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IN THIS MON Blogs Page - Real Stories Real People - Real Events Motoring Tips Surveys in Spain

Keep Your Kids Dog Safe Killer Heels - Ouch !

Look After Your Skin 2

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NTHS ISSUE Film Reviews—Kung Fu Panda 2 &The Beaver Colour Your Home To Match Your Mood Quick, Easy & Very Tasty Recipes. Your Horoscopes

Long Haul - Shanghai Just For Laughs . . . and much, much more Discount Coupons Save Money….. 3

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INTRODUCTION Dear Subscriber, Welcome to Across Spain’s First Edition. This is the newest website that is your entry to the heart of our fast expanding online tabloid portfolio. Each magazine is not only dedicated to promoting local services, business’s & trades people so the consumer has the widest choice available, but also offers interesting articles for your enjoyment. From here you can also be easily linked to our Spanish Online Discount Voucher site where you can download & print vouchers to save your precious Euros in selected stores. We will also be expanding the “Across” group in the very near future to incorporate Across Gibraltar & Across Portugal. Each month in ACROSS SPAIN we will have property advice, motoring tips, restaurant & film reviews, recipes, horoscopes and lots, lots more for you to enjoy. Want To Advertise Your Business or Place A Classifed Advertisement? If you would like to advertise your Business or a forthcoming event, we have budgets to suit all businesses both large & small from as liitle as 80 cents per day. The advantage of advertising with us: We can offer a design service for your advertisement for a minimal fee. Advertisements are fully interactive if you wish to change your advert mid-campaign and this can be done FREE of charge. Reaching nearly 100,000 homes across Europe. Ecologically friendly. To Advertise with us contact the Across team—

Across Spain Team. 4

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HINDSIGHT IS A WONDERFUL THING ! Part 1 of our Story— by Susan—Costa Del Sol

They say that hind sight is a wonderful thing. On that Friday night in February, when we had to make the final decision about whether to take over a rather run down garden centre, if someone had warned us that the world was about to nose dive into recession, perhaps we would have said no. But at the time it seemed the perfectly logical thing to do. It was the next big step forward as a company. What could possibly go wrong?! Maybe we should have had someone over to read our tarot cards for us and predicted what the future held. I mean they can be quite accurate. I had had my cards read for me many years before. At the time I thought Madam Fifi or whatever her name was had told me a load of mumbo jumbo. I had smiled politely, whilst inwardly laughing at her comments, thrown the tape of the reading in a cupboard and forgotten about it. Until her predictions had started coming true!! At the time of the reading I was the mother of three small children, one only two months old. My world consisted of washing, cleaning, cooking and child care. When she said I would do some voluntary work that would lead to a career I thought “Yeh right, like I wanna work for free!!” I was already doing that at home. But when my youngest started full time education I suddenly had a whole day to fill and watching This Morning just wasn’t cutting it. So when the PTA asked for volunteers to help out in their “Wildlife Garden” at the school, I jumped at the chance. After all I loved gardening. I had lovingly redesigned my own back garden, learning about every plant I had bought, its likes and dislikes, soil type, aspect, requirements. Little did I know when I volunteered that the Dell, as it was called, constructed out of an old bomb crater from WW2 was an overgrown, weedy patch, full of fox holes and half chewed trainers that the foxes had stolen. 3 or 4 volunteer mums had the unenviable task of constructing paths, painting the bird hide, building and stocking a wildlife pond and trying to control the 6-7 foot tall stinging nettles that grew everywhere. Couldn’t have them stinging the little darlings on one of their bug hunts – Health & Safety don’t you know. But it was fun!! I was out of the house, chatting to other mums, getting fresh air and free exercise. Even at that stage I hadn’t thought about the tarot reading. Only later when I was asked to mow a friend’s lawn on a fortnightly basis and get paid for it and a small garden maintenance business developed, did I think about the tape. If Madam Fifi had sat with us on that February evening and predicted the future then maybe I wouldn’t be sitting here right now, writing about the demise of our business. We weren’t the only ones, not by a long shot. I mean we lasted a year past Woolworths closing their doors. That was a shocker!! And MFI and Zavvi and all the other hundreds of businesses that had no option but to shut up shop. But on that evening as we smoked another cigarette and said should we or shouldn’t we, it seemed like the only logical thing to do. The world was our oyster. The only way is up. Things can only get better. As I said, hind sight is a wonderful thing!!

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How To Play Your Cards Right With The Dealer If you have decided that you want to step into a brand new car with its unique new smell, pristine bodywork and interior and only a few delivery miles on the clock, you have several sources - a dealer, importing or a car broker. And at none of these should you pay the manufacturer's advertised price. For most people the first stop is the dealer's showroom. Be under no illusions about what happens here. The idea is for you to get enthused about a car and for the salesman to part you from as much cash as possible. The first step is easy enough. Visit the showrooms selling the sort of car you're interested in. This assumes you have some flexibility, but even if you're totally wedded to the idea of buying a particular brand, it makes sense to compare what other carmakers' similar vehicles are offering in terms of price and features. Sit in the car to get a feel for it. Then go away. Take time to reflect on different models and makes. When you have a shortlist of one or two vehicles you should ask for a test drive. The idea of a test drive from the dealer's point of view is to get you in a one-to-one situation where you can hear about how wonderful the car is and where the salesman can start to work out your budget and be thinking of extra things he can sell to you. The test drive from your point of view should be about discovering whether the car is pleasant and comfortable to drive, and has the sort of performance and features you want. So a 10-minute spin around the block doesn't help much. Ideally you want the car for a full day, but that's rarely an option. But ask to try the car on different types of road - urban, rural, motorway, on hills and on the flat. And if you have particular concerns, such as whether it will fit easily in your garage, and assuming you live fairly near the showroom, ask to try it out. The degree to which the salesman is willing to Cooperate will vary, and you, as the buyer of a very expensive piece of equipment, must make up your own mind as to whether he is trying hard enough to accommodate your reasonable requests. Before you get to the point where you start talking seriously to this showroom about money, it's worth ringing around the country to ask other dealers in the same brand for their best price on that particular car. You might be amazed to discover that some will immediately quote a much lower price as the starting point for negotiations. It gives you an idea of where to expect haggling to start with your local garage. And, if you're getting nowhere locally and the best price is in Penzance or Inverness, don't forget that delivery shouldn't be a problem anywhere in the UK from any dealer. If you want to save a bit more money, you could ask about ex-demonstrator models. These will certainly come with a handsome discount, but they're in big demand and short supply, so don't hold your breath waiting for one. Unless you're very lucky and very pushy, the salesman will be far keener to sell the brand new version for which he can relieve you of more money.


