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The Catalunya Chronicle

DECEMBER 2010 An English Paper for Tarragona and beyond.... FREE every month ~ suitable for all the family.

Another month passes us by as we say goodbye to November and move into December edging closer towards another new year and a new decade. Where does the time go? It almost seems like yesterday that we were eagerly anticipating the start of a new exciting millennium. As they say time “waits for no man” but is it only me that feels that as we get older life seems to move at a faster pace? Perhaps I’m just getting old. December is a month which naturally contains a great deal of excitement for young children, however for those us of us who have decided to build a new life here in Catalunya, perhaps some of that excitement and spirit of Christmas that we had as a child has an opportunity to resurface. Due to planned visits to or from loved ones many miles away - It’s a time which enables us to once again meet, gather and spend a few precious moments with family and special friends.

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However, it is also a time when life seems to encourage us to look back and reflect upon those acquaintances that we have not heard from, or seen for a while and to re-establish contact once again. What I am really trying to say is it shouldn’t be just at Christmas that we take this time out and pause for a moment. Perhaps this calmer period highlights even more the fact that life is so fast-paced these days and the fact that this time is so special due to the fact that we do take time out for others, instead of getting caught up in the selfish hub-bub of everyday life. Whatever this Christmas has in store for you , we hope that you have a safe and enjoyable one. To all of our contributors who I express my thanks to once again for their continued support, the advertisers and of course you the readers I wish you a very Happy Christmas!!!

In this month’s issue... A Brief History of Time Part V... Our regular series of history articles returns and concentrates on The Zenith of The Moors In Spain And Their Decline

Its Written In The Stars... Exclusive to the Catalunya Chronicle, we welcome our newest contributor - Catalunya resident and Astrologist - Nenufar. Find out what December has in store for you...

Diet tips for Christmas... How to avoid the pitfalls of overeating throughout the festive season.

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 1


COMMUNITY NEWS FRIENDS OF ALCOSSEBRE ‘BLING’ SALE On Saturday, 16th October, The The sale followed the October Committee Meeting at which the 2010 third quarter donations to the following organisations were agreed totalling Friends of Alcossebre held a special 3,500€: The Alcala Comarcal School, the La Mola School in Alcossebre, the Sierra d’Irta School in Alcala, the Alcossebre and the Alcala Pensioners, “Bling Sale” at the Charity Shop. the Alcala-Alcossebre Roman Catholic Church, the Alcala Amas de Casa, The day was bright and sunny, and the La Dorada Fishing Club and the Grup Bombos and Tambors “El the event attracted a crowd of people Repliquet”, based in Alcala. of many nationalities. The regular

All funds raised by the Friends of Alcossebre either in the Charity Shop or shop stocks had been extended, the at special events, are given to local charities and organisations. Donations of good, clean clothing, books and bric-a-brac are always welcome, and new autumn clothes brought in and, may be brought directly to the shop or to the collection points in the Alcossebre and Alcala Pensionistas Clubs. Volunteers to work in the shop clearly, people came in search of a bargain! or helping sort items in the store are always needed. The picture above shows the busy scene outside the shop in El Centro, Las Fuentes. An amazing 500€ was raised on the day. The Friends are very The Charity Shop, in El Centro, Las Fuentes, Alcossebre, is open from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm, and can be contacted by phone on grateful to everyone who supported the Sale and to all those volunteers who 964 414 973. helped with the organisation. Unclaimed Raffle Tickets Freesia Group Christmas Fair El Perelló Saturday 6th November If you were unable to await the results of the raffle, below is a list of unclaimed prizes. You may be one of the lucky ones!

Freesiagroup for cancer charities Spain

YELLOW: 175, 195, 199, 238, 247, 259 PINK: 144, 150, 153, 165, 180, 182, 222, 227, 232, 240, 247 BLUE: 70, 232, 238, 239, 277 If you have a winning ticket please contact: Liz on 977 059 783 or Mobile: 619 905 609

The 9th Freesia Group Annual Christmas Fair will be held once more at the fabulous Charlie Chaplin’s bar disco and Christie’s pub next door, kindly offered by Mark Evans and Chris McGrath - many thanks to both of them. Address: C/Falset, in front of Hotels Santa Monica and Las Vegas. The two places together are spacious and ideal. Parking is plentiful. The venue will stay open after the fair for a night of music and, hopefully, entertainment.

Santa Claus in his Grotto.

ASSOCIATION FOR THE REFUGE AND CARE OF ANIMALS

Invites you to an

INDOOR CAR BOOT SALE AND XMAS MARKET ON NOVEMBER 27TH AT PARTYCENTRE “SINDICAT” CAMARLES FROM 10.00 AM UNTIL 1.00PM (SELLERS 9.00AM) STANDS AVAILABLE FROM 5€

On sale - international foodstuffs (including British goods), gifts, cards & decorations, toys, books. Tombola. Nearly new clothes. Stalls from local shops & businesses. Competitions etc. Fabulous raffle for Christmas hampers & other great prizes. Hot “Christmas food” and bar till late! Easy directions to Chaplin’s: - drive up from the fountain towards Cap Salou. At the fork take c/Alfons V Magnanìm and turn left at Hotel Caspel. Charlie Chaplin’s is on C/Falset, 100 m. down the street on your right. Parking on street or car park next door.

If you would like a stall or you can spare a few hours to help us please contact Pamela Gené on 977 395064 or info@freesiagroup.com for further information www.freesiagroup.com info@freesiagroup.com

(Fresh food allowed)

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 2


CARTES A L’EDITOR Readers Letters - to the Editor Do you wish to voice your opinion on a particular subject, or feel that our readers could benefit from some useful information that may assist them in settling into the Catalan / Spanish way of life? If so, why not send us a letter - please address all correspondence to: The Catalunya Chronicle C/ Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa or alternatively you may email us at editor@chroniccat.com This month we received a letter relating to the ‘rising’ cost of dining out in Spain compared to the UK. How do you feel? Are you getting value for money? Let us know by responding to the address above. We look forward to hearing from you.

I am one of the fortunate people who visits Spain long term. I have been going to Spain for 10 years now. I am writing to try to help the wonderful Spanish people to understand why we Brits are not spending so much money in Spain these days.

ASSOCIATION FOR THE REFUGE AND CARE OF ANIMALS

WOULD LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO THEIR EARLY CHRISTMAS BUFFET PARTY & DANCE

ON NOVEMBER 27TH 2010

8.00pm - LATE

AT PARTYCENTRE “SINDICAT”, CAMARLES It used to be that the Spanish Menu Del Dia was a bargain costing us and the Spanish working man around £4.60 (GBP) It

Live music from Mr Swing & The Four Legends

was far cheaper than a meal in the UK. Nowadays the price is around £10 to £12 and whilst we appreciate that wine is included, the wine in Spain is not expensive. These days it is possible to eat well in the UK for around £5 in many, many places. You can check out the menus

For further info please call Mave on 678 975 816 Directions to the PARTYCENTRE From the N340 take the turning for CAMARLES Take the first turning on your left and drive to the end of the road, turn right, then left and immediately in front of you will be the “SINDICAT” with plenty of parking spaces available.

on these websites for proof. www.marstontaverns.co.uk www.tobycarvery.co.uk www.harvester.co.uk PUERTO DEPORTIVO 17/18, 12579 ALCOSSEBRE

Indeed one national chain sells an excellent all you can eat carvery for £3.69 (GBP) www.crowncarveries.co.uk I recently saw a pair of gents slippers on a market in Spain that were more expensive than the same item from a store in the UK.

CHRISTMAS DAY SPECIAL Dinner including Coffee & Liquor Served at 3.00pm ONLY 25 Euros Live 60’s, 70’s Music & dancing from 4.30pm with The TRIO HEATWAVE

I think the Euro has cut off the Spanish people from the real cost of things. It is a great shame that we Brits cannot afford to spend as much as we used to in Spain but it is an even greater shame that the Spanish people are having to pay so much in their day to day lives. Phil Summers

NEW YEARS NIGHT SPECIAL Four Course Menu Coffee & Cava included Music 60’S / 70’S 9.00pm - 2.00am 35 Euros

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 3


ONCE UPON A TIME... to make new friends and pass on useful information and generally help each other out and provide moral support – it can be difficult to uproot your life, move out to another country and By Jennifer Figuerola automatically slip into a comfortable lifestyle with new surroundings and new friends. The Tiara Group is a great way to help you over this barrier inestar is one of and integrate more quickly and easily into the the villages dotted community. Then she also helps out at Arca, the along the river Ebro, dog home. Being a professional dog groomer in on the way to More a past life, she is very knowledgeable when it D'Ebre, on the comes to dogs, whatever the breed, and is happy opposite side of the to give up her time to clip them. So of course she river to Miravet, where has met people through this. Free time is a I live. Having driven precious commodity for her these days, as she past it so many times, also owns a beautiful property in Miravet, literally it wasn't a place I took on the riverbank, complete with hot tub, which much notice of during lucky holiday makers can rent out. This has the first year of living in the area. However, there meant meeting many holiday makers throughout are quite a number of English people who have the year, which all adds to her already busy social settled in and around Ginestar, and gradually I calendar. have met them and become acquainted with the village. It has a couple of places to eat, bars, and Literally all her other spare social hours are spent a great swimming pool, clean and inviting. with Norman, supporting his gigs, concerts and musical evenings. Norman has his fingers in Georgina and Norman live in the hills across from quite a few pies, having made numerous musical the village centre. They bought their relatively contacts until eventually forming a band, 'The cheap plot of land in Ginestar and have spent a Four Legends', with three other musicians. Not couple of years now making their place only that, but he has also set up a radio broadcast comfortable and it really is lovely, with great with his friend and fellow musician, Josep, on views. Both have managed to make new friends Radio Mora La Nova. A pioneer in this field, and are well settled into life in Cataluñya. Norman's broadcasts are in English, and he is constantly on the lookout for contributions, I was interested to know how they had come to snippets of local information, welcoming many this point in their lives – busy, active, happy, different guests to the studio each week to add involved, and what factors, if any, had helped to the variety of the show. He is passionate about them feel welcome. Georgina loves getting providing a media through which English people together with her friends and is involved with the can integrate into the local community by sharing Tiara Group, meeting regularly for coffee and a views, ideas and music. His broadcasts are also chinwag, or going off on organised jaunts. This live – a very brave move – every Wednesday ever-growing group, which now amounts to some evening without fail at 8pm. It's called 'The 70 ladies, quickly gained popularity as a means Crossover Show' and literally anyone can phone

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in or email him with info, stories or just music requests. Recently he has expanded with a second broadcast in L'Ametlla de Mar. This goes out every Saturday afternoon on Radio Cala, and is called “Still Rockin”. Both stations are on frequency FM 107.3. As he says, he is your Voice on the radio: norman@normanjay.net or call him on 617162264.

Any regrets, I asked Georgina? Anything you would have done differently, in hindsight? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but on the whole, Georgina is happy with her lot here in Catalunya. The access road to their property is probably the bane of her life, if she had to name one. The rain turns it into a perilous descent from the house to the main road. It stops being a road and transforms into a mind bending, theme park, log flume-type ride, claiming cars and 4 wheel drives as casualties , which inevitably means more money out the window on hefty mechanic bills to put them right. There is the other minor issue of planning permission and what exactly is/is not legal, but they are here now and not wasting time worrying about what they cannot change... Essentially, they have forged a comfortable, at times hectic, but fulfilling life for themselves in the space of a couple of years. Not bad eh? To both Norman and Georgina, Ginestar is now the place they call home.

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 4


FREESIA GROUP - FIRA DE NADAL

For the second year running – the El Perello “Freesia Group” organised a Christmas Fair - ”FIRA DE NADAL” (held in El Perello on Saturday 6th November) dedicated to raising money for Cancer Charities in Spain. The “Fira de Nadal” – raised over €2,500 – all of which will be given to the following cancer charities:- AECC (The Spanish Association Against Cancer - Tarragona province), CNIO (Spanish National Cancer Research Centre), AFANOC (Association for Children with Cancer – Tarragona province).

In addition – the renowned Catalan author, artist and children’s book illustrator – Mabel Pierola – personally presented the prizes for a Children’s Painting Competition – the entries for which were submitted from each of the Catalan year groups in the El Perello Schools. Mabel donated personally signed illustrated books for the winners - who also each received a prize of artists materials and a signed certificate. El Perello is a thriving, forward thinking Catalan village, with approximately 20% non-Spanish permanent residents many of whom are integrated into the local community by their desire and willingness to become involved in the life and concerns of their host community here in Catalunya.

The ‘El Perello Freesia Group’ is a local branch of the ‘FREESIA GROUP’, a registered charity founded in 2002 by Over 1,000 people of all nationalities from the El Perello area (and beyond) ex-patriots resident in the Tarragona Province of Catalunya. visited the Christmas Fair and not only The Freesia Group has so far raised over 200,000 euros for cancer charities enjoyed themselves but also showed what can be achieved on a community in Spain – a staggering average of over 25,000 euros a year! basis – to help those in need – whilst having a lot of fun ! The ‘El Perello Freesia Group’ would like to stress the emphasis on “community”! Their aim has not only been to raise money to fight Cancer but also to encourage the participation of the local Catalan ‘host’ community of El Perello in their fund-raising activities and to foster a sense of ‘joint effort’ & pride in contributing towards helping those in need. THE BUSKERS

THE DECIBELS CHOIR

The 2010 Christmas Fair featured not only over 40 stalls with a wide variety of gifts, crafts and produce for sale but also a programme of live music including the popular “Decibels Choir”, “The 4 Legends Rock Band”, “The Buskers” Folk Group and the “El Perello Youth Choir”.

The El Perello Freesia Group have gradually managed to cement firm links with the local Adjudamente, Chamber of Commerce, local schools and businesses and within the local population - with the result that the Catalan community in the area has been extremely supportive and helpful towards all their efforts. It shows a generosity of spirit and welcome towards the ex-patriots living in their community and the El THE MAYOR CHATTING Perello Freesia group is enormously grateful to them WITH STALL HOLDERS for this!

THE 4 LEGENDS

They have also been fortunate in being able to enlist the help of local residents who are fluent in Catalan, English & Spanish to help with translations to enable this event to proceed smoothly.

