A Hike in the Rain in the Montes of Malaga

A few weeks back I mentioned in a post about rain how sometimes we go for a hike in the rain. So here’s our latest rainy weather adventure.

Montes de Malaga Spain

This is a short and easy walk in the Montes of Malaga that’s accessible to anyone in good walking condition. There are practically no climbs or descents at all. And you don’t need a car to get there. The city bus can take you there.

So since we have no car, the city bus is precisely our only means to reach it. We take the number 2 bus upwards to Ciudad Jardin all the way to the end and get off at the last stop.

Right in front of us, the street veers left and heads out of town towards the countryside. We grab that street. It’s a residential street full of beautiful single family homes.

A lovely place to live, in fact, and so near the countryside—if only it weren’t so d*** far away from everything! Basically, you do need a car if you live here.

We continue walking down the street. It crosses an overpass that goes over some sort of major freeway out of Malaga. You can catch glimpses of the Botanical Garden on the other side.

We still continue walking and it’s not long before urban concrete gives way to countryside and greenery. Here’s a pic from a few years back of this part of the way.

Montes de Malaga Spain

Yes it is foggy there. Don’t ask. Sometimes it’s foggy here. This might be Malaga but sometimes we have fog too. All the same it was 30 degrees that day (Celsius). Doesn’t seem that way but it was.

Soon we reach an intersection. The left turn dives under a tunnel and leads to the door of the Botanical Garden. We don’t want to go to the Botanical Garden, so we veer right.

The right-hand road climbs upwards for a while. But not to worry, it’s not a steep incline. When we get to the top of it we find a cluster of country homes. Just before these houses begin, there’s a fenced-off area. The path to the Roman aqueduct begins just beyond the fence.

Bridge

But please don’t go there or if you do, and you still insist on crossing the Roman aqueduct anyways and you fall off about 10 or 12 4 or 5 storeys to the terrible ground below and break a few bones, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you! (You can see there is no railing, and plenty of vertigo-inducing places.)

Anyways. Long story short. Don’t cross the Roman aqueduct.

Nope. The proper way to get onto the trail is to just keep walking up the road, past all the lovely country homes and haciendas and ranches. (We didn’t know that the first time we went this way so we rather pigheadedly insisted on crossing the Roman aqueduct. Don’t cross the Roman aqueduct!)

Roman Aqueduct Malaga

(The way back, incidentally, that first time, before I learnt about the proper way to access the trail, since I was adamant that we would nevermore cross the Roman aqueduct again, in the end the only means we could find to return to civilization required us to, of all things, plunge our feet into the coldest, iciest, shiveringest water you will ever find and cross a watering canal instead. And, you know, this being Spain and not merry ole England and all that, we don’t go for country walks with wellies.

But I preferred frozen shins to broken bones.)

Well, as I was saying. Soon you’ll come to a gate which indicates that that is where the trail begins. You can follow the indications on the sign at the gate. Or you can just angle downwards towards the stream. There’s a path that’s easy to see, before you enter through the gate.

Once you reach the stream, you can have the time of your life. If you’ve got kids they can go mad jumping in the water and trying to build log bridges and whatever else it is that kiddies do in streams.

Kids Playing in a Stream Malaga Spain

My kids look pretty tame, don’t they?

The first time I went there with the kids that is what they did. But the last time I went, I only managed to drag the eldest, “Ermenegildo”, along. The little one, “Lucrecio”, was convalescent at home.

Convalescent from what, you might be wondering? Well, from his PE teacher’s vain attempt to turn the whole class into parkour ninjas and instead of flying up a wall, Lucrecio crashed down on his ankle instead.

We just followed the stream up a ways as long as the daylight allowed. We’d left home after lunch (we’re not particularly inclined to catching the early worms nor, for that matter, the late worms either, we don’t like worms very much) so that wasn’t a long time.

Even though it was raining (okay sort of raining) it wasn’t the least bit cold. So no raincoats (not that I have any), parkas or anoraks required.

