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Solar Central Heating pg 13

TURMERIC

The healing power of Turmeric Page 42

The Ministry of Industry is finalising a set of regulations that will make it obligatory for all homes that are sold or rented in Spain to have an "energy efficiency certificate" Just as in the UK, if you are planning to sell a Spanish property or you are holiday home owners, you must order an energy efficiency certificate (EPC) for potential buyers and tenants before you begin marketing your property. The EPC is a document that describes how efficient your home's energy consumption is. You are probably used to

seeing energy efficiency ratings on household appliances such as fridges, freezers and washing machines and the EPC contains similar details. Already introduced throughout most of the rest of Europe, energy efficiency certification is about to become law here in Spain. The original start date for implementation of this directive was 1st January,

2013 and Spain is likely to be fined by the EU for not complying. Expected to come into force on 1st June this year, anyone wishing to sell their property will need an energy efficiency certificate or the sale will not be permitted. Moreover, the owner could face a penalty of up to â‚Ź200 for each day they do not have one.

Whether selling or renting your property, this issue affects everyone and should not be ignored because it is here to stay.

What an EPC provides An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs, continued on page 2


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to advertise info@theword.es

got a story? news@theword.es

The Word Avda 13 Octubre 87, Los Alcazares, Murcia. Deposito Legal MU 903-2012 Newsdesk editor@theword.es

Publishers’ Statement All rights reserved. No paragraph or other parts of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means including photocopying and recording without written permission of the publishers. Whilst every reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the publication, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. The publisher accepts no liability in respect of any loss or damage occasioned directly or indirectly as a result of publication of any advertisment, advertorial or article or any loss or damage occasioned directly or indirectly by any total or partial failure, however caused, of publication of any advertisement, advertorial or article scheduled to appear. The publishers take no responsibility whatsoever on behalf of advertisers and individuals with regard to any claims made by opinions expressed or information given in advertisements, advertorials, editorials or articles contained within this publications. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors as a result of poor quality artwork, logos or images supplied by the advertiser. Advertisements designed by the publishers remain the property of the publisher.

Editor’s comments

Dear Readers It seems that my prediction of 2013 being a year of many changes, some good, some not so good is already coming true. With the spotlight being pointed directly towards Spain it seems that the habit of bring up the rear twenty years later than the rest of Europe may well be a broken one. Bearing in mind we are in the middle of (or at least I hope we are half way through) a financial crisis, bringing in new legislation runs the risk of tipping many people over the edge.

Take the Energy Performance Certification (EPC) law; the rest of Europe already adopt this system, it gives more information to purchasers about the property they are buying which is a good thing however, in simple terms it means that millions of owners are having to part with €250 – 300 for a piece of paper which will stop the sale going through if they don’t have it. With an estimated 300,000 property sales in 2012, if the same figures apply this year, the

income generated through the EPC should reach €75 million. This figure should be dwarfed by the income generated from the rental properties which also need the EPC. If this country is going to get back on its feet, we will be seeing more and more of these measures (or taxes as I prefer to call them). At last the government is facing up to its responsibilities and getting the income we desperately need. Expect more of this kind of thing throughout the coming

years and, as a subsequence, expect us to bring you more ways to save money. It’s time for all of us to stand together and share our experiences, pass to others our ideas for making our money go further. If you have a money saving idea, whatever it is, send it in. We need to spread “the word” to everyone.

recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money, actions that should improve the performance of thermal installations, lighting systems, or on the integration of renewable energies in the building. Certification gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (which represents low performance) and one you have it, is valid for 10 years. The survey itself is carried-out by registered practitioners, usually architects and other professionals. The cost to the property owner is established by the market, in other words, until there is competition in the market, until there are dozens of companies offering the EPC service, the cost is likely to be at its highest at the outset. Those wishing to sell their properties between now and the next couple of years are likely to pay the most.

The cost of an EPC depends on the size of the property, an average size home should cost

minimum. Company boss David Rook commented, “If everyone applies for their own EPC separately, then everyone will pay the highest rates and there will be no reason for prices to come down. If everyone applies through the same channel there is strength in numbers and we can force the market down”. He went on to say, “The same thing applies in any market place, people may well remember when the telephone market was deregulated in Spain. Telefonica was charging 12 cents a minute to call the UK and companies like ours, by controlling thousands of consumer accounts were able to drive the free market supplier’s prices down to about 3 cents.” Smiling, he continued, “Of course, Telefonica now charge 15 cents but with all the other providers you can get calls

for 1, 2 or 3 cents. You will never change companies like Telefonica or Iberdrola, but that’s another story”. Just another tax It seems that many Estate Agents and Solicitors are already obtaining licences in the knowledge they will be obligated to in just a few short months. It will not just be the property owner that will receive a fine; anyone marketing unlicensed property will also be in the firing line. The supposed aim of the EPC is to reduce the carbon footprint made by badly insulated houses, to discover ways how to cut down emissions and show how energy bills can be reduced. It is also to give perspective purchasers or renters a better idea of what they are getting into before it is too late. All these things are valid and welcomed but we must not lose sight of the real reason why this is being

between €350 and €450.

Strength in numbers

As the banks in Spain are the largest estate agents in the country, it begs the rhetorical question how much will they pay for the EPC for the thousands of repossessions they are marketing? Naturally, with their own tame architects who are not being kept very busy these days, they have been able to negotiate a competitive rate. A similar ethos is being adopted by Iberswitch SL who is better known as being a Utility Switching Company. They have created an EPC department specifically for their customers, to assist them in obtaining a certificate and using their group purchasing power to keep the cost to the

Th e Ed ito r

continued on page 3


theWord continued from page 2

implemented now and not when we are all blazing about the country in our gas-guzzling Mercedes and Range Rovers. The government has got to raise more funds, there is no doubt of that, and without them we will sink. Unfortunately, they cannot simply print more money, it has to come from us so,

expect more “initiatives” more “environmentally friendly legislation”. Believe me, right at this moment, there is a room somewhere with a group of very cleverly inventive people with their sleeves rolled up and pots of strong coffee on standby. If you are thinking of selling your property or if you rent a holiday home

for more than four months a year, get your names down on the Iberswitch EPC register now. When the time comes, don’t pay more for it than you need to. For more information see the centre pages.

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WIN!

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advertising Apply within In each edition of The Word we are offering three adverts completely free of charge. The first three names pulled out of the hat, regardless of the size of their ad, will be able to promote their services and products without charge – even if you already have an ad with us! Why are we doing this? It’s simple: We believe it is time that newspapers who claim to be the biggest, the best or insist their publication will bring the most calls, put their money where their mouth is. As the crisis worsens, as business running costs increase but incomes decrease, it is time that we offer whatever help we can to assist the businesses in our area to continue in business. To enter the draw simply go to the website: www. theword.es and click on the free advert icon. Fill in your details and if you are successful, we will let you know. The Editor

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We are looking for writers/contributors If you feel you would have something to contribute and would like to see your by line in The Word. Please get in touch with us at: editor@theword.es. Advertise your business or service here from €10 Call for details: 902 026 105

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think you are safe? Think Again Iberdrola removes meters reinforcing the need for consumers to check their bank accounts regularly S everal people in Urbanisation Camposol have recently had their electricity meters removed due to non payment of electricity bills from several months ago. Normally, when a bill is not paid which can be as a result of numerous things, the supply is cut but the actual removal of the meter doesn’t happen until two months later and only if the bill has not been paid. All of the people who have had to face this situation had officially been cut off but, only on the Iberdrola computer system, not in real life. In other words, due to a previous unpaid bill, Iberdrola marked their account as suspended but took no action. Two months later, the bills remaining

unpaid resulted in a visit by the technician. An Iberdrola spokesperson told us that in each case, the customer had actually been cut off. In truth, they had not and were happily going about their business in the normal way, completely ignorant of the fact a bill was outstanding. If you find yourself cut off, a trip to the bank, a fax sending the proof of payment will normally get you reconnected within 24 hours. If the meter is actually taken out, you have to first enter a new supplier contract with Iberdrola and pay around â‚Ź46 to get the meter put back in. Admittedly, those affected have all enjoyed free electricity for two months but they would have much

preferred to pay for their supply and not had to suffer being without their supply, while a new contract was arranged. When it comes to outstanding bills, Iberdrola do not mess about, as Novelda Town Hall found out when they were cut off. If government offices are not safe from this kind of treatment, nor are we. So, the lesson here is; check your bank statement regularly. Your bills are paid every two months and if you see a gap between your payments, get on the phone to your supplier and ask them if you have any outstanding bills. As a consumer, this is your responsibility and no-one else’s.

These cases were all due to unpaid bills by the customer and had nothing whatsoever to do with the famous Iberdrola letters currently doing the rounds which suggest the electricity company has not paid money to them for the supply.

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theWord

hats off to the spanish health system

How does the Spanish system compare to the National Health in the UK?

Many Brits travel back home to have medical treatment which according to a recent English radio station, was because most people believe they will receive better treatment and after care at home rather than here in Spain. A recent report suggests otherwise with Spain being 2nd on a list of 16 countries and the UK being 14th. Years ago, receiving better

treatment back home may well have been the case but believe me, this is not my experience. Of course, we have all heard bad stories, but let’s face it, bad news travels faster than good.

My Story

I moved to Spain some twelve years ago. My last experience of UK hospitals happened just months before I left the country; I was suffering from severe

stomach pains and went to the A&E Department of Bedford Hospital. I waited a good while before I was seen at all and then I was placed on a trolley and left in a corridor for over six hours. Apparently, the use of corridor parking is so that you are not actually receiving treatment therefore, not actually waiting. This is all to do with the managers statistics, you only

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enter the system when you are pushed into a treatment room. Massaging the figures for the annual report is priority, naturally. After waiting in pain for so long, anticipating attention every time someone walked by, I finally decided enough was enough and if I was going to continue suffering, I would rather do so in the comfort of my own home – so I left. Things can only get better This was not an isolated case, for me anyway. The last two hospital visits I had was much the same; hours sitting in the waiting room followed by more hours on a trolley. I admit, I have no recent knowledge of UK hospitals but I think it is safe to assume things have not actually improved in the last ten years so by default, they must be worse or at the very least, the same. A few weeks ago I went to the local doctor complaining of pain in my throat and restrictive sensations when swallowing. It had got progressively worse over a couple of months and I was worried it was something nasty. The doctor made an appointment for me at the new Cartagena Hospital for about six weeks later. At home, reflecting on things, I decided that this was too long and although I didn’t think it would do any good, I went back to the doctor to ask for a sooner appointment. I was told that my

Digital Breathalyser

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accurately gauge intoxication levels without a measurement tool like a Breathalyser. People are often surprised when they measure their alcohol levels, particularly on different occasions after the same amount of alcohol is consumed. Of course, we do not condone drinking and driving and if you are thinking of drinking, you should not drive at all. There is no safe alcohol limit.

Similar models are currently available in the UK from leading suppliers (such as Amazon)for anything from £49 and upwards. We are offering this fun and handy alcohol tester which can be used again and again, for just €24.95 plus p&p.

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only chance was to go to the A&E Department, so I did. I entered the hospital at 10am sharp, told the receptionist why I was there (I have never understood why a medically unqualified person should be privy to ailments of any nature let alone some of the more personal ones that people have, but that’s another story) and took a seat.

Take a seat

Although I settled down for the “long wait”, book in hand, it never came. Long story short, I saw a triage nurse within 10 minutes. Just 20 minutes later I was taken for an X-ray and another 20 minutes passed and I was marched into the doctor’s office to review the X-ray. She said the X-ray showed nothing but there was obviously something going on. By 12.30am I had been to a further department where they carried-out an endoscopy, was taken back to the doctor, diagnosed, given a prescription and sent on my way. Impressive. I truly believe if this had happened in the UK, I would now be on a six month wait for the appointment for an endoscopy. I take my hat off to the Spanish health system and am confident of first class treatment whenever it is needed. If you have any good or bad medical experiences you would like to share, send them to editor@theword.es

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is your house leaking electricity?

20% Of Properties Suffer From Leakage It has been estimated by major electricity generating companies in Spain that more than 20% of properties suffer from electricity leakage. A poor electrical installation can cause electricity to simply “bleed” away. An indication that you are suffering from this issue is if your electricity usage has increased significantly in the last few years.

Technical Information

In some cases, a short circuit can be made to the earthing system. This situation is created when a “live” wire (one which carries the electric current) connects to an earthing wire. This is often caused by faulty, old or decaying insulation (material

that covers the wires) which can expose the core of the wire to the elements. If this exposed “live” wire is allowed to touch an earthing wire (or any ground, such as metal water piping or wet earth), a short will be made that can allow an uncontrolled and continued release of electricity to flow into the ground. This results in wasted electricity and often, a very high electricity bill. A RCD (trip switch) is installed in most properties to avoid the dangers of leaking electricity, but many of these divides do not function correctly.

High Electricity Bills

To eliminate this cause as a reason for spiralling electricity bills, a simple, relatively

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inexpensive test can be carried-out using a specialist piece of testing equipment called an Earth Leakage Device. This tool allows the test to be carried out without needing to disconnect the supply. The cost of the Earth Leakage Test is €30 and will give you peace of mind that your electrical installation is intact and functioning properly or, will highlight an issue which when resolved, will save you money. (Existing Iberswitch customers pay €20) If you feel you are included in the estimated 20% you can have this test carried out by our team, call Iberswitch SL Spain’s largest USC (Utility Switching Company) and

they can arrange for one of their team of highly qualified electricians to visit your home. Within minutes they can tell you if your house has electricity wastage. It is fairly rare for a property to have no leakage whatsoever, and in some extreme cases can be attributed to very high electricity bills. Many Iberswitch customers have already benefited in safety and monetary terms. Give Iberswitch a call today on 902 027 517 to arrange an Earth Leakage Test, as with most things, if a problem exists, it is always better to know.