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If you want to save a bit more money, you could ask about ex-demonstrator models. These will certainly come with a handsome discount, but they're in big demand and short supply, so don't hold your breath waiting for one. Unless you're very lucky and very pushy, the salesman will be far keener to sell the brand new version for which he can relieve you of more money. It is important when dealing with a showroom to remember exactly what you want and not be talked into things you don't, such as a more powerful or better featured model, extra warranties, insurance, enhanced paintwork protection or expensive finance. In negotiations the salesman will ask numerous questions about what you want and about your budget. It makes sense to be honest about what you want, but don't be immediately swayed to opt for something you're not totally sure about. If in doubt, go away and think about it. Remember that some times in the year are slacker for dealers, so you may be able to negotiate a better price. It wouldn't be unusual to find a 10 per cent or more discount in December, while in busier months you won't get more than a few per cent off. And when business is slow, there may be lots more "special offers" about. Just make sure you read the small print to ensure any offer is as good as it sounds. Equally, very popular models will "sell themselves" so the salesman doesn't have to work too hard on his generosity; you will have to pay more and could face a longer delivery time. In negotiations over money, you should have researched the current on-the-road price for the car and preferably checked what alternative suppliers, such as car brokers, are offering. The showroom may not be able to match a broker price, but it should give you a rough idea of a price to aim at. A good website to visit is Here you will not only get reviews of new cars, but a target price you should aim for. Finally, be careful with any trade-in. If your car is a few years old, you will get an idea of what it's worth by looking at similar models on the forecourt. Then take off a few hundred as the realistic selling price, the cost of servicing and cleaning and the dealer's profit margin. If that adds up to an even ÂŁ1,000, it's hardly unreasonable. If your car is older, expect to receive the "bottom book" price, as it's likely to be sent off to auction. Know this value beforehand by checking one of the used car price guides, such as Glass's , available in many newsagents. In any case, weigh any trade-in price along with any discount on the new car's price. A smaller discount and a big trade-in may seem attractive, but represent poorer value than a moderate discount and a moderate trade-in figure.


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Surveys critical for Spanish property The love affair with Spanish property is still in its honeymoon stage for a vast majority of British overseas property owners. Many thousands of Brits are buying property in Spain every year, but too many are investing money with their eyes closed by failing to carry out a building survey on their new home. The importance of having a survey carried out cannot be overlooked when buying a property in Spain as there are a number of things that could go wrong with the property which are not immediately obvious to the untrained eye, warns Banco Halifax Hispania. Although surveying fees will increase the purchase cost, this sum is a relatively small price to pay for peace of mind, compared to the expense of trying to sort out unexpected difficulties in the future. It also makes sense to know exactly what you are buying into. A building surveyor will help to identify any major or minor faults and their possible implications. Finding out about these potential problems at an early stage of buying may even help the renegotiation of a cheaper sales price to reflect the cost of repairs. In a full buildings survey, walls will be tested for damp and an evaluation will be made on existing damp-proofing, insulation and drainage. They will also be able to recommend any further inspections. This process is likely to be much smoother if the surveyor in Spain is fluent in English and has local knowledge and experience of acting for British customers. It is also good practice to use an independent solicitor rather than one that has been appointed by the agent that you are buying property from in order to protect your best interests. Banco Halifax Hispania has an approved panel of English-speaking Spanish surveyors who can assist you during your property purchase. They can also recommend English-speaking Spanish solicitors who will ensure that all aspects of the purchase, including planning permission, title deeds and other legal requirements, are satisfactory and will investigate the property as thoroughly as possible. They will also be able to carry out searches and legal investigations and check that there are no outstanding debts on the property. Ian Smith, head of European Operations at Halifax, comments: “Our approved panel of independent solicitors and surveyors are all experts who can provide sound guidance and reliable advice and we recommend that anyone intending to purchase property in Spain arranges a consultation as early as possible. “Few people would consider buying a property in the UK without instructing a solicitor or surveyor and the same care and consideration should be taken when buying abroad.� Banco Halifax Hispania offers a range of current accounts and mortgages for Britons looking to buy a holiday home in Spain. For more information on their services for Spanish property buyers, visit their website ( They also provide an English-speaking helpline within the UK for customers who wish to sort out their financial options prior to arriving in Spain. The helpline answers queries about what is involved in buying in Spain and can arrange for the completion of mortgage and bank account application papers. The customer service team can be reached on 0845 6003603.


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Richard Alexander has worked in financial services for 36 years and provides specialist financial planning services to expat and UK clients with accumulated capital who prefer the personal touch of a dedicated and trusted financial adviser. Richard aims to build long term client relationships by understanding their aspirations, to appreciate their concerns, sensitivities and risk tolerances and to provide a bespoke solution designed to achieve their goals. At the core of financial planning is recognition of the main objectives, which can often be expressed as a need for growth or income. Even when the objective is simply wealth preservation, a focus on growth will be needed to offset the effects of inflation. For people moving or retiring abroad, currency risk is a further consideration. Pension income may arise in the currency of the country of origin and fluctuations in exchange rates will affect the level of income. However, some private pensions can be transferred into a new plan held in the appropriate currency which will remove future currency risk. Inheritance Tax may be a major consideration; Inheritance Tax in the UK is calculated by reference to the Estate of the deceased person whereas in Spain, it is calculated by reference to the beneficiaries, with the rates of tax varying, depending on who the beneficiaries are and their relationship to the deceased. Tax may also be due in both countries but there is a dual tax treaty which should ensure that double taxation can normally be avoided. Earlier UK planning may have involved the use of Trusts in the UK or offshore. If this is the case, you need to be aware that Spain does not recognise the status of Trusts and if you are the Settlor of a Trust who has become Spanish tax resident, the local tax authorities are likely to ignore the Trust and treat the assets and income or gains arising as your personal income or gains and seek to tax you accordingly. Clients of RAFP benefit from our relationship with local tax specialists in each country and can be confident that their investments will be appropriate to their individual tax position and future plans.


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-Tips For Overseas Property Buyers Buying a property in sunnier climes is more popular than ever. Some leave Old Blighty altogether; others take off for regular, much needed breaks in their second home during the year. These purchases are no longer an exclusive luxury for the wealthy. Though international property investment is becoming more widespread, the purchase can be a risky business for homebuyers. It is all too easy to make a hot-headed purchase when the sun's rays are shining down on a villa or apartment. Here is a list of top tips from experts at the Property Investor and Homebuyer Show. Know your objectives: Ensure you know why you are buying and what you are hoping to achieve with the purchase. If it's for investment, decide whether you want a short term capital gain or a long term regular income. Sort out your finances: Work out how much you can afford to buy. Arrange your finances before you travel abroad to search for your property and certainly before you sign any non-refundable sale agreement. Don't be hasty: Stay focused on what you originally had in mind. Stick by your objectives. See your chosen area at different times of the year to ensure that you like it whatever the weather. Give yourself a cooling off period to ensure you are making the right choice. Check the transport links and local facilities: People who rent property will want somewhere that is easy to get to and will often gravitate to those places with a nearby airport served by low cost airlines. A location in easy reach of shops, beaches and tourist attractions ensures rental success and ease of living. Talk to fellow investors: Speak to people who have purchased property in the area that you are interested in. If you are opting for a buy-to-let investment, you can learn a lot about rental success in your area and get a realistic idea of the likely income that will be generated. Allow for the extras: The cost of buying a property abroad - taxes, conveyancing, lawyers fees, agents fees and VAT - is much higher than in the UK, so you will have to ensure you have budgeted accordingly. Also ensure that you are aware of the costs charged by the legal and government authorities for purchasing a property in your chosen country. Check the taxation and inheritance laws: Ensure you understand the tax implications for when you decide to sell. You should also check the inheritance laws of the country where you are buying. In France, for example, your children automatically inherit your house and not your spouse. Weigh up risk versus returns: For example, some properties in Eastern Europe offer potential high returns but potential losses too. You need to be well informed and comfortable with the risk factor. Do your homework: Time spent researching the area while at home is much cheaper and more efficient than time spent overseas. Make a checklist of questions that can be answered when you arrive at your destination. Speak to the experts: Always seek specialist independent advice from English-speaking architects and surveyors before considering a purchase overseas. They should be proficient in your chosen country's laws and processes and also know the specifics involved in buying a property there.

