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Iss u e 16 February 2010 Pinoso


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and Index on page 25

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Welcome to the February edition of Mar Menor Focus,

the magazine for the Mar Menor coastal area, Thank you to our readers for their continuing support and feedback, and our contributors for sharing their knowledge of the area, its history and culture, allowing us to keep the magazine informative and interesting for everyone. Our website has everything in the magazine, and more! Every edition is archived, so you can always refer back - check it out on

We now offer low cost banner advertising on our website, also budget web design & hosting. Distribution points include:

Bars, Restaurants, Golf Clubs, Shops, Estate Agents, Tourist Offices, Post Rooms, Tabacs, Supermarkets and more, throughout the Mar Menor area, coastal and inland.

Advertising Rates Full page Colour €130 - Mono €80 Half page Colour €70 - Mono €45 Quarter page Colour €42 - Mono €28 Special Positions (full colour) Front Box or Banner, Back Page Inside Back / Inside Front page Phone or email for prices Tel: Bob on: 968 145 572 - email: We can use artwork provided by you, or design your advert using text & images approved by you. (there is a minimal standard origination charge of €10 for this service) Prepayments for 3, 6 & 12 months will qualify for 5%, 10% and 15% discounts respectively. All prices quoted are subject to IVA @ 16%. Our deadline for adverts, to ensure insertion in the next issue is the 20th of the month. Payment, in full, is required prior to the advertising deadline.

Disclaimer: ‘Mar Menor Focus’ does not accept responsibility for the standard of goods or services given by it’s advertisers and does not endorse, unless stated otherwise, any company or individual published in the magazine, or any views or opinions expressed in any articles. ALL THE ADVERTISEMENTS designed by the Mar Menor Focus magazine for use in its publication remain the property of Mar Menor Focus and may NOT be reproduced in any other publication without our prior written consent Published by Robert McKinley, C/Himilce, Cartagena, Murcia 30385. X5128759N. DEPOSITO LEGAL MU-2307-2008

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Property Management and Rentals .

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Established for over 5 years RESORT CHOICE Fully licensed for management and rentals Second Office Full insurance Multi-lingual staff and websites OPENING SOON Registered with Murcia tourist board In San Javier Office based All keys locked away and alarmed Accept all major credit cards Services Include All work guaranteed and invoiced Property Management Each property certificated with Murcia tourist board Key Holding State of the art reservation software in many languages Holiday Rentals Rental contracts with leading reservation agencies Long Term Rentals Emergency cover 365 days a year, 24 hours a day Local Tourist Information Members of PNAG rental guarantee programme Cleaning Hard working and honest Linen Service Property Inspections Legal Airport Transfers 24 Hour Guest Services General Maintenance and Repairs Security Grills Air Conditioning Plumbing Electrical work Painting and Decorating Car Hire Holiday Insurance Attraction Tickets Property Snagging Reports Complete Furniture Packs Swimming Pool and Garden Maintenance Legal and Financial Services Alarms Booking Activities inc.Tennis and Golf Translation Services

Resort Choice (Resort La Manga SL) Avda. Mar Menor, Edif, Geranio Bajo 14, 30384 Mar de Cristal, Cartagena, Murcia Company Reg No. B30780316 – Registro de Empresas y Actividades Turísticas A.MU.209



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Pinoso ‘Day of the Village’ 7th February 2010 by David Billington I live in the inland town of Pinoso, which is just in the Alicante province, a few kilometres from the borders of Murcia and about an hour and a half drive from Lo Pagan. The town of Pinoso has some interesting history. with traces of Iberians, Muslims and Romans in the area. During Roman times, agriculture and wine making was developed. In 1296, James II made the region part of the Kingdom of Aragon. During the Muslim occupation, Pinoso was a scattering of farms, with a main settlement called 'Casas de Costa'; this was the rural area of neighbouring Monovar. In 1773 the name of the town was changed to Pinoso. On 12th February 1826, King Edward VII granted the village its own royal charter and Pinoso became independent from Monovar. On the Sunday near to the 12th. February, Pinoso now celebrates 'Day of the Village'. Dia Del Villazgo (Valencian) - Independence Day! During the day, the Town Hall square (Plaza de España) and surrounding streets are closed to traffic. Many side stalls are erected for townsfolk to sell their crafts and local produce, such as sausage, home made pastas, pastries and of course the locally produced wine.

You will also find a stage, where at different times throughout the day, you can see displays of dancing, or listen to the Pinoso Band, Union Lirica Pinosense.

Most stallholders will dress up in costumes from a bygone age. You can find displays of the history of the town, with implements that have been in use for over 150 years, such as kitchen utensils, agricultural tools and so on. This year, the Day of the Village will be held on Sunday, 7th February. More information can be obtained at the website of Pinoso town hall, or the tourist information website: It is an interesting and entertaining day out. Following on from this, on the 13th February Pinoso will hold a Carnival day. People from all over the town will dress in all manner of different costumes that they have designed themselves, and there will be a parade through the town.