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theWord

top dj seeks soul power

AND THE WINNER IS... The winner of last month’s competition to win low energy light bulbs for the entire house is Mr Gordon Anders of Orihuela Costa. Congratulations!

Top DJ Peter Hurst of Torrevieja Radio is always on the lookout for good new bands, although his real love of music is Classic Rock he recently went to see Soul and Tamla Motown band Soul Power at one of their open rehearsals, the band had already organised the rehearsal to be filmed and in a different location The Washington Bar, La Siesta. The crowd were treated to songs by Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Edwin Star, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Marvin Gaye,

The Four Tops, The O`Jays and The Real Thing to mention just a few. Peter said afterwards ´It was good to hear totally live music without backing, bars are missing the great sounds that a 5 piece can make and if we are not careful we will lose them if they are not being used, this band brings back the Tamla and soul sounds in a big way`. Soul Power have quite a unique sound as there seems to be a shortage of soul bands on the Costa Blanca, this is what Maria Wilson from the Pink Ladies Cancer Charity saw and

immediately asked Soul Power to cover part of their musical activities at an outdoor event at Zenia Boulavard shopping centre recently which Soul Power along with many other acts help raise hundreds of euros for a very needy charity. The 5 piece band line-up consists of JJ Soulman on lead vocals and guitar, Elvar Masson on keyboards, Kenny Dee on backing vocals and sax (but not at the same time), Duncan Phillips on bass guitar and Ray Prentice on drums and backing vocals.

Dates for your diary Friday 8th March at Mr Smiths, Quesada. Show an buffet 5 euros call 965 999 923 Every Monday from Monday 18th March at The Celtic Drop, Flamenca Beach Commercial Centre. Saturday 30th March at Cheers Bar, Eagles Nest. Meal and Show call 966 723 812 to book a table. Saturday 13th April at Breakaways Bar, El Galan Saturday 15th June at The Camposol Fiesta (more detail nearer the time) For more information or to book Soul Power call 680 572 427 or visit Facebook page SOUL POWER.

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9

Low energy light bulbs Low energy light bulbs use less than 20% of the energy of a conventional lightbulb, and can last up to 15 times longer How to choose replacement bulbs

Buy energy saving bulbs for your most frequently used light sockets first, and fit in places where access is difficult or dangerous such as above stair wells – because they last longer, you won’t have to change them so frequently. If the lights are used outdoors, they should be enclosed in a sealed unit to provide thermal and environmental protection, as their effectiveness may be affected by cold conditions. From tests, domed and globe shaped CFLs seem not to dim in cold conditions and their running costs are slightly lower, but they are slower to start than other available CFL shapes.

Phaseout of 'traditional' bulbs

Fitting Low Energy Light Bulbs is simple, helps the environment and reduces your lighting bills they are great value for households – lasting so much longer than wasteful old-style bulbs and using three quarters less energy to produce the same amount of light.

Will just swapping light bulbs make a difference?

By swapping normal bulbs to energy saving bulbs you could cut energy wastage by three quarters saving you money on your electricity bill. It might seem like a small change, but if every home in the Spain changed just 3 light bulbs, enough energy would be saved to light the country’s street lights.

But don’t energy saving light bulbs use more energy when first turned on, therefore wasting more energy if switching lights on and off? An independent body carried out an investigation and found that if anything, low energy bulbs used slightly less energy when first switched on, gradually building up to a continual wattage (which only took a couple of seconds) so the answer is no.

Power consumption (wattage) and brightness (lumens)

Two main questions when buying a replacement bulb will be 'how much power does it use?' and 'how brightly will it shine?' Energy-saving bulbs are available to fill the place of all old-style incandescent bulbs, but use about 80% less electricity. For example an energysaving bulb only uses 20 watts of power to create the same light as an old 100 watt incandescent bulb. Brightness is measured in lumens. So for example, an old 60 watt bulb would produce about 650 lumens; your low-energy equivalent should have at least a similar brightness to give a similar amount of light (see table below).

Cost and savings The cost of energy saving bulbs is constantly falling. The average price of the stick and spiral CFL bulbs is now around €6 while the more specialist ones cost up to €15 or more. Depending on how long your lights are on every day, just one energy-saving bulb could save you over €6 a year on your electricity bills, so even the more expensive ones can pay for themselves in 2-3 years. Because an energy-saving bulb will last up to 10 times longer than a traditional bulb, it could save you around €60 before it needs replacing. If you fit all the lights in your house with energy saving ones, you could save around

Traditional bulb Low-energy bulb Brightness (lumens) 100 W 60 W 40 W 25 W

20 – 25 W 13 – 18 W 8 – 11 W 6 W

If you still think low energy light bulbs aren’t bright enough, try the 30 watt one which is equivalent to 150 watts!

1300+ 650+ 400+ 200+

€600 over the lifetime of the bulbs. This takes into account the higher cost of low energy bulbs.

A mandatory EU-wide phase-out of traditional incandescent lightbulbs started in 2009, with the banning of 150W and 100W bulbs, and ended on 1 September 2012, when shops were banned from selling all types of the old bulbs. These EU rules mean that, like it or not, everyone will have to use low-energy bulbs and take comfort from their reduced electricity usage and consequent lower associated carbon emissions.

What’s wrong with traditional bulbs? With traditional or incandescent bulbs, light is generated when an electrical current is passed through a thin metal wire, and the wire becomes hot and emits light. Only 5 per cent of the electrical energy is converted to light, so 95 per cent of the energy that goes into them is wasted as heat. In contrast, the operating systems of energy efficient bulbs use electricity to produce light, not heat. They use the same technology as a fluorescent tube in strip lighting – they are coated with a thin layer of phosphorous powder which absorbs ultraviolet radiation and glows brightly when electricity is passed through gas in the tube.

Electricity consumption

At the moment, lighting accounts for around 15 per cent of domestic electricity consumption, with the average house having some 34 light bulbs. In 2011 the total energy consumption of domestic lighting was equivalent to over 1 million tonnes of oil, so the scope for savings in terms of energy cost and carbon emissions is immense.


10 theWord

50 Point Safety Check

Is your electricity installation safe and legal?

Have your bills doubled? There are several possible reasons why your electricity bill may have doubled in the last couple of years. • Prices have increased almost every 3 months during the past couple of years • If you have an electric water heater and live in a hard water area it may be full of scale which will have a dramatic effect on consumption • Your water heater could have a very small leak • The earth connection for your property may be corroded • Your meter may be faulty if it is an old analogue type • The rubber seal on your fridge may be damaged • You may simply be consuming more power because you have more appliances/equipment • You may be on the wrong tariff for your use

Whatever the reason, there is a solution and help and advice is only a phone call away

Call Iberswitch on 902 027 517 info@iberswitch.com

It is quite normal to only call an electrician when there is a technical issue, to fix something when it goes wrong. Of course, we also call one when we need a new light or electrical socket fitting but when he comes, does he look at the rest of the installation? Many properties go for years and years without any safety checks and there are an abundance of things that could go wrong and which may ultimately cause major issues, including risk of shock and unnecessary waste. One thing in particular which is found in many properties and which most people are actually unaware of is the installation of a much higher main fuse than there should be which is illegal and in the unlikely event that

an insurance claim was made, is likely to make the policy void and, could even result in a fine. Knowledge is power and in this case, could also be peace of mind. We offer a 50 point safety check which covers the entire installation and gives a written report detailing any issues which should be attended to. The charge for this service is €50 which of course, we believe to be money well spent. Alternatively, you can just opt for the earth leakage test which will tell you if you are throwing money out of the window (see our ad on page 5). The charge for this is €30. For more information please call: 902 027 517


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12 theWord

letters to the editor... Dear Ed, A trip last month to the local pharmacy left me wondering why I bother going to the doctor’s surgery when I need a prescription. I have had one of those nasty chest infections which simply won’t go away and, feeling ill enough to try anything, asked the pharmacist if they had something strong that would shift it. He gave me antibiotics and went through the dosage with me and then said next time I went to see the doctor, get a prescription and drop it in. Now of course I really appreciated it and I have no doubt he has seen hundreds of prescriptions for the same ailment but it still begs the question – was I safe to take the drugs? I wonder if any other of your readers has experienced anything similar. We have not been here very long and are still getting used to the different ways. Sandra – Urb Camposol Dear Ed, Why is it that some people have a complete disregard for the state of the streets? I was sitting in my car just about to pop into the bank to use the cash

point machine when I spotted a couple of workmen in a van parked by the side of the road. They had just finished their lunch and simply extended their arms from their respective windows dropping all their wrappers on the road and path just before them drove away. They didn’t even screw the paper up into a ball, just a single transfer from their laps to the outside. What is wrong with these people? Since then I have kept an eye out and I am amazed just how many people litter, in broad daylight and without consideration to where they are. The trouble is, if I reported it to the police, it would probably fall on deaf ears. I have seen them throwing their cigarette packets out of their car windows before now. Sometimes I despair. Brian – El Raso Dear Ed, Since reading the article “Benefits of Fasting” in last month’s edition, I have religiously fasted for one day a week and can honestly say I feel better for it. I don’t have a pre-selected day, I just decide as the mood takes me and my fasting day is normally the

day after I have overindulged either with food, drink or both. My fear was feeling really hungry and not being able to last the day but knowing it is only for 24 hours tells my brain not to crave. Not one for weighing myself, no reliable scales anyway but I feel like I have lost a bit already plus, without having the time to do exercise I do at least feel like I am making an effort. I fully intend to keep this up because I can truly feel the benefit. I look forward to further articles on how I can improve my health and well being. Great paper, really enjoying it and I look forward to every edition. Keep up the good work. I’m off to make a bacon sandwich now. David – Los Alcazares

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY? Send your letters to: editor@theword.es As a responsible publisher and where appropriate, we will always afford any second party mentioned in your letters, the opportunity to quote should comments directed towards them be considered inflammatory.


theWord

13

Solar Central Heating

An acceptable alternative to massive winter fuel bills We are all fed up with talking about how electricity prices are spiralling out of control, how much our bills are compared with previous years and how much it costs to heat our homes, homes that were not built with the cold damp winters in mind. Solar power has moved on over the last few years and we can now heat our homes for free during the winter. By free of course I mean without running costs, installing solar systems are not free but then again, they cost nothing like they used to, but before we move on to that... Fotovoltaic panels are the Rolls Royce of the solar world and only three panels are needed to heat an average home compared

with the lesser quality panels which would need to cover the entire roof in order to achieve the same.

Extra advantages of solar heating The thing that makes this system a “no-brainer” for those who can afford the initial outlay, is the fact that in addition to no heating costs in winter, during the summer months when you are not using the power generated to heat the radiators, you can utilise it for your other electricity needs. During daylight hours your three panels produce 600 watts an hour which can be used for your air conditioning, pool pump,

fans, fridge, and so on. It may not generate the power you need completely but whatever it does provide, you won’t need to draw it from the grid – essentially, putting money into your pocket.

Mind boggling When you go out, your panels continue to put electricity into your system, even if you don’t use it. When this happens, if you have an analogue meter fitted, it actually turns your meter reading backwards. Let me just repeat that in case you missed it: You go out for the day or maybe a week, when you come back, the reading on your meter will actually be

less than it was before you left. You put unused power back into the system and for that, you are credited. I didn’t believe it at first either but from 2nd January 2012, it became law. If that is not incentive to have solar, I don’t know what is.

Cost justification So, we come to price. How much can we expect to pay for such a wonderful system? Well, a five radiator system, fully installed and guaranteed costs €5,700. We are all watching our pennies and spending our savings is something we have to think very carefully about. Here is one way to look at it: €5,700 in a high interest

savings account will earn you around €160 a year. Savings bonds will earn you around €230 a year so, if we compare this to what you would save in electricity costs from day one with a solar system, you can clearly see that your money earns you far more by sitting on your roof, than it does in a bank. In fac t, look ing at the overall income and expenditure, most people would be bet ter of f financially after just one winter bill which I have to say, I find completely staggering. If you would like a free sur vey and quotation without obligation, call Cosy Casa on 968 584 562 or visit the website: www.cosycasa.es


14 theWord

it’s all about politics A sideways glance at UK current affairs By Quentin Cope Author/Writer/Commentator www.quentincope.co.uk

A finely ‘Huned’ tale..! February has been a busy one for the grey suited souls in Westminster. Some have actually had to attend the big London office for two or three days on the trot. Dear Oh Dear … and on the train too! So what’s been happening? Well, we have seen the horsemeat scandal trot along nicely; Big C has bullied the EU in to reducing their budget and Little C has been questioned about what he knew of the Rennard allegations. There is much more of course, such as the gay marriage vote, the lying MP Hune facing the prospect of spending some quality time with guys residing at a well known Brixton address, and the simply frightening 3000 page report by Robert Francis in to what goes on at Stafford Hospital. On the embarrassment front, UKIP lost an MEP in February to the Conservatives, but managed to get their own back at the Eastleigh by-election by beating ‘the blues’ in to third place.

But how does all this affect us British Ex-Pats, lazily sunning ourselves here on the Spanish Costas? ‘Not Much’ I hear you say. Well, I suppose that is true but one event last month has had an effect, and one that will last until all this austerity nonsense is over and we can all get back to making twenty grand a year on our two up and three down in Stepney. The UK lost its triple ‘A’ rating, as decreed by the permanently free-lunching risk assessors, sitting comfortably in their air conditioned New York skyscrapers. As soon as it happened, the usual suspects were literally tripping over themselves to calm us all down with endless appearances on the telly assuring us that it ‘didn’t really matter’. This situation took me back to 1967 and a certain Harold Wilson, who boldly stated that ‘the pound in your pocket will remain the same!’ … one hour after he devalued the ‘pound in our pocket’ by 15%.

