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FREE NEWSLETTER OCT-DEC 2011

www.familylifeinspain.com www.ccbspain.com


Some of Our Contributors: CCB Spain: also known as Costa Consulting Bureau, is an invaluable source of advice and assistance for all expatriates who: live in Spain; work in Spain; own a holiday home n Spain; or are thinking of moving to Spain.Often referred to as an “Expat Gestoria” due to the wide range of professional services they offer, such as legal representation, contracts and paperwork, vehicle transfers and importation, accounting and tax related issues Currencies Direct: is one of Europe’s leading non-bank providers of international payment services. Since its formation in 1996 Currencies Direct has maintained its focus on being an innovative service provider of foreign exchange and international transfers for consumers and high net worth individuals with an extensive client base of 200 000. La Rosilla: Lynsey is a passionate home cook, who loves to entertain, who enjoys to create. She relishes to see people enjoy her creations and soak up the atmosphere of her beautiful surroundings at La Rosilla. She is a self professed “Cook Book Whore“, she reads them as novels, always having to have the latest one. She collects food recipes, where ever she goes, to try, share and enjoy with others. Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen: Annie ran her own successful catering and corporate hospitality company in London for fifteen years before deciding to head for the hills! Her love of Spanish food, wine, music and culture led her to the fabulous diversity of Andalucia. The Spanish Brick: is a property portal website with original news, views, analysis and products on the Spanish property market with specific focus on buying and renting in the residential sector. The website was created in response to the ongoing property crisis and offers impartial advice and support to investors, home buyers and expats that want to make the move to Spain. Ibex Insurance Services: are the largest insurance provider for expatriates based in the Iberian Peninsula and a leading provider of domestic motor insurance in Portugal and Gibraltar. They have a network of over 250 agents throughout Spain and Portugal in addition to their own retail offices in Spain, Gibraltar and Portugal. LearnSpanish4Life.co.uk : is an educational and interactive website, where you can Learn Spanish whenever you want and wherever you have access to the internet. You can communicate through their Discover Spain Blog and share with people that have the same passion as you to learn the Spanish Language and to know the beautiful Spanish Culture. If you would like to contribute to our Family Life In Spain online magazine, please email us with your ideas: f am i ly lif e ins pain @gm ai l.c om

*No part of this publication, including pictures, may be used or reproduced without our prior written consent. We do ot accept any responsibilty for inaccurate information provided by our contributors but encourage readers to inform us of any inaccuracies they may find.


Welcome,! ยกBienvenidos! our very first Newsletter.

... to

Family Life In Spain

We would like to say a huge Thank you ยกGRACIAS! to all our contributors. Thanks to their amazing response, our little Newsletter has grown into a jam packed Online Magazine! Today is a double celebration for us. The launch of this Newsletter marks our 1st Birthday blogging on our www.familylifeinspain.com website. It has been a busy, busy 12 months and we have learnt so much and met so many amazing people. We cannot wait to see what the next 12 months will bring. So all that remains to say is ... Read on! We hope you like what you find and please send in your comments via email to : familylifeinspain@gmail.com Hasta pronto

Family In Spain


ADVICE & UPDATES ... Expat & Relocation Services European Health Insurance Card in Spain The Spanish equivalent of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is the Tarjeta Sanitario Europea (TSE). If you are resident in Spain and have a Spanish social security number (No afiliación S.S.) you should apply for this card. This card is FREE, do not be fooled by companies who say you need to pay for this! If you are traveling back to the UK, or to any other European country, on holiday, on business or to visit family and friends and require medical assistance, presentation of the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea will entitle you to receive medical assistance, free of charge. Please be advised, however, that this does not entitle you to travel to a country specifically to receive medical treatment. You can apply for the card online via a link on our website www.ccbspain.com or alternatively visit your nearest social security office, presenting your Spanish Tarjeta Sanitaria and they should issue you a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea on the spot (some offices may require you to prebook an appointment). Being a British passport holder no longer entitles you to free healthcare in the UK. Failure to present your European Health Insurance Card may result in you receiving a bill for any medical treatment received. Modelo 210 ‌ Non Resident Tax Return in Spain Spanish tax law states that a non resident owner of a property in Spain must pay Spanish Income Tax. This law applies even if the property is used as a holiday home in Spain and does not generate income from rentals. The Non Resident Tax Return form (Modelo 210) should not be confused with the IBI (Impuestos sobre Bienes Inmeubles) payment which is a property tax paid to you town hall. Many non-resident property owners in Spain are unaware of the obligation

www.ccbspain.com Email: info@ccbspain.com Tel: (+34) 952 48 68 06 / 608 840 692


ADVICE & UPDATES ... Expat & Relocation Services to complete the Non Resident Tax Return and are caught out when trying to sell their property. When a non-resident sells their property in Spain, 3% of the selling price is paid to the tax office, by the seller. This money is only recoverable once it has been proven that all taxes relating to the property have been paid, this includes capital gains tax and the Modelo 210 non-resident tax form. One point worth noting is that a statue of limitations, applied to unpaid Spanish tax, means that tax is not collectable after four years. However, penalties will apply to each non paid tax bill for the past four years.