Norman Jay – who hosts the radio programme – Radio Mora la Nova 107.3 Some of these are children of ex-patriots who have lived in the area for many years and their linguistic skills have been a great help with inter-community FM – kindly DJ’d the whole event for free! liaison. A Barbeque and Bar ran all day and children enjoyed visiting “Santa” in his Grotto” where they received a gift of sweets and were able to have a personal photograph taken of themselves with Santa.

“ So – The Christmas Fair was not only a success for raising money for Cancer Charities but also - a success for fostering & maintaining a good community spirit between foreigners living in Catalunya and the Catalunyans!!

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 5


DEAR DIARY... Following on from various articles that we have featured in recent editions on friendship and Armistice day, my thanks to one of our regular readers Joan Sutton, who submitted the following short story written by her grand-daughter Megan Whitehouse. Megan recently researched the first World War and using some of the information acquired, plus her imagination, she wrote this poignant story about a day in the life of a soldier in the trenches. I, like her grandmother, believe she has shown a wonderful insight into the conditions endured by the unsung hero's of the time. 24th September 1916 I forgot I had this diary! I've finally got some spare time! So I thought I would write in this old diary that my mother gave to me! She told me to write in it as much as I could! So here it goes:

the toxic fumes but due to only

I had never experienced

going just of the base not all of us

anybody do something so

thought we would be in serious

selfless like Charles did

danger and a few of us didn't see

for me today enabling

the importance of taking our gas

me to continue on with

masks. And that is when it

my life's journey, by

happened I woke up and next to

being a better person and consider others before

Well where do I begin except for today has me was my best friend, I sat up, been the worst of them all! I've lost my

tapped Charles, no answer, I then

myself just like Charles

best friend and some of the other soldiers

lay on his chest to check his heart

did for me.

in the troop, also my general is injured! I

beat, there was nothing, no

can't say which trench we were in! But

beating, nothing, then I realised I had

what I can say is that I appreciate

something on my face, I couldn't breathe

everything my best friend Charles has

properly, and that is when I realised what

done for me! And I am so fortunate to

he had done.

have had a friend like him. He was a kind young lad and had a lovely wife and kids, he never did a thing wrong until risking his life for me today, I don't know how I could repay him for what he's done now that he's gone. Should I write a letter to let them know? No I best not, the general reads the letters before they are sent off and I will probably be punished for him dying instead of me! I best not, although, I'd rather be dead than be here right now, I'd rather him be here than me, he deserves to live, he just does. The trench was really dirty and the green haze was getting worse by the minute, we finally realised what the haze was and we all got down on the floor to try and protect ourselves from inhaling

Farewell for now, general is shouting for my assistance in helping the rest of the injured troops back to the safety of our base to assess and tend to their injuries, also to unfortunately take the un surviving

I took off the gas mask and inside it had a comrades including my best friend, name, 'Charles'. The smell when i took of

Charles to ' no man's land' and pay our

the gas mask was like rotten eggs and 3

silent respects to them and their families.

week old sandwiches! It was horrid, I

A valuable lesson has been learnt today,

couldn't stand it no longer, I scrawled

unfortunately it was the hard way. And

across the damp trench in desperation to

Charles' gas mask will always be with me

find my general, hoping he could do

whenever we leave the security of our base

something about Charles, but to my utter

and I know he will

dismay the general seemed unconscious,

continue to protect me!

and I feared the worst for him too, as I checked for a heart beat he came out of his comatose state. It became apparent that whilst he was wearing his gas mask he was trying to save his troop by sharing the mask between them, inhaling a small quantity of the toxic fumes that had

R.I.P Charles, an honourable friend, never forgotten and always in my heart! xx By Megan Whitehouse Aged 13 years

wiped out many of my fellow comrades, luckily the general had only superficial shrapnel wounds and was not seriously maimed. But by the time I could get him to speak every last breath of life had departed my best friend’s body and there was no saving him.

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 6


A CASE OF TRADITION Christmas Customs Christmas around the world: In Italy, children receive gifts from the good witch La Befana, old, bent and dressed in black. La Befana was a widowed, childless woman when the Three Kings passed on their way to see the Christ child. When they asked her the way to Bethlehem she was busy cleaning and sent them away. Realizing her mistake, she left to search for the Baby Jesus. To this day she is still searching going from house to house on Epiphany, January 6, leaving a gift for good children. Russian children await gifts from Babouska, a farmer's wife who offered food and shelter to the Three Wise men on their journey to Bethlehem, Baboushka declined their offer of travelling with them to visit the Christ child. Realizing her error on the eve of Epiphany, she tried unsuccessfully to find them, but handed the presents she had intended for the infant Jesus to children she passed along the way. In Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South America, the Three Kings or Wise Men bring Christmas gifts to children, while in France children eagerly await the coming of Father Christmas or Pere Noel who brings their gifts. In some cultures, Saint Nicholas travels with an assistant. The old bishop Sinterklass arrives in Holland on December 6 in his red bishop's costume astride a white horse. In many port towns, he is said to have sailed in on a ship from Spain. Beside him walks Black Peter with a black sack and a book recording each Dutch child's behavior through the year. Good children receive a gift from the bishop while bad children may be carried away in Black Peter's sack. In Germany Saint Nicholas also travels with a helper, known as Knecht Ruprecht, Krampus, or Pelzebock, and comes with a sack on his back and a rod or switches in his hand. Saint Nicholas gives gifts to good children, while those who have been bad are punished by the assistant with a few THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY... hits of a switch.

In today’s times if a cemetery were to Why is it that when you’re driving and raise its burial costs would it be Swedish children wait for the gnome Jultomten, also called Julemanden or looking for an address you always turn blamed on the cost of living. Julenisse, who dresses in red and carries a sack of gifts on his back. He down the volume of the radio? flies in his sleigh pulled by the Julbocker, the goats of Thor, the god of If quitters never win, and winners thunder. Elves, called the Juul Nisse, hide in the attics of families throughout If 75% of all accidents happen within never quit, what fool came up with, the year, eagerly waiting to help him. Children leave bowls of milk or rice 5 miles of home, why not move 10 "Quit while you're ahead?" pudding in the attic for the elves, hoping they will be empty in the morning. miles away? Why do banks charge you a "nonIn Austria and Switzerland it is Christkindl or the Christ Child who arrives If love is blind, why is lingerie so sufficient funds fee" on money they bearing gifts. In some towns children await the Holy Child and in others popular? already know you don't have? Christkindl is a beautiful girl-angel who comes down from heaven bearing How come you press harder on a "I am" is reportedly the shortest gifts. remote-control when you know the sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest And in England a thinner version of Santa Claus known as Father Christmas, battery is dead? sentence? wearing long red robes with sprigs of holly in his hair, delivers gifts to children. Opening Times: LARGE RANGE OF Mornings: 9:00 - 13:00 CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS Afternoons: 16:30 - 20:00 AVAILABLE Sundays and Holidays: 10:00 - 14:00 (July and August closed)

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 7


NEUVOS AMIGOS MAKING FRIENDS WITH A DIFFERENCE With Christmas 2010 in our sights, I have been chatting to friends and acquaintances from the area to see how easy they had managed to make friends since moving out to Spain. And you know what? It seems that if there are two of you then there isn't much of a problem. Couples eat out, visit bars and cafés, join various clubs and quickly hook up with other couples and the network swiftly spreads like fast-creeping ivy on a tree trunk. Single folk however, tell a different story. Besides having twice as much to do on the finca/in the flat/in the townhouse, there being only one of them, they are certainly more reluctant to wander into new places alone, preferring to make one or two bars their regular haunt. So they end up spending what little spare time they have in the familiar bar and tend to have a smaller circle of friends. So when a time like Christmas comes around, it's not difficult to imagine quite a few of you singles out there spending the most part of the festive season alone, if you are staying in Spain, while your friends jet off back to England to spend the time with their families there. Anyway, I suddenly had a brainwave and this is it: a speed date evening during the run-up to Christmas to get everyone in high spirits. I have done this in the UK and believe me, it's a great way to spend an evening. Especially within an ex pat community with all sorts of folk who, for whatever reason, haven't yet met many people to socialise with. Therefore, with this in mind I have organised the first, fun-filled evening of speed dating, to be held at th Bar Estación, L'Ampolla, on Saturday, 4 December, 7.30 – 11pm. If you decide to be brave and go for it, pop into the bar to buy your ticket at the reduced price for the first evening of 8€. Or telephone me, Jenny, on 654 875 163. Places are limited to 25 ladies and 25 gentlemen, so be sure not to leave it too late. You will not be able to buy a ticket on the night, as we need your contact information and name in advance to prepare the 'Speeding Tickets'. So if you are a speed date old timer, no need to read any more, but for those who have never tried this type of entertainment, read on to find out exactly what it's all about...

rings to start the first 3 minute date, and you're off! Write your date's name beside their number on your speeding ticket, as you are bound to get mixed up later on if you forget. The next bell signifies the end of the date. Mark your speeding ticket with a tick or a cross in the space next to your date's name, to indicate if you would like to share your contact details with them. Then, the ladies remain seated and the gentlemen move to the next table number and await the bell that begins the second date. Write your new date's name next to their number and enjoy your date... After the first 5 dates, there will be a 15 min drink/toilet break, after which there will be breaks after every 10 dates, up to a maximum of 25 dates. At the end of the evening, hand in your speeding tickets to me, and have a drink while you fill in the comments sheet – all comments are welcome and can only improve future sessions if I can tailor them to further suit your needs. Within the next 48 hours I will email or phone you with the contact details of those wanting to meet you. It's as simple as that. That's about it. Up to 25 dates in one evening. A great atmosphere. No awkwardness, pressure or embarrassment. It's a win-win situation, you literally have nothing to lose. It's the fastest, cheapest way of making new friends and sometimes meeting that special someone. Plus it's totally confidential. I respect everyone's right to withhold or give out their contact details. There are no knock backs. 3 MINS TOO SHORT? Believe me, if you don't get on, then 3 mins is plenty! If you do, read on to get the most out of them... Spend a little time before the evening working out what you would like to know about someone before you would go out with them and think up 4 or 5 questions. Remember, they will want to ask you questions too. If you need to, use the icebreaker questions on the name card. Get your big concerns out of the way quickly, for example, Are you allergic to cats? Are you married? Which football team do you support? Try to avoid the predictable, boring questions: how long have you been here? What do you think of it? Do you miss England? 25 explanations on the same theme do not make for a fun-filled evening.

IF YOU'RE NERVOUS... ...smile. First impressions count for a lot. Don't be afraid to make eye contact. FANCY A FUN NIGHT OUT? ...be sure to write your date's name beside their number on your speeding Then maybe speed dating is for you. My name is Jenny and it's my job to ticket, or you'll forget who was who make this a great night for you. ...be discreet. Keep your speeding ticket closed during the date. ...be polite. Even if it's obvious there is no attraction, it's only for 3 minutes. HOW IT WORKS Dress up, ready for loads of fun. COLOUR , WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR? Bring along your ticket, it has your Apparently women are more attracted to men who wear blue. It indicates number on the back. Plan to arrive stability, dependability and trustworthiness. Bright yellow-green is supposed in good time so that we can register to put off both men and women. Red is very stimulating and arousing. everyone, give out 'Speeding Tickets', pens and Comment sheets. Just before kick-off at 8pm, GOOD LUCK everyone will sit at the table – SEE YOU THERE! corresponding to their number. A bell

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 8


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Tel: 977 593 984 The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 9


TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK Further to the Tales From The Riverbank living or dead, and also of insects that do not article that appeared in our October edition belong to the local fauna.” which mentioned using squid as bait, we have received an email from one of our readers - Mrs Dena Rowlands, who would like to make keen anglers within our region aware of a situation that arose when some of her guests were fishing with live bait and received a visit from the Agent Rurals... If you are thinking of coming to Catalonia to fish the River Ebro and have been trawling the web sites you could be forgiven for believing that fishing with live and dead bait is permitted. Many of the web sites offering fishing services on the River openly publicise that they use live eels, mullet, even carp as bait. Beware! Fishing with live or dead fish has been illegal for some years, and now the rules have been tightened even further. When we first moved here we heard many conflicting opinions about what was was permitted and what wasn’t. However, since at least 2006 we’ve been aware that baiting with live or dead fish is prohibited because we picked up a “Fishing Rule Summary” from the licence office here in Mora d’Ebre. A short time later my son had a conversation with an Agent Rural who told him that although it was prohibited to use fish as bait it was ok to use something like squid. And since then, that is what we have told our guests. Until now…

We helped our guest submit an appeal on the grounds that the information on the Medi Ambient web site was misleading because it did not specify that using mollusc was illegal in accordance with the new law of December 2009. We attached a print-out of the relevant page. It is now November and we are still waiting for the outcome. But, interestingly, the page on the Medi Ambient site has disappeared! Removed entirely from the web site in all 3 languages, Catalan, Spanish and English! Instead of a brief Law Summary, there is now a link to the entire law – all 29 pages of it – in Catalan only.

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The removal of the misleading page makes us hopeful that in this instance the appeal is going to be upheld. Of course, the fact that there is now a link to the entire law removes any possibility of future appeals being made In June this year one of our regular guests on the basis of a lack of information. C/Santa Anna, 18 - Tarragona was fishing from the Mora d’Ebre Tel: 977 23 22 43 www.eurodelicatessen.net Embarcador which is right outside our So, make no mistake: fishing with any apartments. He was fishing for catfish on kind of live or dead bait - be it fish, squid bought from the supermarket. The crustacean or mollusc is prohibited on When contacting Agents Rurals came by to check his licence the Catalan stretch of the Ebro and the one of our and also asked him to bring in his line. When fines are heavy. advertisers please they saw the squid they announced that he mention you saw was fishing with illegal bait. We explained our I’ll advise you of our outcome as soon as we their details in understanding of the rules, only to be have it and intend to translate a summary of The Catalunya informed that they had changed in December the new laws and relevant fines in English as Chronicle. 2009 and that squid was now illegal. They soon as I have it. also made a point of telling us that it was the anglers responsibility to keep up to date with current law by checking the Medi Ambient web site. Our surprise and apologies did Fed up with the daily routine? Want to meet new people or visit nothing to sway them from their intention to somewhere different? Once a month, why not join a very lively make a legal report. A denuncia was bunch of people for 2 hours of yoga with a difference, followed by a completed and the rods were confiscated. fabulous menu of the day at a local restaurant.

