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1. 2012 - MEMBERSHIP EDITORIAL 2. FROM THE CHAIR DECEMBERS’ MEETING NOTES 3. MEETINGS & EVENTS. 4. FOTO GROUP 5. WALKING GROUP 6. QUAD DIARY 7. BIRDING WITH BOB 8. NEWSBITES & THERAPY GROUP 9. COMMITTEE DETAILS CONSULAR PBHT NEWSLETTER


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2012 - MEMBERSHIP I would like remind you that in 2012 we start our membership year from JANUARY 1st. If you haven’t done so already, it is time to renew your membership to the El-Valle Asociación. Membership can either be renewed at the Friday Market at Chiringuito (Antonio) Carlos in Puente Don Manuel between 11.00 and 12.30am. There will be a committee member sitting at the Bar Casablanca which is at the entrance to the market , ready to help you with forms and membership cards and at any of the monthly club meetings. Our January meeting is on Monday January 9th. For 2012 the committee have kept the membership fee at €10.00 and your 2012 membership will run for the full year from Jan 1st to Dec 31st 2012. When renewing your membership for 2012, don´t forget to check and let us know if any of your personal contact details have changed since the form was completed and that you gave your personal information (name, address, phone number(s) and most of all Email address). If you have any queries, please contact the secretary, or, in his absence, a member of the committee, contact details can be found on the committee details page.

EDITORIAL I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year and to thank all the newsletter correspondents for their efforts over the past year, especially Alan Impey for helping me to make my job a little easier on meeting nights and reporting on the activities I am absent from. Thanks also to Mike Hickman, our webmaster that maintains the website and sends out your newsletter over the internet. As there are now new members amongst us, I’d like to point out that there are regular group activities such as walking, photography, ten pin bowling, birding and quad biking that take place during the course of each month. If you are interested in joining any of these groups just speak to a member of the committee and they will point you in the right direction. Conversely, if you’d like to start / lead a group contact the editor, he will advertise your group to see if there is any interest amongst the members.


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FROM THE CHAIR HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012 Gwilym and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members a very Happy and Healthy New Year. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas, whether you spent it here in Spain or in your home country with your family and friends. As we say goodbye to 2011 it is time for us to look forward to the year ahead, as I am sure you are aware, the Social team have been working very hard to come up with new ideas for trips and events for your enjoyment starting with the trip to the San Miguel Brewery later this month, the tickets are selling rapidly so don’t miss out book your place now. Also the tickets for the Neil Diamond tribute night in February are selling well, it promises to be an excellent night, and then of course we have our trip to Seville in March so there is plenty to look forward to, check out the what’s on page. While we are looking to the future, don’t forget the AGM in April, have you thought about becoming a committee member, do you have ideas about what you would like to see the Association doing in the future – come and join the team, new ideas are always welcome. Also, don’t forget this year’s subs are due so see Stewart at the next meeting or come down to the Friday market where there will be a committee member to renew your membership. Lastly, don’t forget our meetings will now be held on the first MONDAY of the month and I look forward to seeing you all there.

Sue DECEMBER’S MEETING NOTES Monday 5th December was the date of the final El-Valle meeting of 2011. It was the Christmas meeting complete with Carols and mince pies, together with the cash box draw held until the prize fund was won. Could this account for a healthy 88 persons present?? At 7.30pm, Sue reminded everyone that the cash box draw was only open to members of the association and in line with that, a reminder that membership was now due for 2012. It was also announced that following a request from the owners of Camping Bar, our regular monthly meetings would, with effect from January 9th, 2012, be held on the first Monday of the month. Sue then handed over to Lyndsey who gave an overview of forthcoming events. Following on, Sue welcomed the St. Georges Church choir who would sing a rendition of Christmas Carols, accompanied in part by the elite El Valle male voice choir. As the carols were sung it was agreed that the El Valle contingent would join St.George’s choir for the full repertoire with a solo rendition of the Three Kings male verses in We Three Kings of Orient Are. Every member of the TWO choirs are thanked for their effort with special thanks to David and Hazel of St. Georges and Terry, Ian, Eddie and yours truly of El Valle. Following the carols it was time for the cash box draw with prize money of €1,100. The winning ticket being held by Philip Paviour, congratulations Philip. Sue then closed the meeting wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with a wish to see everyone at the next meeting. Report by Alan Impey.