Ermenegildo in the Rainy Forest

We chanced upon a pack of wild dogs so kept a prudent distance from them. Luckily they chose to grapple their way up the mountainside and disappear. Didn’t occur to me to snap a few Polaroids. Dawggonit.

In all reality, the river goes on and on and on, I have no idea how far it reaches but probably too far for anyone except a seasoned hiker (ie. not us) to walk. One day, when we have the whole day free and manage to crawl out of bed before sunset, we might actually decide to tackle it and follow it down a significant length before turning back.

And since I’ve written a few books I’m not going to deny that I’d feel real chuffed if you’d check them out. As someone I know once told me, trying to urge me to check out some books: They’re thrillers! Grab all the deets here.

Rainbow After the Storm

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Cakes

I LOOOVEEE cakes.

And I bet you do too.

Black Forest Cake

But one thing I’ve noticed is it’s not as easy to get cheap cakes here in Spain as it is in Canada. I mean, cheap cakes at the supermarket. If you want a really good cake here you have to go to the bakery and bakery cakes are expensive.

In Canada you could just go to the supermarket and pick up a ready made cake for maybe $2. And there would be a whole huge variety of cakes available. But here even if a large supermarket has cheap cakes they will maybe only have a couple of varieties. The rest are bakery cakes (also available at supermarkets but in a separate section) and they’re more expensive.

Then you just can’t compare the variety that they have in Canada with here. Of course in bakeries here you can get every sort of cake that your heart could desire. But like I said before, bakery cakes are expensive. In Canada you can get every kind of cheap, ready made cake you could possibly want at the supermarket: chocolate, strawberry, Black Forest, caramel……

Now — and I’m just speculating here — I was wondering why is it so hard to get good, cheap cakes round here? And my theory is that maybe it’s just simply because Spanish people don’t seem to have a tradition of eating cakes.

Yep. Might sound weird. But think that in poorer countries cakes aren’t all that easy to come by. (Which is why only Marie Antoinette could have cake but not her poverty-stricken, lowly subjects.)

So traditionally, here in Spain, cakes and pastries were reserved only for special occasions. Reason why all the festivities of the year have their own special pastries, like Roscón de Reyes for The Three Kings holiday or pestiños for All Saints Day.

Then as people got richer ordinary people could have cakes more often. But even so they still tend to reserve cake eating for things like birthdays or family get-togethers. I still have delicious memories of how, when I was still married, my ex (then hubby) would buy pastries every Sunday and we’d have pastries and tea with his family on Sundays.

But maybe in other cultures, like England or Canada, it was more common to eat cake every day. For example, as part of the daily tea.

Well not exactly a transcendental subject and I’m sure these aren’t exactly earth-shattering theories haha. Just one of the many small details where I notice the difference between Spanish and English cultures.

And now that I’ve got your attention, check out my previous post, Walking in the Rain. It’s got more about everyday life here in Spain, and lots of pics (wink, wink).

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Walking in the Rain

Rainy Day in Malaga ForestI LOOVEEE to walk in the rain.

If you’re British you probably think I’ve gone off my rockers and I’m totally bonkers and I need to see my psychiatrist PRONTO!

But do understand, I’ve gone from a land that is buried in 3 feet of snow during 8 months of the year to an absolute desert. So where in this formula does rain factor in at some point?

 

 

The saddest life is one that is lived from cradle to grave without any rain, methinks.
(Tweet that, as someone I Follow likes to say.)

I talk to my friends in Canada right now and ask them about the rain and they say: What do you expect? Snow snow and more snow! Snow up to our eyebrows. When was the last time we saw rain?

And here in Malaga it’s two thirds of the same. Except here we’re not up to our eyebrows in snow, of course, but rather in endless blue skies.

When I first arrived in Spain I thought: oh wow, sun! It’s hot and sunny every single day!

A few weeks later I started to wonder: oh, so when does it rain here?