Don't let the sun go to your head and hand over your money before considering all of the advice and options available.


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There's not a woman on the planet that has never uttered the words "my feet are killing me" at the end of a highheeled night on the tiles. So how can we achieve the look, still wear our dream shoes and avoid walking home in stocking feet? Gloria Dunlop, lecturer in podiatry at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, says: "We are bombarded with images of celebrities strutting their stuff down the red carpet in heels that make them look like they have legs up to their armpits. The fashion magazines are full of them. It's therefore little wonder that we nearly all fall into the trap of succumbing to the latest fashion trends. "We've all experienced the discomfort and burning sensation associated with wearing party shoes. But despite the pain, we still persevere." So, how can we keep dancing into the wee small hours and still avoid falling off our platform shoes and spraining our ankles? Dunlop has some top tips for keeping our toes in good shape. 1 . Don't wear the same shoes repeatedly Have a selection of shoes of different shapes, different heel heights and definitely a pair of trainers in your wardrobe. 2. Cheap shoes doesn't necessarily mean bad shoes There is nothing wrong with wearing a less expensive shoe. Expensive shoes are not a guarantee of problem-free feet. 3. Change your shoes daily Sometimes we wear shoes that cramp our toes because they're too tight. Continually wearing high heels can result in painful leg muscles. Changing your shoes daily will prevent a foot or leg problem occurring. 4. Avoid wearing sling backs on a regular basis Repeatedly wearing sling backs can quickly lead to the development of a large hard bump at the back of the heel, commonly known as a haglands bump. This is irreversible, so avoid at all costs. It becomes very difficult to wear any closed-in shoe once you have developed a haglands bump. 5. Wear padding on the balls of your feet if partying in high heels Use foot felts and foams. Foot specialist Scholl provides a range, including ball-of-foot cushions and pressure-point foam padding that can be bought in shops such as New Look, River Island, Oasis, Topshop and most supermarkets and chemists. These products have an adhesive backing that sticks to your feet, avoiding slippage and therefore blisters. 6. Never burst a blister Not unless you want sore feet for days. Blisters are created by rubbing, so avoid shoes that rub. 7. Never wear brand new shoes for a long period of time Initially wear your new shoes around the house or in short bursts. Don't wear brand new shoes on your party night or you will suffer. 8. Avoid sprains and strains Sprains, strains and muscle soreness can happen to anyone, but are more likely if you are walking on an uneven surface or a very high narrow heel. Avoid cobbled streets and best get a taxi home after the party. 9. Use ice on painful sprains and strains Ice does work - it reduces swelling. If you suffer a sprain or strain, use ice as soon as possible or within the first four hours. After that, use heat to reduce bruising, swelling and pain. Next time you decide to party on a week night and have to haul yourself into the office the next morning, follow Gloria's advice and you'll glide elegantly into work ready to face another day's hard slog - no crutches necessary.


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Replenish Your Skin With Lost Vitamins With people living longer and healthier lives, the demand for anti-ageing products has never been greater. A leading cosmetic surgeon, based in Cape Town, believes that skin needs daily replenishment of vitamins and antioxidants to fight the effect of photoageing, ageing which is caused by exposure to sunlight. Dr Des Fernandes claims that photoageing is skin disease caused by a vitamin deficiency. Exposure to sunlight destroys vitamins A, E and C and beta carotene in the skin. The treatment for photoageing, he says, is to supply skin with what has been lost though exposure to UV light. "The skin ages because we lose essential light-sensitive vitamins every time we go out into sunlight," says Dr Fernandes. "The scientific method to counteract this damage is to replace the lost vitamins every single day, preferably both morning and evening. "Vitamin A is the key molecule that maintains safe, healthy skin and it should be used by every single person on this planet in order to neutralise the accelerating damage from a thinner ozone layer." Vitamin A is essential for healthy cells in the skin, but it is destroyed by exposure to UV light. If there is insufficient vitamin A in the skin then no matter what cosmetic you put on it, Dr Fernandes says, the skin's cells will not be healthy. Sunlight causes not only a lower concentration of vitamin A in the skin, but prolonged exposure can also lower the blood levels of vitamin A. Vitamin C and E are also destroyed by exposure to UV light. These two powerful antioxidants are crucial in protecting healthy skin cells. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen and also for reducing pigmentation blemishes while vitamin E also helps preserve cell walls. Topical vitamin A has long been used in anti-ageing cosmetics as it makes the skin thicker, reduces pigmentation and helps to smooth out the skin. However, Dr Fernandes recommends vitamin A combined with antioxidants for the most effective results. ¨He believes that there are two significant rules to revolutionising skin care. Firstly, every skincare regime should have vitamins A, C, E and Beta carotene included at least once a day. Beta carotene is often called vitamin A, but it is also a powerful antioxidant. Secondly, vitamin replenishment should start soon after exposure to sunlight. "In order to protect the skin each day, yet allow for the formation of natural vitamin D, a low SPF should be used for simple 'round the town' sun exposure," he says. "The low SPF can be augmented, in effect, if the day cream has been fortified by the addition of natural vitamin A and antioxidants. These antioxidants will reduce the damage from UV light."


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Review: Kung Fu Panda 2 Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogan, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, David Cross Director : Jennifer Yuh Nelson Released: 10th June Rating: PG

Kung Fu Panda Po (voiced by Jack Black) is back after his 2008 debut, and these days he's living the dream as a Dragon Warrior. Along with his friends and fellow kung-fu masters The Furious Five - Tigris (Jolie), Monkey (Chan), Mantins (Rogen), Viper (Liu) and Crane (Cross) - he's charged with protecting the Valley of Peace. All is well until nefarious villain Lord Shen (Oldman) decides to use a secret weapon to wipe out Kung Fu from the face of China. Only when Po unlocks the secrets of his mysterious past can he find the strength he needs to succeed against the enemy. Unlike The Hangover II , the other of this month's sequels, this one manages to tread new ground without simply rehashing the themes of the original. This time, Po finally twigs that since his father Mr Ping (James Hong) is a goose and he's a panda, there must have once been some biological parents floating around in the universe somewhere, and that somehow, evil Lord Shen is responsible for his being orphaned. Rather than concentrating on the battle at hand, writers Aibel and Glenn Berger make the fight a background to explore Po's abandonment issues, and his yearning to know the truth about his real father, but they manage to do it in a way that won't bore the kids. The task of easing Po across the emotional bridge falls to Master Shifu, excellently voiced by Dustin Hoffman. But even against the backdrop of Po's heartfelt search for his origins, there's still quite a lot of silly fun to be had. Like the original, the roles are voiced to perfection by an all-star cast and the animation is even more beautifully done the second time around - this time with the addition of 3D sequences - and the loveable characters will enchant the kids in the audience, even if the story is a little slow at times and some of the action scenes are a tad on the long side. Jennifer Yuh, a creative consultant on the first movie, does an admirable job here in her first feature-length effort and leaves just enough creative juice in the story to pave the way for a third instalment. Kung Fu Panda 2 is almost the perfect summer movie experience with something for everyone and definitely worthy of its predecessor. It raises the emotional stakes from its first outing, giving us bigger laughs and providing us with much larger-scale action, but never loses sight of the underlying message: that 'family' does not necessarily mean the one you were born into.