This is a day of partying, with a prize giving ceremony for the best costumes held in the municipal gardens afterwards. For anyone who has not seen a parade of this kind, it is different to the Moors & Christians parades and well worth a visit. I attended both of these functions in 2008 & 2009, the weather was good, and the people of Pinoso know how to put on a good show.


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Bullfighting in Spain Bullfighting in Spain seems to have its origins during the 8 long centuries of the Spanish War of Reconquest (711-1492 A.D.) when the knights of both the Moors and Christians would organize hunting competitions as a respite from killing each other and they soon realized that of all the prey the Iberian bull offered the greatest challenge as, unlike other animals it preferred to die fighting rather than fleeing. It seems probable that a nobleman captured a few of these brave beasts and took them to his village in order to recreate the thrill of the hunt before his admiring subjects. Thus some remote part of Medieval Spain saw the origins of what is today the national Spanish spectacle of bullfighting. The history of bullfighting recalls that the first real bullfight, or corrida, took place in 1133 at Vera, Logroño in honour of the coronation of King Alfonso VIII. From then on they became a popular passtime at many important events and continued after the wars of reconquest had finished, offering noblemen an outlet to demonstrate the zeal and daring with which he defeated the Moors. King Philip II however found the spectacle disgusting and enlisted the help of Pope Pius V to get it banned by papel decree. This, together with the growing pleasures to be had at the royal court resulted in the nobility giving up their interest in bullfighting, but not so the peasantry who took it enthusiastically to heart and it thus became a symbol of something genuinely Spanish. By 1726 they were ready to adopt their first bullfighting hero in the form of

Francisco Romero from Ronda. He was a man of humble origins who became the first professional bullfighter in Spain. With him the corrida developed into more of an art form. He introduced the estoque, sword, and the muleta, the small cape used in the last part of the fight as it is more easily wielded.

The Modern Corrida. Today’s bullfight is much as it was developed in the time of Romero. Normally 6 bulls and three matadors are required for an afternoons corrida. The three matadors dressed in their trajes de luces (suit of lights) enter the arena accompanied by their banderilleros and picadors and the strains of a traditional paso doble. The door to the totil, or bull pen, is opened and one of the bulls emerges. The matador greets it with a series of manoeuvres, or passes, with a large cape; these passes are usually verónicas, the basic cape manoeuvre (named after the woman who held out a cloth to Christ on his way to the crucifixion). Contrary to popular believe bulls are actually colour blind and they go for the cape not because it is red but because it is moving. The second part of the bullfight is the job of the mounted picadors who lance the bull, normally three times. Then a trumpet blows and the banderilleros on foot move in to place their banderillas (brightly coloured barbed sticks) in the beast's shoulders to get it to lower it's head for the kill. After this a further trumpet sounds which signals the faena or final phase of the bullfight. The cloth

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of the muleta is draped over the estoque and here the matador shows his skill in the passes that he makes. These consist of the trincherazo which is normally the opening pass performed on one knee then there is the pase de la firma in which the matador remains motionless whilst passing the cloth under the bulls nose. The manoletina involves holding the muleta behind the body and the natural pass is one in which the danger to the matador is increased as the estoque is removed from the muleta this reduces the target size and tempting the bull to charge at the larger object—the bullfighter. After performing these passes for several minutes during which time the matador tries to excite the crowd by moving closer and closer to the horns, he finally lines up the bull for the kill.

The blade has to pass between the shoulder blades and as the space between them is small the feet of the bull have to be together as the bullfighter rushes over the horns. The kill is properly performed by aiming straight over the bull's horns and plunging the estoque between the withers into the region of the aorta. This requires conOVERSEAS HOLIDAY siderable skill and discipline, Do you want to escape the heat of the Spanish Summer Sun not to mention a certain and enjoy a "cool" holiday in New Zealand? amount of raw courage, and Go-Kiwi Travel UK Limited for this reason is known as "el momento de la verdad" or offer discounted Self Drive Motorhome and Car Rentals; the moment of truth. Hotel / Motel Passes issued by Go-Kiwi, Go-Koala by Ruth Polak

& Golden Chain also escorted Coach tours from Kirra, Mount Cook Line and AAKings. For fulll conttacct deetaiils plleasee seee or


