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Economy minister promises 50,000-100,000 new jobs this year The economy minister, Elena Salgado, announced today that between 50,000 and 100,000 jobs would be created in Spain in the second half of 2011

At the same time she acknowledged that this figure was “small” and that the unemployment figures released today are “bad”. (The number of people out of work went up by 130,930 in January, reaching a new high of 4,231,003.)In an interview with Onda Cero, Salgado emphasised the fact that January is the “worst” month of the year in terms of employment, and defended measures introduced by the government both in regard to pensions and to labour market reform. Salgado confirmed that some points of the labour reform bill were still being negotiated and added that businessmen and trade

unions needed to reach an agreement before March, when the agreed period of collective negotiation runs out. She also made it clear that both businesses and trade unions were conscious of the consequences of the recession and of the need to “increase competitivity”. With regard to the savings banks reform, Salgado explained that the philosophy is to reduce 45 to 17 and then strengthen them. Savings banks that don’t have sufficient capital come September, the deadline for reform, will have to request public funds by issuing shares.

Spain’s religious brotherhoods told to accept women for Holy Week processions

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During Semana Santa – the week running up to Easter – the Andalusian capital grinds to a halt as the faithful take to the streets in parades organised by religious brotherhoods belonging to each of the city’s many churches. The decree, which comes into effect on March 2, makes it clear that women can be among the ‘nazarenos’ – the sombre ranks of hooded penitents parading with pointed hats and bearing huge candles tilted from the hip. And for the first time ever it has been stated that women must also be allowed to participate in carrying the heavy thrones bearing images

of the saints on a tour from their chapels across the city to the main cathedral and back. Locals compete for the honour of transporting the holy images on their shoulders as they shuffle barefoot in cramped conditions beneath a load weighing up to six tonnes, accompanied by a mournful trumpet and the solemn beat of drums on a journey that can take hours. Archbishop Juan José Asenjo published a decree on Wednesday stating that there be “equal rights” among the brotherhoods, “with no discrimination on the basis of sex, including participation in the processions”. While some of the ‘cofradias’

have been accepting women in recent years, three of the more conservative brotherhoods – El Silencio, La Quinta Angustia and El Santo Entierro – have refused to consider such a move. They have said they may appeal the decree and are considering taking a complaint all the way to Rome. “It is not an environment suitable for women because of the close proximity of bodies beneath the floats,” said one regular male participant. “It gets hot and sweaty under there and the nature of the task means we rub up against each other.”

Heavy rains cause landslide in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Four houses had to be evacuated this morning after a wall collapsed in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, as a result of the intense rain that fell on the island this weekend. The landslide that brought down the wall began at 10.30 this morning in the Miller Bajo industrial area of the city, and also affected a warehouse belonging to the company JSP. The city council is working to get the families affected re-housed with friends or relatives, or in local hotels, whilst civil engineers are investigating the houses’ foundations to

see whether they are at risk of collapse. Meanwhile, firefighters are working to remove the soil that has fallen down into the adjacent warehouse. Néstor Hernández, who went to Miller Bajo to evaluate the damage caused by the landslide and the resulting wall collapse, has also had to visit the Zardo, area of the city, close to San Lorenzo, where another wall has also been affected by the heavy rainfall, although no details about the damage there have been released yet.



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Spain signs ‘grand social pact’ for economic overhaul Spain’s government, unions and business leaders signed a “grand social pact” on sweeping reforms to revive the economy and cut a sky-high jobless rate agreementreached Friday to raise the retirement age to 67 from 65 by 2027.

The deal is critical to Spain’s campaign to convince the markets that it can push through difficult labour reforms so as to speed up the economy, cut spending, and finance the debt. Lurking in the minds of investors is the fear that Spain may fall into the debt quagmire that swamped Ireland and Greece, forcing it to request a bailout from the European Union and IMF. “This agreement has three objectives: growth, jobs and the sustainability of our public finances,” Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said in a speech after the signing ceremony. The central plank of the deal was an

The retirement deal includes exceptions, for example allowing people with dangerous or arduous jobs to retire before 67, as demanded by Spain’s two biggest unions, the UGT and the CCOO. But it has nevertheless been welcomed by markets, nervous that Social Security payments could spiral out of control in the decades to come as pensioner numbers expand. Unions had threatened to call a general strike if the government pushed ahead with a reform of the pension system without taking their demands into account. In September unions staged the first general strike since Zapatero’s Socialist government came to power in 2004, furious over labour law reforms making it

easier to fire workers.

The government is determined to deepen those reforms, however, to cut a jobless rate that hit a 13-year record of 20.33 percent at the end of 2010, the highest in the industrialised world. The pact, which was finalised on Tuesday, also introduces a new subsidy of 400 euros (550 dollars) to jobless workers whose benefits have run out and who are in training. New incentives for companies to hire unemployed youths and an agreement on the need to reform Spain’s collective bargaining system, which ensures joint wage rises across sectors and industries are also in the pact. The Spanish economy, the European Union’s fifth biggest, slumped into recession during the second half of 2008, reeling under the twin blows of a global financial meltdown and the collapse of a labour-intensive construction boom It emerged with tepid growth of 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 and 0.2 percent in the second but then stalled with zero growth in the third. The government estimates it rose by about 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Immigrant discovered jumping ‘wrong way’ over Ceuta border

report by jackie miles-kirby

Gemma Pitchley-Gale, a dancer with the Royal Ballet Company, Covent Garden, spent last week in Mojacar with her former Ballet teacher, Miss Nicky, delighting and inspiring her young budding ballerinas during their dance lessons. Gemma started dancing when she was 3 years old and joined Miss Nicky’s Ballet School at the age of 5 in Balham, London.

She did R.A.D. Ballet , I.S.T.D. Tap and Jazz classes , always passing her exams with distinction! It was soon apparent that she had a special talent for Ballet and successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet School at the age of 11. On completing her schooling she was offered a contract with the Royal Ballet Company and is now in her 6th year.

Spanish doctors unveil promising AIDS vaccine Spanish researchers announced they have developed an AIDS vaccine which cuts the viral load by a significant amount in most patients although they cautioned it is still not enough as a treatment

Twenty-four AIDS patients took part in a clinical trial carried out by doctors at Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic and after 24 weeks the majority had shown a “significant” decrease in their viral load, the hospital said. “This decrease was very significant is some of them but in no case did the virus become undetectable,” a hospital statement said. “However this is a very important improvement with respect to previous initiatives where with a similar vaccine there was a modest response in 30 percent of the treated patients. No therapeutic vaccine has achieved up to now the same level of response as in this study.” The vaccine was personalized for each patient as it was made from their own dendritic cells, a special type of cell that is a key regulator of the immune system. It was administered in three doses with an

interval of two weeks between each one. The researchers hope to develop a therapeutic vaccine to treat AIDS which will reduce the need for antiretroviral drug treatments which are expensive as they must be administered daily. The results of the clinical trial were first published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. A new clinical trial is underway to test the vaccine in conjunction with antiretroviral drugs to allow an improvement in the results. An estimated 33.3 million people worldwide have the HIV virus that causes AIDS, according to the the United Nations AIDS agency UNAIDS. Since the beginning of the epidemic in the 1980s, more than 60 million people have been infected with HIV and nearly 30 million have died of HIV-related causes.

For the first time since 1992, when illegal immigration from Morocco into the Autonomous City of Ceuta really began in earnest, an immigrant has been caught trying to get from Spanish soil back into Morocco. The incident occurred last Sunday, much to the surprise of border officials, who went to investigate an alarm that had been triggered on the 8.2km frontier between Ceuta and Morocco. The Guardia Civil officers thought at first that it was going to be another case of having to turn back would-be immigrants from the Sub-Sahara, but were astonished to find a man trying to jump the fence from Ceuta into Morocco. The immigrant, Omar Chuick, told the officers that he had been living in Ceuta for four years, but that since he was tired of waiting for the opportunity to move to mainland Spain, where he believed he would have greater opportunities, he had decided to walk back to his native Mali via Morocco. The officers found Chuick’s story hard to believe since it was the first time that a Sub-Saharan immigrant had been found trying to get back into Africa. Chuick arrived in Ceuta abord an open boat with other illegal immigrants and now wanted to go home. Mali, the immigrant’s country of origin, is the seventh largest African country, bordering Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Mauritania and Senegal to the west, and the Ivory Coast, Guinea and Burkina Faso to the south, and has a population of approximately twelve million.


Spain Savings Banks - 90bn Euros In Bad Property Assets

Spain’s regional savings banks have around 90 billion euros ($124 billion) in problematic property assets, according to a calculation carried out by AFP based on central bank data

The Bank of Spain asked all 17 regional savings banks, which account for about half of all lending, to supply it with details of their exposure to the collapsed real estate market.

The 15 which have so far replied to this request hold a total of 164.9 billion euros in real estate loans or assets. Of this total 29.4 billion euros are non-performing loans, 27.5 billion euros are “substandard” loans at risk of default and 33.1 billon euros are related to real estate assets the banks have in their hands mostly from seizures which they can not sell.

to strengthen the savings banks, which account for about half of all lending. Last week it announced new rules on the level of rock-solid core capital -equity capital and retained earnings -- that the 17 savings banks must have on their balance sheets. Spanish lenders will have to have a core capital level equal to 8.0 percent of total assets by September if they are listed, and a level equal to 9.0-to-10.0 percent of assets if they are not listed.

Caixa Ontivent and Caixa Pollensa are the two savings banks which have yet to detail their exposure the real estate sector.

It estimates the cost of recapitalising the savings banks at 20 billion euros. The market consensus is about twice that amount, and some analysts say the price tag could even be 100 billion euros or more.

A Bank of Spain spokeswoman said all savings banks must outline their exposure before or during the presentation of their 2010 results.

The government has threatened to take temporary stakes in those savings banks that do not meet the new requirements by the September deadline.

The savings banks are at the heart of market fears that Spain could need a bailout like the ones granted Ireland and Greece last year.

The government’s new core capital requirements are even stricter than the 7.0 percent required under tough new, international “Basel III” rules agreed last year.

To allay these concerns the Spanish government is racing

One in four drivers affected by eyesight problems One in four drivers in Spain (some six million people) have at least one problem with their eyesight, which affects their safety and the safety of others on the roads.

This is the main conclusion of a study carried out on over 1000 drivers between June and September last year by the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, in collaboration with the RACC and the association Visión y Vida. As a result of the study’s findings, Lluís Puerto, head of Road Safety for the RACC has recommended an overhaul of the eye test that forms part of the driving licence examination. The results of the study show that 4% of drivers (more than a million people) lack visual acuity at long distance (the ability to perceive details), registering values under 0.5, which is the legal limit for holding a driving licence. 58.4% registered values under 0.8 (normal vision), probably due to an incorrect prescription for their glasses or lenses. A lack of visual acuity makes it harder to read signs in time, or confusion between similar signs, as well as a tendency to miss details that

affect road safety (pedestrians, cyclists). In 4% of drivers the binocular vision (area we can see clearly) was below 80º, when the norm is 120º, a factor that affects peripheral vision. 2% of drivers are affected by dazzling at night, but this percentage rises to 75% in drivers over 75. As far as sensibility to contrast (the ability to distinguish an object against a background), 63.2% drivers were found to have problems, for example in distinguishing a grey car against a grey road surface, or a white car against the snow. In addition, one in three drivers over the age of 65 displayed some degree of colour blindness, something that affects 8% of men and 0.4% of women. For someone who is colour blind and driving at night, it is impossible to distinguish the colour of a traffic light at a distance, something he/she can do during the day, because of the position of the lights.


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Spanish saffron scandal industry accused of importing cheaper foreign varieties

Almost all Spanish saffron, prized by gourmands the world over for its pungent aroma and rich amber hue, is actually derived from low-quality imports passed off as the home grown spice, farmers have claimed In an article written by Fiona Govan for The Daily Telegraph, new figures have revealed that barely one per cent of saffron labelled as Spanish is actually grown in the country, the rest being made up of poor-quality imports from Iran, Morocco and Greece.


According to figures released by Spain’s ministry of industry, the country exported 190,000 kilos of saffron in 2010, a sale that netted £40 million. But local production of the tiny filaments from the purple crocus blooms amounted to only 1,500 kilos. The discrepancy reveals the huge extent to which producers import cheaper saffron, process it and repackage it as Spanish, the union said. “Iranian saffron is nearly half the price of the Spanish crop,” explained Antonio Garcia, head of the Regulatory Commission for the Denomination of

For many years I’ve fostered an ambition to climb Kilimanjaro, the summit of Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the World, and this year, it seems I’m being given the opportunity to realise that ambition. But at 5,895 meters, it’s a daunting prospect for a septuagerian and I’m having to make some pretty serious preparations. For a start I’ve been sent a training schedule, which requires me to undertake regular walks and hill climbs (no problem where I live), circuit training and to run between three and five miles on the level three times per week in order to enhance pulmonary and cardiac fitness to minimise the likelihood of Altitude Sickness. Now that really is a challenge. Finding a level playing field anywhere near my home is hard enough, but seeing someone my age trying to run!! To be honest, I can walk quicker, but having managed to find an 800 meter track with only 40 meters of height variation, I’m doing my best. For whilst nobody can really predict who will succumb to the altitude, general fitness is immensely important, so despite the pain, the agonisingly slow performance and the spectacle of an old man gasping his way round the countryside, I’m sticking at it and doing my best. For as they say, ”proper preparation and planning prevents pathetically poor performance.”

Spain’s farmers union, ASAJA, recognises that at least 90 per cent of exports of Spanish saffron is “fraudulent” and has called for new regulations to stop the malpractice and protect Spain’s saffron growers. “It’s shameful the prices they sell it at, even more so when they know it’s rubbish,” one exporter who insisted on remaining anonymous told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

pause for thought

Origin of La Mancha, the heartland of saffron production in Spain. He insists the Iranian imports are of lesser quality because of intensive production methods. Current guidelines allow for the mislabelling because the spice was processed and packaged within Spain, but the Ministry of Industry is facing calls to tighten up regulations to prevent the brand from being undermined. José Maria Fresneda from ASAJA said it was time to insist that saffron was sold under labelling which showed where it was grown. “The fraud has been going on for years,” he admitted. “We need tariffs and quotas to deter malpractice and

protect the farmers who grow the kind of saffron that makes paella to die for.” Britain’s Food Standards Agency has already asked its counterparts in Spain to regulate the quality of saffron after tests showed that supposedly “pure and genuine” saffron on sale in the UK was of poor quality and included, depending on the brand, between 40 and 90 per cent of the worthless parts of the flower. Saffron should be painstakingly harvested from the stigma of the crocus sativus linnaeus, some 250,000 of which are needed to produce a single kilo. Top quality saffron sells for £6 a gram in the shops and should only contain 0.5 per cent of “floral waste”.

UK Recovery Back On Track/ECB Rate hold Market Commentary 4th February 2010 Sterling received a strong boost from PMI construction, which jumped from 49.1 to 53.7 in January. The strong rebound suggests that the construction sector would return to growth in Q1 of 2011. Also, the data raised optimism over the economic recovery in UK, right after manufacturing PMI showed a jump to record highs on Tuesday. In addition, Bank of England Deputy Governor Bean said that rate hikes might not dent confidence if “the economy is growing quite strongly and the recovery is entrenched”. In that case, a rate hike will be a “nice” rise and “unemployment will be coming down”. On the other hand, if rises in oil prices persists and inflation is “becoming embedded”, the rate hike would not be a “nice” one, but the Bank of England “would have to do it”. Sterling has perked up again following a much stronger UK PMI services number today. The figure was released at 54.50 against forecasts of 51.10. Yesterday sterling interbank rate closed at 1.1828 against the Euro. European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet spoke after yesterdays ECB decision he went on to say, “Based on its regular economic and monetary analyses, the Governing Council confirmed that the current key ECB interest rates still remain appropriate. It therefore decided to leave them unchanged at a record low of 1 percent. Our decision on interest rates was taken unanimously.” On economic, inflation outlook he stated that “Taking into account all the new information and analyses which have become available since

our meeting on 13 January 2011, we continue to see evidence of short-term upward pressure on overall inflation, mainly owing to energy and commodity prices. This has not so far affected our assessment that price developments will remain in line with price stability over the policy-relevant horizon. At the same time, very close monitoring is warranted.” “Recent economic data are consistent with a positive underlying momentum of economic activity in the euro area, while uncertainty remains elevated. Our monetary analysis indicates that inflationary pressures over the medium to long term should remain contained. Inflation expectations remain firmly anchored in line with our aim of keeping inflation rates below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term. The continued firm anchoring of inflation expectations is of the essence.” On the euro, he stated that “There is no crisis of the currency euro. The currency euro has delivered price stability over the previous 12 years. We have a solid central bank, a solid governing council. We consider ourselves as the anchor of confidence in the euro area.” The contents of this report are for information purposes only. It is not intended as a recommendation to trade or a solicitation for funds. Currencies Direct cannot be held responsible for any loss or damages arising from any action taken following consideration of this information. Information provided by Currencies Direct, leading providers of foreign exchange. Call to find out how we can help you get the best rates and save your transfer fees. Contact the Mojácar office on 950 478 914 or 0871 218 5001 from the UK or email

So if proper preparation’s so important for this mere 7day event, then why, I find myself wondering, do I and so many like me, spend so little time in preparation for my long-term future? Like it or not, we all know we won’t continue here indefinitely; and those of us with any faith at all believe there’s life beyond the grave. So why wouldn’t we expect to work at preparing ourselves? After all, it’s likely to be more significant and life-changing than even Kilimanjaro! And a little time and effort spent in reading the Bible, in prayer and in Church attendance is far less demanding than the efforts I’m currently going through for a far lesser prize. There are a number of English Language Churches in the region for any wishing to Worship; further information about the Anglican Church in this area may be seen on the web site www.

Duncan Burr is Licensed Lay Reader for the Anglican Chaplaincy of Costa Almeria and Costa Cálida and may be contacted at

Spain seeks truth on baby-trafficking claims

Families claim hospitals told them babies were dead, then sold them for adoption

The tearful stories swapped outside the Spanish attorney general’s office were of nuns, priests and doctors trafficking in babies, of tiny corpses kept in fridges, of coffins without bodies and of mothers who only caught one fleeting glimpse of their newborn children. “My baby is not registered as having been born, died or even as being stillborn. She simply does not exist, but I heard her cry,” said Ana Páez, 51. She was one of 261 mothers, fathers, siblings and adoptees demanding that authorities investigate whether they were victims of a babystealing network in Spanish hospitals. Páez travelled from Barcelona today to add the daughter she says was born in 1981 at the Vall d’Hebron hospital to the other cases that campaigners want investigated by the courts. “I want to know where she is,” she said. “I have cried for her often and I want her to know that I didn’t give her away, that she was stolen. Now I know I am not the only one.” Adela Alonso, 70, said: “The same thing happened to me in Valladolid in 1967. I heard that baby cry, but two days later they said he was dead and had buried him. “I want him to know that he has two brothers and lots of cousins.” While most had no proof that their children were stolen, their stories had one thing in common – the absolute power exercised by maternity hospitals over their patients, especially poorer ones, for decades. The fact that hospitals were responsible for burying children who died at childbirth meant the number of potentially suspicious cases was huge. In some cases the paperwork is missing. “We were told that there is no register, that our case simply does not exist,” said Antonio Moreno, who was searching for a sister born at a clinic in Terrassa, near Barcelona, in 1967. Clandestine networks that once encouraged single women to hand their babies over for secret adoptions by respectable families in a

mostly Roman Catholic country have added further confusion to past events. In those cases, births were sometimes registered fraudulently as being born to the adoptive mother. Lax adoption laws were not changed until 1987. A Madrid clinic that closed in the 1980s after being investigated for its role in illegal adoptions, the Clinica San Ramón, is at the centre of the allegations. Journalists found a baby’s corpse in a fridge, leading to rumours that bodies were kept to show parents who doubted their own child had died. A former clinic employee recently confirmed that babies were illegally given up for adoption. A group of people born at the San Ramón and adopted by families from the Valencia region are among those now seeking their biological parents. “The stolen children are looking for their parents and the mothers for their children,” said Enrique Vila, the lawyer representing them. Revelations that, in its early days, Franco’s regime also removed children from new mothers deemed to be dangerously leftwing have added to mistrust of the medical system. Campaigners insisted today that while the theft of babies may have originated in the early days of Franco, it had proved so lucrative that it continued after the dictator died. Estefania Anguita, 24, wanted to know what happened to her twin sister, Amanda, born at La Alianza clinic in Barcelona in 1986. “We were both born healthy, but two hours later they said she had died. The hospital said it buried her. There are five more cases from the same hospital.” Antonio Barroso, an adoptee who is leading the campaign, said: “If they refuse to accept the case then we will go to the European court of human rights at Strasbourg, because we are not going to stop.”