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BOX OFFICE REVIEWS FOR JUNE/JULY 2011 Review: The Beaver Starring: Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Cherry Jones, Riley Thomas Stewart Director: Jodie Foster Released: 17th June Rating: 12A

In perhaps a case of art imitating life, Mel Gibson stars as Walter Black, a once successful man plagued by his own demons, leading to horrendous depression and a failed suicide attempt. His business is going under, and his oldest son Porter (Yelchin) despises him. His wife Meredith (Foster) is frustrated and tortured by his condition, and youngest son Henry (Stewart) seems confused and vulnerable. As Meredith finally cracks and locks him out of the house, all seems lost until Walter stumbles upon a thrown-away beaver hand puppet in a dumpster, picks it up on a whim, and uses it to reconnect with his family and colleagues. As Walter speaks through the puppet (in, oddly, a Cockney accent that occasionally slips into Gibson's native Aussie twang) and convinces people it's a new kind of therapy his doctor has prescribed for him, he improves his work fortunes and makes peace with the employees he's managed to alienate, and even manages to rekindle his relationship with Meredith in the bedroom. It's a novel spin on depression recovery, that's for sure. It's been nearly 20 years since Foster directed a movie but as it turns out, it's been well worth the wait. While the premise might seem like that of a faintly ludicrous odd-ball comedy, newcomer Kyle Killen's imaginative script and Foster's direction are both darkly touching and sensitive, and do an excellent job of exploring the way that severe depression can tear a family apart. It's quirky, but it never once treats the subject with any less seriousness than it deserves. For all the inventive writing and sensitive direction though, the real star here is Gibson. Look past the tortured tabloid celebrity, and what you'll see is a high-calibre performance - perhaps his best in years - around a subject that's too often pushed under the carpet. In the way that The Beaver the puppet allows his character to reconnect with his family, perhaps there's a glimmer of hope that The Beaver the vehicle will allow him to reconnect with his audience. 19

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Colour Your Home To Enhance Your Mood Carefully applied colour in your home makes an immediate and lasting visual impact, giving off an array of mood-changing associations. Your colour scheme should complement the space and suit your personal preferences. Before you choose your colour schemes, always consider the space. Dark rooms can be brightened up with lightcoloured walls, accessorised with white voile curtains and plenty of green plants. Tiny rooms look more spacious with pale, cool colours, accessorised with minimal light-coloured furniture. Boxy rooms cry out for a focal point, such as a feature wall contrasted with an attention-grabbing piece of furniture or art. By understanding the qualities of primary and secondary colours and how they work together, you'll have a better understanding of how to apply them in your home. Primary colours are red, yellow and blue. Secondary colours are orange, green and violet. Deep, warm colours including red-violet, red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange and yellow give a room an intimate, cosy feel. Light, cool colours such as green, blue-green, blue and blue-violet make a room seem more spacious and elegant. Pale neutral colours also have this effect. Red: Bright and bold, red suggests vitality and aggressiveness. It is a great accent colour, making cold, open rooms seem more inviting and intimate. Deep, subtle shades of red such as burgundy and maroon are perfect for living rooms. Its complementary colour is green. Green: The colour of nature, green is refreshing and pleasing to the eye. It makes dim rooms seem more vibrant by bringing a garden-like atmosphere indoors. With its varying shades, green works in just about any room. Its complementary colour is red. Yellow: Stimulating, sunny and cheerful, yellow is associated with intellect, power and creative energy. Bright yellows bring warmth and light into dark rooms, and pale yellows make small rooms seem larger. It is also a great kitchen colour. Its complementary colour is violet.

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Violet: Strong and majestic, violet is a powerful accent colour. Pastel violets take on the mood characteristics of red or blue depending on which is more prominent in the shade. Lilac for example, takes on blue's characteristics, while lavender takes on red's qualities. Its complimentary colour is yellow. Blue: Most blue shades denote harmony, peace, steadfastness and loyalty. While it's appropriate for any room, blue is an excellent bedroom colour because it makes one feel comforted and serene. It can also soften rooms that are over-bright. Its complimentary colour is orange. Orange: Orange combines the energy of red with the intellectual associations of yellow. Dominant and lively, orange is a vibrant choice for bathrooms and work areas. Peachy oranges have a delicate effect, while brownish oranges such as terracotta give off warm, cosy vibes. Its complimentary colour is blue. The easiest way to colour your home is to start off with a relatively blank canvas, featuring fairly neutral shades on your more permanent fixtures and fitting such as sofas and floor coverings. These don't have to be boring. You can use rich but neutral colours like chocolate and versatile stone. These shades work wonderfully with an accent colour running through your homes accessories. You can use your curtains, cushions, lamps, candles, blankets, rugs and pictures.

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Beef Stroganoff This much-loved Russian dish is less complicated than it looks and is a great option for a last-minute dinner party. It's traditionally made with button mushrooms, but you could substitute Shitake mushrooms for an even richer flavour. Serves 4.


2 tbsp oil 500g beef fillet, cut into strips 45g butter 350g button mushrooms, sliced 2 onions, chopped 1 tbsp plain flour 300ml soured cream pinch of salt and black pepper pinch of paprika


1. Heat the oil over a high heat in a heavy pan. Fry the beef strips in batches for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. 2. Reduce to a medium heat and add half the butter. Fry the mushrooms in it until tender and browned, then add to the bowl with the beef. 3. Add the remaining butter to the pan. Melt and fry the onions until soft and slightly browned. 4. Add the beef and mushrooms to the onion in the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir thoroughly and fry until the beef is cooked through. 5. Add the cream, salt and pepper, stir through, and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning to taste. 6. Spoon the finished dish into a serving plate and sprinkle with the paprkia. Serve immediately with pasta or herby mashed potatoes.