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Around and Around we go Indicators and Roundabouts, two subjects that are a sure fire way to break the ice and build up a bond with any expat in any bar across the country. Most expats have tales of Spanish drivers cutting them off, swerving in front of them, indicating right and turning left and so the story continues. It's a hot bed for discussion and open to a variety of interpretations, and that's where the problem mostly lies. The problem can possibly be traced back to the days of Franco, when Spain had few if any dual carriageways and no roundabouts at all. Since joining the EEC (today's EU) and receiving money for improvements to the crumbling infrastructure of the country, successive governments have ploughed billions of Euros into improving Spain's roads. However, although new legislation keeps being added to Spain's Highway Code (codigo de la circulaci贸n - available at most good Spanish Bookshops) the problem exists in that generation after generation in Spain passed their driving tests, some without ever even having seen a roundabout! Thus, there is much confusion, not just amongst the Spanish but also the 140 or more nationalities that live here who also may have been taught a different way to negotiate roundabouts. The best rule is that when driving in Spain, expect the unexpected, assume nothing and drive defensively. Bearing in mind that the person in front of you will do as they please anyway, what actually are the laws of the land should you be involved in an altercation? Whose insurance company will pay for the damage? Unlike any other intersection, roundabouts give us four options: Case 1. We continue straight (the second exit) Case 2. We take the first exit off the roundabout (right) Case 3. We leave the third exit from the roundabout (left) Case 4. We go all the way around to the left to make a U-turn. Case 1. You should be in the right hand lane to continue through the roundabout. Case 2. You should be in the right hand lane and take the first exit. Case 3. You should be in the left hand lane when you reach the roundabout, indicate left and after passing the second exit (straight ahead) indicate right and exit. Case 4. As turning left except you indicate right after the third exit. But, we all know that in Spain the danger is that someone in the right hand lane will want to turn left. They may or may not use their indicators to complete this manoeuvre! If you are in the left lane, you must drive defensively otherwise there is a chance that you may be hit by the driver on the right who 'assumes' that they have the right of way or they cut you off and you run the chance of driving into the side of their car or slamming on your brakes only to be tailgated by the car behind! One problem in the case of an accident is the interpretation of the law. If the driver turning left from the right lane is Spanish and the Police are called, much of the blame may lie with the interpretation of the rules, rather than what the law states. Even if you are in the right, if you are not carrying all the correct documentation in your car, you can find yourself at fault and paying for the accident that another driver caused. Thus, it's still very much a grey area as to who may end up being blamed for an accident. If you are in the right hand lane and going straight ahead, you will be correct and an accident shall be avoided. Drive defensively at all times and expect that at sometime someone in the right hand lane will want to exit to the left no matter how much this manoeuvre does not make any common sense to you or I. Happy motoring. Drive safely in 2010. Keith Nicol

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The aim of the sudoku puzzle is to insert numbers in the boxes so that: each row, column and 3x3 box contain one each of the digits 1-9

Codebreaker A Codebreaker is a crossword puzzle with no clues! Instead, every letter of the alphabet has been replaced by a number, the same number representing the same letter throughout the puzzle. All you have to do is decide which letter is represented by which number! To start you off, we reveal the codes for two or three letters. When these letters have been entered throughout the puzzle, you should have enough information to start guessing words and discovering other letters.




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A finer way to pay penalties Expats that have a valid Spanish driving licence and those that have successfully transferred their overseas licence to comply with regulations here in Spain can now pay traffic fines at the touch of a button. Since May last year, the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) has made it possible for nationals and foreigners alike to pay fines for their driving offences via the internet, wherever they may be 24/7. Although not in English, the DGT´s website found at offers drivers the option to pay their penalties online with a credit or debit card in the comfort of their own homes, rather than via the traditional route of visiting a Banco Santander branch, the post office (Correos) or a local Jefatura de Tráfico office. What’s more – and provided that the driving licence has not been withdrawn for the infraction of a serious offence – a 30% discount is available for those that pay the penalty within 30 days of receiving the fine. If you wish to pay your fines online, here’s how to do it: 1)

Access the DGT´s website at and enter the section located on the left hand menu.

'Trámites y Multas'


Select the fourth option on the sub-menu (¿Alguna Multa?) and subsequently, "Pago de Multas".


Select option A - this will allow you to pay the fine without a Digital Certificate or Electronic ID Number.


Now enter the following information in this exact order to receive a receipt of payment: document type, document number, first name, 1st surname, 2nd surname, record/file number and the total amount of the fine.

However, those that have cover with Línea Directa, Spain’s largest direct line insurance provider that offers its expatriate customers ALL documentation and services in English, have yet another option. With motor cover from Línea Directa, all policy holders are able to leave the management of their fines and relevant legal matters in relation to road traffic accidents in their hands, and at no extra cost. Without a doubt, this market leader within the expat sector is very much committed to its foreign customers. Not only does its highly trained bilingual staff speak a language that its policy holders understand, but in the case of an accident or the management of fines, Línea Directa has a dedicated team of professionals that are available to provide assistance and carry out all necessary procedures as smoothly and as quickly as possible. To find out more about Línea Directa and its comprehensive and very competitive motor insurance policies, call 902 123 104.