NIE or Residencia? There is a lot of confusion and conflicting inform ation about whether you should apply for a “NIE number” or some form of “Residencia” when moving to Spain, living in Spain or working in Spain. There is one simple question to ask yourself, which will provide you with the correct answer to the question “Should I apply for a NIE number or Residencia?” That question is “How long do you plan to stay in Spain?” If you plan to stay in Spain for more than three months then you should apply directly for a form of “Residencia” (more details here on when and how to apply for a NIE). If you plan to stay in Spain for less than three months, then you should apply for a NIE number (more details here on when and how to apply for Residencia). The “NIE or Residencia ?” question is no more complicated than that. However, the decision whether or not to become a tax resident in Spain is a more complicated and in depth matter … For more updates and to request further information, please contact us via our website: www.ccbspain.com

www.ccbspain.com Email: info@ccbspain.com Tel: (+34) 952 48 68 06 / 608 840 692


EXPERT ADVICE ... The Spanish Tax Advantage (Part 1) Tax efficient investing There are a substantial number of Expats living in Spain that may not be aware of certain advantages open to them purely as a result of the fact that they live here . For example did you know that you can be protected from the European Savings Directives rules on Withholding Tax, which is a tax levied on growth from savings or investments? To avoid paying witholding tax you can take advantage of the favorable way in which Spain looks at collective investments. In this regard it is possible for a person who lives in Spain to open what are generally known as Spanish Compliant Bonds or Wrappers, these are extremely tax efficient vehicles for holding invested funds and cash. For example: If you held funds on deposit in the general banking system or you have funds invested in non-compliant products, under the European Savings Directive, any growth obtained is subject to withholding tax. The current rate of withholding tax is 19%. (This is tax law and is always charged on growth, although not readily explained by the banking system or many off-shore providers. What does that mean? Well as an example if you had €100,000 either on deposit or in certain non-compliant off-shore structures and you obtained growth of say 10%, giving you €110,000 then there would be a 19% tax charge applied to the (€10,000) growth element only. This would result in withholding tax charge of €1900. This applies no matter whether you touch the original amount or the growth element or not. In other words tax on the growth is unavoidable. Unless you take advantage of a Spanish Compliant Portfolio Bond/Wrapper, in which case, the tax treatment is far more favorable .

For further information contact David Rogers 0034 952 816 443 or 0034 622 345 558 or email: david.rogers@blacktowerfm.com


EXPERT ADVICE ... In this case if the €100,000 had grown to €110,000 and the policy owner decided NOT to touch the investment at all, then there would be NO tax to pay. This is known as tax free role up, because the policy owner can now get growth on the tax that they would have paid if it had been in the banking system and/or in non-complaint off-shore structures. Furthermore, should the policy owner wish to drawdown from the policy a Spanish Compliant Portfolio Bond/Wrapper also provides an extremely favorable tax position for the policy holder. In this case for example, if the policy holder wished to take the whole growth (€10,000) then this would be treated as follows: Of the €10,000 withdrawn, €9,000 would be treated as Return of Capital, and be exempt from tax (zero tax to pay) and the remaining €1,000 would be taxed as investment income which is levied at 19% for the first €6000 and 21% thereafter. So in the case it is possible for the policy holder to get hold of €10,000 with all taxes paid for only €190 or 1.9% in tax. Or put another way he/she would have saved €1,710 in tax charges alone. There is not a more favorable (legal) way of dealing with invested funds and as such this should be, at least, considered as an option for anyone living in Spain or anyone that has funds invested in either the banking system or in non-complaint investment portfolios. In this regard many Expats living in Spain have been sold and/or invested in non-complaint “off-shore” products, so if you have funds invested in this manner its worth establishing of they are Spanish Compliant or not as you may be paying taxes that could be avoided. In part of the Spanish Tax Advantage we will cover tax efficient pension planning for expats. *The information contained in this article does not constitute financial advice and you should seek advice from a professional tax adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity.

For further information contact David Rogers 0034 952 816 443 or 0034 622 345 558 or email: david.rogers@blacktowerfm.com


EXPERT ADVICE ... FED UP WITH EXTORTINATE BANK CHARGES? Are you fed up every time your UK Bank charges you for sending money abroad? What about when your Spanish Bank charges you for putting money into your own account? Even worse, how much have you been charged in the past when sending money out of Spain? Well, Currencies Direct can solve all of these problems and more! A client recently purchased a property in Spain for 325,000 euros. He firstly obtained a quote from his UK High Street bank, and then came to us. Without asking what his bank had quoted him, we offered an exchange rate free of all charges, fees & commissions (both in the UK & here in Spain). We were delighted when he informed us he saved over £8.700 by using our services. Another client sold an apartment in Nerja for 135,000 euros. His bank quoted him 1.120 euros for the privilege of sending the money back to the UK. We took him to an alternative bank, spent 10 minutes opening an account for him and negotiated the fee down to 120 euros – saving him 1,000 euros We can even arrange Spanish Bank accounts where there are no fees whatsoever on international money transfers! If you feel any of the above applies to you & you wish to discuss things further, contact Paul Ellis at Currencies Direct : +34 952906581 (Office), +34 687417034 (Mobile) or e-mail at paul.e@currenciesdirect.com REMEMBER to quote Ref: A06230 (Thank you!)


EXPERT ADVICE ...

The world of private medical insurance can be baffling, with so many different policies to choose from how can you decide which is the right one for you and for your family? Fundamentally those who have health insurance while they are living in another country usually have it to ease the language barrier, for speed of access to a medical team, quick referrals to specialists if needed and of course to cover their spouses and dependents. Peace of Mind is also very important in this type of situation where you are dealing with a medical system that is not similar to at home. Things to note when looking at medical insurance are the excess on policies, the level of cover per person, access to doctors, can you choose hich ever one or must you use their listed doctors only. Also declaration of pre existing conditions and what views the companies have on illnesses such as cancer. Other key points should be pregnancy, dental, repatriation, and if the policy covers you outside Spain when you visit your home country. That is why Ibex insurance does not work with just one medical insurer, we work with a variety of insurers. We have chosen the best the market has to offer aimed specifically at people who live away from their home country for all or part of the year. These companies include Exeter Family Friendly, IMG/Coversure, Aetna, ALC Healthcare, DKV, Victoria Seguros, AXA PPP, NOW Health and ASSSA. Each company has a range of plans so you can rest assured that we have a plan to cover you and your loved ones at a price you can afford. For more details contact Rachelle King, Centro Comercial Benavista, Local 3, Ctra. De Cรกdiz Km 167, 29688 Estepona, Mรกlaga Tel: +34 952 887 125 Tl: +34 952 465 588 Email: rachelle.king@ibexinsure.com