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Cocktails With A Coffee Buzz Espresso shots get you through a tough day at work, and now they are becoming a popular way to start off an evening out or finish a meal with a buzz. Like a Red Bull and vodka, an espresso martini combines a shot of alcohol and caffeine. It would be stupid if you drunk them all night if you value your sleep, but they certainly are a great to start off the night on a high note. An espresso martini, sometimes called an espressotini, comes in various mixes. The only consistent ingredients are espresso and vodka. Despite the association with martinis, this cocktail never uses gin, which is too bitter to mix with already bitter espresso. Poor versions of the espresso martini use regular filtered coffee and even instant coffee, but the real thing should always use genuine cooled espresso shots. If you're making one at home, make a double espresso and allow it to cool down before chilling and adding it to your cocktail shaker. Using ice to cool down your espresso will just give you watered down espresso, although you can put an ice cube in the glass when serving. The vodka in an espresso martini, always one single shot, is almost always of the flavoured variety. The most popular option is using vanilla vodka and adding a coffee liqueur such as Kahlua. To the base of espresso and vodka, some people like to add a splash of Grand Marnier, while other recipes prefer Tia Maria, Amaretto or Crème de Cacao. Even chocolate liqueurs can be added if you prefer the taste of a mochaccino to a regular espresso. Pick your favourite liqueur and if you think it will go with your espresso martini then give it a try. Whatever you choose, make sure you only use a splash because the main purpose of this additional liqueur is to add a just hint of flavour. You don't want to overpower the primary flavours. If you like your coffee a little creamier like a cappuccino, you have the option of creating an Italian-style Irish coffee using the same espresso and vodka base. Shake two shots of espresso with one shot of vodka and two teaspoons of caster sugar. Carefully pour over a layer of Amarula Cream. Whatever recipe you choose, like James Bond's martini, it should always be shaken, not stirred. Though be sure to leave out the olive. The one thing that almost all espresso martini recipes agree on is the garnish. Three espresso beans will top your drink off properly. The rules for garnishes say that odd amounts are lucky so go with one, three or five beans. Serve simply in a martini glass, which you can rim with a mixture of sugar and cocoa powder.


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Your Monthly Horoscopes GEMINI This will be a great month. You will feel powerful and able to make a new start. A New Moon Solar Eclipse in your sign will set the tone for the month. The effects will last until the end of the year. You will have a fresh outlook and new opportunities for months. Mercury, Venus, and Mars will also move to your sign, increasing your chances to express love and connect with new people. You will be charismatic and charming. Others will be drawn to you. A Full Moon in Sagittarius may bring some difficulties in a close relationship. CANCER A New Moon Solar Eclipse in Gemini and your sector of the unconscious will bring a new start in healing private issues and improving your health and well-being. A Full Moon in Sagittarius may bring a wake-up call regarding these matters or a work crisis. You may have put your health at risk by working too hard. During the next six months, pay attention to what your body needs and become educated about nutrition and other ways you can heal yourself. Early in the month, you will have enjoyable experiences with friends and acquaintances. Get together for dinner and talk. LEO Put some energy into building your career and making new connections that can help you this month. Take time to network and improve your skills. Whether you take formal training or do it on your own, make sure you have the knowledge and expertise you need to have a competitive edge. This will be a good time to promote yourself, network, and get noticed by the right people. A New Moon in Gemini will help you make a new start with friends and groups you're associated with. You should devote some energy to setting new future goals. VIRGO Travel and exploration will be on your mind this month with several planets moving through Taurus and this area of your chart. You will make solid plans and be realistic about what you can afford. You may also decide to further your education under these transits. A New Moon in Gemini will inspire you to make new career contacts and expand your business network. You will focus on your direction in life and building your reputation for the rest of the year.

LIBRA There may be some communication over money that is tied to other people this month. You may have a discussion with your partner or a meeting with someone at the bank. Generally, these interactions will go well and be productive. You will have exciting new plans for the future. You may decide to go back to school or take an extended trip. You will be inspired to communicate your thoughts and ideas now and over the next six months. Uranus near the cusp of Aries will cause unrest and erratic behaviour.

SCORPIO Your relationships will improve this month due to the transits of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter in Taurus and your Seventh House. Communicate your thoughts and feelings to a loved one. At the beginning of the month, you will have several opportunities for recognition or advancement at work, but there will be some unsettling changes. You will feel positive and healthy. For the next six months, you will be determined to talk about money with a partner, lender, or financial planner. You may have to deal promptly with a money matter that has become a problem. 24

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SAGITTARIUS You will have good relationships with your co-workers and managers at work this month, and there will be a lot of socializing. You will also have an opportunity to work on interesting projects. You will make a new start with a relationship and be able to communicate openly. You will be able to talk frankly about your feelings to your partner now and for many months.

CAPRICORN Your love life will be exciting and satisfying this month with Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter in your love and romance sector. Your creativity will be heightened, but you will be able to find practical uses for your ideas and creations. You will make a new start regarding your health. A New Moon Solar Eclipse in Gemini will bring the urge to become educated about several health issues and get advice. Also you will have more opportunities at work to communicate and share ideas and information. You may have to face buried issues from the past. AQUARIUS You will spend a lot of time with your family this month, sharing stories and enjoying each other's company. This would be a good time to make your home more comfortable by changing things around or redecorating. Do something to help a neighbour or relative during the first week. A New Moon Solar Eclipse in Gemini and your romance sector will bring a new start in love matters. If you're single, you might meet someone exciting and begin a new relationship within six months. If you're already with someone, your feelings for your partner will be rekindled. PISCES You will have the chance to improve money matters because of a new opportunity during the first week of the month. However, finances will generally be unstable. Smooth interactions with neighbours and extended family will bring happiness. You will make a fresh start with family now. You will improve communications and make new plans. However you may have difficulties in your career that will have lasting consequences.

ARIES Early in the month, you will have several unexpected opportunities that will help you succeed in your personal life. During the first couple weeks, you will focus on improving your financial picture. You will get advice and do some reading about various money matters. Take care of details, such as paying bills, adjusting your investments, and creating a financial plan. You will also become more involved in your community and with extended family over the coming weeks. A New Moon Solar Eclipse and several planets in your Third House will inspire you to take a course, join a cause, or help someone you know. TAURUS With several planets moving through your sign this month, you will feel secure, capable, and organized. You will be able to attract the things you need and people who can help you. With Venus and Mars in your sign, you will be magnetic, attractive, and able to use charm to your advantage. This would be a good time to focus on creating security and learning about financial matters. The Sun will be in your money sector.

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The Top Ten Places To Pop The Question Next to your wedding day, the day you or your partner proposes should be among the most memorable of your life. Making it unforgettable for the right reasons can be a challenging though. For example, spelling out "marry me" in alphabet spaghetti could trigger a totally different response to proposing aboard a gondola in Venice. But its not just men who have to worry about proposing, with the leap year upon us and in line with old traditions, many women will be entertaining similar thoughts. So if you've been thinking of popping the question to that special someone but are unsure when, where and how, worry no longer as online travel community and advice website Trip Advisor has compiled a list of the 10 best places to propose. 1. Eiffel Tower, Paris Confirm Paris's reputation as the city of love by proposing at the top of the Eiffel Tower, with spectacular views of the city. If you love the city but haven't got a head for heights, why not set the tower as the backdrop by popping the question at nearby Trocadero Park. 2. London Eye, London Lift that special someone off their feet and propose high in the sky on the London Eye-the largest observation wheel in the world. Avoid spectators by hiring a private capsule, complete with champagne, for that special moment. 3. Oia, Santorini, Greece Watch the sun set over the caldera in Oia on Santorini, overlooking the breathtaking Aegean Sea, renowned for its striking sunsets. Squeeze through the narrow passageways and white buildings to the cliff-like Kastro walls, known for having the best views. 4. Alhambra, Granada, Spain Described as a pearl set in emeralds by Moorish poets, the Alhambra in Granada, a former palace and fortress, is a perfect place to propose to your gem. Stroll through the magnificent gardens with cypress-lined walkways and listen to the water dance from the fountains. 5. Canals of Venice, Italy For a dramatic movie-scene effect you could work up the nerve to pop the question while reclining on a gondola, gliding under the Venetian bridges, through the windy canals of Venice. For a really classy touch why not hire an opera singing gondolier so you're hands-free for that perfect moment. 6. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany Propose like royalty at Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th century Bavarian palace and former home to King Ludwig II. Evoke medieval times by riding up the steep hill to the castle, located on Romantic Road, in a charming horse-drawn carriage. 7. Mount Pilatus, Lucerne, Switzerland Don't get cold feet at the summit of Mount Pilatus near Lucerne, Switzerland, after chugging up the side of the mountain on the world's steepest cogwheel railway. Celebrate by shouting from the mountaintops, featuring panoramic views of more than 70 peaks and five lakes. 8. Trevi Fountain, Rome For the exhibitionist couple, the Trevi Fountain in Rome guarantees an audience and a cheering crowd. Toss a coin - not the ring - into the fountain, which legend says will ensure your return to Rome, hopefully not alone. 9. Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic Secure a life long connection at the 13th century Charles Bridge in Prague, featuring dreamy views of the city skyline. Lined with baroque statues and protected by three bridge towers, visit this walkway at night for a more peaceful moment. 10. Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Italy With sweeping views of the entire city, Piazza Michelangelo overlooks Florence, the Arno River, and golden Ponte Vecchio Bridge. Get down on one knee near disk when the crowds disperse, and a magical glow is cast on the city below.