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Telephone: 968 145 572

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Feed the Soil not the Plants

By Clodagh and Dick Handscombe, Practical gardeners & authors, living in Spain for twenty five years.

Now is a good time for the annual garden cleanup and also to start preparing your soil for Spring plantings. This is important for flowering plants, herbs, flowering and fruiting shrubs, trees and vegetables, whether grown in the open garden or in containers. Improvement entails adding sand to open up heavy clay soils, composts and peat to improve the water absorbing capacity and humus content and well rotted wet or dried animal manures to enrich the soil. Bags of worm compost, compost including sea weed from the Eco Parks that are springing up around the country are also excellent soil improvers. If you have a very poor soil add 40% by volume of the above additives to 60% of the original soil. Something we learned on a study tour to Cuba a few years ago. Soil in containers should be mixed on a similar basis. If you do this the critical development of root balls will be accelerated, green growth will grow steadily and healthily and you will not need to resort to the use of fast acting chemical fertilizers to maintain plant growth. This has two benefits, Firstly you will not need to store potentially hazardous materials, which is especially important if you have children and pets in the household. Secondly you will not stimulate unnecessarily fast weak growth that is susceptible to attacks by pests and diseases. There are two other soil additives worth considering namely neem powder from Trabe and Terracottem soil conditioner The first acts as a gen-

tle fertilizer and controller of snails and slugs while the second has the power to improve the moisture holding capacity of the soil by 200% reducing the extent and frequency of watering required. If you have inherited a fully stocked garden that struggles to survive the summer we suggest that you improve the soil around the plants down to the depth of the bottom of the root ball to improve their chances of long term survival and continuing good crops of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Luckily the soil is currently in good condition to carry out the above tasks. Do them manually using mattocks rather than spades and forks if you have a relatively small area of soil to prepare. If a larger area reduce the back aching work by buying a small rotovator or hiring the village mechanical plough. Or perhaps you are lucky that your village still has a working mule or donkey for hire. A way of preserving rural

practices, minimising the compression of the soil and with luck getting some free manure in the process. Offer to give the animal a good feed before it starts to work - this might increase the extent of the manure bonus!

Clodagh and Dick are authors of three books: 'Your Garden in Spain', 'Growing Healthy Fruit in Spain' and 'Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain'. These can be obtained from bookshops and via or -


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The F un Quiz Who Said It?

1. "Helping people in need is a good and essential part of my life, a kind of destiny". Which iconic Royal said this? a) Princess Anne b) Princess Margaret c) Princess Diana d) Princess Michael of Kent 2. "Trust in God. She will provide". Which controversial Victorian woman activist said these words? a) Florence Nightingale b) Emmeline Pankhurst c) Queen Victoria d) Elizabeth Garrett Anderson 3. "I am extraordinarily patient, providing I get my own way in the end". These words were spoken by which 20th century Prime Minister? a) Winston Churchill b) Margaret Thatcher c) Tony Blair d) Harold Wilson 4. "I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted". Which football legend said those immortal lines? a) David Beckham b) Paul Gascoigne c) Bobby Charlton d) George Best 5. "I am not a heavy drinker, I can sometimes go for hours without touching a drop". Which English actor and playwright said that? a) Ivor Novello b) Noel Coward c) Alfred Lunt d) Laurence Olivier


6. A great soldier and statesman said "Publish and be damned!". Who was he? . a)Sir Thomas Fairfax b) Sir Winston Churchill c) Duke of Wellington d) Sir Philip Sidney 7. "The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years". Who said this? a) Sean Connery b) Oliver Reed c) Michael Caine d) Roger Moore 8. "The great thing about Glasgow is that if there's a nuclear attack it'll look exactly the same afterwards". Which much travelled Scottish comedian is responsible for that quote? a) Billy Connolly b) Robbie Coltrane c) Rory Bremner d) Jimmy Logan. 9. "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars". Which famous Irish dramatist and poet said this? a) W.B.Yeats b) Sean O'Casey c) G.Bernard Shaw d) Oscar Wilde 10. "If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants." Which great Englishman said these words? a) Edmund Halley b) Thomas Young c) Isaac Newton d) Charles Darwin

1) c. Princess Diana. 2) b. Emmeline Pankhurst. 3) b. Margaret Thatcher. 4) d. George Best. 5) b. Noel Coward. 6) c. Duke of Wellington. 7) c. Michael Caine. 8) a.Billy Connolly 9) d. Oscar Wilde. 10) c. Isaac Newton.

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La Manga - Santiago de la Ribera Ferry Winter timetable La Manga

Tomas maestre

10.30 12.30 14.30 16.30

Santiago de la Ribera 11.30 13.30 15.30 17.30

Monday to Saturday


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Spanish Meatballs inTomato Sauce Preparation Time: 15 mins


Cooking Time: 20 minutes.


