BRITCHAT The international magazine for the Valencian Community
O G ES GR T A H C EE T I N R
ALSO| I heart Valencia - The Botanical Gardens| Tomato madness in Bu単ol| Learning languages| Day trip to rural tranquility| and much more.
Throughout this magazine youâ€™ll find these suggested language levels at the top of the page and accompanying vocabulary boxes beneath the text. For pronunciation we have also included the phonetics. Each colour refers to a particular level as indicated here.
In this monthâ€™s issue| 4 |News 5 |Holidays & parties 6 |Valencia community 8 |I heart Valencia 10|Restaurant| The Ginger Loft 11 |Free in Valencia 12|Bar| After Work Pulpo Bar 14|Green living 19|Expat life 20|Cinema 21|Music 22|Art in the community 23|Art to see this month 24|Talking teaching 25|Health| Feeling fruity 26|Charity| Project Why 27|A little help 28|Books, Events & classifieds 29|Competition & Golf 30|Downtime, Recipe 31|Animals
elcome back. To a large extent August sees Valencia and Spain shutting up shop. The temperatures go off the scale and people leave the city in search of a place to chill out and have their holidays. Lots of shops close for at least two weeks, some open with reduced hours and at times there can be little to do but go to the beach to enjoy the sun or seek shade to avoid it. Here at Britchat though we don’t take time off but will continue to bring you an interesting read each month. As well as the usual features, this month’s special focus is on green awareness. We have attempted to keep it as balanced as possible with some helpful hints, some stories you may not be familiar with and hopefully not too much doom and gloom. This month we have been (once again) out at our favourite bars and restaurants and have also taken a jaunt down to Lake Albufera which we
report back about on Page 6. This month ‘I Heart Valencia’ pitches the beautiful Botanic Gardens of Valencia and Edinburgh together. Who will win? Check Page 8 to find out. What’s in a name? As many of you know, the three of us have recently taken over the magazine and for longer term readers you will have noticed we have been doing a lot of work in terms of content, style, direction and distribution. It’s become very clear that while Britchat is a name you look out for each month, the name itself is no longer exactly on the money. As you can see from the box below this editorial, we are aiming this magazine (and it is read by) an ever growing range of people. It’s from this point of view that we launch a very special competition this month. Look for it on Page 29. And with a very special competition comes a very special prize. Next month we will be back in all the usual outlets and some new ones too. Our cover will look different but underneath will still be the same magazine you know and love. Next month’s focus will be on teaching and language learning. If you have any thoughts, stories or queries, please get in touch with us at the usual address. Enjoy the downtime. Andy, Kelly & Sean
Important numbers Fire| 080 Local police | 092 Medical emergency| 061 General emergency| 112 French embassy| 96 351 0359 British embassy| 96 3520710 USA embassy| 96 351 6973 Dutch embassy| 96 341 4633 German embassy| 96 310 62 53
Britchat is aimed at all people in the community of Valencia, whether born here, visiting for a day, or living a new life in the sun. We hope to guide you on what’s going on in the community, help those living in it, and support language learning with a bit of added fun. If you have any ideas about how we can make it better, we’d love to hear from you.
Legal chat| We do our very best to strive for accuracy in this magazine but we do not accept responsibility for any unintentional errors or omissions. Any opinions given in the magazine are just that – opinions – and as such they may differ from the reader’s own. We aim not to offend and do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any advertisements placed in the magazine. Deposito legal| V-816-2006
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|4| Football is back already.
The National Commission for the Coordination of the Judicial Police is demanding immediate destruction measures for the thousands of kilos of hashish, cocaine and heroin accumulating in police stations across Spain. Normally they have to wait for Judicial agreement to do so and this can take a while. The problem of storing the contraband until waiting for the destruction order has reached such proportions in Andalucía that the Guardia Civil are now guarding bales of drugs in abandoned houses. Two years ago 154 kilos of cocaine and heroin vanished from the cells of the main police station in Sevilla, and four years ago 20 kilos of cocaine went missing from Valencia.
La Liga kicks off again this month with Valencia’s two teams both playing in it this season. Valencia, after finishing third last season, will do well to maintain that position this year after the end of season sales of ‘The Davids’ Villa and Silva. Levante, on the other hand, will be looking to secure their position in the top league. The league kicks off in the week of the 28th August with Valencia travelling to Malaga and Levante playing at home to Sevilla. The first home game for Valencia sees them taking on Racing Santander on the week of the 11th Sept. Valencia Community’s Villareal go to Real Sociedad to start their season.
Maybe they’re not so bad. There are 403 billionaires living in the US, according to Forbes. And of those, thirty-eight have pledged at least 50% of their wealth to charity through ‘The Giving Pledge’ campaign started by investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates who are the richest and second richest men on the planet with $47bn and $28bn respectively. While their wealth goes up and down, a 2009 study by The Economic Times found that Bill Gates was richer than 140 countries on the planet. To put that in perspective there are 196 countries in the world. The campaign was started in June to convince US billionaires to give away at least half of their fortunes either during their lifetimes or after their deaths. Those who pledge their money to ‘philanthropic causes and charitable organisations’ must publicly state their intention through a letter of explanation.
©World Economic Forum
Shock findings. Another one of those incredibly insightful studies into behaviour has come up with some remarkable conclusions including that ‘not all girls are princesses who love pink, and that not all boys love football’. It also reported that families with children spend up to 60% of the family shopping budget on them. Anyone who has had children will no doubt be amazed by these conclusions. The report was undertaken with the help of the Valencian Institute for Small and Medium Sized businesses with parallel studies in 7 other countries including the US and the UK and was sponsored by the International Association for Stating the Obvious.
14/08/1893. France. First car registration plates and driving licences introduced. Coincided (perhaps unsurprisingly) with the world’s first parking fines.
Holidays & parties
The tomatos scientific species name for tomato is lycopersicum, meaning “wolf peach” - it comes from German werewolf myths. The Aztecs called it xitomatl meaning plump thing with a navel. Tomatoes were first cultivated in 700 AD by the Aztecs and Incas in South America. The French called it “the apple of love,” the Germans “the apple of paradise.” Wear clothes that you won’t mind throwing away as you will never get them clean again - white clothes are best for full effect! Take a change of clothes for the return journey – there are some public showers in Buñol near the river. You cannot get on public transport wearing the dirty clothes! (Throw them away or bring a bag with you if you want to keep them as a souvenir!) Bring goggles (to protect your eyes) but don’t wear
ugust| The sleepy town of Buñol is the place to head for on Wednesday 25th of August 2010. Why? Because it’s the culmination of their annual week-long celebration and the high point is probably the world’s largest food fight, La Tomatina, in the town centre. The crowd will start Can’t make it? The celebrations include dancing, food calling, and then, at You could go to and fireworks, and are worth visiting 11am, it all begins. La Tomatina in for a longer period of time than just the A horn will sound S u t a m a r c h a n , parade itself. On the night of the 24th and the trucks piled Colombia 2nd will be the Paella contest – making high with about week of July it, rather than throwing it. But what 150,000 over- or Dongguan, you’ll talk about for years to come, will ripened tomatoes China on Oct be the madness of the tomato carnage. will begin to make 19th instead! The history of La Tomatina is a their way through the crowd. The little unclear, with various reports people aboard the truck will start of practical jokes, food fights and throwing the tomatoes crowdwards, uncontrollable youths being the with occasional tips of the trucks to tradition’s origins. It started in the release the moistened lovelies en 40’s with only a few breaks since then masse. for Buñol’s changing regulations and Take note that it is known that if Franco, but it is now officially ‘The you aim for a balcony or climb on a Event’ in Buñol with the small town window or wall, you will be target for welcoming up to 30,000 or so visitors a much wider audience. The tomatoes to join in the fun. are thrown for an hour until the The day will start with ‘The Soap Stick’ sound of the horn is heard again then - a large ham will be tantalisingly no more tomatoes can be thrown. placed at the top of a slippery pole – The locals will hose you down before and the person who can climb that you head to find something refreshing greasy pole keeps the ham. After a few to get the taste of tomato out of your calories have been burnt trying that, mouth (the sangrias are enormous), the crowd moves into the centre of the a bite to eat in the sunshine, and to have a dance town. Some eager locals will start cleaning you off until the queue for the train has gone down. even then, with water cannons and buckets of water www.latomatina.es streaming down from the floors above. Train| Line C-3, Cercanias de Renfe from Estacio del Nord (you can catch a tube there). Go early (around 7am) - you will have to queue to get on the trains. Buy your train ticket in advance to save time and hassle. Car| Take the A3 towards Madrid for 40 minutes. Find a space to park out of the centre. glasses. Tomato on your eye can be really acidic! Wear shoes that have a decent grip. No flip-flops as you will never see them again. Don’t take your good camera. Or good anything. You can buy waterproof cameras in VLC or Buñol. Play nicely – don’t throw anything hard or heavy, and don’t damage anything or rip anyone’s clothing.
14/08/1948. London. Last innings for legendary Aussie batsman Donald Bradman said to have made ‘statistically the greatest achievement in any major sport’. Emotionally overloaded, he was bowled out for a duck (0).