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FORTHCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS ALL MEETINGS START PROMPTLY AT 7.30pm

· · · ·

JANUARY – MONDAY 9th – MEETING FOLLOWED BY - Talk by Jean Sampson "The Right Lifestyle" and a brief presentation by Iberdrola, an alternative electricity supplier. FEBRUARY – MONDAY 7th – MEETING FOLLOWED BY “LYNDSEY’S WEAKEST LINK” MARCH – MONDAY 5th – MEETING FOLLOWED BY PHOTO GROUPPRESENTATION APRIL - MONDAY 2nd - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FOLLOWED BY A QUIZ

THURSDAY 26th JANUARY FOLLOWED BY LUNCH AT THE RESTAURANTE VISTALMAR, MOCLINEJO MEMBERS 16€ - GUESTS 18€ LEAVING 5 BERTURA (HOTEL ROMERO) 8.30am RETURN ARRIVAL 5pm APPROXIMATELY

THURSDAY 23rd FEBRUARY AT BAR CAMPING – 7.30pm MEMBERS 14€ - GUESTS 16€ (MEAL INCLUDED)

MARCH 8th - MARCH 11th 4 STAR HOTEL inc’ BREAKFAST ENGLISH SPEAKING TOUR GUIDE (1 DAY) Members 155€ - Non–members 165€. Single room supplement 47€.


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FOTO GROUP Led by Doug Poplett (667.274.196) editor.el-valle@hotmail.co.uk Usually meet at 2.45pm on the first Friday of the month at the Evangelist church, Puente Don Manuel.

The group have been busier than normal this month having to provide extra photo time for various challenges and an interclub competition it is committed to. These are a selection of fotos from our most recent challenge “Out of Place” or “Contrasts”, all fotos can be viewed on the following “Picasaweb” http://tinyurl.com/cyzwthr

Our next challenge, TIME, why not join in and submit a foto of your interpretation of “time” all entries should be submitted by 15th January to photos@deltapc.net . Or, join us at our monthly meetings, as venues are likely to vary, email the editor, editor.el-valle@hotmail.com if you wish to attend.


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EL VALLE MONTHLY WALK Walks take place usually on the second Thursday of the month. Start points and times differ; please check current newsletter for any changes to venue or time.

The following are the times and starting points of forthcoming monthly walks:JANUARY Thursday 12th - The start will be at 11am from the main car park just below the village of Almachar - Route by Ian & Barbaran. FEBRUARY Thursday 9th - The start will be at 11am from outside the old Hotel Romero (5 Bertura) in Puente Don Manuel - Route by Alan Impey. MARCH Thursday 15th - The start will be at 11am from a car park area as you enter the village of Rubite - Route by Chris & Roger. NB: The start date will probably be the 15th (i.e. the 3rd Thursday) as the second Thursday clashes with the date for the Seville trip. Date to be confirmed. This month’s walk fell on Thursday 8th December, a Spanish Bank Holiday “The Immaculate Conception”. This did not deter 25 El-Valle walkers that included a new couple, Brenda & Martin. We started the walk outside El Charco (Miguel’s) Restaurant in Los Romanes; heading off on the road beside the restaurant towards the hills, after passing the goat farm, turning left along a track made for the access to the fields of grape vines. Eventually, as on every walk around the area, we have to have a hill and to my surprise everyone made it up this hill without complaint!!!!!! Turning right at the top we walked along the top track passing Arthur’s Vineyard with some fantastic views to either side of the track to the lake Viñuela and the Benamargosa valley. As they say “what goes up must come down” and so we had a steep downhill section (loose underfoot) followed by some tracks back to the backend of the village, again no one complained !!!!!!. We did not go straight back to the restaurant, turning left along the road running behind the village, when nearly at the end we turned off to the right and walked through the olive groves high above the village, eventually dropping down a steep concrete road to the centre of the village. They even had their “Thursday Market” open for those who wanted to shop. We made it back along the tarmac road through the village to the El-Charco restaurant. Twenty three then sat down to a meal, drink and a chat about the day. Many thanks to both Stewart & Elaine for leading the walk, arranging the meal afterwards and sorting out all the cash at the end. The January walk is on Thursday 12th and this month is being led by Barbaran and Ian and will be in the Almachar area. The start time will be at the winter timing of 11am and will start from the large Feria car park as you enter the village of Almachar. Glad you all enjoyed the walk, Stewart & Elaine