Well to the land’s credit, we do have 3 months of drought every summer. And we’d arrived just before summer. So it was fairly normal that we didn’t see rain for a while.

But at the time we arrived here, I didn’t know that.

Normally the storm clouds finally, thankfully, roll in come September and we finally get some relief from the endless scorching and searing and sunburning.

Now, for those of you who hate rain, I must ask you: If there were no rain, what would we drink? How would plants be able to live?

THIS is what the world would look like if there were never any rain. Day after day after day after day the whole year round:

Desert at Almeria

Okay okay, I realize that’s not quite fair. I realize that’s a beach, not a desert. But that’s still what the world would look like if there were no rain. It’s great for a week. For a month. For 3 months. But for a whole year, year after year after year?

And it is the desert: that’s Almeria, which is almost a desert. Do you happen to notice any greenery in there?

So, *ahem*, as I was saying, that, friends, is why we need rain.

Which takes me back to the (almost forgotten) original subject of this post: walking in the rain.

As I just mentioned, I love to walk in the rain. And I also love to take photos.

So when I walk in the rain I take photos.

So this is a collection of photos that I’ve taken, on different days, at different occasions, as I walked in the rain.

I love the beach in the rain because it’s completely deserted.

Beach in the Rain Malaga

In fact, for that matter, the beach when it’s raining is absolutely, scrumptiously INCREDIBLE! There’s no one there. When else on the entire Costa del Sol could you ever expect to find the beach so empty?

I often go to the beach when it’s raining, so I have quite a few photos to fill up quite a few galleries. Here’s just a short selection of them (because it takes me so &$/*^# long to edit them, d*** blast it!).

Rainy Beach Malaga

Paseo Maritimo in the Rain Malaga

There’s nothing I love more than to leave work and be greeted by a sudden rain shower or rather, a torrential downpour that lasts for about 4 hours. Because that’s how it rains here: no rain for 30 days, then suddenly we get half a year’s worth of rain in one evening.

Malaga Neighbourhood in the Rain

But that’s what I love.

Walking in a drizzle (which I also do) is a bit boring, actually.

No. I much prefer wild, out-of-control, inundating tropical madness. The kind that makes your eyes sting and fills your mouth with sweet water.

The kind where the rain hits you so hard you feel like you’re drowning.

The kind where you can walk around and no one knows you’re crying hehe.

Sometimes we go out hiking or for woody walks in the rain as well. I love hiking in the rain, there’s no one else about and we get the whole countryside all to ourselves.

Rainy Walk in the Woods

Roman Aqueduct MalagaThis aqueduct is AMAZING. I have no idea how it got there, when it dates from and most of all, why it’s so abandoned all alone out there!! What a way to treat ancient Roman monuments (if indeed it is Roman).

We’ve crossed on it a couple of times but I wouldn’t recommend it and most especially not with kids. It’s very high up and there are no railings or any sort of security at all. In fact, now it’s fenced off. But since we discovered it before it got fenced off, we knew how to wind our way through the woods to find it again. (Pic below taken on a different day hence why it’s so sunny.)

Roman Aqueduct Andalucia

Path in the Woods SpainWe don’t know what this is and speculation runs wild between my son and me. “Maybe it’s to hide from the rain,” suggests “Ermenegildo” as he glares balefully at the chubby raindrops pelting against him.

“Try hiding in it,” was my response. A bit too small for him I do believe. “For hunters,” Ermenegildo concluded.

Who’s right? Well, we’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Walk in the Woods Spain

Just a tiny pic of Ermenegildo. He hates me putting up his pics. So here you can’t see him very well.

People ask me if I don’t get frozen in the rain. I never wear a raincoat — in fact, don’t even own one for that matter. So since I’m also quite anti-umbrella (for my use, not for my kids’ use haha!) I suppose it would stand to reason that I could get rather cold and miserable.

But then again, this is southern Spain! Not northern Scotland. It’s warm all year round.

So the rain is usually warm and toasty too. And who doesn’t enjoy a toasty warm sprinkling?

