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Make the most of the Valencian Community

January 2014

Happy New Year

Language learning Recipes Articles Music News Film

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Regulars 4 Before we start 5 Did you know... 6 News in brief 24 City maps

Language learning 30 Learn English with the British Council

inVLC Talks 12 Happy new year? 13 Film reviews 14 New music for 2014

inVLC Contact information Scan this code to be taken to previous issues of inVLC

in this issue

Features 8 Sales Shopping 15 Photography with Javier Vercher 26 Recipes 28 Gardening

inVLC is for all people in the community of Valencia: whether born here, visiting for a day, or living a new life in the sun. We hope to guide you on what’s going on in the community, help those living in it, and support language learning with a bit of added fun. facebook inVLC If you are looking for more up to date information or have any thoughts or comments please 'like' us on Facebook and join in the fun. Important numbers & Embassies / Consulates Fire | 080 Local police | 092 French | 96 351 0359 Dutch | 96 341 4633 Medical | 061 General | 112 USA | 96 351 6973 German | 96 310 62 53 British | 96 521 60 22 Depósito legal V-816-2006 inVLC We do our very best to strive for accuracy but we do not accept responsibility for unintentional errors or omissions, accuracy of advertisements or contributors’ opinions.




Some exciting changes have taken place for us here at inVLC & for this reason

inVLC is now FOR SALE

If you are interested in receiving further information and taking advantage of this exciting opportunity, please contact us directly at

Before we start

New beginnings

As we previously announced in the pages of inVLC, we have recently We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your had our first child. 2014 is bringing with it a very different way of support and enthusiasm. We have had a great time producing the living for us as our lives are changing forever and we adjust to our magazine over the last year or so and we will be sad to see it go. new circumstances. For now, in January's inVLC you will find articles, reviews, recipes and Because of these new responsibilities we are having to make more. some tough, life altering decisions and one of these decisions is, unfortunately, to put inVLC up for sale. Read about shopping in the seasonal sales, read our film reviews, see what music is coming up in 2014, cook a homemade pizza, read It has not been an easy decision to make, but we feel that we simply the news, do a bit of gardening and enjoy the excellent photography will no longer have the time or energy needed to continue with the of Javier Vercher. magazine without the quality suffering. For the time being everything will continue as before whilst we look for a buyer and we will keep all We hope you will enjoy this month's magazine and wish all our our readers and advertisers informed as best we can. readers a very happy new year, including our Chinese readers celebrating their new year on the 31st. If you or someone you know might be interested in taking on a new, exciting project, we are open to discussing the sale of inVLC, simply Enjoy! send us an email at Lisa & Paul


Did you know

that in January...

1863 The world’s first underground railway opened to the public, the Metropolitan Railway in London. It ran between Paddington and Farringdon and is now part of the circle line. Steam locomotives with wooden carriages lit by gas lamps made their way through smoky tunnels making the journey very unpleasant but despite this, 30,000 passengers a day made the trip, which was nearly four miles long. The streets along the route were dug up, tracks laid in the trench, covered with a brick-lined tunnel and the road surface replaced; this was known as 'cut and cover'. Today London underground carries three million passengers every day and has 275 stations.

Wright and Nick Mason, and was formed in Cambridge England. In 1982 the movie based on the album was released with very little dialogue and driven by the music of Pink Floyd; it was rich in symbolic imagery and elaborate animation.

