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When hard work is bearing fruit The wish for success is very often blind, and it is easy to sleep oneself into a world where everything just rolls on rails. ‘It is just extremely good syndrome’ one could call it when dreams replace reality but, when the train one day suddenly runs off the rails, it is difficult to get back on track. That is why the owners of Cocina Invita, La Cala, Peter, Heidi and Antonio, from the first day have been vigilant to deal realistically with things and not allow themselves to take success for granted. Teamwork pays off: Cocina Invita, La Cala, consists of a staff of five employees: Heidi and Agneta take care of sales and administration; Antonio mainly takes care of sales; Peter is the director of the store but also takes care of the delivery and installation of the kitchens together with their Danish fitter, and follows all the customers very closely. But, despite these different tasks, all five benefit from each other’s expertise and all can be helpful to customers and suppliers. ‘‘When the customer enters the door, there is always someone who can help, which guarantees competent assistance to the customer,’’ assures Peter. Heidi and Peter both have many years’ experience in the industry. Before the decision to settle in Spain, Peter was employed at Invita Kitchens A/S in Denmark, for four years with bedroom furniture, and a subsequent six years as key account manager at Invita Kitchens A/S. Likewise, Heidi has eight years of experience as a supplier to the kitchen industry in Denmark. Danish design and quality: Invita Kitchens was established in Denmark in 1974 by Leif Nygaard and is now represented in many countries in Europe. And, precisely for this reason, a large proportion of Scandinavians, British and Irish, who have homes in Southern Spain, show great interest in Cocina Invita’s kitchens. It specifically draws this clientele to Danish design and quality. Cocina Invita in La Cala offers kitchens in a wide range, from romantic style to modern kitchens in minimalist style. But that does not mean that kitchens sell themselves. Although the store in La Cala de Mijas opened nearly four years ago, they ensure that they are still in the phase of building up the business. One of the main factors for customers is the first impression of the store. A good starting point may not always lead to a result, but a bad first impression scares the customer. Since Cocina Invita, La Cala, is a small business, all things are very much teamwork. And this is achieved partly by using each other’s expertise and experience.

Very often it is a long process for the customer to buy a kitchen, until the final result can be seen. For Cocina Invita, La Cala, it is of great importance to create a relationship of trust with the customer, not only during the purchase process where a close relationship with the customer is formed but also during the entire installation, and then when the kitchen is keenly maintained. It is important that the customer is taken into the process of the fitting, especially if changes need to be made. And that’s why Cocina Invita, La Cala, also helps, not only in the event of unforeseen obstacles during the installation but also subsequently. It may be that power or water by mistake has been turned off during the installation and craftsmen cannot get on with the work. In such a situation Cocina Invita, La Cala, solves any problems. Debate is not an option: A large part of Cocina Invita's service is to have the best possible communication with the customer. It is the company’s philosophy to discuss everything with the customer and, if there’s anything the customer wants to change, such items will be addressed right away without argument. Their goal is satisfied customers, not only during the fitting, but also when the kitchen is finished. Because of the size of the shop, the customer will often be in contact with all the employees, who rapidly provide a nice family atmosphere where the customer feels good. Nothing comes by itself: Both Peter and Heidi admit that it is hard to do business in Spain. They have not had a holiday for the last four years, but they are both willing to sacrifice those values if it means that the company meets the requirements that they themselves have set. And so far they are both extremely happy with the results obtained. It is not just about running a business, but to work to obtain wishes and goals and create a good workplace which, in line with increasing customer satisfaction, strengthens the belief that hard work pays off.



43 costa culture

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Spanish Christmas Calendar What’s going on, when

Cover story Curious Christmas Customs from Spain by Mike Wilkinson

costa getaways

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Cover story Have a Healthy Christmas Happy New Year Tips for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Cover story Hollywood Icons Goodbye Norma Jean by Harvey Mann

costa companies


Local Business Spotlight

costa lifestyle

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Helen Johnson In training for a trip to the

Everest Base Camp Mens Stuff The principles of success... What Men Want What Women Want 80’s style make up is back...

Urine samples could reveal breast cancer risk...

costa homes

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Interiors To Touch is a Nice Feeling The House Doctor Not quite a hard Dickensian Christmas but definitely hard times ahead… and bitter pills offer little cure

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Step by Step guide to buying a property in Spain

Cover story Flowers for Winter by Simon Hill


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Eager Beaver by Peter Harrison Costa Cuisine Spiritual Thought Christmas Humour Bytes & Pieces Showbiz Whispers / Movie Review Classic Christmas Movies Strange But True & Challenge



Hello and welcome... to issue 43 of Costa Life Magazine and I know that in previous issues I have referred to Christmas looming but this is ridiculous, we are here already! I can’t remember of a year in Spain which has gone so quickly for us. It’s been a very busy year for many different reasons. For many people they will be glad to see the back of 2008 and let’s hope that phrases like ‘‘credit crunch’’ ‘‘global recession’’ and ‘‘economic meltdown’’ are to disappear into the distant past as soon as possible. I know that there are serious problems out there but the media don’t help in the least and it seems that the more newspapers they can sell by being negative the more negative they will be. I am a conspiracy theorist anyway, so in my opinion it’s all been manipulated for an ulterior motive! We can only hope that things improve in the coming year and the sooner the better for everybody. But as they say, a recession makes and breaks millionaires and there are opportunities out there if we look for them. For example across Europe it has been reported that Supermarket chains like Aldi and Lidl are recording record takings as people are switching from the more expensive supermarkets in order to save money. So there are fortunes made and lost in hard times. Christmas is upon us and it’s a fact, so I hope you are well on with your preparations whether you are staying here or traveling back to your home countries. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our clients for their continued support this year, particularly in the light of the way things have been in 2008. I have to also make the comment that all our long term clients are still with us and are still in business. This speaks volumes of the continued and growing popularity of Costa Life. Advertising in the right places works and Costa Life is definitely one of the best. We will be celebrating our 5th anniversary in May which is fantastic and we are looking forward to a more prosperous year in 2009, oh dear we are nearly into double figures in the noughties! How time flies, thank you to you, our readers, for continuing to use Costa Life as part of your staple reading diet and as always don’t forget to use our clients if you need their services and let them know where you saw their ad. We believe we are firmly established now as one on the primary media outlets on the coast and that is down to a lot of hard work over 5 years. Anyway, we would like to wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas and very prosperous and safe New Year. See you in 2009!!

Editor Sharon Holdsworth Consulting Editor Harvey Mann Design and Production David Philliskirk Advertising Sales Ronan Holdsworth IT Advisor Dave Howard of Alphashare Web Master Mike Wilkinson Contributors Linda Christie Peter Harrison Simon Hill Helen Johnson Annika Jonsson Harvey Mann Jan Morley Numero Uno Estates Cruella Parsons Annette Riggall Russell Vaughn Mike Wilkinson Company Director Ronan Holdsworth Partner Barrie Shearman Images courtesy of Costa del Sol Tourist Board PR Shots

Deposito Legal MA-0054-2004

For Information on distribution points, sales or any other enquiries call 952 492 250*, 600 713 028 or email: or visit our website *new contact number

Reproduction of this magazine in whole or part without the written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited. The views expressed by contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the publishers. Although every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information and the advertisements contained within this magazine, the publishers can accept no liability.

Produced by and part of the HOLDSWORTH SHEARMAN MEDIA GROUP

952 492 250



180,000 €

Built Area: 50m2, Land Area: 8,000m2, Bedrooms: 2, Bathrooms: 1 A perfect little house situated on a very nice plot with excellent views. Land description: A lovely plot with views of the town one way and the beautiful countryside the other way. Possibility to legally build another 20m2.



280,000 €



399,000 €

Built Area: 160m2, Land Area: 29,000m2, Bedrooms: 2, could more, Bathrooms: 2, Outhouses Great property on a fanatic plot. This Lovely country house has a legal extension added to the property that is currently under construction. The property has so much potential and the new buyers have the opportunity to finish the extension to their liking. A wonderful property with so much potential.



265,000 €

Built Area: 110m2 plus lots of covered terrace, Land Area: 3,045m2, Bedrooms: 3 could be more as there is a big outbuilding and other coved areas. Bathrooms: 1, plus a shower room, 2, covered carports, Big outhouse. Great property, very light and spacious on a lovely mature plot full of fruit trees. The house is a good size but also there is a big outbuilding prefect for extra accommodation and two covered carports. There is an useful outside kitchen and BBQ area prefect for entertaining. Great property with lots of character.

Built Area: 114m2, Land Area: 368m2, Bedrooms: 2 (1 main, 1 en-suite to guest room), Bathrooms: 2, Ample off-street parking Quiet urbanization in great location close to Alhaurin, Coin & the Marbella road. Private plot which is fully enclosed. Well-maintained, spacious, low-maintenance property. Decorated to a high specification. Relaxing sun-lounge with open views. Built-in storage cupboards in corridors. Tiled terrace / footpath surrounding property. Tiled, rooftop terrace with magnificent aspect of countryside and mountains. Additional features: Swimming Pool, Marble floors, Satellite TV, Safe. Burglar alarm & smoke detector, Security grills on windows. One level possibility for two levels doubling the size of the property.




299,000 €

Built Area: 170 m2, Land Area: 233 m2, Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 3, parking area. This lovely house is situated on the ONLY urbanisation in Monda, which has only about 24 houses all of different design, which makes this property very unique indeed. The house itself is split into two levels each with 2 bedrooms and a kitchen; it is very spacious and has great views over the countryside the village and Monda castle. There is a lovely garden and terrace area so very easy to manage and again a nice area to enjoy the gorgeous views. The house is only a short drive from the Marbella Gun and Country club, and only 15 minutes to Marbella and 20 minute to Malaga airport. A really exceptional property.

Alhaurin el Grande

1,260,000 €

Built Area: 475 m2, Land Area: 1,500 m2, Bedrooms: The top floor is the bedroom floor with 4 bedrooms 2 ensuite. Extra guest bedroom on first floor, Bathrooms: 3 bathrooms, 2 toilets, This designer built and fitted out property has it all. Magnificent central spiral marble staircase, fabulous kitchen. Set in wonderful grounds. The main living floor has a central fireplace magnificent views and masses of space. Land description: Garden area fully planted with tropical trees, Royal Astro Turf, Thai pagoda’s, pool and terrace areas. Varied sunbathing and shade areas. Fairst floor terrace that overlooks the grounds.


Alhaurin El Grande

525,000 €

Built Area: 195m2, Land Area: 5,450m2, Bedrooms: 3, 1 en-suit in the main, Bathrooms: 3, & WC, Casita next to the pool, glass house and two outbuildings, Pool: 9 x 4 half very private. This beautiful country Finca is located in a sought after area. The property has bundles of charter, is very spacious and boasts of a charming garden with a fish pond. Airconditioning hot and cold half double glassed and lots of storage. A wonderful property in a sought after area.


Alhaurin el Grande

495,000 €

Built Area: 140m2, Land Area: 6,000m2, Bedrooms: 3, 2 with fitted wardrobes, Bathrooms: 2, Covered carport for two cars. A gorgeous country property, on a flat private plot with stunning views. The property is spotless throughout and has superb high beamed coaling, air-conditioning hot and cold and plenty of storage in the attic.The property is totally fenced, not over looked and an ideal place foe horses. Land description: A really delightful property in a great part of the country, close to both Alhaurin, coin towns and the Marbella road.



475,000 €

Built Area: 180 sq m, Land Area: 12,000 sq m, Bedrooms: 3 plus 1 guest accommodation, Bathrooms: 3, Outhouse, Pool: 8 x 4. Country villa with split level open plan living room and separate dining room. 3 bedrooms with a self contained one bedroom guest cottage. Full central heating plus air con. This villa is located in one of best parts of Guaro, in the country yet near enough to the town to enjoy its typically Spanish atmosphere. Guaro’s ‘‘Luna Mora’’ celebrations in September are world renowned. The villa has asouth facing pool, covered BBQ area and fabulous views across the surrounding area.



LAST 3 REMAINING from 45,000 Euros

New Luxury studios apartments and offices for sale located in the best part of Alhaurin town next to all amenities. The studios/offices have all been finished to a very high standard, with marble floors, solid oak doors, beautiful tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms. Some have small charming court yards with water features. Varied opportunities to use as small business centre, individual offices, or separate studio apartments.



699,000 Euros

Build: 350, Plot: 800m2, Beds: 4, 3 in the main and 1 in the casita, could be 6, Baths: 5 A great opportunity to purchase the only villa which is for sale on this new exciting urbanisation, which is in the country but walking distance to Alhaurin el Grande town. The villa is 3 years old very light and spacious with and although there is 4 bedrooms and present there is the possibility of using the lovely converted attics or the full-size games room for more accommodation if desired. Separate self contained little house on one level with 40m2 beautiful studio.The location of this property is fantastic; being next to the town and close to all amenities is a great bonus. Also being a new urbanization and having no others like this around the area, we feel that this is a sought after property. The town hall has great plans for this urbanization leaving plenty of areas for gardens with pretty landscaping, so the urbanization already today is delightful which will only improves as the months go on.


With so many events happening during the Spanish Christmas season it's hard to keep track of what’s actually happening and when it happens. So to be sure you don’t miss out on any fire jumping or getting your ‘‘El Gordo’’ lottery tickets we at Costa Life Magazine have put together a list of all the important days during December and beyond.

Dec 6th - Dia de la Constitución (Constitution Day). Nothing to do with Christmas, but it’s a bank holiday all the same. The day actually marks the national referendum which took place on 6th December 1978 to approve the Spanish Constitution.

Dec 8th - ‘Inmaculada’ (Feast of the Immaculate Conception), A public holiday that starts off the religious celebrations. It actually celebrates Mary’s conception in her mother’s womb, and not, as some might think, the virginal conception of Jesus in hers.

Dec 21st - ‘Hogueras’ (Bonfires). This tradition originated long before Christmas itself. It is the observance of the winter solstice December 21st, the shortest day of the year and the beginning of winter. It is characterized by people jumping over fires as a symbolic protection against illness. This fire-jjumping can be seen primarily in Granada and Jaén.

Dec 22nd - ‘El Gordo’ (The fat one). The Spanish Christmas lottery, El Gordo or ‘The Fat One’, is the biggest lottery in the world and also one of the oldest. Everyone’s hoping to win a share of €2.3billion which is the fund total so far for 2008.

Dec 24th - Nochebuena (Christmas Eve). Christmas Eve is known as ‘‘Nochebuena’’ (the Good Night). It is a time for family members to gather together to rejoice and feast around the Nativity scenes that are present in nearly every home. The Christmas Eve gaiety is interrupted at midnight by the ringing of bells calling the families to ‘‘La Misa Del Gallo’’ (Rooster’s Mass).

Dec 25th - Dia del Navidad (Christmas day). Another large family meal is common practice. Children may receive a small gift on this morning but the real day for presents is the 6th of January. It is a national holiday so all the shops are shut but it's a relatively calm day when people may just take a walk in the park or drop off at a bar for a drink.

Dec 28th - Santos Inocentes (Day of the Innocents). This is the equivalent of April Fools day with people playing practical jokes on each other. Don't believe everything you hear on the news today either as the national media often include nonsense stories in their broadcasts and newspapers too. The day actually ‘‘celebrates’’ if that’s the right word, the day that King Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to the newborn ‘‘King of the Jews’’ Baby Jesus.

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Dec 31st -

Nochevieja (New Years Eve). A big celebration all over Spain with street parties and special nights in bars and hotels. The Spanish often tend to stay in until nearly midnight. Then, on the stroke of midnight, they all gather in Plazas and church squares, where the tradition is to eat 12 grapes, one for each chime, washing them down with a celebratory glass of Cava. After midnight, its time to head out into the night until after sunrise.

January 1st - Año Nuevo (New Years Day). A low key public holiday with many people sleeping off their hangovers.

January 5th - Arrival of the Three Kings. There are processions all over Spain this evening as the three kings arrive. Children leave their shoes out, and during the night, the Three Wise Men visit leaving gifts.

January 6th - Dia de los tres Reyes (Three Kings Day). The feast of the Epiphany. The Christmas season ends on January 6, which is the Dia de los Tres Reyes ( Day of the Three Kings). The Three kings brought rich gifts to the baby Jesus so children in Spain believe they will bring them gifts also. They leave water and grass for the weary camels , and their shoes out for the gift. In the morning the water and grass is gone and their shoes are filled with gifts.