“The Diabetes Support Group” Contact Ann Bowles: 952.464.184 / 607.879.450 abowles@terra.es / www.lacaladiabetics.com


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QUAD DIARY With the weather remaining warm and sunny for the majority of the month we were able to ride out on some fairly major expeditions, one of which was to Alfarnatejo and Guaro, always a fairly challenging route! The longest outing was into the Montes de Málaga, via Comares and over tracks to eventually join the Colmenar to Málaga road. We stopped for lunch at Puerto del Leon (see photo) then returned via the Santopitar masts that can be seen from most of the Axarquia region. It was a long ride but the countryside and spectacular views made it very enjoyable. Another major outing was along the ridge above Trapiche looking down on the tiny village of Rubite that clings to the valley side (see photo). Then on to Arenas and up to Benthomiz Castle, one of the four main Moorish castles of the Axarquia region. At 708 metres it offers great views of the Algarrobo Costa and Arenas in the opposite direction, making the clamber up to the very top of the castle breathtakingly (literally) worthwhile!. We then dropped down to the coast and enjoyed an excellent menu del dia at Eclipse in Caleta. The highlight of the month was the group’s Christmas Meal at Bar Atila. The food and service were excellent and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Many thanks to Nicky and Kim, we hope we didn’t damage the bar’s growing reputation too much (!) and to Captain Dave who organised the event.

WISHING ALL OUR MEMBERS AND READERS,

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR. Report by Chris Pegman


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BIRDING NEWS. Part of the Axarquia Bird Group http://birdingaxarquia.blogspot.com In birding terms, all seems to have settled down as we approach mid-winter with all our usual visitors safely ensconced in their usual habitats, albeit the present high water levels does mean that you may have to look more closely to find some of the smaller waders. For example, if you are walking the track alongside the Rio VĂŠlez in Torre del Mar towards the beach then do look in the fields on your left for feeding / roosting Ringed Plovers. On the other hand, most of our ducks will soon be back on their breeding grounds and, already, they are almost fully moulted out and showing some fabulous colours. Watch out girls, the drakes are on their way! Late December has seen the number of Greater Flamingos at Fuente de Piedra rapidly increasing with, probably, now in excess of 5,000 birds present. (By March there could be as many as 35,000 birds.) However, a visit at this time also produced a trio of the (in the wild) very rare Lesser Flamingos. Meanwhile, over at the Charca de Suarez reserve just beyond SalobreĂąa I came across a Booted Eagle just about to start ion his daily meal, a less than fortunate Moorhen, as I drove along the entrance track. Obviously, the track had been unused for an hour or so I was able to get a support sight of this magnificent bird but, unfortunately, had to take the photograph through the not-soclean windscreen. However, I think you will be able to see what a gorgeous bird this is. BOOTED EAGLE FEASTING ON A MOORHEN Think how large a Moorhen is, small chicken, and then look at it under the talons of the Booted Eagle now looking like a smallish rat and you get an impression of the size of this bird. And, remember, this is the smallest eagle and we usually see the Short-toed eagle near us (the one that catches the snakes and lizards). For more information and news of what is happening in the birding world then visit the website at www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com. The Blog is usually updated at least twice a week and there is a link from the above website. If you are reading this on your computer rather than a printed form, CLICK HERE to be taken directly to the blog. Next month I shall be off on a cruise through the Panama Canal to celebrate both our 70ths so, all being well, lots of good birds to be seen during the journey. Naturally, all of the feathered variety! Enjoy your birding and visit http://birding axarquia.blogspot.com for the all the latest visits. Bob Wright