1994 January 31st a fire at the Gran Teatre De Liceu opera house in Barcelona, destroyed the building. The fire was caused by a spark that accidentally fell on the curtain during a routine repair. It was originally opened in 1847 and was one of the most important Opera Houses in the world. A new opera house was built on the same site 1930 using parts of the building unaffected by the fire, the same ones that The Mickey Mouse daily comic strip began, showing Mickey as an had survived an earlier fire in 1861. optimistic adventure seeking young mouse. It was initially written by Walt Disney and Floyd Gottfredson took over and continued the strip 1996 until 1975. It was January 13th when the first story was published in Google inventors Larry Page and Sergey Brin who met at Stanford the New York Mirror. University began to collaborate on writing a program for a search engine. They maxed out their credit cards buying terabytes of disks at 1935 discount prices. They tried to licence their search engine technology The legendary Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo Mississippi USA. His but after no-one wanted their product at such an early stage, they mother Gladys was carrying twins but brother Jessie died at birth. decided to keep it and wait until they could get further financing to Elvis was born into a poor working class family and went to church on improve and finalise it themselves, it took them approximately 3 Sundays where he first heard gospel music. His mother was devoted years to complete. to him in the extreme and spent any money she had left over on her son. For his 10th birthday she bought him his first guitar. In 1948 the 2000 family moved to Memphis Tennessee and Elvis attended Humes High Remember the fuss over the Millennium Bug Y2K, and the claims that School until 1953, it was the following year he started his career with computers would not be able to cope with the change over from 1999 Sun Records. to 2000? Some had predicted nuclear power plants going into melt down, aeroplanes crashing from the skies, most transport services 1980 being disrupted. Needless to say, none of these problems happened Pink Floyd’s The Wall Album hits number one on the US charts and as the Y2K bug failed to bite. remained there for an astounding 15 weeks, it sold 11 million copies stateside and 20 million worldwide. The album was created as a rock opera, telling a semi-autobiographical story of one of the band members. The classic line up was Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick


American food store specializing in products imported from United States C/ Músico Peydró No 54 46001 Valencia 607 231 006


News in brief Party planners' shambles leaves teens spending New Year's Eve on Bankia sued for knowingly selling shares to customer with the pavement Alzheimer's Hundreds of teens were left stranded on the pavement in Valencia Financial institution Bankia has come under fire for selling preferential on New Year's Eve and 50 euros lighter after being refused entry to a shares to a customer it knew was suffering from Alzheimer's. party they had bought tickets for. His widow, 72, who says the couple were customers of what used Parents of young revellers complained that the website for the party to be Bancaja – one of the two institutions along with Caja Madrid at the Alameda Palace in the city clearly stated that the minimum age which fused after being bought by the State and renamed Bankia, for entry was 14 and that all those who bought tickets – priced from having gone bankrupt – for 44 years, was reportedly told they could 40 to 50 euros – had to give their national identity numbers so that not have their money held on deposit in cash, only in shares. organisers could check they were, indeed, aged 14 or over. They did not understand what this meant, although the widow says But when they arrived, the bouncers refused entry to everyone aged she was 'bullied' into taking the shares and that the bank would not under 16 – between 200 and 300 of them. let her or her husband have their funds in any other format. Although reports had been made of fake tickets being sold by touts to swindle cash out of partygoers, the organisers claimed all those presented by the teenagers who had been turned away were in fact 'real' tickets, and apologised for the mix-up.

A Valencia judge says Bankia 'did not at any time' act with 'due diligence' and 'transparency', and 'even less so in the interests of its customers' by forcing a client suffering from a mentally-debilitating and incurable illness' to sign a contract for shares.

They could face a fine from the city council, and most of the parents Given the deceased's condition, it is 'clear' that there was 'no way' intend to take legal action to recover the cost of their tickets plus Bankia could have 'validly informed' him of the level of risk involved compensation, or have done so already. in any financial services product. Open parties with discos or DJs such as the one held at the Alameda Neither were the customers offered any alternative to the shares and Palace are permitted to let in under-18s, provided they are aged at were left under the impression that this was the only way they could least 14 and that the appropriate precautions have been taken to legally access the contents of their account, the magistrate stated. prevent non-adult teenagers from drinking alcohol or smoking. They were told that they would otherwise lose all the cash they had Valencia's Palau de les Arts cancels February showing of 'Manon on deposit. Léscaut' Bankia attempted to defend itself on the grounds that the customer's Valencia's iconic opera house remains closed to the public after condition as an Alzheimer's sufferer did not impede his consenting high winds blew down part of the roof, and the forthcoming February to taking out shares as these were 'not a complex product' but one show has now been cancelled. which was 'highly profitable'. Puccini's Manon Léscaut, based upon the 18th-century novel by the French Abbott and author L'Abbé Prévost, produced by British director Stephen Medcalf was due to show at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía on seven nights in February.

