The Catalunya Chronicle
An English Paper for Tarragona and beyond.... FREE every month ~ suitable for all the family.
In this month’s issue... A Brief History of Time The Vandals, Visigoths and their Dark Age The Advent of the Moors
ONCE UPON A TIME....... Tarragona This is a wonderful city, and I must have been daft – off my trolley – not to have made the effort to go before now. The World Cup 2010 The World Cup 2010 Mascot "Zakumi" is a green haired leopard has been announced as the official mascot for the event.
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Cruise the River Ebro, whilst enjoying some fine local cuisine and wonderful sights along the way. Call 629 20 41 17 for more info www.stasusana.com
Ctra. Plages El Perello-L’Ampolla Tel/Fax: 977 26 78 26 Find us on the road to El Perello from Cap Roig, L’Ampolla
Plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, herbs, ceramic pots, vases and earthenware - compost - fencing - tools. Fully stocked Garden Shop with gift-wrap service. For June we have some great offers on Ornamental Stones and gravel, with high quality compost down in price
TALES FROM THE EBRO RIVER VALLEY At last the rain has held off and deckchairs are now once again the order of the day. ..
Other Contents: Letters to the Editor Summer Opening Times :Mon-Sat 9am-1pm & 4pm-8pm Sun 10am-1pm
The Puzzle Page - with our prize cryptic Crossword What’s On! The Classified Section Incorporating a new Services and Property Section
The English Childrens´clothes shop from birth to 12 years
Tales from the Riverbank - Munchie And much much more ...
Another month, another edition...Phew.. Just a quick note to say that this is YOUR paper and we would love to hear from you - let us know what you would like to see here - send in a short story or an article that you feel would be of interest. Seen something you do not like - let us know. Too much effort to post a letter, then visit the web site or send us an email. Your paper needs you!
977 846 789
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 1
COMMUNITY NEWS 30th May 2010, huge protest march planned in Barcelona to protect the river Ebro and its eco-systems, and to demand the Spanish government respect European legislation on environmental questions.
Ebro basin, alongside other irrational uses which will have devastating effects on the river. 4. Two major works being carried out are the so-called “irrigation canals”, Segarra/Garrigues and Xerta/Senia, which are nothing more than the means to transfer water to the urban areas of Barcelona and Valencia. 5. If these actions are allowed to continue, it will be impossible to correctly apply the Water Framework Directive in the Ebro basin. The protection and future of the Ebro and its Delta will be at risk.
The Plataforma en Defensa de l’Ebre organised demonstrations of tens of thousands of people in Barcelona in 2001, 2002, and 2003 in favour of the river Ebro and against the plans the Spanish government had for it. This month the PDE and many other social and environmental groups will demonstrate once more to insist that EU rules must be respected on this question for the environmental and socio-economic future of the Ebro and its surroundings. Please join us! For more information contact the PDE at email@example.com
6. Behind these activities there is an underlying policy of promoting the growth of huge urban areas, and using rural areas, like the Ebro, as stores of natural resources to be used when necessary, but with obvious limitations and restrictions on their development. This leads to an imbalance in the socio-economic situation of Catalonia and Spain.
7. This problem is not merely local. The river Ebro forms part of Catalonia and the European Union, and negative effects on the river are negative for Europe’s environment and natural heritage. We need European citizens and political institutions to insist on protection measures for the Ebro, starting with Here is a short list of the reasons a respectful river flow of both water and sediments, essential for the behind this protest: future of the delta. The EU must 1. The Spanish government has insist its nature Directives are to draw up a new Hydrological Plan applied correctly. for the Ebro basin, following EU To fight against the powerful legislation as laid down in the Water 8. Framework Directive, to bring water political-economic interests which and river management into the 21st are responsible for the current century. They are currently 18 problem we need European citizens months behind schedule with this to make themselves heard. For this reason tens of thousands of people Plan. will march in Barcelona on 30th 2. One of the chief aims of this May. Join us! Plan is to allocate a “minimum” environmental flow for the Ebro. Thank you Technicians and scientists have calculated this flow but it seems like Brian Cutts the political authorities are not for PLATAFORMA EN DEFENSA taking their figures into account, and DE L'EBRE seem set on agreeing a “political” flow. This would have no scientific reasoning but would instead allow Extensive Range of Building Materials for the Ebro’s water to be shared out among its different users, leading to a precarious future for the river and its delta. Carretera Gandesa km 3 43590 3. While we await this new Plan, JESUSTORTOSA 300,000 new hectares of irrigation projects are underway along the
Arts, Craft and Music Fayre starts to make noises Wow! Thanks everybody for all the interest shown in last month's letter about the local Arts Crafts and Music Fayre. We have had phone calls from everything from Alternative Healing Therapies to Traditional Stained Glass Work, from Jazz Musicians to Didgeridoo Players, all expressing great interest and wanting to know more. We would like to say thank you to the Catalunya Chronicle for helping spread the word, and a special thank you to Adam for making this possible. Well you all wanted to know more, but with such a diversity of interest it is hard to know where to start. So it has been suggested that we all get together to discuss how we and you want this event to formulate, so that each individual artist and performer achieves what is best for them. What I can tell you is that this could be a weekly or fortnightly event throughout the summer season with the possibility of a continuation into the Fall. It all depends on your level of commitment and our organizational ability. The other fact that we can divulge is the actual venue location, I was asked this question so many times and I apologize for keeping this close to my chest, but there were many reasons. Anyway, the location is 'Camping St. Jordi, Platje Avellanes, L'Ampolla', and it has been proposed that we all get together on Sunday, 13th June at 10.00 am for an open jam session and discuss the way forward. To those of you we have already spoken to, I will contact you all personally with more information. It's been good to talk - 617 78 43 19 Taking it on home Tony, Jason & Carole.
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 2
CARTES A L'EDITOR motors that are in the washing machine that are the problem but the Vacuum cleaner that Please address your letters to:- The Catalunya Chronicle has motor control works as does 2 chain saws, cement , C/ Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa, or alternatively you may mixer, compressor, a chop email them to firstname.lastname@example.org saw, strimmer, router and All letters must contain a contact telephone number power plane all work from a thank you. generator, so beware if you are green with no mains power do not buy a electric Dear Sirs, have been used on a solar system washing machine, please contact via inverter, wind power or from a us as we have taken the washing We read the Chron each month generator. the guarantee is only concession on the Ebre! We are and think that it is packed with valid when used on mains power. importing washing stones from the useful information Congratulations According to the English speaking River Ganges, they will be on a great read. This bit of salesman the micro processor transported on the ‘next slow boat information may be of use to many would be damaged if the machine from China’ which is due to dock Brits who live out in the ´sticks´. was used on any other power next ‘Blue Moon’ and will be source apart from mains electricity! installed in time for the next In December 09 we purchased a ‘Preston Guild’ Beko washing machine from The computer and printer that I (company name supplied) in use are powered from a generator I find it incredible that when large Tortosa. In March / April it and of course both use a Micro numbers of people in Europe and developed a fault so as we live out processor. My TV, Digital receiver, England are trying to be ‘Green’ in the sticks we took it back to the DVD, CD player all use micro with a low carbon footprint that a store. We were told that the 2 year processors and they work on my simple washing machine is guarantee was void, as it would generator. Perhaps then it is the incapable of being run from an
Readers Letters - to the Editor
alternative power source. The generator, the pure sine wave inverter manufacturers must then be responsible for not ensuring that the products will run all domestic appliances. In the 2010 Honda catalogue on page 82 it has a chart listing products that can be run from a generator it does include a washing machine symbol. B&Q sell wind generators, solar panels are available from Machine Mart ect. as well as inverters. Do we have to wait for a Chinese manufacturer to make a machine that is rugged enough to withstand rural or a Green environment. This will mean that many thousands of manufacturing jobs in Europe will end. Best regards John Former Technical Training Officer for the Comet Group & Lecturer in electronics.
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 3
ONCE UPON A TIME....... TARRAGONA BY JENNIFER FIGUEROLA
t's really strange that in the year I have been living in Catalunya, I have somehow managed to bypass Tarragona until just a couple of weeks ago. Living first on the coast, in L'Ampolla, I explored Camarles, the Delta, L'Ametlla, Cambrils, and along the coast up to Barcelona. Now living in Miravet, more into the mountains and on the river Ebro, I have ventured into the Baix Ebre region, so that Tarragona sort of crept further down the list of places to go. I found decent shopping in Tortosa, main events and concerts in Barcelona, and there we have it, a wonderful, fulfilling life around Tarragona, yet managing to exclude it completely.
Non official coat of arms
The only problem was my sense of direction, or lack of it. I'm not joking – that, together with metabolism, was the thing not handed out to me at birth, and I have battled with it to this day. Just getting to Reus airport was an achievement in itself. Actually, that's turned out to be not so bad after all, as the signs are nearly all there on the way, but the return journey is another story. I have been on the 'magical mystery tour of Reus' many times, around an hour each time, trying to find a way out.
ust when I'd near as damn it cracked it, I moved to Miravet and had another route to negotiate, which I am still having trouble with.
So, aware of my limitations,I knew full well I was more likely to follow signs for Tarragona and end up in either Valencia or Andorra. So I asked my other friend, Delia, with an impeccable sense of direction, how to get to Tarragona from Reus, and by the Grace of Delia, we duly arrived in Tarragona, took the first blue underground 'P' sign we saw and promptly drove down into it, as directed. 'It can't be this easy', I muttered, as we stepped out of the car park, leaving behind the piped classical music and moving up towards the light into..... an utterly gorgeous square, all oldy-worldy, abounding with cafes with their tables, just off the main street, the Ramblers, or 'La Rambla Nova'.
And then I went. And now I have changed my mind. Completely. This is a wonderful city, and I must have been daft – off my trolley – not to have made the effort to go before now. My great friend, Philomena, flew in for a few days, and for once the flight didn't arrive at some unearthly hour, which meant I could meet her at Reus and spend the afternoon doing something................. Tarragona was only next door......... we could have lunch and a meander.............
Philomena was well up for an afternoon in Tarragona, but didn't have her comfy shoes on, so it was fantastic to have the car park on the doorstep of the city centre, literally in the middle of everything.
RAMBLA NOVA is a beautiful, wide tree-lined boulevard, full of shops and cafes, leading to the seafront. There HE
are fountains and sculptures, Tarragona, in these scenarios is including one of the Castellers, merely a means to an end. No, I was (Human Castles). fortunate to be in a touristy type of situation, which had a totally Of course we stopped for coffee and different effect, one which inspired did our usual spot of people- me to find out more.................. watching, before walking to the other end, to the Balco del In fact, Tarragona has miles of Mediterraneo, a lovely open area, gorgeous beaches, ancient Roman to lean over the railings and enjoy ruins, affordable accommodation the views of the port, the Med and and a vibrant cultural scene. of course, the ampitheatre. Because it is located on one of the main railway lines, it is very We continued on into the old town, accessible by train; Barcelona is wandering along narrow winding about an hour, 5€, Valencia 3 hours, streets, up the main street, Calle 14€, and down the coast to Major, until we came to the 12th Andalucia. century Cathedral at the top of a wide flight of steps. At the station when you get there, if you are planning The main doors were stunning, on staying in a hotel, it huge and imposing, Romanesque, would be a good idea to with a beautiful rose glass window. get a taxi from there, as the Apparently it was built over the site hotels are mostly at the top of an earlier Christian church and of the hill. an Arab mosque, and is a fine example of the transition between The local bus service in the city is Romanesque and Gothic styles. well worth looking into for getting around, and the timetables are The doors, or portals, contrast with readily available in the tourist the cloisters and the Gothic arches, information offices. yet sit peacefully and comfortably together architecturally within the Tarragona is situated on a hill next same space. to the sea, strategically important, with stunning views over the Med. We left the Cathedral and wandered It is principally a port city which has back along the city walls, passing evolved and progressed over time. impressive statues and cannons until we found ourselves back in the In 218 B.C. the city was invaded by city again, by now buzzing with the the Romans, who established main activity, cafe culture. themselves there and converted it into the capital of of 'Hispania It was busy, yet with a Citerior', calling it 'Tarraconenses'. lovely atmosphere, as most In 45 B.C. Julius Caesar made it into of the streets were traffica colony. free. Most of the monuments which make It was no good, we just had to try up the cultural heritage of this somewhere else, so persuaded ancient city were built during the ourselves we needed another drink, Roman occupation: the which inevitably led to another good ampitheatre, the aquaduct, the city hour of enforced relaxation and wall, the Escipions Tower and much enjoyment! After all, the car was more. only a mere flight of steps away, listening to Mozart or the like, so no Part of the bases of large Cyclopean worries about aching feet. walls near the Cuartel de Pilatos are thought to pre-date the Romans. We had a great time, weather was The building just mentioned, a gorgeous, which always helps, but prison in the 19th century, is said to most importantly, it was a great have been the palace of Augustus. motivator for me to know more about this place. I hadn't come with Augustus wintered there after his a specific purpose in mind – to get Cantabrian campaign and bestowed my tyres changed, or to get to many marks of honour on the city. Carrefour for the monthly shop, or The city also minted coins, and for DIY materials. These are trips according to Mela it was the richest focused solely on their purpose of city on that coast, the 'Costa buying what you came for, going Dorada'. home and getting on.
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 4
ONCE UPON A TIME....... T
he 2nd century amphitheatre near the seashore was extensively used as a quarry after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and now only a few vestiges of it remain.
Then of course there is a thriving tourist industry, yet despite this, Tarragona remains relatively unspoilt and as yet has not been subjected to the massive influx of tourists suffered by other spanish resorts.
The main living heritage is the Popular Retinue, a great parade of dances, notably in the Santa Tecla Festival, 15 – 24 September. It has been celebrated since 1321 and is considered of national touristic interest.
The impressive aqueduct lies just outside the With such a variety of restaurants and eateries, city, known as 'Puente del Diablo', (Devil's it is important to mention a little something about Bridge), and the Medol Quarry, a Roman quarry, the cuisine from Tarragona. is 9 km north of the city, near the old Roman The most famous dish is 'romesco', a road, 'Via Augusta', which links Tarragona with tomatoey, herby sauce with onion. Rome. Special main dishes often feature eels, frogs' legs and duck, as well as paella. Following the Roman occupation it was first
Then there is the Tarragona International Fireworks Displays Competion, held annually, and Sant Magi festival, 15 – 19 August. The week preceding Holy Week is the time of the Tarragona International Dixieland festival, which houses 25 bands and 100 concerts and activities.
recovered by the Christians, then invaded by the French, then the Germans. Later, in 716 A.D., much of the city was destroyed by the Muslims, who indulged in a long period of decadence.