January 7th - Back to normal. The very day after the kids have got their gifts and it’s back to school with no time to play with them. Everyone goes back to work and Christmas in Spain is over for another year.

We trust you enjoyed your celebrations


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>> costaCHRISTMAS Mejico. No 10 Mijas Pueblo 29650 Malaga. Tel: 0034 952 48 50 69 / 952 59 08 71. Fax: 0034 952 48 50 87 10 costa life

costaCHRISTMAS >> mulled wine, music, Santa Lucia procession (Lucia optog) and of course you can also meet the genuine Father Christmas who has travelled all the way from Greenland to be here! Remember to reserve your Christmas tree well in advance as there are only a limited number.

Christmas spirit at Flor Valentin

With the expansion of Flor Valentin there will be ample opportunity to find the Christmas spirit that is just right for you. We are delighted to welcome you into our floral universe that positively oozes of Christmas spirit. Remember that we always deliver flowers, wine and champagne gifts in a professional manner. Telephone or come into the shop for more details. See you seen at FLOR VALENTIN.

Autumn is once again upon us and before we know it Christmas will be knocking on the door. For the second year in a row you can come and experience the completely unique and special Christmas spirit offered by Flor Valentin, behind Centro Idea in Ctra. De Mijas. If you are in need of some well-deserved ‘‘timeout’’ for a while in complete peace and quiet and with no outside intrusions, take a walk around Flor Valentin and become immersed in our very special floral universe. We have everything needed to add a bit more fun to your working day, to make it a bit more beautiful and to make it a bit more worthwhile with flowers and decorative items for the home and garden.

The Medusa Copenhagen Collection

The Christmas of Yesteryear

Angel wings from Chic Antique

Styles of Christmas stars

Flor Valentin is a small, unique florists that offers a little of everything and November and December are absolutely no exception. We can make your Christmas more fun, more beautiful and easier. Christmas decorations and elves, Advent wreaths, Advent calendar decorations, or a beautiful wreath for the front door, are just a selection of the wonderful items that can be seen from the beginning of November. All of our Christmas decorations have been handmade from the bottom up. You can order your own Christmas decorations and put your very own stamp on them so that they match your own style and home perfectly. Nature plays an important role in this year's Christmas decorations and we place great emphasis on their simplicity, attractiveness and exquisiteness. Besides nature, the style for Christmas this year is also heavily influenced by ‘‘the Christmas of yesteryear’’ and as something completely new, the colour of purple is this year’s big hit. Flor Valentin has been to trade fairs around Europe to find totally unique Christmas products, so Christmas at Flor Valentin is not to be missed. On Friday 21 November and Saturday 22 November there will be an opportunity to meet one of the designers responsible for the celebrated MEDUSA elves. Medusa Copenhagen is known, among other things, for its hand-crafted elves, especially the house elf Johannes. Maj-Britt Bidstrup, who designs the amusing figures together with her daughter, will pay a visit to Flor Valentin, so you can meet her and hear a bit about her elves. Flor Valentin is the only outlet in Spain able to present the MEDUSA Christmas Collection. All figures will be produced as limited editions and will therefore be regarded as collector's items. There will also be an opportunity to buy this year’s Christmas tree at the large Christmas market that is to be held on 13 December 2008 between 10 am and 5 pm. The Christmas trees have been directly imported from Danish forests and meet all of the requirements for a perfect Christmas with their genuine fragrance of spruce needles. In addition to Christmas trees, there will be stalls offering Christmas decorations, gift ideas, warm

A little foretaste of our elegant new autumn and Christmas products

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Curious Christmas Customs from Spain Written By:

Mike Wilkinson


ummer’s done, winter’s come, and fast approaching is a season full of festivals and fun. Yes, December is a very busy month in Spain. Among the celebrations crammed into an event-lladen four weeks we have the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the winter solstice celebrations, the ‘El Gordo’ Christmas lottery, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Holy Innocents’ Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Three Kings’ Day and finally the Feast of Epiphany: all of which are celebrated with Spain’s inimitable style and full-o on fiesta fervour. Obviously, some elements of the celebrations are the same as elsewhere in the world: lots of food, drink, song, dance, exchanging of gifts etc; but, on top of all that, each region in Spain has its own particular way of celebrating these different events, with weird and wonderful customs coming thick and fast from all corners of the country. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at Spain’s Christmas calendar and some of the stranger traditions that reflect the true character of the Spanish people at this festive time of year.

The first thing you notice about Christmas in Spain is that you don’t notice it at first. There is no big commercialised build up to it like there is in the UK, where all the glittery prerequisites of the season are already on shop shelves at the end of August. Here, it doesn't seem to get going until the last moment, and then the Spanish suddenly throw themselves wholeheartedly into the spirit of the occasion. It’s also very much a family occasion and a deeply religious holiday for the Spanish. The country’s patron saint is the Virgin Mary and the Christmas season officially begins with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th. The most notable of these celebrations takes place in Seville outside the city’s great gothic cathedral with a grand ceremony, and an elaborate dance called ‘‘Los Sieses’’ (dance of sixes) which is a moving and intricate dance performed by not six but twelve elaborately costumed choirboys in the presence of the Cardinal Archbishop in full canonicals and the cathedral clergy in front of the high altar, brilliantly lit with thousands of candles. As I said, Christmas in Spain is full of the usual festivities but there is one tradition not at all common elsewhere that originated long before Christmas, Hogueras (bonfires). It is the observance of the winter

solstice, the shortest day of the year (21st December) and a prominent Pagan feast day. It is characterised by people jumping over fires as a symbolic protection against illness. And it’s a jolly dangerous pursuit where you could end up being seriously ill. This can be verified by a friend of mine who last year tried to do the same stupid thing at the San Juan festival. The fire was hot, as fires often tend to be, and the flames were high, but that didn’t stop my friend, whom I will refer to as Mr X to protect him from taunters (although his real name is Stewart - El Rey - King, of Calle Moncayo 57, planta 6B, Fuengirola, telephone number 637 037 503.) Mr X did it well: a long run up to the fire, a dive headfirst into the flames and out the other side with a little forward roll in the sand. The only problem was that the sand on the other side was smoking hot due to its close proximity to the fire, and poor old Mr X ended up burning all the way up his arms and over the top of his head where it hit the sand during his gambol. I don’t suppose he’ll be joining in Hogueras this Christmas. Considering the amount of religiousness going on at this time of year, it’s odd that the actual real starting point of Christmas is a lottery. Not just any old lottery mind: ‘El Gordo’ is the ‘Fat One’. The draw was initiated in 1763 by King Carlos III and, since then, not a single year has gone by without it, and it is now the symbolic moment that heralds the start of the Spanish Christmas celebrations. For some Spanish this is the most exciting day of the year, full of hope and good cheer. Everybody (literally) buys a ticket for what is the largest national lottery in the world, with the prize fund so far this year standing at a whopping €2,320,000,000! So don't forget to buy yourself a ticket (priced at €20 each and available from You’ve got to be in it to win it. Okay, now we’re getting into the swing of the season proper. Suddenly, we have the most amazingly elegant light displays in the streets and plazas, along with grand and elaborate nativity scenes everywhere. Not the little things you get in UK with a manger and a donkey but massive affairs depicting the whole of Bethlehem. Some of these Nacimientos or Bélens, as they are called, have been passed down by many a proud generation. Others are staged by town councils and often have real people and animals in as well. But up in Catalunya there’s a


surprising addition to the usual figures of Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus in a manger and the like.

him somewhere amongst the figures in their Bélens and the first child to spot him supposedly gets to open their presents first.

‘‘El Caganar’’ is a cute little shepherd who wears the traditional Catalonian red stocking hat and can be found in most Bélens in the region, with the exception of council funded ones who don’t want to cause offence to visitors. This is because our little shepherd is crouching down with his pants round his ankles doing a poo (although the Catalonians would probably take offence at the fact that I’ve just seriously watered down the real translation). It is said that his ‘fertiliser’ enriches the earth, promising a good harvest during the forthcoming year. This translates into a general good omen for the future and those that own him will have good luck and prosperity. The Catalonians hide

Staying in Catalunya, and on the same scatological theme, the children are given a pet log that they feed every day during the run up to Christmas Eve. Called ‘Caga Tío’ (there’s that word again) he has a cute little face and the ubiquitous Catalonian red stocking hat. On Nochebuena, Christmas Eve, the children of the house take some heavy sticks and proceed to beat the poo out of log until it poo’s out their presents - I poo you not! (Note to the editor - I still think the original line sounded a lot better!) The roots of this custom are obviously similar to that of El Caganar, but is it healthy to encourage kids to attack a cute little fellow who’s done no wrong to anyone with sticks until he craps himself? And

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what’s more, for their tea that evening, they have a rather peculiarly shaped cake called la tifa which even has flies made of sugar on the top. They’re a weird lot up in Barcelona. Enough of this: let’s move on to Christmas Day and the one thing it’s full of… bells! The bells are mad and manic and seemingly never-ending. Do you remember that old black and white film starring Jimmy Stewart called It’s a Wonderful Life? It was said that every time you hear a bell ring an angel gets its wings. Well I have visions of flocks of angels rising up to heaven from Spain on Christmas Day; thousands and thousands of newly fledged angels all testing their wings for the first time. Spain is the place to be for Christmas if you’re an angel waiting for your wings. Another odd Spanish custom takes place on Los Santos Inocentes, the day of Holy Innocents on 28th December. Today you basically wind up everybody, take the mickey and play practical jokes - a bit like April Fools Day but much bigger. TV and radio stations, newspapers and even town halls and municipal governments go that extra mile to stage baffling practical jokes on their citizens. In England the classic wind up was on Tomorrow’s World where they reported a massive spaghetti harvest shortage and showed spaghetti being picked from the trees. Well, they’re well pasta that in Spain on Holy Innocent’s Day. Obviously there are a lot more celebrations going on all around Spain that there’s no room to mention but, when everyone back in England has packed away the tree and fairy lights for another year, the Spaniards are still going strong, finally ending with Los Reyes, Three Kings Day, on January 6th when the children finally get their Christmas presents (just before they go back to school - nice timing). The Kings arrive on the day before, and great processions are everywhere: one of the best being in Malaga where the Kings arrive by ship in the Marina and, during the short journey to the main plaza, where children on floats throw sweets to everyone, they get through 7,000 kilos of candy. And a sweet time is had by all. ¡Feliz Navidad!

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La Cortijera, La Cala de Mijas Food Daily 10am – 1pm and 7pm – 10pm 3 Course Sunday Lunch 11.50 euro served 1pm – 7pm Sky T.V. - Families Welcome – Large Terrace Wednesday night – Quiz Night Friday night –Darts Saturday night – Karaoke Sussex Golf Society Call 627 041 335 for more info

J B Burkes Irish Bar - Fuengirola Warm friendly welcome All sky sports shown Live music Thur, Fri, Sat Bar snacks - draught beers Guinness - Heineken - Murphys Open 10 am till late 7 days Calle Antonio Sodeno near Dunnes Stores, Las Rampas

952 479 804

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Services include Internet, telecabins, fax/printing/photocopying, wifi hotspot, phone credit, Plus general IT services

For your enjoyment CafĂŠ - snacks and beverages, smoothies, beers, wines and spirits, coffees Outdoor screen sky sports and setanta Heated enclosed terrace

Open everyday 10am - late 952 930 844 Las Terrazas de Miraflores, Calle Acuario, Riviera del Sol, Mijas Costa top of Riviera near Miralfores Supermarket costa life 17

Designs of Asia your Indian and Asian furniture wholesaler and retailer that has been established in ALHAURIN EL GRANDE for over 6 years, is offering everyone a chance to beat the credit crunch. We are having a Christmas Draw to win 500 Euro gift voucher. Our tickets are available from papeleria MARTINS, DESIGNS OF ASIA and LA TROUCHA THURSDAY MARKET. Our TICKETS ARE ONLY 10 EUROS for MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT US

DESIGNS OF ASIA Calle Rio Grande, Poligono La Rosa, Alhaurin El Grande 29120 Malaga Tel: 952 59 70 70 Mob: 666 900 257

Have a Merry Breakfast… The pressure is on to get the turkey in the oven, but don’t forget the most important meal of the day. Try making your usual breakfast cereal special by serving it with pieces of fresh apple and pear. You could throw in a few nuts, or dried festive fruits such as figs, cranberries and dates; or you can add a handful of brightly coloured berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries. You can usually buy berries frozen, even when they’re out of season. Frozen fruit and veg, as well as fresh, tinned and dried, all count towards your 5-a-day. Why not have scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast? To make this special, serve with a ‘mulled juice’ from a cocktail of cranberry, orange and fruits of the forest juices: just warm up the juices and serve with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. The breakfast on the run: healthy home-made smoothies made from milk, yoghurt or juice and your favourite fruits thrown in. Try bananas, apples or clementines.

Christmas lunch is served… Try and plan balanced meals when eating at home over Christmas. Don’t serve too much meat and dairy produce in the same meal. Christmas dinner is more digestible if it consists of 4-6oz of turkey and a selection of lightly cooked vegetables. This is good news in terms of healthy eating, because turkey contains more protein and much less fat than goose or duck. But try to avoid eating the skin because this is usually high in fat. Use reduced fat dairy products, rather than sticking to those old favourites, double cream and clotted cream. Fromage frais, natural yoghurts and Greek-style yoghurts all have a lower fat content than cream, and can be bought in low-fat and virtually fat-free versions. You can cook with all of these and make lighter, fresher ‘creamy’ sauces. A vital part of the traditional Christmas lunch is the roast potatoes. Potatoes are fabulous, providing us with energy, potassium, and vitamins B and C. If you want them to be healthier, then leave on the skins when you roast them to boost their vitamin and fibre content, and if you cut them into larger chunks they will absorb less fat. If roast potatoes are a definite no then have boiled spuds with olive oil and chopped chives, baked potato or roasted sweet potato, and start a new tradition!

for seconds and snacking. Just one mince pie and a slice of Christmas cake can add 460 calories and 18g of fat. Why not make apple pies with a little mincemeat added for a change? If you’re having a cheese board, include some low fat varieties, choose low fat biscuits such as Matzos and Melba toast,

Many people will eat more fruit and vegetables on Christmas Day than on any other day of the year and, with so many different varieties to choose from, it should be easy to reach your five daily portions. When you’re cooking your veg, remember not to add salt to the water. Flavoursome winter vegetables are easy to make without that pinch of salt. You could try adding some herbs instead. Carrots can be roasted, boiled, or braised in lemon juice and olive oil, and parsnips are an old Christmas favourite, with their sweet spicy taste. You can boil them, roast them, or use leftovers in soup. Brussels sprouts are a Christmas staple but they’re not to everyone’s taste. Try making them a bit more exciting by mashing them into mashed potatoes or serving them with crispy bacon. These humble vegetables are bursting with goodness, powerful cancer-fighting ingredients, vitamins, minerals and fibre. If you feel like experimenting, then roast them for 30-40 minutes in a little olive oil, give them a shake half way, and add some flaked almonds. Roasted sprouts are milder and sweeter. You could try steaming your vegetables rather than boiling them; this way they won't lose as many vitamins. If you do boil your veg, you could use the cooking water to make the gravy. This is also a good way of making healthy gravy because you won’t need to use stock cubes, granules or powder, which all tend to be very high in salt.

The good the bad and the ugly… Go for fruity puddings, rather than masses of sugary, fatty desserts. Grilled fruit kebabs and poached pears taste great with some yoghurt and toasted, flaked almonds. You won’t feel deprived. Make an exotic fresh fruit salad. It might just tempt you away from a second helping of a rich dessert. Mince pies and Christmas pudding are rich in minerals and some antioxidants because of the dried fruit content, but they are high in fat and sugar. Buy a small Christmas pudding so that everyone can have a nice portion but it isn’t hanging around afterwards

and put out plenty of celery, grapes and apple. That way, you’ll probably eat less cheese. Try to wait an hour after meals before attacking the Christmas ‘goodies’. It takes that long to register how full you are from the meal. Stop eating when you feel full. It’s something we tend to do during the rest of the year but somehow lose the ability to do over Christmas. Sitting down in front of the TV after your lunch is the worst thing that you can do. If you want to beat the bulge and the bloating, then get the whole family out for some fresh air. A good walk will banish that post-dinner lethargy and stop the Christmas pudding from settling on your thighs. Savour your food, enjoy the company and have a lovely time.