However, the couple – like many hundreds of others who were deliberately sold shares in Bancaja which they did not know the nature and quality of and believed their money was simply in an ordinary savings account – lost everything when the entity went bankrupt.

Members of the public who have bought tickets for Saturday 1, Tuesday 4, Friday 7, Sunday 9, Wednesday 12, Saturday 15, and The magistrate threw out Bankia's attempted defence and ordered Tuesday 18, will be entitled to a refund if they wish, and details will the share transaction to be rescinded and all the funds, plus interest, be published on the Palau's website. to be refunded to the Alzheimer's patients widow. It would have been the second première by Medcalf at the Valencia opera house following his highly-acclaimed production last season of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte ('The Magic Flute'). The Palau de les Arts, designed by iconic Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, remains shut for safety reasons, says the management.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer? : George Price


January sales Sales started early this year across many parts of Spain – even The original retail price should be clearly displayed next to the sale though they did not officially kick off until Tuesday 7th. price, by law. Some regions decided to begin the winter sales period – which runs until March 1 – the day after the bank holiday for New Year's Day in a bid to increase profits, given that the period leading up to Twelfth Night, or the Three Kings, is peak shopping time as families and friends buy each other presents.

Last year, Spain's government allowed all retailers free rein to decide when to hold sales throughout the year, rather than restricting them to set periods after Christmas and in summer, in an attempt to boost business on the high street.

It also permitted shops in tourist areas to open whenever they Certain shops, particularly large department stores and high-street wanted, including Sundays and public holidays, and encouraged chains, chose to start their sales even earlier, on December 23, to them to open over the lunchtime period. capture customers buying presents for Christmas Eve, but these were few and far between. But most shops still continue to adhere to the original sales seasons and traditional opening hours, remaining closed on Sundays and That said, fewer retailers than ever are waiting until the 7th to begin bank holidays and between lunchtime and early evening. their sales, realising that shoppers will be feeling the pinch after the festive season and be less likely to make unnecessary purchases. The cost of living in Spain in 2014 This means they are less likely to make a profit from the sales or be 2014 begins with more expensive energy and transportation costs able to shift end-of-line stock. but with the minimum salary frozen at €645.30 a month here in Spain. Discounts at the start of the sales are at around 60 per cent off the usual retail price – further bargains are likely to be available with up On January 1, electric bills were raised by 2.3 per cent, as fixed by to 80 per cent off in some cases nearer the end of the sales period. the Government following the cancellation of the energy bidding auctions. This price fix is only for the first quarter of 2014, after which Consumer organisations have recommended shoppers avoid energy costs are likely to rise once more. impulse buys, as they can end up spending far more than they would the rest of the year because they are seduced by bargains. Transport prices are also on the up; medium and short train journeys will be 1.9 per cent more expensive than 2013. Renfe are likely to They warn that items on sale should be those which were previously make 500 redundancies in the coming months. Motorway toll prices retailed at full price, and in the same excellent condition. will also be rising. Lower prices must not mean lower quality and, although refunds and credit notes may be restricted for items bought in the sales, other purchasing terms should not change – if a shop normally accepts credit card payments, for example, it cannot insist upon cash only in the sales.


Lotto, Primitiva, Euro Millions & Quinieles


British cigarettes, tobacco and produce

Pepe i Rossa HORTA , 1 - RIU, 2 (in front of the Town Hall & Church) MONTROY Larger orders for cigarettes tel: 96 255 57 64 - 651 844 033 can be placed two days email: in advance for pick-up

There will be no difference in the cost of natural gas or ‘Correos’ mailing services. A butane gas bottle, used in around eight million homes in Spain, will remain at €17.50 as we go into the New Year, with a price revision likely in March. Telefonica have also announced that their prices will not be rising. Air taxes will be going up by 0.9 per cent following an agreement reached between AENA and the airlines last May.






A neurosis is a secret that you don’t know you are keeping. : Kenneth Tynan

Sales shopping

Tania F.

