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The Catalunya Chronicle An English Paper for Tarragona and beyond.... Christmas is a' coming, and the cat is getting fat. We cannot quite believe it but we have reached the princely size of 24 pages this issue, which is entirely down to all the kind people that have sent in articles, stories and tales, and also all our advertisers. Thank you so much for your support, it is really appreciated. It has been a very busy month putting everything together, and we are delighted that so many of you see fit to write in to us. Please keep them coming in. You can contact us via email, phone and also by the traditional ‘snail mail´. Our contact details can be found on the Information page. We would really like to hear from anyone who would like to take on the unenviable task of distilling the Spanish news into a monthly summary for our readers, so that we can all (ourselves included) keep abreast of the main talking points on the Iberian Peninsula.

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Paco, the ferryman, beckoned me on, and I changed, been upgraded or improved at all, was amazed to see that he could actually bar the odd paint job for the benches and the crush up to 3 vehicles and a couple of MIRAVET, or a couple of caulies! motorbikes onto his masterpiece of 'It's only for five days,' my new friend reassured engineering. me, handing over the house keys. Not having had time to do the touristy thing and have a There wasn't a ramp or anything; just get into look around the area in the two short weeks I first gear, close your eyes and rev the car up had been in Catalunya, I was interested to onto the ferry! If there are the maximum of drive away from the coast, towards the three vehicles, which there was on this mountains and to Miravet in order to water her occasion, you have to rely completely on Paco's hand signalling to know how far to plants for the days she was away. 'sidle' until there is room for the third car to get occasional nails to hammer down the planks. From L'Ampolla, I drove along the N340 and on too. This means driving to the other edge It has to stop operating when the sun goes branched off at el Perello onto the Rasquera of the ferry, with no barriers. Thank God the down as there is no light. road. Then I simply followed the signs to Mora. handbrake worked! Just in case, I got out for the trip across and introduced myself to Paco. Oh, I forgot, there was big drama and 'You can take the ferry across the river', she adventure a couple of months ago – informed me. 'It costs 3€, and only 2 € for unbelievable really, but absolutely true – when residents. So, with an image in my mind of a thieves, in the middle of the night, set to and 'proper' ferry, housing maybe 50 vehicles or removed the heavy duty industrial cables all so, I went looking for the signs for 'CAR along one side, around 700m, hacksawing or FERRY' and the slip road. There was indeed boltcropping it into manageable bits and piling a slip road: with a little warning/informative it into lorries! sign 400m beforehand, 'Barca'. It wasn't quite the standard 21st century ferry I'd sort of But Fate stepped in and the Mossos managed imagined,but then for 3€, I suppose it was 'the Ten minutes later we had arrived safely at the to catch and arrest them. The ferry was business': a rickety wooden affair, planks of other side, saving the round trip of an extra consequently out of action for 2 or 3 days, until wood basically, thrown over a couple of 20km by road had it been lunchtime or windy the electric company, FECSA, supplied a new oversized rowing boats with a couple of and the ferry was not operating. cable. The poor ferry was floating away from rudders, all connected very technically to the bank, suspended from one sole cable, parallel wires stretching from one side of the In the weeks that followed I got to know Paco unable to be winched to shore, as the power and his sidekick, Vincent, and found them to had been cut. Ebro to the other. be friendly, interesting characters, salt of the earth the pair of them. In all his 26 years of A kilometre along the little road from the ferry working the self-same ferry, Paco informed and you arrive in the square of the village, set me that not one car had driven into the river, on the river bank, with cafes and their tables nor anyone suffered any kind of injury or fallen and chairs set out attractively. Here you can in either. find the information point of Miravet, named, 'Lo Raco del Temple', (The Templar's Store), Vincent agreed, though could go one better, where guides, maps, books and magazines as he has actually been working the ferry for are all available. They also provide various 28 years. In fact this infamous ferry hasn't

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 -

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Once upon a time... services, like guide visits, or are willing to make hotel and restaurant reservations for you. They sell local produce too, oils, wines, food, pottery, posters, mediaeval music. Miravet really is in an idyllic setting, in the middle of the Terres de l'Ebre, between the differing landscapes of mountains, river and forest. It was the Arabs who built the village on the steep rock, which today is the old part. Dominating everything from above is the castle, which was converted into the Templar headquarters, a fortress-monastery, after their conquest in 1153, and is the most famous monument of the whole region. It can be seen for miles around on the approach to the region, majestic and imposing. The whole complex is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque, religious and military architecture of the Templar Order in the whole western world. The day I chose to walk up and see for myself just happened to be a Tuesday, and I was informed that on Tuesdays admission was free, which made it all the more attractive. The history absolutely fascinated me: 1153, the conquest of Miravet. Six years after the conquests of Tortosa and Lleida, the definitive end of the addition of the south of Catalunya to the Crown of Aragon took place. Miravet, a town which protected the gateway to the Ebro and which was surrounded by mountains, housed the strongest garrison of the Muslim world in the area. There the Arabs had a ribat – hence the word, 'M'ribat' – willing to defend the stronghold without surrendering. This conquest was led by the Knights Templar in person, as can be seen in the letters sent to Pope Clement V by the last commander of the castle. Miravet was a key territory, which allowed the Knights Templar to control the whole of the Ebro in Catalunya, from Mequinenza to the sea. In 1307 the trial of the Knights Templar was ordered by James II of Aragon, and from December 1307 onwards, all the Templar castles were besieged and overthrown. Miravet castle managed to hold out for twelve long months until surrendering, thus bringing about the definitive and decisive end of the Order. Further down in the village, the Old Church, was damaged in the Battle of the Ebro and is today a cultural monument, housing exhibits of local pottery,

information on the Battle, and examples of Roman pieces and bits and bobs about the three cultures that coexisted in the village. Then there is the watermill and the shipyard. There are also a few potteries selling their wares, where the craftsmen still use their hands and the Potter's Wheel to cast their pots, delightful places in which to browse and things are reasonably priced. Apart from the three bars/cafes around the main square, there are a couple of good restaurants, a communal swimming pool, and regular fiestas, such as the cherry festival in June, so there is life in the old place still. Summers abound with coach tours, cyclists, horse riders, fishermen, and there are regular markets in the square. A few shops, co-op, newsagents, bank, music school, choir, free internet at the 'adjuntamen', chemist, hairdressers, doctor, post office , butcher, baker everything but the candlestick maker in fact. A busy, thriving community with old and young, Catalan and foreign residents. Just this morning, I left Miravet, using the ferry. I was the third car to drive on. A large white van with UK plates installed itself to one side, and a tiny car with two elderly gents drove on ahead of me. I got out, as usual, for the journey. 'Don't sit down', Vincent warned me. 'I've just painted the benches'. I smiled to myself; of course he wouldn't want to waste his own time painting when the ferry was closed, it made perfect sense to do it while to-ing and fro-ing on the river so it would dry more quickly! I moved swiftly over to share this information with the Englishman who had just got out of his van. Obviously Vincent hadn't thought about the consequences of black paint all over tourists' bottoms, and I certainly didn't want to be witness to the first ever lawsuit against the Miravet ferryman!

richness that no other place has yet managed. The heart of the community lies at the end of the little slip road, letting us in and out, visitors and locals alike, bringing us together, helping to unite the proud, stalwart Catalans with other nationalities living in their community, making Miravet unique.



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With the Englishman's trousers intact, I walked round to my car, and watched the two Catalan gents struggle to get out of theirs, complete with black caps and walking sticks. Then they opened the boot and 'paid' Vincent for the crossing with a couple of gorgeous cauliflowers and a big pat on the back. Miravet is certainly a beautiful village, set in a very picturesque location right on the banks of the river Ebro, and is steeped in history. But for me, the tradition of the ferry and its ferrymen, give the place a

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 1 October 2009

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PAGE 3 Readers Letters - to the Editor Please address your letters to:- The Catalunya Chronicle , C/ Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa, or alternatively you may email them to All letters must contain a contact telephone number - thank you.

The post-bag started to fill up - many thanks to everyone who wrote in. All submissions must be received by the 12th of the calendar month to ensure publication for the following issue. Government Abuse? Dear Sirs, A friend of mine returned to England on a permanent basis. On going to the job centre to register for work and claim job-seekers allowance, he was told as he had been out of the county working (not using English resources), he could do neither he would have to wait six weeks. He is classed as a foreigner yet he hold a British passport,served in the British army and was born in England. Who gives these idiot in job centres the right to call a British subject a foreigner? Yours, CTM (contact details supplied) More Info please Dear Editor, Great idea, great paper -very interesting and enjoyable. We look forward to the next edition, well done to all involved, and good luck!! As we live "campo" your article "Las Mascotas" raised some interesting points. Firstly, how do we go about getting a licence to prevent shooting on our land? Also you mentioned shooting within 50 metres distance. Is this from the land or the house? Are we within our rights to request the hunters name and licence number? Secondly, it seems that hunters leave lame or injured dogs, or ones that do not make the grade behind (none of them micro chipped!) THEY BREED! Next season, the hunters will be out poisoning them, as well as household pets! Why don't they take them home with them and have them humanely destroyed or re-homed?

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. 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

Peniscula Benifallet Miami Platja ... with more to come

FREESIA GROUP 8th Annual Christmas Fair Saturday 28th November 2009 at 11.00am Charlie Chaplins / Christies SALOU All proceeds in aid of Cancer Charities in Spain On Saturday 28th November 2009, the Freesia Group will hold its 8th Annual Christmas Fair in Salou. It will be at the fabulous Charlie Chaplins Bar Disco and Charlies Pub next door (Calle Falset, in front of Hotels Santa Monica and Las Vegas). Easy directions to Chaplins - drive up from the fountain towards Cap Salou. At the fork take c/Alfons V Magnanim and turn left at Hotel Caspel. Charlie Chaplins is on C/Falset. 100m down the street on your right. Plentiful parking on street or car park next door. Entry: €1 - CHILDREN FREE For information, or if you wish to help, phone Pamela 977 395 064.

We love the Spanish people and have become good friends with our Spanish neighbours. but cannot get to grips with this aspect of Spanish thinking. The other thing we cannot understand is why fill a bag with rubbish and kitchen waste, then throw it out of the car window? Why not put it in the first bin they see, there are plenty about? Perhaps the above would form the basis of an article, rather than a letter.


Best wishes, G & B P. (contact details supplied)

We also received several letters congratulating us on our first couple of issues thank you very much and keep writing in - it is intended to be YOUR paper, so we would like to hear from you. D&G BUILDING SERVICES


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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 3

TALES FROM THE EBRO VALLEY Spring , summer and autumn have truly packed away their colours, as I pen this article with two very different , but equally important, veins of thoughts to bring to you my valued dear friends and readers. Well, what a gusty November has blown in! Yet, it is still coupled with the most amazing panoramic sunrises across the Sierra Cardo mountains. We are truly blessed to be living in such an environment with the great beauty of the natural parks, awesome mountain ranges and the agricultural valleys fuelled with the smell of citrus and the happy chatter of the migrant fruit pickers. And it all links into the rice fields and holding hands with the Delta and the wonderful sandy beaches. This was an observation made by my extended family when they visited earlier on this month. They were astounded at the diversity of our homelands of Terres del Ebre. "We didn't know all this existed below Salou! It is amazing." So what is missing? Grandchildren - oh yes we miss those 'younglings' so much! This is the time of the year when we feel the pull of longing and stark separation of being abroad from the offsprings of our grown-up 'sprogs' . Summer is not so bad. We are always fairly confident and somewhat bemused and await that email or 'phone call or text; "Mum - Dad we were wondering if it will be alright to come over for a fortnight? We are all missing you so much!" Missing the sunshine and beaches and freedom to roam, more likely, mumbles 'him indoors'. But we still answer eagerly, "Of course dear .We would love to see you all."