In early 2008 I enjoyed my first ever Teppanyaki evening at the newly opened Makati Teppanyaki restaurant in Los Boliches next to Mercadona which was a new and most enjoyable experience for me as I had never been to a Teppanyaki restaurant before. Many months on I am pleased to report that they are going very strong and have established themselves as one of the most popular restaurants of their type on the coast and we have been back many times. If you don’t know, which I didn’t, Teppanyaki is a type of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word ‘‘teppanyaki'’’ is derived from teppan, which means iron plate, and yaki, which means grilled. In Japan, teppanyaki may refer to any of a number of dishes cooked using a teppan, including okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and monjayaki, frequently with the hot plate located in the centre of the diners' table. The most familiar form of teppanyaki consists of steak and other meats, along with vegetable, rice and noodle accompaniments. Typical ingredients used for teppanyaki are beef, shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken and assorted vegetables. Soybean oil is typically used to cook the ingredients. The concept of cooking Western-influenced food on a teppan was introduced by a restaurant chain in Japan in 1945. They soon found that the cuisine was even more popular with foreigners than with the Japanese, who enjoyed both watching the skilled maneuvers of the chefs preparing the food as well as the cuisine, somewhat more familiar than more traditional Japanese dishes. As the restaurants became more popular as tourist spots with non-Japanese, the chain introduced changes increasing the performance aspect of the chef's preparation, (the pics here are not out of focus they just show the speed at which the chef moved) such as stacking round slices of onion in the shape of Mt. Fuji and lighting oil contained within on fire, producing a flaming onion volcano. From this, the style of cooking and showmanship, is derived what we know today as a ‘‘teppanyaki restaurant’’. Makati Teppanyaki Restaurant in Los Boliches is a perfect example of this style of cuisine and the setting is most welcoming and the staff; including Asun, Cristobal and Raymond are excellent. There are two private rooms you can reserve for a more intimate dinner and the tables are at ground level so you can take your shoes off, sit down and enjoy the true Japanese style of eating including chop sticks if you are brave enough! The place is spotless and the kitchen is open plan. I have to say that I have had a look at other Teppanyaki restaurants and have found that the prices tend to be quite high but at Makati you will be pleasantly surprised, very reasonable and a wide choice of foods to choose from. You can take an Appetizer from salads, Meat Rolls, Fried Wun Tun, Soups, even a bit of sushi or Prawns and Vegetables Tempura. I advise testing the rice cooked in the Teppanyaki grill because its taste is so different from the typical fried rice, and Specialties such as Rice Noodles, the Teriyaki Chicken, Beef or Tuna with mixed vegetables or Duck or Salmon are delicious. Ummm…! You will love it! Feel free to try the homemade desserts: Apple, Pineapple or Banana Fritters with Honey, Vanilla or Chocolate Ice Cream, or Crèpe with Fruit and Ice Cream. And finally, a cup of Jasmine Tea or a shot of sake (rice liquor). In short, you can enjoy a pleasant, entertaining and wonderful dinner at reasonable prices. You can choose to take a Complete Menu that includes Soup or Spring Roll - Rice with Meat and Vegetables - the Fish, Meat or Seafood you choose accompanied by Mixed Vegetables - and Ice

Cream, Coffee or Tea. To give an idea of value, prices range from € 14.50 (Chicken Complete Menu), 16.50 € (Salmon Complete Menu), 21.50 € (Beef Entrecot (Complete Menu) to € 28.50 (Jumbo Prawns Complete Menu) or € 45.50 (Lobster Complete Menu). And for lovers of wine, taste the delicious house wine just for 8.50€. The atmosphere at Makati is relaxed and enjoyable and is ideal for any Christmas celebration whether it be just the two of you or works parties. Reservations are definitely recommended. Book now and don’t be disappointed. They are open every evening Monday to Thursday from 7pm and Friday to Sunday 12pm - 4.30pm and 7pm till late. For more information or to book your table call 952 580 640 or visit


Déjà Vu, which has been open since March 2007, sits quietly in the plaza in Elviria, between Residencia estates and Cajamar bank and is one of those bars that doesn’t have to shout loudly to stand out. The establishment has an air of homeliness about it. A decked and heated terrace entrance welcomes you into the friendly bar where plasma screens dot the walls, offering customers an array of sports and music channels. Déjà Vu attracts both dedicated sports and music fans, and business people looking for a convenient spot to log on to the free Wi-fi connection that Déjà Vu offers its clients. The staff are very friendly, multilingual (a total of 6 languages spoken) efficient and more than happy to describe or recommend a favorite dish.

With its good quality food at reasonable prices, Déjà Vu is a great place for families and sports fans alike. You’ll feel so at home you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve been there before! To reserve your table for Christmas, call 952833646. See in the New Year with Déjà Vu’s New Years Eve Party with the most popular DJ on the coast ‘‘DJSue C’’ plus Guest DJ’s. Free Midnight Buffet and Party Bags.

Both the menu and the food are as unpretentious as the bar itself. Breakfast at Déjà Vu opens at a hangover friendly 9am till late, with options including a Full English, Vegetarian plus healthy alternatives However, the Champagne Breakfast is the best way to start the day in a decadent fashion with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs on toast and a small bottle of Cava coming in at 11.50€. Other dishes include home made 100% beef burgers, wraps, ribs, or steak as well as healthy choices such as the famous Déjà Vu Duck salad. The combi-platter of potato-wedges, onion rings, stuffed jalapeno peppers mozzarella sticks is also on the menu if you’re in the mood to share and let’s face it, even if you’re not! If you find yourself hankering for a Sunday Roast like Mum used to make, check out Déjà Vu’s Sunday special. There’s nothing better than succulent Baby Leg of Lamb, Chicken or Beef, crispy roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables and home made gravy to guide you to that all important Sunday nap. And if you’ve room for more, the desserts are as generous as the rest of the menu, and at around 5.95€ each they’re well worth trying. The Dime Bar cake arrives with ice-cream and is mouth-wateringly delicious although is probably beaten by the ever popular ‘‘Special’’ of homemade fruit crumble. Manageress Nett Scott says ‘‘We offer an excellent range of food and drinks at reasonable prices, served in a welcoming, friendly environment. Our chefs take pride in their work to produce fine quality meals.’’ The well-stocked bar boasts a wine and cocktail menu that is unfussy, yet offers a wide choice of drinks in various price ranges.

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costaCHRISTMAS >> OFFEX EASIMAIL Spains Largest English Speaking Courier and Postal Service. For many Ex Pats living and working in Spain the sending and receiving of Letters and Parcels can be an experience that is frustrating and often unreliable. In the event we are lucky enough to have a local Post Office, the opening hours are often extremely limited and the queues excessive. In areas where deliveries are available, items are often left at non secure locations,and signed for items are often returned to sender without any notification. Offex have been providing a secure,reliable and cost effective Postal Service in Spain for the past 5 years. Offex currently offer services in Andalucia, Alicante, Murcia and Valencia Provinces, via a Network of conveniently located Mailpoints. The location of Offex Mailpoints can be found on website Business users can arrange regular collections from their premises. Easimail offer the following services from Spain via the Royal Mail.

We also Deliver and Collect Visa Applications to a number of Foreign Embassies. Express Parcels A trackable Parcel Service for both delivery and collection of Parcels to and from the UK. International Air Courier A worldwide Courier Service. Unnacompanied Baggage Avoid carrying luggage to and from the Airport when travelling to Spain, Offex collect from any address in the UK and deliver direct to your Home or Hotel in Spain. When you are ready to return to the UK we will collect and deliver back to the UK. To contact Offex Call 952577816 or email

UK 1st and 2nd Class Post UK and International Recorded Delivery Worldwide Airmail Special Delivery Airsure Standard Parcels All letters and parcels sent via the Royal Mail are flown Daily from Malaga and Alicante on British Airways Scheduled Flights and delivered directly into the Royal Mail Sorting Office by Offex Staff based at London Gatwick Airport. Offex also have services for mail from the UK to Spain offering a secure and fast Delivery service for Letters and Parcels. Other Offex Services. Passport and Visa Service Offex offer a daily service to the British and Irish Consulates in Madrid for Passport Renewals ensuring that your documentation arrives safely. British Residents Applications are checked prior despatch to ensure that forms are completed correctly, photographs meet UK

Government Bio- Metric guidelines, and all the required documentation is included.

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Be realistic Don’t make your goal unattainable, for example resolving to never eat your favorite food again. Strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.

Plan ahead Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.

Outline your plan Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have one more cigarette. This could include calling on a friend for help, practising positive thinking and self-talk.

Make a ‘pro’ and ‘con’ list It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.

Talk about it Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health.

Reward yourself This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution.

Track your progress Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep you motivated.

Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, say, focus on losing that first five. Keeping a food diary may help you stay on track.

Don’t beat yourself up Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take each day one at a time.

Stick to it Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and six months for it to become part of your personality. Your new healthful habits will become second-nature in no time.

Keep trying If your resolution has totally run out of steam by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! There’s no reason you can’t make a ‘New Year’s resolution’ any time of year.

Top ten resolutions… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Lose weight Exercise Quit smoking Quit drinking Be a better person Spend more time with the family Spend less time on the internet Be more organised Get out of debt Get a better job

Pay your bills and loans before New Year Eve, so you don’t have any debt left for New Year. Some people do not wash their hair on New Year and wear festive red clothing for happiness all the year round. Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolises ‘coming full circle’, completing a year’s cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating doughnuts on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune. Many parts of the US celebrate the New Year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog is considered lucky because it symbolises prosperity. Cabbage is another ‘good luck’ vegetable that is consumed on New Year’s Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year’s Day.

Auld Lang Syne… The song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ playing in the background, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the New Year. Partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, it was first published in 1796 after Burns’ death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ literally means ‘old long ago,’ or simply, ‘the good old days.’

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

For luck in the New Year… Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the early hours after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man. Avoid breaking things, crying and wailing on the first day of the year, if you don’t want to continue the pattern for the entire year. Babies born on 1st January are said to be the luckiest of all throughout their lives. Do not let money, jewellery, precious items or other invaluable things leave your home on New Year Day. Do not pay loans and bills or lend things to anybody, if you do not want to show just-entered fortune the way to leave during the year. People go to the extent of not taking out garbage or even not dusting their carpets on this day to ensure that nothing goes out of the home during the year. Dress well throughout the year by wearing new clothes on January 1. The Evil One and his attendants and servants hate loud noise. So, scare them away by being as loud in your New Year celebrations as possible. Church bells are rung at midnight for that purpose too. Full cupboards stocked up with food and wallets and purses full of money bring prosperity in New Year. Never leave the home before someone comes in first. The first footer in the house should be ushered in with a warm welcome and should not have flat feet, crossed-eyes or eyebrows stretching out to meet in the middle.

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They said they would be back and here they are! Jean and Bev the well known duo from Bar Unique and La Cala have joined forces and opened The Phoenix Lounge situated in La Cala Hills just past St Anthonys College. Since the opening which saw an astounding 250 guests enjoy a great night the bar has gone from strength to strength building up a regular, local clientele and also attracting a lot of passing trade from the busy Camino de Coin. The bar was designed by the girls with their customers comfort in mind, it is colourful, relaxing and welcoming with a large sunny terrace that has a kiddie’s corner that has proved to be popular with families enabling parents to relax and chat whilst the kids enjoy themselves colouring and playing. There are ample disabled facilities including a special section of the bar allowing easy wheelchair access. Due to demand the Phoenix Lounge is now open 7 days a week from 11.00am till late. Monday to Saturday an extensive menu is available at a realistic price. This includes breakfasts, midday meals, sandwiches, lite bites and a kids menu. The food is freshly prepared and cooked to order by in house, chef John and is available from 11.00a.m until 5.00pm. Monday to Saturday sees the terrace buzzing especially between 6.00 and 7.00 ‘‘HAPPY HOUR’’ when customers enjoy 50% discount on most beers, wines and spirits mixer for just 2 euro what value?! Plus free tapas handed out to all customers. From 7.00 until 10.00 weekdays a lite tapas menu is available. Sunday is a relaxed day with traditional roast dinner on offer. There is a choice of beef, lamb, chicken breast or salmon served with 3 fresh veg, creamed and roast potato and all the usual accompaniments. A 2 course menu is 9.95 and a 3 course menu 12.95, kids portion including ice cream is just 5 euro. Sunday is proving to be very popular with couples and families and it is therefore advisable to pre book to avoid disappointment. The Phoenix Lounge has a comfortable seating area, full air conditioning and two flat screen TVs on which all main sporting events may be viewed either sky or satanta. Jean and Bev are happy to accommodate private functions inclusive of catering requirements. Since they opened they have already hosted Steve and Clares daughter Stevies christening, Luz and Louis Spanish wedding party with a speciality paella and Jamies All White 16th birthday party and of course non alcoholic cocktails were served to the young jet setters. Up and coming events include monthly ladies afternoon where you can view and purchase from a wide selection of ladies fashionable clothes, Virgin Vie makeup, handbags and accessories, perfumes all at affordable

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prices. The December ladies afternoon will also see the sale of Christmas gifts, cards and wrapping paper please feel free to join us with a complimentary glass of wine on arrival, dates will be displayed on our notice board. Throughout December Traditional Christmas Dinner will be available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays please reserve if you would like to participate. Why not book your Christmas party and dine with your colleagues or friends to get you into the Christmas spirit. Please watch our notice board for details of our Christmas celebrations and opening hours there will be something for everyone and all will be welcome. For phone bookings or general enquiries please telephone 952669744. The Phoenix Lounge the chill out place to be where a warm welcome awaits you.

costaCHRISTMAS >> Walking On Water Set To Be New Aquatic Craze On Costa Del Sol

AguaSpheres are the latest fun water activity to hit the Costa. An AguaSphere is a huge 2 metre inflatable ball that enables kids to walk on water - without getting wet! How often have you heard ‘‘there’s nothing to do’’ during the winter months? The joy of AguaSpheres is that their use is not dependent on good weather. Often, staying warm in winter in Spain simply means staying dry - no problem with AguaSpheres - just get in with your clothes on minus socks and shoes and off you go. No danger of getting wet, we’ll see to that. Users step into the sphere, made from heavy duty TPU polyether plastic, and stand in the middle whilst it is inflated around them using an electric blower. The sphere is then zipped up and is pushed onto the water. The sphere allows the user to run, roll and spin across the surface of the water whilst staying completely dry and allows users to use the AguaSphere fully clothed. AguaSpheres provide a very safe environment for people of any age to have fun on the water. There is no risk of them exploding! A small puncture will not allow the sphere to deflate. Even with the zip half open, it would take more than 5 minutes for the ball to deflate. This is because the actual inside pressure of the ball is very low.

booking depends on your budget and on the numbers present. Have a look at our website at and watch the video to see what an exciting addition to your party AguaSpheres could be. Look out for AguaSpheres at local event such as Charity Sales etc - come along and let the kids have a go - then book your own party! AguaSheres Espana are currently talking to several large hotel groups interested in providing the AguaSphere activity to their younger guests and we hope you will be able to find AguaSpheres in all the major hotels and holiday complexes up and down the Costa from next season. Imagine what a cool Christmas present an AguaSphere would make for your child this year. AguaSpheres are now available to purchase exclusively from us until this Christmas. Check out our website for order details. Make sure your child is one of the first on the Costa to own their very own AguaSphere. If you’d like to try AguaSpheres for yourself why not come to see us and have a go - we’ll be at the La Cala Lions Christmas Fair at the Hotel Tamisa Golf, (Camino Viejo de Coin) on Saturday 23 November 2008 from 11.30am until 6.00pm. See you there. For further information telephone AguaSpheres on 693 579 690.

Spain, and the Costa del Sol in particular, provides the perfect climate and surroundings for the AguaSphere activity and the fun generated by AguaSpheres is limited only by imagination. Kids just love the challenge of something totally new. They’ll try over and over again to get the technique just right. Once they’ve mastered it they can have even more fun having competitions with their friends. AguaSpheres are not confined to the little ones - kids of all ages four upwards can give it a go. Great exercise over the winter months! Just playing and the challenge of running or walking on water is enough fun for any child or adult but AguaSpheres can also be incorporated into fitness sessions, races, competitions, high scores for stamina, distance etc. You can even have team type games if you have a large enough pool. AguaSpheres are the newest, most exciting addition to your Birthday, Christmas or Three Kings party and will make your event totally unique. We’ll come to your private or community pool with four AguaSpheres, and supervise their use during your child’s party. The length of time for each

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hristmas, a time of family, gifts and togetherness; ensure it’s celebrated in a beautifully decorated home this Christmas and ever after.

end keeping the same distance and judging the length carefully so that the lights fit generously around the tree.

