Archive for December, 2010

Plastic Resolution 2011

say-no-to-plastic-bagsSo here you have it. I don’t make resolutions. I don’t know why, possibly because I know I can’t keep them. But this one is different. This one is more of a challenge and in ways we might not consider.

Here at Los Gázquez we are making  a New Year’s resolution to not consume ‘single use plastics! There, I’ve said it. It’s now in the public domain and I shall blog this as an item throughout next year to see how successful we have been.

It’s not that I don’t like plastics. On the contrary, I love the the material especially when imbued with two important qualities. Two qualities which are inseparable. Design + longevity.

I have a small collection of Bakelite radios which still work and they have a fantastic sound quality. I have a plastic crate, lime green, for R.Whites lemonade. It’s followed me and my workshop for twenty years now and is an essential tool there. I buy the children plastic toys made by Playmobile. Design + Longevity.

But let’s realign our priorities. All you folks out there who point the finger of blame at the brutal corporate giants like BP, messing up the environment, have essentially only got yourselves to blame. If you want to consume petrochemical products such as fuel and plastics you will drive up the demand and add further risk of environmental disaster.

So where does the majority of this plastic crap go? Landfill and the sea. Since 1950 one billion tons of plastic has been discarded by us. The majority is in packaging.

I remember buying tea from a chai wallah on a train in India in the days when it was sold in a little terracotta cup made on the track side of the rail lines. When finished you threw the cup out of the window and it returned to the earth. Now it comes in plastic cups and when you have finished you throw it out of the window and it blows away to somewhere where we don’t have to think about it.

So where do we start. I suggest the plastic bag. We are going to buy one of those shopping trolleys old ladies take to the market so they don’t have to carry stuff and rather than buy our fruit and veg in a plastic bag we will tip them all into the trolley.

What else? Cling film and cellophane. Polystyrene trays. Plastic bottles, party cups…………


Comments (1)

Joya: arte + ecología / Resident Artist Sarah G Sharp


Brooklyn based artist Sarah G Sharp has been in residence at Cortijada Los Gázquez now for just over a week. You can see more about her work here and also link through to her web site.



Feliz Navidad y un Próspero Año 2011


Happy Christmas and have a prosperous New Year from us all at Cortijada Los Gázquez.



Plans for the New Year…?


If you haven’t made plans for the New Year yet we would love to see you… contact Simon through here and we can make those plans.



‘The Unthanks’ make Los Gázquez think of Christmas and the North



Creative Course: Caminos Altos / Today / El Gabar

Gabar walk

The blue line is our trip by car to the start point of the walk at the forest station. The red line is our assent and descent by path and the yellow line is a ‘scramble’ down the Rio Caramel and up the barranco back to Los Gázquez.

The ascent was steep but quite rapid taking us an hour and a half to climb 500m or so to the top (1510m / 4954ft) from where we had magnificent views…


This is the view of the Sierra Maria in the snow.


And (as you can see) this is the view to the Sierra Larga and Los Gázquez.


And this is the view to the Alto Plano with the Sierra Cazorla and La Sagra in the snow.

It was a long and fulfilling ultimate day and now time for a little farewell party.



Creative Course: Caminos Altos / today / Sierra Gigante


The blue line is the journey to the beginning of the walk in the car. The red line is the trek and the green cross the point at which I took the photographs below.

The actual walk was five hours in total including the occasional stop for lunch or a drink. There was a little scrambling involved but nothing too strenuous for the agile and balanced walker.

rainbow in shower

The beginning of the walk was typified by sunshine and showers and a lot of wind…


This point is called Las Piedras del Mediodia marked with a green cross above. The view is west to La Muela and in the distance Vélez Blanco and the Sierra Maria. The height is around 1502 meters.

view into Murcia

Due south and the view into Murcia. Just out of sight in the photograph is the Mediterranean.



Creative Course: Caminos Altos / today / Torre del Charcón

Torre del Charcón

The ‘Torre‘ in question is an old Moorish watchtower, half collapsed but still commanding an amazing view. It’s a two hour walk from Los Gázquez to the summit, the last climb being a scramble, but it’s worth the effort. We stopped to paint for a while and then descended back into Taibena and cut down into a gorge having lunch in a sheltered spot. To end the walk we had a moderately steep climb back to the brow of the hill on the Sierra Larga and a downhill walk back to the house by mid-afternoon.

The strong wind littered the sky with vultures…

p.s. You may have noticed that Google maps has us in the wrong place!