Valencia community| Lake Albufera
here are so many places to see, yet perhaps you only have a few free hours. Should you go to the coast, the interior or round the city if you have some extra spare time? If you want something different there is a lot on offer for day trips in and around Valencia. This month we went to Lake Albufera and the nearby villages of El Palmar and El Saler. Lake Albufera is the huge freshwater lake some 7 miles (10 km) south of Valencia and is part of the Albufera Nature Reserve (Parque Natural de la Albufera). It’s massive - some 21,120 hectares of water and for day trippers provides some great wildlife watching and the chance to get to move amongst some scenery that is more likely to be seen in Asia than in Spain. Known as Nacarum Stagnum by the Romans and as ‘Mirror of the Sun’ in Arabic poems, the area’s main industries are providing a livelihood for fishermen in the local area with catches of mullet, crab, eels and bass; boat trips out onto the lake provided by local boat owners at very cheap rates which allow you to cruise around the lake looking at the herons, ducks and dragonflies and take in the wonderfully lush green scenery of rice farming. Regarded as one of the most important wetlands in the world, with over 250 different types of wildfowl it was declared a Natural Reserve in 1986. The strip that separates the lake from the sea consists of sand dunes, pine woods and rich fertile soil. In Winter, Lake Albufera is an important nesting site for migratory birds but looks stunning all year round as the water gives mirrored reflections of the landscape.
© Gabriel Chalmeta/www.gabrielartwork.com 2010
The famous Valencian author Vicente Blasco Ibanez set his novels here describing the way of life of the fishermen of El Palmar - the island which was in the middle of the Lake (until part of the lake dried up and it became mainland).
Time seems to go slower here. Little visually has changed since his day. The cultivators of the paddy fields however apparently have changed a lot in recent times as traditional farmers are gradually supplemented by retired office folk looking for something to do to get them out of the house and from under the watchful eyes of their wives. They seem to be the Spanish equivalent of retirees who take such pride in their lawns and vegetable patches back home. El Palmar is a small village with a population of just under 1000 and is a great starting point for hiring a boat out onto the lake. You can head round the luscious green rice paddy fields and enjoy the slower pace of life and the flurries of bird activity in the area. The area of the paddy fields and lake are large so be aware that the whole area is more than just a short walk. The best options for viewing the area are by boat with the locals or by taking your bike and meandering along the windy, flat roads. You shouldn’t get lost as the area provides good markers to aim for when returning. Afterwards the town provides opportunities to cool off with a cold drink or a bite to eat. El Saler is slightly bigger at just over 1000 inhabitants so is a bit better suited to visitors. It was once a major trading post for salt in the area hence the name. Salt was an important trading commodity in days of old and it
© Gabriel Chalmeta/www.gabrielartwork.com 2010
15/08/1769. Corsica. The ‘Little General’ Napoleon Bonaparte born. Interesting fact. He used to have the Mona Lisa on his bedroom wall. Interesting fact 2. The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.
Valencia community| Lake Albufera Advanced
is believed that the village grew up on the back of this.
It has nearly 5 kilometres of golden sandy beaches which are protected from the prevailing winds by a line of sand dunes and an enormous pine forest which you can walk through to access the beaches from the town. Cold drinks are available from small stalls to quench your thirst and there’re some restaurants down there too. In the afternoons the ‘Garbi’ south westerly wind gets up which makes El Saler a great spot to go wind surfing if you fancy that. For those golf fans among you, El Saler Golf Course is one of the most highly regarded in Europe. Designed by Javier Arana, it is said to be similar to playing a Scottish links course, but with that incredible sunshine that Spain benefits from. © Gabriel Chalmeta/www.gabrielartwork.com 2010
The towns of El Palmar and El Saler also have a claim to be the home of paella with rice taken freshly from the fields and transformed with the help of chicken, rabbit, vegetables and snails into the wonderful Paella Valenciana. It really is worth the normal 45 minute wait to try this regional speciality. Our huge portion for two people at Robert’s restaurant in El Saler was 18€. In some ways it was a shame that the end of the day had come but the scenery is no less delightful as the sun goes down. The spectacular landscape provides chances aplenty for you to take some beautiful pictures, although you might find the © Gabriel Chalmeta/www.gabrielartwork.com 2010 herons are a little more camera shy. The lake is an ideal place if you’re looking for a nice relaxing day out getting back to nature and enjoying the traditional side of life. Car| take the CV5000 to the south of Valencia; 20 minutes Tourist bus| ‘Albufera’ from Plaza de la Reina, price includes a boat trip in the paddy fields. €12.00 Yellow bus| leaves Valencia every half hour from Gran Vía Germaías 36, & Plaza Cánovas; 40 minutes. €1.25 e/w (approx). Herca is the name of the Yellow Bus company. No number. Once in the town, go and find your private boat trip from €5 upwards. Bike| It’s a quiet cycle road straight there. Type ‘Plano Carril Bici Valencia’ into GoogleMaps to get a route map there.
15/08/1947. Mahatma Gandhi lives just long enough to see his peaceful protests at British Rule come to fruition as The Union Jack is lowered forever on The Raj. He is shot 5 months later at a prayer ceremony.
I heart Valencia Intermediate
ach mo ach mont month nth h we we’r we’re re go goin going ing g to sq square squ u off something famous from Valencia with something else. famous from somewhere else e
T his month’ss green issue sees two botanical b This gardens go head-to-head. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh E dinburg gh (the ((tthe he RBGE), RBGE), which is one mile m North of the city centre and our very own Jardí Botànic which between the river Túria and C/ Quart. ccan an be found fou ou und nd in in the th North-West of El Carmen th C N either of of the the he gardens gar ar ardens Neither have managed to stay in their original locations: The Jardí Botànic moved to its ccurrent urrentt location locati tion El Huerto Hue H rto t de de Tramoyeres Tramoy T y in 1802 and The RBGE relocated to Inverleith in 1820 in an a ttempt to get away from the pollutio pollution on in the city. They were also both founded in order to grow and attempt cultivate and to serve as important research tools for local universities. cu ultiivate medicinal medi dicinal i l plants l and d continue continue i Round 1| Age – The Jardí was founded in 1567 accessories leave little left for us to say really. by the University of Valencia and is one of the Winner – the RBGE oldest botanical gardens in Europe (the oldest in Spain). The oldest in Europe is in Padua, Italy and Round 4| Scientific contributions – The was founded in 1545. The RBGE is Britain’s second RBGE has three main areas of scientific Scottish Biodiversity, Plants & oldest botanical garden and was built in 1670 (the work: Climate Change and Conservation. The Jardí oldest is in Oxford and was built in 1633). undertakes research in the following areas: Winner - Jardí Botànic Bio-systems, Molecular Biology, Anatomy & Round 2| Size – At roughly three times the size Histology, Phytosociology, Geobotanics and of the Jardí Botànic, the RBGE gets an easy win Bioclimatology. this round with 32 hectares. The RBGE also has Winner - Jardí Botànic (You do the math!) three specialist ‘satellite sites’ created in Benmore Round 5| Historical Fact – Sir Robert Sibbald; a (1929), Logan (1969) & Dawyck (1978). renowned Scottish physician and antiquarian set Winner – the RBGE up the RBGE. The Blue Whale (Sibbaldus) was Round 3| Number of plants – Since 1802, the Jardí named after him and he became the first Professor has been home to more than 4,500 different species of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in arranged in 20 different collections. However, 1685. When Napolean’s soldiers left their mark on the RBGE’s 15,000 living specimens with 41,000 Valencia in 1812, they didn’t forget to leave their
© TVCB, Valencia 2008
17/08/1979. Memphis. The King is dead. Even with a drug and fast food addiction he’s still remembered with more affection than the next King of Pop ‘Jacko’. I wonder why?
mark on the Jardí too. It was also later destroyed by floods in 1957 and was refurbished 30 years later by the university. Winner - Jardí Botànic (for still going strong after a textbook destruction by an army led by a certain pint-sized emperor) Round 6| Herbarium – In Botany, this is where preserved specimens are kept, for those of you who weren’t sure. The RBGE’s herbarium boasts over 3 million with contributions from the Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrews. Personal collections include that of R.K. Greville, John Hutton Balfour and (most importantly) George Walker Arnott whose collections included specimens from all of the important 19th century collectors from India, the Americas and South Africa. Those in the Jardí WINNER? 3.5/3.5: Our first draw! Both are fantastic examples of Botanic Gardens and should both be visited but seeing as you’re here why not pop along to the Valencia one.
I heart Valencia are mostly from the Iberian peninsular, the Mediterranean islands, North Africa and other European countries. Winner – the RBGE
Round 7| Culture – The Jardí plays host to a number of lectures, concerts (jazz; classical), exhibitions and audiovisual shows hoping to bring science closer to society. It also houses special events such as San Juan, La fiesta de Ciencias and El día de los árboles. The RBE is popular amongst tourists and locals alike and there are many live performances, guided tours and exhibitions throughout the year too. Winner - Draw They’re both great spots to visit.
If you haven’t already been, get yourself there. It costs 1€ entry and concessions are FREE! You can even park your bike inside. For more information, log on and visit www.jardibotanic.org or www.rbge.org.uk.