The Christmas tree, with so many to choose from these days, which tree? Is the question. Be it real Canadian pine, Norwegian Spruce or one of the artificial styles. The Christmas tree is endless. I personally think artificial trees have come a long way and some look almost real without the hassle of chopping it down to size or collecting tree needles from the floor every other day. You can choose from a full and voluptuous tree to a beautiful frost tipped one and they keep forever as long as they are stored properly. You may prefer the natural shape and the strong scent of a real tree.

Bows and Baubles Then again using the triangle rule: start attaching your ornaments, one at the top, then another two at the corners of your imaginary triangle. Now, moving down the tree use the placed ornaments as the starting point for your next triangle until you have reached the bottom of your tree.

NOTE: Keeping it in water or wet sand will prolong its life to last the Christmas period. Whatever you choose, make sure it fits your home comfortably. Once your Christmas tree is placed firmly in its stand and all branches have been fluffed up or pruned back, place it so your living space is still accessible and it does not obstruct anything. Most people place them at a window where it becomes the new focal point and passers by can enjoy it too, or maybe you have the pleasure of a bay window in which it will look spectacular. Even if your tree is only three foot high you can still achieve an eye-catching and luxurious look. Start off with the lights: a set of 150-200 white fairy lights will cover a 6 foot tree with no problems, preferably with a green flex to be camouflaged in the tree. Lavish Lighting There is a correct way when dressing your Christmas tree, once you try it you will never dress your tree the way you did for years again. Think of a triangle, eye appeal and balance. Everything must be placed with this in mind and keeping to the triangle rule. So with the light nearest to the plug/transformer, wrap the wire loosely around the branch and work your way up to the top of the tree at an angle. Once you get to the top wrap the wire loosely around the branch and come back down the tree as if you are forming a long slim triangle. Repeat this step around the tree until you come to the

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There are beautiful decorations available such as artificial poinsettias: the original Christmas flower available in all colours, glittered butterflies, feathered baubles, even miniature shoes and handbags, rattan stars and gems, golden and crystallised fruit. The look can be funky, traditional, country or retro. There’s so much…Dunnes Stores and Flor Valentin have fabulous displays offering so much choice. Why not be different… the Christmas tree does not have to be traditional red and green, you can be adventurous with silver and purple, a white tree or even pink! When you have finished dressing your Christmas tree, stand back and marvel your creative touch. Whatever decorations you choose to enhance your tree and home interiors, do it with style and be creative, you will be surprised what you achieve and how easy it is with practice. May your home glitter and shine with all its fabulous new decorations. Images supplied by Dunnes Store and Flor Valentin.

Written by:

Harvey Mann


oesn’t anybody believe me? I sometimes find it hard to believe myself that, when I was at the tender age of 17, Marilyn Monroe put her arms around my neck and placed a kiss on my cheek. No, it was not one of those teenage fantasies: this was for real. It only happened once and for several days I tried to wash around the scarlet lipstick imprint that I wore on my cheek like a conqueror’s badge. The question that was asked by all was, ‘‘Who planted that kiss on your face?’’ ‘‘Marilyn Monroe,’’ I said. ‘‘Oh yes, pull the other one,’’ came the replies.

The year was 1957. I was a young trainee photographer learning the tricks of the trade as an assistant to the film set stills man. This happened because I had struck up a friendship with actor/comedian Peter Sellers after I had taken some photographs of him outside Tramps club in London’s West End. I soon discovered Peter was a camera fanatic and, during later meetings, we spent quite a lot of time talking about our cameras and the new technologies in photography. Sellers asked me if I had ever worked on any film sets. He then suggested that he could get me work as an assistant to another friend of his, who was going to be the photographer working on a film called The Prince and the Showgirl which was being directed by Laurence Olivier, who was also to star as the Prince, and the showgirl was going to be played by the iconic film star Marilyn Monroe. The Savoy Hotel on the River Thames was the setting for the first meeting between Marilyn, her new husband playwright Arthur Miller, and Laurence Olivier and his wife, actress Vivien Leigh. As I started to take the first pictures, Monroe and Olivier appeared to be having an instant love affair. They touched hands lightly, then Marilyn brushed her nose against

Olivier’s cheek as she whispered in his ear. In my unsullied flush of youth I thought that I was watching the start of a love affair. However, within a few days, I realised that Olivier was very British and old fashioned, and very introvert with a body language that appeared to be cold and reclusive. Some days Marilyn could be very outgoing and ready to flirt with all when she was in a good mood, but this was not always the case. In the early days of filming I sat with Marilyn as she was having her makeup applied. She’d invited me over after she saw me staring. Embarrassed I sat down on the padded seat next to her. ‘‘How’re ya doin’?’’ she breathed. ‘‘Fine,’’ I said, ‘‘Sorry if you thought I was staring.’’ She laughed, eyes and mouth opened wide. ‘‘That’s all right; some men do find me irresistible,’’ she laughed. ‘‘I think that should be all men,’’ I said. She laughed again; we were now getting on famously. Marilyn asked me questions about myself, my schooling, my childhood, my family and living in London. I’ve never been a shy person and I just let rip about everything and she would often interject with a ‘‘Wow’’ here and a ‘‘Wonderful’’ there. I found she was very attentive and genuinely interested, asking lots of questions about my parents. I then made the innocent mistake of asking her about her childhood, and immediately her mood changed. ‘‘I’m sorry, Harvey,’’ she said as she placed a hand on mine, ‘‘It’s something that I don’t discuss. My childhood was not very good.’’ There it ended, and our future daily chats were confined to what sort of pictures would be taken that day, and the exchange of normal pleasantries but, as the indifferences and tension grew between Monroe and Olivier during filming, many subjects seemed to become unapproachable. At the start of the second week of filming, the honeymoon was over and things started to go wrong. Marilyn looked terrible even after many hours in make-up and I also noticed, when Marilyn took off her coat, she looked quite large around the hips and tummy. A rumour had gone around the set that she had had a miscarriage. She and Miller were desperate to have a family and, if that was the case, she must have been inconsolable. The more Marilyn looked terrible, the more Olivier got very edgy and started to lose his temper, and on a few occasions I saw him drinking large glasses of alcohol in the shadows at the back of the film set. He had a reputation for suffering stage fright, being physically sick in the wings whenever he was due to go on stage, and he was getting panic attacks on the set.

Many of Olivier’s close friends that came to visit the set were highly perfumed young men, more than a little effeminate, who attempted to drape themselves over his armchair where he was sitting. Another rumour amongst the cast was that Vivien Leigh had also had a miscarriage and, whenever she came onto the set, she was also noticeably drinking quite a bit. Olivier’s short temper and outbursts were now beginning to unsettle members of the cast. As well as acting in the film as Charles the Prince Regent he had to direct and the feeling was that he had over-extended himself and that maybe he was too inexperienced as a director to cope with both. The biggest flashpoint came when Marilyn arrived on the set looking terrible, with a puffy face, baggy eyes and dark circles around them, looking as if she had been beaten up. Her acting started to become more indifferent and some days she couldn’t remember her lines. Marilyn was playing the part of Elsie Marina, a young showgirl that has turned Prince Charles’s head during a visit to a show she was in. He then invites Elsie back to the Embassy for supper and you can guess what happens next. But what happened next on the film stage was a shocking display of anger. It was quite clear that Marilyn was popping pills: pills to make her sleep, then more pills to make her wake up; she was also taking pills to curb her appetite, along with alcohol. That day was definitely going to be a bad one. Olivier looked through the lens of the camera and he didn’t like what he saw: Marilyn was yawning and her puffy eyes were half closed. Then Olivier shocked us all. From behind the camera he bellowed so everyone could hear, ‘‘For Christ’s sake, Miss Monroe, can’t you look sexy?’’ This request to a woman said to be the most sexiest women on earth, was beyond belief. Everyone gasped and looked highly embarrassed, and Marilyn left the set in tears. Later I heard Olivier tell one of his young male admirers, ‘‘She is driving me mad. This is the last time I’m going to f*****g direct!’’ I had often thought about Marilyn’s refusal to talk to me about her childhood until, after she was found dead in 1962 that I read about her childhood, and it left me completely stunned. Born Norman Jean Mortenson on June 1st 1926 to Gladys Baker, the identity of her father was never determined. Later she was baptised Norma Jean Baker. Gladys was a film cutter at RKO studios and, apart from a major drink problem, Gladys was also mentally unstable; so much so that she was committed into a mental institution. However, before that happened, Gladys had several lovers and often, when she’d passed out into an alcoholic daze, the men would attempt to take advantage of young Norman Jean. Often she was sexually abused or beaten and, after her mother was institutionalised, Norma Jean was moved into foster homes and orphanages, each time becoming a target for the men about her. At the age of 11 she moved into the home of family friends Grace McKee Goddard and her husband. When Norma Jean was 16 years old, Grace and her husband had to move to the East Coast and could not afford to take Norma Jean with them. Norma Jean was left with two options: either return to the orphanage or get married. On June 19th 1942, just weeks after her 16th birthday, she married a neighbour, 21 year old James Dougherty, who she had been dating for six months. Two years later Jimmy joined the Merchant Marines and was sent to the South Pacific. Norma Jean took a job on the assembly line at the Radio Plane munitions factory where a photographer, taking pictures for Yank

magazine, took her picture saying, ‘‘She is a photographer’s dream.’’ The photographer used her as a model over the next few years, gaining her a reputation as a glamour model and, with the money she earned, she started drama classes and tried to emulate Jean Harlow and Lana Turner’s style. When Jimmy returned in 1946 from the Marines, Norma Jean, like a few years earlier, had to make another choice between her marriage and a career. She chose the latter and her and Jimmy were divorced in June 1946. Two months later Norma Jean signed her first contract with Twentieth Century Fox at $125 a week, and shortly after that she dyed her hair blonde and, taking her grandmother’s last name of Monroe, the ‘blonde bombshell’ as she quickly became known became the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Stardom finally came to Marilyn in the film Niagara alongside Joseph Cotton, followed quickly by Gentlemen prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire. At the age of 27 Marilyn Monroe had finally arrived, becoming a star after being voted ‘The Best New Actress of 1953’. Four years later, on the set of the film The Prince and the Showgirl, some of the crew gathered round me slapping me on the back and singing ‘Happy Birthday’, my 17th. With that, Marilyn came rushing towards me throwing her arms around my neck and, as her lips reached my cheeks, she whispered breathlessly in her very famous sexy sing-song husky voice, ‘‘Happy Birthday Harvey.’’ On the 5th of August 1962, at the age of 36, Marilyn died in her sleep, leaving her last film Something’s Got to Give unfinished. I suppose in her life something had to give, excessive pills and booze don’t mix, but was she murdered? She had become notorious in her relationships with Jack and Bobby Kennedy, Frank Sinatra and many others who formed a queue around the block; but I believe she died by her own hand accidentally, after taking too many uppers and downers with alcohol. Was her singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ to me the rehearsal for the famous birthday song she sang for President Jack Kennedy? I would like to think so.


As I sit writing this a Hollywood Icon has just departed; probably the last of one of the true legends of the big screen. Paul Newman: handsome, blue eyed, as lovable off screen as he was on, and one of the most philanthropic actors in films has died at the age of 83. Unfortunately I never met him, but I had many friends in the film world that had, and all quickly agreed that he was the nicest most sincere person that you could wish to meet. He once answered a question about his long and happy marriage of more than 50 years to Joanne Woodward. When he was asked if he ever strayed, this was his reply, ‘‘Why go out for a hamburger, when I have steak at home.’’ With more men like him there would be fewer divorces, and McDonalds would have gone out of business.

>> costa LIFESTYLE


n training for a trip to the Everest Base Camp later this year, I found myself organising an altitude walk to the top of the highest mountain in the Iberian Peninsular, Mulhacén. Mulhacén is 3479 metres above sea level, not quite the 5500 metres height we would be walking to basecamp but still high enough to have to deal with the possible effects of altitude sickness.

We met Richard and his partner of Spanish Highs Mountain Guides in a bar in Lanjerón in the Alpujarras, web page The plan was to go by car to Hoya del Portillo car park at 2150 metres, then walk to the Poqueira Hut, our evening stop over point. With a back pack and all the clothes, snacks and water needed for a two day trip we spent several hours walking firstly through forests, then later as we gained height along the tracks which eventually took us to the mountain hut at 2500m. After leaving the coast in shorts and t-shirts, we were glad to be wearing long walking trousers and fleeces as we walked higher. The Refugio del Poqueira mountain hut, with 85 sleeping places and showers is staffed all year round. An early start from the hut the following day took us along the Rio Mulhacen Valley, atlhough we were told we could not go wrong, the 6 members of the group were glad to have experienced guides to show us the way. The final ascent was a 400m vertical slope covered with gravel and slate. On a clear day we were told that the view from the highest point on mainland Spain would reach beyond the coastline of Motril into the Mediterranean. Although totally exhilarating to stand at the such a high point, we had been walking through low level cloud cover for most of the morning so did not get to see much more than the ruins of a chapel, still a great place to shelter and refuel before we began our descent down again.

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>> costa LIFESTYLE

The principles of success… Your boss tells you to flat-out lie to a customer. ‘‘Tell him the product will do x,’’ even though you know it won’t. What do you do?

When there’s a persistent pattern - when you are continually being asked to do things that are illegal - you need to seriously think what you are doing in this job.

The question is hypothetical. The answer isn’t. You just may find yourself booted out of your job because you didn’t do the right thing. So this is what to do when faced with a direct order to lie, cheat or steal: Ask questions. Buy time for yourself. Say, I’m not sure I understood you. Could you repeat your instructions? Asking plenty of questions always is a good first ethical step. If the person won’t let the issue drop ring lots of door bells and see who answers.

Health tip… Don’t catch a cold this winter Start every day this cold season with a walk around the block. Contrary to what your mother told you, brief exposure to cold - after a good warmup - stimulates the immune system. Exercise can also help you feel better, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Exercise tip… Yoga for Explosive Strength: get bigger and stronger - faster - by getting on the mat. More men take yoga than you think. Yoga brings the body back into balance, into its natural alignment. Yoga can help enhance an athlete’s performance in his sport by teaching how to breathe properly, how to relax and how to gain flexibility.

What not to give your partner at Christmas… A Blender - You’re basically telling her to cook for you. A big no-no. In fact forget about giving any kitchen appliances. Tickets to anything that you might also want to see Christmas is the time to buy tickets to the ballet or a musical. Clothes - This can go either way, if you know her size and style go for it. If you’re not absolutely sure of both then stay away. Gift vouchers - You’ll pretty much be showing her that you’re the most unimaginative, boring guy in the world. Membership to a Gym - Unless she specifically asked for it, don’t give it or you’ll surely be sending the wrong message. Nothing - A sure way to never have to worry about giving her anything again.

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Get a stylish look for less if you’re over 60, at Specsavers. From Monday to Friday, buy any pair of glasses and you’ll get 25% off. That’s 25% off the frame, the lenses and any Extra Options - please ask in-store for details. Specsavers Fuengirola Avenida calle Ramon Y Cajal, Local 6, 29640, Fuengirola For appointments please call 952 467 837 Cannot be used with any other offer. Offer applies to one pair of complete glasses only. Excludes reglazes, safety eyewear, any contact lens products and non-prescription sunglasses. Discount not transferable in whole or part for cash. SKU 24816890. © 2001-2008 Specsavers Optical Group. All rights reserved.