Rainbow After the Storm

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May We Be Seven Billion

Candles

I run a professional website, and every time I send out a newsletter against terrorism I get a few unsubscribes. Maybe these ex-subscribers simply wanted to only receive newsletters strictly related to the theme of the website.

Or maybe it’s just coincidence. Although I very rarely get unsubscribes on newsletters with new articles related to the theme of the website haha.

But at any rate, I also feel that, even if perhaps it’s not the safest way to live, we still have to take a stand about things in the world, and stick to our guns about whatever stand we’ve chosen. And not shut up about it.

Someone – I don’t remember who but perhaps it was Winston Churchill? – once said that the only thing that is needed for evil to triumph is if a few good men stand by and do nothing.

I DO believe in peace, and in striving for peace. But I’m also one of those who believes that in the world that we live in, sometimes we have to fight to get that peace. Sitting around and praying alone is not enough (although, of course, it’s also necessary and helps a lot hehe).

On a different subject, I’m very excited because soon I’m about to reveal some news which is very very exciting (at least for ME haha). So stay tuned for that!

So, as I said at the beginning of this post, may we be over seven billion to spread the light of good and peace, kindness, respect and above all, tolerance, around the world and fight back the evil of terrorism.

And also Happy Chanukah!

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Praying For Paris

Hi all! Nope, no new post or article today. I’ve been working on some new, all-encompassing projects lately that have been taking up all my time.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard or read about the terrible, horrible atrocities that have taken place in Paris these last few days.

I’ve been to Paris a few times and it’s one of my three most fave cities in all the world. I’ve even dreamt of going to live there sometimes – if I were ever able to tear myself away from my beloved tropical paradise, that is!

I find it hard to understand that daesh can possibly believe that anyone can garner support and sympathy for their cause by killing beautiful, innocent people. Wantonly, senselessly and in cold blood.

The only thing they can accomplish with their acts of cowardice is to make the good of the world unite even more strongly than before against them.

It seems a complete irony to me that daesh consider themselves to be the righteous and the good of the world, while they look upon those who oppose them to be evil and the damned.

Don’t they understand that it is in fact those who kill, especially in cold blood, who are truly the damned ones carrying out acts of evil?

Another thing that saddens me is that events like this only serve to increase senseless hatred and racism towards people of Arab origin all around the world.

So please, don’t be a racist. Think that probably every single person you know or encounter on the street of Arab origin is probably just a normal, loving person like you. With his dreams, desires, aspirations. Someone who only wants to be happy in life, be with his loved ones, have a good time. Just like you.

It’s not exactly their fault that they sport Arab features, have ancestors that hail from the Middle East or possess last names like Mohammed or Suleiman. They didn’t exactly choose their appearance, ancestors or last names.

Now, I’m not saying that there are no terrorists of Arab origin in the world. But these are probably, like, 0,0000001% of all people of Arab origin in the world. And there are also White terrorists in the world, and is everyone now going to throw stones at every White person that they meet just because there are also White terrorists in the world as well? Of course not.

But unfortunately, racism is just an example of yet another scourge in our world. And daesh seem to be doing all that they can to increase and inspire more racism in the world.

On another note, I can’t imagine saying good-bye to my loved ones one night while they go out for a night out on the town in such a SAFE city as Paris, on their way to a rock concert or dinner out at a restaurant, as I’m sure we’ve ALL done so many times before in our lives. And then finding out within a few hours that our loved ones are no more. That we will never see them again.

The only thing I can say is to remind everyone (including myself) of how precious life is. And how we have to treasure and make the most of the time we have with the people that we love. Because we never know how much time we have left together.

As I said, no new article today. Merely a note to let you know that my heart, thoughts and prayers are with all of you affected by the tragedy in Paris, which, obviously, should NEVER have occurred.

And as I always say to Subscribers on my website,
Remember to live your dreams today!

Remember ALWAYS, and even MORE so in these times, that LOVE is the strongest force in the universe.