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About Placement Finders Placement Finders is primarily a work experience mediation company, our main focus is to source and select quality work experience in Spain for European undergraduates studying Spanish at university. Our role is like that of a dating agency, we find a suitable company for the student, make the introduction and hope both parties like each-other. If we are successful with our match making we then take on the role of organizer by liaising between student, company and university to make sure everything is in place to allow the placement to go ahead with no problem. Typically students spend from 3-9 months working abroad with a company experiencing the work place first hand. At the moment we have students in companies in Marbella, Estepona, Málaga, Huelva, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Cordoba and Seville, we cover all of Spain. Work Experience/Internships Work experience enables students to make the connection between academic studies and the world of work, to put theory into practice. “(If you have a student in your family its definitely worth encouraging, it may seem scary at first but has great future benefits and certainly improves a CV)” Why Placement Finders? For the UK based individual, finding a suitable placement in Spain can be quite a daunting and not always a successful exercise...cue Placement Finders, we take care of everything and offer ongoing support. Host company profile Most of our companies are Spanish speaking or have Spanish speaking client base, and are office orientated, unless in a language school. We select companies able to provide students with vacancies in their fields of study. (“Any companies interested in taking on a student for work experience please contact us”)


By offering students work experience, both student and company benefits; businesses acquire a quality work force at a low cost, saving on employing full time staff by conventional means and students acquire real life work experience making them more employable when they leave university. It’s a win-win situation. Our other services We also provide other services, all of which concentrate on improving language skills, empleability, and internationalization. If you are learning either English or Spanish then we have a service for you. Through our partners in the UK we can supply work experience in London or Manchester for learners of English, we also arrange homestays in either country, aupair work in UK or Spain for learners of each language, and we can book English courses in the UK. Please see our website for further information, student testimonials and further details; www.placementfinders.com or email us on info@placementfinders.com.

"Working for students & businesses by sourcing & selecting quality work experience positions and offering a flexible solution to staffing requirements"

Contact Details: www.placementfinders.com info@placementfinders.com Tel: (+34) 666623172 / (+34) 951.047.226 Twitter: http://twitter.com/placementfindrs Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/placementfinders


www.larosilla.com Lifestyle & Food By the time Autumn approaches and the nights begin to close in, and days become cooler, We are often ready for more comforting, satisfying dishes, to soothe our souls, feed our minds and keep our tummy's content. The light summer vegetables, now make way for our root crops allowing us to prepare hearty meals, for families and friends. In the local market, we can see pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes (batatas) and fruits such as the highly perfumed and fragrantly tasting Chirimoya ( Custard Apple), which is just delicious sliced in half and scooped and eaten with a spoon. Local Campesinos are gathering chumbas (Prickly Pears), deftly without getting spiked, to make juices, ice-cream & tarts. Plums and the beautifully jeweled pomegranates aswell grace the trees. Nothing is better at this time of year, to cook long slow dishes, to fill the house with warmth, and scents to tempt the taste buds. One pot dishes all the better, cooked and served straight to the table, lids lifted and aromas wafting. I'd like to share a few recipes with you, that often grace the table at La Rosilla. Butternut Squash & Cumin Soup. 1 Butternut Squash (app. 1kg) – Cut into chunks peel on. Olive oil 1 large onion – Diced 1 large clove of garlic – Sliced 1 tsp of Cumin Seeds 1 litre hot Veg Stock Natural Yogurt to serve Fresh herbs to garnish •Put the squash on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, roast for 30 mins until tender. •Meanwhile, saute the onion & garlic in a large saucepan in some olive oil, until soften but not coloured. •Add the cumin seeds to the pan, and fry to release their scent. •Add the cooked Squash, & hot veg stock. •Heat thru, and bring to gentle simmer. •Blend until smooth with a hand-held blender, or carefully pour into liquidiuser to blend. •Adjust seasoning. •Laddle into bowls, and add a spoon of Natural yogurt & a sprinkling of fresh herbs, even a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is good. This soup is perfect for a hearty Autumn lunch, and can even be enjoyed outside in mugs, whilst gardening, or to warm up hands on a cool clear winter eve, whilst star gazing.


This next recipe, I have adapted from a family favourite brought from Blighty, using local ingredients to give it an Andalucian flair. Cazuela de Chorizo Criolla - Sausage Hotpot 12 Chorizo Criolla – Uncooked chorizo with herbs. 1 large Onion Sliced 4 large potatoes sliced into rings skin on 6 carrots peeled and sliced into rings 1 large tin of Chopped Tomatoes 1 Jar of white beans, drained & rinsed 1 litre of hot stock Oregano Salt & Pepper •In a large casserole dish, layer the potatoes, onions & carrots alternately. •Season & sprinkle with oregano •Pour over the Chopped Tomatoes •Pour over the white beans •Lay the sausages on the top •Pour over the hot stock, and season once more. •Put a lid on the casserole & bake in the oven 180 c for about 40 mins, •Take the lid off the casserole , give a gentle stir and return to oven to brown the sausages for approx 10 mins. Enjoy in large bowls, with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices. Many of our local dishes, have a hint of Moorish pasts, using spices to warm and give sweet aromas. Here Plums are baked with cinnamon & sugar. The orange flower water gives a unusual perfume and flavor to the dish. You could even omit this and use Cassis a blackcurrant liquor. Poached Plums with cinnamon & Orange Flower Water. 12 Plums / Halved. 25g Butter 50g of brown sugar 1 tsp Cinnamon Orange Flower Water (OFW) / Or a little Orange juice. •In a oven proof dish, lay the plums . •Sprinkle over the sugar & cinnamon & drizzle over the OFW. •Dot each plum with a little butter. •Bake in the oven for 20 mins at 180 c until plums are tender, and the juice is thick like syrup. Delicious served with vanilla ice-cream.

La Rosilla – Lifestyle & Food. Home cooked seasonal dishes served with style. Personal inland tours of the Axarquia, bringing local food, culture & knowldege together for a true expereince of real family life in Spain. Private dining, Mountain 'Supperclub' & Event Catering.