© Phil Odor Photography
17/08/1896. UK. First pedestrian is knocked down and killed by a car. Mrs Bridget Driscoll apparently panicked and froze as the car hurtled towards her at 4mph (6kmh).
Restaurant of the month| The Ginger Loft
e only print a Restaurant of the month if we have personally visited it and loved it. While we can’t account for everyone’s tastes, here’s a place that tickled ours. It’s been over a year since I was in South East Asia, but as I tasted the sauce on my dipped finger I was instantly back in the country where I first experienced a real Thai Curry. As my senses fired, images rushed back of unassuming wooden restaurants where the taste of the food blew away any misled perceptions induced by the location. I was fortunate to visit Asia, and savour so many new flavours and sensations and I craved them from the moment of leaving. Unsurprisingly, I felt cautious after ordering my curry in Valencia. I have been let down by promises of rich creamy spices and misleading sales patter before. It would take something significant to meet the high standards I have for Thai food. And The Ginger Loft’s Thai Curry surprised me with its excellence and perfect portions. I could stop at this point, but I really should explain more of this gem of a restaurant. The doors were opened 2 years ago by the charismatic duo Mike and Santi, fresh from spending several years in Tokyo and looking for something new. They had the aim of creating an informal casual cafe-restaurant and have hit the spot with this venue, not quite hidden off a pedestrianised street near Plaza de la Reina. The restaurants doors open to simple seating outside and in, and with its high shutters wide open, even inside it felt airy and light. The walls are minimalist, with beautifully displayed Kimonos. There’s also space upstairs which can be used if you want to host birthdays or other special events. Our evening started with cocktails. We could see that some of the other tables came just for these; they are delicious. The cocktail menu offers interesting
Address| C/ Vitoria 4, by Pl de la Reina Phone| 963 523 243 Web|www.thegingerloft.com Hours| Tues-Fri 1.30pm-4pm, 7pm-1am Sat 7pm-1am, Sun 1.30pm-5pm, 7pm-12.30am Price of a beer| €3 Price of a cocktail| €7 Our favourite dish| Thai Chicken Curry €7.50
variations on classics with a twist, although Santi was more than happy to make the original or even an alternative as we wanted. Our samples included the Pineapple Mojito and the Hemingway Daquiri, which Santi mixed fresh in front of us together with some interesting conversation. The other meal chosen was created especially for the indecisive amongst us, a dish of chicken and udon noodles with black bean and chilli sauce. In his excitement Calamity John tipped some of his meal onto my shoe but what he saved, he loved, especially the thick curling udon noodles. The menu is modest but varied, with Mediterranean and a selection of authentic Asian dishes resting unashamedly beside each other. It offers interesting tapas to pick at up to full-blown, whisk you away to another continent moments. The food was cooked in front of the bar by Mike, which you could oversee, and more importantly, start to salivate over as the sizzles and smells pass right by your senses. The pair host special evenings to mark important events including food and drinks to suit the occasion such as their recent ‘Sex and the City’ cocktail night to launch the movie release. They advertise these on their website and on Facebook. Every Wednesday and Thursday evening they promote one premium gin from their huge selection, special cocktails and special prices. If you fancy a cocktail, a beer, some snacks or a great meal, this place really hits the spot. Oh, and they told us about their Sunday brunches - Eggs Benedict made with homemade hollandaise sauce and muffins and all washed down with a Bloody Mary. See you there!
17/08/1998 Washington. A VIP, 6 months after saying he didn’t, remembers that he did. Memory loss can be caused by inhaling marijuana but, as we all know, he didn’t do that either. He likes cigars - sometimes even smoking them...
Free in Valencia
anting to see the Valencian Community on the cheap? You’ve got loads of options. Every month we’ll list some of the places you can go to to enjoy Spanish culture, nature and have some fun in this corner of Spain. This roasty, toasty month you’ll find us: 1| bat spotting. Not the real ones, although the park bridges are great spots if you fancy doing that, but we’re going to find the many that adorn the city of Valencia. There are the obvious ones on the football team shirts and the Puerta del Mar, but so many more are hiding in the eaves above you and on the ground below you. If you want to know why we’re looking for bats, check out the box below. 2| going to see the man who all the great local legends are about. He’s sitting majestically on his horse in Jardines de la Glorieta looking over the phenomenal rubber trees planted over 100 years ago. 3| wandering to the gallery of 46 pictures of some of the 100 forests and woods photographed by Enric Company, better known as Kaiko. It’s being held in the Valencian Botanic Gardens until 3 October, from 10am-2pm and 4pm-9pm. Closed on Mondays. If you have any special spots to recommend, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are bats adorning many parts of Valencia, time they identified a surprise attack on the even outstretched on the Valencian Coat of Arms. camp by the Moorish army. They battled the King Jaume I of Aragon is usually identified as Moors and won, and upon realising that it was the King who made the bat so popular. Jaume is the bat hitting himself against a drum which highly regarded in this part of Spain, as the King had awoken them, the bat was given its mighty who defeated the Moors in Valencia in 1238. status. However, the origins of the story of the bat aren’t Subsequent historical investigations reveal quite so clear. One legend tells how Jaume was that this was not in fact a bat, but a beautiful about to re-enter the city when a bat landed swallow, and that the bat didn’t make its way on his flag which he took to mean good luck. to its famous position until 1503. Whatever the Another popular story tells of a bat waking the truth is, the bat is here, there and everywhere. Christian army from their slumber, at which You just need to look.
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18/08/1933 & 1937. US. The birthday of Two Hollywood legends whose careers have gone in very much opposing directions. Robert ‘Golden Boy’ Redford and Roman ‘Where’s the young girls at?’ Polanski.
Bar of the month| After Work Pulpo Bar
t all began in about March of this year. Having recently arrived in Spain and found a flat in the Carmen area, we set out to explore our new neighbourhood. It was lunchtime and we were hungry…but we weren’t exactly rolling in cash. Having barely walked for long, slightly off the beaten track away from Carmen’s main hubbub streets, we stumbled upon ‘After Work Pulpo Bar’.
having to part with a huge chunk of cash. The walls are colourful, displaying pictures and artwork that change on a regular basis. What is particularly unique about After Work however, is the presence of two distinct rooms. There are traditional tables and chairs in the front, and out the back you can find lowseating cushiony couches. It’s like having the best of two worlds in one place. Go on a date or have a sit-down meal out the front, or chill out with a few friends and your feet up out back.
What drew us in initially was the fun look of the bar from the outside, as well as the fact the owner Bra was standing at the door smiling a hello. What blew us away in the end Not to be ignored, and most was the relaxed atmosphere, important, is the fact that the food, and the prices. A there is always music – great three course meal for lunch, music. This is definitely with a drink and a coffee someplace to go if you feel like kicking back, having included, all for only €7. If there happens to be no a few drinks, and listening to some tunes. He’s got coffee, you will be offered a shot of mestila instead. the 60s, Mod, rock n’ roll, indie, and some reggae in Now you can’t find fault with that! the mix. He’s also got a nice selection of beers, wines When he opened After Work 18 months ago, Bra and tapas, all true to his philosophy, at wonderfully brought years of experience, from working with affordable prices. music groups, owning a night club, and then later On Wednesday nights you can grab a burrito and a a bar. He tells me that his philosophy was to create large drink for only €5. On Fridays get a small beer a place where young people could go, relax, have a and a montadito for just €2. On a Thursday you can good time, have a few drinks, a few eats, chill out get bocadillos and maybe check out the meeting of and enjoy themselves in a place that is modern and the VSC, Valencia Scooter Club, of which Bra is the atmospheric, without (and here lies the crunch) president. During the Winter, call in for a different place to watch the football, and starting again come Address| C/ Murillo September, I recommend the lunch Menu del Día. Phone| 671 127 450 You won’t find anyone handing out flyers on the (Call for reservations.) street, trying to drag you in here. Instead, Bra Price of a beer| depends on his customers coming in because €1.50 caña; €3 pint they love the bar, and then passing the word on Price of a wine| to friends, just as I am doing right at this very €2/glass, €11/bottle moment. Sinead Maloney Opening hours| August 6pm–1.30am, Closed Mondays. Sept 9am–1.30am
23/08/1305. London. William Wallace hanged, drawn and quartered. His head was stuck on a pole and placed on top of London Bridge and his limbs were sent to northern English and Scottish towns as a warning to others.
Green living| Bedtime stories
orror stories in days gone by were traditionally the realm of fiction writers with overactive imaginations, film directors who preyed on an audience’s primeval need to be scared witless and parents who used tales of the Boogie Man to frighten their children into changing some disagreeable habit they had picked up.
Nowadays it is just as likely that it’s the golf club president or the rotary club secretary. Green awareness is cutting through the social classes.