Servings: 2 tapas portions

INGREDIENTS 8oz minced beef 1 medium onion 3 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon dried thyme (2 teaspoons if chopped fresh) 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (2 teaspoons if chopped fresh) 3 ripe tomatoes 2 tablespoons of red or white wine 1 heaped tablespoon of concentrated tomato puree 2 tablespoons of olive oil Salt and pepper

Preparation Finely chop the onions, garlic & herbs (if using fresh) Grate the Parmesan cheese. Liquidise (or chop) the tomatoes. Place the minced beef, onions, garlic, Parmesan cheese and thyme in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a good portion of salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together with your hands. Take a chunk of the mixture and form into a ball, about the size of a golf ball. Make sure that you firm each of them together well. This will stop them falling apart when they are being cooked. Pour the olive oil into a frying pan on a medium to low heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about five minutes. Turn the meatballs frequently whilst cooking to ensure that they are cooked on all sides. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, wine and rosemary plus some salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes turning occasionally. Serve hot into dishes and sprinkle some rosemary or parsley over the meatballs.

Local Markets Monday San Pedro del Pinatar Sucina Tuesday Los Belones La Union Pilar de la Horadada Los Alcazeres Mil Palmeras Wednesday Santiago de la Ribera San Javier

San Javier Autocine (car boot sale) Thursday Los Urrutias La palma Torre Pacheco (Balsicas) San Pedro del Pinatar (Lo Pagan) Friday El Algar Llano del Beal Pilar de la Horadada

Saturday Los Alcรกzeres (Los Narejos) Torre Pacheco (Dolores) San Javier Autocine -car boot Sunday Cabo de Palos Los Nietos San Javier Autocine Torre Pacheco (Roldรกn)

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TIME FOR A BREAK Down 1 Disease of sheep characterised by lack of co-ordination (7) 2 Phenomenon caused by electrical discharge from clouds (9) 3 Tanzania's largest city and former capital (3,2,6) 4 Bavarian city, site of 'war criminal' trials in 1945 (9) 5 Sole hereditary head of state, and name of a butterfly (7) 6 Characters of the earliest Germanic alphabet (5) 7 Stagename of 1930-40s US folk- blues singer (9) 8 West Side Story song or David Bowie's No.1 album (7) 9 King of England 1327-77, initiated the Hundred Years War (6,3) 10 Ski run of compacted snow (5) 17 e.g. a rapier or a claymore (5) 18 Chris, ranked World No.1 tennis player five times (5) 19 Broom made of twigs tied round a stick (5) Across 22 Clear fluid separated out from 20 1960s youth, rejecting conven1 12thC Muslim leader who recap- clotted blood, possibly used as tional middle-class values (5) tured Jerusalem from the Crusaders immunizer (5) 21 1930-50s US baseball player, (7) 24 A collector of butterflies and once married to Marilyn Monroe 5 Starred in Sophie's Choice and moths (13) The River Wild (5,6) 27 Composer of Mull of Kintyre (9) (3,8) 11 Radio operator's acknowledge- 29 Roger, British runner who broke 23 A teller of anecdotes (9) 24 Italian Baroque painter, espement of a message (5) 4- minute mile in 1954 (9) 12 Person trained in ancient 31 Official name of the British royal cially of church ceilings (anag. of acorn flan!) (9) Japanese martial arts for assassina- family (7) 25 One who believes God is present tion work (5) 32 Emotional disorder, syndrome in all of nature and the universe (9) 13 Small salamanders (5) named after German baron story26 Lower part of the alimentary 14 US tennis player, winner of 14 teller (11) canal (9) Grand Slam singles titles (4,7) 33 Marine barriers formed by 28 Antarctic inlet of the South 15 Dirk, starred in Death in Venice skeletal deposits (5) Pacific, named after 19thC English (7) 34 Brazilian city, founded on explorer (4,3) 16 19thC English novelist, __ Christmas Day 1597; also former 29 British car manufacturer, winner Gaskell (9) province of South Africa (5) 17 Precious stone set by itself – or 35 Person who conducts travellers, of Le Mans 1927-30 (7) 30 Poem of 10 or 13 lines and only a card game (9) etc. (5) two rhymes (7) 19 Hypothesis that the universe 36 Branch of science concerned 31 What the first 'W' of the WWF was created by a cosmic explosion with skin (11) (3,4,6) 37 Henry David, 19thC US essay- organisation stands for (5) 32 Short expression of a guiding 21 e.g. liquid part of vegetable or ist, poet and philosopher (7) principle (5) fruit (5)


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INLAND FOCUS by Sue Walker

John and I decided to celebrate Christmas and New Year Spanish-style. Not that we had much choice, as most shops, bars and restaurants in Jumilla closed early on (Nochebuena) Christmas Eve and (Nochevieja) New Year's Eve so that staff could be at home with their families. Seafood plays an important part in any Spanish Christmas Eve, so I dutifully queued at the fish counter in Consum, pleased that there weren't too many people ahead of me. Of course I hadn't allowed for the vast quantity of seafood that each individual was buying while I waited to purchase my miserly half kilo of langostinos!

other with cava, and listened to the fireworks being set off to welcome in 2010. We could have gone out at 0045 when our local bar was due to open, however we decided to draw the line at that. After all, we still had another week to go!