So will it make a difference? Time will tell the true story. The US monetary system was downgraded from triple ‘A’ a long time ago, and it doesn’t seem to have made any difference to how the dollar works. That may of course, have something to do with the fact that the US economy is the largest real economy in the world, so no matter what their credit rating is, on paper, people will have to do business with them … on their terms. The difference that Ex-Pats will see, especially those who collect their pensions in sterling for repatriation in Euros, is a weaker exchange rate. Bad news. People who are selling a property in Euros and moving back to the UK, will get more pound notes for their Euros. Good News. Because the UK rating has been lowered, the cost to the government, borrowing money on the International markets, will go up. This means the UK will have to pay

more interest, with money they do not have, therefore extending this miserable period of austerity that we all seem to be reluctantly wading through. In general, this is not good news for UK Ex Pats as it provides a long term platform for a pound that will be weaker against most other currencies, including the Euro. However, all is not doom and gloom, as it looks as if the Italians are about to come to our aid by simply allowing a corrupt, unfit for purpose, political system, to go to work, yet again, thereby knocking confidence in what is supposed to be a fiscally united Europe, weakening the Euro and popping the UK exchange rate back up again. We will of course be watching the Italians, and the Euro, with a smile, as our gallant politicians struggle with the Berlusconiesque antics of a nearly ungovernable country, not forgetting, in the end … It’s all about Politics!

NEWS BITES San Fulgencio

The Office for the Urbanisations is very pleased to announce that we are arranging a coach to take people from San Fulgencio to the St Patrick parades in the Orihuela Costa on Sunday the 17th of March. The coach will leave the Social Centre on Urb Marina at 11:30am and will leave the Orihuela Costa at 6:30pm. The cost of the trip is 5€. To re s e r ve yo u r place, please come into the Office of the Urbanisations in Calle Madrid, Urb Marina.

Choir

A new International Choir has been formed in San Fulgencio, for ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls; people of all nationalities. I f you want to participate, the group will be rehearsing every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm in the San Fulgencio Music Centre. For more information, please contact the Office for the Urbanisations on 966 443 002.


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15

are you always clearing your throat?

You could be doing more harm than good, warn experts Colleagues who habitually clear their throats have long been the bane of many office workers’ lives. But they now have a good reason to be silenced, after experts warned that the process can do more harm than good. Dr Brian Rotskoff, of the Claritin Allergy Centre in Chicago, says that too much habitual throat clearing harms the throat and vocal chords if left untreated. He believes that if someone is frequently clearing their throat for more than three months, the condition becomes chronic and can gradually alter the voice. But once someone becomes used to clearing their throat, it can become more of a behavioural issue - i.e. the more they clear their throat; the more they will feel like they need to clear it. Dr Rotskoff, who specialises in a variety of throat conditions like asthma, nasal allergies, and sleep apnoea, often sees chronic throat clearers and coughers whose voices are affected. He told Reuters Health: ‘Throat clearing is a symptom, not a condition. ‘Often it's the spouse of a throat clearer that pushes them in my door. 'It's like chronic snoring - because it's pain-free, those around you are the most bothered.’ He adds that says that the need to clear your throat

usually begins with causes like a cold or upper respiratory infection, but sometimes patients are unclear of the onset and can remember always having a constant tickle around their voice box. Like a chronic cough, and sometimes nasal congestion, throat clearing results from something affecting the throat or airways. It can be caused by something actually being stuck in the back of the throat, but the sensation often tickles the throat without anything actually being there. ‘Your throat and vocal cords take repeated abuse with constant clearing,’ said Rotskoff. ‘The resulting inflammation only reinforces the urge to clear and the cycle continues. Even if you don't feel discomfort there can be lasting damage to your throat and voice.’ Some experts say habitual throat clearing is a reflex action which people can have when they are under stress. 'It's common among young entrepreneurs, carers of sick relatives or anyone living with constant pressure in their lives,' says Dr Adam Frosh, a consultant ear, nose and throat specialist at the Lister Hospital, Hertfordshire. But it can also be linked to allergies. Phillip Song, a laryngologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, argues that pollen and moulds

can cause itchiness in the nose and throat which causes the desire to clear the throat. Treatment for habitual throat clearing depends on the original cause of the problem. There are medications available that ease reflux, allergies and asthma and voice therapy can help break the cycle. Almost half of the population has experienced globus pharyngeus – feeling as if you have persistent phlegm or tightness in your throat Sufferers feel the regular need to clear their throat of phlegm but an examination will find nothing physically wrong.


16 theWord

practical relaxation

Bah Humbug!

Grumpy old gits live longer - fact Older people blighted by pessimism and fear for the future are more likely to live longer, according to scientists. A study, into 40,000 adults across ten years, has found those with low expectations for a “satisfying future” actually led healthier lives. In contrast, people who were “overly optimistic” about the days ahead had a greater risk of disability or death within ten years. The extraordinary research, published by the American Psychological Association, will no doubt prove comfort to anyone with a tendency to grumpiness. Frieder R. Lang, lead author of the study from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, said: “Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade. "Pessimism about the future may encourage people to live more carefully, taking health and safety precautions."

Glass is half empty

The research, based on data collected between 1993 and 2003, asked 40,000 respondents to rate how satisfied they believed they would be in five years time. They were interviewed again five years later, and their satisfaction levels compared with their own predictions. Those who overestimated how happy they would be were found to have a 9.5 per cent increase in reporting disabilities, and a ten per cent high risk of death. Older people, who tended to have a “darker outlook” on the future, were shown to be the most accurate in their predictions, with optimistic youngsters

overestimating their success. "Unexpectedly, we also found that stable and good health and income were associated with expecting a greater decline compared with those in poor health or with low incomes," said Dr Lang. "Moreover, we found that higher income was related to a greater risk of disability. "We argue though, that the outcomes of optimistic, accurate or pessimistic forecasts may depend on age and available resources. "These findings shed new light on how our perspectives can either help or hinder us in taking actions that can help improve our chances of a long healthy life."

Country bumpkin celebrates 142nd birthday

Of those interviewed, 43 percent of the oldest group were found to have underestimated their future life satisfaction, 25 percent had predicted accurately and 32 percent had overestimated, according to the study Research published last year by the Office for National Statistics found most people are now living six years longer than current life expectancy projections, with no sign of an upper age limit. Previous studies have suggested that “unrealistic optimism” about the future can help people feel better while facing inevitable negative outcomes, such as terminal disease. Another, published in 2009, noted that a positive outlook depended largely on where one lives, with those in London being the grumpiest and those in the countryside being the most relaxed.

By grahame milton-jones Psycotherapist working on the Costa Blanca www.san-luis-clinic.co.uk

Relaxation is complete muscle relaxation of the body and a calm and peaceful state of mind. Simple, yet complicated. Proper relaxation requires a focus of the mind so that all other thoughts are excluded. You cannot relax if you are thinking about your mortgage arrears. Have you ever tried thinking about nothing or making your mind blank? Neither of these is possible so the best thing is to fill your mind with a peaceful thought, thereby allowing you to be released from your problems. The aim of true relaxation is to remove yourself both mentally and physically from the worries of the day and enjoy some peace of mind. This, in turn, enables you to deal with life’s problems. Proper relaxation is deliberate and precise. The most frequent methods are self hypnosis, meditation, yoga, and Tai Chi. These methods all have in common a deliberate relaxation of the body, whilst the mind is engaged in specific activities.

Self hypnosis enables the body to relax in seconds and the mind to focus on specific aims that will reprogram it for any purpose you intend. The result feels like several hours of sleep, but may only take twenty minutes. Meditation can take many forms, some of which are very hard to master. Proper training is needed or it will be simply daydreaming. Good meditation can solve problems, deal with difficult emotions, and give you a sense of detachment that lets problems pass you by. Yoga is divided into Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga. Hatha is the practice of physical exercise and postures. It was originally established to enable religious men to prepare their bodies for the rigours of meditation. Raja Yoga is a system of meditation that can take years to master, the aim of which is to achieve a state of one-ness within yourself. Tai Chi is a system of physical movements that are excellent for gently exercising the body. They are carried out at a speed

that is slower than that which is normal for the body. The result is that Tai Chi requires considerable concentration and focus of the mind. It is both graceful yet taxing, and like yoga is good for improving suppleness and reflexes. The ultimate aim of relaxation is to restore the physical and mental balance in your life. Not much to ask for about twenty minutes every few days. The ideal posture, is sitting, with something to support the head. The ideal time per session is about twenty minutes and this should be carried out preferably three times a week. Relaxation is not something that can be done when you have a few minutes to spare. It is not the thirty minutes in front of Coronation Street while the dinner is cooking. It is a much more serious activity that results in life changes both physical and mental. There is no doubt that those who carry out regular relaxation live longer and have a much better quality of life.

Call Grahame for information or an appointment on 96 540 5631 or 699 649 002 www.san-luis-clinic.co.uk

Alcohol Anxiety Bereavement Confidence problems

Depression Drug issues IBS Low self esteem

Panic attacks Phobias Relationship problems Smoking

Stress Weight control

Most people have emotional problems, they come from experiences that they have had in the past. It is not difficult to set the mind right provided the problems are approached in the correct way. Psychotherapy is like massage for the mind. It is talking therapy, where discussions are carefully directed so that problems can be uncovered and dealt with. Psychotherapy is safe and in professional hands has no side-effects. It is friendly yet professional, privacy and confidentiality is assured. Grahame Milton-Jones is professionally qualified and was trained in the UK. He has been in practice in Spain for over ten years and has treated people along the Costa Blanca. In addition, he also helps people by telephone if they cannot travel to Creviellente or if they live to far away fro a home visit. Emotional problems should not be allowed to spoil your enjoyment of life. Make the call today and start your life again.

FCA MSc DHP (NC) MNCHP


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18 theWord

Brits' sense of humour fails at age 52 Scientists have found 'Victor Meldrew Syndrome’ kicks in at the ripe old age of 52 It is then that both men and women begin to suffer a sharp decline in their sense of humour and get increasingly grumpy, according to scientists at the University of Glamorgan. The study also backed the long held belief, epitomised by Meldrew, that older men are grumpier than women – four times grumpier in fact, for those in their sixties. Researcher Dr Lesley Harbidge of Glamorgan University said: "The Life time of Laughter Scale shows that there really is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to laughter. "We laugh twice as much in our teens as we do in our fifties. And our findings suggest that it's all downhill from 52.” The study found that while an infant can laugh aloud as many as 300 times every day, life rapidly becomes far less fun. As Harry Enfield’s Kevin and Perry so deftly depicted, things soon change. While teenagers are the age group most likely to laugh at other people’s misfortunes, they laugh on average just six times a day. Things get even bleaker in what should be the relatively carefree twenties, when we laugh four times a day. This rises to five times a day throughout the thirties, when having children is cited as a major factor in restoring a sense of humour. By the time we reach 50, Brits are laughing just three times a day, while the average 60-year-old manages a hearty

guffaw just 2.5 times in the same period. To add insult to injury, the study suggests that the art of joke telling is on the wane. It found that most Brits are only able to tell two jokes but more than 600 of the 2,000 questioned cannot remember telling a joke in the last twelve months. Dr Harbidge said: "It's important to remember how good laughter is for you: it releases endorphins and a little laughter every day goes a long way to reducing stress.” To combat stress, we ought to be seeking out more comedy.” The study, commissioned for TV station Dave, found that those over the age of 50 were more likely to complain and spend time worrying than their younger counterparts. It found that they have written an average of 2.9 letters of complaint in the last year alone, rising to 3.5 for the over sixties, compared to just 1.8 by those in their twenties. Those aged over 50 are also far more likely to have experienced a dispute with a neighbour. The age group also spends the longest time – an average of one hour and 41 minutes – worrying every day, with money pinpointed as the biggest concern closely followed by health. Meldrew, the irascible pensioner in the comedy series One Foot in the Grave who was obsessed with the negative side of life, would no doubt declare: “I don’t believe it”.


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cardiophobia

The fear of having a heart attack There are many reasons why this phobia develops, but the first and foremost is due to health concerns. People with heart problems, or the possibility of developing heart problems, will be more apt to suffer from Cardiophobia. Family medical histories and prior health issues will also manifest themselves as triggers for the phobia.

Health Fears Are a Trigger The heart is a vital organ that is, in its healthy state, strong, muscular, and crucial to survival. When the heart is diseased or otherwise afflicted, it will have a detrimental effect on general health. Heart disease can be fatal, although many people receive treatment for heart problems every day. Early detection is key to controlling health problems involving the heart. Obviously, anyone who has suffered the pain and terror of a heart attack will understand why Cardiophobia can occur.

Other Phobias

The Heart as a Symbol

Ablutophobia

Aichmophobia Fear of needles or pointed objects

When health is not involved in the development of this phobia, the heart may be a symbolic link between the emotions and the soul. Often, the heart is used to represent the feelings of love, both romantic and platonic, that we feel for other people in our lives. Broken heart, heartache, and being “heartsore” are all variations on the themes of pain and loss that are often associated with the heart as a symbol. Simply put, people with Cardiophobia may fear the anguish of a broken heart.

Alliumphobia

Fear of garlic

Bogyphobia

Fear of bogeys

Coulrophobia

Fear of clowns

Dentophobia

Fear of dentists

Disposophobia Fear of throwing stuff out Emetophobia

Fear of vomiting

Ephebiphobia

Fear of teenagers

Gerascophobia Fear of growing old Hippophobia

Fear of horses

Katsaridaphobia Fear of cockroaches

Heart Strings People who have suffered from painful breakups and divorces may shrink from the candy hearts and glossy, heartshaped boxes of chocolate that surface every Valentine’s Day. Cards, letters, and even stuffed animals bearing bright, scarlet

Fear of washing or bathing

Lachanophobia Fear of vegetables hearts will be symbols of their suffering. For many, seeing a heart can be a cheery reminder of romance. Of course, for the lonely and forlorn, hearts will serve the opposite purpose, reminding them only of what they cannot or do not have.