In many other other countries I have lived and visited they have a "Granny Support Group" - some even have one for Granddads, as in Hong Kong. Yet I have never heard of or seen one over here. They prevail in Holland and Germany, many in America and Canada and South Africa too. Grandparents abroad can share untold support, experiences, laughter and tears, as well as jolly good sound advice of what to do or not to do. We need not live in a vacuum or be isolated. I too recognize and experience the agonies, the conflicting and contradictory emotions of living abroad and being separated from my grandsons. Yesterday, I waved them off again from our finca. This was a trip for them that was not a holiday as such. Neither was it for our daughter nor our sons, it was a trip made with great haste to see their Papa and Grandfather who is extremely ill. They too came to help me and offer me whatever support they could in looking after their Nanna as well, so I could sleep over in hospital. 'Him indoors' is now home and under the wonderful service of "Hospital a domicili" - Gordon Brown are you listening? But, it is times like these when you feel the separation and isolation more from family and missing the grandchildren so much more. So how can we be better global grandparents? Firstly visit the site Peter Gosling and Anne Huscroft have jointly written a book with a wealth of information within it.

Communication with grandchildren regularly and as speedily as possible is now available with the advancement and easy to use technology on hand to us, even if we live remotely. We have wireless and satellite connections. Technophobic? Don't worry! There are many folk around to assist you and get you up and running. Believe me you have faced bigger challenges in your life, than Aside: We have candles here too - when how does the Webcam work or how do I the electricity goes off in a thunder storm. send Emails and attach photographs. But winter is different for grandparents too. What with Christmas looming and scouring foreign lands for appropriate and "correus" friendly, not too heavy parcels to mail out. Our thoughts do wander onto the traditional Christmas fayre that will grace British, holly and berry adorned tables, laden with glistening crackers and robin red candles.

ALUMINIS I PERSIANES All types of Blinds - Rolling Aluminium - PVC Mosquiteras and Screens Security Blinds and doors Adjustable Reja Bars Decorative Leaded Windows Ram贸n Brull Melich C/ Trenta-sis, 14 Camarles Tel/Fax: 977 470 395 Mob: 671 079 395 Not just any blinds.... As well as providing the full range of blinds and mosquiteras, Aluminis I Persianes of Camarles can also provide the full range of shutters, security doors and reja bars. They specialise in the motorisation and servicing of existing installations, and being a local company, offer a high level of customer service. Should you be looking for additional security for your house, or replacing your existing windows or shutters than please give Ramon a call - he would be delighted to hear from you. A recent addition to their portfolio is the design, supply and fitting of decorative leaded glass windows and screens, which has proved very popular. Each window or screen is hand made and there are several methods of manufacture, depending on the effect that is required. They can take a image of your own choosing or you can select from a vast range of bespoke designs and create exactly the effect you require. You can even use an existing photograph and have it etched onto the glass. The possibilities are endless.

But, who will be sitting around our tables as we celebrate "Navidad" ahead of the fiesta of the "Tres Reys (6th January 2010)?

But do link up to other grandparent forums even if they are on another continent. The practical advice and shared experiences of laughter and anguish are of untold benefit and even Being an Expat grandparent need not comfort to those of us who live in Brighter mean you are frozen out from their lives. Catalonia. You can still be involved. Believe me, you still play a vital role in their upbringing. One blog site I always enjoy browsing is leave

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 4

TALES FROM THE EBRO VALLEY CONTD.... feeling inspired. Why not use your browser on your computer and type "Go Grannies Go". I felt truly humbled when I stumbled across what the Grannies are jointly achieving in places of hardships like Alexander township in South Africa. Maybe we to, here in Catalonia, could do more for our multi-cultured communities, as a Granny Group? Just a thought...

This healthcare provided in Catalonia under Cat Salud under this system is paid for by the British government. From March 1st, 2010 folk in receipt of this service must obtain their EHIC cards from the relevant UK Authority, and not INSS. Dependants cannot be included on another member's EHIC card. Each family member must have their own card.

Now, moving up a gear to an enquiry request I received from a Catalunya Chronicle reader, on the subject of the EHIC's. Lets first of all eliminate the confusion surrounding the two conflicting dates that have been published in the UK announcing the implementation of the change of regulation for European Health Insurance Cards.

You can apply for your EHIC card free of charge through the Department of Health in the UK by various methods:

Changes to EHIC system will come into effect on March 1st, 2010 and not 1st May 2010 as previously stated by the DWP (Department of Works and Pensions). Please diarize this date as it will affect your access to Healthcare abroad in the EEA and Switzerland. The above changes will have an impact on personas in receipt of long term incapacity benefit or UK state pension, who under the current system with the form E121 after being handed into INSS (the Spanish Social Security Authorities), do receive free healthcare here in Catalonia.


• online: • by phone: +44 191 203 5555 ( if outside the UK) • by post: EHIC Applications, P.O.Box 1115, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE 99 1SW, United Kingdom Cards currently being issued by INSS for emergency healthcare while travelling or in a temporary stay, in the EEA outside of Spain, will be valid only until 28th February 2010. If you have any queries or issues as an Expat you would like me to discuss just drop me an email: Rosie Reay

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 5

COMMUNITY NEWS Greetings from Rev Paul on Costa Azahar


Twenty years ago when I was Vicar of two country parishes in England I tried to visit every house in the villages to make sure they knew who their local minister was, to wish them a happy Christmas and invite them to our Christmas services. The most common chatty remark on those visits would be from people who innocently asked “And will you be going away for Christmas?” The polite answer was “No, not you expect to have church services then!” Christmas is very much a working time for the clergy.

After a first attempt in 2000, an association of parents interested in Waldorf Education has managed to create L’Espigol (Lavender) Kindergarten in Ulldecona. It is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925), an Austrian philosopher and social thinker who founded the spiritual movement Anthroposophy. Learning is interdisciplinary, integrating practical, artistic and conceptual elements with the natural rhythms of the day and year.


Since coming to live in Alcossebre three years ago the parish (which stretches from Valencia to Tarragona and for about 30 miles inland!) is much larger and I now have the privilege of leading three congregations based in Alcossebre, Vinaros and Ampolla. That means that sadly I am unlikely to knock at your door before Christmas, but the invitation to share in this festival remains. Another question Vicars get asked at this time of year is whether we can find something new to talk about every Christmas. Looking back over the files since I was ordained 39 years ago I seem to have said plenty about the birth in Bethlehem, the shepherds, angels and wise men and so far inspiration has not dried up. This is because our Christian faith is not a dead series of facts or details but a living truth about a living God. I love the Bible – even the difficult bits of the Old Testament! To me it is like a child’s pop-up book. Words and phrases I have read many times take on a freshness and become new again. The nativity stories reveal some new insight every year so we can get behind the words and see into the lives and minds of the people who were there when Christ was born. I rejoice that the child born in a manger still lives to offer peace, hope and purpose in our lives. Because he lives with us Christmas comes afresh – not just on 25th December – but every day we turn to Him. As the Christmas carol puts it; “Oh holy child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell. Oh come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.” p.s. Our Christmas services are at Ampolla on Christmas Eve (24th) at 4.30pm; Vinaros on Christmas day at 10am, Alcossebre at 12 midday. More details on our website :

The kindergarten in Ulldecona is for chidlren aged 2 to 6 and currently has children from Ulldecona, Amposta and Godall. It runs from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be found at the Granja Laya, a farm dedicated to the practice of biodynamic agriculture. The individual attention, there is a ratio of 10 students per teacher, is one of the most important factors for the families who have choosen the centre. The opening of the kindergarten comes at a time when a study by the University of Cambridge is recommending that children aged under six are not emotionally, socially or developmentally prepared to tackle the rigours of a curriculum; and that children should engage in a year of play-based learning before they formally start school. Waldorf schools approach learning in early childhood through imitation and examples. Extensive time is given for guided free play in a classroom environment that is home like and includes natural materials. The children dress up and pretend to be mummies and daddies, kings and queens; they sing, paint and draw. The songs and poems help them to immerse themselves in the beauty of languages; they learn to play together, listen to stories, watch puppet shows, make bread, prepare soups and fruit salads, model with bees’ wax and make houses with cloths and boxes. “Throwing themselves into these sorts of activities is a wonderful foundation for the rest of their lives. It helps develop their concentration span, interest and love of learning” says Puri Lozano, the teacher at the L’Espigol. The first Waldorf school was founded in 1919 and there are currently around 1000 schools and 1,400 kindergartens. They can be found in 60 countries and it is one of the most extensively recognised independent education systems in the world. The Waldorf method has been adopted by many teachers in other schools, both state and private. L’Espigol is preparing an open day and Christmas fair on Sunday 13th December from 10am to 5pm at the Granja Laya for anyone who may be interested. For further information contact Wendy on 678 755 460 or - Wendy Parker (Founding mother)

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 6

HERE BE DRAGONS... Mysterious Cataluña By Acuario We live in Cataluña, a 21st century modern (well some of it!) province of Spain. All appears as it would in any other civilized, modern country. But what of the past? What strange occurrences have gone on over the years in Cataluña, what mysteries have unfolded and what of the unexplained happenings? Cataluña has a dark history that is rarely seen in this modern age. Dragons, Witches, Vampires, tables that move mysteriously – all things that have happened, and are still happening. Want to know more then read on…… Cataluña, as in every country with a long history and rich legends, has stories which talk of huge dragons such as the legendary dragon that St George fought against, and huge serpents whic h supposedly inhabit the depths of pre-historic lakes. Did such creatures exist in Cataluña? There are stories of them roaming the countryside and inhabiting the lakes as you will read…. Hostalrich castle, in the municipality of Hostalric (Girona) has been noted in documents since 1145. If you look from the castle towards the mountain in the southwest you will see a cave known as ‘La cova del Drac’, the Dragons cave. Legend tells that a dragon once used this cave as its refuge and rested there after having devoured several people who went too close to the banks of the river Tordera, which runs not far from this cave. The history of this dragon comes to an abrupt end when the King sent a valiant Knight to ‘do away’ with the dragon, a task that the Knight duly managed to carry out, however at the cost of his own life as well as that of the dragon. Everyone in the world knows of the famous Loch Ness Monster, but almost nobody knows that in the lake at Bañoles (Girona) there was a monster, a huge dragon to be exact. This dragon demanded a child a day to eat, a child which the inhabitants of the city of Bañoles selected by means of a lottery of the children from the surrounding area. The moment eventually arrived when the people refused to continue with this savage atrocity, and refused to hand over the child to the dragon. After a while, when still no child was provided, the dragon left the lake went into the city and caused hundreds of injuries among the people. So this wouldn’t happen again, the inhabitants once again provided small children to the dragon. The day arrived when they offered up the nephew of san Ermio, who was the founding Saint of the Bañoles monastery. The saint, wearing a consecrated stole, accompanied the child to the bank of the lake and to the jaws of the dragon. When he was close enough to the dragon, he wrapped the consecrated stole around the neck of the dragon, which stunned the dragon and allowed time to drag it to the village where it was tied down and killed with axes.

This story of the dragon of the Bañoles Lake is quite incredible, but who can say whether or not there was once a dangerous animal that lived in the lake and that possibly attacked people and was eventually killed. The only known fact is that over the years various people have disappeared below the waters and their bodies have never been found. Maybe the explanation lies in the whirlpools in the bottom of the lake, and its thick muddy sediment that keeps the drowned captive in the clay depths of this enigmatic lake, or maybe not!