>> costa LIFESTYLE Checked hat Topman

Tartan wallet Topman Black tie dinner suite H&M

Leather over night bag Topman Musical notes boxers Topman

Star socks Topman

men want Black Smart shoes Burton

Light grey trousers Burton

Dark grey jacket Burton

Light grey waistcoat Burton

Maca root energetic face protector The body shop

White Musk for men aftershave balm The body shop

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Maca root eye serum The body shop

Maca root razor relief The body shop

Store Locator A to Z

White Musk for men Eau de Toilette The body shop

United colors of Benetton

Accessorize La cañada. Benetton Fuengirola. Burton Gibraltar. Dorothy Perkins Miramar and La Cañada. Evans Fuengirola. H&M La Cañada. Topman La cañada. La Cañada.

costa LIFESTYLE >> Monsoon Beaded detail Alice band Dorothy Perkins

Black ruffle halterneck dress Dorothy Perkins

Black gem sandals, Black gem clutch. Dorothy Perkins

Jewel coloured shoes Dorothy Perkins

women want

Magenta satin clutch Evans

Wilhelmina dress Monsoon

Gold woven Greta box case Monsoon

Magenta knot satin peep toe shoe Evans

Grey Lottie embellished dress Monsoon Black garland chainmail clutch Monsoon

Mesh sequin trim dress Evans

Gold high assymetric sandal. Top Shop

Enamel earrings Evans

Knee length silk strapless dress Top Shop

Metallic croc non-leather large clutch Top Shop

costa life 47

>> costa LIFESTYLE

80’s style make up is back… Makeup of the 80’s era can be summed up using the B’s: Big, Bold, Bright. Colour trends were bold. Blue, green, mauve, fuchsia, and orange were among the bold colour palette of the 1980s. This time, however, things are different. Gone is the ageing, drying, chalky look that was the result of caking forehead to chin in pressed powder. But keep the bold eyes and lips

Great skin fast … Go for a ten-minute run: exercising will help to flush out toxins, deflate a puffy face, and boost circulation for a from-within glow.

impair the skin’s natural protective barrier, leading to inflammation and irritation. Instead, most skins are best off using a creamy wipe-off cleanser in the cold months; you may need to cleanse twice to remove all makeup.

Use tinted moisturiser: it multi-tasks as hydration, makeup and,

Add in a Treatment:

often, sunscreen, it’s easy to apply, it’s natural in effect, it’s a genius way to fake a tanned look, if you go for the darker shade, it gives great naturallook glow without the need for luminisers.

Serums and oils are a worthy winter investment - slipped into the skincare routine between cleansing and moisturising, they’re an easy way to deep-treat skin, they help the skin lock in much-needed moisture.

Winter-ise your beaut y routine… Upgrade your Moisturiser: You may also find that you need to Rethink Cleanser: Soapy lathery formulations are harsh and can switch to a richer cream.

Celeb beauty tip… Jessica Biel, mixes sugar into her cleanser for a readymade scrub. 50 costa life

How to blush… Make sure you use a rosy shade of blush - go for one that mimics the colour you get in your skin when you exercise. This is applied to what’s known as the apple of the cheek. To locate this, go straight down from the pupil of the eye and stop at the highest point of the cheeks - don’t smile when doing this, as is often advised, because this will distort the final effect. And don’t colour too close to the nose you’ll look feverish or sunburned. If you already have a lot of redness in your skin first you need to apply foundation and concealer to cancel this out before putting the colour back in with blush. Then use a neutral blush or skip the blush altogether. Blush is ideal for women who have a fairly even skintone and need a lift. If you’re making a colour statement on your lips or eyes go for a more neutral shade of blush, and leave the application until the end - it shouldn’t fight for attention with the eyes or lips. Always finish off blush with a little highlighter dabbed along the upper cheekbones (and then onto the browbones and inner corners of eyes). It creates the illusion of great bone structure.

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Helen would like to wish all our Staff and Clients a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Throughout December - 10% discount for bookings with Sandra, master stylist from Germany specializing in colouring and cutting Call for a free consultation:- 952939609 Open tues - fri 10 - 7pm & Sat 10 - 2pm

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>> costa LIFESTYLE

Urine samples could reveal breast cancer risk… A simple urine test could one day be an effective way to screen for breast cancer, a new study suggests. The so-called ‘‘dipstick’’ test envisions a high-tech sifting through just a few drops of urine in the search for elevated levels of two particular biomarkers, MMP-9 and ADAM-12, which can sometimes indicate the earliest stages of tumor growth.

A recent study identified a small panel of proteins in the urine of women who have breast cancer, and these proteins predict both disease status and stage of the cancer.

Immunit y boosters and cold-fighting foods… Breakfast Orange juice or half a grapefruit. Both are great sources of vitamin C, which could shorten the duration of colds. Whole-grain cereal or bread. Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals, including zinc and vitamin E, which can help keep your immune system healthy. Tea. Real tea leaves (not herbal) have substances that speed the action of cilia, the tiny hairlike cells lining your nasal passages, helping them expel germs.

Mid-morning snack Yogurt. It can help you maintain a healthy immune system, as long as it contains beneficial bacteria.

Lunch Chicken soup. Which had vegetables like onions, parsnips, and carrots,

along with chicken. But most of the commercial varieties they tested reduced inflammation, too. For even more protection, add a clove or two of garlic.

Dinner Pasta with tomato sauce and plenty of garlic. Because the pungent bulb is one of the most potent disease-fighting foods around, it's worth having at least two servings a day. Raw garlic has the most benefits, but cooked garlic also packs a punch. Ginger tea. It’s different and refreshing; ginger is loaded with virusfighting substances, including several that act directly against cold viruses. (One substance, gingerol, can suppress coughing.) Boil water; then steep a tablespoon of fresh shredded ginger for 2 or 3 minutes.

Looking for heart Liquid calories… Did you know most people don’t disease? The count drinks as snacks? If you think eyes have it … a snack is simply something you The eyes may carry important early clues to heart disease, signaling damage to tiny blood vessels long before symptoms start to show elsewhere. People with a type of eye damage known as retinopathy (the deterioration of the eye’s retina) were more likely to die of heart disease over the next 12 years than those without it, according to the team at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne in Australia and the National University of Singapore. Retinopathy raised the risk of heart disease as much as diabetes did, they found. Diabetes is a well known risk factor for heart disease. People with these changes may be getting a first warning that damage is occurring in their arteries, and work to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. 52 costa life

crunch, you may be overlooking the calories in your cup. Unfortunately, liquid calories really do count too. Next time you feel thirsty opt for water instead. Add a slice of lemon or lime, kiwi or cucumber for added appeal.

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MAVL-209 Alhaurin el Grande

2,400,000€ €

Bed: 5 Bath:9 Build: 700m2 Plot:62,000m2 5 ensuite bedrooms with whirlpool baths, or hydro/massage showers. 3 of which have walk-in wardrobes and wrap around balconies. 4 Reception rooms. Each with its own character. Tower room with panoramic views. Downstairs cloakroom. Luxury kitchen with adjoining laundry room. Separate 2 bedroom 2 bathroom fully self-contained apartment. The extensive recreation area includes a heated pool, sunken Jacuzzi, BBQ and pool bar with separate lady’s and gentlemen’s changing rooms. Stabling for 4 horses. Provisions for a 2 bedroom bungalow or recording studio. Ample space for Tennis Courts or paddocks. Helicopter Landing Area.

TELEPHONE: 627 292 562

specializing in

Fincas Country Villas Townhouses Cortijos Ruins Plots

952 498 454 mobile: 609 454 409

AP544: A semi detached 2 level house in very poor structural condition located in the hamlet of Caracuel, Alora which is within walking distance to Bermejo village that offers bars, restaurant, pharmacy, primary school and supermarket. The house has 900m2 of irrigated land with very good orange trees. The house has various rooms and outbuildings but needs total renovation and is 160m2 built. The price does reflect the amount of work required but when renovated this would be a substantial home in a good location with easy access. Water and electricity are available.

AP352: A country villa located on the outskirts of Alora being sold with 13,000m2 of land. The property itself offers 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a bright and airy lounge with fireplace, kitchen and a dining room. 100m2 built. There is also a 31m2 almacen requiring finishing. With a swimming pool and BBQ area this property offers fantastic value for money and has easy access. 2 wells and mains electricity are available.

Price:102,500€ €

PRICE: 250,000€ €

AP396: An apartment situated in a quiet street of Alora within walking distance to all shops and amenities. The accommodation offers 2 bedrooms, a lounge, very good sized storeroom, a bathroom, kitchen and a very nice sun terrace. Approx. 70 m2 built. Mains water and electricity are available.

AP541: Impressive 2 level villa located in the much sought after area of Alhaurin Golf close to Alhaurin el Grande. The villa is finished to a very high standard and offers an entrance hall, lounge/dining room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a separate toilet. 162m2 built. Terracing and balconies of 104m2 make the most of the spectacular views. A swimming pool is within the easily maintained and well stocked garden. Mains water and electricity are available. The property also benefits from private off street parking with security gates and easy access. Viewing is essential to appreciate the many assets this villa has to offer.

tel: Plaza Fuente Arriba s/n Alora

PRICE: 99,000€ €

PRICE:588,000€ €

MACP-488 Alhaurin el Grande, Villa. 3,500Euros per month Built Area: 475 m2, Land type: 1,500 m2, Bedrooms: 4 bedrooms 2 en-suite, Bathrooms: 3 bathrooms, 2 toilets, Pool: yes, with a Katchkakid safety net. Fixed. This beautiful designer built and fitted out property has it all. From that magnificent central spiral marble staircase with its unique balustrade, its fabulous awe inspiring kitchen that takes up virtually all of one of the three floors of this property. Set in wonderful grounds the whole house has had no expense spared in its fixtures and fittings. The main living floor has a central fireplace magnificent views and masses of space. A unique property.

MACP-466 Alhaurin el Grande, Country property 2,300Euros per month Built Area: 340m2, Bedrooms: 5, Bathrooms: 3, Pool: large Beautiful very Good location, private great views easy access. Telephone line, outbuildings, Separate dining room. Lovely well maintained property.

MAAP-494 Alhaurin el Grande, Apartment 900Euros per month Bedrooms: 4, all with fitted wardrobes, Bathrooms: 2, Plus WC, big kitchen, terrace and long balcony. A stunning apartment in the centre of town, very light and spacious.

MACP-495 Alhaurin el Grande, Country Property. 1,300Euros per month Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 2, Storeys: 1. all on one level, Land Area: 10,000, Land type: Flat and Mature, Pool: yes, 9 x 6 and very private. A beautiful very private country property in a fantastic area.

Swimming Pools S.L.

Providing quality service here since 1985

RESTORED CORTIJO WITH GUEST COTTAGE & SWIMMING POOL - MONTEFRIO, GRANADA  Beautifully restored, tradtional cortijo with 5 double bedrooms plus seperate 3 bedroom cottage and swimming pool. - Well presented throughout with lots of character and many original features.  MAIN HOUSE: 5 Double bedrooms (some with beamed ceilings), Fitted & tiled bathrooms, Lounge has fireplace with log burner installed, & Andalucian style kitchen / diner.  COTTAGE: 3 Double bedrooms (2 with patio doors to gardens & pool area), Lounge has fireplace with log burner installed, Fitted & tiled bathroom. Stone floors throughout.  OUTBUILDINGS: Second fitted & tiled kitchen / diner with fireplace, Pool side fitted & tiled bathroom, Plus 3 outbuildings which could convert for further accommodation / workshop / garage etc.  OUTSIDE: Swimming pool with terrace area, flat fenced gardens with numerous fruit trees (including fig, olive & nispero), shaded courtyard area, private entrance with double gates, road access.  POSITION: Peaceful, coutryside location with country & mountain views

169,000 â‚Ź Phone: 655 552 446 w w w. a c e f m . i n f o

Offers around:

Professional Pool Maintenance from only 65â‚Ź per month (exc.chemicals & iva) FREE pool analysis - bring a small sample in & we will test it and advise you on the spot Specialists in leak detecting and repairs Quality new builds and renovations Efficient heat pumps  Safety covers Jacuzzis. Salt water chlorinators Chemical and equipment supplies Quality pool furniture  Toys & games Open 8am to 4pm  Tel 952 591 053 We are situated at the entrance to Urb. Dona Pilar, Next to the Octagon Bar & just off the Careterra de Mijas

Written by

Annika Jonsson BLOND of Scandinavia


esign and interior design is all about senses: it’s about what you can see, what you can feel and what you can touch. We always talk about colours, material, furniture, fabric, style and so on, but there are more elements to a welcoming, lovely home than the way it is designed. Design is obviously important, but there are things that you can’t actually see that are very important as well. It's about a feeling, something indefinable. You create an image, a likeable one, an experience.

I am talking about scent, sound, and even touch.

Let’s start with smell, or maybe I should call it scent There is nothing that has NO smell. There are always some kinds of smells around you. But, for us humans, the sense of smell isn’t as

important, ie not as developed, as it is for other animals. The more technologically advanced we get, the further away from a reliance on our sense of smell we get. And sometimes you get so used to a certain smell that you don’t sense it anymore, even though it's always there. When it comes to your house here in Spain you are lucky, because here it is warm enough to open your windows during most of the year. Forget all the scent sprays you have back in your home country. To be honest with you, I really dislike those sprays. In my opinion you can NEVER ‘spray away’ a bad smell. It usually only gets worse and just smells too strong and too perfumed.

costa HOMES >> Gods of Destiny. It brings hope that a good thing will continue. In some versions of this superstition, it’s better to touch the underside of the wood furniture, as this is unfinished and closer to the real wood, ie closer to the gods. To stroke a cat or a dog gives us a good feeling. It relaxes you and your pet. There are surveys saying that to have a cat or a dog in a hospice prolongs lives!

I have my life, I think, quite well sorted out. I touch

No, there is nothing like the scent of, for example, lemon blossom in the spring or the scent of jasmine spreading into your house on a warm summer evening. You should not neglect those scents. If you don’t have any plants close by, why not buy yourself a jasmine, plant it a pot, put it close to your house and open your window. This is the best scent you can have and it is almost free!

Let’s move on to sound As with smells, we are getting so used to the noises around us that sometimes we ‘don't hear them’. This is probably a good thing because, without that defence mechanism, we would probably go mad. Think of traffic noise, loud music in every store you enter, planes over our heads, tube trains under our feet etc etc. But a lot of us seem to forget about the small, beautiful sounds that surround us. And I’m not talking about cicadas: they are all right when there are just one or two, but when there are hundreds of them it can be quite annoying. No, I am talking about when you are sitting on your terrace with a glass of wine, and you have your radio on somewhere in the background. If you switch it off, you suddenly realize how beautiful nature can be. The sound of a little bird singing or the sound from water in a little fountain or just the wind in a nearby tree gives you the most fantastic and relaxing feeling. There are all kinds of water features for sale here. Beautifully tiled fountains come in all shapes and sizes. To install a small water feature can be both simple and cheap as well. If you don’t have electricity close by, then there are water features that utilise solar power and, living in the land of the sun, these work very well.

Last but not least we have touch Touching is a very intimate form of demonstrating that you like somebody. It’s the greatest and simplest means of expressing love and affection, sympathy and compassion. But I wonder how many times you have been to a shop to buy something for your house, you see something you really like and you get this urge to touch it. If you are on your way to buy yourself new curtains, tiles or maybe a new dining table and you can’t resist touching, then you know that you have found the right thing. Think about this the next time you are out shopping: if you touch it, trust me, you like it. I, myself, have a furniture shop with wooden furniture and, when a customer comes in and starts to touch a piece of furniture, I just know that they like it. To ‘touch wood’ by the way, or ‘tocar madera’ as we say in Spain, gives us a direct line with the

wood all day long; when I come home I stroke one of my seven gorgeous cats; I relax with a glass of wine to the scent of both jasmine and lemon and, if I want to listen to the waves of the sea, not living close to it, I put on my CD with sounds of the waves, shut my eyes and drift away. Not bad hey!

The professional company with the personal touch for...

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La Cala Hills / 2001 fre Fantastic, ready to move in, set in a newer well maintained complex with views of the mountains and golf course. Comprising of a large lounge/diner, terrace, fully fitted kitchen with all appliances inc. an American fridge/freezer, large master bedroom with en suite bathroom, guest bedroom and bathroom. The apartment is recently decorated and sold with all furniture inc. flat screen TV and piano. Parking space and storage room.

BENALMADENA / Ref 2013 fre A well presented villa on a large plot. One 2 bedroom villa with en suite & guest bathroom, lounge with wood floors, open plan kitchen and separate dining room leading to pool and terrace. A further 2 bedrooms & bathroom are located in a separate building above a large double garage. Comes complete with enclosed gardens parking and project.

CARVAJAL / 1924fre A delightful 1 bedroom apartment situated only 100 metres away from the beach and all local amenities. The property also comprises of a lounge diner, fitted kitchen, a bathroom and a spacious terrace enclosed in glass and aluminium enjoying views to the sea and overlooking the communal pool.


€ 499,950 €

€ 135,000 €



LAS LAGUNAS / 2015 fre Beautiful Garden apartment, comprising of modern dining kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and lounge / diner. This apartment has a large private patio with a garden area and a covered private Barbeque and dining space. The building is wheelchair accessible and has private parking underground, close to all amenities.