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Shanghai: A City Of Contrasts Shanghai is the second largest city in China: colourful, exotic and quickly making a name for itself as a must-visit long haul destination. In the past it has been the domain of adventurers, swindlers, gamblers, drug runners, the idle rich, fashion dandies, tycoons, missionaries, dangerous gangsters and pimps; a dark memory during the long years of Communist isolation. Today the sun rises on a city typifying the huge disparities of modern China: monumental buildings that reach for the sky and glinting department stores that swing open their doors to a stylish elite while child beggars, prostitutes and the poor struggle to live. But travellers still love this city of contrasts, which has earned itself the accolade of the Paris of China and the Queen of the Orient. Located at the centre of the mainland's coastline, Shanghai has long been a major hub of communications, transportation and international exchange. The municipality covers an area of 6,341 square kilometres and has a bustling population of more than 17 million. Shanghai is China's largest economic industrial base and a famous historical and cultural city. It is home to the most modern stock exchange in the world, to one of the most advanced subway systems and to the third tallest skyscraper, the Jin Mao Tower. Visitors to Shanghai are not only dazzled by the modern metropolis and gateway to a developing China, but are also able to immerse themselves in the unique Shanghai culture, a combination of Chinese and western elements. Colourful festivals and celebrations litter the yearly Shanghai calendar, such as the Shanghai Nanhui Peach Blossoms Festival, Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival and Shanghai China International Art Festival. The well-known Bund is a must for visitors to Shanghai. Here, 52 buildings lining the narrow shoreline of the Huangpu River offer a living exhibition of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architectural styles as well as combinations of Chinese and western looks. The area of Huaihai Lu is all about shopping, with huge department stores blotting out the sun along a road lined with flower boxes, while the area around the hotel is littered with cafes, boutiques and antique shops. Head down the side streets off Yan'an Lu for the tatty, down-at-heel fin de siècle architecture that is so evocative of yesteryear. Nearby, the Yuyuan Gardens and bazaar area of the old town offer some delicious lunchtime snacks and welcome greenery. Nanjing Donglu (Nanjing Road East) has long been China's golden mile, although these days it's looking a bit the worse for wear beside the luxury option of Huaihai Lu. But shoppers still love it. A late 1990s renovation project pedestrianised the street from Xizang Lu to Henan Lu, and the shopped-out can catch the tourist train that runs along its length. Even back in the dull Communist era, Nanjing Donglu had a distinctly shop-till-you-drop feel about it. Nowadays, high street stores such as Esprit, Benetton and McDonald's have shouldered Marx and Mao right out of the way. A visit to the Old City is easily combined with a stop at Yuyuan Garden, a well-restored Suzhou-style garden created during the Ming dynasty. Jade Buddha Temple, located in northwest Shanghai, is the most popular Buddhist temple in this city. It is famous for two jade Buddha statues, one of which is reclining and the other seated. Culture vultures can immerse themselves in the fascinating history of China to be found in the Shanghai Museum where there are 120,000 works of art, one-third of which have never before been shown. Expect to spend half, if not a whole day here. It is one of the city's highlights. If you have a head for heights, how about a stay at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai? It is the highest hotel in the world located on the 53rd to 87th floors of the Jin Mao Tower - in the heart of Pudong, Shanghai's financial and business district, and with easy access to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shanghai World Financial Centre and the International Conference Centre.


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Long Haul Breaks— Breaks—SHANGHAI


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Cars & Vans For Sale FORD A BLUE 1928 MODEL FULLY RESTORED BEAUTIFUL CLASSIC Right Hand Drive Add this lovingly restored vehicle to your collection for only €24,000 call Charlie on (0034) 622625953 Costa Del Sol

FORD A RED 1929 MODEL BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED TO ITS FORMER GLORY Right Hand Drive Can be yours for only €24,000 Contact Charlie on 0034622625953 More Pictures Available CHEVROLET STATION WAGON 1928 FULLY RESTORED READY TO USE OR SHOW The Craftsmanship and passion gone into this project is priceless but this can be yours for just €38,000 Call Charlie on (0034) 622625953 For More Information 30

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Call Charlie (0034) 622625953 CHEVROLET 1929 6 CYLINDERS PARTLY RESTORED €15,000 Contact Charlie on (0034) 622625953 Export can be Arranged on all vehicles! RENAULT TRAFIC SL27 DCi 56 Reg 39,000 Miles, Light Usage, Fully Ply Lined, Tow Ball and Electrics, Roof Rack Taxed until End July IMMACULATE CONDITION Genuine Reason For Sale, Are you returning to UK ? Grab A Bargain !! Only €5,000 ono Call Charlie (0034) 622625953 Malaga Area


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Naughty - But Nice !! Husband says; "When I'm gone you'll never find another man like me". Wife replied; "What makes you think I'd want another man like you!" A woman walks up to a guy in a blue bathing suit and says, "Did you know your eyes match your swim trunks?" He says, "Why? Are my eyes bulging?" "I told my wife that a man is like a fine wine... I always get better with age. The next day, she locked me in the wine cellar." "Waiter! This coffee tastes like mud." "Yes sir, it's fresh ground." Wife: Give me some money. I want to buy a bra. Husband: Why? You have nothing to put in it! Wife: You wear shorts! A guy asks his waiter how they prepare their chicken. The waiter says that there's nothin' special... we just flat out tell' em they're gonna die‌ HUSBAND: Shall we try a different position tonight? WIFE: That's a good idea... you stand by the ironing board while I sit on the sofa and fart. Two drunks were walking home along the railway tracks. The first drunk says, "There's a hell of a lot of steps here." The second drunk says, "I'll tell you what's worse, this hand rail is bloody low down"

Harry's wife says, "Harry, do these jeans make my ass look like the side of the house?" He says, "No, our house isn't blue." Two Muffins were baking in an oven. One muffin turns to the other and says, "Holy cow it's hot in here!" The other muffin says, "Holy cow... A talking muffin!" A reporter was interviewing a 104 year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" She simply replied, "No peer pressure." A couple is lying in bed. The man says, "I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world" The woman says, "I'll miss you." An elderly patient gets hearing aids from a doctor. After a short time, he meets the doctor again. Doctor, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased." Patient, "Oh, I am in a funny situation now. I haven't told my family yet. I just sit and listen to their conversations. In a month, I've changed my will three times!" Q. What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name? A: You did not hold the pillow down long enough. Q. Why do men whistle when they are sitting on the toilet? A. It helps them remember which end to wipe... 32

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It all began with an iPhone... March was when my son celebrated his 15th birthday, and I got him an iPhone. He just loved it. Who wouldn't?