“Mun’Chi” Forget Tai ‘chi or Qi Gong Try the latest exercise in town; Mun’chi. This consists of a variety of hand, foot and leg movements that help to increase the flow of blood to the brain which in turn enhance one’s mental aptitude as well as an individual’s ability to balance. It should be noted that facial expressions and hitherto forgotten vocal exercises are also brought to the fore. It is the latest thing to come out of L’Ampolla in a very long time -perhaps the only thing.

Being not just a recognised Black-paw, but a renowned Strong jaw to boot means your teacher is exceptionally gifted. Let’s face it, what other trainer would ensure that you get the necessary warm up before you even get of your car, just by coming from nowhere and jumping up at the window to give your entire body a vigorous shake. When I say holistic I mean holistic, no part of the body is left idle. The vocal chords are perhaps the first part of the body to be given a lively workout. This, as in most martial arts, is heard by passers by or inquisitive onlookers as a series of grunts, growls, groans at full volume, followed by resigned grumbles. With the voice box fully awakened, the next round of action packed movements can begin. Having received the famous body shake, while still seated in the car, the trainer takes you through the more delicate manoeuvres. These include the leg raise, the arm wave and the fist down, invariably done in that order for reasons of safety. If you’re not sure why, try doing them all at the same time!

In reality, it should be said, this activity is not for the faint hearted and that anyone wishing to train in this highly advanced form of mental, spiritual and physical exercise, should get permission from their doctor….. wife, husband and anyone else who knows them first.. The last part of the sequence is referred to as the “dash”. This can be in any direction, I have been a practitioner of this holistic form but usually towards the house. Some of the of exercise for about eighteen months and students become a little disorientated at this have found that it has, in fact, improved all point and do the “dash” in the direction of areas of my physical well being; mentally I’m their car. When trying to explain this shot, but don’t let that deter you. phenomenon to other students, who are now No special clothing is required, though it master of this exercise programme, I am should be noted that tight fitting clothes don’t always honest and say that Mun’Chi is a create so much of a distraction and are less tough sport with a tough task- master, who likely to end up damaged from the increased takes no prisoners, (those that are taken are weight you have to carry as you pull your buried somewhere in the garden) and gives body forward one leg at a time, while the no quarter (that’s usually eaten). expert holds on to the other to create drag. Finally, if you fancy flexing your muscles, This particular part of the programme is really improving your speed and agility and think one of the most useful for those men willing you are capable of completing this innovative to improve muscle tone and general body exercise programme, just pop round for a cup stamina. This action is more difficult for of tea. Your workout is free on your way in! women, but carrying a hand bag helps (and carrying something in your hands while reduce, or delay, the onset of the bat-wing doing these movements can be extra effect in the upper arm area, by encouraging beneficial) the ladies to constantly move their arms and their handbags above shoulder height, as the strong and agile teacher leaps into the air inspiring the ladies to produce something that Teenage boy calls out to his resembles a Mexican wave.. (If you wish to wear “danglies”, on your head be it; literally!) grandmother:Of course this course comes to you via a highly trained professional that is well practised in encouraging these instinctive bodily reflexes. Do not be fooled by its lack of height or its refusal to speak any recognised language. This is all part of its teaching philosophy.

“Grandma - have you seen my pills they were labelled LSD?”

Grandma:“Never mind your pills, love - have you seen the dragons in the kitchen?”

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 7

LA SALUD ‘Five a day ' The campaign 'Five a day' is an international movement that promotes the eating of fruits and vegetables in the world, and is present in over 40 countries across 5 continents. In Spain it was created by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, under the WHO (World Health Organization) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations), in response to low current consumption of vegetables and fruits.

• Legumes (peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans, beans), nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, etc..) And seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame) do not form part of the group of fruits and vegetables. Simple methods to get your "five a day": All that is needed is to include some vegetables as an ingredient of the first course and / or accompaniment of the latter in the main meals and 3 pieces of fruit each day.

The WHO warns that a low intake of fruits and vegetables causes 2.7 million Example: deaths annually, 30% of heart disease, 20% of gastrointestinal cancers and 10% • Breakfast: a bowl of cereal with milk of brain vascular diseases. • Mid-morning: a pear Fruits and vegetables are foods that are a significant source of a variety of • Lunch: roast chicken with potatoes and salad, orange vitamins (folic acid, C, pro-vitamin A. ...), minerals (potassium, magnesium), • Snack: yogurt water, fibre and antioxidants. Eating fruits and vegetables daily helps to prevent • Dinner: mashed pumpkin, omelettes, kiwi various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as help in the fight against If anyone has any specific dietary questions then please let me know, and I will attempt to help overweight and obesity. "Five a day" is the minimum number of servings of fruits and vegetables we Arancha Coromina should eat each day to enjoy good health and maintain a healthy and balanced Diploma in Human Nutrition and Dietetics diet.

Medical cover in Spain

The 5 portions include:

• 2 vegetable dishes (at least 1 serving raw, since cooking destroys many Over the past few years more and more British people have come to retire or to vitamins and minerals) start a new life here in Spain. Even though you might have everything medically • 3 pieces of fruit daily (minimum 1 citrus: orange, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.).. sorted in the UK it doesn’t mean your safe here. A lot of people don’t realise how important it is to be in the system while living in a different country. However, many people do not know exactly what they mean by five servings. What is a serving size? Are potatoes included? Does everything have to be The quality of the health care in Spain is very efficient. You might wait around fresh? Do you have to eat fruit and vegetables each day? for quite a while even though you have an appointment, but how long would you be on the waiting list in Britain to even get that appointment? It always depends What is a serving? what the problem is and naturally there will always be a complaint somewhere. I have experienced going in to hospital here and I couldn’t fault them at all and 1 serving of vegetables (150 to 200 g raw) is equivalent to one of the following the one thing I noticed the most was that they were extremely clean. They are options: very thorough and careful making sure you are clean and disinfected with • 1 normal dish of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of mixed salad, or 1 aubergine, anything before being operated on or treated. They also keep the hospital clean. 1 courgette, 1 large tomato or 2 onions, 2 carrots, etc.. You may not see that because they do that on a night as I remember while I had 1 serving of fruit (120 to 200 g raw) is equivalent to one of the following options: to stay in. • 1 medium piece of fruit (pear, apple, orange, banana, peach, grapefruit, custard apple, etc.). • 1 large slice of melon, watermelon or pineapple • 2-3 apricots, plums, tangerines, figs etc.. • 1 cup strawberries, cherries, grapes, berries, etc..

In emergencies they do get you as soon as possible to the hospital as any ambulance would and they treat you as soon as they can, but what if, like a lot of Brits here, you live on a rural road without speaking the language? At the moment the best thing to do is to try your best to learn how to say in Spanish, your address or a finding point so that an ambulance can get to you as soon as possible. It would be best if you let neighbours know if you have any current Other considerations: health problems. I am trying to organize a better system to help English speaking • Frozen Fruits and vegetables are also included. Frozen products have a people to get emergency assistance. It’s an on going project and I will inform anyone interested when something is available. nutritional value similar to the fresh, if collected and frozen immediately. • Canned goods are not as desirable as fresh because of the high content of sugar and salt, so it is better to use them as occasional substitutes for fresh or To get your medical cover, which is a small blue and white card that says CAT SALUT on it, you have to go to your local CatSalut centre with an NIE/Passport frozen products. • Pre prepared products can be included, provided they consist of enough fruits and “certificat empadronament” (proof of property owner). The current price for medical cover is 87,34€ which covers the whole family. or vegetables to form a portion, but fresh are preferable. For example, many processed foods do not reach a serving size, such as yoghurt with fruit pieces, prepared sauces, soups, dried fruit or breakfast cereals. • Jams are not considered a serving of fruit, because at least 50% of its content consists of sugar or artificial sweetener, and because the high temperature treatment destroys its vitamins. • Packaged fruit juices are not recommended because of their high sugar content and lack of fibre. Packaged juice is no substitute for a fruit. • Dried fruit (raisins, dates, prunes, etc..) are considered fruit but be aware that, while retaining the fibre and some vitamins and minerals, they lack vitamin C. In addition, with the water removed to promote their conservation, they are higher in calories and sugars, as they are more concentrated. • Potatoes and sweet potatoes are not part of the group of fruits and vegetables as they are very starchy (they are high in carbohydrates) and should be included in the group of tubers. However, other root vegetables that are high in water content and with fewer carbohydrates can be eaten, such as turnips, parsnips and carrots.


Nigel Morton English and Spanish Spoken N.I.E Supplied Tel: 620 353 138

Tortosa and Surrounding areas

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 8

GROWING NICELY In praise of the Aloe family

lots of flowers; but although I searched in vain I couldn’t find anywhere to buy them. Discovering one has to rely on serendipity of random chance encounters or the generosity of friends. My Catalan neighbour laughed at my attempts to buy them, as she handed me an armful of tiny A. arborescens cuttings, she told me, they grow like weeds, if I could be patient, I would have all the flowers I wanted.

Several weeks ago I had an unexpected windfall, literally, passing a heap of dead branches by the roadside, detecting a glint of gold, for amidst the abandoned detritus, there was a sorry looking ‘spiky bit’ sticking out. On closer inspection it turned out to be a large, extremely pot bound Aloe arborescens. The ugly sister to its more famous relation Aloe vera, Like most succulents, they are very easy to propagate, part of the extensive Aloe family, the succulent rooting from every stem, mine flowered in the second members of the Lilly. year and in five or six years they have become quite It was a miserable sight but one full of promise. Once sizable, blending into a flowerbed which is middle split into sections, the roots unravelled, fed, and distance, when viewed from my kitchen window, they watered, I planted them in full view of the entrance go unnoticed until they flower with a brazen “ hey look to our farm. A well deserved place of honour for this at me ” display of brilliant red.

Ideas for Christmas from the garden Miniature Cactus Gardens Miniature cactus gardens look good instantly, are much easier to keep than a house plant and they will grow slowly to fill the container, lasting for years.