“Yoga Day Out with a difference”

I checked the Medi Ambient site and could find no changes to what I had read on there previously. The relevant part stated: “The use of dead or live bait fish is prohibited in Catalan Inland Waters” Some weeks later our guest received notification that he was to be fined 601 Euros. The law was quoted and in English translates as: “Law 22/2009 of 23 December. Article 31.1: prohibits the use as bait of any fish, crustacean or mollusc, in any biological state,

Pamela Sharp, Yoga Teacher & Reiki Master, who has lived and practised in Spain for 35 years is an excellent teacher and always does something different. In December we are going to be taught how to cure ailments by “Tapping”. (No previous experience necessary!). The yoga is held at the Town Hall in La Galera from 11am to 1pm and afterwards we go to somewhere different for lunch, where the food is always excellent and good value for money. The whole day usually costs about €20 and will definitely be no more than €25.00. Usually the day out is on the first Friday of the month, but in December it will be held on Friday 10th. For further information please ring Jeanette Lane at least one week before on 977 477 042 or 686 292 823 (mobile).

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 10


VIDA BUENA A W ALK A D AY The popularity of walking as a fitness activity is growing by leaps and bounds. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. A classic eightyear study of 13,000 people conducted at the Institute for Aerobics Research under the direction of Dr. Steven Blair found that those who walked the equivalent of 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. A regular walking program can help: • Reduce blood cholesterol • Lower blood pressure • Increase cardiovascular endurance • Boost bone strength • Burn calories and keep weight down Get Ready

point where you can walk a few miles with relative ease, you can start to vary the intensity. Walking hills, in addition to increasing your cardiovascular endurance, is a great way to tone the legs. Concentrate on lengthening your stride or increasing your speed. And don’t forget to reward yourself after each workout with a few minutes of relaxing stretches to help prevent sore muscles.

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Listening to lively music while you walk is also a great way to energize your workout. But if you wear headphones, keep the volume down and watch out for traffic that you may not hear. Keep track of your progress. Many experts recommend that you walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day, but there are no hard and fast rules. Fit walking into your schedule whenever you can. That may mean three 10-minute walks each day, or even hourlong walks two to three times a week. The best schedule is one that keeps you walking and keeps you fit!

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 11


LES MASCOTES The December Issue; Wow, can this really be true? Stray Dogs ... or are they? Has time flown by so quickly? Another year has passed and it's almost Christmas again. I have enjoyed writing for you for a whole year and hope 2 weeks ago a stray dog that the information I've tried to provide has been appeared in my finca. The poor thing was quite skinny interesting and helpful to you. and obviously hadn't had For this last month of the year 2010 I have decided enough food in a while. Some not to write an entire article, but instead to give you type of a weird hunting dog a few updates on previous articles and a few safety cross that looks like a large tips to enjoy the Christmas season with your pet. skinny shorthaired fox. A very My furry four legged crew and I wish you all a very cute and sweet animal who Merry Christmas and a splashing New Year 2011. immediately wanted to be petted and become part of the pack. Of course there is no way I can take in another stray and add Leishmaniasis it to my overfull household. But on the other hand, I cannot simply look at its sweet starved eyes, see My Rottweiler who its ribs stick out, hear it cry, and then turn my head. was diagnosed with So yes, I gave it some food. My intention was to Leishmaniasis in see if I could somehow against all odds find it's March is doing great. owner, and if not take it to a shelter. Before I could The treatment seems good and well make the time to make a plan to to have worked, and realize this search ... 2 more dogs appeared! Yes, she shows no signs of am I lucky or what! This time it was a big German sickness anymore. 2 Shepherd and a small long haired companion. weeks ago her blood Very cute to see this odd couple interact. These tests confirmed that two as well were very sweet and good natured, she is as good as new and snoozed in my olive harvest nets all day. After and that she should continue to live a happy and the nets and olives were cleaned up though and healthy life. Currently she does still remain on the night came, they still hadn't left. I was convinced medication regimen to ensure the disease not that these two must have a good home taking hold again, but that's a small inconvenience somewhere, as sweet and well kept as they were, considering what we went through and what could and so after 2 days I set out to ask some random have happened. I'm very happy that all turned out people in the area if they were missing any dogs. as well as it did. Sadly though, another 2 of my 4 And what do you know, it worked. Quite a long dogs have just been tested positive for way down my street, a Spanish gentlemen said Leishmaniasis. Unbelievable! They too receive they were his, and immediately came to pick them all the prevention possible to avoid contracting this up. He took one look at the fox look alike and disease, and still they have managed to be managed to tell me that this was his neighbours infected. Pfew! Well, here we go again with the dog who'd been searching for him for 2 weeks. treatment and all that .... only now with double He promised to send him to collect the dog. I was trouble. Still little is known about this disease, but thrilled that these sweet dogs actually had owners I do have a bad feeling that if 3 of my 4 dogs get and that i managed to find them, and that I only infected though I've taken all the preventive had one measures, then many many more dogs must be "stray" dog left. But when I woke up the next infected with this disease than we care to know. morning, 3 pairs of eyes greeted me through the I have a gut feeling that this promises nothing good window ... Well, at least I know how to reach their for the future. I can only hope that a good owners, but I wish people would take more care in preventative, a cure or vaccine can be found soon, leaving their dogs to roam around free. I still don't before it gets much worse. understand why they won't put any collars on them to make the search easier when found. I must remember to ask next time. Spay & Neuter Mission #2 In the first week of November the second Spay & Neuter Mission took place. We thank everyone Christmas Safety Tips who participated in the fundraising, and all our donors for making this financially possible. It was The holiday season is a great success again, and we managed to neuter a great time for us 22 shelter dogs, that are now waiting to be adopted humans, and we enjoy into new loving homes. We had many volunteers decorating our house helping out with lunches, animal care, and and garden in the transportation, and everyone participated with Christmas spirit. To our great enthusiasm. If we can manage to raise the pets however, some of necessary funds, we are hoping to realize yet these decorations can another Spay & Neuter Mission next spring. The pose a health risk, and it's good to be aware of the shelters, Vets and Volunteers, in any case, are possible dangers. Here are some tips to keep the eager and ready. If you'd like to make a financial Christmas season jolly and your pets safe... contribution or volunteer for the project, please contact me via m.knol@chroniccat.com

- Make sure your pets do not drink the water from the Christmas tree or any water which may contain fallen tree needles, don't feed your pets chocolate or let them nibble on Christmas plants such as the Christmas-star. All of these are poisonous. - Your tree should be well fixated if you have pets. You may even want to tie up the tree near the top to something sturdy. A kitty can bring down a Christmas tree in a split second while exercising its call for the wild. - Watch out with your tree decorations. Shiny dangling ornaments are irresistible for kitties and some playful dogs. A dog can be seriously wounded if an ornament is ingested, and a kitty can end up with nasty cuts and wounds if an ornament should fall and break. You can always hang plastic or paper ornaments instead of glass balls, and you could avoid hanging them near the bottom of the tree. - tassels or angel hair can be fatal when ingested. - and Champagne corks can result in an emergency Vet visit for your dog. Hopefully these tips will help to keep your pets safe this Christmas season.

While you are celebrating a warm and cozy Christmas with lot's of food, presents, loved ones, and furry companions, please remember that there are many lovely pets waiting for a new home in your local animal shelter. If you can't adopt one for yourself, maybe you could help giving the shelter animals a Happy Christmas by bringing them a food donation, a financial donation, old blankets, or simply go by to give them some loving Christmas cuddles. They will love you for it. Have a Safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ! By Meike Knol

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 12


MES MASCOTES S HELTER P AW P RINTS

Though many scared dogs are difficult to integrate in a home, this one isn't. He's really sweet natured and is not a fear-snapper. He gets along well with other dogs and probably any other type of animal, as long as they don't beat him up. All he really needs are loving arms to protect him, provide him with security, and give him a loving environment.

Pets leave paw prints on your heart For this last month of the year 2010 we would like to present only one animal to you. One dog who deserves to shine in the spot light. Rico was the Shelter May-Day in the March edition, and sadly he still has not been adopted. We would like to tell you his story again in the hopes that someone will fall in love with this lovely animal and adopt him.

If you are the saviour for this poor animal, please rush to the shelter to adopt him. He has been waiting to be rescued for much too long already, and every minute longer is pure terror for him.

Rico is a beautiful German Shepard Mix. He is young. Only about one or two years old.

Make this sweet, scared dog's Christmas a happy one. Make the new year 2011 the first good year of his life. Please give him a second chance.

This beautiful animal came to the shelter through the police, and sadly nothing is known about his past. Rico is a shelter emergency because he is too scared to adapt well to the shelter surroundings. Though he is not small in size, the other dogs in his free-run pen pick on him and have pushed him to the lowest ranks. He is getting more scared by the day and is beginning to wither away.

You can find Rico in the No-kill Animal Shelter "Alberg d'animals de les Terres de l'Ebre" in Camarles. The new centre is located on Cami Filato which turns off the N-340 next to Mangrane. Open daily 10:00 – 13:00 (English, Deutsch, Nederlands, Espanol/Catalan) www.albergdanimals.com

Rico desperately needs to find a home of his own, with a responsible loving owner, who can help him restore the confidence that this type of dog should have. Once this beautiful dog has regained its self-esteem and has adjusted to its new surroundings and family, Rico could be anything you had want him to be. Granted, he probably would never make a great big nasty guard dog, but a playful companion is definitely in his cards. With the right amount of time, love, and attention, Rico could adjust to any environment. When you see him in the shelter surroundings, he crouches and tries to hide from you in the farthest corner of his pen. He is too scared to move and easily gets overlooked as other hyper and excited specimens rush to greet visitors. Those who do notice him, say "ah, what a sweet scared animal. poor thing" and walk on. But if someone would only give this sweet creature a chance, he could finally show what a wonderful dog he could be. Rico is not as large as a German shepherd. He is actually more the size of a Labrador retriever but then with the beautiful coat colouring of a German shepherd.

RICO

Though right now he is very scared of everyone and everything, he quickly makes friends. If you just spend a little quiet time with him, he begins to trust you and snuggles up to you. He loves to cuddle and slowly pushes his whole body closer and closer towards yours until he almost pushes you over. Slowly but surely you feel the shivering subside and his body starts to relax. As he's calming down and the fear subsides, he is getting tired. So tired. You feel the weight of his body in your arms as he seems to be falling asleep. The fear and utter terror that this poor animal experiences every day in the shelter is costing him so much energy, that when he finally feels the safety of some human arms around him, he actually literally relaxes, forgets the demons, and surrenders to the safety and tranquility. Sadly this could only be for a short while.

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 13


A MISCELLANY PARSON PAUL’S DIARY . . . . One of the privileges of being a Vicar in Britain is that you get to visit schools a stable – they had probably been pushed out because the stable was being and take part in class assemblies. And since schools seem to start used as overspill accommodation. One churchgoer told my Vicar friend “You preparations for Christmas as early as the supermarkets, I seem to have have ruined my Christmas!” been to a lot of school carol services – some more formal than others. But this curious mix of fact and There are lots of stories about school nativity plays where things didn´t quite fiction, tradition and fable, ought work out as planned. A shy child was encouraged to play one of the three to make us go back to the wise men and couldn´t quite manage his lines – so the doting parents basics of the Christmas story. It watched the following drama... was a very simple business which, over the years, we have Wise man 1: “See I bring gold – kings made complex. And the are crowned with this!” simplest of truths is that God Wise man 2: “See I bring myrrh – people chose to get involved in human are buried with this!” history – to be born as a human, Nervous wise man 3 – (long pause): to live among us and die for us. “Err, Frank sent this!” If we let that basic truth into our hearts and minds we shall have Or there was a play where a budding a truly Happy Christmas. young actor wanted the part of Joseph but was made the Innkeeper. He was For me it will, as usual, be a busy time. determined to get his moment of glory so when the donkey arrived with Mary We have Carol Services in El Perello on 17th December at 8pm, then on and Joseph asking “Do you have room in the inn?” the innkeeper threw open th the door and said “Of course, we do – come right on in!” The actor Joseph, Sunday 19 in Vinaros at 10am and Alcossebre at 7.30pm. who had been cast for his quick wits, turned to Mary and said “No, Mary. This is too good for the likes of us. We can make do with the stable!” Our Christmas Communions begin in Ampolla on 24th December at 4pm, then we celebrate in Vinaros on Christmas Day at 10am and in Alcossebre Even music can lead to complications as one Vicar found when he asked a at midday. class of children to choose their favourite Christmas carol. A persistent young lad would not accept that Jingle Bells did not fit into the Carol Service You will be very welcome at any of these. following the Bible story of the birth of the Messiah. Nowadays the sacred and the secular become easily blurred. The holy message of Christmas can be drowned out by the merry ringing of the cash registers and I feel great sympathy for shop-workers who endure eight hours a day of jolly Christmas tunes being played in their stores every day. I doubt they welcome a church Carol Service singing “O Come all ye faithful” yet again.

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But I am not one of those Vicars who rages about the commercialisation of Christmas. The truth is that Jesus was not born on 25th December and the birth in Bethlehem is much more likely to have been in March. It is too cold, even in Israel, for shepherds to watch their flocks on the hills above Bethlehem in December. And however lovely carols like “In the bleak midwinter” might sound they do not give a proper image of what actually happened on the first Christmas. Most of the British images of the Festive Season date from Victorian times, with cards, snow scenes, and the trimmings – and the poor - but happy image of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. Long before then clever Christian missionaries had spotted the midwinter festival of Yule and latched onto a jolly good party. Where better than to introduce the Christmas story than at this time of the year? So Christians hi-jacked a pagan festival to make Christmas. A Vicar friend of mine once dared to point all this out to her congregation – including facts like there is no mention in the Bible of a donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem, nor do we know that there were animals in the area used as

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 14


A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME PART V THE ZENITH OF THE MOORS IN SPAIN & THEIR DECLINE We have noted the advancing periods of early Spanish history in earlier episodes of this publication and have noted the periods when the Greeks, Romans and the Goths plus others, played a part in the formation of the country we now call Spain. Of all the preceding nations or states that played in this important formation, by far the longest period under foreign domination or influence was that of the Moors who some claim ruled Spain for 800 years. This is not strictly true, they never ruled all Spain – they found like their predecessors the people of the north were not in the mood for interlopers to tell them what to do never mind tax them. It was these people, strong willed to the degree almost of total obstinacy that can lay claim to the Spanish modern day attitude of indifference to law. The moors inhabited 80% of Spain for 375 years, about 50% for a further 160 years and the tiny Kingdom of Granada for the final 244 years. During this 779 year period they can only lay claim to ruling a maximum of ¾ of the land mass of Spain.