Living in province of Cádiz must be one of the most privileged places on earth to rest ones cap. Not only are we blessed with an inordinate amount of sun filled days, vast open spaces, glistening oceans, bountiful goodies from Mother Nature’s Larder, a culture and history laced with spectacular seasonal delights, we are also just on the edge of the Sherry Triangle. Sherry Wine must be one of the most under rated drinks in the world. Many people who come along to classes here arrive with minimal enthusiasm for their first drink of the day in my kitchen – normally a chilled, fresh Manzanilla. That is until their first sip... Sherry is made in and around the town of Jerez. If it’s not made within the D:O:C: (the Sherry Triangle, bordered by Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar)) it can’t be called Sherry – only Sherry style. Similar to Champagne – if it’s not made within the A:C of Champagne it can only be called Champagne style ie. Method Champenoise, it can’t be called Champagne. Sherry has a fascinating history, dating back to The Moors. It became popular in Britain following Sir Francis Drake’s plundering of Cádiz in 1587, he returned to UK with 2.900 barrels of the stuff. The rest is history. The youngest and driest of all the styles of Sherry are called Fino. All Finos are from Jerez and Sanlucar. The Fino’s from Sanlucar are called Manzanilla. It is considered rude to ask for a Manzanilla if in Jerez and similarly rude to ask for a Fino in Sanlucar! During Jerez fiestas, the mix Manzanilla with Sprite to make their amazingly deliciously refreshing Rebujitos, considering their Fino to be too good for the job. In Sanlucar, they use Fino for the job, as ther Manzanilla is far too good to be diluited. I have no idea what they do in El Puerto! An ice cold glass of Fino or Manzanilla can really reach parts of the body that other drinks fail to reach. On a warm and sunny day it can cool the senses and whet the appetite. It is certainly the finest drink in the land given value for money. But beware, it is 15% in alcohol so too many copas is not advised! All Fino’s and Manzanillas have to be drunk fresh. The main problem with Fino and Manzanilla is that once you have open the bottle, you need to treat it like wine, drink it within a couple of days. That’s why so many people in UK have had a bad experience with Sherry. They have ordered a Tio Pepe possibly taken from a bottle that has been sitting on a bar, first opened a few months ago. This Sherry will have oxidised and be pretty horrible. The other Sherry styles - Amontillado, Oloroso & Palo Cortado are made with the use of oxygen so have a much longer shelf life after opening. So buy your Fino and Manzanillas in half bottles so you don’t feel under pressure to drink them!


I always bring out the chilled Manzanilla towards the end of class. It’s perfect served with the Boquerones en Vinagre we prepare or with the simple pan fried Boquerones we have just filleted. Fantastic with boiled prawns from Sanlucar (a testament to how the wine of an area is made to go with the food of the area) . And perfect with Ajo Blanco (Cold Almond & Garlic Soup). However, for a total blissful food and wine matching experience involving zero effort, just munch on a few fab green olives. Fino & Manzanilla are prime cooking ingredients here too. To me a Paella feels a bit flat without a large dash of Sherry be it Olorosso or Fino. Almejas would be lost without a splash of Fino. Any tomato sauce or any warming soup such a chorizo & chestnut needs Sherry to bring on another level of yuminess

Chorizo & Pork Albondigas with Sherried Tomato Sauce The following make a great supper dish, part of a tapas spread or as canapés with drinks. I ask my butcher to mince pork and chorizo together 300 grams each of Good quality cooking chorizo and pork sausage meat 1 medium finely chopped onion 1 heaped teaspoon of Smoked Paprika ½ tsp of thyme 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh parsley Large handful of Breadcrumbs Zest of 1 lemon Egg to bind Mix all of the above ingredients and shape in to whatever size balls. Sometimes a good idea to pan fry just one to check for seasoning. Bake in oven or pan fry to gain some colour.

Sherried Tomato Sauce Fry chopped onions and garlic. Add good quality chopped tomatoes and dry sherry. Let it reduce. Add some Passata too. Chopped Parsley I put the meatballs into an oven to table dish, pour over the tomato sauce and then put into the oven until it bubbles. Sprinkle with chopped parsley Freezes brilliantly If you want to make it in to supper then add chickpeas or butter beans

Check out the latest happenings at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen www.anniebsspanishkitchen.com Follow what´s happening at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen Group on Facebook www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=75297567843&ref=ts Read my blog at http://anniebsspanishkitchen.blogspot.com


TAPAS TALK Interview with Gayle Mackie by Vernon Grant

On one of my many visits to the bars of Granada I met a lass from Scotland whose popularity as a guide on tapas tours of the Spanish city is legendary. Gayle Mackie hails from Aberdeen but has lived in Granada for 14 years. She regularly takes parties large and small on tours of the more authentic tapas bars in a city where, almost uniquely, tapas is free. Gayle told me: “Going out for tapas is an essential part of Spanish life, and never more so than in Granada. There is nothing better than having a nice glass of wine or beer over a tasty tapa. The social side of eating tapas is so enjoyable. “There is nothing to fear by going into a lively tapas bar in Granada. For example, heads will not turn if someone over 40 walks into a bar aimed at a younger crowd.” Gayle has lived in other cities in Spain but she feels a particular attachment to Granada.She says: “I am biased in so much as I prefer the offerings in the city of Granada to those served, for example, in some of the coastal resorts that target holidaymakers. I escort visitors through the back streets of this marvellous city.” I wondered how easy it is to tailor the needs of those sampling tapas for the first time. To find something that suits all tastes. “Inevitably not all the dishes on offer suit all customers. If people tell me that they do not like certain foods, then I plan routes that are made up of bars in which you can choose your tapas, rather than those in which you are automatically presented with the next dish. “I find that many people are open minded. Albondigas (meatballs), Pinchos (skewered meat or veg) and Paella are always popular. Those who prefer fish or seafood love the quality and quantity when they are served Boquerones (anchovies) and Calamares (squid). The most popular tapas with vegetarians is Berenjenas con Miel (fried aubergines with honey). “However, only the bravest of tapas tourists try, the Tortilla de Sacromonte (lamb brain omelette) on offer in one bar. It’s not something I wish to taste twice.” Touring tapas bars anywhere in Spain can be daunting. Is there a protocol to be observed? What tips can Gayle offer those who want to experience tapas at its best?


