Category: Hints for settlers (Page 1 of 8)

The Caravan

Farmstay

By our guest blogger Sue (aka slightleynuts)

Now we are living in our house it was a question of what to do with the caravan? A few people suggested offering it for rent. People might enjoy the experience off grid, or on  small farm living abroad.

Learning to live using solar power and no piped mains water is a challenge! I remember (in England) how I took for granted switching on a light or turning on a tap or just the simple pleasure of hopping in and out of the shower without thinking about the water consumption or the power it tool to work the pump!!

“It seemed a good idea, we have been working towards getting the caravan ready.”

1IMG_20140824_155219This area made a big difference, it doubled our living area.

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We spent many evenings stargazing and listening to music, or entertaining friends.

 

 

 

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It seems so much bigger now there are not 4 dogs lolling all over the place.

 

 

 

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I remember trying to make honeycomb and the whole caravan filling up with bees!

 

 

 

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Its been a real trip down memory lane for us and now is finally ready for renting. A holiday with a bit of something different. You can learn about “Living off grid” or trying to become self sustainable.

 

 

 

The caravan has 3 bedrooms which sleep 2 people in each. The living room also has a hide away double bed, so it can sleep between 6/8 people. “It has its own BBQ”

So if you or anybody you know would be interested in coming to stay please contact me. We are set net to Els Ports Parc Natural in Catalunya Spain. There are many cycling and walking routes locally, a variety of beaches, natural pools all within a 30/40 minute drive and the local town of Tortosa is set on the River Ebro. Famous for its fishing. especially cat fishing.

Im more than happy to show you around our little farm and intoduce you to some of the characters!! Maybe try your hand at goat herding!! Or just come and say Hi to Pickle 🙂

If you are interested then come have a look at the goat escape

For more of our guest blogger Sue please visit http://slightleynuts.blogspot.com.es/

Bingo: Building That Bridge Back Home

Re-loaction

Which road will you take?

 

One of the biggest and most contentious scenarios anyone will have about living abroad, it’s the difficulty in dealing with a living situation that might not be as comfortable as what they’ve grown accustomed to. It’s not just a change of location; it’s also a change in culture, of contacts, and for all intents and purposes, of an entire way of life. No matter where people might move and no matter what the reason, finding the best way to adjust should be the first goal of anyone living abroad.

Here are some things to take into consideration for people planning, or thinking about, living abroad;

Make Use of Modern Technology
It probably goes without saying that with more and more people moving away from their country of origin in order for business reasons, it becomes even more important to keep contact with friends and family back home. Yet it’s surprising how many people still feel estranged despite how much modern technology has changed our lives. iPhone users can use Facetime to get in touch with relatives no matter where they are, while Skype is a great option for those without a smartphone.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so many other websites and apps have been bridging people effectively ever since they’ve been launched. While it might not be as good as actually interacting with friends in person, it’s all a matter of taking the initiative and making use of the tools that people have at their disposal to make expat life more comfortable.

Turn The Old Into Something New
Because people can only take so much of their old homes and lives with them abroad, it’s important to find new ways to enjoy old things. Even for something that’s rooted in so much history as community bingo, simply finding a room to go to online with old friends over the weekend can work wonders, especially with chat functionality enabled on some providers.

“I get the privilege of meeting so many different people from so many backgrounds and I see so many lives changed with huge wins!” Ellie, a Chat Moderator for Betfair Bingo, stated. A strong community, no matter where people end up, is what can make or break an experience entirely.

Move Outside the Expat Bubble
It becomes easy to gravitate towards something that’s pleasant and familiar, but when Englishmen are afraid of talking to anyone that isn’t an Englishman, or when an American expat family will only eat at McDonalds or other US-themed restaurants, it only makes it more difficult to adjust in the long run.

The modern day nomad will always have the problem of being neither here nor there, but the solution isn’t to create an insular life. Celebrate what makes the new location unique and special, get to know the people, and build a home wherever life might take you.

 

Fair Exchange Xerta

Fair Exchange Xerta – Catalonia and afar

Xerta or Cherta they are one and the same place, however this service is not limited to the friendly village along the canal and the River Ebro, it is open to Spain. After all we have Fedex, Correos (buyer collects or pay postage.)