On the Rambla Nova, affordable Basque cuisine, for example, Milanese veal and lemon sorbet, can be sampled at 'Restaurante Txapela'. For traditional cuisine, try 'El Merlot', or 'Sol Ric'; for seafood, there is 'Ca'l Brut', or 'Les Fonts de Can Sala. 'Bar Toful' is located within the city walls of the old town and is a great place for tapas and a couple of drinks, patronised by the locals, always a good sign.
The city managed to recover due to maritime trade and the Catalan-Aragonese kingdom. In the 12th and 13th centuries, following some years of conflict, wine-growing, agriculture and fishing emerged as its main industries, contributing further to its economic recovery. Tarragona has many festivals throughout the year. One of the most well known activities OWADAYS, MODERN TARRAGONA is home during these festivals has to be the Catalunyan to a large number of chemical version of the Human Pyramid. These human industries, which still form the basis of pyramids comprise of up to nine tiers of people, the economy, together with the port. balanced precariously on top of one another.
As for me, I am looking forward to National Live Music Day, June 19th, when I shall be heading off with the rest of the band I play with to jam along in Tarragona with a medley of other like-minded bands. Should be a great day.
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 5
GARDENING ET AL summer during the long winter months, and whilst a tomato sauce is not as good as eating the fruit off the plant, it can bring back memories of the sun during the dark and cold months of January and February.
A S ELF ' ISH L IFE P ART II
ast month I wrote a small In essence there are six main ways general article on what we of preserving food: have been doing to become Ÿ Salting slightly self-sufficient or Self'ish. I read somewhere that the man who mends his shoes or clothes, takes a small step towards being selfsufficient, and it is up to an individual as to how far they wish to take it.
And better still, you know what has gone into it!
Ÿ Pickling Ÿ Bottling Ÿ Making Jam/Preserves Ÿ Drying
For us, as for many, money is an issue and if we can supplement the food on our table by growing our own vegetables, then that is a good start. We are growing a lot more this year, in the hope of having enough preserved to last over the winter. We have tried to provide our own meat, in the form of a hen or two, but have felt that this is not the way forward for us, and are resigned to buying it in. We will however, avoid the 'cheap as chips' chicken fillets on offer at the local supermarket, and hopefully pay a little more (less often) for meat with flavour and texture. Preserving
which can be built from odd bits of wood and is simple to operate. We We will be bottling our excess shall also experiment with drying tomatoes this year - with a bit of chili fruit rather as well as making jam thrown in for good measure. out of it. This method relies on there being sufficient heat for the prescribed time to kill off any nasty bits that cause the food to go off. We have purchased a pressure cooker for this very reason, as this will greatly increase the success rate and are looking forward to trying it. Pickling uses vinegar to increase the acidity of the produce and you do not therefore need prolonged boiling times with this method. We made various chutneys last year the highlight being the cucumber relish which features in this month's food pages. A Google search for chutney recipes pulled up 787,000 results so I am sure that you can find a recipe for anything with which you are overwhelmed. Freezing is not really an option for us, as we rely on solar power and cannot really run to the chest freezer that we would require. My mother was an adept at this and had a highly organised system of ins and outs. Sometimes however, in order to use up a product approaching it’s best before date she would inflict upon us a week of courgette and tomato sauce based dishes!
At the end of the summer, when we have a glut of vegetables, the trick is to preserve some of the produce for use during the winter, and beyond. To be a self-sufficient rying herbs is simple to gardener, you must be able to store do, and provided all the this in a variety of ways. Root crops, moisture is out they will such as potatoes and carrots can keep until the next year. be stored without processing, but with 'green' vegetables there must We have yet to try sun-drying our be found alternative methods. tomatoes, but aim to build a solar This can take the form of chutneys drier this summer to see how it goes. Nothing too complicated, and and pickles, or tomato sauces.
We have been trying to plant 'little and often' and this worked to a degree last year, in that we would plant out ten new lettuce seedlings (€0.03 each from our co-op) every week or ten days. This worked well until July, when they wilted under the fierce heat of the summer sun. We will have to add some shade for this summer.
We still have four or five squash left from last year - we picked them and allowed them to dry off in the late We were less successful with the autumn sun, before storing them in tomatoes - planting a few every a dry, well-ventilated place. We lost month during the spring. the odd one, but overall they have They all seemed to be been truly excellent. ready at the same time, and our season was not We will (hopefully) have an excess really extended by that of runner beans, if the blasted wind much. allows, and will be salting them for the winter. This year we will try again and plant Again this process draws out the out some further seedlings in June moisture, and helps prevent any and July as well as the main crop bacteria from forming. We have also we already have in at the moment, planted too many summer which are setting their flowers nicely cabbages so will be trying to make as I write. sauerkraut this autumn. It remains to be seen whether we like the taste However with such a long growing season here, we shall try to though. remember to keep on planting and am making in our sweettooth family has proven popular.
We were given some orange jam this last year and it was fantastic, so we will be trying to emulate it ourselves. We do not have much fruit of our own thus far but have planted apples, several cherry, lemon and orange trees so that hopefully we will be able to rectify this.
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Our understanding neighbour allows us to pick his figs so we will be exploring a fig jam of some sort later on.
The main idea of preserving food is to keep alive the taste and flavour of the
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 6
MORE GARDENING sowing in any patch recently vacated so you have enough, it can be used as a we can enjoy the fruits of our labour well mulch, although this seems quite into the winter and beyond. wasteful to me.
Beware the processional caterpillars! They make silken cocoon style nests in the pine trees and when on the ground, they form a line, hence their name. They are
Lettuce at Christmas never fails to Best of all, this rich source of potassium amaze me, and we seemed to have draws its nutrients from deep down the perpetual spinach from November to soil and it is a natural and free fertiliser. April last year. Until next month - what are you waiting The trick is to keep planting! for - get planting and start to enjoy the benefits of growing your own food, and Wonder Plant - Comfrey stop relying on the supermarket produce.
n the previous article I mentioned my ‘wonder plant’ - Comfrey and a reader emailed in to ask where she could buy it from. I have not seen it here in Spain, where in Spanish it is called Consuelda, or Consolda in Catalan.
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MY CALENDAR SAYS... We have been given a calendar - I think it originated from El Perello, and every month it gives a few suggestions as to what the gardener/farmer should be doing
I had to grow it from seed, purchased from the UK . At the moment it is thriving This month: Continue to plant out Aubergines, Peppers and Tomatoes. Harvest any beans, artichokes and peas left over from the earlier sowings. The first nesperos, cherries and peaches can also be picked now. After the Old Moon, it will be the time to and every year it produces even more graft your almond trees - apparently the plants from last year's roots. I have Old Moon is what we call the New planted out even more seeds this year, moon in English. but they appear very slow to germinate. Old moon seems to make more sense to me! The variety I have is Russian Comfrey which is sterile and does not self-seed - Reader’s Tips the preferred method being separation I have just received the following tip from or splitting the root crown into smaller a reader which is definitely worth a try! pieces, with the best time to plant them being in the Spring. After the plant produces the first truss of tomato flowers and they are 'set,' the It will give a harvest of leaves up to three plant is a little tired because of the times during the growing season in the exertion. Spring and Summer and then dies down again in the Autumn. Mix one tablespoon of Epsom Salts in 5 Lt's of water and give to 2 plants. The Once you have a patch established, it potassium in Epsom salts encourages is very difficult to eradicate it as even extra root growth. I used to grow them small pieces of the deep roots will by the ton in good old Blighty. re-grow. Toms just love potassium! and I just love After the first year (it is not a good idea a good tasting tom, not these bags of to harvest until the plants are well tasteless water you buy here established) we cut enough leaves to fill masquerading as toms. the bottom of a large 100 litre container, top it up with water and replace the lid. If any readers We allow it to ‘cook’ in the sun for three weeks and then I can dilute this liquid with two times the amount of water and turbo-charge my crops every once in a while. It is however quite strong, and a little goes a long way; if poured directly onto the leaves of young plants, it can scorch them. The leaves can also be used in the compost heap as an activator - better and less smelly than male urine and if
have any queries about the above, any requests for any future articles, or tips and useful suggestions, please email us at: selfish@chroniccat .com
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 7
OUT AND ABOUT Christopher's on the Costa (or any other church) is here for. We also, of course, welcome adults who want to declare their faith in public through baptism.
PARSON PAUL'S DIARY . . . .
n a short trip back to Northamptonshire in the UK I met lots of old friends who asked about the joys of my life as a Vicar in this part of Spain. It is hard to get the message over that this is very different from life in the Church of England where church buildings have been there for centuries and customs and traditions are firmly established. In Britain the problem is normally that people complain "But, Vicar, we've always done things that way. Whatever you do, don't change them!" In Vinaros, one of our three congregations along the Mediterranean coast here we find that necessity is the mother of invention. On May 16th we welcomed Olivia Rosa HamptonGay into the church at her baptism.
Baptisms (Christenings, if you like - it is the same service) are part of the staple diet of a church. In an area where our natural congregation tends to be on the older side it is always wonderful to welcome families with children for baptism. Olivia behaved perfectly despite trying to give me a right hander on the chin when I came to mark the sign of the cross on her forehead - one of the occupational hazards for a Vicar. That sign of the cross is at the heart of the Christian faith. The cross, like a gallows, is a site of torture and death.
It reminds us that Jesus uniquely died an innocent man, in an appalling way, so that he might suffer anything we may ever have to suffer and to take away our sin and guilt and give us free and But since our "church" is essentially forgiven lives. That is why we follow a shop unit and also used as a drop Him still, so many centuries after in centre for the English speaking His death. community we did not have a font for the water. Thanks to Gill, one of But we wear badges where people our members, for providing a large can see them. I used to belong to a crystal glass fruit bowl, complete Rotary club and proudly wore my badge on my jacket lapel so that with large crystal glass cover!, people I met all around the world It did the job wonderfully.
knew I stood for high ethics and standards in my business life.
nd to prove that things in our church do not always stay the same we are trying to become more accessible in the Ampolla/El Perello area. In future our twice monthly services will be on the second Sunday at 12.30pm in the church at Ampolla with a full communion service including popular hymns.
It also led me to meet like-minded people in many situations and opened up a circle of friendship and fellowship. Faith in Christ opens up a much wider circle of friendship and fellowship with other Christians Our midweek service, on the fourth and gives us many things in Wednesday of the month will now be at 11.30am in El Perello church common. as Family Worship where we hope he difficulty is that most to meet and make many new friends of us do not wear among English speaking locals badges on our jackets - whatever their church background. I hardly ever wear a jacket nowadays! But If you have never been to church the sign of the cross, before why not give us a try. You made in water at my baptism, dried will find us very different and, I many years ago so it is invisible. I hope, most welcoming. can only try to show my faith with the sign of love and holy living - a Paul Needle is the English Vicar serving local congregations in tall order for us all. Alcossebre, Ampolla and Vinaros. We will continue to pray for baby Olivia as she grows in her Christian He can be contacted on 662 482 roots as we pray for anyone who 944 or there are more details on asks for our mutual love, sharing the church website and support. That is what St http://www.azaharanglican.org
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 8
A MISCELLANY Press release. A group of English people walked into a little piece of local Catalan history on the 11th of May this year when they walked the 9 Klm from Hill 705 to the 8klm road marking of the C43 following the route taken by the 15th International Brigades in the Battle of the Ebro during August / September 1938.
There was a poor old Irish cobbler whose shop was next door to a very upscale French restaurant. Every day at lunch time, Mike, the Irish gent, would go out the back of his shop and eat his soda bread and maybe a kipper or piece of Irish blue cheese while smelling the wonderful odours coming from the restaurant's kitchen. One morning, the Irishman was surprised to receive an invoice in the mail from the adjoining restaurant for "enjoyment of food". Mystified, he marched right over to the restaurant to point out that he had not bought a thing from them.
At the hearing, the judge asked the restaurant to present their side of the case. The manager said, "Every day, this man comes and sits outside our kitchen and smells our food while eating his. It is clear that we are providing added value to his poor food and we deserve to be compensated for it." The judge turned to Mike and said, "What do you have to say to that?" The old Irishman didn't say a thing but smiled and stuck his hand in his pocket and rattled the few coins he had inside.
The judge asked him, "What is the meaning of The manager said, "You're enjoying our food, that?" The Irishman replied with a mile wide so you should pay us for it." The Irishman grin, - "I'm paying for the smell of his food with refused to pay and the restaurant took him to the sound of my money." court.
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The walk, organised by Battlefield Tours leaders Brian and Janet Hall, followed the exact route taken by the volunteers of the International Brigade and included a visit to the hidden memorial on Hill 666.
It is believed that this is the first time since the battle, that the memorial has been visited by linking the route to the one used in the Battle of the Ebro. By using existing long distance footpaths and local tracks, the use of maps and compass over open mountainside, the group located the hidden memorial in their planned, downward route. The walk took approx 4 hours and visited sites of interest including hidden graves, front line trenches, archaeological areas of special interest where fossilised remains are to be seen plus the main aim of the walk, the hidden memorial. After the walk, all participants plus the back up crew of car marshals retired to Hotel Pepo in Benifallet to participate in a well earned meal and liquid refreshment.
And where is the hidden memorial? Well if we told you that it wouldn't be hidden anymore. Everyone visiting the memorial is asked to respect the privacy of the site.
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 9
ENERGY R ENEWABLES BY ALEX KNOL, PUMIWEX
n this series of articles I am going to talk about new developments and technologies in renewable energy.
Today I would like to talk about getting more power from you solar panels. Many people living off the power grid have Solar panels to power their home. The panels are connected through a charge controller to the batteries. This controller, at least, will guard the battery from overcharging. In recent years charging technology has evolved and the new standard is now MPPT. These charge controllers will naturally guard your battery but will also maximize the energy going into your batteries by 20-30%. The function of a MPPT is similar to the transmission in a car. When the transmission is in the wrong gear, the wheels do not receive maximum power. That's because the engine is running either slower or faster than its ideal speed range. The purpose of the transmission is to couple the engine to the wheels, in a way that lets the engine run in a favourable speed range in spite of varying acceleration and terrain.
voltage is dragged down to a lower-than-ideal voltage. Traditional charge controllers transfer the PV current directly to the battery, giving you NO benefit from this added potential. Now, let's make one more analogy. The car's transmission varies the ratio between speed and torque. At low gear, the speed of the wheels is reduced and the torque is increased, right?