Novercaphobia Fear of your step-mother Omphalophobia Fear of belly buttons Phobophobia

Fear of phobias

Tropophobia

Fear of moving or making changes


20 theWord

Forearmed is stair master bursts of exercise are just as forewarned Short beneficial as a regular workout

The Future of Satellite Television Worried about the impending switch-off and how you will be affected? Widely publicised, the new Astra Satellite that was recently launched and is fully functional will be replacing the older satellite narrowing the footprint and is believed that when this happens it will leave tens of thousands of ex-pats throughout Spain, without service. Register your name and contact details so that if and when you lose your signal, we can contact you automatically with details of the solution. It doesn’t matter if you are a currently connected to a satellite service, a rebroadcasted service or, have no service at all. It costs nothing and by registering your name, you

are not committed in any way to use our service, this action is simply so that; A. You are informed about what needs to happen in order to get your signal back. B. If you choose to use us to get you switched on, your place in the queue in secured. Re-connection will be on a first come first served basis regardless of which package you select or where you live. The Astra satellite could be switched off at any time, act now to avoid unnecessary delays.

To register, go to: www.iberswitchtv.com

complete the simple online form giving your surname, email address, contact number, town and province. It’s that simple. Let’s be ready for this one together.

to register go to www.iberswitchtv.com

Climbing the stairs or raking the leaves is as good for your heart as going to the gym, scientists claim. A study has shown that short bursts of activity throughout the day are just as beneficial as regular workouts in the gym. Light exercises, such as simply walking around while talking on the phone, all add up to help stave off disorders that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The researchers found that 43 per cent of those who did light exercise –including everyday chores that take a minute or two each – met government physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes per day, compared with less than 10 per cent of those who worked out. People get it in their minds that if they don’t get 30 minutes they might as well not exercise at all. You will always be presented with things that entice you to sit or be less active – such as using a leaf blower instead of a rake. Making physical activity a way of life is more cost-effective than an expensive gym membership. You will be healthier, more mobile and just feel better all-round. Instead of driving half a mile, people should try CYCLING or walking the same distance. Try doing sit ups, pushups or jumping jacks through TV commercials. Me, I’m taking this advice and in future, I’ll be running to the pub!


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Dual tariff electricity Take advantage of half price electricity for an amazing 14 hours per day

Having operated in Spain for some years, they are no stranger to deregulated market places, having been one of the first to deal with telephone deregulation they are used to dealing with the large organisations that have controlled the market unabated. Not only will they switch you to another provider, they will monitor the market and make subsequent changes to your account if they will benefit you financially to do so. To enable everyone to use their service and not excluding people for reasons of hardship, the people who need it the most, they charge a small monthly fee of just €3.50 plus IVA to control your account rather than charging on a “per switch” basis.

Looking Forward

The average saving that people who are on the dual tariff enjoy is around 25% of the overall bill. Simply put, if you normally spend around €100 a month your annual saving is likely to be in the region of €300 which is not to be sniffed at. Many people make the assumption that the dual tariff would not work for them either because they think they consume more during the off-peak period or, they think the off-peak time is only through the night.

Clock Watching Until the clock changes, the off-peak hours are from 10pm to 12 noon the following day giving 14 hours a day of half price power. During these hours, the big consuming items, things like washing machines, dishwashers, pool pumps and water heaters can drastically reduce your bill. Only use the washing machine twice a week? That’s over 100 times a year multiplied by one or two hours of heavy consumption. Does your pool pump run for a couple of hours every day? That’s over 700 hours a year, switching to the dual tariff will half the bill. Fridges and freezers run all day every day and the overall saving to these is in the region of 30%. They work harder during the day when the door is being opened and closed frequently.

Double Whammy Over and above the obvious savings, there is one relatively overlooked issue which switching tariffs will help to eradicate. People with the old style meter, the one with the disk that spins round, are likely to be paying much more than they should be because many of these meters are faulty. Consumer organisation Facua have issued many statements saying that up to 80% of analogue meters are spinning quicker than they should be, costing consumers a great deal of unnecessary expense. Switching tariff means changing to the new style digital meter which, if your existing meter is faulty, will fix this issue immediately.

Alternative Choice If you are currently with the grid company for your supply (Iberdrola), you can gain additional benefits by switching to a free market provider as they will offer discounted rates, fixed periods and transparent billing. There are over 150 companies operating in Spain which offer an alternative to the monopoly companies which up until recently have enjoyed being able to dictate the rate you pay. When changing companies, you need to consider the small

print to ensure you don’t move from the frying pan to the fire. Using a Utility Switching Company (USC) to move your account is by far the best idea because more often than not, there are additional benefits of being under the umbrella of a company which controls the accounts of large numbers of consumers.

Bridging The Gap One such company is Iberswitch S.L. They offer free and impartial advice on all areas of electricity supply whether it is billing, ICP regulations, earth leakage, potencia upgrades or faults likely to increase your bills. Even better, they do this in your own language.

According to El Economista newspaper, electricity prices are set to increase by about 20% during 2013 so there has never been a better time to take control of our bills, to take positive action against rising electricity costs. The one thing we know for sure is, electricity prices will continue to rise and at a rate which is completely out of proportion to the cost of living. Act now before the nest huge price increase. Call Iberswitch on 902 027 517 or visit their website: www. iberswitch.com to see how their service can help you.


22 theWord EDITORIAL

Keep your casa cosy this winter KIRK TROUBRIDGE has been keeping our 'casas cosy' since he moved to Spain six years ago. Never intending to sit back and relax in the Spanish sun, he moved over with his family to set up Cosy Casa. He brought with him almost 20 years of experience of solar and central heating and has over 500 happy customers here from Gran Alacant down to Mazarron. Kirk is proud to say that 78 per cent of his business comes from client recommendations and referrals and believes his after-sales service is second to none as he will always be at the end of the phone should customers have any questions or problems after installation. “For service calls we guarantee we will be there by the next day.” Gas Central Heating systems are fully fitted and installed from €2,995 to include five radiators of any size, combination boiler with gas bottles and all gas certificates. Their central heating system now also includes biomass pellet boilers, the newest and most economical way of heating your home, although currently, the most expensive. “Once that initial outlay has been made they are very cheap to run costing around €8 a week and now

you can run a full heating system from them.” For those wanting solar, Cosy Casa offer Solar Photovoltaic (PV) electric systems and solar hot water systems. Various levels of solar can be installed. A small solar electricity system costing from €1,795 installed and working, will run items such as TV's and cookers to reduce your electric bills, while a full system will power every electrical item by solar totally eliminating your electricity bills. The compact hot water system, installed for only €1,895 works on a compact and split system and gives hot water all year round. Solar PV comes with a 25 year guarantee and gas central heating systems have a 10 year guarantee with Cosy Casa offering a free extended warranty on boilers. So for professional, honest and friendly advice on what will best work for you and your home, call Kirk on 654 593 372. Cosy Casa is fully certified and legal with all the necessary and required gas registrations so you know your home is in safe hands.

Free hot water all year round

The latest German technology glass vacuum tubes - 160 litre pressurised titanium water tank, never rusts or leaks.

Complete system installed for €1895

Gas central heating system

5 radiators of any size. Combination boiler, 2 gas bottles. No hidden extras All system sizes & designs, gas or oil, bottles or storage tanks. All systems include Cepsa gas certificate ( a legal requirement in Spain)

Installed & working for €2995

Free electric for your home

We can install solar to supply part for all of your electricity needs.

Beat the rise in electric costs

Specialists in solar, heating and water treatment Free design and quotations


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23

EASY HORSE CARE Easy Horse Care and Little Pod Association have been invitied to have book stall at a photographic exhibition on Saturday 16th March there will be a photographic exhibition at Restaurant Asturias, Punta Prima, from 12 noon to 5 pm. This will feature photographs and art work by Jess Calke who is visiting Orihuela Costa. Jess is well established and has gained her qualifications from the UK Royal Photographic Society. Her latest range of work is being shown for the first time internationally at this exhibition. J e s s’s p h o to gr a p h i c preferences lie firmly within the natural world. Her experiences have drawn her back to the earth’s creatures each time she’s deviated. This has most recently been cemented by her largest single body of work taken on safari in Tanzania. Her style has traditionally

been that of pure photography, untouched, as seen through the eye of the camera during that split second of time. Recently however, she has been drawn in by the techno march. This has led to diversifying to create and build images which merge her skills of the natural world with additional techniques. This culminates in producing a distinctive inaugural series of larger than life Big Cat canvases. Jess's work has and is being featured in various National Trust properties in England Jess has invited two local Charities to share in her day. The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre and Little Pod Association will be holding a book and merchandise sale. Little Pod is hoping to raise much needed funds to enable Pia a young Podenco to have an operation to straighten her front leg. The EHCRC Foundation is

delighted to announce the arrival of our new delivery van. We are now able to offer our customers a collection service for large items donated to the Easy Horse Care Charity Shops. To date we have five wonderful charity shops on the Costa

Residencial Alhambras

Mosa Trajectum A 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, ground floor luxury apartment. Overlooking one of the communal pools, the total build area of this property is 77.59M2. In addition there is a porch of 20.1M2, accessible via French windows from the lounge. This property is brought to the market furnished to a high standard and includes golf rights. Spacious Lounge. 2 x patio doors to rear terrace. Double storage cupboards. TV & telephone points. Open plan to kitchen. Kitchen Fully fitted eye & base level units. Electric oven & ceramic hob. Extractor fan. Fridge/freezer. Integral dishwasher & microwave. Breakfast bar. Door to utility room containing washing machine, scrub sink & gas boiler. Natural gas. Bedroom 1 Fitted double wardrobe. TV point. En-suite with corner Jacuzzi bath with shower over. Basin with built in cupboard under. Mirror. W.C. Bidet. Bedroom 2 Fitted double wardrobe. TV point. Bathroom Corner shower cubicle. Basin. Mirror. W.C. Bidet. In addition there is ducted air conditioning throughout the property, electric persianas on all windows, alarm system & video entry phone. An underground parking space and a trastero are included. There is a large rear patio which is fully tiled and includes a porch area. South east facing this is a high quality property with luxury fittings throughout.

Reduced to €150,000. Call: 664 050 979

Blanca. Guardamar, La Zenia, Montesinos, Las Siesta and Quesada. Each one is packed to the rafters with amazing treasures; you never know what you may find and every euro we raise goes towards feeding and treating our rescued equines.

Please telephone Vicky on 636062000 to arrange collections or house clearances. For more information on locations of our shops visit our webpage: www.easyhorsecare.net

Get your FREE 0844 number

Help family & friends to save money when they call you in Spain

We give you a UK number that connects directly to your Spanish landline number. When your friends and family call you from the UK using your 0844 number they will only pay 3p per minute which is about the same as a UK local call. There are NO International prefixes and NO hidden costs!

To get your FREE Friends & Family number call:

902 027 517 today.


24 theWord

Energy Performance Certificates

In 2013 Implementation of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) whenever a property in Spain is built, sold or rented becomes law.

Just as in the UK and most of the other EU countries, property owners will shortly be obligated in law to provide perspective purchasers or tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate. The start-date was originally planned to be 1st January, 2013 but the government have been slow to sign it off which may well mean they are fined by the EU. It is believed that 1st June, 2013 will now be when this Royal Decree becomes effective and penalties for non-compliance will not be long to follow for anyone who fails to have the correct paperwork in place. EPC-Spain.es is your portal to avoid penalties and to ensure you don’t reach the Notary office only for the sale not to proceed because of incomplete paperwork, which will happen if a certificate has not previously been obtained. Most lawyers are already obtaining the EPC on behalf of vendors who are in the process of selling on the basis that the period of validity is 10 years. As part of the Iberswitch Group, EPC-Spain.es offer a complete certification service through a network of qualified EPC Assessors. Applying for the survey is simple; either visit the website or call our office to make a booking.

WHAT THE EPC GIVES YOU: The Energy Performance Certificate provides two ratings: The Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) relates directly to the property’s running costs and measures the overall efficiency of a home. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the home is and the lower the fuel bills will be. The Environmental Impact Rating (EIR) relates directly to the property’s impact on the environment. The rating given represents the property’s carbon emissions, i.e. the higher the rating the less impact the property has on the environment. The Energy Performance Certificate will show the energy efficiency of the property at the time of inspection. The report will make recommendations for improvements, with low, medium and high cost measures, and offer advice on prioritising the different ways of saving energy, in order to reduce fuel bills and the homes environmental impact. This report gives you information on: • Actual and potential energy efficiency within your home • Suggested improvements e.g. insulation or solar power options • An approximate cost of these improvements • Possible cost savings per year if the improvements were implemented This information can be used to: • Cut fuel and energy bills • Improve energy performance within the home • Help cut carbon emissions • Help you choose a more energy efficient home to buy or rent

The Assessment: An EPC assessment can take anywhere between 25 minutes to over an hour for domestic EPCs. Commercial Energy Performance Certificates tends to take longer requiring several hours or days for a complete inspection. The size of the property, the building's age and the ease of access to the property may influence the duration of the inspection. Energy assessments shouldn't cause too much disruption to daily life. Bear in mind that both an internal and external inspection of the property is required including access to loft spaces (if one exists) and the boiler. In order for Energy Performance Certificates to be granted, the assessor needs to do the following: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Identify the construction of the walls Measure any roof insulation Confirm the number of double glazed windows Count the number of fireplaces Check the make and model of the boiler according to EU regulations Assess green energy devices such as solar panels or assess the potential for the installation of these devices Count the number of low energy light bulbs in use Inspect the heating system Inspect and categorise the type of material used for hot water pipe insulation Assess the amount of heat loss through the roof Check for excessive window areas in larger homes Inspect conservatories and extensions Count the number of heated habitable rooms

EPC provide ratings for all sorts of different buildings and highlight their energy efficiency based on factors such as: • • • • •

Age and layout of the building Types of activities in different areas Sorts of materials used for its construction Methods in which the building is heated, cooled and ventilated How it utilises lighting

The ratings are then presented in a way that is not uncommon on white goods, such as a fridge or a tumble drier. These are standardised, so that buildings can be compared easily. Like white goods, letters are used, with ‘A’ proving the most energy efficient rating and ‘G’ the least. EPCs not only show the energy performance of the building as a carbon based index, but they also provide: • •

The EPC number and date of issue Details of the energy assessor for that specific EPC (this should include a name, accreditation number, employers name and accreditation scheme)


theWord

25

If you are selling a Spanish property or are a holiday home owner, you must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before you start marketing your property or you may face a fine.