She offers this advice: “There are certain things you should remember, regardless of which city you are visiting. Remember that tapas accompany the number of drinks ordered. So, for example, if in a group of five people two members of the party order a drink each, then only two tapas will be served with those drinks. “Also remember that in many a bar to sit down at a table tells the staff that you want to eat a full meal. Tapas is usually served at the bar. Proper tapas times are between 1.30 and 3.30 pm and, in the evening, between around 8pm and 11.30pm. “Most bars ask that you pay before leaving and not after each drink as you might be used to elsewhere. So remember to pay up before going on to the next bar.” Of course the very act of moving from bar to bar can be seen by some as a ‘man only’ habit. Something a nice girl from Scotland should not be doing. Gayle laughs at the idea that tapas touring in Spain should be a male only prerogative. Gayle assures me: “Everyone is welcome. Some of the bars are used to seeing me but I can assure any female that they will be treated just as well in the city centre bars as their male counterparts. Regardless of age, sex or nationality – there is nothing to fear by going into a lively tapas bar anywhere in Spain, and least of all in Granada.” Gayle has travelled through all four corners of Spain. I asked her if there was one aspect that bars could improve to ensure visitors to Spain experience tapas at its best. Gayle replies: “Inevitably some offerings on bar menus get lost in translation. There was one bar which promised to serve something called ‘You inhabit child’s overall with ham’. The dish to which this referred was actually Habas con Jamón (cured ham with broad beans). Clients can be bewildered by such offerings. Perhaps some bars need to pay for accurate translations of their menus.” So it was that Gayle and I set about researching and publishing a guidebook to the very best bars in the city of Granada and in the wider province, including along the Costa Tropical and in areas such as La Alpujarra. It was hell! As my new look waistline can confirm. *Gayle Mackie runs www.granadatapastours.com or call her on (00 34) 619 444 984. Our co-written book that guides you to 100 of the best tapas bars in the province of Granada, can be purchased for 10 Euros via: www.todogranada.blogspot.com


What to Look for when Choosing a Real Esate / Management Agency Rental Process: All Real Estate Agents offer a tenant finding service for what is usually the cost of one month´s rental (unless negotiated otherwise). Many agents will see this as their only duty. A good agent will do much more. For example: Providing a fully legal Spanish contract Providing a full inventory of the items within that property Providing a condition report of that property (marks, dents, broken items). Ensuring that the clients are referenced, employer reference, previous landlord, accountant, solicitor etc. Not only this, but to actually confirm these are the parties in question. Damage deposit It is advisable to ask for a 2 months damage deposit. Why? Let me give you an example. You rent a property to Mr Smith. He pays one month deposit. One month before he is due to leave, he say´s to me, “I´m not paying the rent this month”, you can use the deposit money as rent”. One week after he leaves, you get a 150 euro electricity bill and you have no funds to pay for this. With two months damage deposit, even if you get the above example, you still have one month left over at the end, to pay for any outstanding bills or damage Management A good agent will also offer a Complete Rental Management Service for the rental tenancy (at an extra cost,) The agent will collect the rent every month, ensure the bills are paid every month, complete regular property checks and also react to any problems that occur with the property. For example a boiler breaks, electricity goes down, satellite stops working, they get locked out. If you have a good agent, you get the agency management fee back in the savings that they make for you. This can be by reducing the cost of the electricity they receive, working with the local town hall, providing better third party companies etc.. The best thing about the management service is that the rental tenancy is managed. Simple I know, but very effective. They can monitor and manage the property to ensure the tenant knows they are helping. A good management agent will work hard to achieve a trouble free rental tenancy for both the owner and the tenant. Ensure the agent you use is a fully registered real estate agent, fiscally registered and resident in Spain. Be careful of agents operating only on mobile phone numbers and using gmail/ hotmail accounts … For further information, contact

Stewartwild@plmsspain.com


Basic advice for home buyers and property investors in Spain The Spanish Property market has become a reference for home buyers and investors in 2011. Low prices and an attractive destination combine together to put Spain in the spotlight. Statistics differ from one source to another one. Generally, prices have probably dropped by 20% on the Coast and by 11% in the cities. But it is better to ignore the global figures and stay local in order to have your micromarket analysed. Again, local estate agents will help you to be accurate and inform you of the local average price of the location in which you want to buy. For home buyers, we would say that the best opportunities will come from those in need to sell. If a bank’s portfolio is the largest in the country ( above 800,000 units), it will be because its stock is difficult to sell. Generally banks have the worst properties in Spain because the owners could not sell or rent in order to repay the mortgage. Spanish local estate agents are giving you the opportunity to find private sellers who need cash and want to sell a good flat or house. If you have the time and ability to work locally, you have a higher possibility of succeeding in the Spanish market. For investors, we understand that Buy-To-Let is the short-term strategy. Unless you are a high-end investor with your clients’ portfolio, the economic situation in Spain does not give hope for reselling in the short- and midterms. Not only will it be difficult to find a buyer but also the prices will not pick up enough to grow a profitable yield in just a few years, by the time a buyer appears. Buy-To-Let is the short-term option for investors. Soft legislation may play against landlords but there are proper ways in which to tackle the consequences of having ‘bad tenants’. In 2010, the rental market rose by 23% whereas properties to be rented increased by 41%. Our experience in the rental market is good. We recommend you go for it. As a conclusion, we would say that the Spanish property market offers a large variety of options for home buyers and investors. Potentially, cash buyers will be in a strong position to bargain with sellers, even if the seller is a Bank. Do not underestimate your purchasing power!