Christmas Day was so warm that we were able to sit out on our balcony enjoying a glass of cava before heading for Restaurante San Agustin for lunch at 2pm. John had roast kid while I chose monkfish in cava from the wide selection of appetising dishes. The restaurant and bar were packed with other couples and families enjoying their Christmas lunch and wishing each other "Feliz Navidad". It was strange to find all the shops open on Boxing Day, which is a normal working day here. My daughter Vicky and her husband Ivan had arrived to spend a few days with us. We dragged them out at 10pm on Boxing Day to Los Chilines, a local wine shop, for a cava and chocolate tasting. Not that they were complaining - especially with the delicious home-made chocolates that were being handed out! We enjoyed the New Year's Eve concert outside the Teatro Vico, where the local youth band played familiar melodies such as Jingle Bells, White Christmas and Silent Night as well as pasodobles. Luckily the sun shone down on them, though their conductor cast a few anxious glances at the sky as the rain clouds started gathering. Our New Year's Eve evening was low-key: we watched Spanish TV, ate our 12 grapes as the bells chimed midnight in Madrid, toasted each

Los Reyes Magos is the main celebration for Spanish children, although nowadays many of them get presents from Papa Noel as well. Children had written their letters earlier and left them at the Teatro Vico for their Majesties. Later in the day the Reyes had received the Magic Key from the Mayor, so that they could enter homes to leave presents for well-behaved children. We joined the excited children standing outside the tourist office, to watch the procession setting off at 6pm to parade around Jumilla. At the back was a lorry bearing presents, followed by one laden with coal for the naughty children! Los Reyes Magos is closely followed by the Fiestas of San Antón and San Sebastián in January and the eagerly awaited Feria del Amor, celebrating Valentine's Day, and Carnaval in February. For more information see

Retiring The Olé Way is the intimate, honest and inspiring story of Sue and John Walker’s move to their new home in rural Southern Spain. The book is available at Amazon and from all good bookshops, at a cost of £9.99.

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Mar Menor Focus Business Directory Your business here for just 60 euros a year!

Call Mar Menor Focus on 968 145 572 or email:

AIR CONDITIONING STARAIR, Air Conditioning Sales, installation & Service, Tel: 679 573 643 (page 27)


BARS & RESTAURANTS BAR APICOCO Playa Honda 968 563 958 (Page 17) BAR EL SOL Plaza Cavanna La Manga Strip, 968 563 899 (back page) BRAMBLES BAR Playa Honda 610 622 249 (page 11) DOLLY’S BAR, Plaza Bohemia, La Manga 663 608 575 ELVIS’ DINER, Galerias El Flamenco (behind Zoco) 630 466 417 (page 3) MARTIN’S Restaurant, Calle Mayor Los Belones - 651 594 822 (Page 27) NOBBY’S CANTINA, Nuevo Puerto Bello La Manga, 968 564 551 (inside back page) PADDYWACKS IRISH BAR La Manga Strip 968 563 648 (page12) PEPE’S BAR Mar de Cristal (page 21)

DENTISTS Clinica Dental ALEMANA La Manga 968 175 300

GARDEN CENTRES MARUJA Garden Centre/Nursery Cabo de Palos Tel 968563 905 (page 27)

HEALTH & BEAUTY SHAPE & TONE - Toning Tables Chiropractor - Masseur - Chiropodist, Los Alcazares 661 002 648

TRANQUILITY - Beauty, Body & Nail Salon Galerias El Flamenco, Km 4, La Manga Strip (behind Zocos) 638 300 656 (page 6)

INSURANCE ASSSA INSURANCE - Los Belones 968 153 396 (page 9) DAVID MASON Insurance Services (page 6) Funeral planning (page 12) Los Belones, 968 137 719 / 659 226 112 RICHARD HOWARD Insurance Services, Los Belones 968 13 72 59 (Page 3)

LEGAL & FINANCIAL SERVICES IBERBRIT LEGAL, La Manga Strip 968 337 392 (inside back page)