EU police forces to see British passengers’ personal information

Britons flying anywhere in Europe will have sensitive personal information handed over to the police authorities in all 27 EU countries under a new air travel surveillance system. Telephone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, email and other details of British air travellers will be available on demand for all of the EU’s police forces, including countries such as Bulgaria and Romania where corruption among law enforcement officials is widespread. The system, billed on Wednesday as an antiterrorism measure, will track all travellers and will also allow any EU police officer access to the data on suspicion of a serious crime, including offences that are not a crime in Britain. Civil liberties campaigners fear the new EU surveillance system will make Britons more vulnerable to miscarriages of justice amid growing concern over EU policing measures and the lack of safeguards or judicial standards in some European countries. MPs have also been angered that the government is actively negotiating, alongside France, to hand over the information without first informing the House of Commons, making a “charade” of ministerial promises not give up justice powers to the EU without parliamentary approval. Guy Herbert, of the No2ID campaign group, said the measure was about “about greed for surveillance” not fighting terrorism. “Everything that that is needed to determine anything about you is included. It allows you to be tracked wherever you go. It enables state agencies to build a complete picture of the lives of those of us who travel and puts the information in the hands of a completely unaccountable bureaucracy,” he said. Baroness Ludford, a Liberal Democrat MEP, said: “We must not accept ‘mission creep’ whereby police and border authorities can use the data too widely, for instance in investigation of crimes which are not the most serious.”

Damian Green, the minister for immigration, defended the idea of collecting passenger name records (PNR) for all EU air travellers by 2012. “The ability to collect and process PNR data is a vital tool for law enforcement and national security,” he said. “The government will be looking carefully at the EU directive before making a decision about whether to opt in.” But The Daily Telegraph has learned that Britain has already effectively “opted-in” by joining France, Denmark and Sweden in negotiations with the European Commission to ensure that the PNR data is collected for all European flights, a development that has angered MPs. Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative MP on the Commons European scrutiny committee, said: “I understand negotiations have to take place but I like to think, following ministerial assurances given to us, that any proposal giving justice powers to the EU would go before the Houses of Parliament.” Bill Cash, the Conservative chairman of the Commons European scrutiny committee, said: “We are taking a very serious view of ‘opt-ins’ which are being put though in a way that causes us grave concern.” Research carried out by the Open Europe pressure group has shown that the coalition government has decided not to wield its veto over European policing measures by actively “opting-in” to two thirds of EU justice proposals since last June. “Too often, the UK’s supposed veto over joining EU crime and justice laws is only a little more than a charade and this government has continued to transfer powers over these areas to the EU at a worrying rate,” said Mats Persson, Open Europe’s director.


EU leaders tackle energy as trillion-euro bill looms A one-day EU summit on energy innovation is being held in Brussels as Europe faces a heavy infrastructure bill over the next decade

The European Commission estimates that EU countries will have to spend 1tn euros (£850bn; $1.4tn) on energy infrastructure in that period. There is some disagreement over whether funding should come primarily from the private sector or the EU. Leaders are also likely to discuss eurozone debt and the Egyptian crisis. The AFP news agency says it has obtained an early copy of a statement on Egypt to be put forward by the leaders at the European Council talks. In it, the leaders condemn violence “in the strongest terms” and call for an “expeditious and orderly transition” of power. How much attention the summit will devote to Egypt will probably depend on how events unfold throughout the day, the BBC’s Chris Morris reports from Brussels. Asked if the EU would urge embattled President Hosni Mubarak to step down, EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton said: “We’ve been very clear in everything that we’ve said, that it’s for the Egyptian people and the Egyptian government to move forward together.” The leaders will also discuss the financial strains in the Euro area, amid hopes in the financial markets that they are making progress. In the last few weeks, interest rates on the debts of governments in difficulty, such as Spain and Portugal, have come down. That is a sign that lenders are more confident

that they will be repaid. The governments of countries using the euro are discussing how to increase the amount they can lend to countries in difficulty the European Financial Stability Facility agreed last May. They are also considering more intrusive surveillance of countries’ budgets, with the aim of keeping debts under better control in the future. They are not likely to settle these issues at this summit but are aiming for a deal in March, our correspondent says. “We want to increase our competitiveness and grow closer together within the euro group and also invite other countries to take part,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said ahead of the summit. Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said he was “absolutely not in agreement” with a FrenchGerman plan to harmonise eurozone governance that includes a bid to do away with index-linked wage rises. It is still unclear whether other countries, in addition to Greece and Ireland, will need rescue loans. Portugal is widely seen as the next country that might need help, followed by Spain. Increasing the effectiveness of the eurozone’s rescue facilities may reinforce confidence in the markets and make it less likely that further rescues will be needed. Some analysts have warned that if the forthcoming summits do not produce an agreement then other countries are more likely to face new financial stresses.


We are very pleased to announce that at the Gala de Campeones at the Teatro Rafael Alberti in Huercal Overa we were presented with our trophy by the Federacion of Andalucia for 3rd place in the Touring cars for the circuit racing season. REPORT BY David Hardwick

COSTA COCHES’ SUCCESS AT GALA DE CAMPEONES We did in fact score enough points for 2nd place but the Federation decided not to apply the rule correctly in order to promote the smaller engine cars! Bit miffed about that because we would have been first Touring car home as the champion was in a GT3 car! Anyway not bad for the oldest driver in the oldest car out of 50/60 cars entered throughout the year. This year we now have the confirmation that the M3 is eligible for post Historics which was our plan for this year, so we´re after winning this one. But to add insult to our injury we found out at the Gala that Clemente our good friend, but arch rival has also entered Historics this year with his Porsche 968 Challenge Car, so that’s goodbye to an easy ride as this man can really drive!.

Finally many thanks to Jonathan and all the Workshop lads on the photo, everybody at the Guadix Circuit who let us test there cheap, Fred for giving us our lovely neutral setup, and last but not least to my lovely wife Sally for putting up with my black moods when we can’t get on the pace - with the car that is!


...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES


Paramount – fact or fiction? Armed raid at European parliament The people behind the Paramount project are considering various sites in Alhama de Murcia, and the decision depends on the price. The video that Paramount was to produce for the presentation at FITUR in Madrid last week, shone by its absence. Report by Biggy Marshall

Two men staged an armed raid at the European Parliament just a few hundred yards from the Brussels summit venue where David Cameron was holding talks with other EU leaders

The robbers, armed with handguns, escaped with £6,750 in the third raid to hit the EU assembly in the last two years. “There was a hold-up at the European parliament’s post office by two people who managed to escape the premises,” said a parliament spokesman. “Nobody was hurt.” Timothy Kirkhope, a senior Conservative MEP, complained at the raid and getaway at an institution with an annual budget of £1 billion and hundreds of security guards. “We have become increasingly concerned about

people in the parliament just wandering around. We have no idea who they are and what they are here for,” he said. “It’s about time something was done. This time is was a hold-up but how long before someone walks in with a bomb?” There was an armed robbery in the parliament’s main canteen last May. And two years ago, a man brandishing a pistol stole over £50,000 from a bank branch inside the parliament building. No one has ever been caught for wither crime.

Asbo replacement orders announced by government

The government has announced plans to tackle anti-social behaviour, including the creation of new behaviour orders. Its proposals include the abolition of Anti-social Behaviour Orders (Asbos). The new Criminal Behaviour Order can be attached to a criminal conviction, and a Crime Prevention Injunction is aimed at stopping anti-social behaviour before it escalates. But Labour said cuts to police numbers would risk “the safety of our streets”. The plans are part of a government consultation on anti-social behaviour. The coalition also wants to

compel police to investigate incidents that are reported by at least five people - known as the “community trigger”. Other plans would allow police to force culprits to make immediate amends. The Under-Secretary of State for Crime Prevention, James Brokenshire, called the changes to the government’s response to anti-social behaviour “a radical streamlining”. He added: “Instead of providing a specific tool to deal with every problem, we aim to introduce a handful of faster, more flexible and more effective tools that allow practitioners to protect victims and communities and get to

the root of the problem.” He described the new measures as “an effective toolkit to deal with anti-social behaviour - one that is quick, practical, easy to use and provides a real deterrent to perpetrators”. The public consultation on the new proposals runs until 3 May. Labour has said that any of the coalition’s announcements on the issue will be damaged by their simultaneous cuts to policing numbers. Labour says more than 10,000 police officer posts will be gone by the end of next year, although ministers dispute those figures.

Extremely important for the future of The Region of Murcia, and expected to create 20,000 new jobs, attract 3 million more tourist per year, and generate around 15,000 new hotel beds, The Paramount Project has naturally been on everybody’s lips since the news first broke. Paramount Amusement Parks are “a thing of the past”. They had their highs in the 90s introducing movie-themed attractions like “Top Gun” and “Tomb Rider”. At the beginning of the 21st Century the theme parks were shuffled around between companies as Paramount Communications and Viacom went through splits, take-overs, sales of assets etc. In the end all the amusement parks were acquired by Cedar Fair and by 2007 the Paramount name and logo were removed from the parks. The agreement to open an amusement park in The Region of Murcia has been made between the regional government and Paramount Licensing. Paramount Licensing is handling licensing rights worldwide for properties of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies and DW Studios. According to the agreement, Paramount Licensing will grant permission for the theme park to use the name Paramount, and themes from the group’s blockbusters, as well as being consultants on the project. Neither Paramount Licensing, nor the regional government will be participating in the financing of the park. A local businessman, Jesús Samper, has created a company, Santa Monica, to attract investors to the project. Samper is known as the president of Real Murcia and promoter of the Nueva Condomina stadium and shopping centre. Though it was understood by the end of last year that the new park was to be built at Condado de Alamo, on the land previous owned by Polaris World, it now turns out that the decision is far from firm and that two other sites are in the minds of the Regional Government and Santa Monica Company.

The other two possibilities are Sierra de Alhama a 1.59 million square metres plot on the right hand of RM2, just before the big roundabout that unites this motorway (Alhama de Murcia to the Cartagena/ Murcia motorway) and RM23 (Mazarrón to Alhama de Murcia), and Guadalhama, a 1,3 million square metres plot wedged between the two motorways and the roundabout. The final decision will depend on the possibilities for future expansions and the price of the land. Sources close to the negotiations say that the group cannot offer 2005-prices, indicating that the current owners of the Condado de Alhama plot will be losing out too much to be able to – or be interested in – selling the land for the project. To promote the project, it was announced that Paramount itself were producing an approximately 5 minute video to be shown at Murcia’s stand during the International Tourism Fair in Madrid last week. This would have been the first time promotion of the project would carry the Paramount logo and name, and connecting the Hollywood company and the Region of Murcia. It was also expected that at the same time the final site for the theme park would be announced. However, it turned out that the video did not show details of the Murcia project and only referred to the multi-national company’s film productions. It is thought that the reason was the absence at the exhibition of Pedro Alberto Cruz, the regional minister for culture and tourism, who is still recovering from the brutal attack Saturday 15th. In the meantime the whole of the region is holding its breath, hoping that firm plans will soon be presented for this project, so extremely important for the future of the region in general, as well as for the success of the new International airport in Corvera. With the decrease in the number of passengers at San Javier Airport, the economic success of the region’s new airport will depend on the realisation of the Paramount theme park.

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UK ‘should cut links to European Court of Human Rights’ The government should cut its ties with the “expansionist” European Court of Human Rights, says a report by a right-leaning think tank.

The Policy Exchange report says the recent row over prisoners’ voting rights highlights the issue. The report, written by a former government adviser, Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, says the UK has become “subservient” to the Strasbourg court. He says it also ignores the traditional British freedom of the press. The report claims the 47 Strasbourg judges have “virtually no democratic legitimacy” and are poorly qualified compared to Britain’s own senior judges. Lord Hoffman, a former Law Lord, who wrote the foreword to the report, said Strasbourg has “taken upon itself an extraordinary power to micromanage the legal systems of the member states”. The report says the ECHR is a “virtually unaccountable supranational bureaucracy”. The row over voting rights for prisoners was sparked by a judgment from the ECHR in 2005. The court upheld an appeal by convicted killer John Hirst, who said Britain had breached the European Convention on Human Rights by disenfranchising him. The judgement meant the UK government was forced to allow prisoners to vote but has tried to limit it to those who

were sentenced to less than four years in jail. Blair Gibbs, Head of Crime and Justice at Policy Exchange, said: “Votes for prisoners has brought to public attention the growing conflict between judges and the wishes of our own elected parliament. “On this issue, judges in Strasbourg have strayed well beyond their remit and have casually trampled on the rights of Parliament and the role of MPs to decide these essentially political questions. “The public favour such cases being decided in the UK, not by foreign judges sitting in a remote court.” Policy Exchange says the court represents “worthy ideals” but is not “fit for purpose” and requires “substantial reform”. If improvements are not made within two years, says the report, the government should consider withdrawing from its jurisdiction in order to prevent UK citizens lodging appeals in Strasbourg. Neil O’Brien, director of Policy Exchange, told the BBC that the UK government did have to follow what was decided in Strasbourg, but that it should end this arrangement. “Although it is not an easy or simple thing to cut our ties with the court, it is possible, and we argue that for a whole series of reasons we should now cut our ties with the court because it is, increasingly by trivialising and

over-extending the concept of human rights into areas where it really doesn’t belong... it’s really undermining support for human rights,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme. BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says the prevailing legal wisdom has been that severing ties with Strasbourg would jeopardise Britain’s commitment to human rights laws and its membership of the Council of Europe and the EU. But the report says there is “strong evidence” from legal experts that this would not be the case. Lord Hoffman writes: “In the last few years, human rights have become, like health and safety, a byword for foolish decisions by courts and administrators. “The tendency has been to say that there is nothing to be done. We are stuck with the Convention and the European Court of Human Rights and unless we are willing to cast ourselves as a pariah state and get expelled from the European Union, we must accept the court’s jurisdiction. “But Mr Pinto-Duschinsky shows that the situation is not so hopeless and there are means by which, with sufficient support from other states in the Council of Europe, we can repatriate our law of human rights. It is worth a try,” he adds.

Premier League TV Football Choice ‘Upheld’ By EU Advice Broadcasters cannot stop customers using cheaper foreign satellite TV services to watch Premier League football, an EU legal adviser has said

A non-binding opinion from advocate Juliane Kokott of the European Court of Justice said a block breached EU laws. Portsmouth pub landlady Karen Murphy, fined for using a Greek service, had argued the EU single market should let her use any European provider. Sky and ESPN have the broadcast rights to Premier League football in the UK. Sky has pumped billions into top flight English football since the league was founded in 1992, with the money given to clubs allowing them to buy some of the top names in the world. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) will make a ruling on the matter later this year. The Premier League said it was studying the detail of the opinion but felt it was not compatible with existing EU case law. It also said that if the opinion was adopted by the ECJ it “would damage the interests of broadcasters and viewers of Premier League football across the EU”. A spokesman added that if the advocate general’s guidance was taken it would stop rights holders from marketing their properties in a way which meets the territorial and cultural demands of broadcasters. They said they hoped the ECJ would uphold current European law, which the league said was “framed to help promote, celebrate and develop the cultural differences within the EU”. The Premier League also said that if the European Commission wanted to create a pan-European licensing model for sports, film and music then it must go through the proper consultative and legislative processes, not use the courts. The case at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been about whether a rights holder such as the Premier League can license its content on a country-by-country basis. Such a set-up has allowed the league to fully

maximise the value of its rights. Although Advocate General Kokott’s opinion is not binding, judges usually follow the guidance from the advocate. If they do, selling sport, movies, or any other content, on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis within the EU may no longer be possible. “The exclusivity agreement relating to transmission of football matches are contrary to European Union law,” she said in her opinion. “[The] exclusivity rights in question have the effect of partitioning the internal market into quite separate national markets, something which constitutes a serious impairment of the freedom to provide services.” Ms Murphy had been convicted for using the cheaper Greek subscription to show top flight football in her pub. She used the Nova firm to show matches in the Red, White and Blue pub in Portsmouth as it was less expensive than Sky. Enforcers working on behalf of Football Association Premier League Limited (FAPL) - the private company which represents the broadcasting interests of the 20 English Premier League clubs - brought the prosecution saying only Sky TV had exclusive rights to show its games in the UK. She had to pay nearly £8,000 in fines and costs. Industry experts say satellite broadcasters face having to reform - leading possibly to the creation of just a handful of pan-European broadcasters. It was pressure from Brussels which forced the Premier League to offer its live matches to more than one broadcaster, rather than just renew the exclusive deals it traditionally had with Sky. Packages were consequently taken up by Setanta, and when they went bust, by ESPN.


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whats happening

News & chit chat

Wednesday Sol Times Distributed 8pm–11pm: Yachties Quiz Night Espigón

Thursday 6–8pm: Las Uvas Scandanavian Get Together 8–9pm: 3 Course Meal & a Drink at El Arroz 12€

Friday Friday Golf 10:30am – 9:30pm: Friday Curry Day - Onion Bhaji, Popadoms, Samosa with a beer or house wine for 9.95€ - Harbour Lights 11am – 12pm: Tai Chi - 1€ Donation - Espignon 7pm – 9p: Friday Fish & Chips at Leo’s 7:30–11:30pm: Yachties Get Together - Las Uvas 9:30–11:30pm: Ralov es... ¡Volar a revés! - Teatro Auditorio de El Ejido 10pm–4:30am: DJ at Fosil Cocktail Bar


Out and About:

Harbour Lights are now offering their Curry’s to Take Away every day & will be showing all the Six Nations Rugby Games Street Talk is that CK Lounge Bar will be opening on the 17th February, but watch this space for confirmation. Mario’s is now reopened with some very smart sofa’s and a great view through the new windows so if you haven’t already why not pop along and check it out. The Friday Golf Society have opened the entry list for the Overs v Unders Competition on Friday 4th March. Entry details in the Clubhouse or on The first round of the 2011 Puntuable Golf is on the 20th February. They have been working on improving the practice area at the Golf Course: the practice greens, chipping and bunker areas, which are being totally refurbished at the moment. Throughout the winter El Arroz are offering a Wednesday Weekly Winter Warmer. A different traditional Spanish winter dish each week that runs for the week while stocks last. The El Ejido recycling waste management plant is opening up again soon. Watch out for the smells!!Although the most surprsing feature of the aticle on the site was that there are 6.000 registered inhabitants of Almerimar! An English Bakery in Almerimar? Have heard rumours that a English style Bakery is being planned for Almerimar... Is a rumour that a local band will be re forming, with a new line up... The lights out at sea the last week are apparently squid boats who use the lights to attract the squid to the surface to make it easier to catch them. Mercadona are now charging for bags, although implementation has been somewhat inconsistent

In Almeriá 20 bars and cafes have been denounced so far for breaking the new smoking ban. In a change of plan, the DGT will not now start issuing fines for excessive speed in the tunnel on the A-7 in Torrox, Málaga province, until March 1st 2011, effectively extending the test period. Minister for Development, José Blanco has promised that the A-7 motorway would be completed across Granada province in 2012, describing the road as priority. The Spanish Government have voted NOT to raise the age at which you can marry in Spain from 14 to 16.

free wi-fi

Regular: Harbour Lights, CK Lounge Bar, Cafe Bar Ankara and Marios are supporting the ALStrays book hire scheme. You can rent a book for 50¢ from any of these bars and return it to a bar of your choice. Mac Gowan’s have a book sale scheme in support of Pam’s stray dog appeal where you can buy books for 50¢ at anytime. ALStrays and the Sol Times are looking for one bar to participate in an ongoing fund raising activity based around a regular games day, with a league, prize and ongoing updates in the Sol Times and on AL Strays and the Sol Times are planning to set up a regular monthly poker run, with prizes, to support the AL Strays work. Isabelle from Bonnie & Clyde is doing a course in Malaga every Wednesday afternoon until May and is willing to give people lifts 40€ one way 70€ return

AR Hotel ~ Cafe Emporio XL ~ Habana Mario’s ~ Restaurante El Arroz ~ El Laurel

If you offer FREE WiFi to your customers let us know and we will add you to the list

MacGowan’s Breakfasts - Tapas Variety of Main Courses - Paellas Spirits - Ice Creams Specialising in flame grilled meats and fish Puerto Deportivo, Almerimar

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Saturday 5:30pm – 8:45pm: Ballroom Dancing - Bar Centro Mayores

Sunday 10:30am – 1:30pm: Almerimar Walking Club - Meet at Mercadona 11am-1pm: Grilled Kippers Breakfast Special at MacGowan’s

Monday 11am–1pm: Ladies Coffee Morning - Yachting Golf Restaurant 5–7pm: Jeu de Boules - East Beach 7.30pm - 11.30pm: Wine for 1€ at Harbour Lights

Tuesday Tuesday Golf - Almerimar 11am–12pm: Tai Chi 1€ Donation - Espigón 7.30pm - 11.30pm: FREE Tapas at Harbour Lights NB: Information correct at time of printing BUT please check with the relevant venues that events are taking place

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their recital, with the location varying according to the volunteers’ academic background. The computer science students showed a higher temperature reading from their cheeks, while English students were warmer around the eyes. The small sample size means it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions, but the researchers are confident these preliminary findings will be reflected when the full results are published: “I think it’s fair to say that people who study English have a certain relationship with writing that isn’t necessarily as important in the sciences,” said Marggraf Turley. “For the first time, we’re able to use non-invasive technology to get a handle on what’s happening.” With around five terabytes of thermal data to evaluate, a complete scientific explanation is going to take some time, but the idea does have a grounding in literary theory. The Romantic poets believed their inspiration came to them as a burst of heat that gradually dissipated during the writing process. When someone reads a poem, they were thought to experience some of that original heat themselves. Keats described passionate verse as creating “a burning forehead” and “a parched tongue” in the lovestruck reader. Thermodynamic metaphors aside, could there be anything in it? Different emotional states are represented by particular groups of facial muscles, and scientists believe that thermal cameras can track the flow of blood to these muscles to reveal what a person is thinking. Previous research has shown that the skin around a person’s eyes heats up when they lie, allowing thermal imaging cameras to be used as lie detectors. “We’re actually looking for the opposite of that, thermal signatures that are more ingenuous,” explained Marggraf Turley. “We’re trying to measure what Keats called ‘the holiness of the heart’s affections’.” The researchers hope similar techniques could be applied to other literary genres. We already know that comedy films can expand blood vessels and increase blood flow. Perhaps the same is true of comedy novels? Maybe the concept even extends to non-fiction. Could reading a credit card bill give you a heart attack? As always, more research is needed.