www.thespanishbrick.com


Have you ever thought about living in Spain? Let me tell you why I believe Madrid could the best place for you. I’ve been living in Madrid for nearly 3 years now. And as in many relationships, three years is the key moment to look back and think about why I love to live in Madrid. Of course, every expat in Madrid has their own reasons, but I hope my “why I love Madrid” post will help you find out if Madrid is the city for you. A "village" capital city vibrant with the local Spanish way of living: To start with, Madrid is a capital city but it still feels personal and human-sized. Having lived in London, Paris, Beijing, Barcelona and Toronto, I believe other developed country capital cities do not feel the same. They are gigantic worlds where you seldom get a personal connection for your everyday chores for instance. In Madrid, within the first year I already had my favorite places where people recognise me, and this is true for my local supermarket, favorite bar, favorite tapas place, favorite restaurant and sports activity. There’s always locals happy to have a chat and to make you feel you belong to the place. Strongly rooted in its traditions and still international and diverse: Madrid is still authentically Spanish and Castilian but international at the same time. First example: the Spanish coast is famous for being so full of expats at times that local fiestas are advertised in English. Even Barcelona, for instance, is maybe too international now, to the extent that it is really difficult to find a restaurant with “typical catalonian food” in the city centre. The best calçots, typical catalonian recipe, has to be found out of the city. Madrid however has a good old taverna with cocido madrileno in every neighbourhood. And at the same time, it has all the international food you want: Lavapies is there with its great Indian restaurants, and I have also tasted Russian, Ethiopian, Colombian, Ecuatorian and authentic Mexican food (not tex-mex) for the first time in Madrid. Just the right size: All in all, Madrid is small and has everything you need at the same time. I live near the city centre, and I can say I usually walk to all places I go to, apart from work. The centre is quite small, and has an impressive number of tapas places, international restaurants, theatres, operas, pubs, shops and universities… Of course, the suburban sprawl and the spanish real estate craze means most of the 3 million people living around Madrid live further out than before. But still, if you live in the city centre, you sometimes still feel like you are in a town or a village. See my favorite square, Plaza Olavide, just 100 yards from my place and feel the village side of Madrid.


My local square, traditionally Madrid Plaza Olavide Another thing I love that makes Madrid so small and easy to navigate is that the public transport system is one the best in the world (world #2 in number of stations per capita). Furthermore, at any time of the night you can find an official taxi in a minute, and there are always people in the streets so you always feel secure coming back home alone and I always feel secure when I know my girlfriend is walking back home, compared to other capital cities where this is sometimes not the case. The place where you're most likely to get a job as an expat: I believe you have more opportunities as a foreigner to find a job in Madrid than in any other city in Spain. Madrid has been growing faster than Barcelona over the last 10 years, and my feeling is that the Madrid job market needs more international profiles than it has right now. Madrid until the 90s had few foreigners compared to other capital cities. So it’s catching up, and it is still the richest region in Spain! For instance, I landed a job in Madrid in the largest management consulting company, and guess what? I was the only employee who did not speak Spanish as its mother tongue. So I was then the expat, and everyone in the company knew I was the French and British guy. So is Madrid the city for you ? If you feel a bit overwhelmed with sprawling cities such as Paris, NYC, London, LA, love to have a great weather, and you are looking to move to a typical Spanish speaking city with the right amount of open-mindedness and traditional mix and the best job opportunities as well, then Madrid is the city for you. If you're really interested in Madrid and want more specific advice on moving to Madrid, such as which neighbourhood is best for expats like you, have a look at my "Moving to Madrid" blog (blog.flatawaymadrid.com) or the "Madrid Expats" I contribue to (guiriguidetomadrid.com) to prepare your move have a taste of what it will be like ! If you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way, please leave a comment or just contact me at pierre@flataway.com !

, adridly Yours M Pierre


Book Review ... The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2005)

Set in post civil war Barcelona, at a time when the city is under Franco´s regime, a dramatic historic backdrop for the novel, is a carefully woven tale with intrigue, mystery and romantic theme throughout it 544 pages. Don´t let the huge tome put your off, from the first page you will be hooked. The gothic scenery of Barcelona´s winding shadowy streets in the story are beautifully described. Having lived for over 9 years in Barcelona I know the city well. My favourite spot in the old part of city is the Square which appears in a scene of the book, Plaza San Felip Neri. This square was once a medieval cemetery, not a closed off square as it now stands. Executions during the civil war took place here and still you can see the bullets holes in the wall of the baroque church of San Felip Neri. The square is a shady and tranquil spot with a fountain the centre and gothic style street lamps hung on the walls. The magic of Ruiz Zafon´s novel is, at anytime, the reader can visit Barcelona and retrace the steps of Daniel Sampere, the main character in the story. The eloquent descriptive style brings to life the winding labyrinthine streets of the Barri Gotic of Barcelona. For Spain lovers this really is a must read!

This Book Review was submitted by Molly: Molly originally from Nottingham, moved to Spain in the 1990´s, initially based in Barcelona, for the past 6 years is living in Granada, Andalucia. Working in Technology sector in PR & Communications, she has also a Postgraduate in Institutional Relations & Protocol from Granada University. Find Molly on Twitter: @piccavey If you would like to submit a review about a book you love or a book you have had published, please email us details to: familylifeinspain@gmail.com


Book Review ... Real Family Halloween Fun by Maggie Da Silva “The Family Guidebook” for all things Halloween. This highly-readable and well-researched e-book provides families with a broad range of ideas and practical ways to supercharge their Halloween fun. Old and new customs are brought together with the author’s personal collection of quirky and fun Halloween crafts, food, party games, music and easy-to-make costumes. Whether you want to make traditional Irish Halloween “Barnbrack”, or you need a dozen ideas for costumes you can make from things around the house, Real Family Halloween Fun lets you quick-search the Table of Contents or just browse the myriad ideas, stories and practical tools brought to life with great photos and the author’s genuine affection for the wonderful mess of family life. Everything is delivered with the unique and often irreverent humor that focuses on what kids love… and what really works for parents. The result is a spirited and entertaining, go-to manual for Halloween fun. Maggie da Silva is the author of The Real Family Camping Cookbook and the founder of RealFamilyTime.com, a home base for families who embrace the mess of family life. Maggie blogs about family camping on www.realfamilycamping.blogspot.com/ and can be tracked down on Twitter as @realfamilytime. For further details how to get hold of a copy of theis great book have a look at : www.realfamilytime.com Halloweens are going to be a lot more fun from now on!