This is an open group set up on our best e-friend and confidante  a.k.a. Facebook. Here is another innovative lady in southern Catalonia, moving and shaking, inspiring us all to post our items for exchanging.

In the festive spirit, there is more – it is free of charge and with Maggie’s blessing, in serving the community.

What you have to exchange need not be mega big or exceptional, but it may be just what someone else is looking for. The old adage of  bartering and swapping prevails.

“Fair enough,” I hear you say, “but what if I have what they need, yet do not want the exchange they are offering?”

“It is very easy and straight-forward. Talk to them. Persuade, debate, exchange, recycle, haggle, swap, sell or give freely.” After all, we are in the season of giving and goodwill.

There is another angle to this Fair Exchange Xerta group; you need something but they have nothing to exchange. Fair enough – put forward your request politely and be honest in what your budget limit is subject to your approval of goods.

Now this is a very interesting angle; you wish to promote an event or have a business(one ‘man’ or corporate) and want to promote your products or services. This is a novel outlet to get your business out there in less than the 30 second elevator pitch. The charging is done on a sliding scale to suit the client –  be it weekly, monthly, tri-monthly, or sixth-monthly, annually or a one off.

Please contact Fair Exchange Xerta on Facebook or email artofmakingmiracles@gmail.com

 

Costa Woman online – something for every woman living in Spain.

In order to spread the word the Welcome on this site says it all: “Costa Women is a social community and business networking group for women living in Spain to share friendship, support and provide knowledge about living in this vibrant country.”

There are so many different groups already in operation from Writers to Green fingers and so on. On the other hand why not join up and form a group that is prevalent to you. You will definitely receive support and will make many new friends and colleagues.

This is  a wonderful  platform for networking your own interests and business, then going onto to hook up with them on Twitter, (@rosiereay), Facebook and LinkedIn.

You also receive a monthly newsletter and you can advertise and promote local events fiestas and write abut anything, not sordid nor derogatory prose.  I’ve homed in on other members blogs and have found empathy and friendship with ladies in other parts of  Spain. It is so interesting to see how other people live their lives and become part of their environment. It amazes me daily as I continually marvel at finding out something new or learning about  somewhere else.

Yet, you don’t  leave behind your old friends as once you are a member you can invite them to join. It is brilliant!

 Rosie Reay  from Catalonia, Costa Daurada  would love to see more people from our comargue on there. It is not just for the charming and delightful ladies of  the southern costas. You may even find friends on there you know already.

 

Tortosa – supermarkets compete on opening times

Tortosa is becoming inundated with supermarkets. On one hand it is inspirational that these food giants are still expanding during the crisis period. On the other hand, how are they going to encourage more shoppers through their doors when there is such high unemployment? At the end of the day there is only so much money in anyone’s pocket to spend on food.

So it was with interest I notice the different supermarkets are staggering their opening and closing times to widen the catchment area. This is good news for Expats who like to shop early, later or even on a Sunday.

Carrefour down by McDonalds opening hours are:
Monday to Saturday – de lunes a sabada
09:00h – 22:00h
and the best news is they are open on Sundays and holidays – Domingoes y festivos de apertura:
09:00h – 15:00
Carrefour Market
Carretera de Tortosa, 43500 Tortosa
977 51 03 30 ‎

HiperSimply (aka Sabeco) you get an extra half hour : Monday to Saturday
09:00 -21:30

Mercadona in front of Aldi down the road from McDonalds opens at:
09:15hrs – 21.15

C-42 Tarragona / Valencia, BARRANC llet – Tortosa

Here is a very handy link not just for the other “10” food halls but other opening hours of shops in Tortosa or choose your town – choices and more choices

Tortosa 20 minutes off the coastline

Choices of 10 food halls

 

© 2012 – All rights reserved – BrighterSpain.com

Bought the land but nowhere to live?

I know of a solution to your predicament.

I’ve close friends returning to UK and they have the most amazing and comfortable mobile home for sale in beige and green trim with full window shutters and beautifully maintained.