Top Ten Tips for Successful Shopping During the Sales

1. Plan your trip

It’s 12am on January 7th; are you sitting at your computer or are you getting ready for bed? Either way if you are living in Spain you know it is one of the most important days of the year for sales! The sales season has officially started. Whether you prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home or are brave enough to face the chaos of the sales, here are some tips to keep in mind for the next month or so.

Make a list of what you need and the shops you can get them at. The day before, go to bed earlier than you probably would and try to get at least a good eight hours sleep. You will be thankful by mid afternoon you did! Get up and out early to be sure you don’t miss out on any of the items on that list.

9 2. Set a budget Before you run out to your nearest shopping center and blow all your money at the first shop you see filled with markdowns, take the time at home to set a budget for that list you created. This should help you to avoid blowing your budget on impulse purchases. 3. Buy Basics This is the perfect time to update the pieces in your wardrobe that get the most wear. Buy classic wardrobe items like black trousers, button up shirts, blazers, a trench coat and even a LBD (little black dress).

4. Wrong Size If it doesn’t fit when you try it on the shop, don’t buy it. If you normally wear a small but are tempted to buy the medium in the shirt you’ve been eyeing all season, don’t do it. It wasn’t meant to be! This is a typical mistake made during the sales period. If it is not your size, put it down and walk away. Chances are you will buy it but never wear it if you do take it home. Remember it is not a bargain unless you make use of it and wear it.


5. Stay true to your style When scouring the sales we tend to buy items that we would not normally at full price, which results in sometimes purchasing a items that are a little more daring or trendy. To avoid these impulse buys, think about what is already in your wardrobe and make sure you can style it with at least three other pieces you already own. If so, go 7. Invest in luxury for it! The sales are the perfect time to snap up those luxury items you 6. Update with accessories would not normally think twice about buying at full price. Invest in cashmere, silks, and leather goods. Cashmere will last you from Accessories are the quickest and most affordable way to automatically season to season. Silk is easily a year round wardrobe staple. update any look. Don’t only take advantage of all the marked down Invest in a couple of well-cut blouses in classic colours. Leather is bags and shoes but look further at the smaller accessories making a everlasting that just gets better with age and wear. Go ahead buy that big statement. Look for quality belts, statement necklaces and even moto jacket you’ve been secretly stalking in hopes that no one snaps that ear cuff you wanted since spotting it on the runways last season. it up before you get the chance!

11 8. Check the stitching This goes hand in hand with all the other tips. Don’t buy it just because it’s on sale. Take the time to notice if the stitching is smooth, straight and there is not bunching or puckering at the seams. You don’t want to purchase something and have it fall apart after the first wash. You want to look for items with a small, tight stitch as this will help maintain the shape of the garment and reduce splitting and tearing.

9. Pick wisely Your whole shopping experience depends greatly on who you hit the shops with. It’s going to be a long day with even longer queues at just about every store, so you want to pick someone who will last as long as you will and who will be patient enough to wait in the queues along with you. 10. Make a day of it It’s understandable that you want to go to as many shops as you can the first day of the sales to ensure that you get all the items on your list but remember to take breaks. Refuel, sit down and enjoy a nice lunch with your girlfriends before you enter the shopping frenzy once more. This will allow you to last longer and maybe even find everything on your first day out shopping.

And remember, you can avoid the crowds and all the frenzy while still keeping these tips in mind from the comfort of your own bed with the convenience of online shopping! Happy Shopping!


Happy new year?

Potentially full of doom and gloom, January can be a difficult month Say 'NO' to downer New Year resolutions. to navigate. Just take a quick look at the statistics below: Rather than resolving to give stuff up, resolve to do more of the things you enjoy or want to try. Make a list and put your plans into action. Make your resolutions positive; for example, don't abstain from alcohol completely but resolve to cut down and take a 30 minute walk every day instead.

January 1st 3rd


1st potential hangover of the year

Say 'I don't' rather than 'I can't'.