FAQs What is an energy certificate? (Certificado de Eficiencia Energética) It is a report that describes how efficient a home is in terms of energy consumption. It assigns an energy rating to each home on a scale which ranges from "A" (best) to "G" (worst).

Will I be able to sell a property which does not have an energy certificate?

No you won´t. You will have to have a certificate before you begin marketing your property.

Who will have to pay for the energy certificate?

The owner of the property which is to be sold or rented is usually responsible for the charge.

How long is the energy certificate valid for?

The certificate is valid for 10 years. This means owners will not have to obtain a new certificate during this period unless they renovate or change the property in any way.

If I want to sell my home and it has a poor energy rating, such as D, E or F, am I obliged to make any improvements?

No, you are not obliged to make any improvements even if your property has a low rating.

Will a low rating affect the sale of my home? Can I sell it without any problems?

You are free to sell your home. The only way it will affect a sale is how the rating influences the buyer.

Who can issue an energy efficiency certificate?

According to the royal decree “energy efficiency certificates should be issued by qualified professional technicians who are authorised to undertake building projects and thermal installations for buildings. The property owner may choose the technician of their choice ".

How much will the EPC cost?

The cost is determined by the size of the property - for a property of up to 100m2 the charge is €295 plus IVA.

Will the technician need to visit the property (generally homes)? Yes. They have to visit the property to take measurements and collect information about the property before drawing up and certifying the report.


26 theWord

Stopping Smoking People know that if they stop smoking they will save thousands of pounds or Euros over the year plus adding many years to their lives. So, why do people continue to smoke even after all the warnings from their doctors and advertising campaigns ? It's often said that human beings are creatures of habit. Even if they know that a habit is bad for them, such as smoking, and against all the good advice given they continue to do it anyway. Cigarettes find their way into everyday life, becoming a part of many activities. Habits are formed, creating associations such as food and alcohol, or even driving a car - it seems to become a part of them. Perhaps more importantly cigarettes become, for most people, part of a coping mechanism to try to deal with emotional pressures such stress or boredom. When a smoker becomes upset, he or she reaches for the cigarette to try to feel better. There may be specific occasions which people

associate with smoking. Some wake up in the morning and the first thing they do is reach for a cigarette. while others use smoking to reduce stress - they say it relaxes them. The truth is cigarettes are a false friend that can eventually kill them ! Millions of people throughout the world have successfully stopped smoking using standard Hypnosis, and over the years I have helped many thousands of people to do so. The heaviest smoker that I ever had to help stop using Hypnosis and Laser Therapy was smoking160 cigarettes per day and the youngest was just 9 years of age ! My advice to every smoker is the same : STOP NOW WHILE YOU HAVE TIME! • Immediately: The air around you is no longer harmful to people around you. • 20 minutes after you quit: Your blood pressure and pulse rate decrease and your body temperature of your hands and feet increase.

• 8 hours: Carbon monoxide and oxygen levels return to normal. • 24 hours: Your chance of a heart attack decreases. • 48 hours: Your nerve endings start regrowing and your sense of smell and taste improve. • Between 2 weeks and 3 months: Your circulation and breathing improves and walking becomes easier. • Between 1 to 9 months: Coughing, tiredness and shortness of breath decreases energy levels increase. • 1 year smoke free: The risk of heart disease is reduced by half of that of a smoker. • 5 years smoke free: Your risk of a stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker. • 10 years smoke free: Your risk of smoking related cancers ( e.g. mouth, throat ) greatly reduced. • 15 years smoke free: The risk of heart disease and your life expectancy is the same as a non smoker. There are, in fact, over 600 ingredients in a cigarette ranging from the bizarre to the deadly.

By alan gilchrist

Costa Blanca’s Top Hypnotherapist www.alangilchristinspain.com

The main ones only are listed below; Formaldehyde.....used for embalming dead bodies Ammonia .......household bleach Acetone........paint stripper Cadminium....... .used in batteries Aluminium.......metal linked with Alzheimer's disease Hydrochloric acid.......industrial agent Ethanol ...........used in antifreeze Furfural...........industrial alcohol Maltol.............strong alcohol Paramethoxycinnamaldehyde........... slug pellets Nicotine........highly toxic nerve poison - A dosage of fifty thousandths of a gram will kill a person Carbon monoxide …...... compound produced by car exhausts D.D.T.........,.banned pesticide Hydrogen cyanide.................Used in gas chambers in the U.S.A Do you want to finally be able to quit smoking? Easily? Reliably? Without stress? It takes ONE 30 minute Fast Track Hypnosis to throw that

pack away for good. It really is

that amazing! "Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know I've done it thousands of times." - Mark Twain Pity Mark Twain did not know about Fast Track Hypnosis ! Alan and Jonathan Gilchrist hold their Fast Track Hypnosis sessions in Cabo Roig, Guardarmar, Benidorm and Fortuna. Alan is also the Creator of the Stop Smoking in under 30 minutes Fast Track System as featured and proven on TV. Jonathan also holds sessions in Spanish as well as English. For an appointment, Brochure, or free of charge initial consultation, contact Alan Gilchrist on 659229408 Jonathan Gilchrist on 691784954 www.alangilchristinspain.com www.hypnosiscostablanca.com www.thegastroband.com


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27

Birthstones

By MARION OLIVER

There are many theories about how jewellery originated. Some people believe that the caveman made the first jewellery, the special pins that held together their bearskins. So the first jewellery was largely functional and probably made from bone splinters. Later the pins were made from gold and other metals and used for self - adornment, similar to the brooches we wear today. Jewellery has always been popular as a status symbol. Earlier Kings and chiefs wore much more jewellery than their subjects did, to show how important they were. In India there used to be such a huge amount of precious stones and metal that the Indian gentry would give each other their body weight in gemstones or gold as a birthday present. Nowadays we wear jewellery more as a complement to clothing than anything else. Many people like to wear a ring or a pendant set with their birthstone. So in case you don’t know which birthstone goes with which month, here they are. Some stones have superstitions attached to them, but don’t take these too seriously.

February: Amethyst

A lovely lilac to purple coloured stone, said to get rid of evil spirits and to protect crops from insects and storms. Strengthens the immune system.

March: Aquamarine

this most beautiful of stones. Diamond is very expensive, so cubic zirconia stones make a more affordable substitute.

Burma. The stone soothes a bad temper and helps you make a lot of money. Inspires honesty and faithfulness.

May: Emerald

August: Peridot

A lovely green, expensive, precious stone. It’s said to be helpful for poor eyesight. Tourmaline could be substituted, it’s darker than emerald, but a lot less expensive.

A light green stone, quite pretty. Peridot protects against chest infections.

September: Sapphire

November: Topaz

A semi - precious stone, there are several shades, yellowish gold, reddish gold, and smoky grey-brown.

December: Turquoise

June: Pearl

A very pale transparent blue stone which cures toothache and liver disease. In addition it makes your marriage happy and keeps you calm.

April: Diamond

January: Garnet

Cultured or imitation. Cultured fresh water pearls are not too expensive and are very pretty. The saying has it," pearls for tears ", this could be because some pearls are teardrop shaped.

Probably the best come from Burma but Sri Lanka also produces sapphires which are usually a lighter blue. Protects from scorpion bites and cures dysentery.

October: Opal

July: Ruby

A dark slightly brownish red stone. Not too expensive and supposedly helps to keep you healthy.

they are delicate stones which can be easily damaged and drop out of their mountings if knocked hard, which is definitely unlucky for the owner.

The symbol if love and purity. There is no need to describe

COMPETITION

A red to rose pink precious stone. Many rubies come from

Beautiful, quite valuable stones. Most often white or blue with multicoloured glints of fire inside. They are rumoured to be unlucky. This is probably because

Simply tell us who said: Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know, I’ve done it thousands of times.

Win 10 How to give up smoking CD’s courtesy of Ian Gilchrist

Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss

Email your answer with your name and contact details to: info@the word.es or send us the form on the right.

Telephone

Name

Email address Mobile

Opaque blue stone. Sometimes it has black veins running through it. Finally, please remember when buying jewellery that it pays to shop around. Some people believe that the name on the box is as important as the jewellery inside. They will pay more than they need for a piece of jewellery because it comes from a very posh or well known shop When they see an identical piece of jewellery at a much lower price in a small relatively unknown shop, they believe that their purchase must be of much better quality, when actually the only difference is in the size of the jewellers profit.

WIN!

Postal address Your Answer: Pop into an envelope and post to: Apartado de Correos 516, 30366, El Algar, Cartagena, Murcia.


28 theWord Customer Support Staff Experienced customer services personnel required to join the Care Team at Iberswitch SL, Spain’s largest USC (Utility Switching Company) based in Cartagena. The successful candidate will be required to deal with customer enquiries and must be able to demonstrate enthusiasm, professionalism and a desire to help others. Other prerequisites include; polite telephone manner, computer literate and able to work within a team. Nonsmokers preferred. Please send your CV to: info@iberswitch.com

Self Employed Agents Promote our portfolio of services on a part or full-time basis. No experience is needed and we offer full training and excellent commission rates. Our services include: Satellite TV, Wifi Internet services, Mobile phone and PAYG mobile Internet services. This is an excellent opportunity for people wishing to add quality, great value services to their own service or, for people wishing to embark on a new career move with a future. For more information please call: 664 050 979

so that's where it came from If you ever wondered where sayings came from They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. Once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery... if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot... They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

Native English Teacher A new, fresh, innovative teacher is required at a local academy. Experience and qualifications preferred. Applicant needs to have TEFL or equivalent. In the first instance please email: englishlanguagelearningacademy@gmail.com

Qualified Electrician Self employed, qualified and professional electrician required for contract work in the Mazarron/Murcia areas. Please call: 664 050 979 for more information

job spot

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. This is why brides today carry a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children, last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!" Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. This is why we have the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs." There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. People who lived this way were "Dirt poor." However, the wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Otherwise known as a thresh hold. In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."

They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat. Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.


29

theWord Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle and guests got the top, or the upper crust. Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Which is where the custom of holding a wake originated. England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave..

A Question of Power By now, most people know that switching electricity supplier in Spain to save money is possible. Welcomed news indeed - most of Europe did it years ago. Here are some questions and answers that will help you decide what you should do: What kind of saving can we expect? No-one knows exactly how much you will save because the savings are based on the price increases which are applied in the future. We do know that prices have risen by 70% over

the last six years and are likely to supersede this in the future. What about the cheap night rate being offered? Lots have people have moved to Dual Tariff electricity. Cheaper at night but you pay a slight premium during the day. So long as you use the heavy consuming items during the cheap rate times you should see a considerable saving but it is still imperative to get onto the free market and fix your rate. What happens if we don’t switch? Nothing at all, it is a personal

choice but, as electricity prices continue to rise, so will your bill. Also, the government is likely to penalize those who do not switch just as they did with commercial customers in 2010. Avoid paying unnecessary increases - fix your rate. If you act now, you could avoid paying the January increase which is normally the largest, call Iberswitch on 966 265 089 they will work to fix your rate and protect you from price hikes that have been, and continue to, come thick and fast.

ICP Fitting Service Fitting an ICP is law in Spain When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be saved by the bell or was "considered a dead ringer.

Protect yourself from penalties Fitting from €70 plus iva

Call for details: 902 027 517

Freewheelers

valentines day out Valentine’s day out for the Freewheelers was a step back to their childhood days when they visited the Centro de Cultura Tradicional Museo Escola de Pusol, The Centre for Traditional Culture School Museum founded in 1969 as a school of the environment to study the crafts and traditions of the Elche Compo. Leaving La Marina Playa for the short drive to the outskirts of Elche we were greeted by shouts from a man 20 foot up a palm tree he was trimming. A quick brief by the lady in charge before the first part of the tour, a series of alcoves depicting the various room in a small country dwelling complete with household items commonly in use at that period. In front of each room stood three pupils from the school who explained the rooms and the items in them. After thanking the children

who did a sterling job we moved onto the outdoor life and the type of farming of the times and the implements used, also a combined blacksmith and carpenters workshop for building farm horse drawn carts. Round the corner into the shopping area and the display of what was on the shelves almost a century ago. Even the barbers shop is there. Oft was heard the phrase "I remember them" or "We had one of those". I remember during my last year at school going to a printers that were using similar type set and blocks to the ones on display. If you have never been it really is a worthwhile nostalgic visit. On to Faulty Towers and another good value lunch washed down with ample wine and so ended another excellent day out enjoyed by all. Thank you Richard, where next?

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No minimum spend! No phone line required!

PAYG Internet is cost effective and convenient for people who are not permanent residents, who have low usage and cannot justify the high monthly charges, use dial-up or do not have a fixed line. With the Plug & Play dongle, you will be on-line within minutes and, once you are connected, you are in complete control of what you spend. Chargeable at just 3 cents per MB you can enjoy high speed Internet combined with terrific value for money. All prices shown subject to IVA

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30 theWord

community noticeboard... MABS

Murcia

East

Wednesday 6 March – VOLUNTEERS MEETING – Las Claras, Los Alcázares - 11.00 am. If you would like to find out more about how you can help MABS, come along to our meeting. For further information please ring Bev on 693 362 823 th

Wednesday 13th March – ChariTEA – Centro Civico, San Javier – 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm. Tea with scones and cakes provided by Café Golf. Music provided by The Conservatory of Music with individual performances throughout the evening. Other charities attending include Help Mar Menor, Aidemar and Connexia EOISJ. Raffle tickets on sale at MABS Cancer Centre from 15th February at just 1€ each. Thursday 14th March – RACE AFTERNOON -Time Out Bar, San Javier 1.30pm. (Cheltenham Festival) For further details please call 968 192 418

fortuna

Murcia North East Every Other Monday Sew’n’So’s - Sewing Group with Jan Gough - 2.00 pm Urb. Las Kalendas, Fortuna

Last Wednesday of the Month MABS Fortuna Meeting - 11.30 am La Carcelera, Urb Las Kalendas. Fortuna.