When you walk inside it you will be amazed at the homely 2 bedroomed, full bathroom, comfortable lounge and fully fitted diner-kitchen.

There is more!

All furniture is included in the price.

Still more! Washing machine, dryer and gas cooker as well as fridge Freezer also included in the price.

The bottomline: 20,000 euros. This price is so good and less than 50% of the full price.

Located along the Ebro River on the outskirts of Benifallet off the C12 in Catalonia.

The buyer must collect and transport it.

Call Tracy or John  977 260 119

Creative Writing in Barcelona for a half-day

 

Oh well Christmas decorations are all packed away so what can we do  for a change before January is out that is something new and exciting?

Well my friends Valerie, one of the authors of “In the Garlic”, along with a colleague are running another creative writing course as an introduction session. This is for a half-day so you have plenty of time to enjoy Barcelona for the rest of the day or have an evening out in Barça!

So please take a moment and read this email below – you won’t regret it. Never written a paragraph in your life! So what ? These charming ladies will show you how easy it is! You will wonder afterwards why you never tried before. It is never too late to write. My late maternal grandfather only started writing at 70 and then his gardening regalias were published all over the place.

Hi everyone We hope you had a great holidays and that 2011 will bring you the best of everything. This is to remind you that enrolment is open for ALQUIMIA 101: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING on Saturday 22 January in central Barcelona (Urquinaona). The cost of this fun and festive half¨-day workshop is 60 euros. Please write to us here for more details and testimonials or visit www.creativewritingmagic.com/2010/03/alquimia/ Looking forward to writing with you soon.

Valerie and Nicky”

Postscript: I have always loved writing but surprised myself when I found I could write children books. Check out www.Chimona.com and also now available on www.Amazon.com

Overseas information filters more slowly.

“The Central Office of Information, … overseas government advertising and marketing campaigns, is estimated to have lost almost half its budget for this year, with warnings that staff will be cut by two-fifths.”

So guys don’t expect the normal six weeks turnaround on your letters or phone calls.

The Uk Government doom and gloom cuts are being cut and spliced to the barest syllable this morning. Expats have relied  heavily on the online information and websites to gleem data on the Uk blur for Pensions, health and general research.

Mr Ian Duncan Smith (Work and Pensions Secretary) and Osborne Esquire have reached a tentative decision  with him about introducing a universal credit – moving all benefits onto one system of payment over 10 years.

The Foreign Office has been hit as well. William Hague’s one solution is that they will use the media network of Twitter to relay information more cheaply. So all Expats will need to take up twitching of a different type to stay up to the trill of the tweets Twitter. Well all that drivel will be limited to a mere 140 characters – perhaps it will be launched in code or he may resort back to the old carrier pidgeons..coo coo.

You can tweet your comments to me @RosieReay if you haven’t fallen off your perch laughing.

Aside: The defence cuts are worrying though!

Fig harvesting JesĂşs style

Figs are very topical as we go into harvest festival and our black and green fruit are bursting in their fullness in the autumn sunshine.

But what do you do with all this figgyness ripening all together?

There is only so much fig  jam you can make! Figgy pudding seems to sit well on the stomach at Christmas time. So September is a touch early for stodgey food.

Fresh figs are interesting, so too are figs bottled in a dry white wine and (are ideal for up to three months or more)  served with scoops of Nestlé vanilla ice cream. If you are fortunate or crafty enough to have made drying trays you can dry them in the open air through the day and bring the trays under dry cover on an evening and then packet and freeze them.

But I want something different. I want cake!

Oh Yum Yum and more yum- totally yumtious -go on give them a try!

  Check out the these websites below. Let me know which is your favourite by adding  a comment or share with me yours.

http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=fig%20cakes

Ooh look there are more:

http://www.applepiepatispate.com/fruit/pan-de-higo-spanish-fig-cake/  This looks so easy to make too!

Now this is a must for all my gluten free friends (and tempting to others too) to try: – chocolate fig cake

http://glutenfreeday.com/?p=39

Oh yes, madre mia bake me another one!

Now I wonder if there is a recipe out there for fig fridge cake?

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