LOVE is stronger than bombs, or guns, or swords.

And those who are moved by LOVE will ALWAYS win, in the long run, over those who are motivated by hatred, bigotry, scorn or disdain or intolerance.

And since they always say, the way to fight hatred and intolerance in the world is with BEAUTY and LOVE, here are some images of BEAUTY to fight terror and hatred with:

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Best Friends

Today I was sitting around thinking about my good friend in Madrid, let’s call her Lana (not her real name). For years, when I lived in Madrid, we were inseparable.

Inseparable Friends Peace Sign

Lana and I are still in touch. But it’s not the same anymore.

When I lived in Madrid and she was single, she was a real rebel. Heavy metallist, rebellious, anti-conventionality. It’s ironic that now she follows all the conventions and all the things that people expect of her.

We met in the choir. Both of us sang in a choir. We hit it off right away and soon became fast friends.

We were both wild and rebellious, both of us a lot in character like George of the Famous Five, except we had – and still continue to proudly sport – long hair. The difference between us is that whereas I’m quite shy and diffident around people, especially people I don’t know well, Lana is very talkative.

I thought about all the things we’d done together, so many fun experiences we’d shared. Going home one night after a night out clubbing, at 3 in the morning, we decided to start howling like a bunch of cats in heat, waking up the neighbours.

Going to visit an apiary, that is, a bee farm, with a friend of hers. On a hiking trip to observe vultures. Like me, at that time she was very much into hiking, and we often went on hikes together.

Climbing into a water ride at the amusement park one hot summer day, two mischievous little urchins in the same boat with us thought it would be fun to throw water at us. We threw water back, and soon it was all we were doing the whole ride long. We went on that ride I think it was about eleven times with those same two mischievous urchins and had a blast.

Another time we went to a field that was off limits. One of those private properties where trespassing is forbidden. There was a very high fence around it to prevent people from jumping in. We wanted to play in that field. Not because we especially wanted to play in a field – although we did, and it was a very large field – but mainly because it WAS forbidden. On that occasion we went with our friend, the boy I would one day marry haha.

We were absolutely DETERMINED to get into that field come hell or high water. My boyfriend gave us a boost up onto the top of the wire fence. We reached down and pulled him up. So far, excellent.

The problem came when we went to jump down. The shirt I was wearing got snagged on the fence, ripping off half the hem when I jumped down. Unphased, we continued into the field and carried on playing. I don’t remember what we were playing now. Some kind of ball game, maybe?

When we tired of playing and it was time to climb out, this time it was Lana who got snagged on the sharp, poking-out wires of the fence. In her case, it was her jeans. The wire poked a hole in her jeans. However, jeans are sturdier than shirts, and neither was she able to rip herself off the fence, nor could she disengage herself or unhook her jeans from the wire.

She couldn’t simply jump or pull herself down, because then the wire would have gouged into her skin. In the end, we don’t know what she did, but she had to extricate herself from the wire all by herself because we couldn’t get back up again.

I remember one hiking trip in particular. We planned to go with a good friend of hers, Elena. In those days Lana had the bad habit of always arriving very, very late. This was in those times before mobile phones.

Anyways, we were going to meet up at Chamartin train station. Elena arrived, and we started spinning about the station in search of Lana. Aware of her tendency to arrive late, we didn’t give up when she still hadn’t shown her face after we’d been combing the station for a long time.

At last, we both saw her get off the escalators looking like a scarecrow, with wild eyes and swivelling her head in all directions. It was so late, she was convinced that Elena and I for sure must have taken off without her. Of course, being loyal friends, we hadn’t. We grabbed a train to some mountains north of Madrid, whose name I’ve now forgotten. But they are well-known and people often go hiking there. Gredos, I think.

There were a lot of people on the same trail we were on. We walked to the end of the trail, where lots of people had set things up and were playing, eating and just generally having a good time. I believe there was a lake there as well. All of a sudden it started to rain – one of those unexpected, unpredictable mountain storms. All the people started taking off down the trail.