What happens when the Vpp is much higher than the voltage of the battery? The module
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Likewise, the MPPT varies the ratio between the voltage and current delivered to the battery, in order to deliver maximum power. If there is excess voltage available from the PV, then it converts that to additional current to the battery. Furthermore, it is like an automatic transmission. As the Vpp of the PV array varies with temperature and other conditions, it "tracks" this variance and adjusts the ratio accordingly. Thus it is called a Maximum Power Point Tracker. What advantage does MPPT give in the real world?
hat depends on your array, your climate, and your seasonal load pattern. It gives you an effective current boost only when the Vpp is more than about 1V higher than the battery voltage. In hot weather, this may not be the case unless the batteries are low in charge. In cold weather however, the Vpp can rise to 18V. If your energy use is greatest in the winter (typical in most homes) and you have cold winter weather, then you can gain a substantial boost in energy when you need it the most!
Let's compare a solar panel to the car engine. Its voltage is analogous to engine speed. Its ideal voltage is that at which it can put out maximum power. This is called its maximum power point (MPP). (It's also called peak Examples of 'traditional' charge controllers power voltage, abbreviated Vpp). are Steca Solsum / PRxxx / Solarix, SunLight, Morningstar Prostar, LEO, Xantrex Cxx, Vpp varies with sunlight intensity and with Solara solar cell temperature. The voltage of the battery is analogous to the speed of the car's Examples of MPPT charge controllers are wheels. It varies with battery state of charge, Outback FMxx, MorningStar MPPT, BZ and with the loads on the system (any MPPTxxx, SunSaver MPPT (they usually appliances and lights that may be on). For a specify MPPT in the name) 12V system, it varies from about 11 to 14.5V. In order to charge a battery (increase its voltage), the PV module must apply a voltage that is higher than that of the battery. If the PV module's Vpp is just slightly below the battery voltage, then the current drops nearly to zero (like an engine turning slower than the wheels). So, to play it safe, typical PV modules are made with a Vpp of around 17V when measured at a cell temperature of 25째C. They do that because it will drop to around 15V on a very hot day. However, on a very cold day, it can rise to 18V!
A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative."
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A blonde, wanting to earn some money, decided to hire herself out as a handyman-type and started canvassing a wealthy neighbourhood. She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any jobs for her to do. "Well, you can paint my porch. How much will you charge?" The blonde said, "How about 50 dollars?" The man agreed and told her that the paint and ladders that she might need were in the garage. The man's wife, inside the house, heard the conversation and said to her husband, "Does she realize that the porch goes all the way around the house?" The man replied, "She should. She was standing on the porch." A short time later, the blonde came to the door to collect her money.
"However," he pointed out, "there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."
"You're finished already?" he asked. "Yes," the blonde answered, "and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats. "Impressed, the man reached in his pocket for the $50.
A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah. Right."
"And by the way," the blonde added, "that's not a Porch, it's a Ferrari."
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 10
LES MASCOTES L EISHMANIASIS By Meike Knol
n March, my 4 year old Rottweiler was diagnosed with Canine Leishmaniasis. I was a bit shocked to hear that she had tested positive to this disease, since I was under the impression that I had done everything to protect her from infection, and just in December a routine full blood panel had revealed a perfectly healthy dog. I thought I knew quite a bit about this disease, but apparently not enough.
In February I noticed that she was licking on her paws a lot, but didn't find that too alarming since she tends to get cuts in her paw-pads from racing over the stone covered finca. A few daily baths in baking soda and some Rimadyl against infection usually clears these cuts right up. Within days though, I noticed her black nose become paler and more brownish looking, and she started losing hair on the sides of her snout. I became a bit weary and made an appointment at the Vet. In the mean time, strange new symptoms started appearing on a daily basis. She started eating a bit less than normal and lost her usual enthusiasm to play.
Leishmaniasis must be directly Abdominal distension transmitted by an infected Sand fly. This disease cannot spread from dog Joint problems (such as swollen joints to dog or be passed on to humans, and or limping) cats do not seem to be affected by it. Skin problems (such as dry flaky skin, bruises, wounds or sores that heal with Signs and Symptoms: difficulty or won't heal at all). Ÿ Can she be cured? Leishmaniasis is a disease that presents with many different symptoms Bald spots (a typical presentation here is in symmetry, equal bald spots on I realized that I didn't really know and varies greatly per individual. both sides of the head for instance, or enough about this illness and found myself with more questions than This makes it one of the most difficult the tell-tale bald rings around both answers. diseases to identify according to signs eyes) wounds or sores on the nose or pawpads. and symptoms alone. Time to do some research and educate myself on this disease ... Depending on the immune system and Many times the first skin problems to be many other factors of health and age, discovered by owners tend to be on the What is leishmaniasis? a dog may present only one of these ears, the nose, and around the eyes. Leishmaniasis is an illness caused by symptoms, or any combinations of Quick growth of the claws (sometimes a parasitic infection of the Leishmania varying amounts. hard or thick) Donovani parasite. It's even possible for the animal to be a lifelong carrier of the parasite without Spontaneous nosebleeds the disease becoming active. The parasite is then in a dormant state, with Chronic eye infections the dog showing no signs of infection, Dry nose but can be awoken at any given moment in time with any type of stress Anemia (pale mucus membranes) situation for the dog or a decreasing immune system due to age or other Enlarged lymphnodes (especially the disease. ones in the throat and back of the knees) This parasite is transmitted through the The symptoms you might see in a dog stings of Sand flies, a special type of infected with leishmania include the mosquito that flourishes in the warm following: Mediterranean climates. Increasing listlessness, fatigue and The course of the disease varies greatly lethargy. amongst individuals. Some animals show signs of infection immediately, Exercise intolerance while others are lifelong carriers without ever showing any signs of disease. In Progressive weight loss despite normal some dogs the parasite is in a dormant appetite, anorexia and weight loss that state and could be awakened as many eventually culminate as wasting as 7 to 8 years later by another illness, disease. stress, a drop in immune system, or old Vomiting age.
She started losing hair and her coat was thinning out noticeably. In general her appearance became shabby and Leishmaniasis is classified into 3 main Diarrhea she even started to smell. types of infection named by their clinical presentation and caused by different Decreased appetite By the time I got her to the Vet a few species of Sand flies: days later, she had developed oozing open sores in the calices of her elbows Cutaneous leishmaniasis (an infection and a tell-tale loss of hair encircling the of the skin), mucocutaneous eyes. leishmaniasis (infection of the skin and mucus membranes), and visceral The vet took one look at my Rottweiler leishmaniasis (infection in the internal and was sure it was Canine organs). Leishmaniasis. Infections in dogs often are regarded A few days later the bloodtest results as visceral even though they tend to confirmed the diagnosis and treatment show both visceral and cutaneous was started. disease. I wasn't prepared for this at all and The leishmania parasite attaches itself found myself very confused. to the dogs red bloodcells and destroys How is it possible that my dog them. In the visceral form, where the contracted the disease even though I parasite destroys the vital internal organs, it's generally the kidneys and took all measures of prevention? the liver that are affected most. The amount of damage sustained by these, Ÿ What will happen now? greatly determines the treatment course, the possibility of recovery, and Ÿ How does the treatment work? the future quality of life for the animal.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis of leishmaniasis isn't as simple as one might imagine. Since this infection presents itself in so many ways, shapes, and forms, and varies greatly amongst individuals, it makes it that much harder to detect. A few years back an arsenal of 4 different tests was used to identify this disease. The tests could be false positive, false negative, or inconclusive, and sometimes only gave a clear picture when used in combination
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 11
MES MASCOTES highly dependant on each specific important thing is to start treatment patient. immediately.
tests left over that are used for and improve very quickly. diagnosis. Depending on the stage of the disease PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). and the physical state of the dog, sadly This test identifies the DNA of the some animals do not respond to all parasite within the blood of the dog. medical efforts and succumb to this The results are decisive: either the dog illness, mainly due to kidney failure. is positive or negative for leishmaniasis. Until recently, there was No other result is possible. However, this test is quite invasive since it needs only one way to treat to be done on the dogs bone marrow, leishmaniasis. usually taken from the rib. This is no walk in the park for the animal, and The treatment consisted of a temporary usually isn't the first choice for Vets. but gruelling amount of injections given IFI (indirect immunofluorescence test). to the animal to bring the disease into The other test used in today's Vet a dormant state, in combination with practices measures the amount of lifelong Allupurinol tablets to keep it antibodies against the leishmania from awakening.
Also, the new miracle medicine costs you pretty much an arm and a leg. It's very expensive, and Vets want to avoid having to subscribe another 28 day treatment should the parasite not be eradicated and become active again.
uite understandable if you imagine how many animals they have seen As more becomes known about the The sooner the treatment is started, the succumb to this disease over the disease, diagnostic tests are adapted better the outcome. In general, most or renewed, and currently there are 2 dogs respond very well to treatment last 10 years.
Some Vets therefore will still treat the animal in combination with the inexpensive Allupurinol tablets. Every 6 months an IFI test is performed to make sure that the leishmaniasis hasn't become active again, and if it has, then treatment can be started immediately.
As the animal stays negative to the IFI test, dosages will be decreased, and eventually stopped. Rendering the animal ... hopefully ... cured.
All the signs and symptoms have disappeared and she's back to her gorgeous black & brown energetic playful self.
Prevention: As was the case with me and my Rottweiler, prevention isn't 100% possible, unless you have a way to keep the tiny Sand flies away ... IN WHICH CASE ENLIGHTEN ME !
No matter what you do, one tiny little Sand fly might get through all your prevention efforts, sting your dog, and infect it with Canine Leishmaniasis.But if you do nothing, the chances of infection increase dramatically. Sand flies live in the Mediterranean climate especially in water rich areas, and are most active with the times around sunrise and sunset.
A complete cure was not possible, and This shows how active the disease is. an IFI test done every 6 months was You can lessen the risk used to evaluate if the parasite was Time will tell if the treatment can really of exposure by keeping This means that if a dog shows one or staying dormant. cure this disease. But please your dog inside during more symptoms of leishmaniasis, Vets remember that re-infection is just as Luckily though, a new those hours and during will perform an IFI test to see how active easy as initial infection. If a happy little medicine has been the disease is. the night. Sand fly happens to come by and sting developed to treat canine your dog, he will be infected again. If a dog shows no symptoms at all, but leishmaniasis. Milteforan is Use good mosquito netting to keep there is still suspicion of infection, a a liquid that is given to the In my case, my Vet also opted for the them out of your house, and provide PCR test will be performed to gain dog for 28 days. combination treatment of Milteforan and your dog with a Scalibor protection certainty. Allupurinol. IFI tests will be done every collar. Afterwards, the manufacturer 6 months, and the dosages will be But if the animal shows positive to the claims that most animals are adjusted accordingly. During the 28 This collar provides a 95% PCR test, an IFI test must also be done day treatment of Milteforan my dog actually CURED! protection against Sand to evaluate its activity level. showed only a few side effects like mild flies and is the only product This sounds great, but many Spanish vomiting and diarrhea. available that works Treatment: Vets are still a bit sceptical of these against these pesky little She improved greatly, though it wasn't claims. mosquitos. Once your dog has tested positive to until a week after completion of the canine leishmaniasis, the most treatment that she looked completely cured.
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 12
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME PART 3 W
ith the advent of the Visigoth religion’, this was to be a major part rule in Spain, things were in their eventual downfall for the run differently. indigenous population were offended by this. They also persecuted the Jews who were The Visigoths kept themselves present in large numbers and forced apart from the rest of the population many to flee to northern Africa, both legally and socially, marriage again making enemies that would outside their own kith was not come back to have their vengeance. allowed. However, they had a great admiration for the Romans and their As a race, they were never content BY BRIAN HALL were to intrigue the Berbers who achievements. with themselves and fought bitterly were to sweep across Spain in the amongst each faction whose leader They kept the Latin language for the always wanted to be King. n previous issues of 'A Great Awakening. legal framework and even used the Brief Moment', we learnt Roman coinage. They also of early Iberian history As a reward to the introduced harsh laws with from the start of early Visigoths, Honorius As a result the blood of amputation, castration and public man antecessor, through granted them Hospitalitas, many Kings was spilt on circumcision as the sentence. to the Phoenicians and the giving of land in Galllia Spanish soil. Greeks and then the Carthaginian Aquitania (France) which They lived in the existing Roman invasion of southern Spain with the over a period of time the cities & towns and made Toledo the arrival of Hamilcar and his son, Visigoths came to expand. At this period of time a subtle capital city, this being the first time Hannibal. difference was happening, whether Like all mercenary soldiers they by chance or design we do not wanted more and were never know. In the rest of Europe the After Hannibal came the Romans satisfied with what they were given. feudal system was beginning to take and a flourishing of art, architecture, hold but on the peninsular it did not and a period of advancement under They could see the demise of the happen which bode ill for future the Roman occupation and the Western Roman Empire and were Spanish history. For the first time, coming of Christianity towards the instrumental in the toppling of the Spain was being different; she was last century of the Western Roman Iberian Roman Empire. Also at this turning away from mainstream time, other sections of the Visigoths, Empire. civilisation in the rest of Europe. the Ostrogoths, grouped together In the year 409 a race of peoples and became the first army to enter he Goths never ruled all under the name of Vandals and Rome in 1,000 years. of Iberia, they found as Alans who came from the area we the Romans had that the now know as Southern Hungary and This feat shook the Roman Basque country was just the Balkans invaded Roman Empire to its foundations, the too much to overcome Hispania and to counteract this western empire was lost forever. and the soft underbelly invasion Emperor Honorius enlisted of Iberia was too tempting a target The eastern empire however the aid of the Visigoths who came for others who eyes had long seen from the north of Europe in a land managed to survive until a the possibilities that Iberia could generation before Columbus who then called Alimania (Germany). offer. They overreached themselves unwittingly launched the successor when they issued a law making it The Crown of Recceswinth compulsory for religious leaders to enlist in their army. Many priests fled to North Africa where the that the population looked inland, Berbers welcomed them with open away from the coastal plains. They arms. were not good builders or architects although they gave us the In the year 675, the Moors (the horseshoe arch. name Moors is not synonymous They did not leave much in their with any nation but covers many passing, a few words in the present countries and types of people, the day Spanish language can be links are North African and Islamic) traced back to them as can be a few made a probing attack on the stone carvings and a small church peninsular but were turned back at The sacking of Rome – The Visigoth Empire but one item stands them apart, it is the point of disembarkation. The war with the Vandals took 9 the gold and precious stone crown years before they were defeated but to the Roman Empire - the Spanish of Recceswinth which today can be In 710, 400 Moors were sent to not before thousands were shipped Empire and linked Rome's most found in the National Archaeological reconnoitre the area around the shortest sea crossing, the man in over to North Africa under the important legacies, language and Museum in Madrid. charge was called Tarif and the area leadership of a renegade Roman religion, the core of hispanidad, to Although Christians by faith, they he chose is named after him, General to fight against the Romans Latin America even to this day. followed the Arian view of present day Tarifa, Europe’s most in Africa. This one act was to have Christianity which denied the Trinity southerly city. far reaching consequences some and this set them apart from the 200 years later for stories of fair Hispanics who followed the ‘Roman haired women of Alimania origin
T HE V ANDALS , V ISIGOTHS AND THEIR D ARK A GE T HE A DVENT OF THE M OORS
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 13
MORE HISTORY... Oxymorons ...are figures of speech that combine normally contradicting terms. In reverse order, here are 50 oxymorons to brighten your month.