The day we are most likey to fight with our partners or file for divorce

A subtle difference, true, but to say 'I can't' suggests restriction which you'll inevitably want to rebel against. Instead say 'I don't', this suggests choice. It's better to say 'I don't want to drink' rather than 'I can't drink'.

The day your partner (or you!) are most likely to start an affair

10th The day when our resolutions are most

likely to crash and burn

18th Most Christmas credit-card bills arrive 20th 'Blue Monday' - The most depressing day

of the year

Banish the 'what if?'. Worrying about something that hasn't happened or that you cannot control is a huge waste of time and mental energy. It's easier said than done, granted, but try to focus on the things you can control and the things that are most important to you. You'll begin to feel happier straight away. Give someone a compliment.

In short, January can be a difficult month. Almost everybody hates it. Not only does it mark the end of holiday festivities, but around half of us make fun-busting resolutions. (Why would you give up alcohol or chocolate in January?). Not to mention all the other depressing things that are 'most likely to happen' this month. Roll on February, January can get lost. But all is not lost. Here are a few tips to help you through the january fog.

When people are feeling a bit low they tend to focus more on criticisms and negativity - it's only natural but will only make your bad mood plummet even further. Make a conscious decision to give the important people in your life compliments and praise. This way they will be lifted by the good things rather then being pulled down by the bad.


Film Review

The Wolf of Wall Street

American Hustle

Newly out in the cinema and currently receiving very positive reviews A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, is Martin Scorsese's new film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. The darkly comic American film is based on Jordan Belfort's memoir of the same name. Belfort was an American motivational speaker Starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper, American Hustle is a and former stockbroker who was convicted of fraud crimes related to 2013 American crime comedy-drama film loosely based on an FBI stock market manipulation and running a penny stock boiler room for operation of the late 1970's and early '80s. Christian Bale and Amy which he spent 22 months in prison. Adams star as two con artists who are forced by an FBI agent (played by Bradley Cooper) to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt Aside from the generally good reviews however, Martin Scorsese was politicians, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey. verbally attacked by an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences member as he arrived for an AMPAS screening of his movie, in The film has so far received near-universal critical acclaim and Beverly Hills, California. A screen writer allegedly screamed at him has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards with the cast 'Shame on you - disgusting' after watching the three-hour, sex-and- receiving high praise for their performances. drugs filled movie. Movie review website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 92% rating Also starring Matthew McConaughey and Jon Favreau, the Wolf of with the site's consensus reading, "Riotously funny and impeccably Wall Street should certainly be worth a watch on one of the long cast, American Hustle compensates for its flaws with unbridled winter January nights. energy and some of David O. Russell's most irrepressibly vibrant direction."


There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad. : Salvador Dali

New music for 2014

2014 was a very good year for music. Great albums were released by artists such as Nick Cave, Clutch, Anna Calvi, Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stoneage to name but a few. So, what does 2014 have in store for us? New albums from:

The rumour mill;

Robert Plant Title - TBC Release - Spring 2014

After recent interviews and Facebook posts from those involved, it is said that Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks are currently speaking to each other again and enjoying spending time together.

Elbow Title - Carry Her Carry Me Released - March 2014 Prince Title - Plectrum Electrum Release - March 2014 Paul Weller Title - TBC Release - TBC

The Kinks soured by two miserable old men doing it for the money".

It has been reported that the brothers Davies met in the summer of 2013 and talked seriously for the first time in nine years to Rumours, raised hopes and expectations discuss The Kinks 50th anniversary and if have subsequently arisen as to a Kinks there was any future for their great band. reunion in the coming year. 2014 marks the They then also spent the new year together. bands 50th birthday and according to Ray Davies a reunion is "as close as it's ever Let's hope that things stay on track for a been to happening". Drummer Mick Avory reunion of one of the greatest British bands also confirmed that plans for a reunion are in history and that we hear from the Davies' advancing, though Dave Davies seems a little and the rest of The Kinks very, very soon. less sure: "I don't want to see the legacy of

When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend you are sane. : Hermann Hesse



Javier Vercher

New York Local Valencia city resident Javier Vercher not only owns one of the best vintage shops in the city; A Vintage Jazze which is located on Calle Baja in the Carmen, he can also be heard blowing some mean Contemporary Jazz Saxophone and is a pretty darn fine photographer as well (several prints of which are currently hanging on our wall). Here we present some of his photography from travels to one of the greatest cities in the word, New York.