It is very rewarding to extraordinary plant, only now, after years of watching take tiny pieces of Last year I planted still more small cuttings, to make these unprepossessing aloe, flower each year, do I cactus or buy little pots another bed of A. arborescens on a far terrace, appreciate their full potential. of cacti which can split beyond my original shrubs; in a few years I hope they into two or three One of the most important aspects of gardening is will provide me with another bank of dramatic red pieces, plant in poor the unspoken language of symbols, for example the flowers to ease the tedium of perpetual washing soil, in an old cooking dish, or large shallow tray, pineapple is used as a symbol of welcome in dishes, all the winter. dressed with gravel, these makes ideal and America. There is also the widely held belief I have always planted, even in the smallest city economical gifts.If the idea of giving cactus is just throughout northern Europe that the acorn will garden, lots of the same plant for maximising dramatic too spiky for you, why not try planting up a small dish protect the house from witches, who hate to enter a effect. When I have the luxury of space and scale I of soft to the touch, succulents such as window or staircase that has the protection of acorns like mass planting. Succulents and cacti give me the Sempervivums, Sedums and Stonecrops, often on the curtain rail or stair post, they are not mere opportunity to be creative, with easily obtainable and growing wild on the land.. decoration but historically a very important element self generating plants that need little or no attention in house security. once in the ground; they allow me to enjoy the Bulbs as a gift that lasts It appears to be a tradition here to plant this resilient pleasure of developing new terraces with minimum Bulbs in unusual containers are always very shrub at the entrance to olive farms or alongside the effort. Yet when they come into their own in the winter, acceptable, car boot sales and various charity stalls stone casita; usually it is their only adornment. I have they flower with maximum effect. provide many opportunities of unusual planters for often wondered whether there is a similar hidden Growing Aloes aborescens in such large numbers has all sorts of different bulbs. symbolic language that the Catalan farmers are encouraged me to explore various types of using. Perhaps they consider this plant special in succulents. It is an excellent way of expanding the I think Freesias are excellent for this climate; I have ways other than its amazing size, strength and ability garden, planning and thinking of concentric circles, managed to get Hyacinths to naturalise for several to withstand the extreme stresses of the away from the water source, which in my case is the years. Miniature daffodils can naturalise and grow environment. If you have any thoughts or knowledge wild in the mountains, but possibly the most house, with its precious cisterna. about this please let me know. spectacular is the Hippeastrum; the one pictured is Last year, I divided a gift plant, of the A. aborescens “H. Apple Blossom” they successfully flower year During the summer months this aloe can sometimes famous sister Aloe vera into lots of tiny plants and after year. look completely dried out; it might lose some of the created a new border which, when viewed from the ragged thin succulent leaves, becoming very untidy, Any Questions? study window has rewarded my time and effort, with and seemingly past all hope of recovery. But the first their delicate apricot or yellow flowers. I mixed a rains soon revive it, bringing it back very quickly, it swathe of Aeonium arboretum, (planting still more tiny We are adding a question/answer section to this makes the most of the dew in the Autumn to produce cuttings), to cut across and between them, they have part of the paper which we hope will develop into the most incredible show of tall elegant (red hot black rosettes, which change from green/ purple to a useful source of information for all. poker type) stems of flowers throughout the Winter. nearly black at this time of year. When the aloes fade, If you have any questions about the plants When we arrived, our land was devoid of any they add interest although I am still waiting for them growing in your garden or that you would like to to produce golden pyramids of flower for which they succulents or cactus. After my heartbreaking first grow, then please write in or email them and we year of trying to plant a garden, I began to see the are famous. Their cousin, the green pinwheel, wisdom of listening to the land and whilst instinctively Aeonium haworthii, flowers regularly with enormous will try to answer them in the next issue. succulents were not my first choice when designing pyramids of tiny yellow flowers that last for months. If relevant, please include a picture and we shall the garden, after a few winters of admiring these Aloe vera has become a household name in recent endeavour to help you. magnificent shrubs in flower, they have changed my years, with its picture on all sorts of packs in the Please email to, or write mind, supermarket. It appears to have turned into an to the main address on the information page. One of the effects I most wanted to create was large advertisers favourite “ eco green” symbol for many Thank you. beds of established Aloe abororescens producing types of manufactured products from soap powder, face creams, even exotic drinks. The A. vera has a long history of association with healing and health giving properties, that goes back to ancient times. It is easy to use the sap which oozes out in a greenish jelly like substance, merely break the leaf. The sap is antiseptic and healing, ideal for small skin ailments. But words of caution though, please make sure that it is only Aloe. vera that you use because there are many other types of aloes and some other succulents especially Agaves will cause a nasty rash.

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 9

BATTLE OF THE EBRO A brief history of Spain and The Battle of the Ebro

the Philippines to the U.S.A. which led to a crisis of confidence in Spain, but even before this the army and the senior officers were When I ask my Catalan friends about the running their eyes over the motherland. Spanish Civil War, it used to be that they changed the subject, they did not wish to talk What you may ask, does this have to do with about a dark area of their past they would the civil war and the battle of the Ebro? It is rather forget. I got the impression that they felt about this time, 1880-90s that the first seeds hurt at my asking as though an old wound was of division and violence were sown. suddenly open and bleeding again, but Communisium and anarchy were beginning to recently when asking younger Catalans the be introduced into Spain and took hold in the same question, I was somewhat amazed and abject poverty of the agricultural areas of taken aback by their willingness to talk about Spain. From this moment on, Spain had an the subject. Everyone I spoke to had a family appointment with destiny. member who had fought or injured or had been The Decade before the Civil War killed in the war, and what is more, they spoke and the events leading up to the freely on the issue without my probing or start of the Spanish Civil War. having to entice them to speak. When they asked me why I had such an interest on the September, 1923 The Director General of matter, my explanation was that history had Catalonia, General Primo de Rivera made a been my favourite subject at school, and that 'pronunciamiento' appointing himself as this later changed to an interest in military dictator. He was respected by both the army, history. I went on to explain that as I found who had seen him fight against corruption myself now living in an area that had within their ranks, (whilst a Captain in the experienced the most decisive battle of the Spanish African Army, he personally shot his Spanish civil war and that as I now had time commanding officer for selling rifles to the on my hands, I could indulge in something that Moroccan tribesmen they were fighting) and I had only previously read about. Yes, I do the liberal middle classes. He brought the have a passion for military history and being UGT, the centralist socialist movement into the able to visit sites of great military value coupled government and gave them the task of setting with such scenic splendour in which the battle up industrial arbitration boards much to the of the Ebro was fought is for me part of the disgust of the employers. However, the fulfilment of my being here in southern anarchists accused the socialists of betraying Catalonia. their principals, the result being that the To fully understand why the battle of the Ebro socialists withdrew from the government. Like was fought you have to understand a little of all dictators he wanted to intervene in all areas the Spanish Civil War and to understand that, of state and beyond. In doing so he made you have to understand the events leading up political enemies who wished to do away with to the dark days of 1936-39. You can, if you wish, go back to the Roman period, for when the Romans left Spain and the Visigoths invaded, plundered and destroyed, things took a turn for the worst. Indeed, the 800years that the Moors ruled Spain, with their knowledge of mathematics, algebra, astrology and the use of water for irrigation, propelled the peninsular onto the then cutting edge of technology, but the Spaniards became united and fought the Moors out of Spain. Independence but at a cost and that cost led up to the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsion of the Jews, again a backward step for the Spanish nation. A period of enlightenment in the 17th century faded almost as soon as it started. Napoleon tried his luck in ruling Spain by placing his brother-in-law on the throne, only to be defeated by the Spaniards with a little help from a man called Wellesley who later fought a battle at Waterloo with such success that he changed his name! The conquests of South America began to slip away as sand slips through the fingers of the hand. In the late 1800s, Spain lost Cuba and

12th April 1931 onwards - Municipal elections, 46 of 50 provincial capitals declared for a republic. A new constitution - Article 26 removes Catholicism as the official religion. Article 26 went on to forbid religious orders from teaching, no Catholic burials except at night, and no religious processions or bell ringing. This angered the religious right wing and set into being the determination of the right to bring down the government at the earliest opportunity. The government promised land ownership reform, and gave voting rights to women They also attempted to reform the army which had become top heavy and offered to retire officers on full pay. Although many took up this offer, they just moved on to the reserve list. Corruption in the armed forces was rife, with food and equipment for the lower ranks was sold off. The Government set up a new paramilitary force called the Asaltos to counterbalance the Civil Guard. Had they disbanded the Civil Guard they could perhaps

have avoided the looming conflict. Catalonia in the meantime, declared that it would become a republic within a federal state with its own language (this had been banned during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera) Overall, this period became known as the 2nd Republic, 'la nina bonita' - the beautiful child. 14th April 1931 - King abdicates. End of Bourbon dynasty. Throughout 1931/32 political strife brought threats from the military. The General in charge of the Civil Guard was Sanjurjo who in 1936 was the main instigator of the military uprising. Even at this time he was plotting a coup d' etat, which when he declared in August, 1932, failed miserably. He was sentenced to death with the sentence later being commuted to life imprisonment. He was later released from prison and immediately began plotting for a further coup d' etat which resulted in the civil war. Open revolt breaks out in Andalucia; it is brutally crushed by the Civil Guard. On the 20th of November, 1932, elections in Catalonia swept into power the left wing Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, further antagonising the right wing who were fearful of a break up of Spain

the dictatorship and even the monarchy, they wanted nothing but a republic. In early 1930 he asked the army to reassure him of their support, but this was not forthcoming. He tendered his resignation to King Alfonso on the 28th of January and left Spain for exile in France. He died in Paris late February 1930. One of his legacies to the future of Spain was his son, Jose Antonia who went on to lead the ultra right wing Falange party whose members allied themselves with Franco in the coming November 1933 New elections bring about a catastrophe. right wing parliament. Many laws of the

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 10

BATTLE OF THE EBRO previous government were repealed; rightwing political prisoners pardoned and Sanjurjo brought back from exile. In Andalusia, and Catalonia communist membership soars. The anarchists and the left wing make demands in Barcelona and fighting breaks out. The army is sent in to quell the violence. There is more unrest over the agrarian (agricultural land ownership) problem, violence erupts in Andalusia. In January, 1934, the socialist declared that there would be no harmony, just class war. Verbal rhetoric reached fever pitch, fanning the flames of hatred. Laws passed by the previous government granting safeguards to agricultural worker were struck off the statute. Land reform came to a halt. In October a general strike was called with the intention of bringing down the government. The strike had been badly planned, with the organisers hoping for the support of the police and the army. When this did not materialise, the government arrested the strike leaders. Catalonia declares itself a Republic and the government as no choice but to send in the army, declaring a state of war. Luis Companys, the President of Catalonia, was arrested and later sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. Martial law is declared throughout Spain. There is further unrest followed by open revolt in northern Spain with the rebels attacking police stations and local government buildings. An estimated 30,000 people took part in the revolt which was a kind of civil war restricted to the northern section of Spain. The government asks the head of the army, General Franco to quell the revolt. This was carried out ruthlessly by all sections of the armed forces including the Civil Guard who were brutal in their treatment of prisoners. Spain found itself staring into the abyss that in a few short months would devour the entire state. January 1936 The right wing parliament looses credibility and parliament is dissolved. Spain is lead by a caretaker parliament until new elections can be held. Because of the way the parliamentary system worked in Spain, the left wing won an absolute majority with only 150, 000 votes ahead out of the 10 million votes cast. There is widespread unrest and violence throughout the land. The army revolt started in Spanish Morocco on the evening of the 17th of July 1936. Spain was now at war with itself. The Battle of the Ebro ---The preceding events, January onwards 1938 The western side of the Ebro was occupied in the spring of 1938 by Nationalist troops after the Battle of Teruel which had been fought in the coldest winter Spain had experienced in many years. This was followed by the defeat

of the Republican army in Aragon and led to a retreat dictated only by the need of the Nationalist forces to rest. By crossing the Ebro, the Republican army had a natural defence line but with little resistance on the western side of the river, the Nationalist forces swept all in front of them in their race to the sea. On March the 24th, Italian forces fighting on the Nationalist side took control of Gandesa, then went on to take the west bank of Tortosa after a fierce defence by Listers 11th Division. A division of Carlist troops reached Vinaroz and the open sea on the 15th of April (Good Friday). This effectively cut the 2nd Republic in two; Catalonia was now adrift from the rest of Republican Spain. This 'neck' of land was slowly widened in the direction of Valencia City until the Nationalist were halted by heavily fortified defences, the 'xyz' line. However, during this period, the Government had per