It was quite a long trail. We were perhaps halfway down the trail, when Lana suddenly realized that she had forgotten something in the clearing where we had been playing. We had to trek all the way back, in the rain, to retrieve the lost object. This time when we turned around to go back, the mountain was completely deserted.

After what seemed a veritable odyssey, we finally straggled back into town. We were starving. We had packed a picnic and we wanted to eat. But of course, there was no way we could have a picnic in the rain. We didn’t know where to go.

At that point, we noticed a building that was in construction. It was halfway built. It had floors and stairways, sustaining columns. And most importantly, it had a roof!! That was all that mattered to us! Within seconds, we were rushing up the stairs to the second floor (for greater privacy haha). We plunked down onto the floor, relieved to finally find shelter from the cold rain after what must have been hours, and enjoyed our picnic with numb, blue fingers. It was just a silly thing, perhaps, but I remember we didn’t stop joking and laughing all the way.

With Lana I travelled to Granada, Cuenca, the Alpujarra, Morocco. We had a blast in Morocco. At that time, her family lived in the compound of the Spanish consulate in Tangiers, and I spent several days there. We also took the train to Larache.

We wanted to go to the beach in Larache. But unlike in Europe, it’s impossible to go to the beach in Morocco and even less so if you are two young girls. In Morocco, just the fact that you have long hair and wear a skirt, and especially if you are unaccompanied by adult males (although the presence of adult males is hardly a deterrent), is enough to draw in all the Moroccan men as if you were, well, some sort of rare prize or something.

So we had to defer on our beach plans. But even so, we had a great time together in Morocco. I remember going to the souk with Lana’s mother, and eating pistachio ice-cream. Mmmhh.

Today Lana is married, with two kids, like me (except I’m not married, of course!), and we live our separate lives in cities more than 500 km apart. We still chat via WhatsApp. She’s no longer a rebel, commutes two hours a day to get to work, gives her kids communions and attends all her and her hubby’s family events: baptisms, weddings, engagement parties……

She no longer goes out hiking or for walks in the country. They very rarely even go on holiday. She never travels, except to the family home on the beach.

I wish she lived here in Malaga, near me.

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Anti-Vaccinations: Dying To Be Natural

(This is the same post I put up earlier, yesterday. But I made a few changes, and I changed the title, so now it goes up as a new post. But if you’ve already read yesterday’s post, you don’t need to read this one since it’s almost the same.)

I wanted to put up another travel post this week, but I felt like this subject was more pressing. After all, the sights and monuments will still be there a week from now haha!

Lately there’s been a lot of controversy in Spain about vaccinations, due to an outbreak of diphtheria in a child whose parents had decided not to vaccinate him.

Many people believe that vaccines are dangerous or have lots of terrible side effects, like autism, because they think there are toxins in vaccinations such as mercury.

Well, if you DON’T get your child vaccinated, then what are the chances that he will catch a terrible, potentially fatal infectious disease like diphtheria, measles or polio? Compare that to his chances of getting autism from a vaccination.

English Cemetery Malaga

The Children’s Cemetery, English Cemetery, Malaga, filled with the tombs of children killed by infectious diseases in the 1800’s.

Which do you think is higher? His probabilities of becoming seriously ill from an infectious disease that is highly contagious but easily preventable by vaccines, or his probabilities of “picking up” autism from a vaccine?

To top it off, it’s now been shown that the link between vaccines and autism was, in addition, nothing but a hoax and a lie. (You can read more about this news here: Autism and Childhood Vaccinations.)

Vaccine-Related Autism Was a Hoax

So in addition to NOT protecting their children from dangerous illnesses, turns out parents who oppose vaccinations have even NOT been saving their children from autism, either. Their children were never in danger of “picking up” autism from a vaccine shot, because vaccines don’t cause autism to begin with.