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In a unique collaboration, poets and scientists used thermal imaging cameras to investigate whether love poems can really ignite ‘instant fires’ in every pore!


Steamy love poems are always popular around Valentine’s Day, but can a few lines of tender verse really make people hot under the collar? Researchers at Aberystwyth University attempted to find out, using thermal imaging cameras to take the temperature of volunteers reading the work of Romantic poets. Six volunteers were asked to silently read 12 love poems, while a slightly less amorous text about thermal imaging served as a control. As the participants pored over poems, including Bright Star by John Keats and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell, thermal cameras monitored their faces for any change in temperature that could reveal their true feelings. Initial results suggest that love poetry can indeed set the heart aflutter. The team’s early analysis revealed a noticeable difference in skin temperature around the cheek and eye regions during

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lift procedures. The techniques consist of surgical deactivation of trigger sites in the muscles or nerves that produce pain. So patients with frontal migraine headaches starting in the forehead reported relief after having forehead-lift surgery. Dr Guyuron’s team evaluated 69 patients. Before surgery, each one was tested with Botox to confirm the correct trigger sites. For most patients, surgery targeted at least two trigger sites. After five years, they found eighty-eight percent of these patients had a positive longterm response to surgery. Dr Bahman Guyuron developed the migraine surgery technique after seeing how forehead lifts reduced migraines in some people. Headaches were significantly

decreased in 59% of patients, and completely eliminated in 29%. The remaining patients had no change in headache activity. Migraine attacks were less frequent after surgery; average migraine frequency decreased from about eleven to four per month. When attacks occurred, they didn’t last as long with the average length of time reducing from 34 to eight hours. Migraine surgery also led to significant improvements in quality of life, with few serious adverse effects. Dr Guyuron said the findings “provide strong evidence that surgical deactivation of one or more trigger sites can successfully eliminate or reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraine headache, and the results are enduring.” The team added more research will be needed to refine the

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surgical techniques - as well as to clarify the reasons for the effectiveness of the treatment. Migraines affect around one in four women and one in 12 men in the UK. Traditional treatments include over-thecounter painkillers, prescribed Triptan medicines and osteopathy. Lee Tomkins, Director of Migraine Action, said: “This is a very interesting study, and not the first time we have heard of surgical techniques helping migraines that appear to start in the forehead area. “Anything that helps reduce the pain and misery of migraine is always welcome, but it should

be remembered that migraine is a brain disorder and the majority are triggered deep in the brain. “This surgery won’t suit everyone and we don’t have anything like this currently available on the NHS, but it’s certainly one to watch for the future.”


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New mosquito type raises concern Scientists have identified a new type of mosquito It is a subgroup of Anopheles gambiae, the insect species responsible for most of the malaria transmission in Africa. Researchers tell Science magazine that this new mosquito appears to be very susceptible to the parasite that causes the disease - which raises concern. The type may have evaded classification until now because it rests away from human dwellings where most scientific collections tend to be made. Dr Michelle Riehle, from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, and colleagues made their discovery in Burkina Faso, where they gathered mosquitoes from ponds and puddles near villages over a period of four years. When they examined these insects in the lab, they found

many to be genetically distinct from any A. gambiae insects previously recorded. The team grew generations of the unique subtype in the lab to assess their susceptibility to the malaria parasite and this revealed them to be especially vulnerable, more so than indoor-resting insect types. But Pasteur team-member Dr Ken Vernick cautioned that these mosquitoes’ significance for malaria transmission had yet to be established. “We are in a zone where we need to do some footwork in the field to identify a means to capture the wild adults of the outdoor-resting sub-group,” he told BBC News. “Then we can test them and measure their level of infection with malaria, and then we can put a number on how much - if any - of the actual malaria transmission this outdoor-

resting subgroup is responsible for.” The researchers report that the new subgroup could be quite a recent development in mosquito evolution and urge further investigation to understand better the consequences for malaria control. They also emphasise the need for more diverse collection strategies. The

subtype is likely to have been missed, they say, because of the widespread practice of collecting mosquitoes for study inside houses. In one sense this has made sense after biting, mosquitoes need to rest up and if they do this inside dwellings, the confined area will make them an easier target for trapping. However, the method is also likely to introduce a bias into the populations under study.


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...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES


spotlight... William Martin “Billy” Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American musician and pianist, singer-songwriter, and classical composer. Since releasing his first hit song, “Piano Man”, in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the RIAA. Joel had Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote singlehandedly. He is also a sixtime Grammy Award winner, a 23-time Grammy nominee and has sold over 150 million records worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006) and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame (2009). Joel “retired” from recording pop music in 1993 but continues to tour (often with Elton John). Joel was born in The Bronx, New York and raised in Hicksville, New York. His father, Howard (born Helmuth), was born in Germany as the son of German-Jewish merchant and manufacturer Karl Amson Joel who, after the advent of the Nazi regime, emigrated to Switzerland and later to the United States. Billy Joel’s mother, Rosalind Nyman, was born in England to a Jewish family (Philip and Rebecca Nyman). His parents divorced in 1960, and his father moved to Vienna, Austria. Billy has a sister, Judith Joel, and a half-brother, Alexander Joel, who is an acclaimed classical conductor in Europe, currently chief musical director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig. Joel’s father was an accomplished classical pianist. Billy reluctantly began piano lessons at an early age, at his mother’s insistence; his teachers included the noted American pianist Morton Estrin and musician/ songwriter Timothy Ford. His interest in music, rather

than sports, was a source of teasing and bullying in his early years. (He has said in interviews that his piano instructor also taught ballet. Her name was Frances Neiman, and she was a Juilliard trained musician. She gave both classic piano and ballet lessons in the studio attached to the rear of her house, leading neighbourhood bullies to mistakenly think he was learning


billy joel

to dance.) As a teenager, Joel took up boxing so that he would be able to defend himself. He boxed successfully on the amateur Golden Gloves circuit for a short time, winning twenty-two bouts, but abandoned the sport shortly after having his nose broken in his twenty-fourth boxing match. Joel attended Hicksville High School, class of 1967. Joel however did not graduate from Hicksville. Due to playing at a piano bar, he was one English credit short of the graduation requirement; he overslept on the day of an important exam, owing to his late-night musician’s lifestyle. He left high school without a diploma to begin a career in music. “I told them, ‘the hell with it. If I’m not going to Columbia University, I’m going to Columbia Records and you don’t need a high school diploma over there’.” Columbia did, in fact, become the label that eventually signed him. In 1992, he submitted essays to the school board and was awarded his diploma at Hicksville High’s annual graduation ceremony—25 years after he had left! Joel’s staying power as a touring act continues to the present day. Beginning in 1994, Joel toured extensively with Elton John on a series of “Face to Face” tours, making them the longest running and most successful concert tandem in pop music history. During these shows, the two have played their own songs, each other’s songs and performed duets. They grossed over US $46 million in just 24 dates in their sold out 2003 tour. Joel and John resumed the Face to Face tour in March 2009 and it ended again, at least for the time being, in March 2010.


...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES


Things that go ‘bump’ in the night!

Have you noticed how every second programme on the telly these days is about vampires or werewolves? The same goes for movies it seems, with something of a resurgence of the genre made famous in the 60’s and 70’s by Hammer and the likes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The long and the short of it is, that people like to be frightened, and we all know how our kids scream with delight when they are chased by a pretend bogie man – even mine who is forty three now! So when it comes to relating ghost stories and actual odd experiences of unexplained happenings, we are agog with tingling expectation. I realised the other day that there seem to be no reports of big cat sightings in the UK anymore, and it reminded me of an experience I had once on Bodmin Moor . . . no not that experience, this was something different. The location you may recall was the centre at one time of reported sightings of a mysterious large cat said to roam the moor – The Beast of

Bodmin, as it was christened by the media. I had had some business at the famous Jamaica Inn, and was on my way back across the moor when I had this niggling thought that perhaps I had left some paperwork behind. You know how it is, you are absolutely sure that you have everything, then that impish voice in your head keeps telling you that maybe you haven’t, and you just have to check it out. Big mistake, because as I pulled off the road, I realised that what in fact I had pulled into was a foot and a half of best Bodmin mud which makes super glue look like yoghurt, and try as I might I could not get my Vauxhall Viva free of its grip. After many abortive attempts, there was a suspicious smell of burning as my clutch attempted suicide. Great! It was late, and being winter there was no welcome sight of approaching tourist traffic from either direction; the nearest town was miles ahead, and Jamaica Inn was several miles thataway. I had not been conscious of passing a telephone box and as this was


in a bygone era before mobile phones, I seemed doomed to spend the night there. Now let me tell you, Bodmin Moor is a pretty spooky place, awash with legends. It was pitch black beyond the confines of my treacherous vehicle, and a thick mist had suddenly appeared right on cue; all it needed was a peel of thunder and a Lon Chaney howl and I would have grounds to regret that I hadn’t brought a spare set of clothes. Even the radio seemed to sense that this was a bad place to play music and after a few exasperated crackles it decided to pack up its instruments and go home for the night. I was, dear reader, alone with only my over active imagination for company, and an all enveloping blanket of darkness around me. Pause for effect . . . I have no idea how long I had been dozing, but I was suddenly aware of a vibration throughout the car, which just as quickly stopped. Was it imagination? I waited but there was a complete stillness now - except for certain extreme areas of my anatomy - and after a few minutes I told myself that the whole thing must have been imagined in my half conscious state. But

then the impish voice in my head spoke up and said “That’s what you think buster! Then as if by way of confirmation, the car began to gently rock back and forth, followed by the barely perceptible sound of whispering. There was someone or something out there! Then once again, that all encompassing eerie calm, it was silent – and I hesitated to use the term – as the grave. There was going to be no more sleep for me, but it wasn’t long before the imp was back. “Open the door and check it out”, he taunted me. “You’re having a laugh aren’t you”, I shouted back, and I knew I was losing it! After what seemed fifty years of interminable night, interrupted only by that dreaded whispering, the gloom began to lift and my mouth fell open in disbelief . . . I was an island in a sea of sheep. The whispering had been their grazing sounds, and my car had been buffeted as they munched through the night. I wearily wound down the window. Baaah one said. Sod off, I mumbled back.

By Colin Bird

Queen of the Footlights I needed a child. Not a personal child, but a borrowed child. My part in the Pantomime was pointless unless I was accompanied by a child, and my co-Thespian on previous nights, Finley, had departed with his family to meet a relative, leaving me childless at a crucial moment. I stood in the Theatre and scanned the milling throng of children. I was surrounded by clowns, dwarves, animals and trees, not to mention two halves of a horse, but the child I needed had to be none of the above. I was not panicking, but I was getting anxious, as time to curtain-up was getting short when I spotted my small saviour – Natasha. Negotiations between Natasha and me were brief and fruitful – at five years of age none but the most hard-bitten will insist upon consultation with their agent. We departed together to rehearse Tasha’s part, which was short but important, and consisted of two sentences and two actions. Gravely she quizzed me on exactly how she should sit, was cross-legged better than legs curled under? Should she sit slightly in front, or would by my side be better? Should she look at me, or the audience? I began to realise that this acting lark is not that simple. Then came the actual lines. The average five year old quite easily achieves vocal volume without coaching, but remembering the cues is another thing altogether. She rolled her eyes, she smacked her forehead, she sighed

with frustration, but like a true trooper she gave it her all, and after minutes she had her lines off pat. We then practiced the actions, which were crucial to the part. Introducing actions interfered with the process of memorising the dialogue, and she rocked back and forth on her crossed legs, moaning ‘I’ll NEVER learn it!’ in an agony of frustration. We deconstructed the part, introduced Method Acting, and before you could say ‘Silence! Lights! Action!’ she had mastered it all. The curtains opened with a fanfare. Silence fell. We were ON. Right on cue she tugged my skirt and her voice rang out, loud and clear – ‘It’s the wrong story!’ Our part done, we retired from the limelight, and I saw Tasha no more. I expect she took up position on the door, signing autographs. Who says ‘never work with children or animals’? Or maybe I’ve just struck lucky with Tasha, and Finley before her. Whichever, I’m very glad they were there – I couldn’t have done it without them!

Views From A Balcony In Spain

By Chris Marshall

Rules - What Rules! I have very few rules in life. It isn’t that I am a rebel in any shape or form, it is more a case of laziness: I just can’t be bothered to remember them. As far as the site and columns are concerned I tend to try and stick to a few rules, well they would be rules if I had any so I had better call them guidelines, in order not to break my rule about not having rules! One of these is that I will write about what I want to write about! It is not uncommon for someone to tell me “you want to write about such and such”. While I appreciate the intent and desire to help, to be honest the probability is that I won’t. If you feel passionately about it then send your own article

into the papers (they are all more than happy to get free content these days), leave a comment on a forum, send through a guest post to a blog, or even set up your own blog. I am not being rude when I say this. The probability is that you will feel more passionately about the subject that you suggested than me, have a better ‘feel’ for it, and let’s be honest, if it isn’t worth your time to write about, there is little reason to suspect that it will be worth mine. There is however one way to get me to write about something, as I was reminded recently: talk to me about something with passion. The reason I say this is because a few weeks ago

By Jos Biggs

oh, by the way....

I read in the newspaper that the southeast of Spain, inclusive the Region of Murcia, has a very “deficient culture” towards the threat of earthquakes for being the area with the biggest risk of seismic activity. Though it is impossible to predict an earthquake, the director of the Andalucía Institute for Geophysics y Prevention of Seismic Disasters has said that, based on statistics, it can be expected that the southeast will experience earth tremors of around half the size that caused several deaths in L’Aquila in Italy in 2009. That one really shook me! The Audiencia Provincicla has overturned a sentence by a judge in the Primera Instancia in San Javier, who had sentenced a father to pay €200 per month to his son towards food, even if the boy is of age, has a scholarship, and thus is economically independent. The Spanish society never ceases to amaze me. It seems that children are truly “for life” here – some parents reach pension age, still with children living at home. I wonder why they bother to cut the umbilical cord. What do you say to a policeman, who asks you to move your car because you are obstructing traffic? I would say, “Yes, sir” – but a woman in Pliego obviously does not agree with that one. She moreor-less told him to bugger off, and for that she is now to pay 10 daily fines of €3. She claims he had called her an idiot, though this could not be proved in court. Mmm! That smacks of selective hearing by the police! On Spanish motorways the speed limit is 120 km/hour. However, we can all make mistakes and to accommodate the possibility of mistakes in the traffic police’s radar readings, all fixed radars have now been configured only to register speed offenders in excessive of 135 km/hour. In a directive from December, Guardia Civil has been instructed to adjust the radar systems in their cars to the same limit. And thus the announced “zero tolerance” towards speed offenders has now been elevated to 12.5% tolerance! I love “bunga, bunga” Berlusconi – lover of life and fast women. Think about it! How many young women of poor background has he not saved from starvation? And more are queuing up to cash in! Whatever you do, do not get sick and admitted to the new hospital, Santa Lucia, in Cartagena. It could be a costly affair for your family and friends. Parking is not free and a menú del día in the cafeteria costs €10.50. I know the Murcia health authorities struggle to pay their bills, but is that not taking it too far? As a young professor of theology the current pope, Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, signed a document casting doubt on the sense in maintaining the rule of celibacy by the priests. Well, well, well! Maybe he should have stuck to that opinion, and we would not have had all these scandals of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Do you, like me, receive chain e-mails? Do not know about you, but I detest them. They are the Devil’s work. If not, they have definitively been created by sadists. I seem to have run into a wave of chain-mails like this:- First a tear-breaking story of how somebody has helped someone in need (Oh, sob, sob, sob! I do not know anybody like that, but of course I wish I could be as compassionate). Then, often, followed by a “deep felt” declaration of friendship from the “sender”. But always finishing with a threat that I am to send the e-mail on to x amount of friends and good things will happen – the timespan for when it will happen depends on how many friends, I send it to – and, if I erase it, bad luck will follow. I am trapped, I do not have enough friends for good things to happen quickly, and ‘all my friend’ has told me that she too is tired of receiving those e-mails. Help, what do I do? Biggy Marshall is educated within law and administration and has been writing most of her life. She has been published in the Danish press as well as in local English publications. She has lived in Spain for nearly 20 years, the last 14 years in Murcia. Biggy can be contacted on DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this column are the opinions of the columnist and not the opinions of Sol Times Newspaper Group. The newspaper takes no responsibility for the content or the opinions of columnist.

a friend who lives in Almerimar and has a business in Almerimar spoke to me at length, and with great passion, about how wrong he thought it was that the Centro Mayores here in Almerimar was in effect undercutting businesses. For those that don’t know, this facility is set up for the retired Spaniards to enjoy a cheap drink, some good tapas, a game of dominoes, and a hair cut for 5€. One of the reasons they can do this as I understand is that they don’t have to pay any rent, which seems reasonable to me. Retired people whether they be Spanish or Expatriates are more than entitled to help in making their pensions stretch a little further, and having a facility that does this, while at the same time helping introduce people to new friends and integrate, can only be a good thing. To be fair my friend shared this view totally absolutely nothing wrong with having a facility like this and let’s be honest hopefully we will all have use

for it as we grow older. This is where it gets tricky though! Should the facility be allowed to offer these discounted products and services to the general public? Tempting as a 5€ haircut is, is the going rate of 10€ really a lot to pay? 1€ for a glass of wine sounds cheap, but 2€ really isn’t that expensive, and if we don’t support the local businesses who will? I doubt very much the Spanish ‘authorities’ will, and I am equally certain they wont put an age limit on the Centro Mayores. Without support more businesses will close, making it less attractive for tourists and new residents ....... a downward spiral I am sure we all want to avoid. Of course if they do all close we can all go to the Centro Mayores, but I suspect it will be more than a little crowded. So there you have it. Food for thought and possibly for debate. And as for me is a good job I don’t have any rules otherwise I may have been in danger of breaking one of them!

Chris Marshall is a professional blogger and freelance broadcaster and writer who lives in Almerimar, Spain with his wife Sands, four cats, two Harley Davidson’s and more often than not a bottle of red to hand! His weekly column in The Sol Times is sponsored by Bay Connect ( Fast Broadband, Cheap Calls and FREE Online TV. You can hear him daily on www.bayr and read him monthly in the Daily Telegr aph.


Bacardi vows to fight Spanish court ruling

Drinks maker Bacardi vowed Friday to fight a Spanish court decision in favour of its French rival Pernod Ricard in a long-running dispute over the use of the Havana Club brand in Spain.

Bacardi said it was “disappointed” that Spain’s supreme court on Thursday rejected its claims over the brand “on the legal technicality of a statute of limitations”. “Bacardi has and will continue to defend its position in the wake of ongoing and inaccurate allegations by Havana Club Holdings surrounding the legitimacy of Bacardi’s rights and ownership of Havana Club rum,” it said in a statement. The Bermuda-based company said it planned “new legal avenues,” but gave no details. Pernod Ricard said in a statement Thursday that Spain’s supreme court confirmed that the company Havana Club, a joint venture involving the French group and the Cuba’s state-owned Cuba Ron, “holds the rights to the Havana Club brand in Spain.” The Havana Club trademark was first used by the Arechabala family whose company was nationalised by Cuba in 1960 following the revolution led by Fidel Castro. Cubaexport, a Cuban government agency, then assigned the trademark to the Pernod joint venture in 1993. Bacardi claims that the move by the Cuban government was illegal. Unlike the rum sold by Pernod, Bacardi’s rum is made in Puerto Rico. “Bacardi legally owns the rights to the Spanish Havana Club rum brand, having purchased the trademark from the original legal owners, creators and proprietors of the brand,” Friday’s Bacardi statement said. A separate but similar dispute in the United States involves Pernod and Bacardi, which markets Havana Club in that country.