EL FARO / 2010fre A superb penthouse apartment with large terraces to the front and back showing spectacular views of the sea and surrounding countryside and all day sun. This atico comprises of 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with underfloor heating , fully fitted kitchen, lounge/dining area. The apartment is 89m² with terraces of 60m². There is a communal pool and tropical gardens. Car parking space and it sold fully furnished.

CERROS DEL AGUILLA / 2000fre A well maintained independent villa, 110m ² in beautiful condition, situated in the community of Cerros de Aguilla. This 3 bedroom reformed villa comprises of lounge with fireplace, separate dining room, fitted kitchen, en suite bathroom. Built on a 890m² lot size with fruit trees, a number of terraces, BBQ area, covered patios and private pool.

€€184,800 € 180,000 € 395,000 € € 29 C/ ESPANA, 29640 FUENGIROLA, MÁLAGA (same street as the main post office)

TEL: (+34) 952 479 749 · FAX: 952 478 662 Website:  E-mail:


We stock a wide range of poles and rails at reasonable prices Due to circumstances beyond our control we have moved back to Centro Comercial Las Terrazas De Miraflores, Calle Aquario, Riviera del Sol, Mijas Costa



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The House Doctor Not quite a hard Dickensian Christmas but definitely hard times ahead… and bitter pills offer little cure. By Alex Nicol, Numero Uno S.C. Things set to go worse before they get better.


n the past couple of months we have all witnessed a period of unprecedented turmoil in the global financial markets. We have seen names that have been around since the year dot, disappear into the labyrinth of fiscal failures. Others have been swallowed up by giants, that may yet themselves be the next big story.

Governments in both the US and Europe, frantically seeking a way of preventing total economic collapse, are also desperately seeking solutions to another problem that is spiralling out of control… unemployment! In the UK, the unemployed are now 5.5% of the population, its highest levels for nine years. In Spain, unemployment is 11.5%, whilst the average in the Euro zone is currently 6.3%. All this is reminiscent of the recession of the late ’80s, early ’90s, when we saw record numbers of homeowners being caught up in the negative equity debacle, with short term property investors and ‘buys to let’ collapsing under the weight of escalating interest rates. Does this sound familiar? Well, I’m sure it does for thousands right here on the Costa del Sol, and maybe the answers to our present day problems can be found back in the annals of time. There was a time, many years ago, when the only mortgages available were from savings banks and building societies. These mortgages were granted on a very strict allocation basis, and an even stricter valuation/survey report. To be considered for a mortgage one had to be a ‘saver’ with that particular institution. (For younger readers that term ‘saver’ means you put spare money away, not to be spent until you have enough money to buy the thing you are saving for with cash. I know that seems a strange concept but, even stranger, we managed without mobile phones and microwave ovens!) The lender would only loan up to a value that, when calculated, repayments could be no more than 25% of net earnings, and often this would only equate to a 65% or 70% mortgage. Whilst this seems somewhat stingy, it was in fact a very sensible way for both lenders and borrowers alike. Way back in those heady days of sensibility, if one was unfortunate enough to stumble across hard times, then a meeting between oneself and the lender would often lead to a solution to the problem. Invariably the lender would accept a payment of interest only each month, until one was back in a position to pick up again. Now this could in fact be the answer to some of today’s problems. So this is what I see as the cure for many that have been stricken by this financial cancer.

If you find that you are unable to meet your mortgage commitments, or indeed any other credit payments, then do not ignore the problem. Instead face it head on. Contact your lender and arrange to meet with them. It is vitally important that every contact is followed up in writing, as this will serve as a record of your attempts to solve the problem, should the matter end up going to court. In the event that the lender presses for court action, your file would prove that you are making every attempt to rectify the matter and that the lender is being unreasonable. Invariably the judge would rule in your favour in an instance like this. A judge would only rule against a borrower if absolutely no attempt has been made to rectify the problem. Anybody reading this that would like to have confidential professional advice regarding these matters should contact me through this magazine. A lot of questions that need answering? Here are some:

Is my bank safe? About as safe as Santa’s grotto (generally) but there are always exceptions. Well, this is the big question in the UK and US certainly, and even in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Governments and financial authorities alike have been worried about just that. Banks exposed to too many defaulting mortgages might collapse. This is more unlikely to happen here in Spain though as the banks here have much less exposure. That said, all lending institutions around the world need to be minimising their risks. Of course the mere fear of this is what can cause the financial system to seize up again, and the worry is that this prospect might become a selffulfilling prophecy, with a domino effect undermining the banking system here and abroad.

This is why there was a major rush to ensure that the UK banking group of HBOS was taken over. Governments around the world are now working together to stem the tide of withdrawals from their financial institutions, as they start to look at a series of interest rate cuts in the hope of providing global confidence in what is a global problem!

How safe are my savings? Better than trying to hide the Christmas presents from the kids. In the UK, as long as you have less than £50,000 (correct at the time of going to press) saved with any one UK financial institution, you will not lose if the worst happens and your bank goes under. This is because of the protection offered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. In the US, that figure is currently $150,000 and under review to be raised to $250,000. However, in both countries, you might have to wait a while to get your money back. Here in Spain, Prime Minister Zapatero’s government has just raised the guarantee level to €50,000 from a very stingy €15,000. In Ireland, I understand, the whole of your savings are protected! Don’t put all your goodies in one Christmas stocking. If you have more than £50,000 in any one institution, you might consider moving some of it to another one and, in doing so, spreading your risk.

Will my mortgage become more expensive? Will it snow on Christmas day? It’s possible. Interest rates will undoubtedly rise in the UK and Euro zone countries in the short term; however governments will quickly realise that this action will only serve to ‘stagflate’ the economy. In a stagflated economy you have a combination of rising prices and falling production. Stagflation usually results in massive government borrowings required just to supply essential services. So raising interest rates is not the way out of this mess: in fact the opposite is what is required. I predict that interest rates will start to fall in an attempt to reflate the economy and stimulate growth. This is how you beat a recession. So in due course mortgages should become cheaper; but not just yet. (Then again, so should the price of oil, as demand falls sharply during a period of recession. But you can bet your Christmas pudding we won’t be receiving any presents from the oil companies.)

Will this financial crisis make the economy worse? You can bet your Christmas hamper it will. Let us assume that no more banks get into trouble and that things stabilise. Even then, the downturn is likely to be worse than would have been the case just a few weeks ago. Banks and the money they lend are essential to the normal functioning of the economy. If they have less money to lend, or do so on much more expensive terms, this will inevitably restrain economic activity, just as if the Bank of England had jacked up its interest rate.

Is my job more precarious than before? No more in jeopardy than a dishonest elf. Potentially… and not just for bank employees and others in the financial sector. In more normal times, the big economic news this month would probably have been the further rise in unemployment. Let us recap on that story. Unemployment is now at its highest level for nine years at a rate of 11.5%. Redundancies have been accelerating and the number of vacancies and those

actually in work, is dropping. Sadly the trend in unemployment is firmly upwards and will probably continue until the economy starts to pick up again. My advice to you if you are employed is stop thinking like an employee and start to think about how profitable you are for the company you work for, so that they have a real reason to keep you on. If you are a more profitable employee than your colleagues, and less of a clock watcher, your job will be somewhat safer. Have a happy jolly Christmas if you must, but don’t get into debt to pay for it!!

>> costa HOMES

STEP BY STEP GUIDE to buying a property in Spain


hen you have finished your long hard search and settled on the right Spanish Property for you, please don’t trip up at the final hurdle. Make sure you are never pushed into making a rash decision on a property until you are perfectly happy with your choice, and that you are sure you want to complete on the sale. There are, sadly, still horror stories of people being ripped off and conned out of small and large amounts of money, but if you go through an established estate agent and arrange suitable legal advice, your buying process should be smooth and trouble free from start to finish. One thing you will have to accept when buying a property in Spain is that the world of officialdom and paperwork is not quite what it is back home, and some things are done quite differently from the UK. You must try to accept this early on, to avoid more worry than necessary. Hopefully this short guide will give you some useful pointers to guide you through the process as smoothly as possible.

THE PROPERTY SEARCH >> Always do your research! The increasing use of the internet has proved a significant to both buyers and sellers of property, and is more and more becoming the first place people look for Spanish property. Some websites provide even more useful information such as area guides, property news, and even newsletters. Try and go through as many magazines as possible to get a feel for prices. You can pick some up in the UK in places like WH Smith´s but there are many more to choose from once you have arrived in Spain. Once you have narrowed down your search, it is time to contact an agent.

64 costa life

Don’t be scared, many of them don’t bite! There are many more estate agents in Spain than there are in the UK, mostly because of the recent property boom, so you should try to use a little care when selecting an agent. Ask them if they are part of any recognised professional body, and maybe how many property listings they have on their books, or how long they been established in Spain, for example. The fact is that your feeling is usually the best judge. Other than that, a recommendation from someone who bought from the same company is probably the best way to choose.

DECISION TIME >> SO, you have seen 100’s of properties, your agent’s going grey, you can’t quite decide between property a and property b, it’s all getting a bit much… and then you find it: The property you always imagined! Now the fun begins, as it’s time to make an offer. At this stage the Spanish system is no different to the UK. The buyer makes an offer and the vendor either accepts or rejects that offer. If agreement is reached verbally you should instruct a lawyer immediately to act on your behalf.

INSTRUCTING A LAWYER >> Choosing the right lawyer is a very important part of the buying process, and bear in mind that you could well be dealing with the same lawyer for some time to come, and they will probably end up acting on your behalf if you should sell the property. As in so many things, the best way to find someone good is a recommendation.

PAYING A HOLDING DEPOSIT >> Once you have made your decision and your lawyer is happy with the terms and conditions of anything you are asked to sign, it is time to pay a holding deposit. This deposit is usually 3000 Euros on smaller properties, and 6000 on larger properties, and is usually held by the estate agent, in order to take the property off the market until the private contract is signed. These deposits are often paid ‘‘subject to mortgage’’ until a certain date. This means that buyers are given a certain amount of time to arrange the finance, and will not lose their deposit if the finance is not granted.

PRIVATE CONTRACT – The point of no return. This is the most important stage in the whole process, as if either party pull out afterwards, they must compensate the other party with (typically) 10% of the purchase price. On signing the private contract, the buyer will deposit 10% with the seller’s lawyer, and the other reason why this stage of the process is so important is that it defines a date by which time the parties must complete. PUBLIC CONTRACT – The notary public. This is the final stage in buying a Spanish property. Both parties must attend the notary on or before the date stipulated by the private contract, at which time the balance of the purchase price is paid, and a new title deed is prepared and signed by the notary. Mortgages will also require a separate deed, and outstanding mortgages must also be cancelled at this point. Once the deeds are signed they will be then be submitted to the land registry for registration.

THE BUYER’S COSTS >> As a general rule, the costs of buying a property in Spain should be no more than 10% of the purchase price. These costs are as follows: Transfer tax: the Spanish equivalent of stamp duty, currently 7%. Lawyer’s fees: most lawyers in Spain charge 1% of the purchase price, depending on what services you ask them to proved. They will probably charge more if you ask them to act as ‘‘Power of Attorney’’, for example. Notary and Registration Fees: These should be no more than around 1000 Euros, depending on the price of the property. The fees may rise if you are taking a large mortgage, for example, as banks and mortgage brokers in Spain charge higher opening fees that UK equivalents. They will be repaid as part of the mortgage total, however, so it is difficult to give an average figure. All other costs should be paid by the seller, including all estate agents fees, capital gains tax, and an incremental land tax called ‘‘plus valia’’. As a final piece of advice, the oldest one in the book probably holds more true today than ever before:

Buyers beware, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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Simon Hill


am not too good at thinking ahead and not brilliant at keeping to deadlines. The Editor of this great magazine will testify to this! But recently, after a dear friend had made me a gift of a large assortment of exotic bulbs, I was determined to waste no time in planting them - either in the ground or in pots, where bulbs often succeed more reliably in our climate. Sadly, bulbs that are really suited to our climate are often the hardest to get, even online. Seeds can be bought throughout the year and can usually be stored for some time. Bulbs have only a limited shelf life, rot easily if mishandled, and have to be planted at the right time. What a pity that so many of the bulbs we come across at our local garden centres are unsuitable for our climate and soil conditions, as well as being past their sell-by date!

Leucojum aestivum

Given suitable soil conditions, many plants benefit from being directly sown in the ground; this includes bulbs. Unfortunately, in common with many others in AndalucĂ­a, my garden is gifted with heavy clay. After years spent trying to lighten this clay soil with additions of organic matter and sand, I still feel nervous when sowing seed or planting bulbs directly in the ground. Although heavy soils are good at storing moisture - a benefit in our dry summer climate - they readily form an impermeable crust and suffer from poor aeration. They are impossible to dig when too wet and set like concrete when too dry, often developing deep cracks that damage plant roots. There are also the thriving populations of pests and diseases. It does not help when, having sown a packet of precious seeds, a colony of ants seizes the opportunity to take gifts to their queen. All of these factors make me cautious.

Grandiflora Paper White

Narcissus ‘Silver Chimes’

When planting unfamiliar bulbs, past disappointments lead me first to try pots filled with well-drained compost because good results are more likely. For those with patios or balconies, pots of bulbs are most attractive. A ceramic pot of our favourite bulbs is almost a guaranteed success. After all, these days we are told that we can have vegetable patches six floors up! Those like me with larger gardens can place pots of bulbs around to give an accent to an otherwise bland spot or to liven up a whole area. Daffodils or crocuses in decorative pots also make excellent and affordable gifts, especially at Christmas. If they flower later, no harm is done. Why not lighten up the cold days of January for someone? Because bulbs are generally not evergreen, there are advantages in planting them in pots - not least because you know where they are. In my case there is no danger of my dogs feasting on them as if they were truffles! If I do plant directly in the ground, then a few sticks deter doggy curiosity. Sticks and labels will also aid your memory as to what was planted where. Year after year, new varieties of daffodil are offered on the market. Each one is subtly different from the next. The same is true of tulips. The majority of large-flowered varieties of daffodil and tulip are adapted to more northerly climates and require winter cold to flower reliably year after year. In the parts of Andalucía where frosts are rare, winters are not cold enough for long enough. Thus most horticultural varieties of daffs and tulips do not reliably flower year after year in my garden in the Guadalhorce valley, so I tend to buy new Dutch or English-grown bulbs every year. You may be luckier if you live further inland or up in the mountains. In principle, one could give one’s favourite varieties of bulb an artificial winter by storing the dormant bulbs for a few weeks in the fridge before replanting, though I have never tried this myself. Luckily there are many daffodil species and hybrids (more properly called Narcissi) that are adapted to our Mediterranean climate. These tend to make their growth during the winter months and to be summerNarcissus dormant. For example, the paperwhite narcissus (N papyraceus) is often seen in drifts in the fields from January to March. Other well known hybrids such as Soleil d’Or and Hawera are also successful. My gift included Narcissus cyclamineus, N. jonquilla and Narcissus ‘Silver Chimes’ and all should do well in their pots and later in the garden when I have planted them out after flowering.

Leucojum aestivum

Narcissus ‘Jenny’

Jonqilla ‘Waterperry’

Also included in the package were the delicious tulip Tulipa ‘Sorbet’, Crocus sieberi tricolor, Leucojum aestivum and Triteleia ‘Corinna’. I'll plant the tulip in large pots. The crocus has the reputation of being reliable in the garden but I am again starting it in pots. Leucojum aestivum or the summer snowflake is a bit of an unknown for me. There are snowflakes growing in the wild on the mountains that are delicate little things that can easily be missed. The cultivated one is apparently more vigorous and robust and producing a clump of strap like leaves, but I will also start it off in a pot. Triteleia ‘Corinna’ with its umbels of star-shaped blue flowers made a fine show in mid spring when I last tried it, but failed to appear the following year. I’ll try it again in a different spot on lighter better drained soil! The anemones can make a good show in the Mediterranean garden. Anemone blanda, available in white and various shades of blue makes an attractive spring carpet in lightly shaded areas on lighter soils. Florist's anemones ‘Anemone de Caen’ do well here in lighter soils and can persist over a number of years. In my garden on clay soil they gradually die out after the first year. More or less naturalised already in my garden are Zephyranthes candida, Ipheion uniflora, and laxa. This first flowers in autumn after the first rains, hence its English name, rain lily. Ipheion produces small starry blue or white flowers in early spring and will spread by self seeding around any shady areas of your garden. Lapeirousia, also a self seeder, seems at home in my garden in sun or shade and produces tufts of light green leaves and short sprays of pinkish red flowers in spring/summer. Freesias and gladioli are also likely to do well in most gardens, provided the soil is well drained, though I don’t grow them in mine. Enough of the bulb catalogue! What other flowers are there to enjoy during the winter months? The answer is plenty - if you live in a virtually frost free area where you can grow plants originating in the subtropics or the warmer Mediterranean climates. I know I harp on about my wonderful scarlet-flowered Passiflora vitifolia, but this will continue to flower throughout the winter. My Imperial Dahlia is just coming into bud and will flower in giant pink magnificence well into December! I could carry on at length, but I’ve got a better suggestion. Keep your eyes open, notice attractive plants in the gardens you pass and find out their names. Then you can buy them, plant them and let them brighten up your winters!