Ebro. This offensive went better than expected and encouraged Franco to give more support to the action, the date was the 19th of July, just a few days before the Republican Army's planned offensive over the Ebro. In the meantime, General Yague, in charge of the Nationalist 50th Division had ordered that the river line was to be held with the minimum of force, holding reserves back in case of a Republican attack, which was thought of as highly unlikely after the rout the Republicans suffered in Aragon. However, as a safe guard all bridges were blown and the river fords were protected with barbed wire and machine gun posts. The rest of the 50th division was split into small units and placed at strategic points throughout the area. On the 13th of July, he ordered that concrete blockhouses be built. This order came too late, building work had not been started by the commencement of the battle, his thin line of defence relied on small camouflaged gun emplacements alongside the river. Everything along the front was quiet. To be continued in the January edition of the Catalunya Chronicle. The next full day tour of the Battle of the Ebro taking in sites of historic interest, including the awe inspiring Hill 705 will be held in mid to late February, 2010. The day will consist of visits to at least 5 memorial sites commerating the battle, a museum visit, Lunch at the hotel Pique in Gandesa and a fully detailed brochure. The price is â‚Ź22 per person fully inclusive. Tours are restricted to a max. of 40 people.`You are advised to book early, previous tours have sold out early. For further details see or contact by

phone 677 14 29 26 or 977 45 72 59 suaded the French to open the border for arms shipment and between March and June, 25,000 tons of armaments were shipped across the border. A new army was raised in Catalonia (the Army of the Ebro) and the call up was extended to 16 year olds, the so called 'baby bottle brigade'- quinta del biberon. In all, 12 new divisions were formed, armed and equipped. The objective of the forthcoming battle was to relieve the pressure on Valencia and to buy time for the Republic. War clouds were building over Europe and if France and England were brought into conflict with Germany and Italy, surely they would ally themselves with the Republic. Franco underestimated the Republican's strength in Catalonia and turned his attention to the west and onto Estremadura when an attack by his forces, by pure chance, preempted a planned Republican offensive timed to coincide with the coming assault across the

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 11

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF KEEPING FIT AND STAYING HEALTHY Nature’s secret weapon: Vinegar A good and healthy body needs sufficient sleep, a well-balanced diet, the correct amount of exercise and a positive attitude to life. As well as drinking lots of water daily, a teaspoon of vinegar a day can really help to keep the doctor away! Vinegar, especially cider vinegar, helps to adjust the body’s metabolism, keeping it in good working order and fighting off any infections. Containing the mineral, potassium, needed by the body to promote healthy cells and tissues, a little vinegar in the diet keeps any bacteria away. Bacteria require moisture to grow and take it from the body cells; if there is sufficient potassium in each body cell, the cells will draw the moisture away from the bacteria, thus keeping us healthy. Vinegar has been an cure-all potion for many years. The Roman and Greek sea-farers used it to treat scurvy and it has been used as an antiseptic for wounds for ages. When man began experimenting with different herbs and liquids, this acidic liquid, obtained from the fermentation of alcohol, was used widely. In Persia, a drink of lime and vinegar was said to help remove fat. The legionnaires drank it and when the Black Plague struck Europe, people wore masks, soaked in vinegar, over their mouths to prevent infection. Since man first began to harvest his vegetables and herd animals, vinegar was used to preserve the food by pickling, so it could be preserved and kept for longer periods. Now, I use it as a household cleaner. It’s brilliant for loos, windows and marble, removing mould and mildew as well as helping soothe any mosquito bites! Arthritis sufferers are advised to take a teaspoon of cider vinegar daily with water and as well as cleansing the blood, and apparently it can help insomniacs. A wonderful condiment with the superb olive oil we produce here, make it a must on any dining table. Flavoured vinegars can be made from red or white wine, or a ready made white wine vinegar, using seasonal fruit and vegetables, a few sprigs of local herbs, such as tarragon or rosemary and even adding a lime, orange or lemon for that extra kick.

Work Out: try and fit a 30 minute workout in your daily schedule. If this is too much, try doing it in three 10 minute bursts instead. You should still get the same health and fat-burning benefits. Chew: Make sure you chew every bite of your food thoroughly. It will slow down the rate that you eat up, giving your tummy time to register you're full. Walk: Leave the car at home and walk. And then walk faster! Not only will a brisk walk "up" your energy levels, it's a good sign that you're healthy. The faster you can walk, the more likely you are to bounce back from any illness. Talk: Talk yourself up. Make up a mantra to repeat to yourself on days when you are feeling not so lively. Try - "I'm losing weight and getting fitter and feeling better".

Good Luck!


So there you go; never underestimate the power of vinegar! Condiment, cleanser, preservative or used for medical purposes – make sure you always have some in! WATER AND TOTAL FITNESS It is essential to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day in order to maintain a healthy body and if you want to lose weight. As water accounts for a majority of our body composition, we must drink plenty of pure, fresh water daily. To transform your body and achieve your fitness goals, drink water during exercise to replenish fluids to enhance the results of your workout. Water has lots of benefits too; for instance, it takes the edge of hunger, it cleanses your system, flushing out fibre, it regulates body temperature (we need to drink even more in hot climates), preventing dehydration; water carries the waste products and removes excess fluids out of your body. So, with plenty of water in our system, we can now start to feel better, think more easily and with these few tips below, we can start to look fit and healthy too! Stand Tall : stand tall with your head up and your shoulders down and back will open up your chest and allow you to breathe freely and feel more energised. Slouching and poor posture can make you look heavier than you actually are. Shower: A quick cold shower will wake up your body by giving it a gentle shock and forcing the blood away from your skin and towards your vital organs. Guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and energised. Smile : Every time you pass your reflection, smile! Negative thoughts and feelings really drain your energy levels and make you feel down - could lead to comfort eating. Smiling at yourself and at others sends positive signals to your brain.

Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while travelling in France ): "If I register my car in France , do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?"

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 12

DEPORTES Catalunya Chronicle Sport’s Page with Welcome to the Catalunya Chronicle’s new monthly sports page where we’ll bring you a monthly overview of the sporting world that’s most relevant primarily to Catalunya (although we’ll be leaving out match reports from Tortosa’s latest clash with FC L’Ampolla) but also to Spain in general. I can’t believe it’s not Barça.... FC Barcelona have had a good start to the 2009/10 season with, at the time of going to press, 8 wins, 2 draws and no losses, seeing them top La Liga just ahead of arch rivals Real Madrid. However the big ‘six pointer’ against Madrid is being played on 29 November and may well prove to be a pivotal stage of the season. What’s more immediately worrying for Barça is their lacklustre performance in the Champions League against rank outsiders, and a team that sound more like a Sacha Baron Cohen character than a football team, FC Rubin Kazan. The Catalan giants were held to a nil-nil away draw to the Russian side leaving them with an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout phase of the competition. Currently lying 3rd in the competition’s tightest group, Barça have it all to do with a home tie against Inter Milan on 24 November and the final group match away to Dynamo Kiev on December 9. The car in-front isn’t a Toyota...

increasingly being seen as a world event with foreign entries almost equal to Spanish nationals in 2009. If you can take your mind off the aching confirmation of F1’s worst kept secret that legs and sore nipples for more than a few minutes it’s not hard to see why, as the route takes you Fernando Alonso will be joining Ferrari. through all the best bits of one of Europe’s most Spain will no doubt see a surge of interest in the beautiful cities. sport next year because of Alonso’s move combined with Ferrari’s expected return to form. Marató de Barcelona takes place on March 7th But despite a new driver and increased 2010 and starts with a jog up towards Plaça performance Ferrari will face stiff competition from Espanya taking runners on a quick loop including fellow big hitters McLaren and 2009 surprise the Nou Camp stadium before heading east along performers Brawn and Red Bull. There’s also Gran Via and onwards past La Sagrada Familia. expected to be an announcement from crash- The route then heads south towards the sea and cheats Renault regarding their level of involvement comes back into the centre via Parc de la for 2010 plus rumours of a new British based team. Ciutadella, Plaça Catalunya and La Rambla before a last dash for the finish line back where it all began The Grand Prix of Catalunya takes place on 9 May 26 miles and 385 yards ago! with the Grand Prix of Europe in Valencia on 27 Those up for the challenge can register at June. for a cost of €45 which MotoGP Finale in Valencia not only includes the most exhausting day’s sightseeing of your life but the pre-race pasta party Valencia held the final race of the MotoGP season held on the evening before the race. on 8 November and despite the title having Results from the Davis Cup final between Spain already been claimed by and the Czech Republic which takes place in Valentino Rossi, the Barcelona on 4,5 & 6 December. Spanish weren’t going to can see this article at let the Italian steal all the You limelight - and Dani including all relevant Pedrosa proved the links. Tickets for all major sporting events, point by taking the lead including FC Barcelona tickets, La Liga tickets & from the start. He was Grand Prix tickets are also available online at joined on the podium by the world champion in second, and fellow Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo, in third. Pedrosa’s victory left him finishing the season in third ahead of Casey Stoner who went out of the race on the warm up lap. It’s a Marathon not a sprint...

With the embers of the 2009 Grand Prix season The Barcelona Marathon has been gaining in still glowing there’s been plenty of speculation over popularity over the last few years and, although next season’s runners and riders with the not quite up there with London and New York, is announcement of Toyota’s withdrawal and the

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Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle? Why is bra singular and panties plural? Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery?" Why do buffalo wings taste like chicken? Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground? Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do...write to these men? Why don't they just put their pictures on postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they delivered the mail? Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 13

REVIEWS "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert We have probably all been Expats for a number of years now and presume we have read every book on 'Living the Dream'. And relocation tales have been regaled over many a glass of good red Spanish wine. But this book is different. In fact, it is almost three books in one. Each section intelligently scribed with 36 chapters a piece. It is pleasantly and enchantingly written and oh, so engagingly different from all the others I have read. Elizabeth's journey is an extraordinary and intriguing story. Right from the beginning she bears her soul so openly and with such honesty as we share her pain in making a decision to "move on" in her life - to break away from her home comforts, her marriage and a lifestyle she had fought to achieve as a career person. Her desire to learn a foreign language. Not just any one, but her passion to conquer the verbs and foibles of the romance language of Italy. She writes of her stays in Italy with such exuberance, delighting at the simplest of things in the culture that envelops her as she explores more and more into the "real" Italy and heart searching moments to find peace, contentment and to put the bays of depression forever out of her mind. She makes friends easily and you can taste every morsal as she describes so eloquently the cuisine she embraces. Those 36 tales about the Pursuit of Pleasure leads into a further 36 tales about the Pursuit of Devotion in India. Her attachment to Yoga and her devotee to her Guru takes her to new heights, new experiences and new and deeper thoughts, which she shares so beautifully and honestly with us, the reader, while still maintaining a sense of wit, intelligence and entertainment. This follows onto another 36 tales and mystical dreams about the Pursuit of Balance in Indonesia and where she too finds her soul mate Felipe and it is quite ironic that she ends this book with the comment that the "only Romance language Felipe doesn't happen to speak is Italian." A truly pleasurable read from a fine author, to be enjoyed by men and women alike! Rosie Reay

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English Spoken

For some time now, I have been wanting to organize a dinner party for all the friends I have known throughout my life. Wouldn’t it be great? Sadly, these days most people are so busy with very little time to spare. So, finally I decided to do something about it. We had to get back in touch, catch up with each other, tell some stories and remember the old days. It was going well, everyone was enthusiastic but we needed to find a special place to go, somewhere where we could all meet up together, which had good service and was fairly priced. I was asking around when a good friend suggested the Bar Mercat in Camarles, where he had last been to eat with friends. He said that they specialized in these sorts of events. They had their own bar to organize private dinners for groups of friends, business meetings, families, or just people who wanted to eat alone in their own ‘private’ restaurant fro the night. The idea seemed a good one and I had no doubt that when I called in at the Bar Mercat, it would be the right choice. All I had to let them know the date, the number of people who would be attending, and what sort of food we would like to eat. They specialise in all types of seafood, fideuas and paellas, all of which is freshly prepared for you, and you can choose exactly what you would like to eat. We could have a good meal in relaxed surroundings and have a really fantastic time. Imagine a restaurant to yourselves with a high level of personal service, eating just the food you would like, with no waiting around. Perfect All this without any additional cost of renting a bar, etc, etc. And best of all....the price!! Really good value. Now you know where to go, when you want to go out for something to eat, with the best service and price, The Bar Mercat in Camarles, where you can be assured of it being your best choice!!!!!