Maximum lands controlled by the Moors in 790

Land controlled by the Moors 900

introduced a more harsher version Islam so we now had Moors fighting Moors who in turn were fighting Christians who sometimes found themselves fighting Moors and Christians – By Brian Hall confused?- not half as much as any of the fighters! What eventually came out of all this was a gradual shrinkage of Spanish lands ruled by the Moors. At their zenith, the Moors approx. 80% of all Spanish lands stretching from Porto in the west to a point approx. at the mouth of the Ebro including the islands of the Balearics, this was around the year 910. By the year 1150, this had shrunk to a line from Lisbon to the Ebro and the islands with the Kingdoms of Aragon, Castilla and part of the Kingdom Portugal regaining their independence from the rule of the Moors. This came about through a ‘Holy War’. The Christians in the north had rallied around Santiago El Matamoros, St. James the Moor Slayer and his shrine at Compostela which had been the subject of a raid Land controlled by the Moors prior to their expulsion. by the Moors who removed the bells and reinstated them in the Great Mosque in Cordoba. The northern tribes, (Christians) fought bitter battles in order to retain their lands, in between the Christian and the Moors was a sort of no mans land which had no fixed boundaries and which ebbed and flowed like the tide subject to the allegiance of who ever ruled the barren central swath of land. Sometimes, Christians fought alongside the Moors fighting their fellow Christians only to change side years later. A perfect example of this is El Cid, the iconic Spaniard of present day Spain (and Hollywood) gives the honour and accolade of a saviour and fighter for a united land.. At this moment, we shall consider the period of Moorish influence from their zenith until their final departure in 1492 Everywhere you travel in Spain your eyes see the lasting benefits of the Moors, the citrus fruits, pomegranates, irrigation, universities, landscaped terraces, mosques and other spectacular buildings, intricate silverware and embellished leather crafts plus many, many more items were introduced into Spain during their period here. They were masters of arithmetic, medicine and alchemy and their scholars excelled the rest of Europe in astronomy, botany and geography. It’s even noted that a ruler of the northern Christian lands came south to be treated by a doctor of Moorish origin, and with the blessing of the Caphliph, halting his campaign against the Moors until the treatment was over and fully recovered he resumed his campaign against his adversaries, the Moors. There was a period during the Moors rule that all religions of the day were recognised, after all they worshiped the same God. Churches were used on Friday for the Jewish faith, Saturday for the Islamic faith and Sunday for the Christians. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from this. The Islamic fundamentalists in northern Africa saw this as ‘backsliding’ by the ruling Moorish junta in Spain and an army lead by the son of a street lamplighter ( yes, by 1126 the streets of some large north African towns were lit by oil lamps!) came to Spain and forcibly ejected their ruling brethren and

Santi a g o Matamoros ("Saint James the Moor-slayer"). St. James is on horseback and a beheaded Moor lies on the ground, by the 15th-century Flemish-Spanish painter Juan de Flandes.

This fired the Spaniards in their Holy War and it became a matter of principle to retake the Cathedral bells as well as all the lands of Spain finally for the Spaniards. Payment for the duties given was by the giving of lands and the hidalgos (Knights) who came into ownership of the land practiced a strict code of conduct that glorified land and forbid business activities and manual labour, a code that would eventually lead to one of the vices having a direct input into the Civil War of 1936 – 38. At this time, Spain was not whole country but a collection of lands ruled by various Kings. The time for the unity of Spain as a single, united country was not yet but the seeds were already sown in the marriage of Isabella, Queen of Castilla and Ferdinand, the King of Aragon on October the 19th in the year 1469.

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 15


MORE HISTORY... Jews whom of which I have not written but will do so in the next episode. The Christians drew upon their faith with the help of the Holy See in Rome, in fact a Holy War, (Crusade) was declared. Likewise with the Moors, who practiced Islam, drew from the then centre of the Islamic faith, Baghdad. Add to this important and colourful characters such as:Ramiro, the brother of Alfonso I of Aragon who at Alfonso’s death (no heir) was persuaded to leave his religious position as a monk for a short period in order to sire a daughter who in turn was married to Count Ramon Berenguer IV thereby uniting the Houses of Aragon and Catalonia and sealing Catalonia’s fate with the unity of Spain.

Pedro the Cruel (his followers called him this behind his back, his official title was ‘The Dispenser of Justice’) who became the ruler of Castilla and was very proficient at murder. He came into the possession of a large ruby, again by murder. When he called upon Edward, the Black Prince of England to do him a favour, he paid the Prince with the ruby which now forms part of the Imperial Crown in the Tower of London. Pedro de Luna, cardinal of Aragon, who became Pope Benedict XIII and was later declared an anti-pope.

The next sequel will deal with the two tragic events that modern day Spanish history teachers declare as the most far reaching errors of the formation of El Cid, basically a mercenary fighter, who initially the Spanish nation, the final expulsion of the fought for the highest bidder, be they Moor or Moors and the Jews and the single event that sent Christian. He went on to rule Valencia and died Spain on its conquest of the Americas, the whilst fighting the Moors. appointment of Christopher Columbus. Isabella and Ferdinand

This marriage brought about the unification of the two houses, Castilla and Aragon and made for the largest power broking area in Spain. But before this battles had to be fought, won and sometimes lost in the ebb and flow and amidst all this, the Kingdom of Catalonia was busy doing its own thing, expanding its trade into the eastern part of the Mediterranean. Catalonia had its own army, sparing some of its men to fight the cause against the Moors but it needed men to defend its own new territories to the east for it had a fight to face with Turks. The Catalans were a proud nation who did not care for unity with the rest of Spain but by marriage, they were forced down the path of total union, a forced marriage which Spain had to suffer the consequences for centuries to come. When the time came for the Catalans to swear allegiance to the King, the Catalan parliament had sufficient clout that the rights of the ruled were protected by the justice, a kind of watchdog to safe guard the people of Catalonia, the spirit of which just about sums up the people and the will power of the Catalans today, the wording is :‘We, who are as good as you, Swear to you how are no better than we, Accept you as our king and sovereign Lord, Providing that you accept all our liberties and laws, But if not not.’ This was delivered to the King, who was kneeling whilst the justice sat. In all the centuries to come, this law sat with great difficulty with all the rulers of Spain including Franco who learned to his total dislike, the stubbornness of the Catalan people. To write about the period of the Moors conquest is difficult within the pages of this newspaper, for within the 779 years of occupation so much happened in the fermentation that was to produce a totally united country. Three religious entities were involved, the Christians, the Moors and the

With visits to actual crossing points, newly restored trenches high above Asco, the pictorial museum dedicated to the International Brigades at Faterella and a visit to Hill 548 where further trenches and a recently discovered mass grave of French volunteers is to be found, this tour brings to the fore the sacrifices made by ordinary people around the world in the fight against fascism. Highly recommended. Walking on this tour is approx. less than 1km over the whole day. Access to all sites visited is good for cars. Sensible footwear and clothing.

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 16


GROWING NICELY THE APPEAL OF THE POPPY I, like most people bought a poppy badge this year, both to commemorate Armistice Day, and to support the British Legions appeal. I always thought the poppy had no real significance for me growing up, in post war London; it was just a pretty wild flower. However the symbolic meaning I had unconsciously internalised and attributed to this delicate small poppy caused me to have a very powerful mind awaking visual experience when I was in my twenties. In the mid sixties I was commissioned to fly to Belgium as part of an advertising contract for an old rail passenger carriage that was being carefully restored. It was in fact the first carriage of many that would eventually become a modern railway, the new ‘Orient Express’. I travelled to the Low Countries with the notion that it was just another professional commission, with absolutely no idea that it would change my view of the world. Upon arriving on a clear bright spring day, I was taken by taxi to the site, somewhere in a field. As I emerged from the cab, I was shocked at my own intense reaction, as I looked around at the most beautiful and in the same moment heartbreaking sight, I was deeply moved and brought to tears at the sight of a field of red poppies disappearing into the horizon, as far as the eye could see, in the the field stood a diminutive old railway carriage, standing in an sea poppies like some ghost of the dead rising up, a resurrection , midst wild blood red corn Poppies, Papaver rhoeadifolia. I was puzzled and unable to believe the force of the impact of such a simple sight.

I had no idea at the time I was actually in the Flanders fields, later I learned that this was one of the actual battle sites of World War I. I can only believe the impact of the scene was so powerful for me because it tapped into my unconscious interpretation of the poppy, I have never felt such a powerful impact since, although I have visited many battle fields around Europe. This experience gave me a personal insight into the power of

symbols which we often unconsciously absorb from society, art, religion and our education. It has given me a lifelong interest in people’s personal emotional reactions to graphic visual stimulus, in particular the symbolic use of plants. The poppy is mentioned by Ovid (43BC - AD17) the Roman poet and philosopher. He describes sleep as a cavern that lies at the end of a lush field of poppies mixed with other herbs from which the god of the night ‘gathers the drowsiness’. The poppy is also associated in mythology with Morpheus from which we derive the name of our modern drug Morphine. The Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, is customarily represented wearing a crown of opium poppies, P.somniferum. However, later it was the wild corn poppy that was absorbed into Christian doctrine; the vivid blood red is symbolic of the passion and death. Frequently used in Renaissance paintings, the painting

The many olive trees, which are at this moment heavily laden with their harvest of liquid gold, add a much appreciated special peace and tranquillity to my garden/finca, as I write this on the 11th day of the 11th month. Recently we held an exhibition of sculpture and installations, most of which have been situated in the garden, and amongst the olive trees. We asked that no young people under the age of 16 attended, because the exhibition explored tragic and painful historical references, as well as containing adult imagery, each person who visited the exhibition brought their own internalised symbolic imagery through which each of us sees and interprets the world, so different sculptures and installations had for each person a very different impact.

Madonna with the Rose by Kassa Master (ca 1500) shows the Madonna holding a Rose, an attribute of the virgin Mary with many complex meaning including Love, Purity and Martyrdom, but it’s the corn poppy held by the Christ child Jesus, which alludes to his future passion. In Raphael’s (1506) very beautiful painting, Madonna of the Meadow, the field poppy is clearly and graphically a symbolic of the The ancient gods were present amongst the Passion of Christ. sculptures, the Greek/Roman god of the grape Since antiquity, the olive tree has harvest and revelry, Dionysus/Bacchus adorned been a symbol of peace in every our wall and many accepted his invitation to join culture and religion of the him in revelry and had their photograph taken with Mediterranean basin. It was him. It was Dionysus, who according to Greek initially Minerva, who according mythology was father of the god Priapus, (the god to mythology was the victor with from which we derive the modern medical term her gift of an olive shoot, in a Priapism) which was represented at our gate, as competition against Neptune an interactive installation of a huge phallus, made who called up a spring of water, out of reclaimed metal and which caused much the Greek council of gods humour, I find it amusing, that although poor considered the olive of greater Priapus was cursed by Hera to be ugly and value than water. Although a impotent, whilst still in the womb of his beautiful warrior goddess, Minerva fought mother Aphrodite. He is still remembered to this to maintain law and order, thus day as a Satyr, a spirit of fertility and growth, its association to peace. In the Old although he was perennially frustrated by his Testament it is God who gives the impotence! His primary task for the people was dove an olive branch to deliver a however, to act as the god of the countryside, of message of peace to Noah, to mark the end of the Gardens, to protect livestock and the vegetable Flood. According to the Bible the sermon in the harvest. garden and the ascension into heaven both take place on the Mount of Olives. My final example, The artist rescued an innocent tree root from the in the early painting, ‘Allegory of Good woodpile several years ago, mentioning it was too Government’ by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1337) Peace interesting to burn, in the exhibition it turned into a golden, coin studded sculpture set on a stand at wears a crown of olives. head height and as you examined it carefully you couldn’t but help seeing your own reflection in the

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 17


STILL GROWING... cleverly mounted mirror, named not Midas but ‘The discover the fate of their loved ones. Suspended root of all evil’ leaving you to contemplate exactly from the trees, gazing into the graves were two, four legged spider monsters with horrid faces. The what or who was the root of all evil! spider represents the devil as a symbol in the Christian tradition, because perhaps it ensnares its prey in much the same way the devil lures mankind into a web of terrible sin, making them perfectly situated above the graves. Although I am afraid of spiders I never kill them or destroy their webs because I appreciate their presence and the beneficial effects on my garden. Personally I tend to prefer the Greek myth, that a wrathful Minerva turns the young woman Arachne, into a spider for boasting of her weaving skills and challenging the goddess herself. I always marvel at the beauty of the intricate weaving of a spider’s web, it is one of the gifts of my garden that it allows me to enjoy the incredible works of nature which This will be a small remembrance not only to the is so interconnected into my culture and education. art installation and all that it represents, but also to the disappeared of the world wars. In this time When the terrace of ‘The Disappeared ‘have been of remembrance, to remember to those tens of dismantled, I will grow a field of wild corn poppy thousands, whose bodies were never recovered seeded together with sweet wild Alyssum from the trenches; “.... that there is some corner Lobularia maritimum to follow the short flowering of a foreign field that is forever England.” period of the poppies, and extending the flowering Rupert Brooke (03.08.1887-14.06.1915) season for many months giving an intoxicating perfume that will float up toward the house and Heather Charlton last for almost the rest of the year.

I like very much and will keep the ‘couple’ made from pieces of metalwork and artfully sculptured into ‘a woman in a new hat taking her new handbag and husband for a walk’; they were beautiful, seen at sunset against the falling leaves of our Paper Mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera.

The Exhibition raised money for both Amnesty International and Red Cross (Spain). Thank you to all of you who contributed; we had over 85 Euros in our small box and will donate more than 120 Euros.