And as one person I know put it: “I’d rather have a child with autism who’s alive, than a dead child who died from an easily preventable infectious illness.”

Long-term Effects of Serious Infectious Illnesses

Here is what can happen if your child gets ill from diphtheria:

(Quoted from the Mayo Clinic, link to original website here.)

Left untreated, diphtheria can lead to:

  • Breathing problems. Diphtheria-causing bacteria may produce a toxin. This toxin damages tissue in the immediate area of infection — usually, the nose and throat.
  • Heart damage. The diphtheria toxin may spread through your bloodstream and damage other tissues in your body, such as your heart muscle.
  • Nerve damage. The toxin can also cause nerve damage. If C. diphtheria toxin damages the nerves that help control muscles used in breathing, these muscles may become paralyzed. Respiration may then become impossible without a respirator or another device to assist with breathing.

Diphtheria is fatal in as many as 3 percent of those who get the disease.

This is what happens if you get measles, another infectious illness that is covered by current immunization campaigns:

(Once again, thank you for the information, Mayo Clinic, original link here.)

Complications of measles may include:

  • Ear infection. One of the most common complications of measles is a bacterial ear infection.
  • Bronchitis, laryngitis or croup. Measles may lead to inflammation of your voice box (larynx) or inflammation of the inner walls that line the main air passageways of your lungs (bronchial tubes).
  • Pneumonia. Pneumonia is a common complication of measles. People with compromised immune systems can develop an especially dangerous variety of pneumonia that is sometimes fatal.
  • Encephalitis. About 1 in 1,000 people with measles develops encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that may cause vomiting, convulsions, and, rarely, coma or even death. Encephalitis can closely follow measles, or it can occur months later.
  • Pregnancy problems. If you’re pregnant, you need to take special care to avoid measles because the disease can cause pregnancy loss, preterm labor or low birth weight.
  • Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). Measles may lead to a decrease in platelets — the type of blood cells that are essential for blood clotting.

And how about polio, another infectious illness that is easily preventable by following the regular vaccination schedule for children. As a side note, I had a teacher at school when I was a schoolgirl, she was quite young to be so ill, only 35. She suffered from chronic health problems as a result of contracting polio as a child, before vaccinations existed.

(As usual, thanks to the Mayo Clinic for the info, original article here.)

Paralytic polio can lead to temporary or permanent muscle paralysis, disability, and deformities of the hips, ankles and feet. As a result, children who survive polio may spend their lives with severe disabilities.

Well I could continue onwards, since there are a number of diseases that can be easily prevented in children by a simple vaccine shot, included in the vaccination schedule and available for free to all children, at least here in Spain and probably in most developed countries.

Infant Mortality From Infectious Diseases Before and After Vaccination Campaigns

As a parent who obviously loves your child, do you really want to go through the anguish of seeing your child seriously ill, on the brink of death, perhaps not even surviving, because YOU refused to provide him with something so easy to obtain as a simple vaccine shot?

Think about how many people, especially children, died or suffered from lifelong disabilities, as a result of contracting any of these easily preventable infectious diseases before vaccinations existed.

As an example, in the US in 1921, 15,520 children died from diptheria.

On the contrary, in the US last year, ZERO (yes read it, 0) children died from diphtheria, thanks to routine vaccination of all children.

People Who Oppose Vaccinations

Some people who oppose vaccination said to me once, “Why do I need to vaccinate my children? They’re at school and they’re perfectly healthy. Besides which, all their classmates are vaccinated, so their classmates can’t get the disease and pass it on to my kids.”

Yeah that’s right, another word for this is called riding on someone else’s coat-tails! So, you want other parents to run the “risk” of vaccinating their children so your children won’t get sick? Is that it?

Come on, gimme a break. How selfish can you get?

That’s like living in a shared home where you do no housework and never clean up after yourself, and expect the rest of your housemates to be your slaves and clean up after you!