Awareness groups and special interest organisations bring to us all manner of concerns. They provide us with information to allow us to choose to make changes, both individually and collectively, directly or indirectly through the changing of our daily Fast forward to today and it’s very rare that a scary habits or putting pressure on decision makers. book will stop anyone from There is a danger of sleeping soundly, cinema overexposure with daily audiences are as likely to helpings of news about oil laugh at horror films as they spills, wars and pollution are to scream at them and a which could lead to a degree generation of children who of desensitisation. Some think the Boogie Man is cool people believe that this at best and lame at worst. green issue is just a fad and The horror stories of today that it will pass and we’ll take a different form. They soon be onto the next thing. are less likely to be conjured If that is the case and we as up by our imaginations and a species are losing interest are more likely to be created in the future health of our by our actions. planet then really what does that say about our species? The huge advances made in mass media and in particular information dissemination has led to more and more people becoming aware that actions at a local level can have huge consequences on a global one.
So while the writers, the directors and the parents all have endings in place for their stories, this one is still waiting to be written. Britchat explores some green issues we hope can contribute to a happy-ever-
Long gone are the days when the face of social after ending for us all. conscience were the unemployed ‘tree huggers’ Until then though do sleep tight and don’t at Greenpeace or the ‘crusty hippies’ from CND. have nightmares. In the wake of the ongoing catastrophe of the Gulf oil spill and the subsequent fatal spill in China, lots of people have been asking us how they can reduce their daily oil consumption. Here’s our top ten: 1| Carpool, cycle or use public transport to go to 6| When possible, choose locally produced work. products (less transport involved). 2| When possible, choose products packaged without plastic and recycle or reuse containers.
7| Buy clothes made out of organic cotton or hemp - not from oil derivatives.
3| Buy organic fruits and vegetables (fertilisers and pesticides are based on oil more often than not).
8| Use non-disposable items in picnics and summer festivals.
4| Buy beauty products (shampoo, soap, make-up) based on natural ingredients, not oil. 5| Fly less.
9| Quit bottled water. 10| Demand that your government encourages renewable energy instead of oil. Source: Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org)
26/08/1997. Bangkok. A sex-crazed elephant goes on the rampage killing two and destroying a radio station. If you should find yourself near a sex-crazed elephant my advice is to run away. They like to be on top.
etting on a bicycle is one of the best ways to quietly save our planet. Bikers are single-handedly reducing demand for cars, petroleum, and new roads. At the same time they are keeping fit, making our cities cleaner, and saving money.
illegal by the Valencia city council. Local police usually issue warnings, but may start issuing fines.
2| Use bike lanes and quiet back streets. The council has built about 130 kilometres of separate bike lanes throughout the city. Many bike lanes are on pavements and ‘shared’ with wandering The number of bikes in Valencia has risen steeply pedestrians, so top speeds are gentle at best. over the past ten years. Yet one of the reasons for 3| This is the fastest and most direct. It means riding their popularity is that none of the city’s roads rise on main roads like any other vehicle. Some people steeply. Valencia city is as panic at the idea of riding with cars, flat as Holland. but in reality it is easy. A few years ago there were Remember that a bike is also traffic, just three types of bikers and if you ‘drive your bike’ in a pedalling around Valencia’s sensible manner then other drivers streets: poor students, will treat you as one of their own. Lycra-clad club bikers, and Ride in the middle of the lane if it the amusingly eccentric. is too narrow for two cars abreast, Nowadays, most bikers look keep at least 1.5m away from parked reassuringly normal, and cars on your right, look over your the city is investing millions shoulder before manoeuvring, and of €’s in infrastructure and use hand signals. Wearing bright free rental bikes. clothing helps, and you must use There are three ways to ride lights at night. a bike in Valencia: City biking is easier if you get rid of 1| Riding on the pavement the knobbly tyres that come with at little more than walking mountain bikes. Buy smooth tyres pace is often favoured by and full-length mudguards. novices and is certainly the So pump up those tyres, climb on slowest way to get around. the saddle, and strike a quiet blow It has recently been made © Visentico / Sento for Mother Earth. Maps| www.tinyurl.com/valenciabicimapas
Urban biking| www.biciescuelagranada.blogspot.com
Valencia city council has teamed up with French outdoor media company J.C. Decaux to offer a citywide 24 hour bike rental scheme called Valenbisi. Price| Residents annual pass| €18, Tourist week Info| There are currently about 500 bikes and pass| €10. (You must be over 18 and have a valid 50 stations – soon to be expanded to nearly 3000 credit card.) The first 30 minutes are free. Minutes bikes and more than 250 stations. Most existing 31-60 cost €1 for tourists and 50c for residents. stations are in the university and port areas in the Minutes 61-120 cost €3 for tourists and €2 for north-east of Valencia. residents. These costs are “When I see an adult on a Techy stuff| You can manage charged to your credit card. bicycle, I do not despair for the your Valenbisi account and see How| Tourists - buy a weekthe current availability of bikes on future of the human race.” long pass at some, but not your Apple iPhone. Download the English writer H.G. Wells all, station terminals. A free program AllBikesNow from €150 reserve is made against the card and this is iPhone Apps store. cancelled at the end of the week. Residents - apply for a pass at the Valenbisi website. Cards and PIN A terminal screen at each station lets you see the numbers are sent to your home address within 15- location and real-time availability (bikes and docking bays) of all the other stations. 20 days. Theft| Your credit card will be charged €150 if Web| The official web can be read in roughly English www.valenbisi.es. An your bike is lost or stolen – and you will be barred translated information service is available (Spanish-only) on from the service (use a good lock!). 902 006 598. John Rawlins, www.john.rawlins.tel 25/08/1928. Liverpool. The Kop stand opens. Named after a Boer War battle (Spion Kop). Whilst this is the most famous Kop, another 20 football league teams in the UK use the name ‘Kop’ for one of their stands.
he world now has an expensive addiction to drinking water from plastic bottles. But why are we wasting our money, risking our health and adding more plastics to the dumps when we have free water flowing from our taps? Globally, we consume 200 billion plastic bottles each year (New York Times) and most of these bottles end up in landfills or are discarded. In what is believed to be the first move anywhere in the world, the Western Australian town of Bundanoon has banned plastic bottles from the town. It is an offence to sell or even give away bottled water there while in the UK, Leeds University Union has also banned bottled water. We asked Peter Heskett from Calnuncamas for our options for clean water in Valencia. Here’s what he said: In Valencia, it’s not such an easy solution. Hard water is a big problem in Valencia. It tastes bad, makes your hair go frizzy, coats water pipes with lime scale and reduces the lifespan of our essential items like water heaters and washing machines etc. Water becomes hard when there is a higher than normal amount of Calcium and Magnesium salts in the water. These salts in themselves are harmless and perfectly drinkable. However when hard water is subjected to an increase in temperature above 60ºC or an increase in pressure or turbulence, then the salts are transformed into scale (cal), unless the water is treated. In a typical house, the water is under significant pressure; so it is not just hot water pipes that are affected by scale. What to do? Water treatment can be either Chemical, Physical or Green. Chemical| The traditional water purifiers (depurificadores) use chemicals / salts to take the natural salts out of the water. Purifiers solve the problem of scale, but create others. You have to maintain the system, replace the salts regularly, and the water is left with a slightly salty taste. Purified water causes corrosion in metal pipes and results in contaminated waste water. Physical| Reverse Osmosis (inverso) takes the salts and minerals out of the water, by forcing the smaller molecules (pure water) through a membrane leaving behind the larger molecules (minerals). This system does not use chemicals, but
it does require much more energy and maintenance than the green solutions. Carbon filters (e.g. brita) filter out the impurities, but the filters need to be replaced regularly. Green| Green solutions are natural and do not involve maintenance, ‘recambios’ or a noticeable consumption of electricity. Years ago it was discovered that when hard water passes over magnetic rocks, scale doesn’t form. For 50 years or more, people have been trying to apply this principle to the water in our homes. The most simple solution is a clipon fixed magnet, like MaxiCal. More complex is an electromagnetic system like Scalewatcher. But these only work when there is a flow of water. In a typical house, there is water running only 5% of the time. However these systems are not as effective as the Radio Wave systems such as HydroFLOW, which work all the time, throughout the water system. Peter Heskett, Calnuncamas
21/08/1911. Paris. The Mona Lisa is stolen from Le Louvre by Italian Vincenzo Perruggia. He said he was angered into the theft by a Frenchman who had called him a ‘macaroni eater’.