Triteleia sp.

Lapeirousia laxa

Written by

Peter Harrison


ome expressions in common language have a great deal of meaning and ‘beavering away’ and ‘eager beaver’ are good examples. They indicate high activity and that is what beavers are: very active animals indeed.

Britain imported beavers from Romania and established them in Gloucestershire and Scotland. How they were reintroduced into Spain is rather uncertain. It is assumed that they were brought in illegally by enthusiasts of this attractive animal.

Beavers - amphibious rodents of the genus Castor - weigh between 44-60 pounds and are amongst the largest rodents in the world. They have not been active in Britain since about the 17th century, simply because they were hunted almost to extinction because their fur made warm and fashionable headwear. In the 19th century fur hats were no longer fashionable and silk hats became the ‘in thing’.

Much of Europe has been the home of this fascinating creature which has the reputation of being destructive, but is nothing like as destructive as its larger American cousin. Riding in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, I came across a river bed where for nearly half a mile the trees had been gnawed through and were straddled across the narrow river. One of my fellow horsemen was an authority on local flora and fauna and he explained that this was the work of beavers. He assured me that this would generate new growth, and I hope he was right because I love trees and we do need them.

Fashion has often been a threat to wild life. There was no evidence of beavers in Spain for about 300 years, again due to excessive hunting. Both countries lost a valuable part of their wildlife, which thankfully now is being corrected.

There is usually a reason for everything and the animal kingdom shows no exception to this rule.

Beavers are semi-aquatic animals which, because of their short legs, don’t move agilely on dry land. They therefore spend most of their time in fresh water, but they have strong feelings about the kind of water they want to live in. They dislike fast-flowing streams and rivers so, when they encounter these conditions, they do something about it. They set to work felling trees by standing on their hind legs and gnawing through the trunks with their orange coloured incisor teeth. Like rabbits and other rodents they need to gnaw perpetually on wood, in the case of beavers trees and branches, as their teeth keep growing. If a beaver does not keep his incisors short these can grow up to four feet a year. A determined rodent can gnaw its way through a willow of five inches diameter in three minutes! It is small wonder that they make enemies of landowners, as a pair of these creatures can take down some 400 trees a year. They use the trees not only for building dams, but also for food. Beavers are vegetarians. They prefer aspen, but if necessary will settle for willow, maple and birch. Once the tree is felled they ‘beaver away’, stripping off the bark and side branches and cutting the trunk into suitable lengths before dragging the sections into the stream and placing them across the flow of the current, anchoring them with stones and mud. They have made a dam which many an engineer would be proud of! In the lake they have now created they build a lodge with the same materials just above the water level. It is dome shaped and about two and a half metres wide. There are two exit/entry points: one is general purpose and for bringing in food, the other is an escape route in case of an attack by predators. These bright and intelligent animals are aware that after rain the water level rises so, in order to keep it level, they create an ingenious system of canals. It’s an ideal environment to bring up the babies, called kits, which are conceived in January and February every two years and are born four months later.

A normal litter consists of between one and eight kits, each weighing in at around one pound. Once the kits are born they show their independence by swimming around within 30 minutes of life. Yet they stay with their parents for two years, when a new litter will be born. Once fully grown, beavers measure up to over one metre from their nose to their rudder type tails. They will be brown or black with small eyes and ears. Beavers mate for life and, once the siblings have reached the age of two, they will strike out on their own. Not wanting to overcrowd their homeland they leave their natal area and can travel up to 50 kilometres to establish themselves in another stream or river. Come autumn, beavers will prepare for their winter lodgings. They will either build extensions to their existing lodges or will form shelters in the lakes they’ve constructed over the summer period. The winter lodges are built from the inside out with branches interwoven with mud. They guarantee perfect protection from their predators, mainly foxes, otters and wolves, who find the intricate network of these structures too complicated to infiltrate. In colder climates where the lakes can freeze over, the beaver develops an oily substance secreted from its scent glands. That, together with its fur and the fat layers under the skin, allows him to swim underneath the ice and forage for food frozen in the water.

>> costaSTUFF



by Jan Morley of FreezerMor

A VEGETARIAN CHRISTMAS RECIPE As more people choose not to indulge on meat and poultry, we often find ourselves catering for vegetarians, as well as us carnivores. This can prove to be a dilemma for some, when you want to present a dish that fits such a special occasion. I think this special recipe will impress most people, including vegans! If you are pushed for cooking space, and have to prepare the turkey, it can be made the day before, and then re-heated in the micro-wave, in slices, (if necessary). This loaf goes well with roast vegetables that we would be preparing for a more traditional Christmas lunch.

HAZELNUT AND COURGETTE LOAF You will need a 450g (1lb. loaf tin), lined with baking paper Pre-heat oven to 180°c, or 350°f, gas mark 4. Finely chopped med. Onion Sunflower oil 100g roughly chopped hazelnuts 550g courgettes 1/4tsp root ginger, grated 1/2tsp turmeric 1/2tsp cumin 75g rolled oats 3oz ground nuts, e.g almonds 50g creamed coconut, grated 150g chopped tinned tomatoes Gently sauté the onion and courgettes until nearly soft, (6-8 mins), then add the hazelnuts; continue over a med heat for another couple of minutes. Check if you need to add another drop of oil. In a separate small frying pan, heat a little oil, and then fry the cumin and turmeric and ginger. This cooks the spices, releasing the flavours. Transfer into a large mixing bowl, the courgettes, hazelnuts and onions, mix well with the spices, and then add the rolled oats, ground nuts. Season with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper, then stir in the grated creamed coconut and chopped tomatoes. Press firmly into the loaf tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch. Serves 4 MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL AT FREEZERMOR!


turkey that was boned rolled, but 1 turkey crown (solely and breast meat and skin, nowadays the crown is more popular. no bones) (3 kg) 5 slices of Serrano Mix together all the ham ingredients for the stuffing and stuff the For the Stuffing 1 kilo of sausage meat crown, sewing the opening thereafter. 75 grams of sultanas 2 egg yolks and one Place the slices of Serrano ham over the egg white 1 tablespoon of sherry, turkey before cooking. salt, pepper and half Cook in the oven at 200ºC 30-35 minutes teaspoon cinnamon a sprinkling of per kilo, plus 30 minutes. basting the rosemary and thyme bird in its own stock This was traditionally from time to time. made with a whole

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>> costaSTUFF



ime for Christmas carols, mistletoe and holly, love and joy, feasting, exchanging gifts and goodwill to everyone. Is that really what happens or are most people thoroughly disillusioned about Christmas? For those without family and friends it can be the loneliest time of the year. For others the dread of having to provide the necessary feast and fun for the family without sufficient income brings desperation. On the other hand many will be happy at the knowledge that Christmas means a holiday from work, time to relax and enjoy themselves.

As the old Christmas carol says ‘‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly…..’tis the season to be jolly….’’ The word ‘jolly’, what does that mean? According to the Oxford Dictionary ‘jolly’ is to be joyful, slightly drunk, festive, jovial. Certainly many will be slightly drunk (or even extremely drunk), and many will do their best to be jovial and enjoy the festive season. But how many will be truly joyful during this Christmas season?

The original reason for celebrating Christmas was to remember the birth of Jesus Christ which was announced by a multitude of angels praising God and saying ‘‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’’ You might be asking, ‘‘Where is this peace that is supposed to be on earth?’’ Very few people seem to have any peace especially at Christmas time! There are ongoing wars in parts of the world, nation fighting nation, and man fighting man. Peace! Where is it? True peace can only be experienced in the heart and it comes from God Himself. It is possible to enjoy the peace of God in the midst of a time of war and turmoil whereas one may be living during a time of peace in the nation and yet have no peace in one’s heart. ‘‘I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.’’ These are the words that Jesus spoke. Millions around the world today can say that they know this true peace in the midst of trouble and tension. Isaiah the Prophet in speaking of God wrote ‘‘You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.’’

The shops will be playing Christmas carols at full volume, weary shoppers will be trying to buy gifts and festive food with limited resources, many wondering how they will survive until January, while at the same time wishing each other ‘‘A Merry Christmas!’’

Why struggle on trying to cope with the challenges and fears that you face in your everyday life without God? Why not turn to Him today and ask Him to give you His peace? Let Christmas this year truly be a season of joy and peace in your life.

Is this an unfair description of the Christmas season in the world of today? Perhaps for some it will really be a great time of celebration and fun but for others the stress of ‘Christmas season expectation’ will increase the pressure in their lives.

Annette Riggall The Evangelical Christian Fellowship ‘‘an oasis where the Word of God is preached and the love of God is shared.’’ Sundays 4.30pm Iglesia San Miguel, Calahonda Tel/Fax (0034) 952 930 275 E-m mail: Website: Pastors Peter and Annette Riggall

Scriptures (NLT) Luke 2:14, John 14:27, Isaiah 26:3

costa STUFF >>

costa life 73

>> costaSTUFF

By Russell Vaughan Mintmicro S.L 951160411

What is the difference between .com and were defined. It was this new standard where .es .uk and the other 100’s of country identifiers comes from. In the UK we are .uk, we added (a company in the UK) (academic community in the UK) and (a government dept in the UK) for example the domain name for Imperial college is this defines the college. Within the college they have public and private machines, will be a public webserver and a private machine in the college. Taking as an example .uk is in the uk, .ac is an academic community and ic is Imperial college www is a webserver at imperial college so is a unique machine at imperial college an academic community in the UK. Just a note there are two countries that do not use the correct country designation .US because in the USA, US is a phrase for useless, the UK should be .GB but we preferred the .uk delegation so now you know your .com from… When the first few computers connected to the Internet back in the early nineties they were mainly in the big universities and had names like Fred, Brenda and Henry. After a few months problems started to happen when two computers called Fred tried to use the internet. It wasn’t very long until it was gridlock on the net as duplicate names popped up all over each causing duplicate name errors and all sorts. Imagine if two people each had the same phone number and when you dialled you were not sure which person you were going to talk with, you see the problem, with this in mind (and after a lot discussion) in March 1994 an Internet standard was arrived at. The idea to add a name to a computer in such a way that there could NOT be duplicate names anywhere on the Internet. The first domain names were called World Wide Generic Domains: COM - This domain was intended for commercial entities, the COM domain could be subdivided ie would be the Fred company and each computer at the company Fred can have a prefix like or each unique to the organisation Fred. EDU - was intended for all Universities, colleges, schools and educational service organisations. NET - this domain was intended to hold only the computers of network providers, your internet company and other companies connected with Internet business. ORG - this domain was intended as the miscellaneous domain for organisations that didn’t fit anywhere else. Charities and non profit organisations and the like. INT - was originally for international organisations outside the USA, (in the USA it’s the USA and then the rest of the world) GOV - This domain was originally intended for any kind of government office or agency. These domains were originally taken up in the in the USA so it wasn’t very long until a list of countries codes 74 costa life

We will be back next year, Happy Christmas, Happy New Year and if you need any help or advice call me.


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Paris, Britney and Lindsay are all to star in new TV show… Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan could unite for a new

US show. The stars are said to be in talks with network HBO about a sitcom described as a cross between Ugly Betty and Friends. They were all very close and have had their ups and downs in the LA party world. Paris will play the most ambitious of the three, her character is supposed to be a hot fashion designer. Britney’s character is an aspiring singer. And Lindsay Lohan, 22, is little like Matt Le Blanc’s wannabe actor character from Friends. She’s obsessed with men and fast food. Meanwhile, Britney will reportedly star in a film biopic of her own.

More from Britney…

The father of Britney Spears will retain control over the once-troubled singer’s personal and business affairs for an indefinite period, a Los Angeles judge ruled. Since February, Spears, 26, has turned around her life, reaching a custody settlement with ex-husband Kevin Federline, releasing a hit single ‘‘Womanizer,’’ working on a new album, winning three MTV Video Music Awards and preparing for an expected first world tour since 2004. Spears, one of the best-selling artists of the last decade, has been on the mend this year after making headlines for much of 2006 and 2007 for shaving her head, going to a rehabilitation center, partying without underwear and wearing a pink wig.

The names Bond, James Bond… Roger Moore has admitted he found the role of James Bond hard to cope with due to the character’s apparent notoriety. Also the 81-year-old revealed he had been plagued by fears of comparisons to his predecessor Sean Connery when uttering the most famous catchphrase of the fictional secret agent. ‘‘My nightmare was that I’d say: [does a gravelly Connery] ‘The name’sh Bond’,’’ he went on. ‘‘I was absolutely convinced I was going to say it in Scottish! So maybe that’s why I said [politely]: ‘The name’s Bond. James Bond.’ I was trying not to sound like Sean.’’

The king’s pizza work out… King of Rock Elvis Presley ‘worked out’ by eating pizza, motionless on an exercise bike. The legendary singer piled

on the pounds towards the end of his career, through compulsive eating and overuse of prescription drugs. And his ‘exercise routine’ to battle his bulging waste line, only made him fatter - according to Elvis’ singer pal Tom Jones. ‘‘I was great friends with him. But we never worked out together. As time went on and he started putting on weight, instead of regarding it as the problem it was, he started having fun with it. ‘‘I saw him do it a few times, sitting on his exercise bike eating a pizza. We were in his suite at the Hilton in Vegas. He used to sit on it and put his feet on it but not touch the handlebars and say, ‘Are you still working out, Tom? Me too, Look,’ as he sat with his belly poking out.’

>> The Dark Knight

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman

The follow-up to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante. Heath Ledger stars as The Joker, and Aaron Eckhart plays Dent. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Rachel Dawes. Returning from Batman Begins are Gary Oldman as Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

>> Kung fu panda Jack Black

Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po works in his familys noodle shop while daydreaming about becoming a Kung Fu master. His dreams soon become reality when he is unexpectedly chosen to join the world of Kung Fu and study alongside his idols-the legendary fighters Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey-under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu. But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung is headed their way, and it's up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. Can he turn his dreams of becoming a Kung Fu hero into reality? Po puts his heart and his girth into the task, and ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths. 72 costa life

>> The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Ben Barnes, Cornell John, Damián Alcázar, Liam Neeson

More exciting than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The movie picks up where the first left off... sort of. It’s been a year since the Pevensie children--Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy--returned to England from Narnia, and they’ve just about resigned themselves to living their ordinary lives. But just like that, they’re once again transported to a fantastical land, but one with a long-abandoned castle. They are in Narnia again-and they lived in that castle, but hundreds of years ago in Narnia time. They’ve been summoned back to help Prince Caspian. Peter and Caspian agree to fight alongside the remaining Narnians, But they most of all miss the noble lion, Aslan, who would have never let this happen to Narnia if he hadn’t disappeared.

>> X files I want to believe David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

I Want to Believe is a satisfying installment in the X-Files series, taking place an unspecified time after the show’s nine-year television run. Former agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is now a doctor, while Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is being hunted by his former agency and living in seclusion. He and Scully are summoned back by a case involving a missing agent and a former priest (Billy Connolly) who claims to be able to see clues to the agent’s whereabouts psychically, though his initial search turns up only a severed limb. I Want to Believe is a stand-alone piece that makes use of the series’ roots in horror/sci-fi and moody Vancouver, But it’s still a good reminder of the creepy vibe that hooked fans for years.

costa STUFF >>

Not all about Christmas but always family favourites for the festive season >> It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Directed by Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of Jimmy Stewart’s best-rremembered films. George Bailey (Stewart) has misplaced $8000, and he’s ready to end his life. Thanks to the prayers of many who love him, an angel is sent to help him. Clarence (Henry Travers) takes George back in time, to show George all of the wonderful things that he has done - things that seemed small, but that made a tremendous difference in the lives of the people around him. Clarence’s interventions gives George new hope, and he returns to his family with a brighter outlook on life. This is probably the most popular classic Christmas movie ever made.

