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  • Learning Spanish the Jane Cronin way

    Published May 1st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    If you intend to live in Spain, you really should try to learn the language, no matter how daunted you are by the prospect. For a painless introduction to the language, you can’t do better than visit Jane Cronin’s website. Jane is a bit of a celebrity on the Costa Blanca. She’s something like a Spanish version of Victoria Wood, telling funny tales about her struggles with the language when she first arrived in Spain, and singing songs about the Brits in Spain in her stand-up comedy show. Her latest show ventures into Spanish stand up, and that’s being very well received to. Jane really is a bilingual comedienne.

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  • Samaritans in Spain – Here to listen

    Published May 1st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    The Samaritans is famous the world over. Started in 1953 by London vicar Chad Varah as a listening and befriending service for people on the brink of suicide, it now has 201 branches in the UK and Ireland and receives over 5 million calls a year. It may surprise you to know that there is also an offshoot of the Samaritans – Samaritans in Spain. It’s based in Punta Prima, near Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca, and it deals with calls from all over Spain, and as far afield as India and America. In fact any English speaking person, anywhere in the world can call Samaritans in Spain.

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  • Moving to another EU country from the UK

    Published April 24th, 2015 by PSS International Removals
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    The expansion of the European Union over the last ten or 15 years has brought with it a significant shift in European attitudes towards emigration from the UK

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  • How to really annoy a Spaniard in 4 easy lessons

    Published March 31st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    Spanish people are renowned the world over for their tolerance, hospitality and love of fiestas, but there are some things about expats that they really don’t like, and sad to say they are justified in most of these things. Spain is the land of cheap booze, but who actually goes binge drinking and throws up in public? That would be the Brits. You may think their reputation is unfair, but I’ve seen it too many times, and it’s only the British who get really obnoxious through drink.

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  • Algorfa - off the beaten track, but so much to see and do!

    Published March 31st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    Never heard of Algorfa? You’re not alone – in fact when we fell in love with our garden apartment on the La Finca Golf Urbanisation just outside Algorfa, we certainly hadn’t, so when we told people in England about our new home, we said Algorfa was ‘Near Torrevieja.’ Seven years later, I realise it’s not near Torrevieja at all, other than in the purely geographical sense. It’s streets ahea

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  • No Ordinary Expat: Dave Bull - Breakfast Show DJ on Real Radio International and much more

    Published March 31st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    Where to start to describe Real Radio International’s breakfast show host, Dave Bull? The guy has slotted so much into the 16 years he’s been in Spain, there’s enough for an autobiography – and incidentally he’s on Volume Two of that. In a previous life in Brighton, Dave sold pies – yes, really! He was a franchise holder for Peter’s Pies on the South Coast of England. However he got tired of earning his crust that way – pun intended – and moved to Gran Alacant on the Costa Blanca with his wife and 7 year old son.

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  • Books on Spain: 'A Load of Bull' by Tim Parfitt

    Published March 1st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    One thing I love about books on Spain is that they give you an insight into life in the different regions, as well as often detailing the author’s own experiences as an expat. Sometimes, they’re also laugh-out-loud funny – so much so that when you turn the final page, you feel like you’ve lost something very special. Tim Parfitt’s book about life in Madrid in the late 1980s as an Englishman sent to help with the set up of ‘Vogue Espana’ is just such a book. Warning: don’t under anycircumstances eat or drink anything as you read this, because you never know when the next splutter-making episode is going to hit you.

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  • Where's that Bucket?! Rota, Spain, 1972

    Published April 14th, 2015 by sandra staas
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    One thing that surprised more than anything when I first moved to Rota in 1972 was the public toilet. Not only was it a question of dealing with the oddest of odd toilets which tended to be a hole in the ground, but it was also the extreme lack of said public toilet. Beggars can’t be choosers, and I guess a hole in the ground, if you were lucky enough to come across it, was better than the rear end of a bush. You had to stand with your feet wide enough apart so that you could aim sharply and precisely into the hole. As for the toilet paper, well, don’t get me started. It was like brown wrapping paper.

    One day, I was on the outskirts of Rota, on a narrow country road. Now, maybe I should have used a restroom before sett...

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  • Oranges are not just for juicing!

    Published February 28th, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    I often walk my dog Paddy through the orange groves. It’s so peaceful and fragrant, and I can safely let him off the leash to get all the exercise a 32 kilo puppy needs. Right now, the branches are bending and groaning, heavy with fruit, because there’s such a glut the growers are not bothering to pick them. On some local markets, you can buy 6 or 7 kilos of juicy local Valencian oranges for as little as €1, so it’s not cost effective for the growers to pick them and ship them.

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  • N332 Education - The real story on traffic laws from the traffic cops of Torrevieja

    Published February 28th, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    In January, the traffic cops of Torrevieja set up a Facebook page called N332 Education. It was aimed at passing on information regarding traffic laws, general laws and other useful information to English speaking expats in the Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa region of the Costa Blanca, through which the scenic N332 Coast Road runs.

    The cops hoped to get a couple of hundred likes from local people, but now the page has 8,000 likes from all over Spain, and a new website, n332.es.

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