Several terraces below the house have been turned into the representations of the unknown graves of the disappeared from Catalunya and also those from all over the world, where throughout history families have not been able to

Thank you Heather Charlton & Sarah Massie

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 18


THE ‘ART OF THE MATTER Several visitor’s observations of the recent Art The three crucified women on life size wooden Exhibition held in Camarles by the artist Sarah crosses towered over the exhibition. Two of the Massie crucified women had birthed babies lying dead at their feet while the third nailed woman was heavily On the 1.11.2010, pregnant and awaiting the birth while dangling on Sarah’s Art Exhibition at the cross. The first life experience of this pending her home in the Camarles projectile’d unborn child was to be a drop to death. region was opened to the Chilling. public for one week. The many visitors were In the same relentless theme of cruel infanticide stopped in their tracks by the creation of a shrouded baby with eyes a prolific display of unique gouged by impaled scissors was an image of and often puzzling works death at its worst. Such imagery may well have of art. Sarah mingled disturbed many of the visitors. This exhibition was with visitors explaining the not about bland water concept and evolution of colours but concrete, each piece to those who asked. Many pieces tangible and larger than simply spoke for themselves. Under 16s were life recreations of life not allowed in and for good reason. Each piece with all its blood, guts revealed a dark glimpse into the diverse spectrum and ghosts. of life and death. This was no conventional exhibition and I doubt whether you will ever In a lighter vein were encounter an exhibition such as this again. The the numerous life size art pieces included a series of human forms and larger than life modelled out of both ordinary and extra ordinary phallic symbols. A few material. These ‘human’s conveyed a visual bold visitors put a firm image of humanity, and inhumanity. We found hand grip around these imagery of joy, desolation, unspeakable pain and penile objects of art as if to try them out for size unspeakable pleasures in their most and managed to raise a conspiratorial earthy confrontational forms. Well, what does that mean, laugh from those watching. I’m not sure if the you may well ask, what did you miss. artist envisaged this bawdy response but it was very good natured and fun, though I was not bold You missed a Pandora ’s Box of life’s heaven and enough to take hands on approach to the hell. There was a muse of a Chess game displays. Perhaps the best phallic creation was seemingly in progress with some pieces waiting 6 foot high bright red phallic symbol with an to strike while others floated in the air having been impressive circumference not that I was captured. For me this was reminiscent of happy measuring, complete with huge red balls, and an times as a child playing endless games of chess. innocuous foot pad in front of it. Visitors were Then there was blood thirsty Boadicea, the nonchalantly invited to step on the pad by the beloved historic warrior woman was leading the artist. With one light step charge at the front gate. She exuded glorious fun the penile object on her playground charger, and huge chariot instantly ejaculated a wheels, her hair flying and two severed heads on huge spray of water, her pitchfork. So sweet without fail the wetted but deadly. How man and unsuspecting loves a warrior woman, visitor squealed with she can fight his battles, amusement. but who fights hers I ask. In another corner were If you went to the a multitude of Ken’s exhibition you may well were having a bondage have winced and turned orgy with Barbie’s giant away in silence at the shoes, each Ken was in a painfully contorted piece of the priest giving position, and enslaved by Barbie’s crushing succour to the obedient footwear. child. It was a dark cruel image of the living experience of sexual abuse for many young boys I shall never look at at the hands of perverse men of god. It must have Ken and Barbie in touched a raw nerve for some. the same light

The creation was compelling artistic genius, for its perfect portrayal of the unimaginable. I looked, and quickly turned away, but looked again, and yet again in the hope I could somehow make it less vile. I could not.

again. I have mentioned just a few of the exhibits, there were so many. Within the light hearted exhibits I wondered whether there lurked some inner

darkness, and among the dark and deathly exhibits I wondered of a great fear being buried and god help us all if we ever find that place in ourselves.

This was an Art Exhibition that took a huge amount of courage, insight and back breaking hard work to put together and for me as a visitor it was worth every minute spent there, it was funny, scary, and touching. It was never dull. Long may the artist live and be creative. Emma Messenger: St Albans, England

Visitor to the Exhibition.

An Eye Opener My wife and I recently visited an Art and Sculpture exhibition held by Sarah Massie. There were a large number of works, ranging from humorous and quirky to bizarre, risqué to beautiful. Some were immediately self explanatory, others, being more profound needed a nudge from Sarah to point the mind in the right direction. They included images from childhood, mythology, and symbols of man’s past and recent atrocities. Her depiction of “The Lost Souls of the Civil War” was particularly moving and Priapus was……Startling!

A clever use and mix of materials, including old farm implements, frames from water cubes, household objects, discarded furniture, wood, plastic, paint etc. showed a vivid imagination at work. Sarah is obviously widely read, and a lot of self expression and thought has gone in to this exhibition. The displays were dismantled when the exhibition ended on Nov. 7, but we will look forward to Sarah’s next exhibition, which will be advertised in this paper. Well worth a visit, try not to miss it! Brian Pike

Vincent van Gogh walked into a bar, and the bartender offered him a drink... No thank -you, said Vincent, I've got one 'ere.

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 19


LIFE THE PUMP

By Helen Rowe

Why do we use the word heart so much in our vocabulary? This question struck me when reading the content of an email that is far more serious that my trivial word games. The heart is the vital blood pumping organ, we all have one! The serious bit is at the end of this lighthearted nonsense. Somehow it has become the basis of emotional life! The more I consider this the more irrational it is…….we don’t think or reason with our heart we use the grey matter in our heads. Yet compassion, sympathy, emotions and many other feelings are associated with the “Pump”. The “Pump” is used to signify love especially by greeting card manufacturers, song writers and jewellers especially on the 14 February. The “Pump” as a reason for brave or weak actions, fainthearted, to lose heart or bleeding heart. The “Pump” the centre, at the heart of it, in the heart of the country, the heart of a lettuce or getting to the heart of the matter.

By heart - learned by rote, memorised word for how to perform it on yourself. Since many people word. are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating From the bottom or depths of one's heart - with improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only the deepest appreciation; most sincerely. about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. Have one's heart in one's mouth (yuck) - to be extremely frightened or anxious. However, these victims can help themselves by Have one's heart in the right place - to be coughing repeatedly well-intentioned. and very vigorously. A An appeal from the heart; a subject dear to her deep breath should be heart; the worst atrocities the human heart could taken before each cough, and the cough devise and the list is endless…………….. must be deep and Then if you lose your heart to someone its not prolonged, as when producing sputum from careless - you have fallen in love! deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal All the silliness in words doesn’t get away from rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get the fact that the heart in a vital organ. Most of us to a hospital. Tell as many other people as have lost loved ones because of a heart problem. possible about this. It could save their lives!! It is heart breaking especially if it was preventable. I had never thought of the situation of having a heart attack totally alone until I read RIERES ESTATE AGENT this....

The ”Pump” to describe a state of mind or mood – light-hearted, in good heart, wholehearted, heartfelt HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE To have a “Pump” meaning have compassion, sympathy, feeling Let's say it's 6.15pm and you're going home (alone of course), after an unusually hard day on I will give you my “Pump” (yuck) not at all the job. You're really tired, upset and frustrated. romantic. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in “He looked into my eyes and by heart started your chest that starts to drag out into your arm pumping”. Well had it not been pumping then you and up into your jaw. You are only about five were dead and your eyes would have possibly miles from the hospital nearest your home. been closed for ever. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to “Get you heart pumping” would you say this to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, get someone who is dead to take more exercise. but the guy that taught the course did not tell you

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 20


LA COMIDA TASTY TURKEY TRIANGLES

CHEATS CUISINE

Left over Turkey? Yes of course you have. Don’t let it go to waste or make the usual Turkey Sandwiches. Try these tasty pastry nibbles with your left over meat - they’re ideal for parties too.

STUFFING Use this mix for stuffing your bird, meatballs or the Christmas pie below. Take a box of stuffing ( flavour of your choice ) and mix with finely chopped onion and sausage meat add some fresh herbs if you have any, if you use for meat balls try rolling mix around cubes of cheese before you fry them off in shallow oil.

SERVES:12 PREPERATION TIME: 25 Mins COOKING TIME: 20 Mins INGREDIENTS

CHRISTMAS PIE ( GOOD ON BOXING DAY )

Ÿ 425g pack puff pastry sheets Ÿ A little beaten egg to glaze For the filling:

3. Melt the butter in a small pan and mix in the flour to make a paste

Ÿ 1 small leek, finely sliced, or about 125g 4. Gradually add the milk to make a smooth, thick sauce and simmer for a few minutes (4oz) leftover cooked leeks or sprouts 5. Add the leeks and leave to cool Ÿ 15g (½oz) butter 6. Stir in the cooked meat and parsley, and Ÿ15g (½oz) plain season well flour 7. Unroll the 2 sheets of pastry and cut each Ÿ125ml (4fl oz) milk one in half lengthways, then each strip into 3, to get 6 squares (each about 10cm/4in square) from each sheet Ÿ100g (3½oz) cooked turkey and / 8. Work on one at a time or ham, fairly finely 9. Moisten round the edge of each square chopped with a finger dipped in beaten egg Ÿ 1 rounded tablespoon chopped fresh 10. Pile a tablespoon of filling mixture in the parsley and/or thyme middle, and then fold one corner over to the opposite corner to make a triangular parcel. Ÿ Salt and freshly ground black pepper Seal well, knock up the edges and decorate METHOD them 1. To make the filling: If using fresh leek, cook 11. Put on a heavy baking sheet the slices for a couple of minutes in boiling 12. Chill the parcels while the oven heats up water to Gas Mark 6 or 200°C. 2. Cool under running water and leave to 13. Brush the parcels with drain. beaten egg, make a small hole in the top with a knifepoint and bake for 20 minutes

METAL STRUCTURE SPECIALISTS &

14. Best served warm

Enjoy!!!

Spread the above mix onto a pie plate ( uncooked ) next spread pate over the mix then top with thinly sliced mushrooms cover with slices of ham then add thinly sliced cooked chicken breast or turkey and top with short crust pastry, glaze and bake at about 180c mid oven for about 40 minutes serve hot with a mushroom or parsley sauce or cold with salad. Don't forget cheats sauces: buy a packet of mushroom sauce make up with milk or cream add extra chopped mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes extra or buy a packet of parsley sauce make up the same way just adding extra fresh parsley. CHRISTMAS CRUMBLE Take some leftover fruit and cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes stir in some mincemeat sweeten to taste and add a little cinnamon then top with a crumble mixture also with a little added spice and bake in moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes serve with custard, cream or even condensed milk ( my husbands Christmas treat ) And one more cheats thing - for extra special gravy add a little red or white wine to a normal Bisto mix and even a few herbs then leave on a low heat for the flavours to develop. Happy cheating remember for some it is more fun out of the kitchen than in, so enjoy your Christmas, take the compliments and smile. Merry Christmas!

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 21


ALGO PARA LOS NIÑOS CHRISTMAS WORD SEARCH

AN A MAZE ING CHRISTMAS

Find all the words listed below within the grid, and with the unused letters learn an interesting Christmas fact. CELEBRATE

FAMILY

ORNAMENTS

SANTA CLAUS

TWENTY-FIFTH

CHRISTMAS TREE

GIVING

PRESENTS

STOCKINGS

WINTER

DECEMBER

HOLIDAY

REINDEER

TINSEL

WRAPPING PAPER

DECORATIONS

T H T F I F Y T N E W T C N T

H B G T L S A G A Y B S H G M

S S E G I Y A D I L O H R W A

LIGHTS

U T S N N T S L L I I E I H S

A N R I B B O N S M P B S I D

RIBBONS

L E E V R L W R E A T H T T E

C M I I G E S E P F N Y M E C

A A N G C S B G L E G S A C O

TURKEY DINNER

T N D S H N N M T I C S S H R

N R E N N I D Y E K R U T R A

A O E E P T I O I C R O R I T

Chuckles the Christmas Mouse thinks the Christmas Star at the top of this tree is made of cheese. Can you help him reach the top?

WREATH

S I R P R E T A R B E L E C I

E G A L I M N F M S O D E S O

P R E S E N T S S T H G I L N

W I N T E R S G N I K C O T S

CHRISTMAS CHUCKLES What do you sing at a snowman’s birthday party? Freeze a jolly good fellow! Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? A mince spy! What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite! How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas? Deep and Crisp and Even! Why are turkeys wiser than chickens? Ever heard of Kentucky Fried Turkey? What did Mrs Claus say to Santa when the Sun went in? Looks like reindeer! What do snowman wear on their heads? Ice caps Why are Christmas trees such bad knitters? They are always dropping their needles ! Why did the the turkey lose his appetite? Because he was stuffed!

Grandfather Knows by Evaleen Stein Grandfather says of all things The silliest he's heard Is that some children call things They've never seen, "absurd!" And have their doubts of true things, And won't believe, because They say, "If you but knew things, There is no Santa Claus!" Grandfather says he knows him, And sees him every year, And Santa often shows him The playthings he brings here; He says, too, Santa told him If any girls and boys Laugh at and won't uphold him, They'll not get any toys!

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 22


WRITTEN IN THE STARS

“When you wish upon a star, Dreams come true” Says Nenufar

SCORPIO

SAGITTARIUS What goes round, comes around and - hey - it’s all coming around in your favour - so pick up the chips and enjoy your well earned reward for the many kindnesses you have shown others. Well, lets face it November has always been kind to you. A meeting later in the month will prove extremely enjoyable. There is a face out of the past someone you have missed. Have fun.

AQUARIUS

LEO

Many unexpected turns in your life’s path recently have drained your energy. It may not be possible to drop everything and just go away on holiday, but it is possible to unwind by giving up every free moment you have to self indulgence. There has been too much emphasis on other people’s needs and now you need to sit yourself down with a cup of something and spoil yourself. Some good news is winging your way.

Something has been bothering you. Don’t let this go on - get this sorted out. However, make sure that the advice you seek is the best. Every problem can be solved and by refusing to face up to things, you are building monsters. Once you have resolved your problems, put this period of worry behind you. On a lighter note, expect really good news in the last week of November or first week of December.