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 14







1 A benefit, gain energy (4) 3 A mat that can help control a small rodent (5,3) 9 A part of a broadcast serial (7) 10 Mammal that lives in a holt (5) 11 Article of clothing, carries with a type of cooked potato (6,6) 14 Buddy, mixed circuit of a track (3) 16 Crooked we ask all awry (5) 17 A long thin scarf that could constrict (3) 18 VIP Organiser sometimes appearing to be too zealous in applause (12)


21 Part of the shin I add to bait (5) 22 A horned race, drunkenly skiving (7) 23 Comes before (8)


24 Flag or part of the eye (4)

1 The exercises surprisingly suppress (5-3) 2 Odd-toed ungulate (5) 4 The square of itself is the same as it's root (3) 5 Drink that could hinder a beater at day's end (6,6) 6 Leaf vegetable cooked pert hob (7) 7 Not 'rubio', absence of light or illumination (4)



































19 This type of circle would be privy to information unknown to others (5)








20 Part of a pipe organ, post out of order (4)




22 Seek or strive for the same thing as someone else (3)




15 Adorable found in solvable ignoring head of state (7)

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 15

POT-POURRI Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My work in the UK was as psychotherapist specialising in Post Traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD).Working with survivors and the bereaved with such issues as murder, extreme physical and sexual violence,rape, torture, violent robbery, terrorist bombings and also working with survivors of concentration camps and the children of Japanese P.O.W.`s. I was invited to make a presentation to the Home Office on my work with the 1999 bombings of Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho, along with those who had worked with other major incidents such as Piper Alpha, Lockabie, Dunblane and air, rail and football stadium disasters. In my research for this presentation two things became clear. The first was a lack of a national PTSD incident service able to meet the needs of major incidents resulting in large numbers of physical and psychological casualties. Secondly and equally important, was the national failure to recognise the extent of the major causes of PTSD and the resulting damage to both individuals and the fabric of everyday life in society; (EG. Post Vietnam, more American soldiers have committed suicide than were killed in combat.) When one thinks of PTSD one immediately thinks of war and major disasters but the commonest causes are little acknowledged. Primarily, they are domestic violence including violent and sexual abuse of children, road accidents, fire, injuries at home and at work and traumas’ resulting from sudden major illness, diagnoses of life threatening diseases and surgical interventions to mention a few.(The latter, for a significant proportion of those of us who have chosen Cataluña as our new home are of an age where the likelihood of such an eventuality is greater rather than less.) Not to mention those affected in their work for the emergency services. Although here the context in which a traumatic event has a considerable effect on the possibility of a PTSD response. The more control a person has in the event e.g. a paramedic responding to a road accident the less likely the possibility of a PTSD response. Conversely the less

control, e.g. the victim of the road accident the greater In many instances people experience many of these the risk of a PTSD response. symptoms concurrently to a degree that have become or seem to be an integral part of their Another factor in PTSD is the ‘archaeological’. The personality and behaviour pattern. Often the layering of traumatic experiences in a persons life, symptoms of PTSD do not appear immediately after where earlier experiences maybe ‘forgotten’ or the traumatic, perhaps years pass before they repressed, with no affect but a later and seemingly impact, and additionally the symptoms incrementally minor incident may combine with and reactivate the increase in their intensity so that it is almost earlier unacknowledged experiences with impossible for the person or those close to them to devastating effects. make the connection between current behaviour and past experiences of traumatic incident/s. People affected by PTSD may respond by denying or suppressing their reactions and often Diagnosis brings with another set of problems. Issues inappropriately self treating with alcohol or drug use, such as creating a victim identity, encouraging false to cope with the disturbing symptoms, anxieties and memories, confusing symptoms of PTSD with mental fears. health issues and or symptoms of organic illnesses. The best approach to diagnosis is one that makes no Where the traumatic event/s are in a social context assumptions for some may experience a traumatic e.g. domestic violence rather than as a result of war event without developing PTSD and to take a holistic or disaster. Often it is very difficult for people to self approach looking at the persons whole life; historical, diagnose their experiences as being traumatic, physical, psychological and emotional. especially so for children who are either a direct victim of violence and abuse or a witness to violence. If you feel that you have experienced or know someone who has experienced a traumatic event that Further, there is an aspect of trauma which is not has or is resulting in a PTSD response you may wish acknowledged by the courts which I call toxic to use the internet (which is an excellent source) to traumatisation over time. That is there are not one investigate further. But take great care when self but sometimes hundreds of traumatic experiences diagnosing not to jump to conclusions rather see it particularly with domestic violence (and also for those as a useful starting point which may help in the who work in the emergency services.) And whilst process of making sense of both the past and each traumatic experience may not be overwhelming present. the accumulation is often devastating. However if a number of you wish to explore this issue Perhaps the most difficult aspect for treating post in greater depth, and would like to know more then traumatic stress is when it has become buried deep please email the Cataluña Chronicle and I would be into the fabric of the person. And the range of happy to give a talk in the near future. symptoms can be extremely varied. We are all familiar with those of combat veterans, hyper- Sarah A. Massie vigilance, flashbacks, nightmares, depression. But there are other symptoms which can be very difficult to identify as resulting from PTSD e.g. inappropriate risk taking, sexual promiscuity and sexual risk taking, inappropriate use of alcohol and drugs, difficulties in making and maintaining relationships, disturbed sleep patterns, unspecified fears, a sense of unease ( that often are unconsciously linked to some aspect of the trauma. Low tolerance of stress resulting in irritation with accompanying inappropriate verbal violence and sometimes escalating into physical aggression.

My Grandma has false teeth - I don´t really like the look of her when she takes them out.

Grandparents Rule SOME QUOTES FROM GRANDCHILDREN for all the grandparents out there!

Grandma cooks the best roast dinners.

Your Granny loves you, whatever you do.

My Grandmother makes lots of cakes and lets me put the decorations on top.

My Granny is a knitting machine. A Grandmother never tells us lies. When some grannies shake your hand, they put 50 pence in your hand too! Some grandmas are small and some are big. They come in all sizes really.

Grandad grows lovely raspberries and always pretends not to notice us pinching them. My Grandfather always falls to sleep after eating a big dinner. My Grandad is 86 years old and has a special driving licence, swims in ice cold lakes and likes to walk everywhere.

My Grandad can fix anything.

I love the magic my Grandad does; he can make sweets appear from behind my ears!

My Grandad pretends he has a lollypop tree.

Grandparents are always nice, kind, cheerful, jolly and laugh a lot.

Grandpa is over 40 and under 90

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 16

A MEDLEY Going Underground... A list of actual announcements that London Tube train drivers have made to their passengers... * "Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologize for the delay to your service. I know you're all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you'll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction."

5th Annual


* "Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I'll let you know any further information as soon as I'm given any."

Featuring the Decibels Choir

* "Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. The bad news is that there is a points failure somewhere between Stratford and East Ham, which means we probably won't reach our destination."

Friday 11th December 8 p.m.

* "Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for the foreseeable future, so let's take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now.... 'Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall.....'." * "We are now travelling through Baker Street ... As you can see, Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don't think about things like that". * "Beggars are operating on this train. Please do NOT encourage these professional beggars. If you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity. Failing that, give it to me." * During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver announced in a West Indian drawl: "Step right this way for the sauna, ladies and gentleman... Unfortunately, towels are not provided." * "Let the passengers off the train FIRST!" (Pause .) "Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care I'm going home...." * "Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with 'Please hold the doors open.' The two are distinct and separate instructions." * "Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors." * "We can't move off because some idiot has their hand stuck in the door." * "To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage - what part of 'stand clear of the doors' don't you understand?" * "Please move all baggage away from the doors." (Pause..) "Please Move ALL belongings away from the doors." (Pause...) "This is a personal Message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the rear of the train: Put the pie down, Four-eyes, and move your bloody golf clubs away from the door Tech Support: "OK. In the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?" Customer: "Wow. How can you see my screen from there?"

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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 17

WHAT’S IN A WORD? By Helen Rowe

After a difficult transaction, “ Too dear we win little commission” So after a few moments I worked out that he was telling me that the commission was small against the amount of work involved. I explained the difference between win as in gambling and earning through working. Maybe he has it right as the bureaucratic process here is like a lottery!

My heart goes out to those struggling to learn English, How much we take for granted the different sounds or spelling of words. Now the poem below says it all especially the last line, I am so glad I learned it as a child.

Anyone who works with the general public will know that every emotion possible can be felt……Amazing , amusing, astonishing, adorable, bizarre, boring, baffling, beautiful or I Take It You Already Know... benign this is just a start to describe the spectrum. Now add in the different languages Of tough and bough and cough and dough. used just to confuse the situation. You hear Here is a favourite: my mother in love sleeps Catalan but are more often than not spoken to Others may stumble, but not you, in Spanish. Then there are those who just love with us meaning my mother-in-law lives with us. On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through. to practise their English on you. Then have you ever tried to teach your own language? My colleague a Catalan man thinks it is such a colourful and descriptive language as he asks me to explain something in English. When I can use three or more different words to describe the same thing I do just to amuse Both can be hilarious. So here are some him, or is it to confuse him, a bit of both I reckon! He loves the expression “sleeping examples: policeman” for traffic calming, I think he Why, the locals love fireworks so much, I am images policemen laying in the road! surprised that they do not celebrate the 5th For some spelling comes easy, not me. I bless November! the spell check on my computer and am I love the family traditions here it’s like England embarrassed when I think of the first time I was years ago but I wish the shops were open used it some years ago. This took along time on Sundays. to live down. I had written a 20 page training manual to be circulated nationally for the I have 17,000 litres in my bolsa (handbag) I charity I worked for. It was proof read by many hope she meant a bassa her water storage and corrections done. I hit the button to send tank! Beats the kitchen sink I carry around in it to the printers, a very new concept from my bag.…… downloading onto disks and posting it. Some how I hit a key before I sent it which put back We have a large caseta? into the document the last correction, this My husband amused the ladies in the butchers would not have been so bad if it had not by finishing his order of meat by asking for change the word throughout the entire thing some bones of a dog! and the word was very commonly used……The objective had been replace to Then you have the use of English…… read objection. Needless to say this was You look tired; yes I had a bad night with lots discovered by many in fact a possible 1200 could read a copy! This was pinned above my of “nighthorses” desk with many other comments! Then at a formal dinner to call your wife a female dog when you think you are calling her Eye have run this righting threw it a witch can lead to some raised eyebrows! Eye am shore your pleased two no I will divide the areas of communication into two. 1. English to English living in a foreign country. 2. Other nationalities communicating in English as their second language.

You say I say……what he means is will you It's letter perfect awl the weigh tell me or I will tell you! My checker tolled me sew. I am late there was a pervert of traffic!

RAC Motoring Services Caller: Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia ?

Well done! And now you wish, perhaps, To learn of less familiar traps. Beware of heard, a dreadful word That looks like beard and sounds like bird. And dead - it's said like bed, not bead. For goodness sake, don't call it deed! Watch out for meat and great and threat. They rhyme with suite and straight and debt. A moth is not a moth in mother, Nor both in bother, broth in brother, And here is not a match for there, Nor dear and fear for pear and bear. And then there's dose and rose and loose Just look them up - and goose and choose. And cork and work and card and ward. And font and front and word and sword. And do and go, then thwart and cart. Come, come, I've hardly made a start. A dreadful language? Man alive. I'd mastered it when I was five! -Anonymous


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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 18

MASCOTAS Do NOT use the "Scalibor" collar on cats!!! The ingredients are not safe for felines.