A Mind, Body & Spirit Event will take place at:

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From holistic therapies to natural health and wellness. Skin care, cosmetic and aesthetic care. Demonstrations & talks on the day Psychic and spiritual mediums - readings thoughout the day. Tarot, and Angel card readings. Rune stones. Psychic Artist & Clairvoyant Therapists and local businesses that wish to register interest or to book a space / trade stand contact Becks on 671 433 896 or email

A US court in April last year allowed Bacardi to keep using the Havana Club name for its rum distilled in Puerto Rico, but Pernod has appealed.

Advice & Survival: Part I

A friend suggested that I pen a few notes of my discombobulated worldly wisdom for you dear readers. He has indeed selected one of the most erudite and sagely personages that I can think of; not that I want to think of anyone else! I suppose this entitlement comes for having a balding dome fringed with semi-white hair holding upright my ears. The fact that I am not indigenous to here but have survived living in these climes some four decades is proof it can be done. You would have surmised that I had learned something from this prodigious effort and I feel so inclined to pass along such sagely wisdom. Now, I am not offering advice. I’m sick of it. I have one of those faces in which people go out of their way, make journeys of great distances or of imminent peril to offer me advice. They all yield the same adage: “lose weight”. And, come to me without charge or cost. I’ve been blessed aplenty. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear nor did I ever delight in hearing it. Fortunately it became a cumbersome burden but thankfully I was large enough to carry it! Now, I am compelled to likewise shed some thoughts your way. A nugget of casual wisdom gleaned from surviving here over the years. So, what’s Essential about living here? Surviving? Winning? Enjoying? SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE, which of course allows you to learn the customs and enjoy the others that preceded your sojourn. Being able to simply converse and find out what’s really happening. The Spanish too have some ancient wisdom that has served the passing Phoenicians’, Romans’, Visigoths’, Moors and Ivory white tourists invading their shores. “You must learn the language well enough to be able to defend yourself”. They know this country is full of pitfalls and double meaning laws always needing one more paper. It isn’t fair, never has been and probably never will be UNLESS of course, you can force the issue your way by meeting the wall head on—in their tongue. To be continued...... Ric Polansky is one of Mojacar’s most colourful residents and the owner of Polansky & Assoc (www.mojacar-sales. com). His column is sponsored by Bay Radio Costa Almería: Turre 91.5 FM and Mojacar 95.5 FM Online: www.bayradio. fm. You can read more of Ric’s writing on and on and, his life long passion!

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Spanish housing minister appeals to British buyers to return The Spanish government has launched a direct appeal to Britons to help kick-start Spain’s faltering economy by buying some of the country’s 700,000 unsold houses, reports the daily telegraph.

Beatriz Corredor, the Spanish housing secretary, promised new planning laws to end the confusion which has led to some British home owners being ordered to knock down their properties deemed to have been illegally built. “Come here calmly, and trust in the system that we have and the transparency we provide,” she said. “There is a very attractive offer on the table here, with prices significantly lower than two years ago, and you will certainly find what you are looking for.” Her plea reflects growing alarm in Spain at the huge stock of newly built homes waiting to be sold - of which 400,000 are near the coast - since the country’s economic crisis began. Prices have tumbled by up to 40 per cent and banks and construction firms are desperate to recoup some of their investment. In recent years, Britons have bought one third of all Spanish properties sold to foreigners. But many have recently been put off by horror stories of planning permission being retrospectively revoked and other complications, and the number of British buyers has slumped. According to government figures, 100,000 homes built around the coast during the last decade face unresolved

planning problems, and residents say the true number is even higher. “The British are our highest priority and are those about whom we are most concerned,” Mrs Corredor told The Sunday Telegraph. “It is true that there has been... an image problem. Now we want to reassure the British, and all foreigners, that we are doing everything possible to put the details clearly on the table.” As part of a package of legal reforms to be steered through the Spanish parliament this month, for any property being sold the local council will be obliged to provide a document stating clearly its boundaries, the category of land on which it stands, its access to services including water and electricity, and details of its planning approval. If someone buys a house with all the correct paperwork, Mrs Corredor said, they could be assured of its legality. “If there is not any mention of legal proceedings on the document, the person who buys the property through the correct channels will then know there is judicial support.” An estimated one million properties are currently on the market across Spain, including homes that have already been lived in by at least one owner. The Spanish government’s hope is that

a return of British buyers will give a boost to the ailing economy by injecting muchneeded liquidity into the banks, creating work for those involved in fitting out homes and helping to draw a line under freefalling property prices. Over the next few weeks the Spanish government will also embark on a “roadshow” around Britain and other northern European countries to promote the country’s property market. House prices have fallen on average by 24 per cent in the Malaga area and by 19 per cent in Tenerife, Mrs Corredor said. “They are very attractive reductions, especially in properties of high quality. They are properties that are worth the trouble.” John Heyes would agree. From his beachfront apartment on the Costa del Sol near Estepona, which he bought just over a month ago for €161,000 (£136,000), a full €100,000 cheaper than its original price, Mr Heyes, 66, urged others to seize the moment. “There are hundreds of thousands of properties around, all at seriously discounted prices. Do your research and take your time, but it is a great opportunity.” Nick Stuart, a British estate agent who runs the website Spanish Hot Properties, said: “There are huge bargains to be had there, such as villas in Marbella that are almost at half their previous prices. “Get a decent independent lawyer and make sure that the property rights and bank guarantees are in place. Ninety five per cent of these horror stories could have been avoided.” But others are not so sure. And i the golf resort of Villamartin, near Alicante in southeastern Spain, the scale of the problem facing Mrs Corredor becomes clear. There are 120,000 empty new homes

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in the wider region, and in Villamartin rows of whitewashed houses sit empty, waiting for an owner. Signs hung over the balconies offer cheap sales for properties repossessed by the banks. Sun-bleached billboards along main roads, advertising in English and Russian, offer dream holiday homes, but the empty streets, with just the occasional car with British number plates, tell a different story. Gabi Baischer, managing director of In Sun Properties in Villamartin, has not sold a single property to Britons in the last month. Flicking through her records, trying to recall the last time that British clients came to buy homes rather than sell, she said there were now only Scandinavians and Russians. She drove around the winding roads of Villamartin, circling the golf course and past the Irish pub, pointing out the most heavily discounted properties. Everything is being sold at a vast reduction. On Thursday she sold a two-bedroom whitewashed townhouse for €107,500 (£90,700) — less than half the initial price. A British family is selling their villa with a swimming pool, originally bought for €320,000, for €260,000. A third property, a pretty three bedroom semi-detached villa with views down to the coast, is on the market for €205,000 — €120,000 less than its original asking price. It too is being sold by Britons. “Over 90 per cent of our business three years ago was British people buying,” she said, “and now, it’s maybe two per cent. It has totally dried up.” Meanwhile those who have become ensnared in complex legal disputes of the kind that have been a bugbear to foreign buyers - with some cases ending up in the European Court - warn that not even Mrs Corredor’s change to the law will solve the

problem for new buyers. “The government in Madrid can give all the assurances it wants, but without it enforcing the laws nothing will ever change,” said Charles Svoboda, whose Valencia home has been the subject of legal wrangling for the past eight years. His support group for property owners taking court action currently has 30,000 members in Valencia alone. “The problem is that housing is often dealt with at a regional level, and national rulings make no difference whatsoever. And in small towns, there is often no one who is technically competent to enforce these laws. “I wish the government all the luck in the world with these new proposals, and am sure they are well intentioned. But here it is like Alice in Wonderland. The housing rules may look the same, but actually everything is totally backwards.” Maura Hillen, 46, bought a home with her husband John near the town of Albox, only to discover too late that it had not been legally approved. She is sceptical about the impact of the new law, which in any case will not apply retrospectively to cases like hers: “I look out of my kitchen window and still see houses being built where they shouldn’t be,” she said. “And for people like us, who bought our place three years ago and are trapped in legal limbo, you feel as if the four walls are closing in on you. We are being hounded by a machine that will not move, that will not blink. The legal situation for housing is just crazy.”

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Qatar’s winning streak The 2022 World Cup has already kick-started the housing market in this Gulf State

The Middle East emirate of Qatar might not seem an obvious choice for a second home - or a huge sporting event. But think again. The 2022 World Cup will be staged in Qatar and that’s bound to have an impact on the housing market. In fact, shrewd property investors have wasted no time turning their attentions to the tiny Gulf state, with a population of 1.6 million. Within hours of FIFA’s announcement, Ivanka Trump, the 29-year-old daughter of property mogul Donald Trump and executive vice-president of development and acquisitions for the Trump Organisation, visited Qatar to meet with potential property partners. “My timing was fortuitous because I landed as it was announced that Doha was getting the 2022 World Cup,” she told Gulf News. Khalifa Al-Misnad, of Coreo, one of Qatar’s largest estate agents, reports that property inquiries from overseas buyers, particularly the British, have been considerably higher since the winning bid, as investors seek to benefit from any capital growth that the World Cup may help generate. Residential demand had previously been low. Tens of billions of pounds will be spent on mass infrastructure improvements, including football stadiums, transport links, roads and man-made beaches. “No other country awarded the rights to host the football World Cup has ever been so far behind with regards to required infrastructure. So much has to be built,” says Al-Misnad. The World Cup will create tens of thousands of jobs, attracting workers from a host of countries. They’ll need accommodation,

potentially resulting in higher rental returns and property price rises. Qatar may be the smallest host nation of the World Cup, but it is rich in oil and gas, and has one of the world’s highest per capita GDPs. Despite Qatar’s strength, its property market has suffered in the global economic meltdown and there’s a glut of homes. Property prices have also fallen by up to 40 per cent since 2008. Overseas property buyers have largely shunned Qatar until now. Charles Weston Baker, of Savills International says: “Qatar’s’ profile will be considerable, due to the World Cup, and this will impact on its growing property market.” Qatar is well-positioned to become the main property investment market in the Gulf, particularly due to Dubai’s economic collapse, according to Mahmoud Noreldin, of Fine & Country. Overseas nationals are permitted to buy freehold properties in four designated areas and leasehold homes in 19 regions across Qatar. Prices in the flagship development, Peal Qatar, a Riviera-style man-made island in Doha, start from £152,000 for a studio. In the new coastal Lusail City, north of the West Bay Lagoon, studios start at £135,000. The city will feature the Lusail Iconic Stadium. With a capacity of more than 86,000, it is set to host the opening and final matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The odds may be stacked up against the Qatari national side getting beyond the first round in 2022, but the country could end up being a winner on the property front.

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Banco Popular profits hit by stricter debt Spain’s third provisioning largest bank,

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Tel: 950 430 820 Will shoppers be enticed by new ways of paying? The promise to consumers is simple: faster and easier payments using only your phone, without the need to carry credit cards, loyalty cards, paper vouchers or cash. The impact on retailers and financial services could also be big. Just imagine a world in which your salary is paid into your iTunes account, or retailers prefer payment by Android rather than American Express. But regardless of the hype around NFC, the experience of one futuristic supermarket in Germany hints that consumers may need a lot more convincing before they change the way they shop. The Future Store, near Dusseldorf, is the combined initiative of 90 different retail and technology companies, from Coca Cola to IBM, which share the aim of discovering lucrative links between technology and shopping habits. “Our store was created as a ‘living lab’”, says Dr Gerd Wolfram, managing director of Metro Systems, part of the global supermarket chain that runs the Future Store. “We test new shopping concepts with our staff and customers, and if they are good enough we bring them to our other stores.” Dr Wolfram is willing to give anything a go, from robotic shopping assistants, to fridges that know exactly how much food they hold and when it expires. But, as he freely admits, his customers do not always lap it up. His first big failure - a fingerprint payment system that no privacy-conscious Germans wanted to use - is particularly revealing in light of the current push towards mobile payments. “The time wasn’t right,” he says. “The technology worked, but people didn’t accept it. If times change, then we will try it again.” The fingerprint scanning machine is now collecting dust in the checkout section. Does the same fate await the NFC machine, which will start accepting mobile phone payments as early as next month? Speaking to shoppers at the Future Store, it is clear that many just see it as their local supermarket, rather than as a laboratory, and they want to be in and out as quickly as possible. Christiane Reckin, shopping with her two-year-old daughter Leona, is a typical customer. She says she is aware of all the technology in the store, and Leona likes the robot assistant, but she admits she has not tried any of the hi-tech methods of checking out. “Sorry, it’s not for me,” she says. “I still use the normal checkout, because for me its faster.” Clearly, if NFC is going to appeal to people such as Ms Reckin, then it will not only have to match credit cards and cash in terms of security and privacy, but also in terms of speed. The Future Store already uses an iPhone app that is meant to speed up payment, but the app also reveals the pitfalls of bringing mobile phones into the shopping process. Unlike other shopping list apps, Future Store’s app lets you scan

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Turning smartphones into payment devices, using Near Field Communication (NFC) chips containing personal data, is being touted as the next big thing by both retailers and phone manufacturers.

barcodes of items as you pick them off the shelves. When you finish shopping, the app generates a final bar code displayed on your phone, which you then scan at a selfservice checkout. The upside is that you spend less time in the noisiest and most stressful part of the supermarket - the tills. But the problem lies with using your phone to scan bar codes, which demands both hands, and takes around 10 to 15 seconds even with an easyto-hold item such as a bottle of wine. Engineers working on the new NFC smartphone payment system should take note: 10 seconds of faffing around with a phone can seem like ages in a busy supermarket. But the Future Store has its successes as well as failures. Metro claims that sales have soared 15% since it first started testing new technology there. Even if customers have not latched on to new payment methods, they do at least seem to appreciate the supermarket’s efforts to make things fun and convenient. The fish counter is particularly popular, thanks to a localised air conditioning system, which injects subtle aromatic oils into shoppers’ nostrils, and speakers that emit the gentle sounds of the seaside. “I believe that customers notice these things subconsciously, and then they buy more from us,” says Metro’s fishmonger, Reinhard Sobert, who has no shortage of custom. So perhaps there is money to be made from bringing better technology into shops, so long as it gives shoppers something they want? “Over the last 10 years, consumers have taken back the power in terms of the shopping process,” says Mim Burt, retail research director at Gartner. “Supermarkets get bedazzled by new technologies, and get their heads turned by new devices. But what they really need to do is invest more in understanding what customers will want to use.”


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Back in the summer I bought two very large terracotta pots and I have noticed they are already starting to crumble. Could this be due to frost as we've had a couple of very cold nights?

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ANSWER: It certainly sounds like it! Unlike in UK not all pots here are frost proof. The general rule of thumb is the more you pay the more likely your pots will withstand a certain degree of frost. If in doubt, ask before you buy. Like you I have already had some frosty nights up here with a minus 3 recorded on my minimum/maximum thermometer on New Year's Night! The closer you are to the coast and the lower down the less likely you will suffer frost problems. I live 831 metres above sea level which is higher than most mountains back in UK and can expect frost every winter, so plan accordingly. This then brings us to the debate, terracotta v. plastic pots! In my view the ideal would be to use plastic pots inside terracotta ones but that wouldn't be practical. In summer

plastic won't dry out as terracotta does and in winter, as they do not absorb moisture like terracotta, they will not freeze. The not inconsiderable downside is they look really naff! One way to protect your pots is to wrap them during winter, or on nights when frost is forecast, using horticultural fleece, hessian, even newspaper (back copies of Sol Times are perfect!). It is also advisable, if possible, to move vulnerable pots, and plants, to more sheltered but sunny positions in colder months, which is what I do. It is then much simpler to throw a large piece of fleece or old net curtain over the whole lot and remove it next morning so the air can circulate and the sun can warm. Anything to prevent Old Jack Frost wreaking havoc!

Gramp’s Veg Garden st heap! m po …tips fro m thAtetheco time of writing this column, we


have not had a lot of rain which we expect at this time of year on the Costas. If we don’t get some more soon it will mean using the hosepipe, so ‘her indoors’ is doing her rain dance for me. Now, can anyone help me??? I have a problem in my cabbage patch, something is eating away at the brassicas. It is not snails, bugs or birds, although I did wonder about pigeons at one time. It cant be rabbits or cats because I have a 2m chainlink fence with a gate. The pest is eating the leaves almost to the stalk on the caulis and romanesque, also the complete hearts of the cabbages but leaving the broccoli alone. The only thing I can think of are rats so I’ve put down some poison. We have had rats in the main garden which our two large Belgian Shepherd dogs catch and kill (17 to date) but if anyone had any other ideas please let me know.

Broad beans….your very last chance to plant these. If yours are already coming up, about 30cms high, earth up around the stalks to support against wind damage. Peas….same as broad beans but remember to put supports in when sowing. Garlic…No later than this month. Carrot, beetroot, and leeks… sow at end of month. Cabbage and all brassicas…. Plugs can go in now. Lettuce plugs..under glass or polythene for a couple of weeks as the wind is still chilly Potatoes…”SPUNTA” 30cms deep then ridge up to keep safe from late frost. Think now about beans, for next month…make sure you have enough ready


Remember to wrap up warmly against those cold winds. Pop indoors for a hot cuppa and a rest at regular intervals. Keep your tools clean and in good order, they will be easier to use and last longer - HAPPY GARDENING...til’ next month - Gramps


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7 Haggard, northern part of hospital is over (5) 8 Attend to clergyman (8) 11 Joint first kid is born (4) 15 Skeleton of animal, with innards of newt, found in item of cutlery (9) 17 The Spanish “Stitch” in this place, or in another place (9) 18 Man with mostly short parts of book (8) 20 Absent without leave after party’s over (4) 21 Pass away in messy drum - it’s more grubby (7) 22 Shuts top of castle and is defeated (6) 24 In fact, a perfect wick (5) 25 Test pilot? (5) 24 Some made epigrams low in pitch (4)


Down 1 Held duplicate partly returning some water (6) 2C  reators of New Testament version, perhaps (9) 3F  inally, not quite reference book (5) 4B  low up doll nearly coming up with soft entry into British river (7) 6R  oughy calculated stormy tides sheltering friend (9)


Down 1. Tennis stroke (3) 2. Long narrative poem (4) 3. Detain (5) 4. Forbidding (4) 5. Consume (3) 7. Illness (7) 8. Part of a squarerigger (7)

9. Edging of small loops (5) 10. Higher up (5) 13. Musical instrument (5) 14. Heron (5) 16. Male title (3) 17. Church bench (3) 21. Cite (5) 24. Fur (4) 25. Woody plant (4) 28. Possesses (3) 29. Make a mistake (3)

CRYPTIC crossword



26. Decay (3) 27. Proposition (7) 30. Change (5) 31. Bullock (5)


Josh Billings

Very Hard!



Across 1. Shelf (5) 6. Musical drama (5) 7. Competence (7) 9. Friend (3) 11. Rotating disk (3) 12. Simian (3) 15. Wading bird (4) 17. Snob (4) 18. Risible (5) 19. Conifer (5) 20. Finished (4) 22. Ebb (4) 23. Number (3) 24. Place (3)

Genius ain’t anything more than elegant common sense.


Sudoku is a placement puzzle. Enter the numbers 1 to 9 in each row and column of a grid, made up of 3 x 3 subgrids. The catch is that each row, column and grid must contain only one instance of each number or letter.

coffee break


...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES




BMW and Peugeot to develop next-gen electric car batteries BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën are to join forces in the race to develop next-generation hybrid and battery technology for electric vehicles.

The European car makers said the venture, called BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification, will aim to create a continent-wide platform for electric technologies and “leverage significant economies of scale” for both companies. Car makers around the world are rushing to develop electric and hybrid vehicles as consumer demand grows and environmental regulations tighten. BMW, which owns the British Mini and Rolls-Royce car brands, has developed hybrid versions of its 7 Series saloon and has tested an electric Mini in the UK. Philippe Varin, chief executive of Peugeot, said: “With this joint venture, we are sure to develop and expand our expertise and to build a European leader in the field of automotive hybrid innovation.” BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification will be led by Wolfgang Güllich, presently head of BMW’s purchasing strategy. It will develop battery packs, e-machines, generators, charges and softwares, which will be

used by the car makers but also potentially sold to other manufacturers. The venture, which expands on BMW and Peugeot’s engine partnership, will launch in the second quarter of 2011 and aims to produce hybrid components for the company’s vehicles by 2014. The companies would not confirm how much capital will be committed to the project. The deal was confirmed as the UK’s latest sports car venture, McLaren Automotive, began production of its first car. Led by Ron Dennis, the company plans to produce 1,000 MP4-12Cs this year before opening a new McLaren Production Centre in Woking.