PISCES

Here we go again. One fish says this, the other says that. You want to go with the flow but you are afraid of getting hurt. My advice would be to go with the tide this time. Invitations come your way. This could mean the appearance of a new partner on the scene - or maybe the surprise arrival of an old friend. Whatever is in store for Pisceans this month, it all looks good to me. Jump in and swim. Your common sense is quite reliable and will see you through.

ARIES

Stubborn and faithful- wonderful attributes of your star sign, but they can force you into a rut which, while not a problem for you, may be extremely boring for your family who would love to see you get up and try something new. Now this opportunity may offer. There is on the horizon a bull doing something new. Have you been inspired recently to study or undertake a journey? Discuss this with family and friends. Perhaps you can all work in unison. Enjoy!

GEMINI

Change of residence- sale and purchase of property - these are some of the most stressful situations we face. At this time of year, for some reason quite unknown to me, many born under your sign feel a wanderlust. Now just sit down for a moment and look around you. Is it really worth the effort and stress? If you believe it is, then off you go to the estate agents - good luck. On a lighter note, there is a nice surprise in store for you around the end of the month.

CANCER

Work appears strongly in your sign this month. Change is in the air, but this does not come as a complete surprise to you. This change will not necessarily affect the work you do, but could affect the surroundings in which you work. There may be a new boss on the horizon (this could be you) or there may be a new work directive which may mean working different hours. There will be a good outcome before long. Something may no longer be valid. Get that sorted out before Christmas.

VIRGO

Something is not right in your world. There seems to be an aura of boredom around you. This is really not the time to be bored because there are opportunities open to you and now would be a good time to experiment. Like so many born under your sign, you bury your light under a bushel. What about your talent for writing or that ability to paint? Take yourself out for an airing, brush yourself down, pick up a pen or paintbrush and produce some sort of masterpiece.

LIBRA

Least said- soonest mended. Not the easiest advice to accept when you feel yourself in the midst of a great misunderstanding. However, things do have a way of sorting themselves and my advice would be to keep your own counsel and let things settle. You’ll be surprised how soon this will happen and, boy, wll you be pleased you didn’t interfere. Those around you will applaud your diplomacy!

TAURUS

CAPRICORN

Change and more change. This could be an exciting time for you. That long wait you expected has suddenly disappeared and what you thought would take a couple of years , now looks like becoming possible in a couple of months. Give this one a lot of thought. Do you really want to bring matters forward or would it perhaps be more prudent to let things remain as they were intended? Don’t be forced into changing things if you think you would prefer not to just yet. Good luck, anyway!

How I would like to be in your shoes this month - in fact, all the way up to New Year your path is carefree. There is joy in the air and a fresh start. This could be a change of career, country or even marriage. Whatever it is, embrace it with open arms. This new beginning coupled with the fact that an old problem will shortly be resolved, combines to make this one of the happiest and prosperous times of your life. Embrace life. Lucky old you.

Aha- Saturn appears. Good old Saturn. Saturn will calm you after what has been a hectic (but happy) period. This is one of those golden times when you look around you, reflect and think that everything has been wonderful and will continue to be. Your relaxed attitude will make you extremely approachable and don’t be surprised if you are the centre of attention among younger people. I see you surrounded by older children. They can learn from you and you can learn from them. Nice times for you.

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 23


REVIEWS OVERLAND

When you are next visiting Tarragona city come and relax and have a coffee or tea in

By Mark Stephen Levy Published by AuthorHouse ISBN-13: 978-1438996264

Rodney, Elizibeth and Marina assure you a warm welcome. Open Mon to Fri 8.00am to 9.30pm English and Spanish spoken.

Book review by Rosie Reay Twitter@RosieReay

Tel: 653 557 524

This book holds many meanings for me. But this morning, as a mother of 2 British soldiers (and the elder one due to return for another tour of duty to Afghanistan), I would like to share my thoughts with American and British mothers, spouses who have soldiers out there or been there.

C/ Joan Baptista Plana 25, near the Eroski Centre

This book has brought me peace and more understanding of the Afghanistan village people and the geographical life of this "desert hole" and its neighbours. I was enthralled with the descriptions of the country, the culture and warmth of the village people where they all consider themselves of the same "family" and how they embraced, sheltered and even assisted (at the risk to themselves from the Advancing and menacing Russian army).The foreigners who have fallen in love with this corner of the earth and settled there of their own free will and accepted by the locals in Kabul. Many twist and exciting turns within this novel but it also highlighted how the developed world medical staff give freely of their help, their care and sympathy irrespective of who is friend or foe. Yet Mark so eloquently weaves in and out of the time line from the present to the past and back again and all along cradles the essence of romance, tinged with danger, smashed dreams, adrenalin fuelled situations and then nurtures hope, hit against by dread, loss and events with folk who should help and protect you - but don't. How true to life!

VALUE FOR MONEY

TOP QUALITY FINISH

Friends, my musings this morning are only touching on part of the story and one of the countries as with it being "Red Poppy" week in the UK my thoughts are with those who've lost families, friends and colleagues out in Afghanistan, or who still have folk out there, and as I say my one son returns there yet again in January. This book has brought me some calm in these turbulent times. Thank you Mark, I'm sure this has unwittingly happened and may not be by your design but by your wonderful craft of the English language has achieved this. This book will be enjoyed by women and men alike. There is so much more depth and empathy in this book, apart from it being a wonderful romance and travel book of a different kind, across many lands. So many books end and leave you wondering. This one concludes with ..."To be continued." I cannot wait for the follow up! This would make a lovely film or TV documentary!

Foden Press Rosie Reay rosiereay@fodenpress.com +34 619-772-492 Twitter @RosieReay

MORE THOUGHTS.... If money is the root of all evil then how come churches ask for it? Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed? How many people thought of the Post-It note before it was invented but just didn't have anything to jot it down on?

ENGLISH SPEAKING MECHANICS (CAMILO & JORDI) TYRES, EXHAUSTS, ITV PREPARATION, SERVICES & REPAIRS

Why do they call the small candy bars the "fun sizes"? Wouldn't be more fun to eat a big one?

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 24


TALES FROM THE EBRO RIVER VALLEY "Wellll," he thought for awhile and peeked at his So the long poem started to unfold, but the scenes Mom. Then turned away, "Stupid book! It has all were what I witnessed from my window. watching the tractor grid lock increasing in its these stories in and there isn't one about a The poem wraps up with: crescendo in the main highway of this agricultural squirrel," he muttered unimpressed. riverside village, as the evening wrapped itself around the mountains. Fishing guides were "George this book is about famous children "Best friends you can never returning with animated English tourists and legends that have been read by millions of parents compare depositing them outside this watering hole to buy and children over years and years." He didn't care They play games to a dare the first round in. They themselves would soon less. "Okay, we won't read then." He grabbed the They rough and tumble return to relish in the stories of how these men folk book back and pushed it into the back of his sisters landed their first big catfish (or kitten as it may be!) pushchair and went inside to the Casal to see what Then land in a bundle Lizards and spiders they chase Antonio was up to. Way back then this was a gathering point as more Always wanting to win the race and more Brits moved into the village or the el Peace was restored. The evening turned into No words they say harsh camp. We were renting there and thrived on the nightfall, the midgies and Ebre Negre pests were evening contact and the escape of the starting to nip our bare ankles and time to cook For his new friend is George Euan confinements of an apartment. One of the fishing supper. Marsh! guides wife joined us with her darling baby girl and Who am I? a mischievous looking young boy. I just knew when 5.00 am the next morning I was seen sat by my I saw his cheeky smile that would melt the coldest computer writing away. I didn't really plan it. It just I am the Squirrel from Wirral!" of hearts, that we would be friends. He was seem to unfold. I could not extinguish the forlorn carrying the a huge book under his arm. He face of George's from my mind. His words rang I printed off a copy and placed it in a red folder for pushed in next to me with chair and shoved this through my head again and again,"...there isn't one George. But I didn't realize what would follow after book in front of me. about a squirrel". So I wrote on and on. I hadn't sat writing this poem. I never planned it. I never down to write in poetic form - just to write. Thus, envisaged it. It just happened. "George don't pester Rosie!" He rolled his eyes the poem "The Squirrel from Wirral" emerged... The following morning I was up again at 5 o'clock backwards and shook his head. as my muse was pestering the hell out of me. So with a strong cup of must have black coffee first "He's alright. I really don't mind. Anyway I'm thing in the morning, I started to write what was to intrigued to see what this big big book is all about." become the first book in the Chimona Chronicles. All I knew was that somehow I would incorporate George replied, "Grandma gave it me. It has 50 this poem into the book. stories in it."

Benifallet 2004: sat outside the Casal enjoying

Then every book after that would also have a poem or lyric in it. I felt that schools were loosing the art of encouraging children that poetry is still a valuable tool in learning, understanding, exploring and writing down their own feelings. Feelings of joy or sadness; hope or depression; worries or dreams; achievements or missing the mark; history or fantasy.

"Okay lets have a gander." "Mom doesn't she talk funny?" "George don't be rude." "Sure I do, but then I've travelled an awful lot and lived in many different countries and learned to speak other languages. That is why I like funny little boys like you George."

So Rosie Reay wrote on and on.

"You don't really know me that well," he replied as a matter of fact. He spoke English far above his age group. This was one smart kid! "Oh George I am sure I will do before long!" I chuckled. I'd seen how he wormed his way into the hearts of all the village people around us, as he started to learn Catalan and embrace their ways. Shy George was not! "So which story would you like me to read to you?" as I was browsing through this magnificent book with amazing and detailed illustrations. George responded some what less enthusiastically to what I expected, "It doesn't really matter." Grabbed the book back and hugged it to himself in a surprising sulk. "So what is the problem with it then, George," I encouraged him to open up. I knew this book must have cost his grandma an absolute fortune.

"Who am I? I am the Squirrel from Wirral!" ....it goes on further down, "He wanted to travel New experiences to unravel His back was in pain So he flew down to Spain For sunshine to gain Letters home to explain"

In 2001 my husband and I travelled to California to visit my brother Athol and he had planned a surprise road trip for all of us from Mountain View, Ca up through Oregon and into Washington where we picked up his youngest son, Ben www.Benfoden.com at Seattle airport and on into British Columbia, Canada for glorious days to be spent at a resort on the Okanagan Lakeside above Kelowna. Later on we drove down into Idaho to Bonners Ferry to pickup his eldest son, Nick and then back into Canada to a hot springs along a lake above Nelson...but that is another stories in the series. The opening chapters of "How Kelvyn got his name" is what we truly saw. Then every evening I would relish sitting outside the Clubhouse (of course!) watching these gophers chasing the golf balls and stealing them. I kid you not! So the story unfolds.

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 25


HOTCH POTCH Yet you will need to read the book to see how I link countries, stories, animals and people together.

investigate ...immediately takes charge of the situation and does what she does best - get things done! We meet colourful characters with tongue-in -cheek names whilst we learn about behaving responsibly and safely in the face of danger. In the story we learn the value of friendship and family. But don't take my The critters teach us the importance of living in a word for it. Read closely-knit community and the importance of what some of my teamwork..." Melanie de Bruyn in South Africacritics say: teacher, linguist and parent of 3 boys - all who enjoyed both books! "This unique and inspiring theme will have children everywhere excited about how we get our names and encourage them to be creative", Jo Parfitt in Holland- author of over 26 published books. "I can't recommend it enough for those who have children. Unlike most recent books in this market, the writing is not dumbed down, challenging the kids to think and ask questions while entertaining the parents who will get a kick out of the situations. The themes of friendship and responsibility are universal, but it doesn't come across as preachy or condescending. The golf course setting and the personality of the characters make it fresh and unique and perfect to take along for a road trip." Jeremy Holland in Spain: author of From Barcelona:Stories behind the City" Dominic Dauchez in Paris, France: "As a still young grandfather I wanted to encourage my twin grandsons to improve their English with fun and enjoyable reading material ... and found it a really quality book that does not consider our kids as morons but helps them to travel along with the love and exhilaration and this is, to my knowledge, an essential message to forward to the coming generations." There are many delightful characters I have crafted for everyone's enjoyment. To learn more about them in both books visit www.Chimona.com and look up Characters under each book. There is so much more about these guys. Book 2 "Salquin to the Rescue" embraces the characters from the first book and peppers it with some more Okanagan Lakeside kids called OLKs by the grown ups. Here, a normal Scottish family mingles into the storyline and poems within.

The author, Victoria Tweed of Chicken Mules and Two Old Fools is currently teaching English for a year in Bahrain wrote: "As an author and teacher, I was delighted to read "Salquin to the Rescue." this little book is the second of the Chimona Chronicles series and is crammed with engaging little creatures who live around the Lake Okanagan. Rosie Reay's enjoyment and fascination with names is infectious. The young reader is introduced to colourful characters such as Ross Angus MacKnavery, Captain Tripp, Penny PerkinsSpitfire and Babbling Brooke the baby beaver. Each character has a distinct personality and she breathes life into them via lively and fun dialogue. Some of Rosie's images are equally engaging, such as the description of Big Brown Bear, who was far too large for the boat. 'His generous waistline creased over the sides, like hot chocolate over the top of a mug.' There are other bonuses in these books too. This one poses a mystery which children will enjoy puzzling out, the illustrations are charming and there is a poem that young readers and parents alike will enjoy."

character out of Book 2 called Babbling Brooke and hope to write a First Reader series around her. There is more... I am crafting along the lines of a series called "Tales from River Ebro Valley" where I have two Catalan children Angel and Paula and once again "our" George in it, but for now that is further down the line. These books are ideal for Christmas presents and may be bought online in your chosen currency of preference in print format from http://www.fodenpress.com/store.html or you can go to the button E-Books if you want to download it. Alternatively contact me at the address below as I'm here in Spain. But above all else these books are to be enjoyed. There is nothing nicer than to have a really good book or books amongst your Christmas stockings and presents under the tree. You may lament that we can't get the kids away from the computer. Okay, I have dealt with this in two ways. I encourage children and their readers to look up the glossary online and read more about these characters they will relate to www.Chimona.com. Then also don't forget you can buy the downloaded version straight onto their computer.