I celebrated my birthday in July, and my wife made me very happy when she bought me an iPad.

My daughter's birthday was in August so I got her an iPod Touch.

My wife celebrated her birthday in September so I got her an iRon.

It was around then that the fight started‌ What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean. This inevitably activates the iNag reminder service. I should be out of the hospital next week!!

JOKE OF THE MONTH. A young couple got married and went on their honeymoon. When they got back, the bride immediately called her mother. "Well," said her mother, "how was the honeymoon?" "Oh, mama," she replied, "the honeymoon was wonderful! So romantic..." Suddenly she burst out crying. "But, mama, as soon as we returned Sam started using the most horrible language - things I'd never heard before! I mean, all these awful 4-letter words! You've got to take me home... PLEASE MAMA!" "Sarah, Sarah," her mother said, "calm down! You need to stay with your husband and work this out. Now, tell me, what could be so awful? WHAT 4-letter words?" "Please don't make me tell you, mama," wept the daughter, "I'm so embarrassed they're just too awful! COME GET ME, PLEASE!!" "Darling, baby, you must tell me what has you so upset. Tell your mother these horrible 4-letter words!" Still sobbing, the bride said, "Oh, Mama ... he used words like: dust, wash, iron, cook..." "I'll pick you up in twenty minutes," said the mother.


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Avoid A Dose Of Spenvy Holidays are glorious events and there's no doubt that many of us work very hard to get them. It's a great feeling to be sitting on a sun lounger, sipping a piña colada and thinking that the year-long penny pinching was all worth it. If you managed to get a great deal when booking your holiday, then you'd even be entitled to let warm feelings of smugness wash over you. Nothing could spoil an ideal moment like this, could it? Well, how about if the chap on the adjacent sun lounger mentioned that he'd spent £300 less on the same holiday? Your glowing smugness would evaporate quicker than a stampede of holidaymakers heading for the free breakfast buffet. According to new research, it seems that the British nation's new obsession is not with proving how much more money than everyone else we have at our disposal, but rather how wisely we spend it. According to a UK wide study by Airmiles, the travel rewards scheme, two in three British adults suffer from negative feelings over the purchasing prowess of friends and family in what consumer experts are calling spending envy, or spenvy. So how do you know if you're a victim of this green-eyed money monster? Key symptoms include jealousy, a determination to change shopping behaviour and, in some extreme cases, anger. The research was commissioned as part of ongoing research into spending and travel habits. It revealed that 78 per cent of people feel secret guilt and disappointment when others exhibit smarter shopping behaviour by making their money stretch further. Spenvy is a sharp pang that's felt when people discover others have paid less than they have for something. The top offending items are holidays, but these are closely followed by household appliances, cars, houses and flights. It's enough to make you want to throw your piña colada in the face of a fellow holidaymaker. Consumer psychologist Corinne Sweet, who developed the research with Airmiles, explains: "We live in a culture where people are still generally quite discreet about something they've splashed out on. But if we've been savvy with our money, we're all too happy to show off and tell people how much we've saved. "These days, many people are less conscious of what they can afford, and more concerned about how far they can demonstrate their own shopping savviness and make their money work harder. It's a whole new take on keeping up with the Joneses, where it's not what you've got that counts, but how you got it." Sweet believes feelings of spenvy have heated up in recent years as money-saving opportunities have increased around us. The most popular smart shopping tools revealed in this research included: bagging bargains, for example, buy one get one free offers (87 per cent); loyalty/reward cards (75 per cent); money-off coupons (72 per cent); sales shopping (59 per cent); and online shopping (58 per cent). Surprisingly, the research shows that although 81 per cent of people employ some or all of these tactics in everyday spending, a quarter believe others are smarter still with their money. We're just never satisfied, are we? Sarah Wood, Airmiles' marketing director, says: "Nowadays there are lots of different ways we can be smart with our money, but the difference between a good and a great shopper is working out which savvy techniques give the best value." It's worth noting at this point that your travel insurance probably won't cover a nasty attack of spenvy, so you'd better make sure that you research your summer break well and so can be safe in the knowledge that you're the one with the upper hand on holiday bargains this year.


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Altea offers the Costa Blanca without the English pubs.

Real Spain on the Costa Blanca If you're looking for a cultural break to Spain but you don't want to stray too far off the well-beaten tourist track of the Costa Blanca, consider Altea. Despite lying just north of Benidorm and within an hour of Alicante by car, the city has the feel of an unspoiled Spanish fishing village. Remarkably, it has managed to retain its small-town charm and natural beauty despite the invasive spread of tourism in the area. It is the Costa Blanca, but not as you know it. Altea is nestled in the edge of the mountains of the Sierra de Bernia and offers some of the most beautiful views of the Costa Blanca. Local regulations banning high rise hotels and buildings mean Altea is the area's least overdeveloped city and certainly the most attractive. Its Spanish feel attracts tourists who want to break away from the usual offerings of towns and cities with endless British pubs, fish and chop shops and clubs. Altea has an attractive harbour and seafront boulevard alongside the pebbly but picturesque beach that surrounds the town. At its centre is the Plaza de la Iglesia, a popular gathering spot in the evening with beautiful views of the Mediterranean, and from which lead narrow cobblestone streets. By day you can stroll through the Old Town (Casco Urbano), which sits atop a hill overlooking the sea and is dominated by the famous church of Nuestra Senora del Consuelo, a piece of Mediterranean architecture with a blue tiled doomed roof. From there you can lazily meander through attractive cobblestone streets, past whitewashed houses, watch the fish unloaded daily at the busy harbour, relax on the pebbled beaches or shop at the weekly craft market near the harbour, where you can buy arts and crafts from local artisans. The market is open from Easter through to September. A short drive to the little hillside villages surrounding Altea is a must, especially La Nucia to the north, which has a bustling Sunday market. Evenings in Altea are a far cry from the chaos of Benidorm. Eating good food comes before drinking gallons of beer. The Old Town has plenty of cosy bars and charming restaurants in which you can enjoy the evening. The Campomanes marina has a good but somewhat expensive choice of bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you can go for an informal meal at Altea la Vieja's chiringuitos, which are simple restaurants on the beach. If you are looking for five-star accommodation, the Hotel Melia Altea Hills is your best choice, although it is located 3km out of town. The hotel overlooks Altea Bay and the historic town and offers superb facilities including the a health and beauty spa. A selection of three and two-star hotels are located directly on the main beach promenade of Altea, including the popular three-star Hotel Cap Negret and the two-star Hotel Altaya. 37