PROPERTY SALES & SERVICES CD PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & SALES 968 563 598 (Page 16) RESORT CHOICE (Resort La Manga) Mar de Cristal, 968 545 204 (page 5) EDEN International, Property Agents Los Carmenes, Gran Via Km 3 La Manga, Tel: 0034 968 143 185 (page 18) OLYMPIEZA, apartment cleaning C/La Loma, Torrevieja, 675 021 669 TOP CLASS MANAGEMENT SERVICES (page 18)

PRINTING SERVICES FOCUS PRINT, Full Colour Digital printing Leaflets, business cards, etc. 968 145 572 / 667 821 082 email: (page 2)


Telephone: 968 145 572


RETAIL DJ’S MINI MART Los Belones 617 029 321 (page 2) HONDAMAR Supermercado Playa Honda 968 56 43 68 (page 6) THE FURNITURE STORE Poligono Ind. Los Alcazares. 968 582 546 (page 27) MISSING LINKS (Cornish Pride) (page 18) Los Belones 620 562 973 / 650 267 650

INTERPRETER Available Spanish national (10 years in England) with fluent English. For hospitals, doctors, police, banks, solicitors, schools, ITV, etc. Translation of documents. Sympathetic and totally reliable. Cartagena and surrounding areas, Mar Menor, Fuente Alamo, Torre Pacheco. Other areas considered. From 15 euros hour. Tel: 968165565 Mob: 626690873 (ask for JOSÉ)

696 BOUTIQUE Nuevo Puerto Bello La Manga 968 564 879


VETERINARY SERVICES CABO MANGA Ctra Cabo de Palos La Manga 968 146 364 (page 27)


MARIA LINARES Spanish Lessons 968 133 331 / 678 936 110

SPORTS & ACTIVITIES AQUA ADICTA 968 545 193 / 659 434 811 (page 28)

the Mar Menor FOCUS

VALERIE’S NOVIAS, bridal gowns & Accessories, C/Mayor 9, Pilar de Horadada 966 766 689 (page 9) PHOTO VIDEO SPAIN, wedding/events Keith Nicol, 609 063 614

Dental Care for Your Dog Teeth are important and, just like people, animals benefit from regular dental care. Bad teeth heavily coated in plaque (containing bacteria) can spoil your dog's appetite and may spread infection elsewhere in the body. Dirty teeth develop infections at the gum line and cause a foul smell. The gums recede and the teeth can loosen. Daily brushing will prevent these problems. First, look inside your pet's mouth. The teeth should be evenly coloured - white or off-white. If they are grey or brown, it may indicate plaque accumulation. Is there an unpleasant odour? Are the gums pink where they meet the teeth or red and inflamed? Do the teeth surfaces look clean or is there a grey-brown coating, like kettle scale? Unless the teeth look clean or your dog is under a year old, have the mouth examined by the vet first. Plaque in dogs is hardened by saliva, forming a concrete-like coating.

Brushing will not remove this and it contributes to the accumulation of further plaque. An anaesthetic is necessary to keep your dog still while the plaque is removed with an ultrasonic descaler. The mouth can then be examined fully and teeth extracted if necessary. Start brushing your dog's teeth from an early age, although it is possible to train an older dog to accept it. Toothbrushes designed for humans are not ideal. Dogs require a special brush and toothpaste from the vet or pet shop. Our toothpaste is too frothy and can cause stomach irritation. You can brush without toothpaste, but nice tasting toothpaste may help the process. Some toothpastes contain chemicals which slow the accumulation of plaque.

the Mar Menor FOCUS



Telephone: 968 145 572

the Mar Menor FOCUS

This week my chosen birds are very hard to spot, you tend to know they are there by their song, which means I will have to try and describe how they sing...tricky! The birds in question are Warblers; they are all rather small and tend to hang out in reed beds, bushes and long grass, hence why they are so hard to spot. Firstly the Zitting Cisticola, (what a name!) originally called the Fan-tailed Warbler (and I'm sure most of you would prefer to go on calling it that). It lives and breeds in the Mar Menor area and enjoys a habitat of long grass or reeds close to water. It nests and feeds within the cover of the grass and since it is brown and well camouflaged with black streaks on its back, it disappears into the undergrowth.

Zitting Cisticola

The reason for the new name, Zitting Cisticloa, is that it is a member of the genus Cisticola and its song sounds like "zit-zit-zit", or "zeet, zeet, zeet". It sings when in flight, making one single, short, sharp, penetrating note with each swoop. They feed on insects, spiders and seeds.