Britain - and China - toast arrival of new MG3 The new supermini might have been launched with a fanfare in China, but much of the development work was carried out in the UK

They don’t do anything by halves in China and - when they launched the new MG3 supermini in the country’s third largest city - they wanted the world to know about it. The unveiling was one of the key events at the Guangzhou Motor Show, where members of the UK’s National Youth Theatre took part in a dazzling, high-energy performance before thousands of visitors. Engineers and designers at the MG Birmingham site have been celebrating the success of the car too, as they had a major input into the styling, design and engineering development. The MG3 - which will go on sale in China in a few months time - takes many styling clues from the MG ZERO concept car (again designed by the team at Birmingham), which was shown for the first time in Europe at two UK motor shows in November. MG is owned by SAIC, China’s biggest car company and one of the biggest in the world. Birmingham is the home of MG Motor UK and SAIC’s UK technical centre where about 300 professional engineers and designers are based. Detailed specifications of the MG3 will be announced at

a later date. At the unveiling, it was showcased alongside six generations of British compact cars, including an Austin Seven and Morris 1000. Guy Jones, sales and marketing director of MG Motor UK, said: “The incredible reception the MG3 has had in China is a great reflection on all the hard work put in by the designers and engineers here in Birmingham.” Latest figures show that SAIC - the biggest automotive firm in China - ended 2010 with impressive year-end sales figures of 3.58million, up 31.5 per cent on 2009, a new record. Total car sales in China last year topped 18million, compared to just over two million in the UK. MG Motor UK will soon add to the 2011 sales figures with the launch of the MG6 sports fastback model, the first allnew MG to go on sale in Britain in 16 years. Birmingham’s team of engineers and designers were responsible for developing the MG6, which is already on sale in China. MG Motor UK says it expects to appoint an initial 10-15 new dealers - in addition to the current 38 - within the next few months.

Two villas of 125m2 built on flat 3000m2 plot FOR SALE Built up to roof level. Secluded position, unspoilt countryside views across orange groves front and rear.

Fully legal Full title deeds

Views from the villas

3000m2 plot to include 2 detached villas, built upto and including roofs for sale. Fully legal. Full title deeds. Each villa spec is 3 bedroom/ 2bathroom size 125m3 approx, plus individual space for pools. Exceptional uninterrupted views overlooking orange and lemon groves. Overlooking the Almanzora valley. Situated between Almanzora & Arboleas in the Almeria province. 10 minutes to nearest town with all amenities. 40 minutes to coast. Ideal for builder to finish internals.

Private sale

Excellent opportunity

Open view overlooking lemon & orange groves

Must be viewed to appreciate this golden opportunity. To view Tel: 609 199 394 / 647 379 878 / 950 064 801 or email: for more details



Parque Ind El Real, Antas 04628


Petrol Station E15/A7 MOTORWAY Exit 534

Tel: 950 459 136



2006 suzuki vitara

2007 Citroen Xsara Picasso

2004 Renault Espace Automatic

2006 renault modus

1.9DDIS, Electric blue, One English owner, a/c, Alloys, 76.000kms €14,995

1.6 HDi, in gold, one English owner, a/c,pas, rcl, 75.000kms, Radio/Cd

3.0DCi v6 180cv in black Climate Control, Esp, Alloys, Parking Sensors, Speed Limiter 11,995

1.5DCi 85cv, in forest green, 60.000kms, one owner, cruise control, speed limiter, a/c €8,995

1999 Hyundai Galloper

2004 Ford Ranger

Exceed 2.5TD 92.000kms, Seven Seater, a/c, pas, e/w, Alloys €5,995


2.5TD a/c, pas, e/w, Radio/Cd 102.000kms 4x4, Tow Bar


2006 Renault Clio

2007 Hyundai Matrix

1.5DCi Luxe Dynamique 85cv only 24.000kms, one English owner, Climate, €7,995 Alloys, Vgc

Automatic 1.6, 58.000kms, Climate Control, Rcl, pas, Radio/cd, Service History, Vgc €9,995

2007 citroen xsara picasso 1.6 petrol only 59.000kms, a/c, pas, rcl, e/w, radio/cd......................................9,995

2004 Kia Carens 2.0 CRDi, Mpv, Climate, e/w, pas, rcl, Alloys Radio/Cd…………............................................6,995

2007 fiat punto grande 1.3JTD 90cv, fsh, one English owner, five door, only 39.000kms.........................9,995

2007 Chevrolet Matiz 1.1 petrol, 66.000kms one owner, five door, a/c, pas, radio/cd…...........................6,995

2006 Ford Focus Sportbreak 2.0TDCi 136cv, 18¨Alloys, Six speed, ESP, Cruise Control……......................9,995

2008 Kia Picanto 1.2 in Electric blue, one English owner, 36.000kms, fsh, five door a/c, pas, radio/cd…..6,995

2007 Ford Focus 1.6 petrol, in silver, 5 door, one owner, PAS, EW, A/C, RCL, 57,000 kms .............................8,995

2007 Chevrolet Matiz in silver, 1.0 five door, 62.000kms, a/c, pas, e/w, radio/cd.........................................6,995

2006 Hyundai Matrix 1.6 petrol 103cv, metallic blue, Climate, one owner, fsh, radio/cd, 63.000kms....8,995

2005 Fiat Doblo Combi 1.3JTD, a/c, pas, 90.000kms……….............................................................................6,995

2006 Ford Focus Estate 1.8TDCi 115cv , in navy blue, one owner,a/c, pas, rcl, radio/cd............................8,995

2000 VW Beetle 1.9TDi 90cv in burgundy, Alloys Radio/cd, e/w, a/c.............................................................5,995

2006 Opel Meriva 1.7 CDTi, in white, a/c, pas, rcl, radio/cd, e/w, alloys..........................................................8,495

1984 Alfa Spider 2.0 130cv, classic car absolutely original, a/c, leather interior, alloys, low mileage ....5,995

2006 Ford Focus Hatchback 1.8TDCi 115cv, in electric blue, five door hatch, one owner, a/c, pas rcl ...7,995

2004 Ford Focus Coupe 1.8 in black, a/c, pas, Rcl, Radio/Cd……...................................................................5,495

2005 Opel Meriva Silver 1.3 CDTi mpv, a/c, pas, rcl, e/w, radio/cd………..................................................…7,995

1997 Mercedes E320 Automatic, Leather Interior, Alloys, a/c, e/w, pas, rcl, Radio/Cassette……....……4,995

2007 Citroen Berlingo Combi, 1.9D, 63.000kms, a/c, pas………..........................................................................7,495

1997 Opel Sintra 2.2 16v seven seater, a/c, pas, e/w, alloys, rcl,……............................................................. .4,995

rgs Coa min in


• 2006 Nissan Note Diesel • 2000 Nissan Patrol •

Rentals & car sales, mojacar office 459 Paseo de Mediterraneo, Mojacar Playa Tel: 950 069 272

New for 2011 at Mojacar Rental Office & Showroom


Coming in

Mojacar Pueblo

Parque Comercial

Hortiflor Garden Centre Peugeot Gruas Azor Costa KIA garage Coches

Mojacar Playa


Rio Abajo

Always a selection of cheap cars. i.e. Trade-Ins, all under €4,000 Sensibly priced to clear.

Trade Corner Trade Corner Trade Corner Trade Corner

Currently in stock:

1999 Land Rover Freelander 1.8i English reg lhd, a/c, e/w, pas, Radio/Cd, Five door….........................................................2,995 or 4,995 on Spanish plates 2003 Chevrolet Kalos 1.4, a/c, pas, rcl, Five door, e/w, Radio/Casette…….......................................................................................................................................3,995 2002 Renault Clio, 1.5 DCi, red, diesel, 5-door, pas, e/w, a/c, radio/cd, 104,000kms.....................................................................................................................2,995 1998 Hyndai Accent 1.3, 5-door, a/c, pas, radio/cd, 97,000kms............................................................................................................................................................1,995

Transfer not included. Trade Sales - no warranty (warranty can be purchased seperately). OUR GUARANTEE

■A  ll cars advertised are in stock at the showroom ■ The year of manufacture/date of registration is stated correctly ■ Our price includes warranty, minimum 12 months I.T.V. and all transfer fees including road tax ■ All warranties are carried out at our own workshop by dealer trained mechanics



YOUR 2000 ONWARDS 5 DOOR HATCHBACKS, MANUAL OR AUTOMATIC, PLUS 1998 ONWARDS 4x4 DIESEL OR PETROL!!! We are always buying vehicles, low kms examples are preferable with service history.


Ask about our Sale or Return service and let us sell it for you.

ANTAS OFFICE OPENING HOURS: Mon ~ Fri 9am - 6pm Sat 10am - 2pm

MOJACAR OFFICE OPENING HOURS: Mon ~ Fri 9am - 2pm 3pm - 6pm

Car Sales: 950 459 136 Workshop: 950 459 209

Car Hire: 950 069 272


...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES


Easy Entertaining

s ’ e n i t n e l Va

r e p p u S e v i t c u d e y S y


Grilled Mussels with Chorizo Ingredients For the mussels 4 tbsp olive oil 1 kg live mussels, beards removed 1 pinches saffron 1 onion, finely diced 85 g chorizo, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tbsp tomato purée ½ tsp smoked paprika For the breadcrumbs 5 tbsp breadcrumbs 1 lemon, zest only 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

y y

Method Heat a large pan over high heat until very hot then add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When smoking hot, add the mussels and saffron and cover with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the mussels have opened. Discard any that do not open. Cool and

reserve the cooking juices. Remove the top shells from the mussels, leaving them on the half shell. Place them in a large shallow ovenproof dish and set aside. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and chorizo and cook until they begin to colour, about 35 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, until the onions are soft. Add the tomato purée, smoked paprika and mussel cooking juices and heat through. Mix the parsley, breadcrumbs, zest and extra virgin olive oil together in a bowl. Preheat your grill to medium (an extremely hot oven will also do). Spoon the onion mixture over the mussels and top with the breadcrumbs. Place under the grill until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden brown.

cafe bar Los Mellizos formerly the Corner Bar, La Alfoquia

now showing all premier league matches on AD sports in HD Wed 9th FEB: DENMARK v eNGLAND 8.15PM sat 12th Feb: MAN UTD v MAN CITY 1.45pm

Saturday & Sunday Specials Bottle of Wine or a litre of beer with every Pizza

Every Friday - Karaoke with Graham Dee Sun 13th feb: BOLTON v EverToN 5pm Every Saturday Music The place in the area for football & live entertainment



Open every day 9am - Late Tel: 638 889 520



y y y y


Goats’ Cheese Salad with Jamon & Mint


Ingredients For the salad 150g pata negra or serrano ham, or prosciutto 3 persimon, peeled and cut into thin wedges 150 g soft, mild goats’ cheese, or mozarella or ricotta 12 mint leaves 12 leaves flat-leaf parsley 2 heads chicory, cut into 1cm pieces For the dressing ½ lemon 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Dress the chicory, mint and parsley leaves with half the dressing. Lightly toss and arrange on serving plates. Alternate the persimon, jamòn and cheese over the salad. Spoon over the remaining dressing and serve immediately.


in Marsala y yy Chicken Wine Sauce


Ingredients 6 chicken breast fillets 2 tbsp flour 2 tbsp olive oil 5 shallots, sliced 300 ml chicken stock 200 ml marsala 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 pinches dried oregano 2 bay leaves 6 carrots, peeled and chopped 150 g mangetout 200 g broccoli Method Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthways. Season the flour with salt and freshly ground pepper and coat the chicken pieces with it. Heat the olive oil in a casserole and fry

the chicken until browned on all sides, around 10 minutes. Add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes more. Add the chicken stock, Marsala, vinegar, oregano and bay leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat so that the sauce is simmering. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, steam the carrot, mangetout and broccoli until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate. Increase the heat under the pan and boil the sauce briskly until reduced and thickened. Serve the chicken with the steamed vegetables and the Marsala sauce.


Now turn it over (long metal tongs are useful here), press it down again (this is

y Classic y

Put the egg yolks and a little mustard into a glass bowl (not a steel one, they get too hot) and place it over a pan of very gently simmering water. The bowl should sit snugly in the top of the pan. Whisk the reduced vinegar into the egg yolks, holding the debris back in the pan, then slowly add the butter, a soft cube at a time, whisking almost constantly until it is thick and velvety. You can turn the heat off halfway through; the sauce must not get too hot. It may need a little salt. It will keep warm, with the occasional whisk, while you pan-grill your steak and fry your frites!

Crème Bruléey

Ingredients 550 ml double cream 4 egg yolks 60 g caster sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 8 tsp fine raw sugar, or granulated sugar, for caramelising Method Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2 and have a pot of hot water ready. In a saucepan over a medium heat, mix the cream with the caster sugar and cook about 4-5 minutes until steam rises, stirring continually. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and vanilla essence together. Gradually pour the hot cream onto the yolks, stirring constantly. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl and pour into the ramekins. Line a 7cm-deep baking pan with a


clean kitchen towel, place the ramekins in the pan and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan halfway up the side of the ramekins. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the centres of the custards shake gently when the pan is shifted. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the ramekins to cool slightly. Then remove the ramekins from the pan, cool to room temperature and chill thoroughly in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle each custard with 2 teaspoons of sugar and caramelize the topping with a kitchen torch. If you don’t have a torch, you can place the ramekins under a high grill, 5-7cm from the heat source for 3-4 minutes, but watch carefully.


yChocolate Lovers’ Fondue y dessert

Method Place the cream, chilli, cinnamon, and orange zest in a heavy-based medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring often Add the dark chocolate pieces and

whisk well until smooth and glossy. Add the champagne and mix well. Pour into a decorative serving bowl and place on a large dinner plate or round tray. To serve, thread a selection of brownies (cut into 2cm cubes), strawberries, marshmallows, mini-muffins and an assortment of colourful fruit (kiwis, pineapple or papaya) onto skewers or cocktail sticks. Arrange these fruit skewers around the fondue pot - for an added flourish, sprinkle with rose petals for decoration.



y Sat 12th February






4 Courses with Wine & Coffee Available Mon to Sat inclusive





correos farmacia

red cross

mojacar playa


4 Co urses including Wine & Coffee

Lunch 1pm-4pm 10 € Dinner 7pm - 11pm 11€

15 € per person

sunday 14 €

Saturday 12th Feb

menu del dia

Available: 7pm-11pm

including Sunday Roast Lunch with

Sunday 13th Feb

all the trimmings

1pm - 4pm

Now including Roast Lamb Shank, Roast Pork, Beef Sirloin with roast potatoes 1pm - 4pm ITV


◄ Albox

Petrol Station

Monday 14 th Feb 7pm-11pm Booking Essential


Ingredients 400 ml double cream ½ tsp chilli powder ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 oranges, grated zest 400 g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids chopped into small pieces 100 ml champagne, or sparkling wine

An aphrodisiac is an agent that acts on the mind causing arousal and increased sexual desire. The name aptly derives from Aphrodite who was the Greek goddess of love. It is a well known fact that everything that we eat affects our bodies in different ways, some positively and some not so positively, prime examples are aphrodisiac foods for the former and a McDonalds for the latter. Certain foods can in addition to being healthy, have a direct effect on your sexual activity due to the effect that they have on stress levels, energy levels, chemical NEW activity within the brain and also how they affect your hormones. It is even possible for some foods y y to literally increase blood flow to your genitalia! y St Valentine’s Dinner Dance with Arriba Arriba, 7.30pm until midnight It is all very well planning Special 3 course dinner, Free bottle of wine a nice romantic meal for and a Free bottle of Cava per couple and your partner in order to help create sparks but the y y y content of the meal can 25€ per person ultimately seal the deal Friday Fish & Chips, served for you, if you include the right natural aphrodisiac Lunchtime and Dinner foods then you can be Fresh Cod or Haddock, well on your way to having Chips & Peas Standard your partner release any inhibitions that you may be Large struggling with! Have a very happy Tel: 950 475 198 Valentine’s Day! Approx 300 metres

Let it cook for two full minutes. Do not move it.

Bring to a boil and watch it while it reduces to a tablespoon or so.

The word ‘aphrodisiac’ is one that holds a great deal of appeal to millions of people in the world today just as it has done for many years stretching back to the ancient Greeks. and here we will explain what constitutes a food to be an aphrodisiac.

Get the grill pan hot, then slap on the steak and press it down onto the ridges with a metal spatula.

For the sauce, peel and finely chop the shallot, and put it in a small saucepan with the vinegar, peppercorns, and the tarragon leaves and stems.

Method Rub your steak all over with olive oil, not too much, just enough to give it a good gloss, then grind a little black pepper over both sides.

when I usually add the salt), and let it cook for a further two minutes.

Ingredients 2 x 200 g beef steaks, rump sirloin olive oil For the béarnaise sauce 1 small shallots 3 tbsp white wine, or tarragon vinegar 6 whole black peppercorns 3-4 stems tarragon, and their leaves 2 egg yolks Dijon mustard 125 g butter, soft, almost melted

Aphrodisiac foods are hugely sought after as we celebrate St Valentine’s Day


Easy Entertaining

y y y y Steak Supper y


We are open Monday to Saturday 7am ‘till late Sunday 9am - 4pm Booking recommended. Spanish speaking 950 430 145 English speaking 647 730 103 Pol IG ONO I n dust r i a l A l box, N e a r t h e I T V Ga r age


...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES


What’s On ♥♥♥

Your Valentine’s Messages


s. bag. , ts love u lo ever & , r e Forev re & ever ae . B e l Li t t xxx U kno Phil Knoww I love yo I “LONGlove youu! ! TI Kelly ME” xxxx To t h e lig ht o my neve life… f r cha err nge… all my … ‘darlilove n x x x g’

Happy e’s Day n Vale tin Bear. Grizzly me!! Hurry ho LYMY xx

My Da

AL, xcus Just an eay to s , I LOVE YOU s y a Alw xxx

rlin Nick g wife Than i, k the ayou for b ein ng shou el on my g ld All my er. lo Lee ve Xxxx e

British Food Store in Roquetas (near Theos)

Groceries & frozen foods including legs of New Zealand lamb, gammon joints, lambs liver. Large Selection of Greeting Cards

Free Home Delivery Always well stocked Mon-fri: 11-5pm sat: 10-2pm

TEL: 950 334 081

Happy e’s Day n e Val tin ny n Qui oads love ya lo dean xx

to the landlord you can buy me a drink any time! kisses & hugs wx Happ y Val entin es Da You mNomy! y a k e me happ the ies the wt girl in I lov orld. je t’aime r e u o m L aur you mon a en p Xxx beaucou

Hap to mypy Valen tine dear est wif e Than June 42 ye k you fo a r and lrs of lov e augh All my ter lo R ay ve


Dames in Spain.........

bisou xxx

In the Urb of Roquetas de Mar, just off Avda de Mediterraneo in the square near La Gamba Toscana & Theos

Le Bistro



Saturday 12th February

valentine party Music By JONNY SLADE

Finger Buffet - 5€ per person ----------------------------------------------------

line dancing - Thursdays 3pm ----------------------------------------------------

day lentine’s Happy Va asha, Nat

Low Impact Exercise Class Mondays 10-11 am First Session Free

---------------------------------------------------Find us beneath banco popular/Andalucia in Albox

Tel: 666 649 330

ernal all my et t love An

Rohha Something for all the family...

Rohhalifestyle has it all!

A Very Special Kitten by Sandra Marshall ~

All the cats that I help are special, but some are VERY special and Lilly is one of those. She was found as a tiny, hungry little scrap, full of cold and with what we thought was a badly infected eye. When I first took her to vet Miguel she weighed only 900g, and both he and I thought initially that she was about 2 months old, but on examining her teeth, Miguel was shocked to discover that she must be at least 5 months! All I can think is that she had been so under-nourished, she was unable to grow properly. He also told me that her bad eye was mal-formed. This poor little girl did not have the best start in life. Within 10 days however she had thrown off the worst of her cold, doubled her weight, and started to play with the other foster kittens, AND a lovely lady who works for another animal charity in Switzerland had seen her sad photos and decided to adopt Lilly. As for the rest of us we already loved Lilly completely. She is one of the sweetest, happiest most adorable little kittens I have ever met. She cuddles with all cats and people, purrs a lot, and is a sunny, happy little girl, unconcerned about her slight disability. She was born, only able to see out of her good eye, and after some weeks we decided to remove her mal-formed one, as it was still slightly infected and therefore potentially a problem long-term. She came through the operation with flying colours and was playing again the same evening. She then continued to flourish, and on December 22nd she flew to a lovely (interim) foster home in Germany. Lilly will never be a big cat but she has caught up a little and is doing really well. We are all still hugely protective of her but she is actually a tough little kitten and VERY fully of life, AND as you will read next week in part 2 of her story, wherever Lilly goes she gives freely and inspires love. I miss her!!! You can read more about the work Sandra and her friends are doing on, and listen to her every Friday afternoon on the Hot Chocolate Gossip Show with Jackie Miles-Kirby sponsored by Harmony Therapies and featuring the “Weekend Watch” with the Sol Times. To contact her email:

Delicate Handmade Gifts & Trinkets from 1€ for those Special People in your Life Post your mail to the UK and renew your UK passport too...