Modern day Tarifa, site of the first landing of the Moors
n his return he had both information and booty, gold and silver and women of rare beauty. Although this did please Musa, the leader of the Moors, he had grave doubts about sending his main army across this 13klm stretch of water; he much preferred to consult the Koran which advised the desert, an ocean where no oar is dipped.
50. Act naturally 49. Found missing 48. Resident alien 47. Advanced BASIC 46. Genuine imitation 45. Airline food 44. Good grief 43. Same difference 42 Almost exactly 41. Government organization 40. Sanitary landfill 39. Alone together 38. Legally drunk 37. Silent scream 36. British fashion 35. Living dead 34. Small crowd 33. Business ethics 32. Soft rock
31. Butt head 30. Military intelligence 29. Software documentation 28. New York culture 27. Extinct life 26. Sweet sorrow 25. Childproof 24. “Now, then...” 23. Synthetic natural gas 22. Christian scientists 21. Passive aggression 20. Taped live 19. Clearly misunderstood 18. Peace force 17. New classic 16. Temporary tax increase 15. Italian Army 14. Plastic glasses
13. Terribly pleased 12. Computer security 11. Political science 10. Tight slacks 9. Definite maybe 8. Pretty ugly 7. Twelve-ounce pound cake 6. Diet ice cream 5. Rap music 4. Working vacation 3. Exact estimate 2. Religious tolerance And the NUMBER ONE top OXY-Moron 1. Microsoft Works
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The decision of whether to invade the peninsular weighed heavy with Musa but in April of 711 he ordered the governor of Tangier, Tariq ibn Ziyad to sent an army of 10,000 men to do another reconnaissance mission, this time they landed at ancient Calpe, the massive limestone rock they called jabal-tariq or Tariq’s rock, what we now call Gibraltar. The Moors had arrived and the course of Spanish history was to turn fully away from Europe for 8 centuries.
Again, Spain was being different. In next months issue – the culture that helped forge a nation - 8 centuries of Moorish influence David Pique Domingo
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Battlefield Tours, programme of Events - june 8th of June - the route of the 15th international brigade A full day tour tracing the line of battle which the English speaking 15th International Brigade fought during the Battle of the Ebro. This tour will also incorporate a visit to the majestic Hill 705. Guest tour speaker, Alan Warren, historian and publisher will lead this tour. Early reservation advisable, and is now open for reservation. English and Catalan speaking guides. Phone 977 4572 59 or 677 14 29 26 to reserve your place on the above tour or visit our website:-www.battlefieldtours.Vpweb.co.uk or contact us on :-firstname.lastname@example.org
Watercolour, ‘The summit of Hill 705’ by Brian Hall
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 14
THE WAY OF ST. JAMES E L C AMINO
Part two of the continuing We ate at the restaurant next to the adventures of Nigel and Arancha as river, although we had to eat inside they tackle the Camino de Santiago. as it was raining - the menu del dia (the normal one, not the peregrino one) has lamb, and highly Day 4: 21st September recommended!
Rabanal to Molinaseca (27Km) Another early start. For a change we were the first to start the getting up process.. we didn´t stay in the municipal Albergue so I guess you can sleep in later.
Lamb in the North of Spain is renowned for being much better than from other parts - living in Cataluña I can certainly confirm this.
But now the early rising habit has kicked in and the aches Tomorrow, if it´s still raining a short and pains lessened so we day - only to Ponferrada... were off before dawn.. Breakfast was at Foncebadon - an amazingly abandoned village that I´m sure only exists thanks to us peregrinos. The Cuban lady (who is so full of life, and 72 years old) was quite concerned that Arancha didn´t want a drink other than water, and tried all her persuasive techniques to get her to have something, until I explained she was from Aragon (a maña) and they are the most stubborn of all. She then recounted the tale of her friend who refused (also stubbornly) to pay more than 25 centimos for bread... a lovely story of stubbornness gone mad...
Day 5: 22nd September Molinaseca to Cacabelos (20Km) It chucked it down all night so we slept in. Eventually at around 10 is started to improve so we made our escape. Within 10 minutes it stopped and the rest of the day up until the last hour was dry and reasonably sunny, even to the sun cream and sunglasses level.
First day of Autumn so not too bad!
Fairly uneventful day, Ponferrada is an interesting place but it seems Mc Donalds is too far from the centre to be worth walking to. The walk to Ponferrada is only 7Km and we The ascents and descents take their hardly felt like we had started so we toll and the ´goat trails´ are difficult decided to carry on to Cacabelos and make the most of the good weather. It started raining again about an hour before we arrived at the Alberge in Cacabelos. We arrived about 4:30 and are staying in the municipal Alberge - no kitchen but hey, you can´t always win... for those not sure footed, but the The Alberge is part of the local church and has loads of small 2 scenery is wonderful... person rooms set out in a big arc Eventually we arrived in Molinaseca around the church. The showers are and, as it was Sunday, decided to heated by solar so not too hot today! treat ourselves and stay in a hostel (I had Arancha purring in my ear instead of the snoring foreigners she is a Leo by the way)
Day 6: 23rd September Cacabelos to Villafranca del Bierzo (8Km)
I´m hoping the weather holds out as so far it hasn´t been too bad. At the moment the sun is shining and the world looks rosy, I hope it continues....
A short day as Arancha isn´t feeling well. It rained loads last night, but it seems we are lucky as today as, so Day 7: 24th September far, it has been dry and even sunny, Villafranca to Vega de while the rest of Spain is being Valcarce (17.5Km) drowned. We set off at around 8am, at the pace of a tortoise as Arancha woke almost glowing with a temperature. A paracetamol and Ibuprofen later and she felt well enough to start walking.
Today started well, Arancha was no longer cooking in her own sweat and the sun was, once again shining. We had a light breakfast in the Albergue and set off at the speed of rabbits. Amazing what a paracetamol or two can do!
It´s a fair walk up the hill out of Cacabelos along a hazardous road - fortunately it was light but I wouldn´t like to walk it in the dark. We arrived about an hour later at Pieros where we found a very enterprising old Spaniard who has set up a bar/cafe in his garage.
The first part of the day was almost all uphill but after the initial climb, which isn´t too taxing, the ascent is fairly gradual. The weather is holding out for us, we have been watching the floods on Spanish tv, 320litres per sq meter in Valencia and hardly a drop here - we are very Breakfast of ´Bizcocho´and lucky!
coffee was 2 euros - not cheap The walk follows the main road with but well needed!
the occasional deviation off through some of the villages where we went There are two other pit-stops in the for a coffee and relax. village, the first (which looks more 'official´ was closed, and the second For some reason some sort of deserted - obviously the first one latent muscle that I probably has captured the market! haven´t used for the last 30 years decided to come to life The smell of the wild fennel this and my knee has been giving morning was amazing; it has the me real grief today - I wasn´t heady scent of aniseed and is quite expecting that after nearly a refreshing. This time of year the week. Camino gives up its fruit and we have eaten loads of blackberries Anyway, the countryside is from the hedges. The scenery is changing, the leaves are going very like England, the trees, bushes brown and falling and the mornings and wild fruit, elderberries, are cooler for longer but eventually blackberries, chestnuts and even it warms up and we are having a sloes (now where can I buy some great walk. After yesterday, and as Gin?) my knee is playing up we decided to stop at Vega de Valcarce, we As Arancha was slowly dying, and have walked 17.5Km so not too bad. the pace was slowing to that of a snail with a crutch, we decided to The lady who looks after the stop in Villafranca, from where I´m Alberge has the smallest Chihuahua now writing while she rests and that I think I have ever seen. It hopefully, with the aid of a tablet or seems to have an inferiority two, recovers enough so we can continue tomorrow. We´re staying in the Albergue de la Piedra, which is a private Albergue and has the usual dormitories and a couple of double rooms. It's clean, well looked after and comfortable. Cooking facilities are a bit limited but never mind, we´ll go and get a menu somewhere and cook in the microwave tonight..
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 15
THE WAY OF ST. JAMES complex as it runs barking (well yapping) at anything bigger than it. She said it recently suffered from what seemed to be panic attacks. The vet said it was sexually frustrated due to its small size.
I´ve finally succumbed to wearing long trousers instead of shorts, the mornings quickly warm when the sun hits you and the days don´t get too hot.
Body bits seemed to have recovered after a good night's sleep, Arancha hardly has a cough now and is feeling almost human again, so off we went, in the wrong direction. Fortunately we hadn´t gone far when we met up with some others who had also gone the wrong way (following the road instead of continuing on past the Albergue). We were quickly back on the right path.
The village is lovely and the surrounding countryside impressive. We´re going to go and have a walk round later and see what we can find.
It didn´t take long before my knee started playing up again so the going got progressively slower. Uphill is fine, as is along the flat, but downhill is an absolute killer and today was almost all downhill (or so it seemed!)
It´s amazing how many people there are on the Camino at the moment. From what we have been told this time of year there are normally a lot less but the Albergues are almost always full and there are more people arriving here as I write.. Tomorrow onwards and a few more kilometres. There is a new Albergue opened up in Fonfriá so we´re hoping to make it there tomorrow.
Day 9: 25th September Onwards To O Cebreiro (10Km) My knee was no better but the rest of the aches and pains had gone and Arancha was feeling better. We set off at a bit more than the pace of tortoises as it´s up-up-up. The scenery has changed and it was extremely chilly walking in the early morning in the valley. We had spoken to some Spaniards who had walked before and they had said that this was the coldest dampest part of the Camino. At one point we thought that we were going to have to stop at the first Albergue we came to but after a brief rest in a bar my knee was a bit better (the paracetamol/ibuprofen mix had kicked in) we decided to continue ever upwards but at a pace that didn´t hurt too much. It seems in the valleys that Autumn is taking grip, the insects are buzzing around in the last throes of mad passion before they die, the leaves are falling like snowflakes when the wind blows and all around you see signs of the fruits of summer, it really is a wonderful time to walk as although the mornings are a bit chilly and
We slowly arrived at O Cebreiro, at long last in Galicia, and what a surprise and view! I think we were expecting a slightly(!) bigger place but it is very small and has over the recent years, been fully re built from almost ruins. The houses and shops were bustling with life, unlike many Spanish villages. The Albergue looks like it has only recently been built and is clean and has a huge kitchen (although pots, pans, crockery and cutlery are in somewhat of a short supply!) They are giving out covers for the beds and pillows at the moment maybe this has something to do with the recent problems with bed bugs?
The views are fantastic and we were treated to a wonderful sunset. Tomorrow onwards....
Day 10: 26th September O Cebriero to Triacastela (21Km)
I´m glad we aren´t the only ones who have been taken in by the lovely old lady and her delicious pancakes! Mind you, we were hungry... we did chat to her for a few minutes but I didn´t notice if she was still wearing a pin.. Arancha recounted a well known advert where the ´traditional old lady´ served beans to city dwellers - they couldn´t believe how wonderful these traditional beans tasted - they had, unknown to the townies, come from a tin she had bought in the local supermarket! I´m sure the pancakes were authentic though.. We struggled slowly on to Triacastela and opted for a private Albergue as the municipal doesn´t have any cooking facilities. We are next to the ´Tandy´supermarket - there are two supermarkets here and they are well stocked. We may take a break tomorrow to recuperate and rest my knee (130Km to go and I don´t fancy hobbling all the way!)
We woke to a fantastic view of mist hanging in the valley - it looked like the valleys were full of snow, with the hills around bathed in sunshine.
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We did think of staying in the new Albergue in Fonfria but we arrived around mid day and it doesn´t open until 3pm so I struggled on - only 9Km more to Triacastela...
Tortosa and surrounding areas
We don´t have a return ticket so we arrive when we arrive....
A passenger train is creeping along, slowly.
Ten minutes later, the train resumes its slow pace.
Finally it creaks to a halt. A passenger sees a conductor walking by outside.
Within five minutes, however, it stops again.
"What's going on?" she yells out the window.
The woman sees the same conductor walk again.
"Cow on the track!" replies the conductor.
She leans out the window and yells, "What happened? Did we catch up with the cow again?"
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 16
THE MONSTER CONTINUED attacked, water had got in via the As he was leaving he offered us a beam that ran through it, plus the large sum for all the interior doors signs of rats were very evident. in the house. No was our answer, but we knew that under all the layers This cupboard has double doors of paint they must be worth having. personal items held any value only and a hanging rail with clothes hung Finally we were left with pieces that to one side, shelves in the other half. we wanted to renovate in the future. plastic garden chairs!!!
T HE W EDDING P ICTURE By Helen Rowe.
t the beginning of this saga of the monster house I said it had not been lived in for over twenty years, the contents of the house had not been touched in this period (by human hand). On the day of purchasing the house we ask the daughter and family did they wish to take anything from the house.
Weekly, through the estate agents, we were reminded about the wedding picture that was yet to surface. We had more pressing tasks like clearing in preparation for the building works to start; we had brought a small trailer and located the local rubbish dump now the laborious chore has to start.