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CHRISTMAS BALL Christmas is here again and that means it is time once again for the El-Valle Christmas Ball. This year it took place on Friday 16th December and returned to its usual venue, Hotel ViĂąuela. At 7.15pm 61 guests were served in the reception area with drinks and a choice of canapĂŠs. At this time members of the social committee circulated selling raffle tickets for a good selection of prizes. 8pm saw the hotel staff requesting that we take our seats in order that dinner be served. In all there were six circular tables seating ten persons each. (Yes I know there were 61 guests so one table had eleven) I can only speak for my table, where the food was well received, with no complaints. The staff were polite and very attentive, nothing being too much trouble. After the meal an old El-Valle Christmas tradition was revived with Anne and Peter Dibden leading us through the Twelve Days of Christmas, with each table having to fulfil two verses each. It started slowly but by the third day everyone was in good voice. Thanks Anne and Peter. The background music was then turned off and the entertainment started. Our singer was ANDY TIME and judging by the fact that the dance floor remained full for the whole of his performance, he had obviously judged his repertoire to perfection. There was a break in the dancing for the raffle to be drawn and this went ahead to cries (on more than one occasion) of FIX. Yours truly being lucky enough to win the first prize and a further prize!! At the end of the evening I think it can be said that it was a very enjoyable Christmas Ball and full credit to the El-Valle committee that worked hard to make it happen. Report by Alan Impey


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NEWSBITES

by Jennie Wright

I am hoping that we may have some intermittent rain during the month as it was such wonderful weather during December and the trees and shrubs really need it to regenerate them! Our bodies no doubt feel the same at this time of year which is why Echinacea and Vitamin C are recommended by many to help boost the Immune system. We are lucky to have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables readily available but they are intensively grown which means that they may be mineral deficient, hence the reason why some people choose to supplement their diets with additional minerals at times. Vitamins may be lost during cooking or whilst the goods are waiting to be used, and Vitamin C is water soluble so any excess will go straight through the system. Little and often is really better so fruit or vegetable snacks are really good for you!! I remember reading that an orange will lose 5% of the vitamin content each day after picking, so do try to enjoy them whilst fresh.

THERAPIST SUPPORT GROUP The first meeting in the New Year of the FHT Axarquia Therapists’ Support Group will be on Wednesday, January 25th at the Camping Bar Restaurant at 11am and will be a talk by Christiane Baumgartner on "A Natural Alternative to Hormone Replacement". Christiane will suggest Yoga moves, cell salts and other natural ways that we can use and benefit from for Mind, Body and Soul. Yoga for hormonal balance, meditation for calming the mind, herbs and good food rich in minerals and as fresh as possible for vitamins for the physical body. Herbs from nature. Schüßler-salts for womens’ beauty and prevention. The holistic view makes the difference to look younger and feel healthier both inside and out. All are welcome and further information can be obtained from : jeanlaguita@hotmail.com or tel: 952 030 611 or 619 978 890 or jennywright04@gmail.com tel:951 321 613 or 663 759 988. Jean and Jenny have plans in hand for a Healing Fair on April 28th at El Trapiche Restaurant so put the date in your diary and watch out for further details. We look forward to seeing some of you during the coming year.

GB 1 According to the Costa Consulting Bureau, residents caught driving UK plated vehicles in Spain are being given just 5 days to start the process of importing the vehicle. Failure to comply may result in the vehicle being impounded and costs being incurred.


