Welcome to January and the first Soltalk of 2019!

Just when you thought Christmas was done and dusted … those of us here in Spain have … Dia de los Reyes – or Day of the Three Kings! Yes! Except it’s only good if you are Spanish or have Spanish friends and family as Brits don’t give each other presents on Three Kings Day do they? For anyone who doesn’t know, the Three Kings or wise men or magi known in Spanish as Los Reyes Magos – Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – play a similar role to Santa Claus. Spanish children write letters to the Three Kings, who then bring the children presents on the night before, or on the morning of the Epiphany, January 6. They will also be appearing on the Balcón de Europa on this day. And as January 6 is a Sunday this year Monday January 7 will be a public holiday.

roscon de reyesIt is celebrated with a special cake called Roscón de Reyes which resembles a  jewelled crown and can contain plastic replicas of Baby Jesus, so be careful when biting into your slice! There can also be a fava bean. Whoever finds the toy is supposedly crowned king or queen of the party, while the one who finds the bean has to buy the Roscón next year (best not to say I would have thought!)

As well as all the Three Kings excitement, most of us will have our eyes on the UK Government this month as they decide, or not, what is actually happening with Brexit! And it won’t only be the British as this affects all EU nationals living in the UK not to mention the thousands who go from Spain to work in Gibraltar each and every day! It would be nice if they seemed to care about the people who will be affected a bit more than scoring points over each other and name calling. Just saying.

As we are going to print, the world of travel into and out of Gatwick airport is in chaos due to very selfish people with drones. At the moment it is not known who they are or what they are trying to achieve, but they are causing utter chaos and are inconveniencing thousands. I have been checking the news and have just read that the military are to be deployed, as this has now been going on for about 24 hours. Let’s hope they quickly catch these people and bring them to justice.

I have been a bit anti-drone since they came out, they are obviously invaluable in many walks of life, but should they actually be made available to Joe Public? What do you think? At the moment I think everyone in affected airports would agree. And I am not alone, Air traffic controllers say their warnings about their risks have been repeatedly ignored. In a statement the Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers said: “Our calls for stricter regulations and enforcement have been repeatedly dismissed by regulatory bodies.” The Guild has also called for geofencing and other counter-drone measures around airports.

Meanwhile we hope you enjoy this issue of Soltalk and have a great January. Let me also take this chance to wish you a very happy and healthy New Year.