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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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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.