Please, please whatever you do still encourage your children to read and write. It is two of the greatest gifts we are given. Maybe they are not the neatest writers or greatest speller. It does not matter. This will evolve. Never put down their creativity and their natural voice. You can discreetly photocopy their work and alter it, so they can compare their copy with yours - but their own writings will become so territorial and they will be very possessive of them. After all, why not join them. Pen your thoughts. Can't write the first chapter - doesn't matter. Start writing with bullet points. Let your muse guide you. I often go back and completely re-write the first chapter. Read and write - write and read. Merry Christmas, happy holidays and prayers and mantras across all cultures to one and all!

Jeremy Holland enjoyed the first book Twitter:@RosieReay so much he couldn't wait to read the Email:RosieReay@FodenPress.com follow up: "...As always the names of the characters test and prod the imagination, while the wonderful illustrations by Candice McMullan help bring the animals and people to life. But it is the depth and originality of their personalities, combined with Rosie's trademarked poems, which truly sets this series apart from the others in a crowded children's book market. A great second addition to what is becoming one of the best and most original series out there."

"We meet bravery , when Salquin Salmon-Eco is determined to save Kelvyn's friend Freckles, who uses poetry to bring a bit of humour into an an otherwise stressful situation. We see the wise owl, is awakened by the sad tune of a flute being played by a worried Blue Raven First Nation (not a bird), and this alarms her that all is not well in I am currently writing book 5 in the series of which the OKanagan Lakeside land. She flies off to I hope to have 13 stories. I too have taken a

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 26


LA SALUD DIET TIPS FOR CHRISTMAS In much of the Western and Christian world the

You can always freeze the food left over and use celebration of certain holidays, especially it another time. It is wise to eat light meals when Christmas, is naturally associated with the not celebrating to compensate for the extra when tradition of eating a lot. Families gather around you are. the table and spend time together. Lunches and dinners satisfy an emotional need to share food, Sit down to eat without hunger. If before the home and family with loved ones, which often celebration meal eat a fruit and drink plenty of promotes the release of brain compounds that water, you will start eating while partially filled, so produce a feeling of well being. You can not go you eat less and reduce calorie intake. Remember against this habit, but you can be reasonable, that the appetizer is the beginning of a meal rather since banning something just makes it more than a meal in itself; therefore it is appropriate to desirable. People who are deprived of the special have a small sample, avoiding high-energy foods cuisine parts of Christmas eat more than they and drinks and enjoying the good company. should because they feel frustrated and saddened that they are not participating in the family The traditional Christmas cuisine can be very celebration. Therefore, many experts are not in balanced if we introduce vegetables and salads favour of banning or breaking with a tradition that that can be combined with various foods and can is part of our culture, but to promote moderation. be prepared in a very attractive way for the holidays. Fish and other seafood such as shellfish, are a healthy source of protein and recommended over meat. Remember that blue fish such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acid that protects the cardiovascular system. In addition, you should aim to have desserts based on fresh fruit after a large meal.

There aren’t many problems if the 'excess calories' are limited to the festivities of the special days: Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day without continuing during the remaining days. It is not recommendable, however, to munch on the nougat and candy during the intervening days. Ideally, plan a good complement of different meals throughout the day, that is, if the celebration meal is at lunchtime then plan for a light breakfast and dinner, and vice versa. The big meals should not be offset by omitting other meals such as breakfast or dinner; you can enjoy a festive meal without using it as an excuse to overeat. The amount should always be reasonable.

Cook light, as far as possible. Do not prepare excessive amounts in fear of not having enough for your guests, and avoid eating the remains of the Christmas dinner for the next three days, because this diet will be unbalanced.

As for drinks, avoid excessive amounts of fizzy drinks and especially avoid alcoholic drinks. One or two glasses of wine or cava with your meal are ok if you like them. But above all, remember to drink water every day. Those with diabetes, obesity, celiac disease or high cholesterol do not have it easy at Christmas. Nor do those who try to stay at a certain weight. Sweets and chocolates that are typical of these times are not exactly the most healthy and balanced. But their consumption, if it is moderate and adapted to the needs of each person, does not have to be removed from our diet. It is better to cut the sweets into small portions so that guests can try different kinds in small quantities. And it is better to make sure that the sweets are not present during the whole meal, since they are a great temptation and meals during these days last longer. Many of the

Christmas desserts are made with olive oil, honey, chocolate or nuts (cakes, candies, marzipan, etc.), constituents of healthy foods, however they should be consumed sparingly. If you can choose, try to avoid sweets made from unhealthy animal fats or vegetable fat, such as polvorones etc. Nuts (almonds, pine nuts ...) and dried fruit (apricots, prunes and raisins ...) are a sweet alternative, delicious and healthier than the typical Christmas products, without forgetting that it is also energy food. Christmas dessert varieties accompanied by the message "fructose" or "no sugar added" increase every year, with the same confusion about their calories. Most consumers believe that they are lower calorie products, but not always. When sugar is replaced by no-calorie sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, cyclamate, acesulfame) or polyol-type sweetener or sugar alcohols (sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol ...), they actually have fewer calories. Not so if the product contains fructose instead of sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is a sweetener with a definite advantage for people with diabetes: it produces little effect on the level of blood sugar, if its consumption is not abused. However, fructose provides the same calories as sugar. Holiday time is a great opportunity to do activities such as walking and hiking, or playing sports. It is highly recommended to go for a walk a while before or after meals. Dance, move, walk, laugh, but escaping from the sofa and TV! Physical activity provided it is not too intense, helps to digest the food eaten during a heavy dinner, and happens to burn some calories too. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Arancha Coromina Dietitian-Nutritionist aranchacoromina@gmail.com

Advice, Training and Food Education (asesoramiento, formacion y educacion alimentaria) Nutritional treatment for overweight, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol etc.

DIETÉTICA ROQUETES, C / MAYOR , 36 43520 ROQUETES Call 645 565 571 to make an appointment (Consultations in English or Spanish)

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 27


PASSATEMPS Cryptic Crossword

Down 1. Can go to confusing shape (7) 2. Fruit and thick skin? (5) 3. Garbled tale is delayed (4) 5. Romance story involves someone from the past (8) 6. Decorated and redo at random (7) 7. Not together but a role (5) 8. Sounds like a swarm of letters (4) 13. Ended fiendish confusion (8) 15. Leaf insect, a spectacular ceremony (7) 17. Communicate and catch employment (7) 18. Refugee seafarer finds birds (5) 19. Put up with a large carnivore (4) 21. Headdress found in militia ranks (5) 22. Keep eels, found there's a point to it (4)

Across 1. Find a prophet or a clever person (6) 4. Extra dark but found detection device (5) 9. Slipped on wet spot to form a dance (7) 10. Some echo reverberation job (5) 11. Look for a short man, urgently (4) 12. Writhing serpents make gifts (8) 14. A few winks and family for protection (6) 16. Romance hideaway made from a tree (6) 19. Container conduits make music (8) 20. Part of a hat, so correct the deletion (4) 23. Looks like a party could be a hit (5) 24. Mixed up singer, so no rap (7) 25. Acquire knowledge with poker end of the day (5) 26. Some future market comment (6)

LAST MONTH’S CRYPTIC CROSSWORD ANSWERS Across: 1 Teller 4 Libra 9 Collapsed 10 Younger 11 Acres 12 Averse 14 Steals 17 Omega 19 Endures 21 Relocated 23 Wyatt 24 Appear Down: 1 Tally 2 Lecture 3 Eel 5 Instant 6 Radar 8 Pauses 12 Aboard 13 Scarlet 15 Abridge 16 Peace 18 Early 20 Spear 22 Top

Quick Crossword

Across 1. Concern (5) 4. Maxim (5) 7. Fruit (3) 8. Responded (7) 9. Chess piece (4) 10. Writer (6) 13. Sagacity (6) 14. Leave out (4) 17. Decorate food (7) 19. Beverage (3) 20. Stitched (5) 21. Travesty (5)

Medium

WE ARE HERE N340

N340

ALDEA

L’AMPOLLA

GALP

GE RID Y B

Easy

TORTOSA

A ILW RA

Down 1. Thin biscuit (5) 2. Areas (7) 3. Tall story (4) 4. Counting device (6) 5. Perform (3) 6. Duck (5) 11. Short-tailed burrowing rodent (7) 12. Aped (6) 13. Earnings (5) 15. Search and find (5) 16. Professional cook (4) 18. Uncooked (3)

Order online

www.littlebritain24-7.com CAMARLES DELTE’BRE

Hard

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 28


BUSINESS DIRECTORY ALARMS FINCA ALERT SYSTEMS 647 771 573 www.fasystems.es info@fasystems.es Wireless driveway alarm systems

ARCHITECTS TAE ARCHITECTS 659 736 403 Miami Platja www.taeconsultants.com Valuations, Reports, Certificates

BARS BAR CAL MANEL 653 557 524 C/ Joan Baptista Plana, Tarragona English Owned Bar/Cafe MOLI'S BAR MINI-GOLF 977 570 819 Urb. Moli de L'om, El Castel molisbar@hotmail.com Open 16.00 - 21.00, w'ends from 14.00

CAR RENTAL HAPPY RENT COSTA DORADA S.L. 977 170 466 FAX: 977 172 507 www.happyrentspain.es Rent a Car

CHRISTMAS CARDS ANGEL CARDS 687 145 043 Beautiful hand made Christmas Angels and Cards

CONSTRUCTION CLICK NAVE S.L. 652 500 899 / 679 219 715 (English) www.clicknave.es Clicknave@hotmail.com Pre-fabricated buildings MAYOR 977 440 440 Tortosa www.mayor.cat For all your construction requirements PAVIMENTOS TORTOSA 664 770 541 / 977 501 929 For all your building materials

DENTISTS CLINICA DENTAL DEL MAR PENISCOLA 964 481 588 English speaking Dental Surgery

DIETICIANS DIETÉTICA ROQUETES 645 565 571 Advice Training and Food Education in English

ELECTRICIANS MICHAEL HOGG 620 552 666 Call outs, repairs, new build / reforms complete wiring, independent power systems, installations, sales, system checks

ESTATE AGENTS CATALONIAN PROPERTIES 606 813 219 / 615 316 722 www.catalonianproperties.com New and Resale Properties MY SPANISHOME 639 041 277 / 977 446 655 www.myspanishome.com Av. Generalitat, 70 - Tortosa

MECHANICS

HEALTH & BEAUTY ORIFLAME NATURAL SWEDISH COSMETICS 616 887 298 anne.hogg@ymail.com Home based product distributors required full/part-time

HONEY

TALLER GANDIA 977 470 060 C 30, 13/15 Camarles Garden Tools Sales & Repairs

MECANICA MIGUEL 977 501 956 / 647 097 067 C/Alcade Marin 31,Roquetes English Speaking Mechanic

MEL MURIA RIERES ESTATE AGENTS 977 445 497 Tortosa www.realitypropertyspain.com Large Portfolio of Property

FISHING EBRO TOP CATFISHING HOLIDAYS 977 581 183 / 666 907 974 Tortosa www.ebrotopcatfishing.com Catfishing trips on the River Ebro with experienced guide

FOOD LITTLE BRITAIN 24-7 696 894 134 www.littlebritain24-7.com Suppliers of English Foods, Sauces and Drinks

977 49 00 34 El Perello www.melmuria.com Workshops and Guided Tours

INSURANCE CATALUNYA INSURANCE SERVICES 977 493 607 / 689 276 853 www.catalunyainsuranceservices.com Motor, Home, Travel, Marine, Pet, Health, Life, Funeral, Commercial, Mortgages

HORIZON CONSULTANTS 966 481 382 www.horizonsconsultants.com Motor • Home • Pet Travel • Medical • Marine

INTERNET 620 353 138 Various Internet & Telecom packages with English Technical Support

KENNELS LYNDALE KENNELS

www.eurodelicatessen.net Discover a selection of British & Catalan Deli Products

660 879 852 Xerta Vet Approved -2 walks per day - from €8 per night

TASTY FRANCS PRODUCTS

SANT SALVADOR KENNELS AND CATTERY

696 088 935 / 977 059 261 tastyfrancs@defranceschi.co.uk Suppliers of homemade pork pies, sausage rolls, & variety of English pork sausages

977 055 027 / 678 970 622 Gandesa santsalvadorkennels @gmail.com Excellent care for all your pets. Established since 2004

GARDEN CENTRES PENIS VERD 964 480 377 www.penisverd.com Offering a variety of seasonal plants and gift ideas plus freshly cut Christmas Trees

LAND MAINTENANCE LES DIGGER 629 010 529 lesvalblf@gmail.com Foundations, groundworks, landscaping, tree pruning & site works.

LAWYERS DAVID PIQUE

THE RICHMOND STUDIO 977 731 490 Placa Cami Ample, 7 Alcanar Precision L’Oreal Colour & Stylist

659 225 068 El Perello max.snaith@yahoo.com Gates, Railings, Staircases No job too small

CERRAJERIA CLAU 645 347 161 alumniosclau@hotmail.com Metal Structure specialists & locksmiths

PLUMBERS NIGEL MORTON 620 353 138 Tortosa and surrounding Areas Also electrics, heating, internet, Sat TV

RESTAURANTS JR’S FRANKFURT BAR 977 593 984 Joaquim Pafilla, 5 L’Ampolla Hot & Cold Food served all day Take-Away available

FATA MORGANA 977 460 707 Pl. Club Nautic, L’Ampolla Restaurante Pizzeria Take Away available

CASA MONTERO (Club Nautic) 977 593 336 Av. Ramon Pou, L’Ampolla Enjoy good food with lovely views

BAR ESTACION, L’AMPOLLA 977 460 387 Good food served all day - every day

CARPE DIEM 977 810 392 Miami Platja www.hotelcarpediem.net Restaurant and Hotel Fantastic Food, Wonderful surroundings

CHEERS BAR & RESTAURANT 964 414 313 Alcossebre |Large selection of hot and cold food served all day.