1st Tuesday of the month Auction at Bob`s Bar - 2.00 pm Carretera Pinoso, Fortuna

future Events Saturday 16 th April - Spring Fair, Whitehouse, 12.00pm to 3.00pm

Tuesdays & Thursdays “Pick, Try, Choose, Buy & Donate” second hand store - 10.30 am - 12.00 pm Apartamentos Maruja, across the cycle path, opposite Las Palmeras, Baños de Fortuna.

Monday 6th May - Hog Roast with entertainment, castle Bar, from 1.00pm

2nd Wednesday of the month Fortuna Ladies’ Luncheon Club - 1.00 pm Las Palmeras Restaurant, Baños de Fortuna

calasparra

Murcia North west

Saturday 16th March – OPEN GOLF DAY, ‘The Eddie Allen Trophy’ – Las Pinaillas - 12.00pm 45€ includes buggy and coach at 9.00 am. Prize presentation, buffet and music after the game at Campbell’s Bar in Roda. Proceeds of hamper draw (2€ per ticket) and donations to MABS. 20€ secures a place, ring Stan Allen on 968 575 467 or Ciaran on 692 038 643 or call at Campbell’s Bar in Roda.

First and Third Friday of each month - MABS Market Stall in Calasparra Market – 9.00 am - 1.00 pm Situated opposite the Gran Via café

Tuesday 19th March – Diamantes Ladies Lunch, El Mojón- 1.30 pm for 2.00 pm Three course lunch with glass of wine and entertainment...10.50 €. Raffle in aid of MABS. Come along, dress up and meet and make new friends. Book your place with Diamante’s on 965 352 947

Second Wednesday of each month - MABS Murcia NW Volunteer Monthly Meeting – 5.00 pm New venue: Hotel Argos (between Calasparra & Cehegin) – new volunteers welcome. Call 650 103 095 for further details.

Sunday 31st March (Easter Sunday) LUNCH - Time Out, San Javier – 1.30 pm Lunch with entertainment by Andy Jones. Hamper being raffled in aid of MABS. Booking required, please call 968 192 418 Every Saturday BOOK SALE The Arches Restaurant, Los Alcázares 10.00 am - 1.00 pm (weather permitting) The MABS Book Stall is a regular feature at The Arches Restaurant on a Saturday and is popular with book-lovers from Los Alcázares and the surrounding areas. Browse the stall and enjoy a coffee or bargain breakfast while you choose your books.

For further information on Fortuna events, please contact: mabsmurciane@gmail.com

Last Friday of every month - MABS Book Stall – 11.00 am – 2.00 pm Outside the Trevol Bar/ Cafe on Urb. Tierra del Sol, Calasparra. (This is held the last Friday of every month) For further information on Calasparra events, please contact: mabsmurcianw@gmail.com

Originally named MARINA ALTA BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP, their aim was to provide support to cancer patients and their families on the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol. News travelled fast and the medical profession was soon referring ALL types of cancers to the Group for support, so the name was changed to MABS CANCER SUPPORT GROUP to reflect this. They provide information on the type of cancer, treatment, side effects, where to buy wigs and prosthesis, etc. MABS provides translators for clinic and hospital appointments, as well as drivers who will collect the person from home and deliver them to the place of treatment, wait for them, and take them home again.


theWord The Office for the Urbanisations is currently organising many activities including golf lessons at Alicante Golf. The first lesson on the 11th off February was a great success and as such the classes will continue on the first Monday of every month at a cost of 10€. We recently organised a trip for 110 people to Orihuela Medieval Market. It was a huge success and many people are waiting for the next trip to the Chocolate factory in Villajoyosa. We are in the process of creating both a Netball and Padel club on Urbanisation Marina and are arranging self defence classes in the Social Centre. The Social Centre is now being used for classes every day including craft classes on a Wednesday between 10:30 and 1pm, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, table tennis and many more. We are constantly looking at a variety of activities for all nationalities and ages on the urbanisations. From Thursday the 21st of February, and every subsequent Thursday, GAES

SAN FULGENCIO

Just for laughs: Wife sent a text to husband at work … "Windows at home frozen - what should I do?" Husband - "spray some de-icer or pour hot water on them" Wife a few minutes later - "Done that - now the computer won't work at all! A blonde, wanting to earn some extra money, decided to hire herself out as a handywoman and started canvassing the neighbourhood. She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any odd jobs for her. "Well, I guess I could use somebody to paint my porch," he said. "How much will you charge me?" The blonde quickly responded, "How about €50?" The man agreed and told her the green paint and everything she needed was in the garage. The man's wife, hearing the conversation, said to her husband, "Does she realize that our porch goes all the way around the house?" He responded, "That's a bit cynical, isn't it? Of course, she does." The wife replied, "You're right. I guess I'm starting to believe all those dumb-blonde jokes." A short time later, the blonde handywoman came to the door to collect her money. "You’ve finished already?" the husband asked. "Yes," the blonde replied, "and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats - no extra charge." Impressed, the man reached into his pocket for the €50 and handed it to her. "And by the way," the blonde added ... "it's not a Porch -- it's a Lamborghini! A Melbourne Zoo had acquired a female of a very rare species of gorilla. Within a few weeks, the gorilla became very cantankerous and difficult to handle. Upon examination, the Zoo veterinarian determined the problem. The Gorilla was on heat. To make matters worse, there were no male gorillas of the species available. While reflecting on their problem, the Zoo management noticed Graham, a big Kiwi lad & former All Black responsible for fixing the Zoo's machinery. Graham, like most Kiwis, seemed to be possessed with ample ability to satisfy a female of any species. So the Zoo administrators thought they might have a solution. Graham was approached with a proposition. Would he be willing to have sex with the gorilla for $500? Graham showed some interest, but said he would have to think the matter over carefully. The following day, Graham announced that he would accept their offer, but only under three conditions: "Fust," he said, "I don't want to have to kiss er." "Sicondly, you must niver niver tull anyone about thus." The Zoo administration quickly agreed to these conditions, so they asked what his third condition was. "Wull," said Graham, "You gotta give me another week to come up with the $500. Three sisters ages 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together. One night the 96 year old draws a bath.. She puts her foot in and pauses... She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?" The 94 year old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses "Was I going up the stairs or down?" The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful," she knocked on wood. She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door." A man goes to bed and reaches over to his wife.

31

Centros Auditivos will be carrying out free hearing tests in the Social Centre between 2pm and 5.45pm. Appointments can be made by ringing 965414953 The Social Centre is also used to host events such as the Open Day for AECC on the 12th of March from 4pm to 6pm with a talk from the Chairman D.Pablo Enríquez Valens. Since November 2011, the Office for the Urbanisations, headed by Jeffrey Wiszniewski, has campaigned continuously for people to donate food for the most needy of San Fulgencio. Initially this campaign was to collect food to give the most needy a better Christmas, but due to the huge collaboration of especially the British expat community, this campaign continued throughout the next 15 months. We have now distributed more than 5000 kilos of food to more than 60 families. This Christmas, as well as basic food stuffs, we were able to also give out over 500 kilos of fresh fruit and vegetables thanks to the amazing generosity of the Posh Palace Restaurant, Urb Marina, who donated it. We were also able this Christmas to provide sacks of toys to more than 60 very happy Children. Anyone who wishes to donate food, please bring it into the office in Calle Madrid as, due to the crisis, more and more families are being added to the list.

He starts sliding his hand slowly across her back, shoulders, then down her side just glancing her breasts then carries on down her side and legs. He slides her legs apart and slowly runs his hand up and down her inner thigh. He moves back towards the top and stops.His wife opens her eyes and gasps.. "Why did you stop?" He replies "Found the remote .. Go back to sleep!" Siamese twins walk into a bar in Canada and park themselves on a bar stool. One of them says to the bartender, "Don't mind us; we're joined at the hip. I'm John, he's Jim. Two Molson Canadian beers, draft please." The bartender, feeling slightly awkward, tries to make polite conversation while pouring the beers. "Been on holiday yet, lads?" "Off to England next month," says John. "We go to England every year, rent a car and drive for miles. Don't we, Jim?" Jim agrees. "Ah, England!" says the bartender. "Wonderful country... The history, the beer, the culture..." "Nah, we don't like that British crap," says John. "Hamburgers and Molson's beer, that's us, eh Jim? And we can't stand the English - they're so arrogant and rude." "So why keep going to England?" asks the bartender. .......John said..... "It's the only chance Jim gets to drive." A father spoke to his son, "It's time we had a little talk my son. Soon you will have urges and feelings you've never had before. Your heart will pound and your hands will sweat. You'll be preoccupied and won't be able to think of anything else." He added, "But don't worry, it's perfectly normal... it's called golf."


32 theWord

in the garden

Wordsearch solution page 43

CRYPTIC crossword

SUDOKU Fill in the grids in such a way that every row and every column and every 3 x 3 box contains the number 1-9. Solution on page 43

Across

Acanthus Agave Aloe Alpine Alyssum Anemone Annual Arnica Arum Aspic Aster Aubretia Balm Briar Calandrinia Canna

Catmint Cherry Chicory Clematis Clover Corn-poppy Daisy Datura Erica Festoon Flag Flora Gerbera Geum Glaucium Gorse

Hibiscus Iberis Immortelle Iris Ixia Jacinth Jonquil Kniphofi a Lilac Lily Lotus Lupinus Madder May Musk Myrtle

Nuphar Opuntia Ox-eye Oxlip Paigle Pansy Papaver Petal Pink Poker Polygonum Rocket Rose Scilla Sepal Squash

Stock Sundew Syringa Thrift Thyme Tulip Water Hyacinth Wattle Weed Weld Whin Wold Yucca

4 ) It is found in a crop of such fruit (7) 8) Time ran out at the mosque (7) 9) Cultivation developed up to the time of this age (7) 10) Neil has one that looks like a lion (7) 11) Guess I’m sure it’s found in the South (7) 12) On track to solve it? (6) 14) You are such a little gentleman pressing it for me (6) 18) We must construct a statue bearing Tom’s head as it’s the law (7) 21) Hesitates as low-tension has safer application (7) 22) A seamstress fi nds it protective when the limb is broken (7) 23) In Los Angeles such a turn is considered quite usual (7) 24) At first Edwin rested then went out and directed its course (7)

Down

1) Entreat that little devil to accept the role (7) 2) You give it as a gift and we nod off (5) 3) A train’s constructed by such a skilled worker (7) 4) Bear witness that we were at the big match (6) 5) A sovereign right to lure them in (5) 6) Each lick is endless it seems when drinking the wine from it (7) 7) For me the end result is a musical one (5) 13) That’s a hard one! (7) 15) Peter Lee is to be cut off and stuffed, as it were (7) 16) We need your support here (7) 17) You’re fed up at the end when we say we’ll protect you (6) 18) Tess has a way that really satisfies (5) 19) Some cucumbers are a dark dusky brown (5) 20) It’ll grow on you, fellows (5)


theWord

Unscramble the single word clues and solve the crossword 11. Image of a deity (4) 12. Golbe (3) 13. Alolt (4) 14. Adttruaele (6) 17. Very small island (5) 18. Detisny (3) 20. Causing erosion (7) 22. Psesred (6) 23. Sleeping car (7) DOWN 1. Tfl rie (7) 2. Fele (3) 3. Serious wrongdoing (5) 4. Hpleer (4) 5. Narrow opening (4) 6. Weairng (7) 7. Wreoirs (5) 9. Selected by vote (7) 15. Lofty nest (5) 16. Place for keeping goods (5) 18. Long narrow mark (4) 19. Above and beyond (4) 21. Dip in liquid (3)

ACROSS 1. Disorderly disturbance (6) 6. Beeig (4) 8. Vxe (4) 10. Swehor (4)

Super Sudoku, Usual Rules Apply solutions page 43

Can you, in 7 moves, turn the top word into the bottom one? You must alter one letter at a time to make another proper word.

Tiny But Mighty

Break the Code...

33

Across: 1 Moved towards (4) 5 Employed (4) 6 Echo (4) 7 Move gently (4) Down: 1 Preserve (4) 2 Continent (4) 3 Belonging to the males (4) 4 Boundary (4)


34 theWord

MARCH

movie releases

in an ethical quandary and he uses every means at his disposal to try and get off the hook – partly motivated by his being on the verge of a longanticipated merger. Aided by a chillingly blank and charming performance from Gere, Jarecki strolls this moral tightrope with surety. We despise Robert for his misdeeds while at the same time we revel in his triumphs, forcing us to question our own responses to a financial crisis started by men with equally great hair, and just as few scruples.

material, Mark Wahlberg is very watchable. But give him a poor script, like the one for derivative political thriller ‘Broken City’, and he’s the acting equivalent of slow-drying paint. Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggart (now that’s a movie hero name), a disgraced cop turned private detective whose work for New York Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) leads him to uncover a seedy web of intrigue, doubledealing, backhand payments and… are we still awake? ‘Broken City’ is never actively bad, and it borders on entertaining at times. But from the frosty photography to the forgettable score, from the by-numbers dialogue to the non-committed performances, it’s a pale imitation of more memorable movies and TV shows, notably ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘State of Play’. It’s a shame because somewhere in here there’s a cogent, timely attack on the links between business and politics.