With clothes in wardrobes, washing The notary informed us that when up in the sink and worst of all food you buy a house here, you buy in the pantry! I volunteered Peter for the contents too. the pantry and kitchen, I took the wardrobes. We so hoped that they wanted the furniture and possessions but no There were 6 bedrooms all with luck all they wanted was a picture beds made up for invisible of mother and fathers wedding occupants I only found clothes for a which we said we would drop into small women but every drawer, the estate agents as soon as we cupboard and wardrobe were found it. Then they asked if they crammed full. With bin bags and could collect some plastic garden rubber gloves room by room these chairs stored in the garage. We items had to be removed and gave them two weeks to do this dumped. which we thought was fair as we would have to clear the house It dawned on me that if before the modernisation work nothing had been removed could start. by the family this was a time capsule of the life of a Two weeks later chairs were women born in the early collected but we had not been able 1900s. to locate the wedding picture. We got the impression that they thought We boxed anything that may give we had destroyed it. us an insight into her life, storing them in one room to look at later. Assuring them we had not and when Bag after bags, trip after trip to the found would be returned to them tip, we slowly cleared each room they left and we hoped that was the until we were left with furniture only. last time we would see them. We did think it was strange that other The worst bit for me was one built than the picture none of the in cupboard in the first bedroom I
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Holding my breath I quickly A huge book shelf, a dresser and removed the coats until I felt mirror and one very ornate bed was something damp and furry on my what we kept. arm. The following week a knock on the Rigid with fear of what I had touched door and three men and a lorry I tried to pull it out of the enclosed greeted us, one of the men was the end on the cupboard, it would not Grandson of the former owner, the budge. other two men we recognised from the second-hand shop in Jesus (we The only way was to step into the too had asked them to come and area I had cleared and try again, the value the furniture, they declined). hangers was rusted onto the rail. I managed to remove the fur coats all Tempers got heated as we five of them plus the rat’s nests and explained that the furniture had other unmentionables. been dumped and pointed out that he was too late as this was a The smell was awful but after a month after the date given at the break and fresh air I was to find notary office. boxes and biscuit tins on the other side with contents that were Not believing a word the Grandson interesting. tried to push passed us to get into the house to check. The threat of I surmised that this women the police and the calming words was canny, her jewellery from the other two had him out of was hidden in her sewing the door never to be seen again. I basket. Not of great value thought better of pointing out that mostly jet and pearls all the furniture now belonged to us wrapped in bits of fabric! and we had sold some of it. Who was she hiding them from? A very large wardrobe on the second floor had posed a problem Then the boxes upon boxes of for us, the doors could possibly be letters, postcards, event worth an attempt at restoration, but programmes and the likes, dating the rest of the unit was rotten, to get back to the 20’s. I finally found a it down we needed to saw it into picture of her, not the wedding sections. picture, but I now had an image of the women whose worldly goods we Moved away from the wall Peter had bought with her house! started the task of dismantling it and there was the retched wedding Peter’s task was also revolting there picture on top of it. was a large barrel of rancid olive oil and this had to be decanted and We stood and looked at it, nothing removed litre by litre as the barrel special just an unframed photo was too rotten to be moved. rolled up and covered in dust and dirt. Now the furniture, seven chest of drawers all too far gone with wood Still angry at the Grandson’s worm but we saved the marble tops, arrogance I was of half a mind to the tables and chairs were in a add it to one of the numerous bin similar state and a friend suggested bags but the next day I dropped it that we contact a antique dealer to into the estate agents as promised. buy them from us. A year later I met the I doubted their value but went along agents and she told me with her contacting a Barcelona that she had contacted man who arrived the next Saturday. the Daughter about the picture but it was never He gave us money for furniture collected?? that was so rotten, sadly some of it we had already dumped!
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 17
LA COMIDA A C UCUMBER R ELISH
Bring the remaining vinegar up to the boil and allow it to reduce for about 15 minutes before using it to top up the jars and seal them.
Maybe however last year it was the wind wot did it!
A Coca (plural Coques) is more or less the Catalan take on pizza, but it can have sweet Best left for a month to allow the flavours to An adaption of the recipe in Delia’s Summer toppings as well as savoury, and are shaped in mature, if you can wait that long. Collection an elongated oval, rather than the traditional SUMMER SOLSTICE AND SANT round pizza. This worked extremely well last year and helped JOAN (SAN JUAN ) diminish the glut of cucumbers that we had. It They usually have a thicker base as well. Vast seems to keep very well, and we are just about to open our last jar, nearly a year later. Hope that The summer solstice occurs exactly at the time quantities of coques are eaten on feast days and the Earth´s axial tilt is closest to the sun and the the recipe below is normally reserved for Sant you like it. sun is at its most northern point in the sky (in the Joan. 3 or 4 cucumbers northern hemisphere). In the southern 250ml Milk at room temperature 3 or 4 onions hemisphere, it is their winter solstice. 440g Sugar Salt Although the summer solstice is actually an 750g Flour 1 pint white wine instant in time, we also refer to the day it occurs, 50g Yeast – activated in a cup of water vinegar as midsummer. That day (in our calendar it is 4 Eggs 1lb sugar the 21st June) is the longest day and has the 125g Melted butter ½ teaspoon turmeric shortest night of the year. It signifies the start of The rind of one lemon, grated Several small dried the summer and the days gradually start to get 300g Mixed candied fruit and peel – pineapple, chilies shorter. It is a time for festivals, gatherings, cherries, orange peel. Thinly slice the rituals or other celebrations varying from culture 125g Pine nuts not roasted cucumbers, skins on, and the onions and layer to culture. Combine half the sugar with about 650g of the them into a colander, sprinkling salt onto each layer. Put a plate on top and weigh it down and At Stonehenge, each year, people flock to stand flour, add the salt and mix until the ingredients leave for about three hours until most of the juice inside the sacred circle of sarsens as dawn are well integrated with each other. Stir in three has been drained off. Squueze out as much of appears over the Heel Stone. There is an of the eggs together with the yeast, butter and amazing communal excitement at the solstice lemon rind. the juice as possible. sunrise as the spiritual ancestry of this When this is well mixed, add the remainder of Put the vinegar, turmeric and chilies into a pan prehistoric temple is celebrated. the flour and knead until the dough is elastic. together with the sugar over a medium heat and Here in Catalunya they also has a fiesta for this Transfer to a bowl, cover with a cloth and allow stir until all the sugar has dissolved. to rise until doubled in size. time of the year – yes another fiesta. Add the drained cucumbers/onions and simmer Knock the air out of it and divide into two halves, It is called Sant Joan in Catalan, or for one minute. Remove from the heat and spoon shaping them into two ovals about two Sant Juan which is Saint John's Day, or the cucumber/onion mix into sterilised jars. centimetres thick. Place on lightly oiled baking rather night. sheets, and allow to rest for 15 minutes before A few days later, on the night of the 23rd June, brushing with remaining egg that has been fires are lit all over Spain and in many coastal beaten. areas, people head down to the beach. Huge bonfires are built and there is food, wine, Preheat the oven to 230°C and dot the candied fruit and nuts over the top of each coca and singing and dancing. sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Before the arrival of tourism and sun worship, it was considered improper to visit the beach Bake until golden – approximately 20 – 25 before San Juan and the waters on that night minutes. were said to be beneficial for the skin. Just the thing to eat if you have been ‘fiesta-Ing’ all night! We have an apricot tree here on the finca, and we have been told that it is a Sant Joan apricot in that the fruit is ready to eat on Sant Joan, and afterwards, they all fall off.
Cheats Cuisine Short of an accompaniment? Canned Bean Mash tastes great with all hot or cold meat. For 2 people, fry off 2 crushed garlic cloves and half teaspoon of chilli flakes in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, do not let it brown. stir in some rosemary,sage or thyme leaves and a 425g can of flageolet beans, including liquid. Boil gently for 10 minutes until the liquid is thick and opaque, then mash roughly and season to taste with black pepper. Instant Sorbet Use the food processor for a instant sorbet: tip a punnet of strawberries or raspberries, into the food processor with 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar, process until smooth, then freeze. Happy cheating
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 18
MES MISCELLANY TALES FROM THE RIVER BANK Life on the river seems to be pretty much the same as last month. I have just had two days out catting with no takes at all. I think the cats are in spawning mode at present as the water temperature is rising and they have their minds on other matters rather than feeding! I know it will soon change. I have had reports of good carp catches at Flix, Tivenys and Mora and the reservoir at Xerta is fishing very well at present with carp into double figures and some good roach showing. A small group of us anglers around the L’Ampolla area are thinking of arranging a fishing match on The Ebro around DeltaEbre. We think that this would be a good venue as all the swims are pretty much the same, making it a fair match. This would be an all in fishing match, meaning that all fish caught would be weighed and two rods can be used if you so choose. We thought a five hour match would be long enough,to have a bit of fun, nothing too serious. If anyone is interested please could you contact me through the Editor.
TELEPHONE BAZ ON 660 879 852 or 977 050 302 after 6pm
Look forward to hearing from you. Until next time, tight lines!
M UNCHIE M EDITATION I’m sure you’ll all recognise that moment of complete peace and relaxation, somewhere between dozing and wakefulness: silence, stillness, weightless contentment. O what bliss that must be. You can forget it when you share your home with a Munchie. If I get the desire to relax, the Munchie assumes I’m lying there waiting to be jumped on. Let me explain. In the recent spell of hot weather, I made the mistake of stretching out on a sun bed. Munchie, only used to me sleeping at night took this to mean it’d be eight hours before it saw any food, and as it’s always eating, it most definitely was not prepared for that.
So it did what any hungry Munchie would do. It ran at full pelt bravely threw itself in the air and flew. There was I blissfully unaware of the imminent flattening I was about to receive, reclining in all my semi naked splendour when the sun fell out of the sky and landed on top of me.
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I turned to see if the creature was still following me . At this point it wasn’t really concentrating, missed its footing, tripped over the bunny’s ears and went flying. I reached the front door and ran in and locked it-yes the Munchie opens their front door too.
Well that’s what it felt like. I was winded to say the So for a second time that day I was left gasping least. The Munchie is not big, but it is quite a hefty for air; me on one side of the door and Munchie beast; 36 kilos approx (you work it out in pounds) on the other. I have to say, it’s its generous nature that produces all the problems. If she It’s no fairy! hadn’t wanted to share its lunch there wouldn’t have been any trouble. Having ensured I wasn’t dying, by giving me the After a few minutes, Munchie realised kiss of life, which incidentally, involves clawing at that the lunch date was off and it and my head slobbering over my face and standing on the bunny went on their way. my stomach, it left me gasping for air wheezing like a steam train and shaking like I was suffering from some form of withdrawal. So then it stomped off satisfied with the result. I could almost here it thinking “Ha! She won’t be doing that again in a hurry.”
DON'T GET BOGGED DOWN WITH
this as a signal to play chase and did so at top speed, bringing bunny too. I rushed along our well trodden path calling “open the door open the door” in the hope that my parents would unlock Fort Knox believing their daughter to be in grave peril.
Surprisingly I couldn’t relax, so I thought I’d visit my parents, 150m or so away. I hadn’t gone very far when there was a distinct rustling behind me; the Munchie come to pounce, I thought. I ignored it and carried on. Suddenly from my left the Munchie appeared carrying a very dead rabbit. I love all things fluffy, but tend to prefer them still breathing and in their own habitat; dangling out of the jaws of Munchie is not where I’d want to end my furry days!
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The Munchie was delighted by its acquisition and needless to say, I was not. I ran. The Munchie took
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 19
SPORTS P OCKET S IZED W ORLD C UP M AP
G O C ATALUNYA . COM
Coming to a screen near you... Soon. The World Cup 2010 Mascot "Zakumi" is a green haired leopard has been announced as the official mascot for the event. The word "Zakumi" derives from "Za", which is South Africa’s abbreviation and "Kumi", which is a representation of ten in a majority of the African languages, denoting 2010.
World Cup Betting Spain is the bookie’s current favourite at 9/2, with Brazil a close second at just over 5/1. Amazingly, England are priced at 13/2 to lift the trophy, ahead of Germany, Holland, France and Italy.
The favourite for leading scorer is David Villa, recently signed to Barcelona, who provide a large bulk of the Spanish National side. Leo Messi, another Barca player, is 2nd favourite slightly ahead of Wayne Rooney and Christiano Ronaldo is out at 20/1 to score the most goals.
Finally, the bookies favourite two Honduras, North Korea and New teams to reach the final are Brazil Zealand are the least fancied and Spain, with an England/Spain teams. fixture as the next likely outcome. Each group has a clear favourite to qualify - it is less easy to predict who will be the runners up and go on to take part in the knock out stage of the tournament. And from then on, it is anyone’s guess.
What is true is that the form books go out of the window during such competitions, good teams will play badly, and there will be amazing performances from some of the minnows.
Breaking News: Rooney will be able to play in the group stages of the World Cup if he is given a cortisone injection. Beckham says if Rooney gets a new car he wants one as well !! DEPT OF TRANSPORT INITIATIVE HAS BEEN LAUNCHED, MAY 2010. Due to the nature of the quality of driving in England the Department of Transport has now devised a new scheme in order to identify poor drivers and give good drivers the opportunity to recognise them whilst driving. These drivers will be issued with flags, white with a red cross, signifying their inability to drive properly. These flags must be clipped to a door of the car and be visible to all other drivers and pedestrians. Please circulate this to as many other motorists as you can so that drivers and pedestrians will be aware of the meaning of these flags.
REVIEWS "S HOOTING C ATERPILLARS Two Innocents Abroad in Andalucia by Alex Browning
ome people are attracted to read a book by the synopsis on the back cover, others merely read a book as it is loaned to them by a friend. I was drawn to read this book by two factors. I am an ardent "Namiac" and was so intrigued by the title "Shooting Caterpillars in Spain" as we are plagued with the sound of hunters in the wintry months scouring for wild hare and wild boar in Catalonia, but shooting Caterpillars?