Rohhalifestyle has it all... From exquisite For that jewellery to special something for something the home Cushion Covers from 1€ ...over 3000 Curtains from 2.50€ items from 1€

Mojacar Playa, next to Hotel Puntazo For further information please call and the Tobacco shop 950 473 224 / 662 288 146 or visit our Open 7 days a week website

The Dames In Spain celebrated their 25th Birthday with Lunch at The Osteria Restaurant, Mojacar on Tuesday 25th January 2011. There were 45 members in attendance with a champagne welcome. After lunch each had a portion of the special 25 birthday cake which was made by Committee Member, Jackie Broad. A Certificate was presented to Renee Haines as one of the original members back in 1985 who is shortly to return to UK to live. Forthcoming events: Monthly Meeting 21st February with a Monologue from Ron Makin; 8th March International Women’s Day, Artisans Centre. All ladies welcome. Further information from Gail Creasey Chairman 950 472 225 or Iris Hamilton Secretary 950 475 863

The Dog House Fo u n dat i o n

is holding their Annual General Meeting on the 2nd March 2011 at Juanjo’s Bar/ Carretera Ctra 340, 173B Nacional, Huercal Overa (Next to Mascotas Pet Suppliers) on 2nd March 2011 at 4 pm. If you have a friend who may be interested in helping The Dog House Foundation, in any way, please ask them to come along to Juanjos and arrange a visit to the Foundation.The Dog House Foundation. The Dog House Foundation Boot Sale Stall at Bar International on 19th February 2011



What’s On

your events, announcements & letters


Burtys Bar:

Every Tuesday 2pm Bingo

2nd Hand Shop Cosas 2e Mano

Adrian Beckett

All Six Nations Rugby

Tel: 689 278 936 10am - 4pm 7 days a week

Shown Live At MacGowans

Taberno El Mulero Taberno El Mulero is the latest Restaurante Bar to open it’s doors in Almerimar. Located in Darsena 1, where the old La Barca used to be, it is run by Juan and his family, and called Mulero due to Juan’s nickname, but I will let him explain that to you! If asked to describe Taberno El Mulero in two words they would be ‘typically Spanish’. Open from 9.30am seven days a week you will find an all day English breakfast for 3.95€, but the outside, inside and raciones menu are very Spanish indeed. The bar has a warm, welcoming feel to it, with some great bullfighting memorabilia on the walls, and you only have to look at the meats hanging behind the bar to know you are in Spain. The menu has something for everyone, although i suspect many wont be tempted by the Cecina de equino de León but the salads, lamb chops, baby broad beans with ham, calamari and steaks will satisfy most appetites. Portions are huge, service is friendly. And for the smokers: couple of great barrels outside to stand around and enjoy a drink and a tapas, and a very spacious terrace for all to enjoy.


Every Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri & Sat Permanent exhibitions at the museum showing old and new techniques to produce olive oil. Visitors also able to sample the local produce at Calle Real 15. Open Monday to Friday 10:00-13:00 and 17:30-20:00, and Saturday 10:00-13:00. Admission €3 and free to children.


Infront of Hotel Bahia Serena Residencial Las Garzas - Roquetas



Bar Spinnaker Albox Rugby Club......

HQ at bar Azafrán (C/ Córdoba) Training times 11h30 - 13h30 every Sunday at the sports pavillion (with changing rooms and showers) All new players are welcome male or female and no previous rugby experience necessary! Visit us at the rugby HQ or come down and have a look on Sunday. For anymore info contact Mike on 677 655 049

Dickie Happy Birthday

From all your friends at Sol Times xxx

Burty’s BAR

Monday 28th Feb Live Music with ‘Driftwood’ from 9pm Call & Reserve 679 156 715 Open every day from 11am ~ Closed Saturday ~ Playa Serena, roquetas de mar

Dental Clinic

On-site Dental Laboratory Dr med. dent Hubert Hillenbrand

We are located on the paseo between the Zoraida Garden Hotel and the Port of Roquetas De Mar

950 325 867 Food & tapas served all day Curry Night - Saturdays 7pm -10pm Onion Bhajee, Chicken Curry, Naan Bread & Small Beer or Wine - All for €8.50

Wednesday Special

Fillet Steak, Chips or Jacket & Salad €7.50 with Starter or Dessert €10

950 32 64 52

Friday is Fish Day Fish, Chips & Peas with Bread & Butter 5€

Edificio Porto Mar Avda Mariano Hemandes 48 Roquetas de Mar,


20 years experience

German & English Spoken


near Hotel Zoraida Garden

send all your birthday announcements & events to:

Bingo now on Tuesdays at 3.00pm

TUEsday - bingo: 3PM wednesday - quiz night 9Pm Friday - race night 9pm saturday - curry night 7-10pm Sunday lunch - 1:30-4:30pm - Booking Recommended


...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES



Rose bushes, s u m m e r f l o w e r i n g bulbs, compost, grow bags, seed potatoes, onion sets, vegetable growing kits, seeds etc. HSH, Turre (on main road next to “Dia” supermarket) 950 479 487 MonFri 10-7 Sat 10-4 No Siesta. Huge range of Bakeware, Cookware and Household Goods. Budget price through to luxury quality. No-one has a better selection! HSH, Turre. Kettles, and Toasters Coffee machines, Juicers, Blenders, Food Processors, Slow Cookers, S t e a m e r s , Fryers, Grills, Irons, Hairdryers, Hoovers, Huge Range of Small D o m e s t i c Appliances. HSH, Turre E l e c t r i c blankets, hot water bottles, duvets, draught excluders. Keep Warm at HSH, Turre. Cheap 50/50 sheets, percale sheets, Egyptian cotton sheets, pillows, duvets & duvet covers, cushions, ready made curtains, quality towels in 12 colours. HSH, Turre Wide range of paints including Dulux, Crown, Berger, Johnstones & brushes, rollers, fillers, sealants etc. HSH, Turre. Still some half price or less Christmas confectionar y left & Thornton’s Valentine’s chocs, Easter eggs now in. HSH, Turre. Yorkshire teabags 240 €7.99, Ty-phoo & Tetley at bargain prices. HSH, Turre. Dog treats, food, toys, leads, collars etc. HSH, Turre New Year, New Start? Make this year the year to rid yourself of unwanted phobias, addictions or other problems. Fully Qualified Therapist can help resolve most issues. Call Stephanie for a chat. 645 290 728


Quality patio set, 4 reclining fold up arm chairs, glass table, parasol and base, bargain at 160€. Tel: 950 473 268 4 “OZ” Racing Alloy Wheels with low profile tyres 17” 1 alloy needs slight repairing 120€ Tel: 699 483 438 Cement mixer for sale vgc 100€ buyer collects Arboleas area Tel: 950 439 217 or 690 188 824 Two Gas Heaters for sale. 1 @ 25€ 1 @ 15€ or 35€ for the two. Tel. 950 529226. Vera. Ladies golf clubs. 3--S>W. Driver, three and five woods 30€ The Lot. Tel. 950 529 226. Cannon zoom 85n camera as new 30€ Tel. 950 529 226

alternative energy

1.2 Satellite Wind dish & LNB Tel: Solar P o w e r 609 199 394 Solutions. Commercial SPECIAL OFFER K i t c h e n on large solar Stainless steel panels. Over 15 equipment and years installation kitchen items experience wanted. Must be Call Phil in good working for competitive order. Can collect. prices 636 261 Call 609 199 394 240 email:info@ W a n t e d : sunergyalmeria. Fridge with com www.sunergy double doors for commercial C a r l o s kitchen. (large) ( S a l i e n t e ) Can collect, Call plumbing & 609 199 394 heating services. C o m m e r c i a l If it involves water, Sink in stain- we can help! www. less steel. Must c a r l o s s a l i e n t e . be good condition. com Tel: 968 969 Call 609 199 394 962 W a n t e d : auctions Commercial d i s h w a s h e r, L o c a t i o n must be good A u c t i o n s , working order. Antas El Real Can collect. Tel Ind. Est. Every 609 199 394 2 weeks. Next Wed 16th SERVICES auction February. Starts 5pm. Viewing Airport wanted Mon / Tues services Small Gas and all day Wed. Fridge Tel: 950 A i r p o r t House clearances 525 752 / Mob: services Airport, speciality. Tel: 950 626 271 585 social & shopping 391 412 M a s s a g e run. Tel Charlie blinds couch, must on: 677 667 722 be strong and in Internal & runs good condition. Airport E x t e r n a l (not portable – Alicante / Murcia Blinds Call type) Can collect etc. cheap rates Justin at Sol Tel 647 379 87 Tel: 689 945 300 Shaders for a free no obligation Air-con quote on 627 907 MD Air-Con & Refrigeration 207 S.L. Sales, service, installation, fully INTERNAL & certified & legal. Tel: 950 432 110 or EXTERNAL BLINDS 607 364 917 md_aircon@mobileemail. SHADING SPAIN, WITH...



Units fitted from €125

Tel: 678 813 505 business opportunitues

Contents of English furniture store available for sale. All brand new stock. Reason for sale: retirement Tel: 610 839 343

Call Justin at Sol Shaders for a free no obligation quote Tel: 627 907 207 Email:

To place your ad.... Call: Paulette 950 430 820 Email: or in Person: Avda 28 Febrero 54, Albox

Private sale ads are free under 300€ (3 ads per week) email them to: builders continued...


ross regan s.l.

Building, Reforms and General Maintenance & roofing

Competitive Prices

craft / hobby

Soft Options

Elaine’s Wools quality UK wool & accessories. Also available at C a m p o s o l Mazarron & on the Arboleas forum. Call 667 273 889 elaines wools@

Curtains, & Soft Furnishings. Made to measure curtains & blinds.Cushions & accessories. Also Roman, Blinds

Competitive Prices Te l e p h o n e Wo r k s h o p :

Is your propertY ready for winter?

Tel: 968 959 632 Mobile: 686 377 172


Made to Measure

Paul on 671 843 155

Terry 646 234 222

patios, terraces & enclosures Ring Alan

on: 600 268 176 or 950 450 347

Curtains Soft Furnishings PatioSets recovered Clothing Alterations. Call Pam

676 571 007 El-Saltador

cycle hire Electric cycle hire. €5 per day www.rainbows Tel: 608 719 015


T: 950 069 065 M: 647 841 750

Are you a builder? Advertise your business

Call: 950 430 820 collectables

Ray’s Collectables

Buy, Sell & Part Exchange, Coins & Billets, Military Medals, Pocket Watches, Small Gold & Silver Collectables

Call Ray:

634 671 887 car boot sale


SPARKLES Property Care Service, Key Holding, Holiday Change Over Cleaning. Let us take good care of your property!

Tel: 627 279 584


Ross Regan We DON ROBINSON cover all aspects PC hardware & software specialist. Unbiased of work from total advise on purchases Installation, help and reforms, new training. Diagnosis & builds, interiors, Repair 15€ an hour min exteriors design charge 1 hour + parts & build Call for a I come to you free no obligation Comp TIAA+certified quote 671 843 Tel: 646 587 746 155 / 646 234 222 E:

Professional Baby Equipment Hire. FREE delivery & collection.

Tel: 649 332 134

Everything for the visiting baby. Car seats, high chairs, stair gates, cots etc. Tel 950 436 581 or 666 375 688 expectingbaby@


All Building Work & Driving work 30 years experience OAP & MULTIJOB DISCOUNT Sensible Prices Honest & Reliable call Ian

Construcciones Matreros Swimming Pools Terraces All build reforms Matt Murray

for hire


30 years experience  Free, friendly advice and quotations

Boot sale at El Rancho, builders Taberno. Every Neil Wednesday, Bates pitch only 2€ Builder lots of stalls and City & Guilds Qualified bargains, for more All aspects of information call building work Tel: 950 137 621 Julie 646 675 297 or 639 435 141


634 362 394

German,Spanish & English


dress making Bespoke curtains. alterations, repairs, gazebo covers & mosquito nets. Tel: 649 503 875

Fibreglass Supplies. See our main advert on Page 20


electrical services

do you have a business? want to

Guttering & Rain Water harvesting systems.


Advertise? telephone

competitive quotation

Neil Godwin

25 years experience Full City & Guilds Fully insured & legal Boletins supplied

Tel : 687 245 569

950 430 820

elegance and beauty


Knowles & Abbott no.1 Cosmetics for electrics and 10% off for all plumbing. Re- SOLTIMES READERS wires, free to for a brochure contact air UK satellite your Avon rep systems. Tel: 950 691 987 454 137 208 or 638 010 691 Suckling Deep Pressure Electrical Massage Call Mojacar 687 569 113 950 & surrounding areas 064 484 - Mains Electrical Installation


- Electrical Repairs Been cut off - ICP - Fault Finding - Surge Protection problems Call Us! - Water Pumps

Supplied & Fitted.

For a free

Call Craig 652 294 104 or Stuart 697 532 305

horse riding Rancho Luz Del Sol, Retamar, Partaloa. One to one or group lessons, latest EN standard hats provided. Escorted hacking and treks. Qualified BHS Instructor. Call Erika Drew on 678 838 547


- Econo-Heaters (supplied & fitted)

663 660 409 (Eng) 677 672 144 (Span)


Steve Hayes Informatica

Pc’s, Laptops, Printers etc. Sales & Repairs onsite callout / tuition. Consumables


Tel: 950 120 900

Call 677 114 576 we can help! or 950 135 564 Tel: 968 969 962

Opening hours Mon-Fri 10am - 6pm & Sat 10am until 1pm

Come and see us on the Albox road for a free no Carlos (Saliente) plumbing & obligation quote heating services. If it involves water,


house clearance


Lock, Stock 24 HR CASASERVE and Barrel, Locksmith, new locks, Fully qualified safes, security grills, l o c k s m i t h . CASH CONVERTOR window locks fitted. Change any lock, We will buy, exchange or sell your unwanted items at Mercamundo 7 day Call 950466438 upgrade, breakindoor market visit us at in or lockout. 24 El Real poligono Antas from 10am-till late or 676306269 hour service. No we can also offer local removals & call out charge. transport to and from UK Tel Dave: 608 673 we have moved 086 Across from the petrol station Phil the Pick Locksmith 24 637 184 625 hours. Locked Out? Locks fitted/ upgraded house safes. Arboleas THE HOUSE CLEARING & surrounding area. Special weekend rates. Tel: 697 243 181 SPECIALIST

Immediate Cash. Quick decision. * We cover all areas * We turn up, give cash & carry * We buy almost anything – The Highest Cash Prices Paid **ONLY serious & immediate sellers should call please**


Capital Clearance Marie’s House Clearance Anything large or small. Transit van & driver for hire.Telephone:

699 483 438 H o u s e Clearance, all items wanted. Large or small. Tel: 615 214 562


iron works The Metal works Grills, railings, gates of all types, security/ sliding/roller, rejas, concertina doors etc. Tel: Keith Wood on 638 900 949 Real Steel for all quality metal work, rejas, gates etc, and chain link fencing. Call: 689 524 024 or visit www.

Jewellery & repairs

neutered, clipped & vaccinated male Pyrenean Mastiff Cross

Tel: 649 333 226


Don’t take a chance! Don’t break the Law! Let us take the hassle away from you and re-register your vehicle on to Spanish plates WE PROMISE TO BEAT ANY GENUINE QUOTATION For a full service contact:

Alan 662 249 159

opticians Optica Albox All your optical needs, eye tests, hearing tests, contact lenses. Tel: 950 121 991

personal “Readers of

B l o c k e d Drains ‘R’ Us Tel: 950 091 109 / 648 768 587 A&E Taylor – Gas boiler & Small family run plumbing repairs. kennels and cattery, Tel: 618 062 080 30 yrs experience


in pet care, large secure exercise area, inspection welcome. 15 mins Huercal Overa 10 mins Urcal.

exclusive boarding kennels / cattery. Warm, friendly secure countryside environment. Now managed by APSA Tel 681 286 298 or 950 067 051

Ken & Jackie Dog & Cat Sitter service Your home or ours. Honest & trust worthy. 3 years experience of all types of animals. References available on request. Tel: 950 067 943 or 676 389 592

C a r l o s (Saliente) p l u m b i n g & heating services. If it involves water, we can help! www. carlossaliente. com Tel: 968 969 962

transportation to UK. Tel: 950 168 508 or 651 519 307 Email:

WOODHOUSE BOARDING KENNELS & CATTERY ARBOLEAS Small friendly kennels, 24hr vets service, pet transporting arranged, welcome to view Tel: Tracy

Home: 649 333 226 Mobile: 650 211 952


Rolex or 950 430 820 a sensitive C a r t i e r disposition woman’s watch may find painter wanted must some of the be good quality advertisments Interior buyer in this section &Experienced A l m e r i m a r private Exterior Decorator offensive” !! Using quality materials. Insurance Your tel 647 379 878 This fast, friendly, clean and local insurance efficient service will never be Roquetas del beaten on price. EG: Interior logs broker Tel: 950 mar / Almeria rooms form 80€ & Villas from 475€ No payment 498 000 or 667 Logs for sale, Danna, The best until complete satisfaction. 479 940 E: info all sizes, good massage. Tanned TEL IAN: 617 904 774 @almerimar quality slow young Brazillian burning wood, no beauty! Stunning Advertise roots or rubbish, figure, Beautiful based in Mojacar breasts welcomes your alone in €80 per trailer, you business can deliver to sexy lingerie, by Call: 950 430 820 most areas within appointment. Mon Professional 11-11pm Interior & Exterior 30km please call –Sun Decorator interpreter 950 478 886 or Tel: 645 629 083 Coving etc. 659 261 339 INTERPRETER Male Massuer Competitive rates Logs from 100€ only top quality – ANNA (Mrs Paul delivered. Call Men only Relaxing materials used the Pool) Tel: 679 Log-On-Tommy and affordable. Call Barry on 664 753 280 079 977 619 070 839 Tel: 676 902 388

Tel: 607 554 984 plumbing

SMITH PLUMBING SL official gas installers New Installations Safety Checks 17 years experience in this area

satellite TV continued

Satellite TV Full Sky Package for just €20 per month. inc all SkySports. FREESAT System fitted from 299€ Tel: 678 813 505 tuition Spanish


Tel:699 909 773

Knowles & no.1 Abbott for plumbing & THE KENNELS electric. CH, solar hot water and & CATTERY Family run. Fully legal, water deposits. Nr Huercal Overa Tel: 950 137 197 discounts available pet passports or 606 807 797

do you have Dog & Horse Sitting Service a Ex RSPCA Inspector. Dog day sitting business? Going away? Let us take care of your pets, why either at your home or ours. Dogs kept in house or kennels. don’t you Pet passporting service. advertise Just outside Albox. here telephone

Mojacar Plumbing

Established 11 years Based in Mojacar

2 male yellow fronted baby kakarikis for sale aviary bred beautiful birds 50€ each Cattery Open ! Telephone

Palomino Kennels

General Plumbing Heating Bathrooms Maintenance

For more details call Tlf: 950 958 133 Mob: 616 615 528


(Albox area)

Immediate payment Best deal on all unwanted goods Contact Jane for advice or prompt appointment.

Preowned items for sale

Free to a good home

647 379 795

Need cash?


Animal Hotel, Aquilas every Saturday afternoon, dog training courses Twice weekly obedience classes Tues & Thurs mornings. Call: 639 722 197

number plates

Tel: 679 207 545 or 686 697 665

Tel: 689 023 602

pets section


British plastereR 7 years experience in spain. friendly, reliable, competitve quotes, tel Ash 679 659 397


IMPROVE YOUR SPANISH with conversation, pronountiation & grammar practice. Diploma in Spanish Foreign Language next examination will be in May.

Victoria 950472590


Floor and Wall Tiling Specialist 25 years experience

Not a jack of all trades, just a master of one!

Call Steve Holman

Tel: 697 678 708 van hire

removals Large Van Spain-UK-Spain. Full or half loads, plus car transport Tel: 0044 7969 123588 DAVES TRANSPORT & REMOVALS Fully Insured – Totally Legal 7.5 ton with Tail Lift Full/Part Load, Self Load. Unload. Spain to England & Local For a competitive quote call

620 049 524

solar Electric Bills too high? Reduce your costs with a simple solar solution Call Phil

windows & doors


The people you can trust

Prices to suit your pocket!