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ASOCIACIÓN EL VALLE DEL EMBALSE COMMITTEE CHAIR - SUSAN JONES – 951.167.030 VICE CHAIR – ANNE DIBDEN – 951.167.170 TREASURER - TERRY FROST – 697.569.141 SECRETARY - STEWART COMMON – 647.076.177 SOCIAL CHAIR – LINDA KEMP – 951.167.088 NEWSLETTER EDITOR - DOUG POPLETT – editor.el-valle@hotmail.co.uk

SOCIAL SUB-COMMITTEE v SOCIAL SUB-COMMITTEE MEMBER - ELAINE EDWARDS – 647.076.177 v SOCIAL SUB-COMMITTEE MEMBER – LYNDSEY PADLEY – 951.238.582

v SOCIAL SUB-COMMITTEE MEMBER – JANE HARRIS – 633.615.154 v SOCIAL SUB-COMMITTEE MEMBER – CAROL JACKSON – 679.788.898 v SOCIAL SUB-COMMITTEE MEMBER – STEWART COMMON – 647.076.177

ALMONERS – CHRISTINE GOREHAM 952.515.294 - pcgoreham@hotmail.com JACKIE POPLETT 686.486.734 – jackiegodfreyspain@msn.com

INFORMATION. v WEBMASTER – MIKE HICKMAN webmaster@el-valle.org v WEBSITE - www.el-valle.org A representative of the committee is usually on duty between 11am – 12.30pm at BAR CASABLANCA during Friday Market - Chiringuito (Antonio.) Carlos Asociación El Valle del Embalse Normally meet at 7pm on the first MONDAY of each month with the exception of August, at the “Camping Bar Restaurante” by Lake Viñuela (km 31/32 A356).

ASOCIACIÓN MOBILE ‘PHONE. 676.641.577 NB: THE ASOCIACIÓN MOBILE IS ONLY IN USE DURING TRIPS OR EVENTS, PLEASE USE THE NUMBERS AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE TO CONTACT A COMMITTEE MEMBER AT OTHER TIMES.


PARTNERS’ NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER 2011 Pension, Benefit and Healthcare Team WHAT IS BENEFIT THEFT? The vast majority of people who claim UK benefits are honest, law-abiding citizens. But there are those who try to cheat the system. People who are in receipt of UK benefits have a responsibility to keep the authorities informed of any change in their circumstances, as this can affect their claim and the amount they receive. If a person knowingly or deliberately withholds information about a change in their circumstances, such as moving in with a partner, starting work, or moving abroad, they are committing benefit theft. The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that between April 2010 and March 2011, benefit cheats stole £79 million from UK taxpayers by not informing the authorities that they were going abroad. Spain is one of the countries where most benefit fraud is committed. But benefit cheats are being caught and the consequences are serious. They include being asked to repay the benefit money, having the benefit stopped, a criminal record and possibly even a prison sentence.

KNOW THE FACTS There are certain “non-exportable” benefits that you cannot receive if you do not normally live in the UK. These benefits are usually means-tested and include: · · · · ·

Pension Credit Council Tax Benefit Income Support Housing Benefit Means-tested Incapacity Benefit/Employment Support Allowance

If you are in receipt of any of these benefits but now live or spend prolonged periods of time in Spain, contact the authority that pays your benefit to check that your claim is correct. More information can be found at www.direct.gov.uk

WEBSITE OF THE MONTH At a time when it is more important than ever that the correct money goes to the correct people, the general public can help stop the benefit cheats. The Department for Work and Pensions has set up a free and confidential hotline which you can call to give information about anyone that you suspect of committing UK benefit fraud. The hotline number in Spain is 900 554 440. You can also report suspected benefit fraud online by visiting our website of the month https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/benefitfraud/