often find myself standing in open-mouthed disbelief in supermarkets. It’s not at the amazing selection of goods on offer or the fantastic prices they have. It’s not even at the incredible brass neck of the people who believe that they are more important than the rest of us and who can’t waste their precious time queuing with us and demand to be served first. It’s not even that as my reaction to that tends to be a short swearword muttered under my breath. No. The cause of my disbelief does take place at the checkouts though and here’s why. Customer A has bought some fruit and vegetables. The supermarket has thoughtfully provided plastic bags for weighing and pricing the articles to ensure speedy exchange of money from Customer A. Customer A (or the supermarket checkout person) then puts the bagged fruit and vegetables into another one or two bags emblazoned with the supermarket logo to proudly proclaim to the world where they shop. Customer A then places said bags into their empty shopping trolley and heads off. Am I wrong to think that maybe the price ticket could be placed directly onto the bananas and then, once bought, placed directly into the shopping trolley to take home? I have seen for myself the look of disbelief when I try this method myself. Maybe you have too. ‘No necesito una bolsa. Gracias.’ The unsure, wary eyes of the checkout person trying to work out why on earth would I not want a bag for a can of Coke? “Take one”. “Take two”. “Take as many as you want”. And my personal favourite “They’re free”. All the while I’m thinking why would I want one? It’ll only end up with the rest of them back in my kitchen. And the ones I already have seem to be breeding like rabbits! The ones that do manage to escape my kitchen (and yours) will end up in landfills, on roads, in trees, in
parks, in rivers and in the sea. Sadly, there aren’t many places that are plastic bag free nowadays. A study of figures released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 by National Geographic Magazine estimated that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year. They are discarded but have to go somewhere and this somewhere appears to be the world’s oceans. In 1997 Charles Moore, an American racing sailor, was traversing the Pacific Ocean. Due to a lack of wind and current, its relative remoteness and distance from shipping channels, the area he was in was rarely visited. He was about to stumble across what is now regarded as the world’s largest rubbish dump. Estimates vary but it is generally agreed that due to the prevailing ocean currents there is an area at least the size of Texas which pulls in discarded rubbish and holds it there like a magnet. Texas is 1 and a 1/3 times bigger than Spain. This part of the ocean is awash with plastic. In some parts the floating debris is 90 feet deep. Scientists are calling this The Great Garbage Patch. And this isn’t a oneoff. In the Atlantic between Bermuda and Portugal’s Azores islands there is another but as yet less research and analysis has been done on its size and impact. Some of the plastic will break down into smaller pieces and be ingested by aquatic organisms which live near the ocean’s surface. This means the plastic and its toxins are now in the food chain. The end of this chain? That’s the tasty fish on our plates, full of the toxins from the plastic. The environmental problems associated with this are obvious both to marine wildlife and to ourselves. For more info log onto the internet and go to youtube.com and type in ‘great pacific garbage patch’. If that doesn’t convince you to lessen your plastic usage then nothing will.
28/08/1963. Washington. ‘I have a dream’ speech by Martin Luther King to 300,000 at the Lincoln Memorial. Voted Best American Speech of the 20th C by US scholars. ‘Dream’ now said to be slowly heading towards ‘vision’. Top man.
hen I was young, our family used to visit our grandparents in London every two years and I remember clearly that the food was pretty tasteless compared to what we were eating in Ireland. I am also sure that the food in Ireland nowadays would be tasteless compared to what it was then. I don’t eat rashers of bacon very often but when I do, I end up boiling them rather than frying them with the amount of water that comes out and then they shrivel up to nothing. We don’t need experts to tell us that the quality of our food has dropped over the last few decades and continues to drop. At the moment I am in Istanbul visiting my brother and last night on Turkish TV there was a documentary called ‘Food INC’ about the production of food in America. I didn’t understand a word but I had read the book ‘Fast Food Nation’ on which it was based so I could generally follow it. It showed graphically the negative side effects of the industrial production of food.
These included cruelty to animals, the working conditions of the factory/fast-food chain workers, the deaths from food poisoning (e-coli, etc), the epidemic of obesity/overweight problems in our society and the harm done to the environment by the mass production of cereals/veg and fruit. “Oh farmer farmer, put away your D.D.T. now, I don’t mind the spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees, oh please”. Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell But there are alternatives to the ‘standard’ bland food which the supermarkets are selling to us. Here are a few:
By buying from local organic producers you are: A| Supporting people who are taking care of the environment.
1| If you have time and land, you can produce your own. This method gives the greatest guarantee of quality as you know exactly what you are putting into your food.
B| Obviously helping to protect nature.
2| You can buy your fruit and veg from a person you know and trust who is growing them organically. 3| You can buy from your local ‘herboristería’ who has checked out the supplier. 4| You can join a ‘Box scheme’ from a local producer. You pay by the month and you collect a box of fruit and veg at a specific distribution point every week.
C| Providing your family with the vitamins, minerals, etc. which their bodies require to keep them healthy. D| Eating tastier food. E| Reducing your food kilometres (which is the distance your food has to travel to get to your table). F| Reducing the amount of nasty chemicals which you put into your bodies. Perhaps this summer you could try out your local organic supplier and taste the difference. Declan
28/08/1988. Bangkok. Latest fad is ‘The Lettuce Seed Diet’. Involves sticking lettuce seeds in your ears to kill hunger pangs. And your hearing presumably.
Energy First certificate
lternative energy, can live with it, can’t live without it.
A definition of alternative energy, provided by Princeton University Wordnet, is “energy derived from sources that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment”. We are using resources that we cannot replace and to me that is fundamentally flawed. As parents we would not get into debt knowing that we would be leaving it for our children to deal with after we have gone, should natural resources be any different? Our dependency on fossil fuels is created and fuelled (apologies for the pun) by corporations, they are the ‘drug’ suppliers and dealers who do not want an alternative in the marketplace which they cannot control. The market is driven by shortterm gain and I suspect very few fossil fuel energy companies think past 20 years, their immediate concern is the dividend they must generate for their stockholders. A case in point: BP quietly shut down their alternative energy division in 2009 despite the fact that their recent environmental catastrophe was created by having to drill for oil 1.5km below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Surely if you have to go to those extremes to get at a resource doesn’t that indicate it’s becoming scarce?
Sooner than we think, alternative energy will not be alternative anymore, it will be the only energy. Closer to home and to a fair proportion of readers of this magazine alternative energy is not an option, it is a necessity. I suspect, sadly, that if given the option, the majority of people with no choice other than alternative energy would opt for mainstream energy supply if they could get it. The reasons are many: expense, maintenance and, (in my experience) uncertainty. In the developed world we are conditioned to expect a light to come on when we operate the light switch. We transfer the responsibility for this event happening as expected to our energy suppliers. In the alternative energy world we have to accept that responsibility. Alternative energy is becoming cheaper every month. Industry predictions are that the unit cost of alternative energy will be at least on par with mainstream energy by 2012. It is now up to the alternative energy equipment manufacturers, suppliers, designers and installers to make the alternative experience as simple as operating that light switch. Fuel for thought... Graham Lovell MIET, Rusticared
29/08/1966. Candlestick Pk SF. Last Beatles concert. The band were sick of touring, not hearing themselves onstage, being unable to play what they wanted, getting death threats and being shot at. Public ‘astonished’ by their decision.
Expat life| Welcome to the Framily
As expats, many of us have left the family unit back in the homeland but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have that same support structure and social network that a family provides. In fact, it may be true to say that we have an even bigger Framily. There have been a number of surveys and articles in the media in recent years about the phenomenon of The Framily as it relates to the new generations of city dwellers who move away from their homes to live in cities. They work together, share flats, stay single longer and usually have no family nearby. This generation has come to rely more on friends and to look on close friends as members of the family, for expats this is even more relevant. In an expat environment we live in a world of accelerated relationships. We are by nature more open to random conversations, quicker to exchange numbers and lightning-fast to add a friend on Facebook. We often jump into relationships faster than we would have back home and as a result have huge social networks and probably a few ex-girlfriends/boyfriends to show for it too. In the absence of family members we spend much more time with friends and so friendships become much stronger, much quicker. At dinner at a friend’s house recently, with eight nationalities sitting around the table and usually
he family constitutes the core of Spanish culture. It is the unit around which everything revolves, it’s a support structure, a safety net, the basis of a social network, shoulders to stand on or to cry on as needs dictate.
three languages going at any one time, my friend thanked her family for coming. Her mother was there as it happened, but that wasn’t what she meant. She has been living here for five years and has only been back to Argentina a couple of times and so those around the table were her family;people she loves, people she spends her life with, people © Vinícius Sgarbe who support and sustain her. With cheaper travel and the explosion of social networking in recent years the expat Framily has taken on an even more international edge to it. Many of us have taken our expat travels to a number of countries and built extended Framilies along the way. These relationships are sustainable through the likes of Skype and Facebook in a way that was never before possible and so while one Framily might be left behind as you move to another country the relationships can be maintained. The Framily is not mutually exclusive from the family at home and neither is it exclusive of natives who have their family nearby, but rather it is about inclusion, friendship and support. For expats this is very important, and something to be treasured.
This is the first in a series of new features on Expat Life so look out for the next one in next month’s issue and welcome to The Framily. Eoghan Ryan
30/08/1797. Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Lord Byron hosts a small party. As the evening progresses they suggest a game of ‘writing a supernatural tale’. The winner was Mary Shelley with ‘Frankenstein’. How parties have changed.
emember the scene in ‘Cinema Paradiso’ (Giuseppe Tornatore) where, in a small Italian village the projectionist moves some heavy machinery around to turn the square into an open-air cinema? Well, this August the Filmoteca d’estiu (www.ivac-lafilmoteca.es) does something similar, albeit more high-tech. Their massive outdoor screen is conveniently set up right next to the Palau de la Música, in the midst of one of the most picturesque riverbed settings this great city has to offer. Enjoy a mix of Woody Allen and some of the best films of 2009 under a starry sky, all in their original language versions. l a n g u a g e ‘Everybody watching a says I love you’ (great) Spanish and ‘The Curse film – my of the Jade recommended Scorpion’, two way of Allen films, improving screen on 18 your language & 19 and 23 skills – with & 24 August ‘Celda 211’ respectively. (Cell 211) on Don’t miss 16 & 17 August. the George This was the C l o o n e y / sleeper hit of Jason Reitman 2009/10 and ( J u n o ) it also mopped collaboration up at the ‘Up in the Air’ Goyas (Spain’s on 20, 21 & 22 BAFTA). It’s an August. A fine mix of witty writing, sharp editing edge-of-your-seat prison thriller that eschews all and hilariously touching performances from the genre’s clichés. Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick (all Oscar nominated – for what it’s worth) give this a crossover appeal for lovers of Romcoms and Indie cinema alike.