NOT AN IRON-MAN. Firstly may I welcome you all to this page where I’ll (hopefully) be offering some advice, help, info and probably lots of observations on life as an expat, but also from the perspective of the toughest job in the world…being a bloke. That may get a few ladies reading this slamming the washing machine door in anger (Ali Meehan on the Women’s page for one) but its not easy being a fella you know. I’m also a single dad so at times (with the lack of a female presence in my son’s life – and mind come to that…) I sometimes have to take on the role of being ‘mum’, and that’s not easy. So Saturdays I tend to send him down the local off licence with a wheelbarrow to get me some chocolate and a bottle of white wine that I can consume while watching CSI. That’s about as far as my maternal instincts will let me go, and ironing… forget it. I don’t know anyone bothers to be honest. And take it from me, if you do iron you really are wasting a lot of time standing over that hot iron (when you could be standing over a cooker or something…?) and once the iron packs up, you won't need one- it’s all a matter of careful pegging... If you’ve got kids you’ll know what I mean about forgetting the ironing and you’ll also have that same feeling as me when you get to the fridge… disappointment cos the little gits have got to the choc/cheese/juice before you and left that token amount so they can say they ‘didn’t eat it all’. My neighbours thought I had a strobe light in the kitchen – that’s how often my son is in and out of the fridge… But if kids are hard enough to fathom out, the ladies of this world had made it an art form, understanding a woman is a bit like doing a Rubik’s cube only to find all the coloured dots change places when you’re half way through it!


A woman has all the advantages in the world (she can turn into a Tasmanian Devil when and if she wants… and does). The women get to wear our clothes but the other way round and well...you couldn't walk in the club house now could you. Women like to spend their money on pretty things while we’ll buy anything that’s shiny, and they’ll go and spend good money on things that are needed, but again, shiny always wins out for us. By the way, have you noticed too that women will suddenly say 'Tuesday' out of nowhere and then go on to explain the conversation they've been having (with themselves) while you were happily being entertained by a (shiny) car chase in a film. But then women will also nurse you, care for you and of course, bring us and our off-spring into the world, and for that I will always tip my hat to them (if I had one, but you know what I mean) and say ‘thanks’ because, from what I’ve seen, that is one job us blokes just wouldn’t do if even we could… Oh, and lastly, upset them and women can give you that look...you know the one, but if we try and do it they ask if we've got wind or something... *************** Do you think this is a load of Bull or do you agree? Don´t be afraid to share your comments ... email us: familylifeinspain@gmail.com Dave Bull has lived in Spain for twelve years and now writes about his experiences in expat publications and on blogs. Read more of his observations on everything from getting arrested by the Guardia Civil to cutting his lip (and his son’s eye) while fighting a wasp (and losing) in front of a packed bar terrace at www.loadofbull.es or follow him on twitter @davejbull


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We all make lifestyle choices; some are the basic day to day issues over what to eat for dinner, what clothes to wear, what to do with our relaxation time, to more challenging issues over whether to change jobs, get into, or out of a relationship, or indeed move overseas.

A COSTA WOMAN

Whatever reason you moved to Spain, it certainly was a life choice. When I ask “why Spain?” of friends and contacts, there is always the standard: sunshine, quality of life, Spain’s family orientated view on the world. Of course, in Andalucía, we have festivos, flamencos and ferias to add into the mix: Everyone has their own story of how they got here; from the car that broke down to a few who had a “Shirley Valentine” moment, falling in love not just with the country, but a Spaniard or Spanish resident (as I did!) Since launching Costa Women in September 2010, I have gained a unique insight into Expat Women in business in Spain. Many of our 365 members have developed their entrepreneurial side. They have looked for gaps in the market and met a need; something that works at home but isn't available in Spain, or perhaps imported something they wanted, searched for and didn't find when moving here, or even monetised a hobby. These passions create businesses around alternative therapies, cookery, language, beauty products (cruelty free and ecologically friendly), writing (books or blogs) …. you get the idea!

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.

!

Quote by Sarah Ban Breathnach

That said, there is a great opportunity to network and get some advice and ideas from other Expats who have lived in your new home over the longer term. Thankfully, locally businesses are supportive of each other. Although we are seeing new people coming to Spain, the old timers have managed to keep going during the downturn by being creative. You must be passionate about what you do as there will be times when doubts arise (that’s a given!).

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. Unknown

For me, Costa Women is linked to my passion of creating networks and connections (both personal and business), as well as helping local businesswomen brainstorming how their business can grow and develop. "Abroad" can be a very lonely place and to move to another culture and country without having a good support system can be hard, particularly if you are new to the area and to living the Expat life. Costa Women allows the members to dip in and out to create friendships, garner support and get personal recommendations or information. We already share an adventurous spirit; we have stepped outside of our normal environment and moved to Spain. That provides us with a wonderful connection. There is great diversity of individuals who come from around the world accessing the one site; we all have a story to tell! If Costa Women can help you create some new connections and friendships, provide support and help Women build their business then my job as Costa Women Imagineer is done!

Ali Meehan

!