Windows • Conservatories • Doors

• Patio Enclosures ~ arches are our speciality

• We supply & fit top quality Aluminium, UPVC and Wood

• Free home survey, professional advice & 10 year guarantee • With 30 years experience, quality & satisfaction guaranteed • All types of building work undertaken • No job too big or small

Phone Kevin on 950 121 909 or 680 743 311


Over 30,000 readers can see your satellite TV business message Are you a plumber, A1 Sky every week gas installer or Television similar call us today for Systems why don’t you Satellite TV installations, details of our alignment of dishes etc. advertise in Also Spanish spring offer “freeview”systems supplied

Tel: 950 468 041

sol classifieds Call: 950 430 820

& installed

Tel Dave: 628 607 778

950 430 820


...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES


situations vacant

property for sale

Bar El Naranjo Los Gallardos – Chef Wanted. Tel: 950 398 799

For Sale

kml Recruitment LTD HGV Class1 Drivers for work in UK Health Care / Nurses for work throughout Europe Bricklayers, Welders, Plasterers, Roofers & Carpenters needed for work in Belgium. Industrial Pipe Fitters wanted in Holland & Germany. Knowledge of design and planning is a bonus. Accommodation supplied, short and long term placements available on all of the above positions Please call 0044 7878 599 209 or email: with a CV



help required help Wanted

for a couple of hours a week to give my mum a break from me. She has had a stroke, can walk a little, fully with it! Just need a kind person to take her for a coffee or chat to break her week up. Los Carrascos, Arboleas area. Call Vanessa on 637 061 482

Partaloa Village 1 - 2 bed, lounge, kitchen (All white goods) Some furniture, water, electric, fully legal.


Tel: 950 449 523 or 672 797 239 (m)

1995 SUBARU IMPREZA Turbo 2000 4WD 4dr Saloon, 147K km ,4 WD, Japanese Import, 5 Speed Manual, Metallic Silver, P/S, E/W, E/wing mirros, C/L, A/C, A/W, Spolier, Bonnet Scoop, K&N Filter, Stainless Exhaust, Bucket Seats, Front Fogs, Side Skirts, Boost gauge, Immobilizer, Alarm, Good Condition for age. 2500 ono. Tel: 663 613 909


Car Space or garage to rent in Mojacar area Tel: 682 648 269

re-gassing from €35



Cash buyer


Tel: 678 813 505

Turn your old or unwanted CAR into CASH. We will dispose of in our Authorised Depollution End of Life Treatment facility.

looking at selling your car?

Certificates issued

Then Sol Times Classifieds has more than 30,000 readers every week. “So put your car for sale HERE !”

Tel: 950 430 820




TEL: 645 094 339 / 950 064 763

TO BUY OR TO RENT Blaumar Estate Agents Huercal Overa

Arboleas - Villa 3 Bed, 2 Bath €171,000

Avda. Guillermo Reyna 53 Tel/Fax: 950 135 512 Mobile: 678 002 006

Country House B200 - €129,950

• 3 bedrooms / 1 bathrooms • 160m build / 14,748m2 land • Private, but neighbours nearby • Fully of character • Garage / workshop • All utilities connected • 6 minutes to Huercal Overa

for sale

1 bedroom / 1 bathroom apartment

in a fantastic position with lovely views. New kitchen with white goods, Cosy lounge, Fully furnished (optional), Parking, Near to bar / restaurant, Approx 15 mins to Mojacar, On Cortijo Grande Golf Course - near Turre.

ONLY €69,995 Tel: 664 291 793

If you’re looking to buy, sell or rent a property call us on Tel: 950 091 137 or 616 760 409

Our Ref: A1335


rambla de oria: renovated SEMI-DETACHED farmhouse Shaded walled terrace to the front, large traditional Andalucían kitchen with access to a private courtyard, spacious lounge with wood-burner, 2 double bedrooms, 3rd bedroom/study and a fully-tiled bathroom with walk-in shower. Set in a plot of approx. 4800m2 land to front and side offering privacy and no threat of further buildings to ruin the view! Mains electricity & water connected.


99,000€ ~ call 650 866 901

CHIRIVEL €350 pcm 2/3 bed lovely Cortijo ZURGENA €500 pcm RENTAL PROPERTIES 3 bed & 3 bath Villa + pool NEEDED ALBOX €350 pcm In all Coastal & Inland areas: 3 bed Villa in fenced plot Inc. Albox, Arboleas, Albanchez TURRE €300 pcm Vera, San Juan, Mojacar, Turre 2 bed central Apartment Client References Available ALMANZORA €450 pcm Contact us with confidence. 3 bed Villa in fenced plot ALBANCHEZ €350 pcm 2 bed Villa + pool

Tel. 638 849 254

All 4x4 vehicles for cash, Mitsubishi, Landrover, Suzuki, Nissan etc Tel: 645 094 339 or 950 064 763

Any condition Telephone: 659 685 133 want to sell your car

TELephone 950 430 820

DO YOU WANT CASH? Then please call Mr CASHMAN I would like to purchase your “vehicle” (Car, van etc) Spanish or English. All conditions considered. Also All Household Items: From Sofas -> fridges; Tables -> beds – absolutely anything. ****IMMEDIATE CASH & COLLECTION*****

CALL NOW 636 411 540 or 664 619 819

advertise here!


Mojacar Playa ref MOJ2AB02 Distressed sale 2/3 bed, 1 bath apartment in Mojacar with great sea views now just €113,950 No mortgage to pay for 3 years Legal villas with pools are urgently required


950 109 699 661 433 443


JT METAL Car air con Car air-conditioning


Buy this frontline 2 bed 2 bath Mojacar apartment without commission for €245,000

Mikes Mobile Mechanics of Peugeot 106 1.1 MAX, Petrol, 2002, All types ITV’d 2012, AC, Silver, VGC inside & service, repair & out, drives lovely, 129,000km, 1995€ ITV testing. Fully qualified and o.n.o. Call: 677 667 722 legal with over 35 Renault Grand years experience. Espace - The Race 2.2 DCI Ring Mike or Nov 2002, silver, JCB’s, Chris: 628 350 RHD, FSH, taxed Mini-Diggers 178 / 636 824 974 & MOT July 2011. (All Makes), Central locking, EWM, A/C, alloy Tractors, Trailers wheels, one owner. & all other types 3850€ of plant Tel: 676 045 164 machinery. English or Any age, any Spanish. condition.

motoring section Tel: 950 469 592 Mob: 697 640 681 / 644 350 361

Property management Sale & Rentals Roquetas de Mar, Aguadulce Almerimar, Vicar, La Envia Golf

Services include Key Holding, Maintenance, Furniture Packs, Cleaning & Laundry, Apartment & Post-box Checks

Mobile: (0034) 663 426 921

advertising works! put Your Business On The Map

by calling 950 430 820 or email



...entertainment news

Pregnant Victoria Beckham ‘To Pose Naked’

Victoria Beckham has reportedly spoken to Vogue about posing naked for the magazine while she is pregnant. According to Star, the ex-Spice Girl has been in conversation with editor-in-chief Anna Wintour about stripping off to display her fourth pregnancy. A source told the magazine: “It’s not a very Vogue thing to do, but the team can make it work and make it ‘fashion’. Anna’s apparently really keen on it. Everyone’s expecting it to fly off the shelves. Victoria’s a huge style icon. “Although nothing’s been officially signed yet, Victoria would want to be sure she’s the sexiest pregnant woman to ever grace a magazine cover. It will be a huge boost to her career from a fashion point of view.” Actress Demi Moore famously stripped off for an Annie Leibovitz-shot Vanity Fair cover in 1991 while seven months pregnant. The image has since been much-imitated by celebrities including Myleene Klass.

n Is Divine’thing”. ‘New BabyLevoSo Elton Johnnew: son n as the “most divine little Zachary Jackson

Elton John has described and David Furnish have ‘Rocket Man’ singer said that he Appearing on ITV’s Daybreak, the ed the responsibilities shar have and being first-time parents been enjoying the experience of equally between them. you can’t imagine how weeks old, but in those five weeks, “He’s only 5 weeks old, just over 5 it’s been incredible,” he little boy for us, and us for him, and much love has come out of that explained. trenches, you’re never in the world. If you don’t get in the “He’s the most divine little thing your daughter.” going to know about your son, or ming a father would have erestimated the effect that beco und he that say to on t John wen if I said I hadn’t been lying be I’d estly be incredible, but hon on him, adding: “I knew it would so shocked. make up songs and sing t of him. I mean, I just sit there and “I’m like a gibbering wreck in fron at gibberish now.” to him in gibberish. I’m very good December 2010 via surrogate. baby in the d ome John and Furnish welc

Atkins Praises ‘Emmerdale’ Feud Plot

Emmerdale star Emma Atkins has admitted that she is enjoying her character’s current feud with schemer Faye Lamb. The actress’s alter ego Charity Dingle has clashed constantly with Faye (Kim Thomson) in recent weeks, as the feisty personal assistant has been causing mischief by interfering in her relationship with Cain (Jeff Hordley). Events take a further twist in this week’s episodes as Cain sleeps with Faye, determined for revenge as he is under the mistaken impression that Charity is having an affair with her boss Jai Sharma. Speaking to We Love Telly, Atkins confirmed that Charity is “not at all” pleased when she learns of Cain and Faye’s one-night stand. Discussing Cain’s infidelit y, she commented: “With her red-headed arch enemy? She hates it! I tell you what, I’ve loved filming the scenes with Kim Thomso n. We really stand up and yell at each other. It’s World War Three!” Asked whether there are more twists ahead, Atkins replied: “Yes, it’s all great fun. I love my job acting this kind of thing every day. It’s been a pleasure to work with Chris Bisson who plays Jai and, as ever, Jeff Hordley. A real delight.” Kim Thomson recently announced that she is leaving her Emmerd ale role after two years with the soap.

nders’? Samantha Womack Returning To ‘EastE to the soap.

is reportedly planning to return EastEnders star Samantha Womack be leaving after the hell, announced that she would The actress, who plays Ronnie Mitc World claims that her concludes, but the News of the controversial baby swap stor yline of the show for 12 months. character will only be written out filming and airing a very difficult few weeks during the A source said: “Sam went through said things that, on got a bit too much for her and she of the baby swap plot. Ever ything with. reflection, she now doesn’t agree make it clear she is ting of the cast and producers to mee a at k spea “Sam stood up to ges. She has a lot -term and doesn’t harbour any grud committed to the soap in the long , then she’ll return.” focus on other priorities for a year going on in her life and wants to rumoured ‘plans’ that it was too early to discuss any A BBC spokesperson today told DS g left open for the we’ve always said, the door is bein for 2012. However, they added: “As rn at a later date.” character of Ronnie Branning to retu her to return. ning, is said to have encouraged Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Bran

Oscar nominees share lunch, tales of awards season

An annual luncheon for Oscar contenders drew 151 of the nominees on Monday, among them “The Social Network” star JESSE Eisenberg, “The Fighter” co-star Leo and “The Kids Are All Right” co-star MARK Ruffalo. Other acting nominees on hand included past winners Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges and Geoffrey Rush, veteran nominees such as Annette Bening, Colin Firth and Natalie Portman and newcomers such as Jennifer Lawrence and Hailee Steinfeld. Best-actor nominee Eisenberg told reporters before the luncheon that the many Hollywood gatherings leading up to the Feb. 27 Oscars remind him of his early teens. “I had to go to bar mitzvahs every weekend, and this is like the same feeling,” Eisenberg said. “Putting on a suit every weekend to go meet with a lot of Jews.” Leo, considered the favourite to win the supportingactress Oscar, said she tries to keep up her strength during the awards rush with “water, vitamins. And the excitement of it is pretty much of an energy drink right there.” First-time nominee Ruffalo said he was surprised he earned the Oscar honour given that his role probably was the least showy in the film, whose cast includes Bening and Julianne Moore. “It’s taken me a long time to get here, so I really have been, as a meditation, making myself enjoy the hell out of it every single day,” Ruffalo said. “And I love free lunches, man. I came up as a starving, struggling actor, so I’m very grateful for a gift lunch.” Nominees shared a fine meal at the luncheon, whose menu featured appetisers of Indochinaspiced beef with avocado mousse, an entree of Alaskan black cod and a dessert selection that included mini lemon meringue tarts with blueberries and raspberry sorbet in cookie shells. Talk inevitably touched on what nominees would wear to the Oscars, one of the world’s biggest fashion showcases. Fourteen-year-old Steinfeld, nominated as supporting actress for her debut performance in “True Grit,” said that in past years, she watched the ceremony at home “mainly for the red carpet, just to see what everyone’s wearing.” Michelle Williams, a best-actress nominee for “Blue Valentine,” said she had settled on one pair of shoes that she’s been wearing to every event this awards season. Kidman, nominated as best actress for “Rabbit Hole,” joked that her 2-year-old daughter has strong fashion opinions that will be taken into consideration. “She chooses what she calls pretty dresses,” Kidman said. “She has a very strong voice in terms

of what I will be wearing on the night of the Oscars. Fingers crossed, guys. I could be wearing a tutu.” Portman, pregnant with her first child and showing a p ro n o u n ced baby bump, said picking out an Oscar gown is more challenging with an expanding waistline. “It’s certainly all about leaving space for growth,” said Portman, the best-actress front-runner for “Black Swan,” who lamented that fashion has become such a fixation in awards season. “It is always surprising also that that’s become the conversation instead of the movies now. What are you wearing?” Last year’s best-actor recipient for “Crazy Heart,” Bridges is competing in the same category this time for “True Grit.” Oscar night again pits him against Firth, who was nominated last year for “A Single Man” and now is in the running for best-picture favourite “The King’s Speech.” Like most people in Hollywood, Bridges figures this is Firth’s year. “He’ll probably take home the trophy this year,” Bridges said. “He gives a wonderful performance.” Firth – starring as Queen Elizabeth II’s stammering father, King George VI, who reluctantly took the throne in 1936 after his brother abdicated – joked that he sometimes gets royal treatment since the film came out. “I do get the odd bow, which I put down to either confusion or facetiousness,” Firth said. Others at the lunch included Firth’s co-stars, supporting-acting nominees Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush, and supporting contenders Amy Adams (“The Fighter”), John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”), Jeremy Renner (“The Town”) and Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”). James Franco was doing double-duty at the lunch, a best-actor nominee for “127 Hours” and preparing for his gig as co-host of the Oscars with Anne Hathaway. TV ratings for the Oscars have fallen from their peak decades ago, and the show’s producers have been trying to spice up the ceremony in recent years to hook a new generation of fans. Franco mused over criticism that followed the announcement of him and Hathaway, a switch away from older veteran comics as hosts. “A lot of the reaction was, oh, an obvious ploy by the academy to bring in younger viewers,” Franco said. “Yeah! Duh! Is that a bad thing? I mean, how is that a criticism?”

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Angling News with Beachcomber John... ‘Captain Pete Pugwash’ took his boat ‘Edmund’ out for a run and to test his new fish finder. A bit of trolling produced nothing and so he dropped a line over while drifting in quite windy weather. On his first drop he caught an octopus so that keeps his record of not ever having a blank while out. A couple of days later he went out again and was joined by ‘Last chance Dave’ and ‘Radio ham Kevin’. Kevin caught a few fish and Peter winkled out another octopus. Dave however didn’t catch a fish on the day and is how he got his nickname. Pete gave him one last chance to catch one before packing up for the day, oh well Dave, there’s always next time. ‘Brian Cuba’ hasn’t been out much because of the poor weather, too windy and anyway he doesn’t like the cold! Brian tells me all boats in the temporary Garrucha marina have got to come out or move to the old marina because work is about to start on the new pontoons. The work might take up to 12 months to complete he says, what are they building, a fifty story building? ‘Hissing Sid’ went out with ‘Brummy Phil’ and mates Richard and Mick from Leeds. The weather was sunny but cold and the water temperature was only 11ºC and in my experience fishing this part of the Med that’s too cold for good fishing. Sid said on his way to the harbour at 8am snow had drifted up against the side of the road near the water park so it’s no wonder the water temperature was so low. Fishing was very slow and just a few small fish were caught. Then the wind got up so they drifted across the harbour entrance where there

was a bit of shelter. Here they caught 5 octopi and the one Phil caught was a biggie and in fact the biggest Sid has ever seen landed on his boat. See photo of Phil with a tub gurnard. ‘London Bill’ reports small catches of mullet and palomete from the two Mojacar rocky arms with nothing much being caught from the beaches. David Hoare of ‘Anglers Together’ tells me a NIE document is not required for a Murcia beach and/ or boat license and so a trip to the Town Hall in either Lorca or Aguilas should enable anyone down here in Andalucia to obtain that license. (You cannot obtain an Andalucian one without providing a copy.) Armed with a copy of the Spanish and English copy of the law that states you can fish in any Spanish region with another region’s license you should be able to do this. I would suggest a vast number of police officers will not know about the law and I wouldn’t attempt to fish without that copy. You can either see me or I am happy to email the copy to anyone that wants one. The next meeting of the Syedpur fishing club based in Albox (Sea and coarse) will take place at 4pm at the Syedpur Restaurant, Albox, on Wednesday February 16th, then every two weeks. For further information on any of the above or to find out about

send your sports reports to :

MAGGOTS END..........................

beach, boat or coarse fishing licenses, see me at the Beachcomber Bar Restaurant on Mojacar Playa or 950 473 099. Tight Lines, Beachcomber John RODS and REELS This week we were back to the Winter Championship series, this being the 9th in an eleven match series. The venue was the Rio Segura at Murcia. This is a venue full of fish but not on our match day. The north easterly wind has finally taken its toll as we had 8 blanks. The day was absolutely freezing as the sun does not get to the south side of the river this time of year. In saying that, Pete Hampshire started the day with only a polo shirt on but had to after a hour, put on a sweat top. ( This dress sense comes from his youth, as he lived in a cardboard box on top of

the Yorkshire dales. ) Top anglers on the day 1st Ian ( From the Darkside ) fishing the pole using bread with 7.56 kilo´s. 2nd Mick ( The Arsenal ) Hill fishing the feeder using corn with 6.88 kilo´s. 3rd Dave ( The Bikeman ) fishing the feeder using corn with 5.56 kilo´s. Overall points with 2 matches to go. 1st Dave Hoare with 49 points 2nd Bill Reade with 51 points 3rd Clive Cleghorn with 95 points Terry Screen with 95 points PLEASE NOTE There are 2 vacancies within the club if anyone is interested in joining please contact Sue Swann on 966729293 ABBEY ANGLING RESULTS supplied by TERRY SCREEN Tuesday 2nd February 2011 saw the 2nd Match of the Abbey Angling Cup fished on the 8ft Drain, although recently we should perhaps change the name to the 13ft Drain as the water has been so high. Fishing is still patchy with just the odd peg producing, the fish coming to maggot and corn. Hopefully as the weather gets warmer the catch rate should improve. 1st Mark (Kens Friend) Harrington with 6.320kg; 2nd Bill (The Master) Reade with 5.700kg; 3rd Ian (The Irish Wizard) Dalzell with 5.220kg - all fishing the pole with maggot and corn All details are available from the Match Secretary Terry Screen on 965328368. HONDON TROUT FISHERY Winner of the fly competition of February 5th is Jim McGirl from Pinar de Campoverde. This Saturday it felt like spring: a temperature of 20º C and hardly any

wind. Excellent weather conditions for the 9 participating fly fisherman. Even the trout seemed to enjoy the warm sun as they were just playing around and annoying the anglers. The whole afternoon all participants were busy searching for the fly of the day. The total amount of 31 trout was landed and the winner, with a catch of 8 trout was Jim McGirl, owner of pub The Rusty Nail. He went home with a voucher for 1 morning free fishing, a bottle of whisky sponsored by Geoff and a box of flies, hand made by Geoff and all Hondon Trucha proof. Jim sponsored the folding stool for the winner of next competition on Wednesday February 16th. The next Saturday competition will be on March 5th. If you want to participate in one of these competitions please contact Jan on 636314033. ANGLERS TOGETHER The next meeting at Mary’s Bar, Campoverde (near Pilar de la Horadada) will be held on Friday 11th February at 12 o’clock. There is a NEW VENUE for the Puerto de Mazarron meeting starting in January 2011. On Saturday February 12th at 12 o’clock the meeting will be held at The New Royal Bar and Restaurant at El Alamillo, opposite the sea-front between Isla Plana and the Port. Refreshments and lunch are available at each location. Come along to a meeting nearest to you. For further details ring Alan Roscoe 968 570 876 or email: anglerstogether@ TIGHT LINES DAVE HOARE