Broken City

Side Effects

It's almost Spring so let's see what has sprung up for March! Arbitrage

The financial thriller is a tricky thing to get right: there’s only so many times a devious elderly white man in a suit can toss around phrases like ‘hostile takover’ and ‘corporate bias’ before it starts to become confusing or dull. ‘Arbitrage’ is the debut feature from documentary director Nicholas Jarecki and it successfully mitigates potential tedium with a combination of twisty plotting, rock-solid performances and a slippery sense of morality gone askew. Richard Gere is hedge fund manager Robert Miller, whose lovingly paternal exterior hides a heart of solid steel. A road accident leaves Robert

Mark Wahlberg , Russell Crowe , Catherine Zeta-Jones When he engages with his

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here

Channing Tatum , Rooney Mara , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Jude Law

Advertise your business or service here from €20 Call for details: 902 026 105

The latest film – maybe the last; more on that later – from Steven Soderbergh is a slippery one. It’s a pacy, sleight-ofhand thriller that satisfies as unabashed, borderline schlocky genre fun. It’s also full of sly digs at consumerism and the love of money, and it presents itself as the beguiling cinematic swansong of perhaps the most intriguing Hollywood auteur of his generation. Set in a coolly observed New York of fractured grids and watching eyes, a world of careerism, materialism and one-upmanship, the film establishes Martin and Emily’s marriage, and that of Jonathan and his wife (Vinessa Shaw), as rocky from the start. A bloody crisis jolts us into a pinball machine of legal proceedings, Big Pharma shenanigans and media feeding frenzies. Then a succession of twists, bluffs and rug-pullings takes us into pure cat-and-mouse territory. As a thriller in the Hitchcock mould, ‘Side Effects’ is great fun: its characters are well acted without being entirely likeable, which makes their jeopardy all the more enjoyable while putting us at a clinical remove. The script barrels along at enough of a lick for us to forgive some clunky elements – dodgy dialogue, an over-explained climax. And Soderbergh’s delight in technique is obvious, from masterfully attentive editing to a tendency to look skywards.

Manic

Elijah Wood , America Olivo , Liane Balaban , Nora Arnezeder This much can be said for French director Franck Khalfoun’s grainy, grimy, LA-set remake of the 1980 B-movie regarded as a classic in genre circles: at least it gives you fair warning. The agonisingly

deliberate opening, in which a pretty young clubber is followed home and slaughtered in the hallway by an unseen mouth-breathing predator, acts as a litmus test for the entire exercise – which amounts to a parade of similar rat-in-a-trap carvings. If you’re not driven to the walkout point by the time the first victim falls to the ground, you may get something out of this boringly bloody slasher. Its inconsistent distinguishing gimmick is that it’s shot from the killer’s point of view. The killer is played by still-baby-faced Elijah Wood and is a tortured collector of shop mannequins, which he charmingly accessorises with the scalps of his prey.

The Guilt Trip

Seth Rogen , Barbra Streisand , Adam Scott You can imagine the eureka moment: a studio vice-president tells his minions that they’ve got to capture the three key demographics of 30-yearold stoners, over-40 gay males and sexagenarian moms. Just then, a younger studio executive jumps up from his chair and exclaims, ‘I’ve got it! We make a roadtrip movie about a guy traveling from New Jersey to San Francisco with his overly affectionate, highmaintenance Jewish mother! And it’ll star Barbra Streisand and that lovable schlub from “Knocked Up”!’ The VP begins weeping with joy. High fives are exchanged and designer water bottles are ceremoniously clinked together. Over in the corner, someone starts minting money.


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Ecosense = Good Sense Don’t throw good money down the toilet Renting Spanish property has become a less viable option for many people. When comparing the income gained compared to the running costs and in particular, those of electricity, there is often a fine line dividing profit from loss. Even when this is not the case, avoiding wastage means higher profit margins. The first thing that people do when they arrive at the apartment or house they have rented in Spain, is turn on the air conditioner and whizz the control down to 16 degrees, full fan speed, often leaving the cold air blowing as they depart the property for a day at the beach. Accepted by many as a by-product of rental business, you can easily and cheaply eradicate this which over time will put a completely different complexion on your rental income. There are two Ecosense products that will help you to reduce your electricity consumption whilst you are renting your property. One product turns off the air conditioner unit if it doesn’t detect movement after a set period. The other dictates the minimum and maximum temperature levels, as set by you. Ecosense products may be purchased separately or together, if using both you maximise on your potential savings. Visit the Ecosense website for more information: www.ecosense.co.uk. Alternately call our Spanish distributor Iberswitch SL: on 902 027 517 and if you quote reference: TWES you can claim a 20% discount.

EcoRemote Replaces the existing remote control of your A/C unit and allows you to pre-set the minimum and maximum temperatures thus stipulating how hard you are prepared for your equipment to work. By simply reducing the units capability by a couple of degrees at the end of the scale where it works it’s hardest will have a substantial impact on your consumption. The EcoRemote retails at €25

Ecosense 2000 Ecosense uses Passive Infra Red (PIR) technology to scan the room for occupancy. PIR will only detect body heat and will not therefore be affected by items such as ceiling fans, curtains etc. When no movement is detected it will send a signal to the air conditioning (A/C) unit to switch it off. Ecosense also has a comfort night sensor, enabling the A/C to be used, if required, throughout hours of darkness. Reduces energy costs by up to 80% Battery operated Easy installation Built in comfort night sensor Tamper proof lockable function buttons Compatible with most A/C units The Ecosense 2000 retails at €74


36 theWord

World events

For the month of March

Throughout March - National Bed Month Time for a lie in before learning about the importance of a good night's sleep! Organised by The Sleep Council, the month aims to remind us all of why a sound sleep is good for our health. Forget the old saying that if "You snooze, you lose." It's thought that a good sleep has amazing properties that make you healthier

and happier, and can even add years to your life! At the Sleep Council website, you can find out all about the essentials you need to have the perfect sleep, and of course, the right bed should be your number one priority. In 1988 a ground breaking study found that by switching an uncomfortable old bed to a lovely new one meant an extra 42

minutes of sleep! You can put your own bed through an MOT at the site and find out if changing your bed could lead to better sleep! There are also lots of tips on how you can improve your night time regime and get more shut eye. So lie back, relax, and have much more than forty winks this National Bed Month!

Time for a Cuppa Day 1 - 8th March Time for a Cuppa Day - Mmm, is there anything better than a cup of tea? No matter what, it just seems to make everything better! And that's what Dementia UK are working to do: make things better for both people with dementia and their carers. There are around 820,000 people in the UK with dementia. People with dementia gradually lose their memory. This can mean forgetting all sorts of things, like who people are, and activities like washing, cooking and

other things. If dementia has touched you, there's no denying that it's heartbreaking. But Dementia UK can offer support that will ease and soften the load. All they need now - is you! Either in a small or larger gathering, round up some people to enjoy a nice cuppa and a good old chinwag. And what makes every cup of tea? A delicious cake or biscuit of course! So ... once you have requested your fundraising pack and registered your event

online you'll receive a pack of delicious recipes and lots of information about how you can make your event a success. Remember to ask each person for a donation - every ÂŁ15 raised will pay for the Dementia UK helpline to provide special support for a carer. Find out more about Time for a Cuppa Day and information about making your donation by visiting the official website. http://www.timeforacuppa.org/

International Women's Day 8th March In 1975, during International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. For the United Nations, International

Women's Day has been observed on 8 March since 1975. The Day is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary-General. Why dedicate a day exclusively to the celebration of the world's women? In adopting its resolution on the observance of Women's Day, the General Assembly cited two reasons: to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation,

equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. For the women of the world, the Day's symbolism has a wider meaning: It is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilise for meaningful change.

National Skipping Day 15th March Get ready for Europe's 11th National Skipping Day! Over 300,000 children have got involved over the last decade and it's time to make that number even higher! This year the organisers, Skipping Workshops hope to have the biggest ever simultaneous skipping

event, with over 50,000 children taking part. But they need your help to do it! Skipping is a great cardio activity and so much fun it won't feel like your typical workout! And adults are welcome to join in too! We all loved skipping when we were younger

and this is a fantastic excuse to relive the memory for one day. Unlike a lot of other commemorative days, this isn't fundraising for a charity. It's just meant to be a fun and healthy day. What other reason do you need?

World Purple Day 26th March Purple Day will be the official day for increasing awareness of epilepsy all across the globe. So what has the colour purple got to do with epilepsy? Well the answer is that lavender is the international colour for epilepsy. Why? Because the lavender flower is often related to the isolation and loneliness that people suffering from the condition often feel. The colour was actually chosen by a girl called Cassidy Megan, who launched the day with the help of the Epilepsy Association of

Nova Scotia. The aim is for people suffering to feel less alone! The reason it’s so important to get this message spreading around the world is because 50 million people suffer from the epilepsy worldwide. An MP in Canada has even introduced the Purple Day Act to parliament in Canada. Unfortunately there is often a stigma attached to epilepsy - a stigma that needs to be eradicated. Some people will remember their seizure, and others will have no memory

of it happening depending on the type of seizure that they have encountered. Although there is no cure currently, avoiding triggers is said to help. Triggers include stress, a bad sleeping pattern, exposure to flashing lights and forgetting to take medication. So what can you do to help? You could become an Ambassador of Purple where you live. This basically means getting your purple gear on and educating loved ones and local politicians about epilepsy.


theWord

National Salt Week 11-17th March In 2013, National Salt Awareness Week will be running from 11-17 March, and it aims to give you the low down on salt intake. And this year the focus of the campaign is on salt reduction - "Less salt please".

from stroke every year, plus the additional thousands of events that do not result in death. You may think a sprinkle of salt on your food might not do much damage, but eating food high in salt can result

37

Reader Offer

Don’t Drink The Water

The conversation about drinking tap water in Spain comes up regularly, usually after a trip to the supermarket and the ritual walk from the car to the house lugging the huge bottles of water. Is it really necessary to do this, can we not just draw the water from the tap? Sometimes, the morning cup of tea, to me at any rate, is reminiscent of the local baths I used to go to as a teenager and where my eyes would go completely bloodshot from the chlorine in the water. If it was simply a case of getting used to the taste, I would indeed be drinking the water directly from the tap but as it is, I even use bottled water to fill the kettle otherwise my nice cup of Tetleys would be completely spoilt. Am I being precious? Should I persevere and push past the taste barrier? Well, if the state of my old kettle or my taps is anything to go by I would say no, I am not. Hard water is one of the biggest issues in Spain and as a subsequence, having to carry the heavy water bottles is one of the others. A solution would be to have the water delivered directly to your door.

and it is in my opinion, long overdue. EDEN WATER We h ave all seen the commercial water dispensers in offices with the huge water bottles sitting on top of a cooler unit. Image these in miniature, a desktop version with an eleven litre water bottle. The unit itself comes with two eleven litre bottles and is brought to your home. For replacements, you simply call, text or email and within 48 hours, another three bottles will be delivered. You can order more if you wish but three is the minimum. Eden Water offers this service and the only stipulation is, you order a minimum of 24 bottles per year. As a special offer for theWord readers, the cost of the cooler unit and first two bottles is reduced from €65 to just €25 but hurry, the offer ends soon.

reader offer

There is just such a service available

It's all about taking control of the salt you use during food preparation and ensuring that you use less salt. Of course, it's easy when you are the person in control in the kitchen. That's why organisers of the campaign will be speaking to chefs, fast food establishments and takeaways to ensure that they are made aware of the implications of a high salt diet. Did you know that stroke is the third biggest killer in the UK? Salt is the major factor that raises blood pressure and high blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke. Reducing average salt intake by just 1g/day can prevent at least 2,600 deaths

in a whole host of health problems. Organised in association with the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), the week aims to get you thinking and realise that a high salt diet can affect anyone, not just those with problems like obesity, which people often think. When you think of saltrelated conditions, the first thing that crosses your mind might be heart disease, but salt can also cause problems like osteoporosis, kidney disease, and even stomach cancer. Each year the awareness week works with great charities like the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK to raise awareness.

Eden Water Domestic Water Dispensers Europe’s number one water cooler supplier 600,000 customers in 16 countries 368 million litres of water distributed each year

To order your water dispenser call: 902 026 105


38 theWord


theWord

turn over a new leaf...

39

Spinach

Bright, vibrantlooking spinach leaves eaten raw or cooked are so nurishing

Health Benefits Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.

Eating your veggies makes you more optimistic about the future People who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables tend to be more optimistic about the future, new research suggests. Scientists have discovered that optimistic people have higher levels of plant compounds called carotenoids in their blood. A co m m o n l y - k n ow n carotenoid is beta-carotene, a pigment found in high levels in orange fruit and veg and green, leafy vegetables. Previous studies have shown that high blood levels of antioxidants - of which carotenoids are one form - may be a marker of good health. Antioxidants help keep other molecules in the body from producing free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to disease. 'Individuals with greater optimism tended to have greater levels of carotenoids such as beta-carotene,' said lead investigator Julia Boehm, of the Harvard School of Public Health. 'This is the first study of its kind to report a relationship between optimism and healthier levels of carotenoid concentrations,' she added. One theory is that antioxidants might have a de-stressing effect. The current study evaluated blood concentrations of nine different antioxidants, including carotenoids such as betacarotene and vitamin E in nearly 1,000 men and women ages 25 to 74. Participants filled out a questionnaire about their life attitudes and provided blood samples to the researchers, according to the report in Psychosomatic Medicine. People who ate two or fewer servings of fruits and vegetables a day were significantly less optimistic than people who ate

Health Benefits Bok choy belongs to the cruciferous vegetable (or cabbage) family, a group known for its anticancer properties (which may be due, in part, to a high concentration of the antioxidant kaempferol).

Make It a Meal The plant's stalks hold up well in soups, such as the following:

Bok Choy

Mild, tender cabbage with dark green tops and thick, pale stalks

three or more servings a day. They also measured the degree of optimism in the same group. Researchers found that people who were more optimistic had up to a 13 per cent increase in carotenoid concentrations in their blood compared with people who were less optimistic. The researchers believe that higher levels of fruit and vegetable consumption among more optimistic people may at least partially explain the results.