For further information on A Vintage Jazze where photographic prints can be bought amongst a host of other interesting and collectable items, or on Javier's artistic ventures, head on over to or






Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting. : John Russell




New York, New York So good they named it twice

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Homemade Pizza & Chow Mein Healthier home cooked alternatives to two take away classics

Tired of the same limited choices and bizarre topping concoctions offered on pizzas by most of the supermarkets? Then it's time to make your own. It's easy, fun and much tastier and healthier as you know exactly what is going onto your pizza; for example you can have as much or as little cheese as you like.

Spoon the sauce onto your pizza base spreading evenly. Add the toppings of your choice and oven cook for approximately 1015 minutes (depending on the cooking instructions for your base), but keep an eye on your pizza and do not let it burn. If you think it looks ready, it probably is so use your best judgement.

Many toppings are up to individual preferences but below you will find a recipe for a base tomato sauce followed by some topping Topping ideas ideas. We will not be looking into baking your own dough here, you can buy good quality pizza dough bases from the likes of Carrefour Quantities are dependant on how full you want you pizza, look and and Al Campo. use your judgment. When toppings are evenly spread around the pizza and not overwhelming, you have got it right. One thing to note is the use of a pizza stone. This is highly recommended to stop the soggy bottomed pizza as it helps cook the Ham & Mushroom pizza properly, extracting the liquid from the base to ensure a lovely crispy base. More information on these can be found on the internet, Pre-cook x3 sliced Chestnut mushrooms in a little oil and when just ensure you pre-heat your oven properly. You don't even have to ready, transfer to some kitchen roll and towel dry away the liquid. washup the stone, you simply wipe them clean; Bonus! Good quality ham torn into pieces Mozzarella cut into smaller chunks (use 'Mozzarella di Bufala Ingredients Campana') This recipe is enough to make about 4 pizzas (depending on the size Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese of course) but the left over sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. Au Natural 1 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 400g fresh tomatoes 2 tbsp tomato puree 1 tsp oregano some shredded basil to taste salt & pepper to taste Method Heat the oil in a pan over a gentle heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until soft. The onion should be clear but not browned. Add in the remaining ingredients and season. Stir and simmer for about 20 minutes until you have a thickish sauce. Break down the fresh tomatoes and mix. If you find the sauce a little bitter, a small amount of sugar can be added to sweeten it up.

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Fresh Rosemary Drizzle of olive oil Sprinkling of cracked black pepper Fresh Basil Fresh Thyme

When cooked you can also top your Au Natural Pizza with additional toppings such as Rocket, Watercress, Sun-dried tomatoes, fresh Parsley etc. It's up to you, but be sure to use fresh ingredients where possible, it makes all the difference. Enjoy!

Insanity is hereditary; you can get it from your children. : Sam Levenson


There are plenty of Chinese style 'all you can eat' buffets around to tempt you, but many offer greasy, deep fried, unhealthy options. This is a real shame as Chinese food can be, and should be, very healthy. Not only is it healthy, it's cheap. The city offers a good choice of Chinese supermarkets (many open through siesta), so head into the city and purchase your cheap, tasty, fresh ingredients and make a day of it as you wander around Valencia for the afternoon.

Method Cook the noodles according the packet instructions, then drain and tip into a bowl. Pour over the sesame oil, tossing through to coat the noodles and put to one side.

This recipe is a Chinese inspired Chow Mein and we make no claims to it being authentic. It is however a great, healthy, tasty dinner. Before making your noodles, head into China Town in the city to pick up your ingredients and seasonings. It may seem a little expensive at first as you stock your store cupboard with essential seasonings and sauces, but remember, these can be used again and again and once you have them, they are there to help make easy and tasty meals whenever you want as they form the base to many Chinese inspired dishes. Also in the supermarkets in China town, you can buy the different rice and noodles for making different dishes (trust us, selecting the correct rice or noodle can make a make a big difference to the texture and flavour of your finished dish).