If you avoided the Spanish dub of Tim Burton’s and Johnny Deep’s latest ‘Alice in Wonderland’ catch up with it on 27 & 28 August in English. If you’re comfortable reading Spanish treat yourself to Michael Haneke’s ‘Das weisse Band’ (The White Ribbon). It’s a chilling (here comes the M-word) masterpiece, depicting some disturbing events in a small German town, just before the outbreak of the Great War. The Austrian director assembled a supremely subtle study of how blind faith in authoritarianism turned generations of young Germans into National Socialists.
And don’t forget the Argentinian ‘El secreto de sus ojos’ (The Secret in their Eyes) on 25 & 26 August. Winner of this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar it’s an epic thriller with political overtones that unites actor Ricardo Darin for the forth time with director Juan José Campanella. If these names mean nothing to you ask in your local video store: any of their previous films are also worth a look. So, whether to round off an exhausting day on the beach or to start a long night on the town, the auditorium and box office for these cinematic treats open daily at 9pm for a 10.30pm start. Tickets are €3, or €20 for 10. You can even bring a bottle! Magnus Stanke
Improve your comprehension of the Castilian
31/08/1888 – London. Polly Nichols, a 43-year-old streetworker murdered in Whitechapel. The first victim of Jack the Ripper. He went on to kill at least 5, possibly 11. Not the most prolific of all time but perhaps the most infamous.
ach month we’ll bring you the hottest new music releases, re-releases, compilations and news.
Album of the month| Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo There has been a lot of talk about this band and their first album. They come from Long Beach, California and they sound very much like The Shins. They’ve also got some Flaming Lips, Wilco and Neil Young going on too but this album still manages to add a little bit of uniqueness to their sound which sets it apart from the others. They’re currently touring the US and Canada and will be hitting the shores of the UK in August. Sadly, no Spanish invasion planned just yet.
Standout Tracks: Truth Sets In, Jessica, Summer Cum Album to relax to| Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can At only 20-years-old, this is her second album and she’s already been on tour with Jamie T., been nominated for a Mercury Prize (2008) and has appeared on Later With Jools Holland. She’s been described as folk/alternative and this new album has been produced by Ethan Johns. It’s had her nominated (again) for the Mercury Prize this year. Standout Tracks: Goodbye England (Covered In Snow), Rambling Man, I Speak Because I Can. Album that showcases new talent| Stornoway – Beachcomber’s windowsill This is a beautiful collection of songs from an Oxford-based group of boffins (they’ve got PhDs, MAs, BAs; you name it). Their songs are well-rounded, they’ve got some great lyrics about conkers and the like and some nice guitar work, a brass section and even a cheeky banjo on the go. Brilliant! It appears that folk music, courtesy of Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers and these guys, is back on the agenda. Standout tracks: Zorbing, I Saw You Blink, We Are The Battery Human Album to listen to before you go out| The Mystery Jets – Serotonin You might have caught these supporting the Arctic Monkeys back earlier in the year at the MTV Winter festival. The second album doesn’t disappoint from the beginning. A mixture of the disco/pop from their first album this time with a very power-ballad feel to them. Apparently, their dad used to play bass with them before they made it big. Rock and roll! Standout Tracks: Alice Springs, Show Me The Light Album that takes you back| The Stooges – Raw Power An album that was ignored when it was released, it has now become one of those that can’t be, having featured in most top album lists since then. Pop messed up the production and David Bowie took over at the insistence of the record label. Bowie’s mix is back here after Iggy remixed the album for its CD release in 1997 and no one liked it. Standout Tracks: Search & Destroy, Gimmie Danger, I Need Somebody Album that mixes things up a bit| Field Music – Field Music A mixture of some odd harmonies and grooves which reminded me of another Sunderland band called The Futureheads. It didn’t surprise me to find out that drummer Peter Brewis once played drums for them. A mixture of odd harmonies, cranking guitars, complex breaks and some quiet little acoustic numbers which have left us both confused and reaching for the repeat button. Standout tracks: Them That Do Nothing, Effortlessly, The Rest Is Noise So there’s our music this month. If you hear of anything that you think other Britchat readers would like, let us know.
01/09/1988. New York. The Health Department reports that 8,064 people were bitten by dogs, 1,587 by other people and one by a penguin. Sadly this footage is not on youtube. I have checked.
Art in the community
e want to support new and up-and-coming artistic talent in the Valencian Community. Each month we’ll choose one artist at random and devote a page to that artist and a sample of their work. Name| Re-Enganchada a.k.a. Laura Chiapero Location| Valencia. Inspiration| Started recycling plastic bags after an inspiring workshop at the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibition in London. Books, magazines, blogs, textures and colour combinations in nature inspire her work. What’s available| Crochet handbags, yoga or beach mat carriers, bathmats or anything else that’s possible to be made of recycled plastic bags. Crochet jewellery and other accessories, with materials like cotton, hemp, wool, etc. Another speciality are greeting cards. History| Over 20 years of craft loving. Taught how to crochet by her grandmother and that was the beginning of her addiction. A BSc in Clinical Biochemistry is available if needed.
New developments| Crochet toe-separators for nail varnishing, curtains to keep flies away, lampshades, flip-flops. The latest developments are ‘Amigurumis’ (little animal dolls). Community service| She will recycle your plastic bags if you have too many and don’t know what to do with them. Contact her or KandABooks and she will come and collect them. You can buy Laura’s items| Contact her directly at email@example.com or at her shop in bigcartel.com Website| www.re-enganchada.blogspot.com. Also on Facebook: I recycle your plastic bags and Re-Enganchada. Prices| from €5 to no more than €100.
If you or anyone you know would like to feature in our art pages, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art to see this month Intermediate
alencia is an art lover’s dream (and most galleries are nice and cool). If you have time, seek out the smaller independent shows as well as the more popular spots. Sala Parpallo| This month we will cover the two exhibitions being held in Sala Parpallo. The two are very different but equally captivating. The hall itself is built into the old refectory of the Trinity Convent. This building dates back to 1445, yet feels cool and clean within. the La Grand Fete #1 is for the lovers of the Dutch In second hall graphic designer Han Hoogerbrugge who has the worked with Sony, Mitsubishi, & The Pet Shop Boys. lies exhibition La Grand Fete #1 was created especially for this Augmented interactive exhibition. It displays the initial Sculpture by sketches and the final onscreen characters with Madrid born a surprising number of adjusted self-portraits a r c h i t e c t included. The space has been subdivided into P a b l o eight cubicles; each with an interactive screen and V a l b u e n a . a mouse or microphone. Each character onscreen The contrast is disturbed by the pressure of is made by modern life and as you interact a single geometric abstract piece in the corner of with the character, it creates its’ the otherwise empty room, and you are invited to own party to evade its’ reality. watch the 5 minute show of lights and sound and Each character on screen faces let them impact upon your senses and perceptions loss of innocence, obsession, of the space. death and communication and the looped performances It’s easy to become lost within the smooth are disturbing yet oddly progression of shapes which appear and disappear in front of you. Some shapes and shadows appeared mesmorising. aggressive and harsh, whilst others had a more At the end of the hall are six dreamlike Blade Runner-esque element. individual interactive screens www.pablovalbuena.com through which animations are led by your involvement. The themes might not be suitable for Calle Alboraia, 5 T| 963 614 415 a younger or delicate audience. Tues-Sat| 10am-2pm, 4pm-8pm www.prostress.com Sun|10am-2pm (Closed Mondays) Free entrance, No cameras.
03/09/1666. London. What happens next? A bakery is sited next to cellars full of flammable goods like tar, spices, hemp and even gunpowder left over from the civil war. It’s a windy night and the bakeries furnace isn’t quite out.