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Keep Your Kids Dog-Safe Reports of savage dog attacks are rarely out of the headlines these days. Unsurprisingly, this leaves many parents worrying about the safety of their children around "man's best friend". Just how safe are our canine chums? Mutual respect between human and canine lies at the heart of ensuring you have a healthy, happy and well-adjusted dog, but a lack of knowledge on the owner's part can lead to some dangerous and tragically fatal incidents. Whether you've owned your family pet dog for years or are visiting a friend or relative with a dog that you're not so familiar with, these guidelines by animal charity the Blue Cross should be heeded. They recommend the best course of action to ensure safety around all dogs and to encourage harmony in the home. Children under the age of 10 should NEVER be left unsupervised with any dog, even for a few moments. Dogs do not always appreciate being hugged or cuddled unless familiar with it from an early age. Slowly find out what the dog will accept, supervising constantly to ensure no unacceptable behaviour occurs on either side. Make sure children give the dog space and allow the dog to come to them and remain calm at all times. High-pitched squeals can also upset a dog. Children should never approach or disturb a dog that is sleeping or follow a dog that is trying to find a quiet space to get away. Children need to learn not to tease or bully dogs; likewise dogs have to learn not to jump up at children or Experiences during the first year of a dog's life make all the difference to future temperament and character. Taking the time to socialise your puppy can result in a friendly adult dog that enjoys the company of people. Socialising is easy and means simply taking your puppy out and about as much as possible, meeting lots of people and other dogs. A good puppy socialisation class can help your training. Puppies are usually admitted between the ages of 12 and 20 weeks and the entire family is encouraged to attend. Happy dogs don't usually bite, but all dogs may bite if they feel threatened or if they are very excited. Dogs don't know right from wrong and they have to be taught how to behave, just like children. Animals react to what is around them and how they feel. If they feel unwell and the room is noisy, they may react differently from when the room is quiet or they feel well. How to behave around dogs Always ask the owner before touching any animal. Listen to what the owner tells you. Animals may be frightened by sudden movements so walk, don't run or jump. Give the animal plenty of space so it doesn't feel scared. Be quiet and talk quietly when around animals. No squealing! Only feed an animal if the owner has told you to do so. Never approach a dog when it's sleeping, feeding or drinking, or try to remove its toy. Never be cross with, hit, smack or kick a dog. Always call a dog to you and leave him alone if he doesn't come. Don't pull him off a sofa, for example. Don't play games where the dog chases you, or rough and tumble games. If an aggressive dog approaches you Stand tall, like a tree, tuck away your hands and look away when a strange or excited dog comes up to you. Never run away as dogs love to chase. If a dog is aggressive and you are knocked over, curl up small, like a rock, tuck in your head and cover your ears with folded arms. Always drop any toys or food so the dog goes away. If you are on a bike and a dog chase you, get off on the opposite side and put the bike between yourself and the dog. If a dog tries to bite or jump up, put your bag between yourself and the dog.


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Can your relationship survive retirement? Think about your relationship after retirement and how do you see it? Languorous breakfasts together in the conservatory? Couples-only cruises? Holding hands on long walks along the promenade? In reality, retirement can put a lot of stress on even the most secure of relationships, after years spending just a few hours together a week you're suddenly plunged in to 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the same person. So how do you ensure your relationship survives retirement? Prepare for success Take time BEFORE you retire to evaluate your relationship and how you intend to make the most of it when you have more time together. Talk about what you imagine your life will be like and to discuss the places where your fantasies don't match. Make a plan which both of you are happy with - where will you holiday? Will you move house? What hobbies will you enjoy together and apart? Manage your expectations Be aware that retirement won't be perfect every step of the way. Spending all this time together will result in some disagreements so don't expect a bed of roses, excitement every day or constant romance. Appreciate what you have in your stable relationship and the time you have together in retirement. Share your hobbies; Supposing your husband loves golf, or your wife is a gardener extraordinaire. Spend time appreciating your other half's passions, whether you enjoy them or not. A relationship is all about give and take and you never know, you may discover a skill for putting or a love of roses yourself. But not all of them In every relationship, from the fledgling romance to the long-standing love, couples need space from each other. Make time just for you and allow your partner to spend time apart as well. This may involve taking solo holidays, spending time with friends or taking a class. But if it just means taking a relaxing bubble bath a couple of times a week or reading a book in the study, that's good too. Stay positive When you and your partner find yourself in each other's company day in, day out you'll undoubtedly come across problems. But even if hidden resentments bubble to the surface, you disagree on how to spend (or save) your nest egg or you just begin to get under each other's feet, keep a positive outlook, remember why you looked forward to this time and enjoy it as best you can. If in doubt ask for help It might be as simple as chatting with a friend or you might choose to contact a relationship counsellor but the important thing is that you know there's no shame in admitting there's something not right in your marriage. Retirement can be more stressful than any of us expect but ask for help and take advice and it can be just as wonderful as you hoped.


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Hi-tech hobby helpers Without a doubt, the internet has become the single most important tool for hobbies and crafts. You can use the web as a valuable resource of information - from local to global - you can download tutorials and software to develop your interest, take up a virtual hobby, and even enter the Matrix. At the click of a mouse, you can find help with hobbies such as music and photography and read up on some more intriguing pastimes. Design your own weird animals Ever fancied playing God? Pay a virtual visit to Switch Zoo and you can rearrange animal parts for free. Or download Switch Zoo deluxe, where you dismantle and reassemble new animals from 142 species. Find it at .

Enter the Matrix Following the huge success of the Matrix film trilogy and games comes a totally new concept in gaming. Matrix Online is a massive multiplayer online game, where you will jack into the Matrix world and take an active role in continuing the saga of the Matrix movie trilogy. Game play includes exciting wire-fu combat, an extensive mission structure, ongoing story development by the Wachowski brothers and a completely customisable skill and ability system. (PC only, monthly subscription required). Music With modern technology, you don't have to be Beethoven to create beautiful music. You can learn to read music, train your musical ear, create some bass, remix tracks, and much more. For a huge range of free downloads, shareware and other software suitable for your PC, visit . Sailing on the web Not everyone can afford sailing or power boating but anyone can become a virtual sailor. Learn to ride the waves, race against other boats and even change the scenery. Start off with a trail download from - search for Virtual Sailor v5.0. It's magic If the thought of sawing a young woman in half or pulling a rabbit out of a hat is your idea of fun, there are plenty of sites dedicated to magical wizardry. There is a selection of free downloads teaching card tricks and how to levitate an object at , or just search for "free magic downloads". Or enrol at the College of Magic for distance learning courses in magic and illusion, as supported by world-famous illusionists Siegfried and Roy. You will receive a distance learning program pack with all your props and magical goodies and learn online now that's magic! Go to . High-tech embroidery Embroidery has moved into the modern age with the advent of machine embroidery software. Now you can create unique designs with digitising software before using an embroidery machine to stitch your work. You can even scan in pictures to use as an embroidery pattern. Some of the most popular sites include: for free designs; for embroidery software; and for equipment. Improve your cooking Gone are the days of searching through recipe books. All you will ever need is available online. Enter the global cafĂŠ of recipes, cookery tips and tools of the trade. For recipes, travel eatery guides, chef tips, a food and wine dictionary and everything you could want to know about food, visit .



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