S PAIN "
But this is a reality check and they come through each near disaster stronger people and everything is touched with a layer of humour and even inspiration.
described in the very first pages and she has got Smatterings of Spanish phrases and words are scattered across the pages. But they are not your attention gripped. over seasoned that you feel the need to reach You just must read on to see what follows. for your tattered Spanish dog-eared dictionary or find an online one. I am a voracious reader and thought I had read nearly every book possible on Expat life in Spain. They thrive on the inter mingling with locals, their So it was a gem to discover this book that has slant of life and the dinner parties of other Expats been written in such exemplary English, they felt obliged to turn up to and the hilarity or sometimes one may think rather high-brow.Yes, disasters that follow. it was refreshing to see adjectives used that It all makes for a very interesting and stretched your linguistic memory of Queen's pleasurable read. English. So Alex, though she was frequently expelled I feel this book has more depth to it than, though from boarding school must have been there just equably enjoyable other Expats accounts of their long enough to excel in English language, apart relocation. from the art of smoking. Her positive outlook on life, even in the face of The illustrations throughout are humorous in adversity, encourages others not to throw in the themselves and the coloured photos on the towel and run back to rain soaked English centre fold adds only dimension to her lifestyle. streets.
Well, that is novel! I'd say a tad near impossible. I just had to find out what prose that title gave birth from. The second attraction was the front cover illustration. It drew you into the scenery and the events that were soon to unfold. A cover that looked as though it was taken from a water colouring, but so much interest was wrapped into that picture.It definitely gave vent to musings.
No one was more surprised than me to find her being a micro-light pilot and a motor cyclist, amongst other hidden talents in finding work and making ends meet.
The career change that they are both offered in the final chapter is so unexpected, you find yourself looking for Sequel 2 in her writings. My only disappointment is that I have not traced whether Alex wrote a follow on - I am sure it would make another fascinating read.
This book definitely gives you a true insight into real life in Spain. Far from the gin swilling Expats that we are all reported to be. That no job is too Alex if you haven't written it yet, difficult to undertake, that no paid work is turned please will you! Alex Browning, ex-farmers daughter and of the away because they are too proud to grab. horsey set of Somerset, England, left to try a Their closeness as a couple is sometimes ROSIEREAY@FODENPRESS.COM new lifestyle in the countryside of Andalusia with pushed to the limits in the renovations and her partner, but for a reason so different to the restoration of their home (we can all relate to that TWITTER@ROSIEREAY. one's most of us Expats made when we dug up in Spain) to turn it into a small and hopefully our roots and took the plunge. It is so amusingly viable self-funding guest house. Two men were walking through the woods when a large bear walked out into the clearing not more than fifty feet from them. The first man dropped his backpack and dug out a pair of running shoes. Then, as the bear slowly approached them, he furiously attempted to lace them up. The second man, somewhat confused, looked at the first man and said, "Whaddya doing? Running shoes ain’t gonna help! You can't outrun that there bear!" "I don't need to outrun the bear, buddy," said the first man, "I just need to outrun you."
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 21
TALES FROM THE EBRO RIVER VALLEY BY
t last the rain has held off and deckchairs are now once again the order of the day. I have just been online to www.TortosaForum.com and am sat in the sun, but am still seething at the revelation that thieves are still about. I feel I need to share it for those who haven't read the posting and to cover a wider area to get this man's description out there. Some bold white man described by the onlooker as being about 6ft in height and probably aged between 40 or 50 (so no delinquent, bored teenager then!).
how mine are ripening for next chutney batch. Anyway, her Gala pies are homemade and a really nice family size and ideal for family visiting or for summer evenings meals along with salads. You need not eat it all in one meal, it will keep in the fridge. The pork pies are not imported. They even make their own jelly for it. Scrumptious! Only snag is when you have eaten one you always want another one - so they carry a waist line warning. However, you can always trot down to the Via Verda and walk them off in this glorious weather.
He was of average build and had very distinguishing blonde/gingery hair of a very curly nature. He /they cut the chains off with bolt cutters (came prepared then!) from the boat trailer (snipe) that was attached to a car. They were seen hitching it to a British registered green/blue 4 x 4 and disappeared at double quick speed.
Barbecues will soon be the order of the day and they make brilliant South African sausage called Boerewors that is exceptional when grilled or done on a BBQ.
The witness informed the Mossos police squad of the happenings at Amposta embarcation on 29th April, between 12:-12:30.
The sausages range from Leek & Pork, Apple and Pork, Honey roasted, traditional pork, honey and whole grained mustard, cumberland and for those who like a little spice in their life (or should I say on the plate) you must, simply try their chillie and garlic.
Not a twinge of guilt...not a backward glance. How dare he be so brazen! Now I have got my anger out of the way, my thoughts turn to food. It is that time of the day. But if only someone was here to make me a meal. It isn't that I don't like cooking I just get fed up of christening the meal,each and every single meal. (Memo to self : must order some sausages off Catherine.)
alking of Catherine, did you know our local "sausage lady" also has Cheddar Cheese, Pork Pies, Sausage rolls, Gala pies, Pickled Eggs on offer, apart from her delicious arrangement of sausages carefully made by herself. Now I could just enjoy a slice of her Gala pie with apricot chutney (my own of course) and a nice fresh green salad, locally bought. Talking of apricots I must go and check
They now do the thick and thin ring (for those who don't have the patience to wait for it to cook.) But if you haven't tried any of their other sausages have a go.
Now onto "chops" of a somewhat different nature. I wonder if the Tortosa Tourist board realises what is the fatal attraction that draws tourists and out-of-towners to the village of Els Regeurs. Els Regeurs is often missed as people drive through it up to the mountains. Yes, it does have one or two fine, and highly recommended restaurants - though bookings are recommended on weekends and fiestas. It is a small closely knit community and has seen the infiltration of a few Expats and you can meet up with them in the local bars (strange that you can always find at least one Expat in a bar - what does that say about British culture?) Yes, we use the local small olive press and am guilty of using it as
Voice of Ebro Valley www.EbroVoice.com
a short cut when heading down to Centre Verd in Roquetes for my dog food or garden fertilizing requisites,or even the evening vet clinic held there 3 afternoons a week .(Mon.Wed.Frid 5.30-6.30)
The attraction is none other than: SeĂąor Boar. Now wouldn't Obelix and Asterisc fancy wild boar on the plate. Some local family, on the outskirts of town as you take the back road down to JesĂšs, have reared this piglet as a pet since the mother was shot on a normal hunting day and it was left orphaned. On a weekend you will see cars queuing up to get out and pet the local chappie. He is ever so friendly and poses for photo calls on the promise of some nibble from your picnic or "padkos". He doesn't seem to enjoy the cacophonix chorus that his owners' dogs render forth, well you can choose your friends but not your family we hear him grunt! Now you know that "I am only a woman" when it comes to finca related mechanisms and "jobs for the boys" - if only they were here! Well, once more my cheeks were rosy by blushing ignorance. A month or so ago I employed a strapping young man, with muscles on display, to slash through the elephant grass on my terraces and around the house so that it looked half-way near decent for the onslaught of family from overseas encamping here.
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Well and good and a good job was done. Then it rained and rained and rained. The grass grew taller and taller, and soon the flower beds were out of view once more. So I picked up my bootstraps, threw my electric strimmer in the back of the car and thought I am just going to have to go back to the shop in Tortosa and say it won't work. Bless him, Jonathon was on duty. "Maybe it is because it is so dirty?" He laughed when he saw the state of it. Oh my gawd, I had forgotten to clean it first, as he banged it on the shop floor and a huge mound of mud flew off in all directions, much to the locals amusement of a woman in distress. So he showed me into the workshop and with air tools spring cleaned it for me. "Now what is the problem, Rosie?" "Well you know that red thingey coil on the bottom - well I can't get it off . Also I need more thread to re-wire it." More smiles from Jonathon, he is so patient. More blushes from me now. In a twist he had it off. I had struggled and swore many a time. That was why it was abandoned in the almacen. He removed the cap lid. It was not the old fashioned coil type. It was a single piece no longer than 10 inch with a silver thing in the middle where it clips into the machine. He preceded to remove another coil on the handle and behind it, hidden in the handle were loads and loads of them. What a thicko am I!
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 22
MORE TALES... J
ust a word to the wise, be careful when you take your river fishing boats out to sea at San Carlos de la Rapida the Guardia civil are watching you. Four boats recently escaped with a warning this time, but they had totted up fines of 12,000 euros or there about in alleged fines. The authorities were not interested that the boats had English skipper licences or were licenced for the Ebro. They were saying the boats have to carry Tarragona registration boat licences and the skipper licences have to be in Catalan. So am not sure what happens to other boats from other regions just in Tarragona waters for a run up the coast. Rumour is they will soon be insisting on all boats on the Ebro River to have the said same registration and skipper licences in Catalan - more paper work, more standing in queues in Tarragona. Be careful out there are bigger fish after you than those catfish monsters! Keep the emails and queries flowing into my Inbox or twitter me.
his month I received good feedback on my Cedula article from last month and though I mentioned Terres del Ebre. " No, it not just for Terres d'Ebre but for the whole of Catalonia as brought in by the Catalonia Supreme Court, and bless their flip flops, yes the Socialist government." The Cedula issue does affect all types of properties, not just rustica. Somehow we need to get the message across to the Socialist Party what damage this law has caused to the economic recovery of Catalonia. Our neighbouring province of Valencia have involved the EU in their dispute with town planners and someone should be accountable for allowing this to cascade. In the UK we would sue the Estate Agent or the Surveyor,here we are left out on a limp unless we all band together and push for a solution or pressure on the socialist party and the Prime Minister himself. Why not? Catalonia is till part of Spain! Lets not be fobbed off at the first hurdle.
ewsflash: Here's the latest on the Spanish judge they are trying to get rid of, please sign the latest petition if you believe in justice.
http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_garzon_1 RosieReay@Fodenpress.com Twitter@RosieReay
COOL AS A CUCUMBER
UCUMBERS CONTAIN MOST of the vitamins
you need every day. The list is long: Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic Acid, Vit C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc! The versatility of the humble cucumber is incredible. Here are just a few suggestions on what the cucumber can do for you! If you´re feeling a little tired in the afternoon, forget the coffee and pick up a cucumber. They provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours. Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up feeling refreshed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, Vit B and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients, keeping everything balanced, avoiding headaches and hangovers! Feeling stressed? Make up your own facial by cutting up a whole cucumber and placing it in a pot of boiling water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will be released in the steam, creating a soothing and relaxing aroma which has shown to reduce stress. Out of gum or mints and need to freshen your mouth? Take a slice of cucumber a n d press it to the roof of your
mouth for 30 seconds to eyes and also causes eliminate bad breath. The the collagen in your phytochemicals will kill the skin to tighten, bacteria causing this problem reducing wrinkles too! and leave your mouth feeling On a diet, or trying to fight off refreshed. that afternoon or evening Need to polish your snacking? A quick cucumber shoes quickly? Rub a meal will satiate your hunger. freshly cut cucumber Cucumbers are generally over the shoe. It´s served raw so that it´s crisp chemicals will provide refreshing flavour can be a quick, durable shine enjoyed to the full. Thin slices that not only looks are a basic ingredient of the great, but repels green and mixed salad and water! can be enjoyed with yoghurt in Out of WD 40 and need to fix the Greek dish of Tzatziki. a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it Cucumber and cream cheese along the problematic hinge sandwiches evoke memories and hey presto, the squeak is of summer garden parties and hollowed out cucumber gone! chunks filled with cream Grubs and slugs cheese are also a quick and ruining your plants easy snack. A lovely summer and flowers? Place a drink can be blended with few cucumber slices carrot juice, lemon juice and in a small pie tin and cucumber. your garden will be free of pests. Chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to us, but it drives garden pests crazy and makes them flee the area. Does your bathroom mirror fog up after a shower? Rub a slice of cucumber along the mirror, eliminating the fog and providing a spa-like fragrance at the same time. A cucumber slice on each eye for 20 minutes of relaxation helps to wake up tired
See also the recipe for cucumber relish in this month's food page – it is unbeatable.
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 23
LA SALUD SWEETENERS
hen we see adverts that talk of the importance of sugar to our health, they are playing with words and are misleading. They use terms like sugar and glucose as if they were the same. When they say that sugar is necessary because it gives us energy, they are actually saying that blood glucose (known colloquially as "blood sugar") is necessary because it gives us energy.
until the development of plantations and the i n d u s t r i a l implementation of the methods of extraction of sugar beet, sugar was not popular in its use in food. In the extraction of sucrose the food is deprived of beet or cane fibre, minerals, vitamins and trace elements. The content of sucrose in beet is about 15%. One 250g bar of chocolate (made with sugar concentrate) has a quantity equivalent to just over one and a half kilos of beets.
This concept is absolutely true; however glucose is not the same as white sugar, which is also Brown sugar is a less refined version of white sugar (white sugar known as sucrose. is mixed with molasses), with a Sweeteners are part of our negligible amount of vitamins and pleasures, their overuse is minerals. This type of sugar does unnecessary. Their long-term not have any advantage over white abuse is damaging because it can sugar. lead to overweight, diabetes, tooth Whole sugar, also called "cane decay, etc.. sugar" and in Spain known as When choosing the best "Panela", "Azucar integral de caĂąa sweeteners we should be guided in o de rapadura", is produced by our approach in two ways: firstly by extracting cane juice and then blood sugar levels and secondly by evaporating the water by heating or freeze-drying, leaving the sugar. its production process. Fructose, stevia, polyols, saccharin and aspartame sweeteners are tolerated by diabetics; the other sweeteners mentioned in this article raise levels of "blood sugar" rapidly. Sugar, white sugar or sucrose is the most consumed sweetener and also one of the most harmful to health if consumed in excess. There is no recommended dietary With this method of production of sugar consumption, primarily sugar, brown sugar preserves the because consumption is not minerals and vitamins of the cane sugar, so can be considered whole. recommended. Its texture is not crystalline and on However, it can be consumed in contact with moisture in the air it moderate amounts. White sugar is becomes sticky. a pure chemical and is produced by a chemical process from beet or OF ALL THE TYPES OF SUGAR THIS IS THE BEST. cane sugar. Sugar cane is harvested from a remote source, possibly in China or India. Until well Fructose is found abundantly in into the nineteenth century, and fruits, although it is not usually
obtained from them but is made sliced bread, biscuits, sauces, from white sugar by a chemical breakfast cereals, jams, yogurts, process which is much cheaper. etc. Whatever its provenance, fructose Many people consume is a pure chemical substance sugar without being without vitamins, minerals, or fibre. aware of it. Its sweetening power is higher than sucrose or white sugar. The only Advertising on television, advantage it has with respect to magazines and advertisements sucrose is that it does not raise the extolling its virtues abound, and level of glucose (blood sugar) there is silence on its drawbacks. quickly. With an excess of sweeteners you Its advertising is misleading, will see the needle on the scales fructose is not healthier than white rising, as well as your cholesterol, sugar, but diabetics tolerate it and you will become a candidate for better, although they have to cardiovascular disease. consume it in moderation. efined sugar is Eventually fructose can cause absorbed very quickly in problems because it has been the small intestine; the shown to induce the formation of blood glucose level triglycerides (fats) and to transform rises very quickly, which it into glucose the liver needs to leads to a state of work very hard. physical and mental excitement.
