow together it can arouse feelings of envy, resentment and possession.

There are nine more to follow twelve in total.

Illustrations by ShearArt

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