CATZ & DOGZ External Parasites: Ticks Fall has arrived, and with it the tick season. Though around all year, here in the mild climates of Spain ticks come out more during the fall and rainy summer days. Ticks are small spider-like creatures that live off of the blood of a host, such as our cats and dogs. They lay in wait in high grasses, bushes, and trees (yes, our abundant olive trees) preying on our unsuspecting pets. Ticks bury their heads into the skin and feed until they have become a large round ball (about the size of a pea) at which point they release themselves and disappear until their next feeding. Though these parasites can and will attach themselves to any part of your pets body, they prefer the head and neck area, and hide under the armpits and between the toes.

Tick Removal The one and only correct way to remove a tick that has already buried it's head into the skin, is to pull it out straight. It is well worth your while to invest a few Euro in a special tick removal tool widely available at grocery stores, petstores, farmacies, etc. These special type of tweezers allow you to grab a hold of the tic and pull it out entirely, without loosing the head, squooshing it's body, or ripping it off in pieces, which is usually the case when using regular tweezers or other methods.

Do not twist or turn this parasite clockwise or counter clockwise or any other way. Do not put glue or alcohol on the tick or use any other type of removal method which you have heard through the grapevine at some point or another. These methods cause the tick to release the potentially harmful bacteria into your pets bloodstream, or the head to break off and stay under Like most parasites, ticks in the skin leading to infection. themselves aren't exactly harmful to Hopefully, with this information the ticks will have less of an impact on you our pets. A few ticks on an otherwise and your pets this year, so you can both enjoy this beautiful season. healthy adult pet normally shouldn't be a problem. In young, old, or weak A Night to Remember? This atrocity could have been animals though, ticks can quickly avoided. cause anemia leading to death. Some ticks can be carriers of certain I read with horror and outrage the article in the first edition of this bacteria that can cause diseases paper entitled “A night to remember”. This must be one of the worst such as Lyme and Babesiosis. These blood diseases ARE harmful to our ways an owner can lose a dog. If you’re lucky you may not see your pets, and are the main reason why we should try to prevent these parasites dog suffer the terrible slow painful death that follows most poisoning. from taking hold.

My deepest sympathies go out to all involved

Other than the fact that most of us probably also don't want to play with the possibility of the tick releasing itself inside our living quarters and hanging out there until possibly choosing us for their next host. So what can you do to protect your pet from tics? Well, there is a wide variety of brand and generic products, in all price classes, and with varying effectiveness. They come in the form of sprays, drops for external use in the neck, and collars, and each method has it's pro's and con's. Try them out and see what works best for you and your pet. On the internet you can find information on the use of natural remedies as well. Though be careful with feeding garlic to cats as this can be fatal. A word of caution for cat owners: There has been some research evidence suggesting that tick collars can cause cancer in cats. Cats can easily strangle themselves in tick collars, since they do not have quick-release systems, and are too sturdy to break if the cat gets caught on something. If a young kitten gets lost, there is no one around to readjust the size of the collar as the kitten grows. In my experience I have found that the most effective tick prevention for cats is to simply check the animal on a daily basis and promptly removing any ticks. If your cat suffers from tick infestations of more than 3 parasites at a time, or a recurrence of 3 or more tics per day, you might want to give the product Frontline a try. It's tick protection is actually only effective for about 2 weeks though, and retreating at short intervals makes it a pricy hobby, probably isn't too healthy on a long term basis, nor much fun for the cat. If possible, you should try to treat or remove the cause of such infestations which is usually a specifically bushy or grassy tick-friendly area that your cat likes to hang out in. For dogs, the "Scalibor" tick collar works well. Available at most veterinary clinics and some pet stores, its effectiveness lasts for about 6 months. It's waterproof so that it continues working even if you treat your dog to a refreshing ocean swim in the summer. Though I have seen many a tick crawl across the fur of my short-haired dogs after a stroll through some brush, not one has ever actually attached itself.

This is not an isolated incident. I have heard of several cases of poisoning in this area over the last few years. Usually dogs are poisoned so that crooks can access your property undetected or disturbed to carry out robberies. However, this incident involving over 20 dogs being poisoned sounds like a senseless and callous act of cowardice. Because this is such a huge problem I have trained all my own dogs to not accept food from anybody else. Also, the dogs are trained to not pick up any food, bones, etc. found on the property. All dogs, from lapdog to guard dog, regardless of age, breed, temperament, etc. can be trained Please get your dog trained. Don’t delay, it could be your dog next.

KATCH-A-KROOK- K9s Specializing in Security and Personal Protection Dogs. All dogs are food refusal trained, family friendly, fully vaccinated, micro chipped and passported. Behavioural problems, training and boarding services also available. Mobile:- 665258107

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 19

LA COMIDA Christmas - Spanish Style.

Christmas Red Cabbage

1 kg red cabbage, shredded Olive oil for frying 4 cloves of garlic 60 gm Xistorra, or chorizo crumbled 100 gm belly pork or pancetta, diced The dinner itself would be a five course affair, with a vegetable or salad Splash of wine vinegar dish to start, followed by a light fish course. A meat dish such as chicken or steak to follow, and then the ubiquitous Cook the cabbage in boiling water for about dessert, involving cream, with maybe some sweet biscuits to round ten minutes before draining. Fry the garlic, pork and chorizo until starting to colour and everything off. then add the cabbage, stirring well. The centrepiece of our own version of a Spanish Christmas Day lunch was a roast chicken stuffed with ham and olives as per the recipe Allow to simmer for at lest 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a splash below, which ensured that the chicken was moist and had taken on of vinegar, and allow to simmer for another five minutes - it should an incredible flavour from the stuffing. Served with roast potatoes and have a creamy consistency to it. braised red cabbage, we also paid lip-service to the English Christmas Serve hot. dinner by including sprouts and bacon-wrapped sausages.

Traditionally, in Spain, the main Christmas meal is on Christmas Eve - La Nochebuena, and is followed by the whole family trooping off to Mass - La Misa del Gallo or Cock Mass. Midnight is when a cock was supposed to have first crowed at night on Christmas Eve.

I am looking forward to cooking it again this year. Roast Chicken with Ham and Olive Stuffing 1.35 kg chicken An onion, finely chopped Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped Olive Oil 6 Green Olives, stoned and chopped 60 g Serrano ham, or similar, chopped A tablespoon of chopped parsley 50 g breadcrumbs One egg Splash of wine vinegar Splash of Spanish Brandy 100 ml water

(Both these recipes serve 4 people.) Make it easy, easy on a Christmas morning Smoked salmon pate. Serves 4-6 people Mix 2 jars of salmon pate with 1 tub of cream cheese ( salmon flavour or plain ) season with a little black pepper to taste then add chopped smoked salmon, chill for at least half an hour or you can make the day before. Serve with a little salad of your choice, lemon slices and toast or brown bread and butter or the brown bread and butter rolled up with asparagus ( this would need to be chilled for half an hour ) If you want to make it a little more special then wrap a spoonful of the pate up in a slice of smoked salmon and scatter a few prawns over and sit a dollop of mayo on the side. For starters or the buffet table

Fry the onion and garlic on a low heat until soft, but not coloured and Ham rolls add the olives, ham and parsley until it has warmed through. Stir in Mix 1 tub of plain cream cheese with chopped pineapple then place a the egg and breadcrumbs and allow the mixture to become of a good spoonful on a slice of ham and roll up, serve with salad of your choice. ‘stuffing consistency’. Beef rolls Stuff the chicken with it, and smear the bird all over with the olive oil Mix 1 tub of plain cream cheese with creamed horseradish, to taste before putting it into a 200°C (pre-warmed) oven for about 1½ hours, and place spoonful on slice of beef and roll up,great served with a beetroot salad. basting frequently. Add the wine, vinegar and water to the roasting tin, and cook for a further 15-20 minutes. Put the chicken on one side and allow it to rest for about ten minutes whilst you pour the juices from the tin into another pan and check for flavour. It may be necessary to reduce them a little before serving.

Catalonian Properties

Lemon cream Whisk up some cream until stiff and add lemon curd to taste mix well, chill for an hour and serve with plain ice-cream scatter with shredded lemon rind and grated chocolate . ( optional ) you can also use this cream to fill a sponge cake. To all you quickie cooks with a little more time enjoy a glass of wine and Happy Christmas.

New and Resale Properties, Large/Small Farms/Coastal, River/Countryside. We have several clients looking for your property so give us a call if you want to sell it. e-mail: Tel/Fax: (0034) 977 470 924 Mobile: 606 813 219 or 615 316 722

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 20

A MISCELLANY El Perelló shows that fund raising can be fun ! El Perelló hosted their first Christmas Fair on Saturday 14th December 2009 for the purpose of raising money for Cancer Charities in Spain. During the day - the “Fira de Nadal” (organised by the El Perelló Freesia Group) attracted more than 1,000 visitors from El Perelló and beyond, and raised over €3,000 for 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 a festive atmosphere (helped by a beautiful day’s weather) almost 60 stalls offered a superb array of goods on sale – something for everyone – including local handicrafts and foodstuff. The bar and barbecue were very popular and the children were delighted to be able to meet Santa and receive gifts. This was the first Christmas Fair to be organised by the El Perelló branch of the Freesia Group - whose members - together with unprecedented support from within the village business community, worked tirelessly to ensure that this event was not only enjoyable but also a successful illustration of what can be achieved on a community basis – to raise funds for those in need.



istmas Eve Ser vice Chr Join with us this Christmas time To celebrate the birth of Christ. A traditional Anglican Christmas Eve Service To be held at St. John the Baptist church L’Ampolla

The “Fira de Nadal" in El Perelló was a successful example of how ex-pats and local residents can work together!

24 of December at 4.30 P.M. th

There is a Catalan saying which says it all! “Mica en mica s’omple la pica" Roughly translated means – “Drop by drop the sink is filled" – in other words – “a few centimes won’t buy much – but if we all contribute a few a we can achieve a lot".



The El Perelló Freesia Group would like to thank:The Adjuntament & Chamber of Commerce in El Perelló – who supported and facilitated the event. The (Antiga Escola de Música (Antic IES)) – who kindly allowed us to use their premises to hold the fair. The many local businesses & residents - who made donations of support, equipment, raffle prizes etc. The popular and talented “Santa Lucia” and “Decibels” El Perelló choirs who performed for the event And a special thanks to all the children – who submitted beautiful paintings for the painting competition. Following this achievement – El Perelló’s Freesia Group, with the support of the local community, aim to do even better next year! Next El Perello Freesia Group meeting. 3 December 2009 between 12 noon and 1.00pm at the Casa de Cultura El Perello. This will be followed by lunch at Casals restaurant, just a two minute walk from the Casa de Cultura.



Price of the 4 course lunch will be €11. Please book in advance to and choose your menu to avoid disappointment. For More information please phone 977475000 (Pam).


OPEN ALL DAY 8.30AM - 8.00PM SUNDAY 9.00AM - 3.00PM


The next El Perello Bookstalls will be held at the Homogenic bar on: Saturday 28th November 2009 Saturday 19th December 2009 Saturday 9th January 2010.


C.Major, 56 - Edif. Formentor, 43840, SALOU TEL: 977 352 965



The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 22

INFORMATION Weekly Markets

MON Amettla de Mar, Peniscola, Reus, Salou Tortosa


This month in ...