Season 1 litre of chicken broth with 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic, 1 Tsbp. chopped fresh ginger, and 1/2 tsp. hot sauce and simmer. Stir in 350 grams chopped bok choy and 100 grams sautĂŠed shiitake mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add 170 grams egg noodles, 3 Tsbp coriander, a dash of sesame oil, and a squeeze of lime. Serves 4.


40 theWord

Top 10 tips for holiday rental success

Brought to you by the UK´s No. 1 Holiday rental site, HomeAway.co.uk

1

Cover yourself

Firstly ensure you are allowed to let your property on a short-term basis and that you understand applicable taxation laws, as you must declare income earned from holiday lets. You also need holiday rental liability insurance and ideally a booking contract to confirm details of the reservation, deposit/ refund/cancellation policies and terms and conditions of tenancy.

2

Provide a prompt, professional service

4 5

Set up auto-replies for booking enquiries containing further details of your property and travel options, and have a standard email prepared to send with your booking contract. If your calendar looks out of date, or your rates aren’t clear, you will miss out on enquiries.

Have a local representative

3

Ideally you should have someone to ‘meet and greet’ your clients. You will also need a cleaner and someone on hand locally to deal with problems. One person can often fulfil all these roles – ask fellow holiday home owners or your property agent for recommendations.

Know your market

Understand your target audience and research the price of comparable properties and alternative accommodation in the area. What type of tourists visit the area and what will they be looking for? Know your seasons and run offers to attract off-peak holidaymakers.

Set the holiday scene

Great photos and descriptions really help set the holiday scene and sell a stay in your property. Take time writing so carefully prepare every shot. Renters will want to see exterior shots, outside facilities and view, plus photos of every room.

6

Furnish for rentals

7

Go the extra mile

8

Provide comments from past guests

9

Advertise

10

Keep furnishings simple and avoid clutter; invest in a lockable cupboard to store away personal knick-knacks. Ensure the property meets health and safety requirements, and consider what practical items guests will expect.

Little extras can make all the difference – include a welcome pack of basics and local goodies, and provide a file with useful information on local attractions, activities and transport.

Positive testimonials from previous guests will help sell your property. Leave a guestbook at your property for feedback and to gather positive quotes.

Having your own website to refer guests to is great, but there are millions of websites online so you need to advertise somewhere you will definitely be seen. Magazines are one option, but reputable holiday rental websites are a cost-effective way to get exposure to millions of holidaymakers and manage booking enquiries. To reduce the impact of seasonality, advertise with a holiday rental website that provides international visibility like HomeAway.co.uk.

Are holiday rentals for me? Holiday home owners market their holiday home for a number of reasons: „„ Offset mortgage and running costs for the property „„ Earn short term rental income from a property waiting to be sold „„ Earn short term rental income when the property is not being used.

If you are interested in learning more about holiday rentals, see our advert on Page 37

It is important to remember that when renting your property to holidaymakers, you retain full control of when the property is rented, the rental income charged, for how long and most importantly who to.


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41


42 theWord The healing powers of

turmeric

All too often dismissed as merely flavouring for food, especially as a curry powder, turmeric has been one of the staple Indian and Chinese medicines for thousands of years, relieving and healing a number of conditions.

What is turmeric?

The yellow flowered plant from which it is derived is a member of the ginger family and grows freely in India, Indonesia and China, as well as many other tropical regions. In China they take the dried aromatic root and grind it to a fine powder. This way the release of another active ingredient, curcumin, is also maximised; producing an orange coloured and volatile oil. Apart from its healing applications, its culinary applications are as a colorant and flavouring for food; particularly meats, pickles and baked foods.

Top 20 benefits of Turmeric 1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. 2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer. 3. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide. 4. Is a natural liver detoxifier. 5. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque build-up in the brain. 6. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer. 7. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects. 8. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor. 9. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management. 10. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

Additional Benefits

Although simply down to traditional use, turmeric will help people with indigestion, preventing the build up or discomfort caused by wind through the action of releasing or relieving it. Thus, by preventing internal spasms it can be said to have a positive effect on the gastrointestinal system. By boosting the bodies anti-oxidant systems turmeric might prove to be an aid in the fight against cancer, by inhibiting the initial formation and then regressing the development of cancer cells. Its anticholesterol properties are down to it being able to prevent the coagulation of blood platelets; as well as seeming to have a role in combating atherosclerosis. Regarding the liver, the Chinese are well known for their concern about bile and their health. However, in science the production of bile is linked to the health of the liver, so the ability of turmeric to stimulate bile acid can only be of benefit to the liver.

Liver protector

Turmeric protects your liver from the damaging effects of alcohol, toxins and even some pharmaceutical drugs.

It can regenerate damaged liver cells. Curcuma longa together with another related herb, Curcuma aromatica stimulates the production of bile, a digestive juice needed in digestion of fat. The herbs are also involved in shrinking engorged hepatic ducts and improve gall bladder function. Herbalists used it to treat biliousness and conditions caused by excessive

bile such as nausea, gas and heartburn as well as for flushing out gallstones. They also used the herb for liver conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and jaundice.

Indigestion

As a digestive bitter, turmeric is a remedy for gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers and constipation.

Do you often feel bloated, sleepy, and lethargic after meals? If you do, you may have chronic digestive weakness and/or congestion. You will benefit from regular small doses of turmeric with black pepper. The herbs benefit both the digestive system and the liver. Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules. Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it's fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. Add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavour and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.

Treats Infection

Turmeric guards your stomach by destroying fungus, viruses and bacteria that can cause food poisoning and other diseases. The compound, Curcumin, showed immense therapeutic potential against H. pylori, herpes simplex, hepatitis B, salmonella, and Candida infections. A study undertaken in Taif University using parasite i n fe c t e d mice showed Curcumin treatment restored hepatic enzymes activities to the normal levels and enhanced catalyst activity in the liver tissue of the mice. Turmeric also treats scabies, dysenter y and smallpox. Coupled with its diuretic property, the herb is effective against urinary tract disorders. Externally, it can stop bleeding, acts as an antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises.

Taking Turmeric

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules. Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it's fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. Add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavour and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.


theWord

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Puzzle Answers

Chain Gang: Part, pert, peat, seat, sear, star, stay

43


44 theWord

yummy but simple and Roasted Aubergines Serves 4 Prepare 15 mins Cook 40 mins Ingredients: 2 large aubergines 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 100g Couscous 125ml hot vegetable stock Zest and juice of 1 lemon 25g pack fresh mint or coriander, chopped 4 salad onions, chopped 200g feta, crumbled 110g Pomegranate Seeds 1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Halve the aubergines lengthways and score deeply in a criss-cross pattern. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and bake for 30–40 minutes until dark and tender. 2 Meanwhile, place the Couscous in a large bowl and pour over the hot stock, lemon zest and juice. Set aside until the stock has been absorbed then stir in the mint, salad onions, feta, pomegranate and remaining oil. 3 Scoop the centre out of each aubergine half, leaving the skin intact. Roughly mash the removed flesh and stir into the couscous, then spoon the mixture back into the aubergine shells. Serve just warm.

Sticky Sausages with Mustard Mash & Onion Gravy Serves 4 Prepare 10 mins Cook 25 mins Ingredients: 40g softened butter 2 onions, thinly sliced 1½ tbsp plain flour 500g Beef Stock 900g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks 50ml milk 2 tbsp whole grain mustard 1 tbsp olive oil 454g pack 8 Pork Sausages 1 tbsp clear honey 1 tbsp honey 1 Heat half the butter in a saucepan. Add the onions and cook for 20 minutes until softened and dark golden. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the stock then bring to the boil and simmer for 2–3 minutes until thickened. 2 Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Drain well and return to the pan. Add the remaining butter, milk and Old Style mustard. Mash until smooth, then cover and set aside. 3 Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the sausages and fry for 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Stir through the honey and mustard and cook for 1–2 minutes until sticky and cooked through. 4 Serve the glazed sausages and mustard mash with the hot gravy spooned over the top.


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very easy Super Beetroot Risotto Serves 2 Prepare 10 mins Cook 25 mins Small knob butter 1 onion, finely chopped 500ml Vegetable Stock 250g pack ready to eat Beetroot, rinsed and coarsely grated 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped 150g Arborio Risotto Rice 100ml red wine 1 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated ½ x 20g pack dill, leaves chopped 50g Soft Goat’s Cheese 1 Cook your rice as per packet instructions. 2 When ready stir through all remaining ingredients. Couldn't be easier. Don't forget that Beetroot is one of our super foods!

Toffee Apple Pancakes with Vanilla Ice Cream Serves 4 Prepare 10 mins Cook 10 mins Ingredients: 40g Butter 4 apples, cored and cut into thin wedges 3 tbsp clear honey 3 tbsp light brown soft sugar 480g pack 8 Pancakes or make your own 4 generous scoops Carte D’Or Vanilla Ice Cream 25g hazelnuts, chopped and toasted 1 Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Add the apple wedges and fry for 3 minutes until beginning to soften and turn golden. Stir through the honey and sprinkle over the brown sugar. Continue to cook for a further 4 minutes until sticky and glazed. 2 Warm the pancakes in the microwave or oven, according to the packet instructions. 3 Divide the toffee apples between the warmed pancakes then fold each one in half and in half again. Place 2 filled pancake cones on each plate and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle over any sauce left in the pan and scatter with hazelnuts before serving

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46 theWord MARCH Famous ARIES

Timothy Dalton 21 March (61)

Roger Bannister 23 March (83)

Céline Dion 30 March (44)

horoscopes Aries

Leo

Sagittarius

21st March - 19th April

A co-worker tries to help you with a problem, but creates confusion instead. Don’t get frustrated; it won’t help. Just work together to resolve the problem. Love is in the air at the end of the month. A friend of a friend reveals his or her true feelings for you. Scorpio plays an important role.

23rd July - 22nd August Your sympathetic side will be called on early in the month. A loved one needs you to listen and give moral support. Be honest, but caring. Give in to your desires and shower yourself in luxury this month. It’s going to be a hectic one at work, so you deserve to pamper yourself.

22nd November - 21st December Be frank when a close friend asks for your opinion. While the truth may not be what he or she wants to hear, it’s what he or she needs to hear. Your romantic life slows down this month, but don’t get discouraged. This break will give you time to relax and focus on yourself.

Taurus

Virgo

Capricorn

20th April - 20th May Your tendency to keep quiet pays off in the beginning of the month. A close friend needs to talk and reveals personal information. Your confidence will be appreciated. When it comes to romance, you’ll have to make a decision. Think about where you stand in that special relationship.

23rd August - 22nd September While you usually like to be alone, working as a team at work this month will make things so much easier. You’ll share a lot of good ideas and actually make some close friends. Loved ones will rely on you to take care of a family matter. Aquarius is involved.

22nd December - 19th January Now’s your chance to shine at work. You’ll be given the opportunity to lead a new project; your intelligence and efficiency will shine through. Don’t be shy when it comes to meeting new people this month. Your sweet, sensitive side will endear you to someone with a lot of connections.

Gemini

Libra

Aquarius

21st May - 20th June Be patient at work this month. While your boss may seem too conservative for you, he or she really has your best interests at heart. You need to look out for yourself when it comes to your personal life. It will feel like everyone is against you. Be cautious when making decisions.

24th September - 22nd October Seek harmony in the workplace this month. Don’t become involved in an office disagreement. Family matters become hectic this month. Loved ones will look to you for advice and support. Take a deep breath. You’ll be able to help everyone out and still have time for yourself.

20th January - 19th February Let your practical side lead you in your decision making as the month begins. It may seem like a good idea to make an impulsive purchase, but don’t do it. Finances will be tight. A relationship moves into high gear when you realize how much you have in common with that special someone.

Cancer

Scorpio

Pisces

21st June - 22nd July Don’t be the first to volunteer for a new project at work. Wait to see everything that’s involved, because it may be more than you’ve bargained for. However, you should take a chance when it comes to romance. Don’t wait for that intriguing person to ask you out. Make the first move.

23rd October - 21st November Follow your instincts in the business world this month. It’s your nature to tell the truth, so stick to it. Don’t be tempted to embellish; it will backfire. Love takes center stage as the month draws to a close. An old friend will resurface and want to begin a relationship. Follow your heart.

19th February - 20th March Slow down this month, because it will feel as if your entire world is closing in on you. A few days off of work will help you relax and time with loved ones will show you that you’re still in control of your life. Virgo and Sagittarius play important roles.


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47

Eva’s gardening corner

Climbing Plants

grown is the deep purple flower but there are several different varieties with many different colours; white, red, orange and pink. Of course, as it grown so well, it does need tethering down for support. They need some serious cutting back every year to avoid getting straggly and out of control. They love plenty of sun and don’t need too much water.

Jasmine

Bougainvillea

Everyone who has ever visited Spain or other parts of the Mediterranean will no doubt have been surprised and amazed at the dramatic sight of a wall or pergola covered in Bougainvillea. Vivid

colours framed by a cloudless blue sky which are provided by this plant, is one of the best medicines. If you live in Spain, it is almost your duty to have a bougainvillea in your garden or terrace. The most commonly

This plant has wonderfully scented flowers which complete a warm summer evening. It is also said to repel mosquitoes.

Clematis

This is another popular plant in Spain and, one which grows well. The roots do need protecting from the sun

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although the flowers enjoy basking in direct sunlight. Plant pots are not a great idea for this one as the roots are too exposed to heat.

Passion Flower

This plant is a vigorous climber which loves the Spanish climate. It does

not need anchoring down because it is “self-clinging” and has tendrils so as long as it has a means to climb, it will do without any issue. The purple flowers to which it has become well known are produced constantly but there are also red and white varieties.



The Word March 2013