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Friday 4th Feb Mazarron “Miners” played away to El Rancho “Mustangs”. Having failed to impress with just the one game won in their La Manga match last week, Mazarron were hoping that they would fair better this week. Who knows but Mazarron failed to win any of their games. It wasn’t that Mazarron played poorly in fact there were 2 or 3 games that if “lady luck” had stuck around could possibly have gone Mazarrons way, who knows. It was a tough week for the Miners but as there are 6 more matches to play in the CBBA league this season I’m certain that Mazarron can come back and prove that they are a force to reckon with starting again this Friday 11th at home to San Miguel “Cougars”. Finally after 11 weeks of pain, anguish, despair, thrills, excitement and any other verbs you wish to attach to the list of how some of us feel after having played the triples league every Tuesday, it is all over. As I have reported each week the teams position changed almost every week until the last 3 or 4 it could have been anyone’s for the taking, it then became noticeable that the top positions rotated mainly around the same 4

teams. Now although 8 of the teams playing on Tuesday were aware their podium chances were long gone, it did not distract from the challenge to get a decent final score on the board. Of course the 3 main contenders “The Happy Shoppers” “ The Kap Crusaders” and “Champagne Charlies” had the biggest challenge of the day as they all started on the same score and it would all come down to who could hold their nerve under the pressure. So after a tense and exciting battle the winners by just 1 point are” THE KAP CRUSADERS” well done to KEITH BRIDGE, ALAN BENTON & PAUL MORRISS, bad luck to the other 2 teams “The Happy Shoppers” who finished 2nd and “Champagne Charlie’s” 3rd and of course to all the teams that have played in this years Winter League. If you would like to come and join us then check out the web site :- mazarronbowlsclub. or tel:- Secretary 968131619 or Captain 637461038 Report by Wendy Reynolds

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grumpy old men of los gallardos................... Almerimar Friday Golf................. the Greetings from God’s little waiting month and definitely no beer were dental records, because none of 4 February 2011: We had 45 players Hawney with a score of 65. taking part this week as we had a group of 13 players from Bexleyheath golf club join us. We played the round in brilliant weather. This week we played a Best 2 Stableford. We had teams of 4 people with 2 stableford scores to count on each hole. There were also 2 hidden holes where the score of a third player had to count. The winners were Jacqui Mays, Barbara Castan, Bryn Jones and Brian Downey with a team score of 94 points. Last place and chocolates went to a team from Bexleyheath golf club, Keith Deadman, Kevin Deadman, Frank Maloney and Doug

Nearest the pin was on hole 17 and it was won by Kristina Olsson with a distance of 1.29m. This week we processed the cards for handicap purposes as a trial for when we launch the Friday Golf Society. Only once person bettered her handicap and Jacqui Mays was cut to 10.3. Well done to Jacqui. You can see the full results at www. If you would like to take part in the friendly Friday competitions at Almerimar you can put your name up on the entry list by the pro-shop or contact

BADGERS GOLF SOCIETY................... On what started out as a cold and and Derek Dale was closest in 2 on

windy Wednesday 2nd February, the Society played an individual stableford competition at Macenas. The course was in good condition as usual with fast greens. 23 players enjoyed a good day´s but low scoring golf and the winner with 30 points wasSeamus Corbett, 2nd on countback with 30 points wasAlan Thomas, & 3rd with 29 points was Phil Fellows.There were 4 nearest the pin prizes.Seamus Corbett won 2, Brian Watts was closest on the 11th

the 17th. There were 4x2’s recorded by Seamus Corbett ,Sheila Watts (2) and Jackie Dale Next week´s competition will be at Aguilon (9th), & the following week at Valle del Este (16th). A competition is held every Wednesday starting at 10.00am. New members & guests are very welcome, contact Keith Bradley at Badgers Bar Restaurant in Mojacar Playa, telephone number 950 478 525 or 607 305 339

Marina Members Golf Club........ Monday 31st January saw a fine warm day for the members stableford competition. The ladies division was won by Glennys Oliver with 34 points from Val Ross in second place on 30. The gents division went to Alan Humphries with 37 points, one better than Frank Varey on 36 and Jim Budd (34) in third. There were ball prizes for nett two’s by Nuala Hare 14th, Geoff Owen 17th, Glennys Oliver 17th and Rosalie Fardon on the 9th hole. Thursday’s Team competition was a Texas Scramble, organised by Val and Gordon Ross, played in fourballs with

each player counting a minimum of four drives. 1st Margaret Budd, Gordon Ross, Brian Mayhew and Elmer Trappen 61.2 2nd Rosalie Fardon, Val Ross, Frank Varey and Brian Couper 62.0 3rd Liz Balmforth, Maxine Mayhew, Colin Padfield and Keith (visitor) 62.4 Visitors are welcome to join the members any Thursday for the team compoetitioin for a total cost of 30 euros, including green fee. Call Jim on 950 162 727 or Sandra on 950 069 438

room, where this week “’er in doors” has migrated north for the summer, at the moment I feel too emotional to write any more about it, so will leave it until next week, by which time normality should have returned. When I walk the ferret, I often pass Dustbin Pete’s casa, where it is often possible to find one person working, on the lean to, and five or six drinking and offering advise, the british syndrome I think it’s called. At the moment Dustbin is flaunting a new pneumatic leg splint, the other day his leg swollen quite noticeably and he wanted to go to the hospital to get it checked out. It’s funny he does not get worried when his stomach swells. Anyway he was examined and he proudly proclaimed “It’s OK they’re not going to drain it, I’ve only got Thrombosis” After a rapid resume on Thrombosis, he was whisked back to his casa, bed rest, antibiotics for a

the order of the day. At this point the first signs of depression manifested themselves. This was good news for the worker and his team of advisors because it meant a lot more beer for them. I enquired as to the date of the “barn raising” and was told it was delayed due to alterations to the original plan, but the worker had drawn a line at an enlarged “cat flap” for Dustbin to drive straight in on his mobility scooter. “er in doors” myself, Grommet and his delightful wife, had a meal with Jethro and Ellie May, before they returned to the UK, quite enlightening it was too. Jethro explained to me the basics of getting to know the workings of the mind, of someone from deepest Hampshire. One example he gave stuck in my mind. When the police wanted to do a forensic survey of the village of Ampfied, they run into problems. They had no luck with

the villagers had any teeth, and they found that everybody’s DNA was the same. They also found that the population numbers never changed, because if a child was born into the village, a member of the male population would suddenly leave. Funny Grommet was born and bred there. A very sad bit of news now, Fitz, for the first time ever, walked away from the extreme sports night without even one bottle. His shoulders were more stooped than usual, I thought. When I wrote the last article about Porky, I send a draft direct to Shylock, giving him the right to reply. As yet nothing, so is this an indication of guilt I ask myself. That’s all for this week. Until the next time. Tight lines. Uncle Albert

Sante Irene Sailing Club.................................. We may have had a week of dull, wet cold weather, the good thing for me was on Sunday 23rd, when we all knew there would be no sailing, 17 of us met at the “Meson del Mar” for coffee. I guess, we needed, our weekly ‘fix’ of boat chat. Things have got much better; last Sunday (30th Jan) 19 of us were out on the water - 12 of us were on 3 boats plus “Casi Casi”, “Pastinaca”,”Catalac”and “Wayfarer”. We are seeing some youngsters taking an interst which is good. Look at our website:, on the home page you will read: “One of the Clubs aims is the bring the Sport of Sailing to the Youth of Andalucia”, while you are there, check it out thoroughly, click into everything! I see the “Topper” dinghy have introduced a smaller rig (Sail) for the

young sailors weighing 35 to 45 kg. The sail area is 4.2 sq m. The standard rig is 5.2 sq m. We have 2 Toppers, I need to check the price of the new sail, you may be able to help us out!! I hope we will be involved in the Aguilas Carnaval Regattas, the dates are 27 of February and the 5th of March. It’s always a pleasure to visit Pedro Juan and the Club. You should visit their cafeteria, it’s good value. You will find it almost opposite the Marina - will we have a Club House one day? Of course!! Update on the Barcelona World Race, which started on the 31st December 2010 - the leading Yachts are in the Southern Ocean south of the Cap of Good Hope. Good news for Spain - in 2nd place is “Mapfre”, the crew: Martinez and Fernandez, 3rd is “Estrella Damm”, the crew: Pella and Ribes. Both are Spanish Yachts.

The leading boat is the French Yacht: Virbac-Paprec. If “Mapfre” wins and they still have another 17.000 miles to go. Will we get a discount on our “Safety Boat” policy? If you need up to date “Nautical Charts” of our coast, the Nobel Book Shop in Calle del Mar, Vera has them in stock, Rodolfo, a yachtsman and member of our club, will be pleased to see you, also, he has a good stock of sailing, literature in English and Spanish. The sun is shining, it’s getting warmer, I’m feeling better after the ‘gripe’! Hope to see you in Garrucha on Saturday and Sunday mornings! Take care, John 950 475 157/658 548 790

On Tuesday 1st February a field of 20 players enjoyed a team Stableford game, with 3 from 4 scoring. The winners were Bill Churchill, John Clements, Ray Harrison and Harry Wilson. Friday 4th February provided us with fantastic golfing weather, and we played our second medal of the

year. Unfortunately the golf didn’t do justice to either the course or the weather. With a best score of a net 73 points, the winner was Mark Newall, who has been our most consistent player over the last year ~ well done, Mark. Second, with a net 76 points, was Bob Mearing Third John Clements, with 78 points.

Nearest the pins were Harry Wilson on the 6th, John Clements 12th and Mark Newall 14th. The weather is looking set fair for the next week, promising some good golf too, and let’s hope it stays that way for our Captain’s Day on Friday, and celebration lunch on Saturday

MEDIA GOLF SOCIETY......................... valle del este golf society.......................................... 16 members and one guest turned Crichton on hole 6.

up to play at Valle Del Este on Friday 4 February to play the Monthly Medal. The morning started off frosty but soon turned hot as the round progressed. The course is still in excellent condition and the greens seem to be faster as the day became warmer. The results were: One 2 by George

Division One: 1st Mick Coulson – net 78; 2nd George Crichton – net 79; Division Two: 1st Chris Risbey – net 81; 2nd Yvonne Bridgman – net 82 Hard luck to those who found it rather difficult today but well done to the above winners. Next week Media play their first major competition and hope to see a good turn out by Media members


Albox Darts League.............. A Knock-Out Cup Competition has been decided. The format will be 5 singles & 2 doubles matches & will be played on Thursday nights. 1st round matches will be played on Thursday 24th Feb. Can all captains please send a confirmation to albox180darts@ by Thursday 10th Feb if you are entering a team, so that the draw can be made. Team Knock-out Entrants so far: La Cinta, Pablos, Regancy Snooker Club, Bar El Frax, Terca Edad One A Champion of Champions (individual player competition) will be arranged and is open to any member of Albox Darts league & as many players from each team can enter as they wish, team captains to inform by 28th February with the names of players who will be entering from their team. When they know the numbers of players the committee can arrange a date & venue, then the players can turn up on the draw night and the competition will be run down to the semi finals stage. Champion of Champions Entrants so far: Paul Maydew, Chris Weir, John Walker, Dave Warner, Derik Perryman, Dick Coppard,

Jesus Mellado, Tino Garcia, Gines Gomez. Highlights & Special Mentions: Faustino from Pablos is over the moon Faustino from La Cinta is gutted after the local derby where Pablos had an excellent result when they beat La Cinta 6 – 2. The La Cinta boys claim that it was like an away match as they had a new oche and had not played on it before the match. It was either the new oche or a garish shirt worn by John Walker that put the home team off there normal form. Excellent evening was had by all with some close matches. Next week there is a return match so watch this space. Special mention for Dave Warner from Pablos who scored a 3. Faustino from Pablos beat Faustino from La Cinta in the singles to top their win off. El Frax reported that Chris Watterson still firing on all cylinders and Andrew has come back as a suspect scoring 3x7 and under, also scoring a ton and two ton pluses and still lost his game Mark Drew: 671 188 296 For on-line results go to www.

Cortijo Grande........................ Wednesday 2nd Feb 011 and we played Agiulon. A tough test on a windy day. The winner of the first div with 30 points John Hill second with 29 Peter Jackson third with 28 John Geaves and 4th with 26 Greg Ward. Second div winner with 36 Gunner Astheimer second with 27 Robina Dore third with 26 Bill Churchill and fourth with 24 Patricia Holt. Ball sweep winner Robina Dore.

with 35 Mike Picken third with 34 John Hill. Second div winner with 31 Gunner Astheimer second with another 31 David Hardy from another 31 Peter Morse. Third div winner with 31 Wendy Woodward second with 30 Margaret Morse and third with 30 Ursula Lade.

Sunday 6th Feb and Captains drive in. Greg Ward our captain had a big turnout to see him send his drive down the first . We enjoyed drinks and tapas after our competition.

No Ball sweep winners. A big pot for Wednesday. Dates for your diary, 22nd 23rd 24th March our golf tour to Costa del Sol. We have room for non golfers also for only 125 euros 3 night B&B 4 star hotel on the marina at Benalmadena. For info 950 469088. To book for any Wednesday or Sunday 950 475509.

The winner of the first div with 40 points Frank McGovern second

Enjoy your golf at Cortijo Grande visitors and guests welcome M P

Forum Golf Society................

Forum Golf Society´s third event of 2011 was a Pairs betterball stableford competition which took place at Valle del Este on February 4th. The society´s first visit to this venue in nearly 18 months was once again very well supported, with 48 players enjoying a course in fine condition.

The day´s winners, with an unbeatable score of 46 points were Fran Elam & Richard Swaine, 7 points clear of second placed Terry Moore & Andy Birch who had a creditable 39 point total themselves. Countback was needed to seperate third placed Paul Douglas & Howard Tyers from Frank Varey & Dave Sharp (4th) after both pairs scored 37 points, and this method was also used to decide the next three places after George Gibson & Bob Vincent (5th), Phil Elam & Malcolm Fenwick (6th) and Malcolm Sibbons & Mike Duckham (7th) all scored 36 points. Six Nearest the Pin prizes were

available, and these were won by Terry Moore, Richard Swaine, Dave Nicholls, Bob Bell, Frank Varey & John Farley. Forum´s Almeria league team were also in action recently, and a fine 5 - 0 victory over last year´s Champions Marina Members saw the society top the league table for the first time this season, and will look to build on this result with their next league fixture, which is on: February 15th away to Media GS at Valle del Este, followed by February 18th Team Lone Ranger at Marina March 4th Double Par Medal at Playa Macenas March 11th Almeria League match away to Boxers GS For more information contact Phil Elam on 666 847840 / philjelam@, or see www.


Almeria Lawn Bowling Club............. Jackson Cup & Parsons Trophy (Los Gallardos Ladies & Men’s Pairs

The entries for these competitions were not as good as expected, considering the numbers of members we now boast. However seven ladies and twelve men’s pairs took part over three days in the indifferent weather conditions, mainly very cold with a smattering of sunshine to complete a very good competition. The men commenced the competition on Monday morning the 25th January battling their first round, followed by the ladies in the afternoon. Friday morning on 29th the mens quarter finals took place. This then left the both men and ladies semi finals to be played in the afternoon. The first men´s semi-final between Dave Allen, Tony Mullen against Allan Deacon, Ken Sykes. Allan and Ken took the first end but couldn’t maintain that early lead with Dave and Tony winning comfortably. The second semi-final was a close game between two historically very good pairs, Colin Wright. Roy Tonkin versus Jim Pike, Terry Rodgers. The game continued with the lead changing constantly with Jim and Terry leading by a shot on the seventeenth end. Unfortunately for them on the last end Colin and Roy did the business by taking three shots to win. The ladies first semi-final a little disappointing for Mason, and Rona Hendry could not match the game

was Ann who play

of Shelagh Allen, and Cath Patrick who destroyed them to win comfortably. The second semi-final was Maureen Atkins, Patsy Tonkin playing Sue Mannall, and Thelma Gamble. This was another one way game for Maureen and Patsy who in spite of the standard of play given by Sue and Thelma showed their quality and won easily. Both the Ladies and Men’s finals were very close supported by an enthusiastic number of members. In the Men’s final it was nip and tuck until the sixteenth end when Dave and Tony were one shot ahead, only for Colin and Roy to fight back on the last two ends, but were unable to maintain this as Dave and Tony who put fresh names on Trophy by winning by two shots. A similar game was played in the Ladies Final when on the twelfth end Shelagh and Cath lost the lead to Maureen and Patsy who took six shots, then followed by two more shots on the next end. Unfortunately they were unable to sustain this pressure and didn’t score any further with Cath and Shelagh taking a well deserved win to take the championship. Please don’t forget that this report and photographs will be found on our website www.bowlingalmeria. com and www.bowlinginspain. com Vic Parsons ALBC Press Officer

Vicente Del Bosque made a marquis

Spain’s national football coach, Vicente Del Bosque had been made a marquis by his Majesty the King Juan Carlos I. From now on he will be known officially as: Ilustrísimo Señor Don Vicente del Bosque y González, Marqués de Del Bosque. Vicente del Bosque, who was born in 1950 in Salamanca, adds his title of marquis to the numerous recognitions he has had since Spain’s triumph in this year’s World Cup, the culmination of his long career as a footballer and trainer, fundamentally with Real Madrid, with whom he achieved top national and i nter n at i o n a l titles.

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A number of commentators have been highly critical of Renault’s decision to permit their star driver to race in the Ronde di Andora just five weeks before the start of the season. Former driver Martin Brundle described it as “crazy”. On Monday Renault defended their decision. “Rallying is a very important thing for Robert,” said a team spokeswoman. “Driving a F1 car, a go kart or a rally car is a way of finding his personal balance. “He knew the risks and he always insisted that his contract should let him drive other cars than F1.” Team principal Eric Boullier added that Kubica’s extra-curricular activities make him the character that he is. “We didn’t want a robot or a corporate man for a driver,” Boullier said. “It [the clause in his contract] was agreed together.” Kubica’s accident appears to have polarised opinion within the paddock between those who consider allowing such activities irresponsible and those who consider them essential. Three-times world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, a man who regularly raced in sports cars during his F1 career, said he was more inclined these days to consider such activities irresponsible having been a team owner himself. His argument is that teams and sponsors pour millions of pounds into racing every year and hundreds of people depend on that for jobs. “You’ve got to look after that investment,” Stewart said. “It’s quite a challenge to stop drivers doing the things I believe are unwise leading up to a F1 season. Skiing is the one you would immediately think of.” Yet Ferrari annually raise eyebrows by allowing their highly-paid drivers to ski every year at their pre-season trip to the Italian Dolomites. And speaking on Monday at the launch of the MVR-02, Virgin team principal John Booth admitted he had recently taken his two drivers skiing as well. “We took Jerome [d’Ambrosio] and Timo [Glock] skiing a couple of weeks ago,” Booth said. “We said ’OK guys, stick to the piste blah blah blah.’ So we got to the top of the lift, the gates opened and they were just flat out.

“They were everywhere. And that’s how they are. That’s what makes them so good. It’d be difficult to stifle that, wouldn’t it? You can’t wrap them in cotton wool.” Some teams try. It is understood that McLaren’s two British drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, must seek permission if they wish to pursue any sort of dangerous extra-curricular activity. A request to go rallying would not likely be granted. Over at Red Bull, Christian Horner said last December he would consider banning Mark Webber from mountain biking after the Australian broke a second bone in as many years falling off his bike. Ultimately, each team is different although whether attitudes will harden in light of Kubica’s accident remains to be seen. The Pole remained in an induced coma on Monday, woken only briefly to speak to family and friends, as doctors at the Santa Corona Hospital near Genoa rested him ahead of possible further operations to fractures of the shoulder and elbow. Professor Mario Igor Rossello, part of the team who carried out the seven-hour operation to save Kubica’s right hand on Sunday night, cautioned that it would be a while yet before it could be deemed successful. “The hand is warm and this means the operation went well,” Rossello said. “We need at least six days to check if the circulation of the blood in the limb responds as it should.” That leaves Renault in an awkward position. Boullier said on Monday that he would not make a decision on Kubica’s replacement until he knew how long he would be out for. However, with the second of four winter tests starting in Jerez on Thursday, time is of the essence. Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean are Renault’s two reserves waiting in the wings, but Boullier is believed to favour signing a driver with greater experience. Nick Heidfeld, with 172 grands prix behind him, has that in abundance while there has been a groundswell of support for 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen to return. Kubica’s co-driver, Jakub Gerber, has hit out at the safety standards in the Ronde di Andora rally as well as the sport’s governing body. Gerber, who escaped unhurt from the high-speed crash on the opening stage which has left Kubica’s career in the balance, described on Monday how their Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a section of barrier. “After skidding, the car leaned against the guard rail and pushed it

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With doctors predicting it will be six days before we know for certain whether Robert Kubica will regain the use of his right hand, following his horrific crash in a rally last Sunday, debate within Formula One focused on whether the Pole should have been allowed in the car in the first place.

Robert Kubica rally crash: Renault defend decision to let Pole go rallying before Formula One season

outwards,” he said. “Then it crashed against the following guard rail. The guard rail pierced through the car and went all the way through it. “That opening [between the two sections of barrier] makes no sense. But, most of all, we shouldn’t have cars with so little protection at the front. “It’s not the first time a crash like this happens - the Federation should think of something to protect the cockpit.”

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Sol Times Newspaper issue 273 Roquetas Edition  

Sol Times Newspaper issue 273 Roquetas Edition

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