Costa Women is a social networking group for women living in Spain. With members across the whole country as well as Women who are dreaming Spain the fun starts at: http://costawomen.ning.com/ Facebook/costawomen Twitter: @costawomen Linkedin: Costa Women Entrepreneurs


Moving to, or living in Spain The reasons for moving to Spain are many and varied, as are the reasons for buying a holiday home. Spain has long been a popular destination with its convenient location within Europe and cheap airfares, particularly with the advent of low cost airlines. Many people choose to escape the relative doom and gloom of countries such as England with its bad weather, rat race lifestyle, loss of community feeling so it is easy to understand why so many people have considered moving to or have already moved to Spain. What surprises many people are the differences in Culture, in the social interaction and the way Spanish people go about their daily lives. Spain’s population of around 45 million is relatively small given the size of the country as Spain occupies more than twice the area of the UK. However, there is a much greater sense of community and getting to know your neighbours will certainly enhance your experience of living in this beautiful and varied country. Spain’s coastal regions are the most densely populated parts of the country, while the centre is relatively unpopulated. This is a reflection on both the climate, where the cooling effects of sea breezes make the heat of the midday sun tolerable, and the attraction of the beaches for thousands of tourists and ex-pats alike. A better understanding of Spanish Culture and the Spanish language can only help you to blend in with the locals and get the most out of your time in Spain. The typical expectation of an Englishman abroad is that English is an international language and therefore everybody should speak it. Great in the typical tourist places, but what about venturing off the beaten track? And then, even in the tourist areas, to be able to speak more confidently with locals, the reception becomes as warm as the weather. Which is why we have created a way to learn the Spanish language and also to learn about Spanish life.

Learn Spanish 4 Life The purpose of Learn Spanish 4 Life is to provide an easily accessible way for people wanting to learn the Spanish language, through any internet connection, at their convenience. Our unique E-Book Learning System with tracks included is a simple, modern and enjoyable way to choose different topics or aspects of the Spanish language helping you to Speak, Read and Write better Spanish. But there is much more than just the language. We have hundreds of articles all about Spanish Culture, Spanish History, Spanish Life and Spanish Food. Our huge Recipe Library will help you make the most of all that beautiful fresh produce you pick up at the local markets and fishing villages.


Useful Vocabulary... ¡Hola! -

Hi! Hello.

¡Buenos días!

Good morning!

¡Buenas tardes!

Good afternoon!

¿Cómo te llamas?

What is your name?

Mi nombre es María

My name is María

¿Qué tal señor?

How are you, sir?

¿Qué tal señora?

How are you, Madame?

¡Muy bien gracias!

Fine, thanks!

¡Hasta luego!

See you later!

¡Hasta pronto!

See you soon!

¡Hasta mañana!

See you tomorrow!

¡Hasta la tarde/noche!

See you this afternoon/ evening!

Visit us now and enjoy learning the Spanish Language, Spanish Culture, Spanish History, Spanish Food Learn Spanish 4 Life www.learnspanish4life.co.uk Email: admin@learnspanish4life.co.ukuk


MYSTICAL LAND OF UPS AND DOWNS

As the new millennium dawned so did the opening a brand new theme park in Spain. Terra Mitica opened its doors in 2000 on the outskirts of Benidorm on the Costa Blanca and is a very cleverly designed park based on the ancient Mediterranean civilisations. It looked set to rival Port Aventura located further north in Tarragona. And for a time it did. But just a year after it opened Paramount Parks wanted to expand into the European market and entered into a partnership agreement with Terra Mitica for the next four years. This proved to be a costly move and in 2004 Paramount filed for bankruptcy and the park began to operate independently. Jobs were slashed and the park sold off some reserve land for €85m which enabled the company to cancel its debt and file two years running at a profit. Last year the park ended the year with losses of €16.4m and it went up for sale. The lease for the next ten years has now been handed over to Aqualandia Mundomar which has been given the option to buy the park in the future. The new owners now plan to spend €15m over the next three years to upgrade the theme park including new shaded areas, improving some attractions, private event area and a new entrance. This year new features such as mist zones, swimming areas and new shade shelters were added whilst 75 per cent of the park has also been re-planted. The park is devoted to the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and is divided into five lands – Greece, Iberia, Egypt, Rome and the Islands. Visitors enter through a massive Egyptian Temple portal which leads them to a lovely lake


surrounded by palms, water falls and flowers. There are 25 rides in total including the park’s signature ride, the wooden rollercoaster Magnus Colossus, plus around 35 daily shows. PLUS POINTS: Take towels and swimwear as there are a couple of purpose built splash units. You can take a picnic box but need a ‘pass out’ stamp to eat outside the park. Plenty of shade and sprinkler systems now in place. NEGATIVE POINTS: Food and drinks can be expensive and has been described as “inedible”. Not ideal for very young children as there is a 1.4m height chart for many of the rides. OPEN: March to December. Usually from 10am–8pm in summer and 10am–5pm in winter but check website. PRICES: Children aged 0-4 years are free with an adult ticket. Children (aged 5-10 years) are €26.50 and adult tickets are €35. However check local news papers, travel agents and McDonalds for discounts and offers. HOW TO GET THERE: Terra Mitica is just 43km from Alicante or 465km from Madrid. Those driving on the A7 motorway need to take the direct exit 65A. Meanwhile the N332, N340 and N330 all have links to the park. CONTACT Tel: 902 020 220 www.terramiticapark.com

RoundaboutSpain is the only online directory listing 'things to do' and 'places to go' for children and families, living on, or visiting the Costa del Sol. Web: www.roundaboutspain.com Email: info@roundaboutspain.com Tel 607680881 / 678 508 505 Find us on Facebook & Twitter @roundaboutspain


Images of Spain by

Fred Shively

After a long career in advertising and corporate communications on both sides of the Atlantic, Fred Shively and his partner Arpi, a writer, came to live in the Alpujarras, south of Granada, in 2003. Fred has photographed his way around Andalucia to produce articles on the region's culture and lifestyle. He has also had several successful shows of his black-and-white art photography, notably at Galeria Toro in Granada. A wide range of his work can be seen online at: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/79475305@N00/popular-interesting Fred, Arpi and assorted pets now live at Los Piedaos, a beautifully restored hacienda on a peaceful olive farm in Las Barreras, near Orgiva. They welcome guests to four charming casitas on the estate, and to visit their website at: h t t p : / / w w w. h o l i d a y s - i n - s o u t h e r n - s p a i n . c o m / L o s Piedaos.html


“Life´s a beach ... you just have to lie on it from time to time to appreciate what you have!” Family Life in Spain


Family Life in Spain Newsletter 1