Honey is a food produced by bees for their livelihood. It contains a minimal proportion of minerals (0.10.2%). Honey contains inhibitants, substances that are bactericidal and antiseptic. One tablespoon of honey has a mild expectorant and antitussive action. Gargling honey soothes sore throats, tonsillitis and laryngitis.
Subsequently, the blood glucose level suddenly decreases, which is accompanied by mental depression, physical fatigue (morning and afternoon blues) which encourage us to take stimulants, for example coffee with more sugar, which leads to repeat the process of increasing then and suddenly decreasing our blood However, being a highly glucose levels. concentrated sugar food, it should The nutrients that come with not be excessively consumed. sucrose in the beet or cane are the Honey should be considered as a tools that are needed by our bodies food that should be monitored in to metabolize sucrose. people with diabetes. Almost all honey that is in the market has been When we consume refined sugar, heated to prevent crystallization the body must engineer these and yeast fermentation. removed nutrients from its own reserves, creating a deficit of The clearer and more fluid the vitamins, especially B group, honey, the greater is the chance minerals (especially magnesium) that it has been processed and trace elements. Ingestion of a industrially. considerable amount of sugar produces increased urinary calcium Disadvantages of too excretion.
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The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 24
SOME TO PONDER SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
THE HONEY BEE
ast month, we read about the honey bee and how without bees, there would be no flowers and therefore, ultimately, no food. Pollination is a vital part of the life cycle and our world would not be the same without it. Bees need to be nurtured and we need to
there are traces of amino acids and minerals, too. Scientists are still baffled by certain properties of honey and even today, are at a loss to explain the undoubted benefits gained by humans eating nature´s golden wonder.
ne of the oldest European uses of honey is the manufacture of an intoxicating drink known as mead. Honey is fermented and mixed with water and sometimes fruit and spices are added as flavouring. The earliest recorded use of honey is from the cave dwelling days of man. In Spain, a cave drawing depicts a man reaching for a beehive on a cliff. It is believe to be 20,000 years old. The only sweet substance known to our ancestors was honey. In time they used it as an learn more about how to keep them alive aphrodisiac, sweetener, cosmetic and as and busy! In Growing Nicely last month, a health supplement in fermented drink the author suggested a variety of ways on and wines. how we can help to encourage the life of Some Historical Snippets: the bee, so we can continue to enjoy the flowers and fruits for longer. Alexander The Great was embalmed in honey The honey bee is such a true wonder of nature, providing food for insects, animals and man. It also provides medication. But what is honey? The illustrated encyclopaedia of bee-keeping describes honey as: “an extremely variable mixture of many substances”.
and wax. Honey was used by the Assyrians in embalming. The Persians preferred beeswax. Legend has it that Zeus was cared for secretly in a cave by nursemaids, Melissa a n d Amalthea, who fed him on milk and honey. Mellissa means “she who makes honey”. In Ancient Egypt, the bee was one of the
Basically honey consists of sugars and Pharoahs´ sacred signs. Honey was used traces of the following: extensively in religious rites. It was used in Iron, copper, silica, many potent medicines and to dress wounds manganese, chlorine, and burns. proteins, calcium, Aristotle was one of the first believers in the potassium, sodium, powers of honey. It´s outstanding energy phosphorus, sulphur, value has benefited Greek athletes since aluminium and ancient times. magnesium. The tomb of an Egyptian King was not
Only the bees complete without jars of fragrant honey and themselves have the boxes of honey cakes. secret of producing honey with just the right ingredients in the right amounts. More on honey next month! How it can help you sleep, diet, There are almost 200 ingredients boost your energy levels and that have been identified in heal and nourish too. honey. Honey contains fructose, which is an JENNIE DEE important simple sugar and is also found in most fruits. Sucrose, dextrose and other sugars are also present, but then
"There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval", wrote the Spanish born philosopher, George Santayana. Death is one of the few certainties together with taxes. It can strike at anytime and anywhere and Spain is not exempt. In Spain, the death of a loved one is treated differently than in the UK. Many funerals occur within 24 hours so if family and love ones wish to be at the ceremony its is impossible if they have to travel from as far away as the UK. In Spain a certain protocol has to be followed after a death. The proper authorities have to be informed and are automatically dealt with if in hospital or a care facility. If not the Local Police and a Forensic Judge will be called to remove the body. If any paperwork is signed during this time you are tied to that Funeral Director. To protect yourself and your love ones from all this unnecessary stress, the sensible way of making sure that your wishes are carried out and your family is not forced to make important decisions under duress, is to contact us at Beneficial Insurance Services where we can help and advise in the best way to deal with this potential problem. Take the thoughtful and responsible approach and let us help you to pre-plan your funeral arrangements and set an affordable way to lock the cost in at today's prices. Pre-planning offers a way by which you can protect yourself from the ever increasing cost's of funeral services. Here is one of the many letters that we have received at Beneficial Insurance Services. " I had a nightmare time, trying to organize my husband's funeral, dealing with the loss and trying to be support the kids," said Brenda, who lives in Calpe. "There is so much to do and it all needs to happen so fast. Of course, neither my husband nor I really thought about dying or even discussed it seriously. If he'd known… if we'd known, then we would definitely have done something about it. The cost was just staggering; even though we hadn't wanted anything special, just a basic cremation." "Since then, I have taken a Pre-paid Funeral Plan with Beneficial for myself and also for my mother," continued Brenda, " I wouldn't want to go through that again or put anyone else through it." Pre-planning gives you the peace of mind of knowing that the arrangements you want will be conducted sensibly and in dignified respect of your wishes. One phone call and all your requirements in your plan will be carried out without fuss. Take the thoughtful and responsible approach today and contact your local agent, Beneficial Insurance Services on 965791222 or email us at email@example.com.
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 25
MÚSICA T HE I NTERNATIONAL C AMARLENC A COUSTIC M USICIAN
oan Rovira picked up the guitar at age 7, he had music lessons and went on to play the saxophone. I asked whether he comes from a musical family. “No”, he replied, “but my grandfather, whom I never knew, always played the harmonica”. He formed a band, ARANGU, (very funky Latin) whilst studying at the School of Music in Barcelona. Joan was lead singer and guitarist with eight others, but nowadays plays solo. He prefers the freedom and can concentrate on working on his own music without the pressure, being part of a band, can often bring.
Singing in English, Catalan, Spanish or Italian, Joan´s voice has a fantastic range and he applies the unique Joan Rovira acustik sound to many favourite soul and jazz sounds of the past.
They all speak highly of this down to earth young man who I am sure, will rise to fame and stardom steadily with his own take on what we call soul, rhythm and blues.
Influenced by Pat Metheny, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, The Beatles, Otis Reading and Marvin Gaye, he is a pure delight to watch and listen to as he plays his guitar with passion and sings with much expression and energy.
His family support and encourage him and even his brother is known to jump in as a sound and lights technician when Joan is playing nearer to home.
Shelter Paw Prints ... Pets leave Paw Prints on your Heart In this section we present 3 shelter animals each month, who are ready for adoption and in search of a good home. Shelter Favorite Jula is this months favourite. This cute female was dumped at the shelter as a puppy. Unbelievably no-one has come to adopt her and the poor thing has spent the majority of her young energetic life cooped up in the shelter. She's great with people and especially kids, making her a perfect family dog. This energy bundle of love does need to run and play and is quite active. Jula doesn't want to grow old in the shelter, never knowing how great, fun, and exciting life outside the shelter can be. She'd really love to spice up your life a little, in exchange for some TLC (tender loving care).
He has a busy diary beforehand playing in Barcelona, followed by Reus and then Amposta and Rasquera. Towards the end of May, he returns to L'Aldea, Vinaros and on 3 June at The City Arms in Vic. He is off to play in Italy throughout most of June and returns to Catalunya before heading off for Dubai in July. We are hoping to catch him playing at Riumar on Saturday 14 August for their Diada del Turisme at Les Dunes. oan travels lightly with his guitar and has much enthusiasm and ambition. He is a truly exceptional young man, writing his own songs and is currently recording his second album Joan Rovira Acustik II at his studio in Camarles, due to be released next February. If you get the opportunity to see him, go.
He occasionally sings with his music guru, Olga Pes. They harmonise well together. A local girl, Olga has her own album called The Spring´s Jealousy. Watch out for her on the London music scene. She met up with Joan recently in London for some jam sessions.
He often plays in Madrid, Barcelona and locally in his home region. He still keeps all his friends who support him 101% and love his music.
Camden Town, Joan Rovira is planning to return to London next month.
Having just returned from London playing clubs in King´s Cross, Notting Hill, Regent´s Park and
You won´t be disappointed and the nice thing is that he sings great songs suitable for all the family. We went along to one of his concerts with our 12 year old daughter. She was rocking away! You can listen to his music, read more about this amazing musician and check out his latest tour dates at
www.myspace.com/joanroviracustik Joan Rovira Acustik's guitar is sponsored by Guitarras Alhambra Spain
www.alhambrasl.com Joan Rovira performs at many social events and can be hired for private functions too. Tel 650254930 or contact The Catalunya Chronicle.
Shelter Ambassador Perlita is a beautiful Samoyed. She was abandoned as a puppy and has been at the shelter ever since. This white wonder loves people and is a joy to be around. She's active, loves to play, and needs some devoted time from her new owners. A perfect home for Perlita would be a house with a garden, a finca, or an active person who'll take her out for walks. Perlita's little pet pea is that she doesn't get along with cats. Is this the dog you've been looking for? She's waiting for you.
such a good and easy going dog and he's wasting away in the shelter. Lolo desperately needs to be re-homed to anywhere where he's loved.
Shelter May-Day Lolo is a three year old small mixed breed. He's very obedient and gets along fine with other dogs. Due to his calm nature he would be a great companion for the less active or older folks without young children. He doesn't bark at night, and would be perfect for an apartment building. He is
Directions: On the N340 between L'Aldea and Camarles take the entrance road next to the big red Estrella Dam building, at km 1089.5.
If you are interested in one of these animals, please visit the no kill animal shelter "Alberg d'animals de les Terres de l'Ebre" in Camarles. Saturday and Sunday mornings 9:00 - 12:00 - There are English speaking volunteers present. Currently the shelter does not have regular opening hours, so please call before visiting to avoid disappointment.
From here, call the shelter at 619848778 and they will explain how to continue.
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 26
A POT POURRI Carling donâ€™t do Tax Returns...but if they did? Dear Mr Addison, I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order. Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand". This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents. Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the "endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat" has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from "pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers" might indicate that your decision to "file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies" is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a "lackwit bumpkin" or, come to that, a "sodding charity". More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole. Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay "go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services", a moment's rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to "stump up for the whole damned party" yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor's disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on "junkets for Bunterish lickspittles" and "dancing whores" whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, "that box-ticking facade of a university system." A couple of technical points arising from direct queries: 1. The reason we don't simply write "Muggins" on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;
WATCH ALL THE LIVE WORLD CUP MATCHES AT ALCOSSEBREâ€™S LIVELIEST BAR & RESTAURANT ON THE MARINA
2. You can rest assured that "sucking the very marrow of those with nothing else to give" has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn't render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.
WE SERVE THE BEST FISH & CHIPS IN TOWN GREAT FOOD SERVED ALL DAY, EVERY DAY SUNDAY LUNCHES, ENGLISH BREAKFASTS, DRAUGHT BEERS, ADSL INTERNET ACCESS OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR
I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to "give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India" you would still owe us the money.
PUERTO DEPORTIVO 17/18, 12579 ALCOSSEBRE TEL: 964 414 313
Please send it to us by Friday. Yours sincerely,
WEEKLY MARKETS MON
H J Lee Customer Relations Inland Revenue
Amettla de Mar, Peniscola, Reus, Salou Tortosa
Alcossebre, Ampolla Amposta Benicarlo Camarles Cambrills Tarragona Hospitalet
THURS Amettla de Mar La Cava Deltebre
Camarles Sant Carles Tarragona Miami Playa Hospitalet
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 27
SERVICES Services WASHING AND IRONING SERVICE. Washer broken? Ironing piling high? Just too busy? We offer washing and drying only, washing and drying plus ironing or just ironing. Door to door service. Mora d’Ebre and surrounding areas Call Joanne 691538490. 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 HIRE All types of Agricultural Work undertaken by experienced farmer. Trees sprayed and pruned. Land Cleared Help with Livestock. Has own tractor.
No job too small. Call Davide on 680 150 309 (Spanish) or 636 292 568 (English)
4 Paws 4 Eyes
GENERAL BUILDER Time served builder, over 25 years experience. Legal registered builder in Catalunya for over 4 years. All kinds of work including bricklaying, plastering, tiling, plumbing, electrics, roofing etc. Tel. Jonathan 699396053.
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 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
4 Ur Security
Property For Sale or To Rent Advertise your property here in our new section Commercial Advertising rates apply - €15 per insertion for text only adverts (25c per word over 35 words) IVA included.
FOR SALE Large Apartment + Shop part of Tortosa Cathedral. Both reformed & in upcoming area. Great investment! Flat: 115,000€ Shop: 60,000€ Buy both for 150,000€
TEL 633 54 77 73 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR SALE Lovely Finca near El Perello with lots of trees + Mobile Home & small Almacen etc. Bargain 40,000€
TEL: 633 54 77 73 EMAIL: email@example.com
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
Housesitting with or without my guard dog
Shop for Sale - New Build
Pet care at their home or at ours / Dog walking
Hospitalet de Llobregat
Contact: Dot 600 564 097 Benicarlo
Two storeys / ground floor 67m2 / first floor 48m2. Excellent situation - good access Price €260.000 Call 977581111 for more information
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Mann the Handyman. Simple, practical and economical solutions for ALL your business and domestic building repairs and maintenance. Electrical, plumbing, building, rendering,carpentry, tiling, painting and decorating,electro-domestics and assembling IKEA packs. Whatever your requirements - from putting up a shelf to modernising your kitchen or bathroom to a new build Call ANDY on 663 074 773. see our website at andymann.webs.com Contact us at email@example.com
FOR SALE TOWN HOUSE, MIRAVET Ideal B&B 4 ensuite double bedrooms Roof Terrace,Garage 275 000€ Tel: 977407540/ 675071794
FOR SALE MIAMI PLATJA TWO-BEDROOM HOUSE €180000 MASOS BLADER. LOVELY TWOBEDROOM HOUSE EXTENDABLE. LIVING ROOM. KITCHEN. BATHROOM. FIREPLACE. STORAGE ROOM. TERRACE: 50m2. PLOT: 250m2. Call 647 287 572 for more info
FOR SALE MORA D’EBRE SUNNY FINCA €59500 New build registered Almacen 50m2 Flat land, lovely views, cisterna. OPPORTUNITY to take over Mortgage of €36,000 (€223 Euros per month) plus €23,500 cash Interested ring Tracey 639 548 092 FOR SALE L’AMPOLLA 3 BED HOUSE €220000 Fully Furnished in centre, 2 mins from beach Living room, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 2 balconies, fully alarmed, Double glazed pvc windows & central heating. Well decorated throughout, Garage, Garden.