The British Consular Network, Spain NOTARIAL WORK BY APPOINTMENT Notarial work in Alicante is changing! If you are thinking about getting married in Spain, importing your vehicle or need any other official certificate from the British Consulate in Alicante, please be aware that as from 1st December 2011 this Consulate will be implementing an appointment system. The appointment system will mean that you can avoid queuing and will ensure that the Consulate can deliver the service in a more customer-friendly and efficient manner. Anyone who is planning to go to the Consulate in Alicante for a notarial appointment should, from December 1st onwards, contact us on 902 109 356 (alternative number 913 342 194). An on-line appointment system will be introduced shortly. PLEASE NOTE: Other Consulates may already operate or soon move to an appointment system for notarial work. Before going to any Consulate, check the latest information on www.ukinspain.fco.gov.uk or call us on the above number. For more information on Living in Spain, see http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk


The Royal British Legion (TRBL) ‘Shoulder to shoulder with all who Serve’

THE 2011 POPPY APPEAL The 2011 Poppy Appeal needs to raise £40 million £4 million more than last year’s record amount of £36 million. Many of you give generously to the Poppy Appeal each year – these are a few examples of where the money raised goes: · The Legion has committed £50 million over 10 years to pay for the creation and operation of The Royal British Battle Back Centre and to fund operating costs of the Personnel Recovery Centres. · The Legion spends £1.4 million a week delivering welfare support to serving and ex –Service people young and old and their families. · The Legion’s Campaigns have resulted in more than £40 million extra being paid to those injured in service. · Over 11,000 Legion beneficiaries in temporary crisis received £6.1 million–worth of groceries, clothing, and furniture and property repairs. · Over 400 Service leavers received loans, grants and mentoring to start their own business · This year, the Legion awarded £5.6 million in grants, including £2.6 million for a 10-bed Poppy Wing for seriously injured service people. · Nearly a quarter of those helped by the Legion are less than 44 years of age and half are below retirement age.

ACASA Age Concern Acción Social y Asistencial ACASA’S ANNUAL MEETING WITH UK CHARITIES On 12 October 2011, ACASA hosted a meeting in London of representatives of the UK Charities with which we work. Judy Arnold-Boakes, ACASA President, chaired the meeting as she has done for 16 years, albeit previously as Age Concern España. The members of ACASA's Executive Committee were there as was its Country Manager, Kim Stollard, and its Almonisation Officer, Pat Neal. Attendees included representatives of UK military and non-military charities, all of which have existing and potential clients living in Spain. The meeting was extremely useful with those present discussing issues affecting their clients in Spain and how they can assist in resolving their problems. Judy also took advantage of being in London to visit several charities at their offices for discussions. ACASA's relationships with the UK Charities is vital to our work and, after the 16 years of annual meetings, those relationships are built on mutual trust and respect such that the UK Charities accept ACASA as an 'honest broker' between them and their clients in Spain.

A Gala Dinner in District Spain South to commemorate the Legion’s 90th Anniversary and to launch their Poppy Appeal Photo L-R: Eddie Hefferman, Overseas Trustee, David Harpin, Poppy Appeal Officer, Steve Jones, British Consul, Chris Simpkins, Director General of the Legion & Chris Wright, Chairman of District South

Members of the ACASA Executive Committee (from L-R) Judy ArnoldBoakes, President; Angela Keay, Secretary; Oscar Franklin, International Programme Manager for Age UK and Sarah-Jane Morris, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Consular Network Manager for Southern Europe, and ACASA Treasurer. Liz Prosser, Branch Director, SSAFA Forces Help, is also an ACASA Executive Committee member, but was not able to be present in Madrid.

CONTACT US!

CONTACT US!

For all welfare enquiries, please contact Donna Wilson at dmwilson@britishlegion.org.uk.

Call 902 00 38 38 between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday, email info@ageconcern-espana.org

The Legion also has many beneficiaries residing in Spain, who have received welfare assistance through the money raised by the Poppy Appeal.

No Newsletter Next Month! The Partners’ Newsletter will be taking a break next month but will return in January 2012. The New Year will also see the newsletter published on a quarterly, rather than monthly, basis. The information provided in this publication is given in good faith. At the time of publication, all efforts have been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate. The contributors of this document accept no liability for the content of this publication, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

For more information on Living in Spain, see http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk


Around the Valle - JANUARY 2012