Talking Teaching with Orange Language Academy
ith the help of Orange Language Academy, we’re going to bring you some help each month with those difficult grammar problems that leave you with several mystified Spaniards in front of you. This month we’ll be looking at a couple of verbs that tend to cause problems: Remind & Remember. Remind (v.) - cause someone to remember someone Remember (v.) to have in your mind or be able to bring into mind someone or something from the or something. past; to keep something important in mind (not 1) He reminded me to get money out of the bank. 2) I will remind you tomorrow about what you have forget it). 1) I remember her from the other night. to pack. No. 3) Can you remind him to get me a drink at the bar? 2) Do you remember me from last night? Remind is always followed by an object to satisfy 3) He remembers going to church when he was a the meaning and, if using a verb, we must use the boy. In all three examples we are thinking of a memory infinitive. When combined with the preposition ‘of’ we are that we have in our head (or don’t in the case of the second example). talking about resemblance or similarity. 1) Remember to pick up some milk. 1) He reminds me of my brother. 2) I must remember his birthday this year. 2) This weather reminds me of England. 3) The smell of the flowers reminded him of Paris. 3) She forgot to give me her number. So remind is when something makes us think of In all three examples we are thinking about something that we need to keep in our head for the something or someone else. future. Notice that if the verb that follows remember is a gerund, we are talking about the past and if it is an infinitive, we are talking about the future. So how do we go about teaching these tricky things to our bewildered students? Guided Discovery/ Inductive Learning| An approach in which the learner finds out the rules for themselves by looking at various examples of the language in context e.g. from a reading/ listening text followed by a series of questions. You could even write the text yourself! Grammar Translation| An old-fashioned way of doing things which is often scoffed at within TEFL circles. Recent studies have cited translation as something that students are constantly trying to do and something which Orange Language Academy has been an American teachers are trying to prevent. Remember every run language school for the city of Valencia and its student learns differently and to keep your mind provinces since 2005 offering all types of open! language related services. Elicitation| They also run the language Make the students tell you. There’s nothing worse intercambios on Wednesdays than a 10-minute explanation that they write down at the Portland Ale House. and never look at again. Get yourself some sound Find out more about them at bites or ambiguous photos/drawings and ask them www.orangeidiomas.com what it reminded them of (they could write it on the board or in notebooks...weaker students can work in groups) and they will certainly be more involved in the class and more likely to retain the information. For those of you who really want to get down to learning the language, we’ll be bringing you an expression each month. This is our job. Your job? Get out there and use it! Then tell us how you got on… estar hasta los huevos de alguien - to have had it up to here with someone E.g. Are you going to call Andy? No. I’ve had it up to here with him. ¿Vas a llamar a Andy? No. Estoy hasta los huevos de él. 05/09/1946. Zanzibar. The greatest frontman of them all born? Certainly the best frontman with a moustache. Freddy once said of the Queen name “I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it”.
Health| Feeling fruity?
pain’s fruit markets are always a delight on the senses. As you drift between the rich colourful waves of the vibrant nectarines and purple plums, absorbing the pungent aromas of the sweet peaches against the background of the pickles, your mouth cannot help but water even before the fruit has changed hands. And in the Summer we are in the height of these sensations. The weather in Spain helps the growth of most fruits all year round, but it is in Summer that the new produce is at its best. The great thing about living here is that these delights are grown right on our doorsteps, and sent straight to the shops, meaning you have the freshest available product. You may find that your supermarket supply is limited, but take a venture to your local greengrocer (an organic one if you can find one). There they will surprise you with six types of pear, numerous types of oranges and apples, and a mesmorising selection of tomatoes including that beast of a tomato, the Valencian. Although this looks like a brain, sliced and placed on bread with a dribble of oil it tastes like heaven. The fruit to look out for in the next month are grapes, melons, pears, persimmons, peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes and apples - although that list is by no means complete. Check out our recipe page for a great peach desert. The benefits of having such a rich array of fresh fruit on our doorsteps is immeasurable to our health. As they’re stuffed with vitamins, each of these fruits can play a significant part in keeping our bodies healthy leaving us longer to enjoy our lives. Here’s a few facts about some of this seasons delicacies. The peach originates in China, where they say it was consumed by the immortals for its mystic virtue of conferring longevity on those who ate them.
Whilst one is quite clearly hairy and the other bald, the nectarine and peach are in fact the same species, only differing in their hair from a recessive bald gene and a dominant hairy one.
They can help with your health| Vision Reproduction Breast-feeding The French Paradox describes how the French, who generally eat higher levels of animal fat, have a low incidence of heart disease. The reason? The protective benefits of regularly consuming red wine (in moderation!) They can help with| Cholesterol Constipation Asthma Migraines
Heart disease Some cancers Heart function
Digestive & muscular function High blood pressure and stroke Constipation Cell, tissue & organs functions
A truly ancient fruit - Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics show the cultivation of purple grapes, and Roman God of agriculture, D i o n y s u s often wore grape leaves on his head.
Fatigue Breast cancer Alzheimer’s disease Some cancers Heart disease
Age-related vision loss Eye-related problems Some infections Indigestion Stomach irritation
It’s always wise to check with a doctor if you’re considering any major change to your diet.
06/09/1522. San Lucar, Spain. ‘The Vittoria’ completes the first circumnavigation of the globe. Less lucky were the other 4 ships and 215 men who lost their lives in attempting the journey with them. Only 18 men returned alive.
roject Why was highlighted to Britchat by members of the Valencia Community, who raise funds and awareness for this incredible cause. It‘s a New Delhi (India) based non-profit organisation which provides educational support and life skill enhancement for slum children and their families. Children in these slums have had a tough start, and live a hard life, with high numbers suffering through a lack of food, care, and eduction, with some exposed to mistreatment and abuse. There’s little support for them to grow, be educated and live happy and healthy lives. Through c u l t u r a l perceptions, caste barriers and poverty, their options for the future are limited. These children are stuck between two worlds, one they want to leave, and the other which is not willing to accept them. Project Why is working on improving the lives of those impacted by this. This year is a special year, as it marks 10 years since its creation by the remarkable Anouradha Bakshi. And it’s come far, from 40 children and a handful of helpers, the lives of hundreds of children and adults are now improved by this foundation. Their growing selection of programmes include: Education Centres| teaching more than 800 children in seven locations throughout New Delhi. Special Education| day care centre for 20 special need children and young adults with disabilities. Heart Fix Hotel| sponsoring essential heart surgeries for those most in need.
|26| Women Centre| nurturing and supporting disadvantaged local women through education. Planet Why| their newest project, which aims to create and run a guesthouse for travellers. Cyber Why| place where everyone can make ‘friends’ with computers! Project Why has no institutional or government support, and hence depends entirely on individuals and donations from well wishers and supporters. The money that is contributed to Project Why goes totally towards the support of those who need it. Their administration costs are m i n i m a l because they are helped by a dedicated batch of volunteers. Here in the Valencian community, there are people devoted to raising funds. Irene and Andy pay a monthly donation, in addition to which they also raise money by running a stall at the Rastro at La Lloma (Olocau). This is held on the last Sunday of every month and relies largely on donations of books, CDs and DVDs. They also take part in sponsored runs, which you can support. They have even visited India themselves in 2008 to help out. Together with the help of lots of willing pupils, they laid a new concrete floor in their schoolroom on a garbage dump. It’s this type of activity which will enable the children to be educated in a safe, clean environment. On the website there are phenomenal stories of projects and inspiring individuals that they have worked with since the programme started. Just log on and check out www.projectwhy.org
This year they have achieved so much. Here are a few highlights| Currently teach 700 kids, 60 women & provide employment to more than 50 persons from the community. All students of Project Why passed their exams this year & over 100 children were admitted to regular schools. Over 20 Project Why students go to college or pursue further studies each year. Provide a classroom and classes for 15 school-going hearing-impaired students. Allow three young adults with disabilities to live in the residential programme. Paid for eight hours of plastic surgery for a victim of third degree burns to repair her hand and head. Provide constant care and medical attention for one child with severe problems. No child in the organization has dropped out of school in the last nine years. You can sponsor or part sponsor a child, send financial help or donations for their wishlist, like mats or toys or even volunteer. Contact Caroline at email@example.com for more information. If you would like to help in the Valencian Community, please contact Irene at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 618 034 756.
A little help
ou can’t always do everything yourself. So if you’re making changes this summer, from small jobs in the home to something more dramatic, here are some companies for you to consider.