977 172 939 Miami Platja davidpique@advocatsreus.org English Speaking Lawyers

SALVAGE CARS & MACHINERY

MECHANICS

HAIRDRESSERS HAIRPORT 617 071 501 Salou British Unisex Hairdresser Open Mon-Sat All Year Round

STEVE SNAITH

EURONA

EURO DELICATESSEN 977 232 243 Tarragona

MASTERMAC FOODS 679 830 082 mastermacff@gmail.com Suppliers of English meats & other fresh produce

METAL WORKS

DRIVER 977 480 788 Deltebre English Speaking Mechanics

RICHIE’S REPAIRS 608 872 854 English Auto Mechanic Over 30 Years Experience

689 468 752 Cash available for cars, machinery, tractors & generators Working or Non-working

SOLAR POWER PUMIWEX 693 206 868 Renewable Energy

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 29


BUSINESS DIRECTORY CONT... TRANSLATORS

SPANISH LESSONS

S.O.S (SPEAKERS OF SPANISH)

BILL’S ENGLISH SCHOOL 977 221 200 / 649 895 118 / 653 394 582 Tarragona Established 15 years

TELEVISION

679 219 715 speakersofspanish@yahoo.co.uk All Translation Services Spanish & English Lessons

616 369 913 / 977 486 387 www.britsat.tv Specialist Suppliers & Installers of Sky Systems

MARCEL CLINICA VETERINARIA

616 637 030 joshrussell123@msn.com Documents translated Catalan, Spanish, English explained by Joshua as cheaply as possible

977 823 405 C/Terra Alta, 5, L'Hospitalet de L'Infant www.marcelclinicaveterinaria.com

WINDOWS & DOORS

VETS

HELP IN SPAIN

BRITSAT

JOSH RUSSELL

622 523 894 helpinspain.anja@gmail.com All Translation Services Spanish, English & German lessons

AGATAMEUS

ALUMNIOS CLAU

977 481 525 Deltebre www.agatameus.com English, Spanish, French, Italian, German spoken fluently

645 347 161 Alumniosclau@hotmail.com Specialists in door and window fabrications

CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE ROVER 620DI VANDEN PLAS 1999 SPANISH PLATED, LHD, BRITISH RACING GREEN LUXURY LEATHER INTERIOR AIR CONDITIONING, PAS, GOOD TYRES, ITV (MOT) UNTIL SEPT 2011 IMMACULATE THROUGHOUT, GENUINE REASON FOR SALE 2,300€

FOR SALE 2 SEATER SOFA BED 50 EUROS, SLATE BEDDED COFFEE TABLE (NEEDS TLC) 30 EUROS,

WANTED QUALITY FURNITURE, TEXTILES, FURNISHINGS & CLOTHING

PLEASE CALL VAL 626 876 738

SINGLE MATTRESS 15 EUROS, 2 OIL FILLED RADIATORS 10 EUROS EACH

FOR SALE TYPHOON SCOOTER 50 CC, 650 EUROS

CONTACT: 977 267 677 FOR SALE CITROEN BERLINGO,1.9 DIESEL SX WITH ALL THE EXTRAS LHD, SPANISH REG, DEC 2003, 86,000 KMS, METALIC GREEN, VERY GOOD CLEAN CONDITION, NON SMOKERS, PHOTOS AVAILABLE. 5500 EUROS

TEL: 610 324 550 MORA LA NOVA, TARRAGONA email: ppierce38@hotmail.com

4 PAWS 4 EYES 4 UR SECURITY House-sitting with or without my guard dog Pet Care at their home or ours / Dog walking

Contact: Dot 600 564 097 (Benicarlo) email: dandbplus3@hotmail.com

IT COSTS NOTHING TO ADVERTISE YOUR UNWANTED ITEMS UNDER THE VALUE OF 1000€ WITHIN THIS SECTION. TO ADVERTISE YOUR ITEMS PLEASE EMAIL editor@chroniccat.com or PHONE 646 353 442 MAXIMUM 3 ITEMS PER MONTH

FOR SALE NISSAN X-TRAIL 2.2 DCI SE LATE 2005 LHD ON SPANISH PLATES, METALLIC SILVER, ALLOY WHEELS, CD PLAYER, CRUISE CONTROL, AIR CONDITIONING, TOW BAR (LEGAL), ROOF BARS, ITV TILL DEC 2011 FULL SERVICE HISTORY LOW KMS 52,000 GOOD TYRES 13,500 EUROS

MOBILE 679 832 221

PHONE 638 395 312 (CAMARLES) NVQ 3 QUALIFIED CARE WORKER Available for home help and respite care. Also 24/7 house/pet sitting. El Perello / L’Ampolla / Tortosa & Amposta areas CONTACT HAZEL

638 430 338 hazeearnest@hotmail.com FOR SALE DVD PLAYER ACOUSTIC SOLUTIONS MULTIREGION COMPLETE WITH REMOTE. GOOD CONDITION. €25 ONO.

BUSH RECORD TURNTABLE BELT DRIVE SEMI-AUTOMATIC 2-SPEED (SINGLES OR ALBUMS). SIMPLE CONNECTION TO YOUR HI-FI €30 ono.

4'6" PINE BED CURVED HEADBOARD & FOOTBOARD, SLATTED BASE (MATTRESS NOT INCLUDED). GOOD CONDITION. €50 ono.

Tel: 634 329 289

RACING RX 50 CC BIKE, 200 EUROS L ‘AMETLLA PHONE 660 697 135

FOR SALE SCOOTER PIAGGIO MOD. TYPHOON 49CC 20,000KM, WORKING WELL 400€ WINDOW H130 x W120cm WOOD, SINGLE GLASS SHUTTERS, NEW 125€ vpeetz@gmail.com

GET YOUR PHONE RINGING!!! ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS OR SERVICE IN OUR BUSINESS DIRECTORY FOR LESS THAN €5* PER MONTH Email editor@chroniccat.com or call

646 353 442 for further details. * Price based on 6 month continuous advert for only €25 (IVA included)

644 243 415 NOT COPING? CONFUSED? UPSET? GOING MAD? NEED COUNSELLING? Person-centred, Bereavement, Family Therapy, Drink, Relationship, Sexual problems... I am here to help Individual, personal, confidential hourly sessions. 20€ Initial Consultation 10€ Jennifer Anne Figuerola BA, Honours Psychology, Dip. Counselling MIRAVET TEL: 977 407 540 / 654 875 163

WANTED GAS FRIDGE 2 DOORS SOLAR PANELS 12v (17v) I GIVE 1€ PER WATT GAS STOVE WANTED / KEROSENE STOVE FOR SALE OFFERS TO: vpeetz@gmail.com

644 243 415

FREE TO A LOVING HOME Tia is a 3 year old boxer bitch,

NEED A HELPING HAND AROUND THE HOUSE OR CAN’T GET TO THE SHOPS?

lovely with everyone and would make a great pet, unfortunately i cannot keep her as i already have 4 dogs.

5 years experience in respite care. Benicarlo / Vinaros areas

TEL 628779422.

Contact DOT 600 564 097 email: dandbplus3@hotmail.com

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 30


INFORMATION Que? Monthly look at some differences between Catalan and Spanish words

Distribution Points. A full list and map of all our collection locations is available on our web-site, and if you do not find one near enough to you, then please let us know.

ENGLISH

SPANISH

CATALAN

December

Diciembre

Desembre

Christmas

Navidad

Nadal

Wrapping Paper

papel de regalo

paper de regal

Christmas Tree

árbol de Navidad

arbre de Nadal

Can I order?

puedo pedir

puc demaner

Have you got another one?

¿tienes otra

¿tens una altra

Can you clean it?

puede limpiarlo

pot netejar

How long

¿cuánto tiempo

quant de temps

When will it be ready?

cuando va a estar listo

quan estarà llest

Light bulbs

bombillas

bombetes

Happy Christmas

Feliz Navidad

Bon Nadal

Carol singing

villancicos

nadales

This does not work

esto no funciona

això no funciona

Currently we have managed to place the paper in the following towns and villages. L’Ampolla L’Amettla Camarles Amposta Tortosa Miravet Tres Calas El Perello Cambrils Salou

Hospitalet Reus Airport Alcossebre Ulldecona Flix Xerta Riba-Roja Mora D’Ebre Peniscola Benifallet

Miami Platja Gandesa Bitem Vinaros Benicarlo Freginals ... with more to come

The Catalunya Chronicle

Advertising Rates To advertise in the next edition of the Catalunya Chronicle we would need your copy before the 10th of the month.

C / Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa, Tarragona, Spain. (Please note this a mailbox address only)

Personal Classified Ads are FREE up to a maximum of 35 words, and subject to a maximum sales value of €1000. No more than three items at a time please.

Website: www.chroniccat.com email: editor@chroniccat.com

Whether you have your artwork or not, included in the price we offer a design service and we will endeavour to match your requirements.

Telephone: 646 353 442 (Tim)

The cost of advertising is €0.80 per square centimetre, and there is a 10% discount for a six month run. This price includes IVA .

Let people know you are in business - can you afford not to? WEEKLY MARKETS MON

TUES

Amettla de Mar, Peniscola, Reus, Salou Tortosa

WED

Ampolla Alcossebre, Benicarlo Amposta Cambrills Camarles Hospitalet Tarragona Mora la Nova L'Aldea

THURS

Amettla de Mar La Cava Deltebre

FRI

SAT

Ulldecona Sant Carles Mora d' Ebre Miami Playa

SUN

Camarles Tarragona Hospitalet Bonavista

Deposito Legal: T-1528-2009 Circulation: 5,000 copies per month Printed by: Lerigraf sl No part of this document may be reproduced without written consent from the paper. The Catalunya Chronicle cannot be held responsible for the contents of the articles supplied by it’s contributors, nor for the claims made by it’s advertisers. Trademarks and Copyright are held by their respective owners. We would like to thank all our contributors, article writers and advertisers for all their fabulous support.

THE FIFTH EMERGENCY SERVICE FOR WHEN YOU’RE DROWNING IN A SEA OF RED TAPE! ENGLISH / FRENCH / SPANISH TRANSLATION SERVICE SPANISH LESSONS AVAILABLE FOR ALL ABILITIES PLEASE CONTACT US ON

679 219 715 email: speakersofspanish@yahoo.co.uk

WHEN THE MASSAGE COMES TO YOU.......... Yes, it CAN be true, it IS true Contact THE MOBILE MASSEUR NOW! BACKACHE

TENNIS ELBOW

VARICOSE VEINS

FROZEN SHOULDER

FEEL THE RELIEF MULTI-LEVEL THAI MASSAGE A drug-free procedure, suitable for men, women and children Initial consultation 20€ Subsequent treatments 30€

PLEASE CALL: 675 071 794

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 31


THE FINAL WORD TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS 'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck. How to live in a world that's politically correct? His workers no longer would answer to Elves, Vertically Challenged they were calling themselves. And labour conditions at the north pole Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul. Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety, Released to the wilds by the Humane Society. And equal employment had made it quite clear That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid, Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid! The runners had been removed from his sleigh; The ruts were termed dangerous by the E. P. A. And people had started to call for the cops When they heard sled noises on their rooftops. Secondhand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened. His fur trimmed red suit was called Unenlightened. And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows, Rudolf was suing over unauthorised use of his nose And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation, Demanding millions in overdue compensation. So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife, Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life, Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz, Demanding from now on her title was Ms. And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion That making a choice could cause so much commotion. Nothing of leather, nothing of fur, Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her. Nothing that might be construed to pollute. Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot. Nothing that clamoured or made lots of noise.

Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys. Nothing that claimed to be gender specific. Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific. No candy or sweets, they were bad for the tooth. Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth. And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden, Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden. For they raised the hackles of those psychological Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological. No baseball, no football, someone could get hurt Besides, playing sports exposes kids to dirt. Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe And Nintendo would rot your poor brain away. So Santa just stood there, dishevelled, perplexed He just could not figure out what to do next. He tried to be merry, tried to be gay, But you've got to be careful with that word today. His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground Nothing fully acceptable was to be found. Something special was needed, a gift that he might Give to all without angering the left or the right. A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision, Each group of people, every religion; Every ethnicity, every hue. Everyone, everywhere-even you. So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth. "May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

ESTATE AGENTS

We go that extra mile to ensure your move runs smooth! M003 - Tortosa

M1085 - Jesus Riverside, 3 Bedroom bed & breakfast plus 3 bed self catering cottage for sale! Direct River mooring - furnished 3000m2 parcela

REDUCED! Lovely townhouse in centre of Tortosa with roof terrace. Reformed to a high standard & ready to move into. Close to all amenities - hospital ample parking close by. 3 beds, 2 baths, Central heating

*** PROPERTY OF THE MONTH ***

PRICE: 239.000€

PRICE: 120,000€ M1014 - Bitem

M1062 - L’Ampolla

Village House 110m2 Reformed, 3 Bed, en-suite, sh. rm, full bathroom + sep w.c. Roof terrace. kitchen with outside sm.covered area. Lounge, fully furnished.

138m2 Country House, 3 beds, 2 baths, Sea Views! 5,600m2 parcela with Cedula de Habitabilitat

M1097 - L’Ampolla Village House

PRICE: 146,000€

M1095 - El Perello With “Cedula de Habitabilitat” Lovely Country House of 120m2 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Auto system installed, Water, Courtyard & Workshops 14,200m2 of land

PRICE: 180,000€

Price: 165,000€

Restored Farmhouse with Fantastic Mountain Views. 3 Beds, 3 Baths. 170m2 built 2235m2 plot size, Pool. 2 mins to village REDUCED FROM 245,000€

80m2 Country House Mountain location

PRICE: 190,000€

2 Masias to reform. Compatible for many projects Tourism/Riding Centre/Caravans 13000m2 plot size, Own well , 5 mins to village

M1196 - Tivenys

M1212 - 20 Mins Tortosa

3 Beds, 2 Baths, Community Pool, Double Garage, Terraces, Patio Garden, Good condition, Well Presented, Near Beach, Close to the sea and shops.

M1200 - 20 Mins Tortosa

FOR RENT - 400€ pcm

Main house with 2 beds, shower room. 5800m2 plot size. Water. Automatic system & wind generator. Separate 1 bed & shower room guest accommodation PRICE: 135,000€

PRICE NOW: 229,000€ M1199 - Tortosa Restored farmhouse with fantastic Delta views! 3 beds, 3 baths -90m2 parcela 27000m2

PRICE: 130,000€ M0053 - Tortosa Superb country property 2 beds, shower room, fantastic automatic power system! Fenced & gated!

PRICE: 150.000€

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 14 December 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 32


THE CATALUNYA CHRONICLE ISSUE 14 - DECEMBER 2010