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  • No Ordinary Expats: Jim Barry and Jan Cave Barry, the ‘Man of Action’ and the ‘Woman of Faith’

    Published May 31st, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    People move to Spain for all sorts of reasons, and often turn to something different in their new life in the sun, but it’s unlikely that too many of them possess such extraordinary talents as Jan Cave Barry and Jim Barry, or have such a prosaic reason for moving.

    ‘We were fed up with the weather in Ireland,’ says Jim, who hails from Dublin and now lives with Jan in Torrevieja. Lots of people carve out new lives for themselves when they move over to Spain, and Jim and Jan are no exceptions. However, this is not just a case of giving up the office job and trying their hand at writing to pass their time in retirement. Singer, songwriter and performer Jim is now a successful artist, while Jan has morphed from dancer and theatrical performer to children’s author and artist, although she modestly describes her particular brand of art as ‘daubing.’

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  • Alternatives to alcohol in Spain

    Published May 3rd, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    One of the many advantages of living in Spain is the low tax on alcohol, which means that you don’t need to take out a second mortgage to have a good night out at the bar, or sit and nurse one drink for hours. However, it has its disadvantages too – the fact that booze is so cheap and readily available can mean that you drink more than is good for your health. And with the summer fast approaching, that nice cold beer that seems so inviting could be making matters worse, as alcohol has a dehydrating effect. Also, remember that drink driving limits may be more stringent in Spain than in your home country.

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  • Home made lemon curd recipe

    Published May 2nd, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    This year, for the first time ever, we had about 50 lemons on our tree in the garden. It’s a big improvement on last year’s three, but you do have to think hard about how to use them. After all, there are only so many gin and tonics you can drink and still have a healthy liver! After making preserved lemons, and fresh lemonade, I decided to try an old favourite from my childhood – home made lemon curd.

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  • Not into golf? Try walking football!

    Published April 29th, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    Think of sport in Spain, and most people think of golf, closely followed by water sports such as swimming, diving and wind surfing. But what if you’re a man past the first flush of youth, who thinks golf is a good walk spoiled, and isn’t into water sports, but wants to keep fit? Walking football could be just the thing you’re looking for.

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  • How Will the EU Referendum Impact Expatriates Abroad?

    Published April 28th, 2016 by Foreign Currency Direct
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    What is the EU Referendum?

    It’s highly unlikely you haven’t heard about the EU referendum announced originally in the UK in January 2013 by the current Conservative government, which will decide whether the UK remains part of the EU. The date is set for June 23rd and will decide on the future of the UK either as a continuing member of the EU or return to a time of sovereignty not seen in over 4 decades. Should the UK remain in the EU and will a potential ‘leave’ vote impact the current status of British expatriates?

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  • Free tapas? Yes, if you know where to look!

    Published March 31st, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    Back in the day when the package tour operators first discovered Spain, just about every bar served free tapas with drinks. And back then, because Brits were rather suspicious of ‘foreign muck,’ they were left largely untouched, thus offending our generous Spanish hosts. Now that Brits are involved in a love affair with Spain so deep that they are moving out here in droves, they bemoan the demise of the free tapas.

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  • Spain and Portugal - divided by a shared peninsula!

    Published March 31st, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    After 8 years of living in Spain, we’ve finally made it across the border to Portugal for a month long vacation in our motor home. I was prepared to be dazzled by the beauty of the Algarve – and I am – but what I was not prepared for was the considerable differences I would find between the people and places of Portugal and Spain. They may share a peninsula, but they are divided by both culture and geography.

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  • Moving to Spain? Let Facebook help!

    Published March 31st, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    . Even if you guide yourself seamlessly through the maze of Spanish bureaucracy and settle in your new home in the sun, living abroad is very different from a holiday. It may take a while to make new friends and find good places to eat, and the best places to shop. And that’s where Facebook can help.

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  • How to preserve lemons

    Published January 31st, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    Here in Spain, lemons are ridiculously cheap right now, but how can you make the most of them? Oranges – which are also plentiful at the moment – can be eaten or juiced, but other than in your gin and tonic, you may be a bit short on ideas for lemons. You can use them in desserts, and in fish recipes and salad dressings, but you won’t want fish and salad every day, and too many desserts isn’t good for the figure. If only you could preserve lemons to use in the months ahead!

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  • Oranges - more than just fruit!

    Published January 30th, 2016 by Sandra Piddock
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    One of the countless things I love about living in Algorfa is wandering through the orange groves. I love to take my dog Paddy in there, let him off his lead and see him bound with unconfined joy along the avenues and up and down the terraces, sometimes chasing rabbits, but often simply enjoying that perfect space, which is a haven of peace and tranquility.

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