Looking for customers for your business in the Valencian Community? Contact us on email@example.com ¿Estás buscando clientes para tu empresa en la comunidad valenciana? Ponte en contacto con nosotros firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want your business to be seen by members of the Valencian Community, please contact us to discuss how we can help - email@example.com
Events & Classifieds
yōtarō Shiba was one of Japan’s most f you’ve got an event coming up, drop us revered writers, yet outside the country a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and he is hardly known at all – perhaps because we’ll try to give it a mention here in the next of his special focus was on Japanese history. issue. ‘The Last Shogun’ - Shiba’s account of the life of Markets| 8.30am-1pm Tues Monserratt and Yoshinobu Tokugawa, the last military ruler of this Lliria, Thurs Alaquas, Friday & Sat Torrent. fascinating country, is an enthralling study of 19th Rastro Montroy| 5 Sept| Calle La Pau, Cindy Century Japan. or Nicolas at 960 80 25 13 or 695 100 540. For two and a half centuries – until 1868 – Japan If you know when the other markets or rastros was ruled over by a series of military rulers related are on, let Britchat know, so we can pass it on. to the Tokugawa family. It is from this period that our popular romanticised image of Japan comes from – sword wielding Samurai committing ritualised suicide, Geisha in Kimono and beautiful wooden temples set to a back-drop of cherryblossom trees. The reality, of course was different – this was a complex social system ruled over by a military elite determined to protect itself from the European colonisation that was encroaching on the rest of Asia. The Shoguns ‘closed’ Japan to all foreigners for over two centuries. Christians were persecuted and only very few Dutch and Portuguese were allowed to trade in the port of Nagasaki. Into this world was born Yoshinobu Tokugawa, destined to be the very last Shogun ever to rule Japan. Shiba tells the story of Tokugawa’s life in the style of a historical novel – though all of the events described are historically accurate – from the machinations used to gain power, the political rivalries, the arrival of the American navy and their demands that Japan be opened to international trade, the immense achievement of Tokugawa in presiding over a peaceful end to his shogunate and the return to power of the Emperor. Finally, we have the beginning of Japan’s rapid transformation from feudalism to modern international worldpower. Equally gripping, and moreover poignant, is the personal story of Tokugawa himself – a man destined to change his country, for better or worse, forever. Shiba’s book – though history – reads like a novel and is a fascinating insight into Japan in the mid - 19th Century. It is also the only one of Shiba’s many books to be translated into English. Hopefully this will change in the future, as Ryōtarō Shiba deserves to be more widely recognised outside Japan. Iain Armstrong
Masia Fiesta Rastro, Sat 21st Aug, 7pm-10pm (Fiesta evening), Mas Pavia Restaurante, Masia Pavia Urba Nr Monserrat. Free pitches, just turn up, stallholders from 6pm. No tables supplied. Amanda - 625819734, sparklesinsunshine@ gmail.com, CV415 Turis/Piccasent. Take Large turn with signs for Monte Tesoro, Masia Pavia, etc. follow left signs for Masia Pavia Urba. At planted roundabout straight over. The monthly bike meeting of VLC will take place as usual on the first Friday of the month. This aims to promote bikes and bike safety in VLC. Place| Plaza de la Virgin, VLC 7.30pm Olocau Rastro, Social Club Centre, Urb, La Lloma, Olocau, Last Sun of the month 10 am - 2pm, Fund Raising for Local Charities, Food & refreshments available on the day. To book a table, for directions or more info, Carolyn 962555819 or 664809608 Are you buying, selling or donating? You can put a free advert in here for a month. Just email us at email@example.com and we’ll try to get it into the next issue. Caravanette, Renault Trafic, t1000, sheldon conversion, 2 berth, 3 way fridge, cooker, toilet, in good condition, €1700, 96 239 0308 - Beautiful Yamaha Electone MC600 Organ. Complete with stool, handbook & lots of music. €300 OVNO. Please note this is not a ‘Keyboard’. -Upright Gas Fridge/Freezer Excellent condition and perfect working order, €350. - Upright Tall Barbeque Heater Hardly used and in perfect working order, €90. 962129410/628146802 (Real de Montroi) Child’s playpen, excellent condition €35. Bath/ changing mat, €25 both in excellent condition. Musical mobile €5. Breast pump, was €50 now €15, hardly used. Chiva/Turis areas, 961800582 after 6pm.
06/09/1989. Paris. 41,000 citizens received letters charging them with murder, extortion and organised prostitution. The letter should have been for parking violations. Imagine the scenes over the breakfast table.
Competion and Golf competition
ere are the results of the competition played with the Edetania Golf Society at El Bosque in July. The sponsors of the winners trophy are www.walkintranslations.com.
“It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place this world is when one is playing golf.” Robert Lynd
his month’s competition is a little different. As we mentioned in the Editors page, the magazine name will be changing from next month. Britchat has grown and changed over the years, and now expats of all nationalities, visitors to the community and students of English are reading the magazine in Valencia city and the outlying towns.
We’ve had a lot of feedback suggesting that the name should be changed to reflect that growing readership. We’ll be sad to see the Britchat name go, but excited to see what’s next. If you have a suggestion for our new name, send it to us by the 1st of the month to be in with a chance to win a special prize. The winner will be the one we like the best and is the most suitable. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and look out for the new name and the winner in next month’s issue. Thanks to all the entries for the festival word search. The winner was Dave Gilbert. Well done Dave!
Are you sitting waiting for customers to come to your business? Contact us at britchateditor @gmail.com
06/09/1966. South Africa. Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, chief instigator of Apartheid among other ‘achievements’, is murdered in the parliament buildings. Stabbed to death by a mixed race man armed with a dagger.
Recipe| Peach crisp Topping 100 grams white flour 3 large spoonfuls - honey 100 grams rolled oats (oatmeal), uncooked 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 100 grams of sugar 115 grams of butter, cold, cut into cubes 1/4 teaspoon of salt (only with unsalted butter) Filling 5- 6 med/large peaches
each crisp is a delicious fruit dessert that takes minimal preparation. Peaches are in season now and can be found in any fruit shop in Valencia. You can end up wasting a lot of the peach when you peel them with a knife, but there is a trick to avoid this. Drop peaches into boiling water for one minute. Remove peaches and place them into a bowl of ice water. After cooling for a few minutes, the peels should easily slip off. This method only works with ach letter in this puzzle is represented by a ripe peaches! You can also use nectarines instead of number 1-26. Crack the code and solve the peaches in this recipe. This will save you some time crossword. Every letter of the alphabet is used because the nectarines don’t need to be peeled and are just as delicious!
at least once. 3 letters are already in place to Preheat oven to 170ºC. Add all topping ingredients get you started.
except butter and honey into a large bowl. Mix well with a fork. Add the cold butter and honey to the bowl. Using two knives (one in each hand) cut through the mixture to incorporate the butter and honey. The mixture will start to make clumps. Now use your hands to finish the mixing. (Yes, your hands!) Using your fingertips, squeeze, mix, and press the mixture together. The mixture will start forming large and small clumps. Continue mixing until the butter and honey have been mixed in and you have a clumpy mixture similar to wet sand. Put topping in fridge while you prepare the peaches. Peel and slice peaches. Arrange peach slices in an oven-safe, 2 litre baking dish. Remove topping from fridge. Sprinkle topping evenly over peaches. Place baking dish in oven on the middle rack. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Check on after 30 minutes. Topping should be golden brown when finished. Let it cool for 2-3 hours before serving. Serve with vanilla ice-cream for a decadent dessert. Serves 6 people.
Lia Wallon reLIAble eats www.reliableeats.blogspot.com
International proverbs| Some are culturally impossible to translate, others are crystal clear in every language. Here are my favourites. The man who tickles himself can laugh when he chooses. German. Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold. Tibetan. With patience and saliva, the ant eats the elephant. Colombian.
Wow factor| The natural sweetness of the peaches takes people by surprise, and served warm with vanilla ice cream, you will easily put a smile on everyone’s face. Effort| Minimal. The toughest part is peach peeling.
10/09/1981. Spain. Picasso’s masterpiece ‘Guernica’ is returned to Spain after spending 40 years in the US. Picasso only allowed its return after the restoration of democracy to the country.
n 28 July 2010, Catalonia took their final step towards banning corrida de toros or bullfighting. Animal rights activists have been busy campaigning as ‘Prou!’, or ‘Enough!’ in Catalan, collecting 180,000 signatures calling for the assembly to decide on a ban. Speculation as to whether this will mean other regions will follow, or ‘Prou’ will move its sights to pressuring them too. 68 deputies voted for the ban, with 55 against and 9 abstaining. The ban will take effect in January 2012. The ban will put an end to bullfights in bullrings, however it will not prohibit street fiestas in which bulls are used, sometimes with balls of fire attached to their horns. Ricky Gervais supported the change saying “And shame on anyone who thinks that stepping into a ring, armed with swords, with a frightened and confused animal who has often already had the tendons in its neck severed so it cannot lift its head is brave.” But the ban is opposed by some Spanish writers, artists, directors and architects who want los toros (the bulls) to remain. “It is not only a cultural reality, a festival, a tradition, a part of the economy which is to play for but also the liberty of all,” said Luis Corrales, the campaign opposition spokesman. Catalonia is not the first region to ban bullfighting. In 1991 the Canary Islands included bullfighting in
Animals a law that prohibited the suffering of animals for public enjoyment. This is just another chapter for the sport, as over the years it has been repeatedly banned and then subsequently reinstated by various popes and kings. Bullfighting can trace its roots back to prehistoric bull worship and sacrifice. The matador, which literally means killer, (from Late Latin matare, ‘to subdue or kill’). Originally the matador would be on horse, but it is believed that the Spanish introduced the practice of fighting on foot around 1726. Francisco Romero (1700–1763) also reputedly introduced the famous red cape (muleta) into bullfighting around 1726. There are different styles of bullfighting, and different rules prevail in different countries. The significant difference in South America is that the bull is cheered on, rather than the matador. The bullfight is above all about the demonstration of style, technique and courage by its participants. The King of Spain is a big fan of bullfighting, and occasionally presides over a bullfight from the royal box as part of his official duties. He previously said “the day the EU bans bullfighting is the day Spain leaves the EU” but now it looks like normal Spaniards are making that decision instead.
Names| Toffee & Roxy Age| 3 months Health| Vaccinated. Size| Will be Medium. Personality| Socialised & affectionate. Appearance| Toffee has attractive brindle markings. Roxy is lighter in colour. More info| P.E.P.A on 650 304 746 www.pepaspain.com
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International magazine for the Valencian Community