Add your selection of vegetables and mix to incorporate. Pour in the Shaoxing rice wine and leave to almost evaporate until adding the noodles. Toss together so all the ingredients are well mixed.

Ingredients 250g of dried or fresh egg noodles 1 tbsp Groundnut Oil 1 tsp crushed Garlic 1 tsp Sesame Oil 2 tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine 2 tbs Light Soy Sauce 1 tbs Dark Soy Sauce Salt & White Pepper Sweet Chili Sauce 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce Five Spice mix x2 Spring Onions finely shredded into strips Vegetables of your choice (for example you can use finely sliced mushrooms, Pak Choi, finely sliced Mangetouts, Sugar Snap Peas or Cabbage, Carrots, Bean Sprouts etc)

Heat the groundnut oil in a Wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Turn down the heat to medium and add both Soy sauces, a pinch of salt and white pepper, a dribble of sweet chili sauce, the oyster sauce and a dash of the Five Spice mix. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes before spooning onto a plate and dressing with the shredded spring onion.


Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect. : Mark Twain


Dick Handscombe

Gardening dreams or realities for 2014

Hi Readers, well the New Year has got off to a fine start with many lengthening warm sunny days. There has been a real need to prioritise between walking to get rid of a year-end over eating bulge and doing the winter cutback. But both have in fact been progressed in parallel. Hopefully you have reflected on the current garden around the house or the apartment terraces and decided on some changes for this year. If not then give ‘Your garden in Spain’ or ‘Apartment gardening – Mediterranean style’ a reread or buy them from Amazon Books or the Loved Book bookshop in Valencia. When setting priorities do ask the question ‘What changes would improve my enjoyment of my open space and the quality of my lifestyle and diet’. With respect to the latter the inexpensive book `Living well from our garden – Mediterranean style’ has been helpful to many expats and Spaniards (if they understand some Spanish) during the past year. Its pages are packed with practical information based on how we became almost totally self-sufficient in order to eat more healthily. If you want an interesting garden there is much more to think about than plants. For instance do you want to allocate space to a fountain or pond, vegetable or fruit growing, attracting and retaining wildlife, making compost to recycle garden and green kitchen waste, a small greenhouse for raising seedlings, an aviary or chicken run, a rockery for small plants or a raised bed for herbs or vegetables and a larger terrace or fixed garden kitchen for entertainment. Whether you have a garden or just an apartment balcony a solar cooker assembled from a kit (try www.alsol,es) can be an interesting and economic way of cooking during most of the year. Next month we will look at the practicalities of buying plants in Spain.


Opening Times / Horario Monday to Saturday / de lunes a sabado 11 am to 2 pm / 4.30 pm to 7 pm

(formerly Kandabooks)


The Best New and Used Second Hand Bookshop Downtown Valencia. Books in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. Los Mejores Libros Nuevos y Usados en el Centro de la Ciudad. Libros en Inglés, Alemán, Francés, Italiano, Español y Holandés. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you buy a book you can bring it back and get 20% discount on your next book. Si compras un libro obtendras un 20% de descuento en tu siguiente libro. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Calle Tapineria 18. Valencia. Tel. 607 485 370 (behind Plaza de la Reina) (detras de la Plaza de la Reina)

aaff_poster.indd 1

23/01/13 17:17


New kinds of family by Chris Cavey

Activity 1 Can you explain the differences between these pairs of words? 1 get married / get divorced 2 marriage / re-marriage 3 ‘birth’ parent / step-parent 4 ‘nuclear’ family / ‘blended’ family / extended family 5 brother / half-brother