Alcossebre, Amposta Ampolla Camarles Cambrills Tarragona Hospitalet

Amettla de Mar La Cava Deltebre




Saturday 28th November 2009 Freesia Group 8th Annual Christmas Fair at Charlie Chaplins/Christies Salou at 11.00am, For further info call Pamela on 977 395 064 Ulldecona

Sant Carles Tarragona Miami Playa Hospitalet

Que? Monthly look at some differences between Catalan and Spanish words English See you later Good evening good left right arrival to ask on foot best/better present tree Christmas reservation

It is free to advertise your event in this section - so what are you waiting for... let us help you spread the word.

Spanish Hasta tarde Buenas Tardes bueno/buena izquierdo/izquierda derecho/derecha llegada preguntar a pie mejor regalo arbol Navidad reserva

Catalan fins despres Bona Tarda bo/bona esquerra dreta arribada preguntar a peu millor regal arbre Nadal reserva

Advertising Rates To advertise in the next edition of the Catalunya Chronicle we would need your copy before the 10th of December. Personal Classified Ads are FREE up to a maximum of 35 words.

Bar Flamingo, Alcossebre Christmas Fair. 11.00 am - 2.00pm. Includes seasonal food, gifts, handicrafts and a variety of interesting stalls. Sunday 29th November 2009 Boot Sale at Camping St Jordi, Platje Ayellanes, L’Ampolla Tel: 679 115 247 Thursday 3rd December 2009 Freesia Group, El Perello Meeting 12 noon - 1pm at the Casa de Cultura El Perello followed by lunch at Casals Restaurant. For more information please phone Pam on 977 475 000. Friday 4th December 2009 Classic Car Meeting. For new location and more details call 678 718 446 . Saturday/Sunday 5th/6th December 2009 Ulldecona Christmas Market 10.30 - 2.30pm & 4.30 - 9.00pm. Sunday 6th December 2009 Mora Boot Sale at C/Garcia Restaurant Braseria, Can Palomo, Mora La Nova. El Cau Abandoned Dogs Rescue Centre Christmas Market, Alcossebre Sea Front 4pm (near Mambos) Saturday 12th December 2009 Table Top Sale in aid of Arca Dogs Home at Bar Estacion L’Ampolla.10.00am- 2.00pm. All enquiries to Maeve 678 975 816. Bar Flamingo, Alcossebre Christmas Fair. 11.00 am - 2.00pm. Includes seasonal food, gifts, handicrafts and a variety of interesting stalls.

Business Classified ads start at €15, subject to size.

Sunday 13th December 2009 Tortosa Friendship Club Meeting for all nationalities at Parky’s. Contact Brian Parkin on 660 990 422 or 977 059 911 for more info.

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

Hipaca Escornalbou, Vilanova, D’Escornalbou Boot Sale . Sellers 9 am, Buyers 10am,

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 ( at 16%).

Bar & Restaurant - No fresh produce allowed. Contacts: Cosme on 620 215 772 or Silvia 665 159 781.

Let people know you are in business - can you afford not to? The Catalunya Chronicle C / Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa, Tarragona, Spain. Website: email: Telephone: 636 292 568 Deposito Legal: T-1528-2009 Circulation: 3,000 this month Printed by: Mortons Print Ltd. Tel: 01507 529295

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 Copyright © The Catalunya Chronicle support. 2009 All Rights Reserved.

L’Espigol Kindergarten Open Day and Christmas fair from 10am to 5pm at the Granja Laya Ulldecona. Free workshops. Arts, crafts, books, toys and Waldorf material on sale. All money raised will go towards buying material for the school. For further information contact Wendy on 678 755 460 Saturday 19th December 2009 Friends of Alcossebre Christmas Dinner and Dance at Bar Cheers. Tickets available shortly. For further details please see . Fressia Group Book Sale at Homogenik, El Perello. Wednesday 24th December 2009 Christmas Eve Service at St, John The Baptist Church, L’Ampolla at 4.30pm. All welcome. Sunday 27th December 2009 Boot Sale at Camping St Jordi, Platje Ayellanes, L’Ampolla Tel: 679 115 247

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 22

CLASSIFIED SECTION Personal MUSIC LESSONS, Miravet Teacher: Jennifer Anne Figuerola, (English) Piano, keyboard, violin, Theory of Music Royal Associated Board Examinations possible Individual half hour lesson plus 15 mins aurals 10€ Tel: 977407540/654875163 FOR SALE Baby’s Pram €220 Brand New, can be used as baby car seat, pram and then pushchair, three in one. Dark orange and grey, perfect condition. Miami Playa 977262697 NOT COPING? CONFUSED, UPSET, GOING MAD? COUNSELLING Person-centred, Bereavement, Family Therapy, Drink, Relationship, Sexual problems.... I am here to help: Jennifer Anne Figuerola, BA, Honours Psychology, Dip. Counselling Individual, personal, confidential hourly sessions, 20€, initial consultation 10€, MIRAVET Tel: 977407540 / 654875163 FOR SALE Inflatable Dinghy €150 XM 230 3 man (see it at ‘’) hardly used, complete Call 629010233 FRENCH AND GERMAN LESSONS, MIRAVET Teacher: Jennifer Anne Figuerola, P.G.C.E. and T.E.F.L, Professional Teacher of MFL; Modern Foreign Languages Revision for exams, Conversation practice, structured, developmental tuition, lessons tailored to suit the individual's needs. One hour 10€. Tel: 977407540 or 654875163 FOR SALE Baby’s Large Crib €80 on wheels(can be wheeled around the house) made in Germany, comes with lemon dressing Miami Playa 977262697

BACKACHE? VARICOSE VEINS? FROZEN SHOULDER? TENNIS ELBOW? FEEL THE RELIEF MULTI-LEVEL THAI MASSAGE A drug-free procedure, suitable for men, women or children. Initial consultation 20€; Subsequent individual treatments, 30€ Contact Floreal Figuerola in Miravet: 977407540 675071794 FOR SALE Baby's Pink Bath and Changing Mat €50 on a stand with wheels and shelves so that all is at hand, also has pipe fixed to bath for easy emptying Miami Playa 977262697 FOR SALE Cement Mixer €150 Electric - two years old. Privately owned had little use. Cost over 300€ View Mora d Ebre. Telephone 669 079999 PICK YOUR OWN CITRUS FRUIT Pick your own Xerta Satsumas and oranges for just 1 Euro per carrier bag Tel 977 473278 for directions FOR SALE Petrol driven water pump Any Reasonable Offer 4" bore. Static unit - buyer to collect View Mora d Ebre. Telephone 669 079999 FOR SALE High sided Trailer €350 100cm X 100cm X 70cm incl. spare wheel and cover. Inside base wood covered. Ideal for building materials, olives, carobs etc Tel 977473008 or 652995723

Home Massage L’Ampolla Area ~ Therapeutic ~ ~ Relaxing ~ ~ Thai Massage ~ ~ Shiatsu ~ Call Fina 669 110 719 Only €30 WANTED Lego and Duplo for young boy. Please telephone 636104592

Diagnosed with Cancer? or had Cancer in the past? EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED & FITTED 25 YEARS EXPERIENCE


MUSIC LESSONS, Miravet Teacher: Jennifer Anne Figuerola, (English) Piano, keyboard, violin, Theory of Music Royal Associated Board Examinations possible Individual half hour lesson plus 15 mins aurals 10€ Tel: 977407540/654875163 WANTED Musicians wanted for male and female vocalists, keyboard, lead guitar,rythm etc. Influences Rock, Country, Stones, Quo, Diamond. Jam sessions with view to Gigging. Phone Peter 977473008 or 652995723 FOR SALE Satellite Internet Connection including dish, box and cables. Perfect condition, ideal for remote areas. 500 euros ONO. Can deliver Tortosa area. 0034 676 544 720

NVQ 3 Qualified Care Worker Available for home help / respite care Also 24/7 house/pet sitting El Perello/L'Ampolla/ Tortosa & Amposta areas Contact Hazel on 638430338 hazeearnest@hotmail. com or for Vinaros/Benicarlo call Dot on 600564097

Classified Advertising Rates All personal advertisements are free up to a maximum of 35 words. Business Adverts from €15 (IVA included) Deadline is the 12th of each month. Phone: 636 29 25 68 or write to us at C / Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa

We are a support group who meet once a month & keep in touch to share, care & support each other. Contact Charlotte or 622 553446 FOR SALE English Renault Megan 1998 R reg,1600cc petrol Very economical Taxed until March, tested until mid Sept. Ideal for anyone driving to UK. €550 Phone Gary in Mora D Ebre, on 648445482.

Do you have any building or odd jobs which need finishing, starting or you may just need help with? Looking for an honest, reliable and hard working person at reasonable rates Just call 693790552 and ask for Nina. Camarles/L’Ampolla region. For all your baking requirements i.e. scones, quiches etc. come & see us at Miravet Saturday Market. I am also a reliable, competent cleaner who is available for work within the surrounding area of Miravet & am able to offer a dogsitting service in my own home .

Logia de San Jorge A new English speaking lodge of Freemasons approved by GLE,has been established in this area. If you would like more information please telephone Edward Ward on 977416476 (Tarragona area) or Les Beech on 678357713 (Castellon area). FOR SALE Large Bird Cage Heavy duty Suitable for parrots etc. Detachable base 700 x 700 x 500 mm €45 Phone 628283861 Amettla de Mar

Earn yourself some extra €€´s Not harvesting olives Not cleaning villas For more information Call : 636 292 568 or 696 894 134 or write to us at C / Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa


CALL LORI 977 460 699 / 658 131 424


Property FOR SALE TOWN HOUSE, MIRAVET Ideal B&B 4 ensuite double bedrooms Roof Terrace,Garage 275 000€ Tel: 977407540/ 675071794

TO LET 2 bedroomed apartment in Alfara de Carles available for long let from January. Shared garden. No pets or very young children. €295 per calendar month plus electricity at cost 977 267 526 /

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page

FOR SALE DREAM CONVERTED BARN, DORDOGNE, FRANCE 3 beds/2 bath/2 reception, one with huge fireplace, garden, well,..... Bargain, 275 000€ Tel: 977407540/654875163 FOR SALE Finca of 4 journales in Filato, Camarles. Good location with casa. Two bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, garage etc. Has Olive and Carob trees. Good price. Tel: 626 111 368

THE FINAL WORD Sometimes it DOES take a Rocket Scientist! (true story) Scientists at Rolls Royce in Derby built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets,all travelling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields. American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains. Arrangements were made and a gun was sent to the American engineers. When the gun was fired, the engineers watched in shock as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin. The horrified engineers sent Rolls Royce the film of the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the British scientists for suggestions. Rolls Royce responded with a one-line memo "Defrost the chicken."

In other news.... At the height of the gale, the harbormaster radioed a coastguard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. ( Aberdeen Evening Express) Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian) A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast guard spokesman commented, "This sort of thing is all too common". (TheTimes)

“TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa, Not a creature was stirring—Caramba! Que pasa? Los ninos were tucked away in their camas, Some in long underwear, some in pijamas, While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado To bring all children, both Buenos and malos, A nice batch of dulces and other regalos Outside in the yard there arose such a grito That I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito. I ran to the window and looked out afuera, And who in the world do you think that it era? Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero Came dashing along like a crazy bombero And pulling his sleigh instead of venados Were eight little burros approaching volados. I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre: “Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto, Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!” Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho, He flew to the top of our very own techo. With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea, He struggled to squeeze down our old chimenea, Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala, With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala, He filled all the stockings with lovely regalosFor none of the ninos had been very malos. Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento, He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento. And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad, Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 3 December 2009 ~ Page 24

December 2009 Issue 3  

December 2009 issue of the Catalunya Chronicle - new English language newspaper for the Tarragona region of Catalunya, spain

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