Another Warbler commonly found in this area is the Cetti's Warbler. Here again the name of the bird is a clue to it's identification as when it sings it makes a loud, metallic and explosive, "plit" or "chich". Several notes will always come together in the following rhythm, "What's my name, Cetti-cetti-cetti, that's it". Actually, the bird is named after an Italian zoologist Francesco Cetti, however the fact regarding the rhythm of its song is true, test it! The Zitting Cisticola tends to make an outburst of song and then move to another location before it sings again. It stays very low down within the vegetation as it moves, so you will rarely see it. The Cetti's Warbler likes to feed and nest in dense vegetation close to water, reed beds are a typical habitat. They feed on insects, spiders, snails and seeds. Lesley Singleton, AQUA ADICTA

Cetti’s Warbler

the Mar Menor FOCUS


P u z z l e


S o l u t i o n s

The F un Spot I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an Irish airport employee asked, 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?' To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?' He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.' Happened Luton Airport UK *********** When my husband and I arrived at Our Local Ford dealer to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the drivers side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. 'Hey,' I announced to the Fitter/Mechanic, 'its open!' His reply, 'I know. I already did that side.' This was at a Ford dealership in Hertfordshire UK .



*********** After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to

bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer . . $15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?) STAY ALERT! They walk among us... and the scary part is that is they have the RIGHT TO VOTE and REPRODUCE! *********** Fifty-one years ago, Herman James, a North Carolina mountain man, was drafted by the Army. On the first day in basic training, the Army issued him a comb. . . . That afternoon, the Army barber sheared off all his hair. On the second day, the Army issued him a toothbrush. . . . That afternoon the Army dentist yanked out seven of his teeth. On the third day, the Army issued him a jock strap. . . . THE ARMY HAS BEEN LOOKING FOR HERMAN FOR FIFTY-ONE YEARS.


Telephone: 968 145 572

the Mar Menor FOCUS

Useful Numbers to keep by the phone EMERGENCY NUMBER - 112 AMBULANCE - 061 GUARDIA CIVIL - 062 La Manga del Mar Menor 968 563 222 La Unión 968 560 011 San Javier 968 335 920 San Pedro del Pinatar 968 180 610 LOCAL POLICE - 092 Cabo de Palos 968 337 238 Cartagena 968 128 877 El Algar 968 135 695 La Manga del Mar Menor 968 337 300 La Unión 968 560 051 Los Alcázares 968 171 919 San Javier 968 570 880 San Pedro del Pinatar 968 188 092 NATIONAL POLICE – 091 Cartagena 968 320 722 FIRE BRIGADE - 112 Cartagena 968 128 880 Los Alcázares 968 171 782 MARITIME EMERGENCIES – 900 202 202 MEDICAL CENTRES Costa Calida 968 142 060 El Algar 968 135 510 La Manga del Mar Menor 968 142 125 Lo Pagan 968 184 728 Los Alcázares 968 575 800 Los Belones 968 137 476 Portman 968 548 064 San Javier 968 191 866 San Pedro del Pinatar 968 187 865 HOSPITALS Cartagena: Santa Maria del Rosell Naval Hospital Murcia: Virgen de la Arrixaca J.M. Morales Meseguer San Javier: Los Arcos

968 325 000 968 327 400 968 369 500 968 360 900 968 570 050

AIRPORTS ( Alicante 966 919 000 San Javier (Murcia) 968 172 000 BUS STATIONS Cartagena 968 505 656 Murcia 968 292 211 San Pedro del Pinatar 968 182 942 RAILWAYS FEVE 968 501 172 RENFE 902 240 202 UTILITY COMPANIES Telefonica 1004 Iberdrola (Electricity) 901 202 020 Aquagest (Cartagena) 968 122 600 Aquagest (San Javier) 968 572 112 LOCAL TRAFFIC OFFICE (Cartagena) 968 500 883 PROVINCIAL TRAFFIC OFFICE (Murcia) 968 256 211 ITV Cartagena 968 538 219 CORREOS (POST OFFICE) General Information 902 197 197 La Manga 968 564 981 965 216 022 BRITISH CONSULATE SUPPORT GROUPS MABS cancer support 968 432 525 email: HELP MMM 968 570 059 ANIMAL RESCUE Noah’s Arc 699 352 818 www.noahsarcmurcia APAH Rescue

630 422 563

the Mar Menor FOCUS

Iberbrit Legal

Solicitors and Chartered Accountants



Conveyancing. Integral Tax advice for Individuals and Companies. Annual Tax returns for property owners. Social Security advice. Spanish Wills. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL:

Phone: +34 968 337 392 Fax: +34 968 563 224 email: -

SIMPLE. Preparation of the NIEIdentification number of foreigners. Spanish Residency. Financial advice “Mortgages” Power of Attorney.

Iberbrit Legal are located on La Manga Strip at: Gran Via s/n – Km 1.5, Edificio Monterrey – Iberbrit Legal office, PO BOX No. 163 – 30380 La Manga – Cartagena


Edition 16 Mar Menor Focus February 2010  

Free monthly magazine for the Mar Menor area, coastal and inland, providing useful local information, interesting content and advertising, f...

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