Activity 2 Complete the sentences with a word from the box. husband

2 Ella is Lily’s ______________________.

Ups and downs It almost sounds too good to be true but Debbie and Martin are quick to admit that blended families have their ups and downs. ‘There are difficulties and challenges,’ says Debbie. ‘Different families have different routines and it can be difficult for children to move between their two families. Birthdays and holidays can be tricky. Where do the children go? Who should they spend their time with? Also, when my children are naughty it can be difficult for Martin to tell them off. Things that might be simple in a ‘traditional’ family can be a bit more complicated.’ And how about the children? Martin’s eldest child, Ella, is twelve. ‘I like my two families,’ she says. ‘I live with my mum but visit my dad quite often and I like going to stay with my half brother and sister. I’m happy that my mum and dad get along OK. They’re not married any more but it’s good that they can still be friends.’ Is her family unusual? ‘I don’t think so. A few of my friends at school have half brothers or sisters. I think it’s normal, really.’ Making family life work Of course divorce and separation are never easy but many people are finding less painful ways to do it and are changing the way that many people think about families.

For more fun activities to help you learn English visit

4 Steve is Debbie’s ________________. 5 Martin is Alex’s ___________________.

Activity 3 Match the verbs with the endings to complete the expressions. 1 get


2 have


3 end in


4 expecting a


5 get


Activity 4 What do you think these expressions mean? It sounds too good to be true. They have their ups and downs. Which expression would you use in these situations? 1 Your sister and her husband love each other but sometimes argue. 2 You get an email that says ‘Learn to speak English fluently in 2 weeks’.


It all sounds a little confusing but Debbie loves her blended family life. ‘Steve and I had a ‘good divorce’ ’, says Debbie, ‘we tried very hard to make our marriage work but we realised it wasn’t working – and then we did our best to make our separation as easy as possible for us and for our children. Steve lives very close to us and the children see him very often – in fact he sometimes babysits for us and he is looking forward to meeting the new baby’.

3 Martin is Debbie’s _______________.

Activity 3 1 get divorced 2 have children 3 end in divorce 4 expecting a baby 5 get married

In addition, Debbie is pregnant with her third child. She’s expecting a boy who will be a halfbrother to Lily and Alex and also to Martin’s three other children.

Activity 4 1 They have their ups and downs 2 It sounds too good to be true.

Debbie’s story Debbie got married to Steve in 2001 and had two children, Lily and Alex. Unfortunately, Steve and Debbie’s marriage didn’t work out and they got divorced in 2006. The children live with Debbie. In 2008, Debbie remarried. Her new husband, Martin, has three children from his previous marriage. They live with their mother but they visit Debbie, Martin, Lily and Alex at weekends.


Activity 2 1 divorced 2 step-sister 3 husband 4 ex-husband 5 stepfather

So what is a blended family? These days, almost half of all marriages in Britain end in divorce and over 40% of marriages are re-marriages – people getting married for a second time (or third, or fourth!). More than 10% of all children in Britain live with one ‘birth’ parent and a step parent – a parent who isn’t their biological mother or father. The traditional ‘nuclear’ family of two parents and their children is not so traditional any more. A ‘blended’ family can be a combination of parents, step parents, children, stepchildren, half-brothers and half sisters – a rich mixture bringing new possibilities and new challenges to family life.



1 Debbie got ________________ from Steve in 2006.

© Mat Wright

What is a family? What do you mean when you say ‘my family’? Do you mean your immediate family – you, your husband or wife and your children? Do you mean your extended family – your parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews … Or perhaps you mean something more complicated. Blended families are becoming more and more common.


© British Council 2010


You’re only given a little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it. : Robin Williams

P.E.P.A Dog of the month Name: Lassie Age: 2 years Size: Medium / Large Breed: Collie cross Health: Vaccinated and sterilized Personality: Affectionate, playful, good with other dogs likes cats as well. Would make a really gorgeous family dog.

For more info contact P.E.P.A. on 650 304 746.




M-S 10:30-13:30 17:00-20:30 H SU 10:30-13:30 H


SABER INGLÉS TE DA OPORTUNIDADES Cursos para niños, jóvenes y adultos; Cursos de Conversación y Business English y Cursos preparatorios para los exámenes de la Universidad de Cambridge

Para más información contacta con nosotros: T 96 339 29 80, Avd Cataluña 9 46020 Valencia Síguenos en


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