And as for your kids being perfectly healthy today, well, that’s just the way it is with illnesses. Today your kids are bouncing with energy and life and just won’t get out of your hair, and by night-time they’re flat on their backs with a fever of 40º Celsius (that’s round 105 for those using the old-fashioned Fahrenheit thermometers).

Just be thankful for your blessings that your kids are happy and healthy right now. I know I am, every minute of every day.

But at least I know my kids won’t be dead from meningitis by nightfall. Meningitis can kill literally within hours from the time the first symptoms appear.

But I don’t have to worry about that. Because my kids are vaccinated.

Are yours?

My Hippie Friends’ Point of View About Vaccinations

Once upon a time I was a hippie (maybe there’ll be more about this particular theme one day……). Most of the hippie crowd I hung around with believed in living the “natural life”.

They didn’t hold jobs, preferring to make a few bucks (well, euros) by pawning off stuff at handicraft fairs or selling their old rags on the street. Some were squatters, since they didn’t want to enrich the pocketbooks of people they perceived as avaricious, Scrooge-like, power-hungry landlords.

Some were beggars, or spent their time spaced out on booze, hash and cocaine.

Most of them advised me not to vaccinate my baby. Because it’s “not natural”, they told me. Or because my baby could pick up autism from the vaccinations, or have an allergic reaction. Because breast milk naturally protects babies, they said.

Well, getting a vaccination is “not natural”, but illnesses ARE natural and which do you prefer? A NATURAL illness, or “artificial” protection from that illness?

And by now we have debunked the autism myth. As for the allergies, well, you’ve got as much chance of developing an allergy to vaccinations as you have of developing an allergy to anything else in the world. And you’re not going to avoid strawberries, eggs, milk, wheat, nuts, flowers and trees (pollen, you know) and cats and dogs, just because you MIGHT one day develop an allergy to all these, are you?

And yes maybe breast milk does provide some protection from infectious diseases (always supposing, of course, that the mother was vaccinated herself……). But are you going to feed your baby breast milk for the next eighteen years, until your baby grows out of the high risk age for contracting infectious illnesses?

All the same, since I was into the same hippie crap as all my friends in those days, I did consider not vaccinating my beloved son. One conversation with a good acquaintance changed all that.

Dead Babies in Africa

He travelled regularly to Africa. He told me about all the little babies that he saw dead or dying every day in these countries from polio, meningitis, diphtheria, measles.

None of these children had to die. A simple vaccine shot could have saved them all.

If you asked any of these parents if they would have preferred their child to suffer from an allergic reaction to a meningitis vaccine – easily survivable, since it is easy to counteract an allergic reaction – or what did happen, that is, their child dying from this illness, what do you think they would say?

So yes please do forgive me if I sort of tend to see “opposing vaccination” as a rather arrogant, ignorant, holier-than-thou, anti-society First World problem. I don’t think one single parent in Africa who had seen their child die from meningitis, or become permanently disabled from polio, would think twice about running as fast as their legs can carry them to the nearest vaccination station (if they’re lucky enough to even have one in their country) and vaccinating all their remaining children.

Finally, since they say a pic is worth a thousand words, a few months back we had the opportunity to visit Malaga’s English Cemetery and take photos. This cemetery was founded in the 1830’s and I was especially moved by the oh so many tombstones belonging to little children who had died in the 19th century.

Children used to fall like flies in those days. As a mother, you knew that most, if not all, of your babies would never see their fifth birthday. And measles, meningitis, polio, diphtheria and whooping cough were the main reasons for this.

Chidren's Graves English Cemetery Malaga

These one-year-old twin babies died within days of each other from one of the above mentioned infectious illnesses. The same goes for all the little inhabitants of the graves surrounding them. And the ones that fill up the Children’s Cemetery of Malaga’s English Cemetery.

Is that what you want?

If not, the solution is simple.

Vaccinate your children.

And let them bury YOU one day, rather than you being the one to bury THEM.

As usual, positive, non-spammy comments are ALWAYS welcome! I LURRVE to receive them!

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Malaga’s English Cemetery

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