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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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  • Costa Women - Networking and socialising for women all over Spain

    Published February 2nd, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    Ladies, have you come across Costa Women in your trawls through the Internet? If not, maybe you should take a look. It’s a free online social and business community for women living and working in Spain, and those who are preparing to make the move, or even just researching the possibilities open to them..

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  • Writers On Spain: Matthew Hirtes

    Published February 1st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    Most Writers On Spain have a story to tell. Some – like Yours Truly – become writers when they move to Spain, because they are inspired by the beauty of Spain, the lifestyle, the food, the people, the duende (the soul of Spain, as embodied in flamenco), or a combination of some or all of these things. Others – like Matthew Hirtes – are already writers, and move here for deeply personal reasons.

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  • Books on Spain: Catalonia is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective

    Published February 1st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    This is the first of an occasional series of reviews on books about Spain, and I’m kicking off with Simon Harris’ Catalonia is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective. This book is a combination of Spanish and Catalan history, informed opinion on the Catalonia Question and a deeply personal insight into why Simon – and millions of others from all over the world – have come to the conclusion that the autonomous region of Catalonia could and should exist as a European state independent of Spain.

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  • Halogen ovens: save on electric as your food cooks to perfection!

    Published January 1st, 2015 by Sandra Piddock
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    It takes me a while to cotton on to new technology, so I only recently bought a halogen oven. Still, better late than never, as the saying goes! Since I’ve had it, I’ve been trying out various things, so I decided to cook Christmas dinner in the halogen oven, and keep the regular oven on low to keep everything warm. The result was a perfectly cooked meal, with our Aberdeen Angus beef done exactly as we like it. The good thing about a halogen oven is that you can actually watch the food cooking and whip it out when it looks ready.

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  • Blogging on Spain: More great expat blogs

    Published December 29th, 2014 by Sandra Piddock
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    Here are some more great blogs on Spain. Again, these blogs are entertaining and informative. These bloggers take you there, they don’t just rehash the stuff they pick up on Google. They’ve been there, done it, and got several of the t-shirts, so you know that what you’re reading comes straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

    Meet Phil Morrison, Trevor Huxham, Karla Ingleton-Dorcas and Caroline Angus Baker

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  • Writers On Spain: Lucinda E. Clarke and the Africa Connection

    Published December 29th, 2014 by Sandra Piddock
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    Writers end up in Spain, and even write about Spain, but sometimes they take a circuitous route to get here. Lucinda E. Clarke is one such writer. Born in Dublin, Ireland, and trained as a teacher in Liverpool, Lucinda tried life as a crofter in Scotland before moving to Tanzania, Botswana and Libya with her first husband. She’s also lived in Durban, South Africa, so she’d seen a lot of the world before she fetched up in Torrevieja in 2008.

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  • Monforte de Lemos – 6 Things to do on a rainy day

    Published December 10th, 2014 by Craig Briggs
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    The town of Monforte de Lemos is situated in the Val de Lemos, a vast undulating plain in the south of Lugo province, Galicia. Regarded as the heart of the Ribeira Sacra, the town attracts national and international tourists during the long summer months. As well as being the administrative centre of the area’s denominacion de origin (a wine and food quality standard for a specific geographical area), Monforte boasts many historic monuments. Out of season, the weather is less predictable. Here are my suggestions of things to do on a rainy day.

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