TEL: 618 756 594
For even more impact take advantage of our new service as shown in the advert below: In the Paper:One colour photo, brief description and contact details AND ALSO On our website : FOR ALL Up to 4 photos displayed in a gallery €25 1000 words to use for description Map displaying the location of the property Go to www.chroniccat.com for more details.
Catalonian Properties 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. www.catalonianproperties.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel/Fax: (0034) 977 470 924 Mobile: 606 813 219 or 615 316 722
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 28
PASSATEMPS Cryptic Prize Crossword Little Britain â‚Ź10 voucher to winner drawn at random from correct solutions received by 18th of May. Please email or post it to us, with your name and telephone number.
1 Move about aimlessly with this regal bird (4)
1 Located at a statue i'd harassed (8)
3 Markedly different Lincoln ended war, dashed off in time (8)
2 Frame for dessication (5)
9 Enterpriser lost his pens and gained a fourlegged friend (7) 10 A strength found in florentine without the Bolshevik (5)
4 Infertile Republican bearing north behind watering hole (6) 5 Low temperature device that re-adjusted a rarer refit go (12) 6 Alongside an abbreviated point (7)
11 Reconfirm a car association mixed up with an NY resident whose parents came from overseas (4-8)
7 Star had one, an arduous journey (4)
13 Coerce once to the right (6)
8 The Serengeti dam collapsed, all at sixes and sevens, a conflict (12)
15 A skeleton not ok with an affectionate embrace (6)
12 Ever ripe postponement of punishment (8)
14 Cheat more that once, at a particular hour 17 Type of sailing vessel - near trade-off goes off (3-4) (4-3-5) 16 Officer, flag, nose ring without gold (6) 20 Ideas from a different direction (5) 18 Weave in towelling gone away (5) 21 Revere graven image is in Eastern religion (7) 19 This wench found in Latin-American ship (4) 22 Stewing a stew makes for perspiration (8) 23 Down in the dumps having mixed up the oil (4)
Last Monthâ€™s Solution : Across: 1 Dustpan, 5 Smart, 8 Bhaji, 9 Turmoil, 10 Salvation Army, 11 Papaya, 12 Cuckoo, 15 Encyclopaedia, 18 Uncross, 19 Idiom, 20 E-mail, 21 Handgun. Down: 1 Debts, 2 Scallop, 3 Primary school, 4 Nutria, 5 Strangulation, 6 Amour, 7 Tally-ho, 11 Presume, 13 Kidding, 14 Borsch, 16 Cocoa, 17 Adman.
Across 1 Scent (7) 5 Unspoken (5) 8 Distance (7) 9 Mature (5) 10 Relative (5) 11 Adios (7) 12 Cognac (6) 14 Maintenance (6) 17 Sporting match(7) 19 A well-suited position (5) 22 Island (5) 23 Flat plain (7) 24 A fertile tract in a desert (5) 25 Take off clothes (7)
Down 1 Aquatic South American rodent (5) 2 Words of a song (5) 3 Green light (2-5) 4 Come into view (6) 5 The body (5) 6 Able to do a job (7) 7 Be nervous (5,2) 12 La. US animal (7) 13 Worried (7) 15 Letter friends (3,4) 16 Piled high (6) 18 Large fruit (5) 20 System of beliefs (5) 21 Escape (5)
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 29
INFORMATION Que? Monthly look at some differences between Catalan and Spanish words English June Not bad, ok welcome Big, old shoes timetable
Spanish Junio No mal, bien bienvenido grande zapatos horario
stroll farmer To return/come back To sign people Room reserved
pasear El granjero volver firmar La gente habitación Reservado/a
Catalan Juny Anar fent benvingut gran sabates horari passejar El pagés tornar signar La gent habitació
Personal Classified Ads are FREE up to a maximum of 35 words, and subject to a maximum sales value of €1000. No more than three items at a time please. Business Classified Ads start at €15, subject to size. Whether you have your artwork or not, included in the price we offer a design service and we will endeavour to match your requirements. 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%).
Let people know you are in business - can you afford not to?
Chronicle C / Martirs 6, 43500, Tortosa, Tarragona, Spain. Website: www.chroniccat.com email: email@example.com Telephone: 636 292 568 (Chris) or 646 353 442 (Tim) Deposito Legal: T-1528-2009 Circulation: 5,000 this month Printed by: Lerigraf sl
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 Peniscola Benifallet Miami Platja Gandesa
Bitem Vinaros Benicarlo Freginals ... with more to come
W HAT ’ S O N
Advertising Rates To advertise in the next edition of the Catalunya Chronicle we would need your copy before the 18th of the month.
No part of this document may be reproduced without written consent from the paper. The Catalunya Chronicle cannot be held responsible for the contents of the articles supplied by it’s contributors, nor for the claims made by it’s advertisers. Trademarks and Copyright are held by their respective owners. We would like to thank all our contributors, article writers and advertisers for all their fabulous support. Copyright © The Catalunya Chronicle 2010 All Rights Reserved.
For up to date details please visit our On-Line Calendar at www.chroniccat.com. We cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the details above – as always, it is a good idea to check before attending.
Sun 30 May L'Ampolla Car Boot - Camping St. Jordi,Platje Avellanes Tres Tombs - Camarles - Camarles Village L'Aldea Car Boot - L'Ermita, L'Aldea Sat 5 Jun TastaMar -Festa del Mar - St Carles de la Rapita Sun 6 Jun Mora Boot sale - C/Garcia Restaurant Braseria,Can Palomo, Mora La Nova Wed 9 Jun Games night including wine and cheese, L'Ampolla - Old Peoples Club, L Ampolla Sun 13 Jun Full Communion Service L'Ampolla - L'Ampolla Church Tortosa Friendship Club & Boot Sale - Ravel de Crist Art Craft & Music Fayre Meeting - Camping St. Jordi Editor’s Wife’s Birthday - I must try not to forget!! Sun 20 Jun Mora Boot sale - C/Garcia Restaurant Braseria,Can Palomo, Mora La Nova Wed 23 Jun Family Worship El Perello - El Perello Church Sun 27 Jun L'Ampolla Car Boot - Camping St. Jordi, latje Avellanes, Fri 2 Jul
Open Beach Football - L'Ampolla
Sat 3 Jul
Open Beach Football - L'Ampolla
To add your event here free of charge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 30
CLASSIFIED SECTION Personal FOR SALE Stihl MS440 Chainsaw, 50cm blade, brand new, never used. Store price 1,000 Euros, selling for 500 Euros. Tel 977473278
FOR SALE WROUGHT IRON GATE 203 cm x 90 cm COMPLETE WITH ALL FITTINGS AND LOCKS €95 Tel 977460043
FOR SALE SUBARU LEGACY ESTATE CAR 2.2 PETROL 1995 UK REG NUMBER 88000 MILES TOWBAR ELECTRICS 6 STACK CD PLAYER ETC ALARM GOOD ALL ROUND CONDITION EL PERELLO £495 TEL 626641078
FOR SALE 4 x New Stainless Steel Flue Pipes. Each 1 x metre x 0.175mm dia. Cost new 144 Euros. Accept 70 Euros. Phone 620 179 483 Mike.
FOR SALE IDEAL FOR CARBOOT SALE 2 LGE BAGS OF CLOTHES + MISC ITEMS SOME NEW 15 EUROS THE LOT 977 457 586 FOR SALE DIY and builder’s kit for sale. Power tools, scaffold, barrows, pumps, props. Near L’Aldea. Please call for a full list 629 010233 FOR SALE 2 Almacen / Shed doors €25 each €40 for the pair Tortosa Area Call 689 354 898
Personal FOR SALE Jacuzzi shower New with lights / radio etc. Bargain: 300€ Basin + marble top & unit PRICE: 95€
FOR SALE 2 radio controlled toy racing cars. Hardly used and in good condition. 20 euros the pair. Phone 677 14 29 26 L'Ametlla de Mar area.
TEL: 633 54 77 73
FOR SALE SINGER TREADLE SEWING MACHINE Good condition. Table included. 50€ CASTELLON AREA 964 320 287 (EVENINGS) Huppy@gmail.com
Small Steel Door 140 x 80cm with3 keys and Lock €35 Yale Dial up Home Alarm System - Dials 3 numbers when activated Never Used €60 Chase Invertor/Charger 12v system €300 Call 650 318 700 El Perello
Black with Gold decoration. Original wooden base & casing. CASTELLON AREA 964 320 287 (EVENINGS) Huppy@gmail.com
Gas oven 3 rings & oven, Good condition. PRICE: 50 €. Tel:
L'Ampolla 977 460498
GOT SOMETHING TO SELL? Personal Ads free up to €1000 Maximum of three items per month FOR SALE Ladies and gents bikes, each have 18 gears and are in excellent condition. 50 euros each.
FOR SALE Electric Fridge Freezer Very Good Condition
Phone 677 14 29 26 for further details. L'Ametlla de Mar area.
Bargain @ €200 ono
FOR SALE Two PVC white doors brand new Stained glass panels still wrapped €250 each Tel 657 285 436 or 627 291 107
WANTED STATIC CARAVAN 2 BED MIN DOUBLE BED BUNK BEDS QUAD BIKE L'AMETLLA AREA TEL 676 927 175
Diagnosed with Cancer? or had Cancer in the past? We are a support group who meet once a month & keep in touch to share, care & support each other. Contact Charlotte email@example.com or 622 553446
Personal FOR SALE Horses/Ponies for sale €800+ ring 977059886 or 699115410 for more info
Need a Helping Hand
Seeks suitable employment Mon – Fri (daytime only) – general household duties, looking after the elderly, tidying gardens, washing, ironing, shopping, etc. L’Ampolla / Tortosa Area
Around the House / Can't get to the Shops ?
References available For more information call Diana on 697944440 (Spanish) or 693790552 (English)
Dot 600 564 097 Benicarlo
Also have 5 years experience respite care. Contact:
or Email: dandbplus3@hotmail. com
FOR SALE Zanussi Chest Freezer. Good working order.
FOR SALE OLD SINGER ELECTRIC SEWING MACHINE
GIRL FRIDAY FOR SALE
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
634 469 368 FOR SALE Large amounts of plumbing and electrical material buy the lot or what you need guarantee less than 50% of the cost tel 634162387
Size 920w, 735d, 850h. 270 L capacity. Located el Perello. €75. TEL:669 826 760
WANTED House for rent around L'Ampolla, long term but not necessary needed immediately. Quiet location, must be winter and dogs suited. No holiday let style/prices. Agency and serious landlords preferred. Email LW@wideblue.co.uk TEL UK 02081444873 WANTED Gas bottles yellow butane. Offers to: 644 24 3415 / firstname.lastname@example.org WANTED Ladder minimum 5 meter. Offers to: 644 24 3415 / email@example.com WANTED Gun, shotgun, rifle, airgun or pistol Offers to: 644 24 3415 / firstname.lastname@example.org
WANTED Toyota Landcruiser, 5 doors, right or left hand drive, with title, cash in 2 hours. tel 626507159, email@example.com FOR SALE Twin Axle Trailer New Axles, Carring Cap 2000 kg, no brakes 2.4 x 1.2 Price €1250 Shower Screen Turning €50 Outboard Motor Yamaha 85hp 2 stroke €1500 Outboard Motor Evinrude 9.9hp 2 stroke €500 L’Ampolla Willy Dom 977 460 498 648 457 725 FOR SALE Atlas Classic Midi mobile home for sale, 28ft x 10ft. Two bedrooms. Very clean condition. Full size gas cooker,gas fire,fridge. 4750 Euros. Buyer to arrange transport. Tivenys area Tel 977 059 891 email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 31
THE FINAL WORD David received a parrot for his birthday. The parrot was fully grown with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren't expletives, were to say the least, rude. David tried hard to change the bird's attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything he could think of to try and set a good example... Nothing worked. He yelled at the bird and the bird yelled back. He shook the bird and the bird just got more angry and more rude. Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the parrot in the freezer. For a few moments he heard the bird squawk and kick and scream - then suddenly, there was quiet. Not a sound for half a minute. David was frightened that he might have hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out onto David's extended arm and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I will endeavor at once to correct my behavior. I really am truly sorry and beg your forgiveness." David was astonished at the bird's change in attitude and was about to ask what had made such a dramatic change when the parrot continued, "May I ask what the chicken did." Lipstick According to a news report, a certain private school recently was faced with a unique problem. A number of middle school girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the maintenance man who had to clean the mirrors every night.
The Buffalo Theory of Beer. A herd of buffalo can move only as fast as the slowest buffalo. When the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.
To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it.
In much the same way the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, we all know, kills brain cells, but naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first.
Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. There are teachers, and then there are educators.
In this way regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
One night a robber broke into a home and heard a voice say, "Jesus is watching you!" while he rummaged through the desk. He replied, "Who said that?!" Once again he heard the same thing, "Jesus is watching you!"
We go that extra mile to ensure your move runs smooth!
The robber looked around the room only to see a parrot. He asked the parrot what its name was. The parrot replied, "Cornelius." The robber said, "What kind of a name is that?! Who names a parrot that?!" The parrot said, "The same person who named that rottweiler behind you Jesus!"
URGENTLY WANTED - PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN Lâ€™AMPOLLA & Lâ€™AMETTLA DE MAR
The Catalunya Chronicle - Issue 9 JUNE 2010 - www.chroniccat.com - Page 32