>> White Christmas (1954) In White Christmas Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) get together after the war and join forces with Betty and Judy Haynes (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-E Ellen) to become a top-rrated song-a and-d dance team. When they go to Vermont to perform a Christmas show, the men find that the inn they are working is owned by their former general, who has fallen on hard times. Romance ensues as the foursome tries to put together the perfect show to help the general.

>> Oliver (1968)

Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, Lionel Bart’s 1961 musical hit glossed over some of Dickens’ more graphic hour or so, passages but managed to retain a strong subtext to what was essentially light entertainment. For its first half-h winning 1968 film version does a masterful job of telling its story through song and dance. Once orphan Carol Reed’s Oscar-w Oliver Twist (Mark Lester) falls in with such underworld types as pickpocket Fagin (Ron Moody) and murderous thief Bill Sykes (Oliver Reed), it becomes necessary to inject more and more dialogue, and the film loses momentum. But not to worry; despite such brutal moments as Sikes’ murder of Nancy (Shani Wallis), the film gets back on the right musical track, thanks to Onna White’s choreography and performances by Moody and by Jack Wild as the Artful Dodger. Supporting cast includes Harry Secombe as Mr. Bumble and Joseph O’Conor as Mr. Brownlow, the man who rescues Oliver from the streets.

>> The Wizard of Oz (1939)

This musical adventure is a family classic that made Judy Garland a star for her performance as Dorothy Gale, an orphaned young girl unhappy with her drab black-a and-w white existence on her aunt and uncle's dusty farm. Dorothy yearns to travel ‘‘over the rainbow’’ to a different world, she gets her wish when a tornado whisks her and her dog to the Technicolorful land of Oz. Having offended the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), Dorothy is protected from the old crone’s wrath by the ruby slippers she wears. At the suggestion of the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke), Dorothy heads down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where dwells the all-p powerful Wizard of Oz, who might be able to help the girl return home. En route, she befriends a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) who would like to have some brains, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) who craves a heart, and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) who wants to attain courage. Hoping that the Wizard will help them too, they join Dorothy on her odyssey to the Emerald City.

>> A Christmas Carol (1951)

This is the desert-iisland choice of the many versions of A Christmas Carol, with a magnificent, full-b bodied portrayal of Ebeneezer Scrooge by Alastair Sim that leaves everyone else in the dust. Lean and direct, this film’s version of the story wastes no time trying to impress viewers with the magical nature of the spirits’ visitations. Director Brian Desmond Hurst keeps the focus on Scrooge’s life story, beautifully simplifying and underscoring the theme of lost women with a haunting musical refrain from the folk song ‘‘Barbara Allen.’’ Sim’s commitment to the role is at times astonishing; his Scrooge’s Christmas-m morning ecstasy is a marvel of giddy technique. Watch for Patrick Macnee (Steed in The Avengers) as the young Jacob Marley--tthe actor made his screen debut in this 1951 production.

>> The Preachers Wife (1948)

When bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) prays for divine guidance in his efforts to raise the funds for a new cathedral, his prayers are answered in the form of handsome, personable guardian angel Dudley (Cary Grant). Establishing himself as a Yuletide guest in the Brougham home, Dudley arouses the ire of Henry, who, unaware that his visitor is from Up Above, assumes that Dudley has designs on the bishop’s wife Julia (Loretta Young). The lives of both Henry and Julia are agreeably altered by the presence of the affable angel: He regains the ‘‘common touch’’ he’d almost lost, while she realizes how much she truly loves her husband. Adapted by Robert E. Sherwood and Robert Bercovicci from a novel by Robert Nathan, The Bishop’s Wife was remade in 1996 as The Preacher’s Wife, with Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston and Courtney B. Vance. costa life 77

>> costa STUFF

At Grandma’s…

Two little boys went to their grandparents’ place for Christmas. At bedtime, the youngest one began to pray at the top of his lungs. ‘‘I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE... I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE... I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE...’’

The older brother exclaimed, ‘‘Why are you shouting? Do you thing God is deaf.’’ The little one promptly replied, ‘‘No! But Grandma certainly is!’’

Bizarre Xmas Traditions… In Italy they have no Christmas trees, instead they decorate small wooden pyramids with fruit. In Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, it is customary for the streets to be blocked off on Christmas Eve so that the people can rollerskate to church. An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees. A spider web found on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck.

Celebrities born on Christmas Day… Annie Lennox -

Singer (born 1954)

Sissy Spacek -

Actress (born 1949)

Humphrey Bogart Actor (born 1899)

Sir Isaac Newton Scientist (born 1642)

Dido -

Singer (born 1971)

Shane McGowan Singer (born 1957)

Kenny Everett -

Comedian (born 1945) 78 costa life

Father Christmas is a woman because… The vast majorities of men don’t even think about selecting gifts until minute shopping spree. Christmas Eve and only go for a last-m Even if the male Santa did have reindeer, he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions. Men can’t pack a bag. Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet. Men would feel their masculinity is threatened...having to be seen with all those elves. Men don’t answer their mail and do shopping lists. Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them. Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

Sending red Christmas cards to anyone in Japan constitutes bad etiquette, since funeral notices there are customarily printed in red. In Norway on Christmas Eve, all the brooms in the house are hidden because long ago it was believed that witches and mischievous spirits came out on Christmas Eve and would steal their brooms for riding. On Christmas Eve in Belgium, it is legal for children to throw bananas at police cars. On Christmas Day in Belgium, it is legal for police officers to throw bananas at children.

Family turkey… A lady was looking through the frozen turkeys at a supermarket and she couldn’t find one big enough for her family. So she asked a member of staff ‘‘Do these turkeys get any bigger’’ the member of staff replied ‘‘No they’re dead.’’

costa STUFF >> Sudoku answers for Issue 42

6 2 4 2 7 8 4 8 1 3

7 5 1 9 4 3 1 9

3 5 1 4 8 6 1

5 8 7 The rules of Sudoku: place a digit from 1-9 in each empty cell, so every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1-9.

Across 1. Eager involvement (10) 8. Stream of water (5) 9. Take as one's own (5) 10. Ball game (4) 12. Guard (6) 14. Language communication (6) 17. Fruit (4) 21. In addition (5) 22. Boundary (5) 23. Executives (10)

Down 2. Pertaining to warships (5) 3. Solid (4) 4. Apportion (5) 5. Concerning (5) 6. Friendly (5) 7. Boast (4) 11. Enemy (3) 13. Doze (3) 14. Water vapour (5) 15. Consumed (5) 16. Loud, resonant sound (5) 18. Yellowish citrus fruit (5) 19. Mongrel dog (4) 20. Shut with force (4)

Crossword answers for Issue 42 costa life 79

>> costa GUIDE


Useful numbers & information TRANSPORT >> AIRPORTS


Local Police Alhaurin el Grande Alora Antequera Arroyo de la Miel Benalmádena, Málaga, Marbella & Ronda Cartama Coin Estepona Fuengirola Local Fuengirola Municipal Nerja Torremolinos

092 952 491 074 952 496 468 952 708 104 952 562 142 092 952 422 211 952 453 267 952 800 243 952 580 900 952 197 090 952 521 545 952 376 000

>> NATIONAL POLICE National Police


Guardia Civil Alhaurin el Grande Alhaurin del la Torre Alora Cartama Coin

091 062 952 595 830 952 960 067 952 496 020 952 422 639 952 450 138

>> BRITISH CONSULATE Calle Mauricio Moro, Pareta, 22nd Floor, MÁLAGA. Open 08:30 - 13:30 Enquiries 952 352 300


Alora, Marbella near the football stadium


Benamagosa, Fuengirola (Feria Ground), Nerja weekly market (Calle Chaparil)


Benalmadena Parque de la Paloma, La Cala, Estepona, La Linea, Rincon de la Victoria


Alhaurin el Grande, Pizara, Frigiliana, Torremolinos, Velez Malaga, San Pedro, Torre del Mar


Benalmadena Tivoli Gardens, Casares, Cartama, Aguamania, ctra Cartama, Las Chapas


Fuengirola, La Cala, Ojen Pueblo, Coin, Competa, Puerta Banus near bullring


Estation de Cartama, Fuengirola near the mosque, Malaga near the football stadium, Sabinillas, Estepona, Sotogrande, Nerja car boot sale

TOURIST INFORMATION Alhaurin de la Torre Alhaurin el Grande Alora Antequera Cartamar Coin Benalmádena Estepona

952 410 005 952 491 275 952 495 577 952 702 505 952 422 126 952 453 211 952 442 494 952 802 002


Benalmádena, Málaga & Mijas Coin Estepona Fuengirola Marbella Torremolinos

080 952 455 020 952 804 483 952 461 046 952 774 349 952 381 414



902 505 061


Benalmádena & Fuengirola Emergencies only 902 505 061 Málaga 951 290 000 Marbella 951 976 669 Torremolinos 952 386 484 Torremolinos (Centro de Salud) Health Centre 951 924 100

Benalmádena Estepona Fuengirola Gibraltar Málaga Marbella Mijas Costa

952 441 545 952 802 900 952 471 000 00350 70027 952 327 950 952 774 488 952 476 593

Portillo Customer Service Direct Line Algeciras Alhaurin Benalmádena Coin Estepona Fuengirola La Linea Málaga Marbella San Pedro Torremolinos

902 143 144 956 654 304 952 490 709 952 443 563 952 450 366 952 802 954 952 475 066 952 172 396 953 350 061 952 764 400 952 781 396 952 380 965



The Coastal Service stops at every major town between Fuengirola and Málaga from 06:45 and 22:30 from Málaga 902 240 202 Call

LOST/STOLEN CREDIT CARDS >> Abbey National Allied Irish American Express Bank of Scotland Barclays Bank Diners Club First Direct Girobank

952 048 844 00350 73026



Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Málaga & Marbella

Malaga Gibraltar

1619516500 2890330099 2072229633 1383738866 1604230230 1252513500 1132345678 1514721110

Halifax Lloyds TSB Mastercard Nat & Provincial Nationwide Natwest Yorkshire Bank

8457203099 1702364274 1383621166 1274331522 1793543888 1132778899 1132424800

SIZE COMPARISONS >> Don’t let being unsure about sizes impare your shopping sprees...

Shoes SP 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Men’s Wear UK 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

SP 44 46 48 50/52 54 56 58

UK 34 36 38 40 42 44 46

Men’s Shirts SP 35 36/37 38 39/40 41 42/43 44

UK 14 14.5 15 15.5 16 16.5 17

Women’s Wear SP 36 38 40 42 44 46 48

UK 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

>>Spanish Facts >> Telephone: to make an international call from Spain, dial 00 and then add the country code (UK 44; USA 1; Australia 61; Canada 1; Irish Republic 353; New Zealand 64) and the rest of the telephone number minus the first zero if there is one. To call Spain from abroad, the country code is 00 34. >> Business hours: the normal opening hours for shops are Monday to Saturday from around 10am until about 1.30 / 2pm. After siesta they reopen from around 5.30pm until 8pm or 9pm. Large stores usually stay open all day. Most places are Fuengirola Gibraltar Málaga Marbella Mijas Nerja Torremolinos

952 467 457 0350 774 982 952 213 445 952 771 442 952 485 900 952 521 531 952 374 231


952 453 020

closed on Sundays. >> Banks: generally open from 9am to 2pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am to midday or 1pm on Saturday. Hours may vary in summer. >>Customs allowance- importation from Gibraltar into Spain 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% or 2 litres of wine 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 gms tobacco Goods brought in Gibraltar may only be imported into spain between 0900 hours and 2100 hours Estepona Foreigners Dept Fuengirola Gibraltar Málaga Marbella Mijas Nerja Torremolinos

952 801 100 952 589 440 952 589 300 0350 774 902 952 135 000 952 761 100 952 485 900 952 548 449 952 379 400

Exclusive Villas

1.500.000 €

Ref. 0960 MARBELLA EAST PRICE 980.000 €

Exclusive villa built on 2 levels plus basement. Marble floors, underfloor heating, water deposit. Each level has its own fully fitted kitchen, living and dining room area. 2 Fireplaces. Garage for 4 cars. South east orientation. Overlooking Santa Maria Golf and Country Club.

Charming Andalusian style villa, two levels, fantastic sea views, marble floors throughout, andalusian interior patio with a fountain, large lounge with fire place, fully fitted kitchen, pool. South orientation.

Ref. 1018


PLOT : 1.470 M2. BUILT : 577 M2. TERRACES : 75 M2. BEDROOMS : 9 BATHROOMS : 9

PLOT : 1.400 M2. BUILT : 375 M2. TERRACES . 150 M2. BEDROOMS : 4 BATHROOMS : 3

Ref. 0920 HACIENDA LAS CHAPAS 1.795.000 €

PLOT : 2008 M2. BUILT : 790 M2. TERRACES : 150 M2.

Brand new luxury villa located in the select area of Hacienda Las Chapas. Excellent modern well fitted kitchen. 150 m2. of terraces on the ground floor and first floor areas, overlooking mature gardens and swimming pool. Cream marble floors. 2 fireplaces. Patio area with fountain. Large garage for 10 cars.

Special Offers

Ref. 0629


895.000 €

PLOT : 1.075 m2 BUILT : 279 m2 TERRACES : 98 m2 BEDROOMS : 4 BATHROOMS : 3

Very nice Andalusian villa with panoramic sea views. South orientation. Downstairs modern apartment and double carport parking and garage. Heated pool. A.A. Barbacue area. WILL PART EXCHANGE FOR APARTMENT

Ref. 0787


895.000 €

PLOT : 800 M2. BUILT : 230 M2. TERRACES : 80 M2.

PRICE REDUCED FROM 1.100.000 € TO 895.000 € Beautiful Andalusian style villa with stunning views to the sea and mountains. Interior patio, heated swimming pool, guest apartment above main house, garage and carport. Marble floors. Fully fitted kitchen. South west orientation. Close to all amenities.

Ref. 1310


1.195.000 €

PLOT : 1.000 M2. BUILT : 428 M2. TERRACES : 75 M2. BEDROOMS : 5 BATHROOMS : 4

PRICE REDUCED FROM 1.595.000 € TO 1.195.000 € ‘‘OPEN TO OFFERS’’ Brand new luxury modern villa built in two floors, located in a quiet and residencial area of Elviria. White wood floors. Fully fitted kitchen. Domótic. Fire place. Automatic irrigation. Heated swimming pool. South-west orientation. Garage.

Beachside Properties

Ref. 1344 WHITEPEARLBEACH 795.000 € BUILT : 160 M2. BEDROOMS : 2


Fantastic penthouse situated in the beautiful complex WHITEPEARLBEACH, phase I, beach side of Elviria. White marble floors. Fully fitted kitchen. Large lounge. Alarm system. Garage. Views to the communal gardens and pool and from the terrace sea views. South-west orientation. Gated complex. A.A. ( hot/cold ). Fireplace. Lift.

Ref. 1367 CERRADO DE ELVIRIA BEACH 725.000 €


BUILT : 120 M2.


Very nice ground floor apartment located in a beautiful complex frontline beach. Fully fitted kitchen. Marble floor throughout. Garage for 2 cars and store room. Alarm system. South-west orientation. Quiet residential area. Directlyaccesstothebeach.TennisCourt.A.A.(hot/cold).Gatedcomplex.

Ref. 1308 CARIB PLAYA 1.100.000 €

PLOT : 1.324 M2. BUILT : 272 M2. TERRACES : 74 M2. BEDROOMS : 4 BATHROOMS : 3

AprettyAndalucianVillaoverlookingtheduneswithviewsdowntothesea. A quite beachside residential area within walking distance of the beach restaurants. The property is built on 2 levels. Luxury new kitchen with cream stone floor throughout and underfloor heating. A large garden with heated swimming pool and automatic irrigation. South-east orientation.

Urbanizacion Elviria, Avda. Las Cumbres, Marbella Business Centre office 309 Tel 952 835 695 mob 651 857 147 & 649 295 654 e-mail

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Costa Life Magazine #43 Nov/Dec 08  
Costa Life Magazine #43 Nov/Dec 08  

Issue 43 of the people’s magazine for the Costa del Sol and inland Andalucía