Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 6)

My two new books out just in time for Xmas

My publisher has been busy so now my new kid’s novel Has Anyone Seen Kelvyn? is out in both eBook/Kindle and print version. May take a while to trickle up on Amazon or other bookstores, but I have print copies if you want one, or you can order them from

This is the third book in The Chimona Chronicles series and as the cover gives you a hint, involves some travels down the Okanagan Valley in B.C. Canada. We have already heard that adults are enjoying it as much as kids, just like before.

And when they read it to the younger set, they can once again follow along with the illustrations. For the first time, my brother Geoph is the illustrator. He has maintained the style from the earlier books, plus he likes to sneak in little details.. so look carefully at the pictures.

I look forward to finishing book 4 (and maybe even 5) next year, even as I start putting together adult stories too.

Talking of which, my editor Kyra Dawson has put together a great new online writer’s guild called Scriboriuma gathering place for independent writers. Here we are sharing hints and knowledge and publicity and feedback for all the guild members. And on top of all that, she pulled together seven of us to cooperate on writing an anthology of short stories. Since it was her idea, she got to pick the theme and genre this year: Horror or Paranormal, with a Christmas angle.

At first this was a real challenge for me since I really do not like horror stories. But as a professional writer I thought I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Of course my story in the book is very local – and set here in the Ebro valley. Some of you may even know the actual location – and many of the characters are only thinly disguised family members. I hope you enjoy Christmas Reunion at Villa El Figueral. Mine is the third story in A Very Scary ChristmasA Scriborium Short Story Anthology. It is already out in ebook/kindle format, as well as print. See or contact me. But these stories are definitely not for very young children!

P.S. Contact me after Christmas if you have friends or family who would like to stay for a self catering holiday at the newly renovated and enlarged real El Figueral right on the Ebro river itself.

© 2012 – All rights reserved –

Is it safe to talk branding again?

More and more people are daily re-thinking their employment options  after cut-backs, re-trenching and lack of replacement employment out there -irrespective of which town, village or country they live in.

So what are they doing about finding a remedy to having gainful employment?

Folk are setting up small Expat businesses after relocation to live their dream. Some may have run a business of their own before. Others it might be a totally different, sometimes exciting and more often than not scarey at all the facets one has to consider.

Man is not an island and we can’t be all things at all times no matter what walk of career-life we have travelled from and studied in.

Marketing and branding may be a whole new ball game to you. It more than crafting a few lines for an advert, blog or making your own website.

This book is the latest from a wide range from the pen of the SilcionValley marketeer-author-speaker at:

This book is geared for smaller businesses or start-ups, maybe you’ve formed a new partnerships just starting out with marketing your company, yourselves or your product and hopefully, product range too.

This is a valuable business must-have tool to your future success.

How to do it. By people who have done it.

Angling Spirit Ebro River Cleanup before World Catfish Championship

The River is our life as is painted along the river walls in Tortosa. This clean-up maybe higher than our neck of the woods, but it is still our river! What happens higher up floats down here and congels in the eco-natural park of the Ebro Delta. So please spread the word. You don’t need to be an entrepid fishermen to enjoy the beauty of the river and the environment it feeds.

I have permission from Ross Honey at Angling Spirit to reproduce his message:

<Angling Spirit organiza este tipo de eventos por todo el mundo y esta zona del Rio Ebro fue considerada como el lugar ideal tanto por su localización geográfica como por la cantidad y variedad de peces que habitan en él. Cuando presentamos nuestro proyecto el año pasado, constatamos la cantidad de basura y la pesca ilegal que se estaba practicando, ante lo cual nos planteamos dos opciones: o bien buscar otro lugar e incluso otro país para el Campeonato, o bien, implicar a la gente de la zona para que nos ayudasen a adecentar las orillas donde se ubicarán los puestos de pesca, así nació un grupo de voluntarios llamados “AMIGOS DEL EBRO”. Durante los días 25, 26, 27 y 28 de Mayo y en horario de 9:00 a 12:00 y de 17:00 a 21:00 horas se repartirán bolsas, guantes, herramientas para todos los voluntarios así como refrescos y bocadillos. Por cada bolsa de basura recogida, se donarán 0´50 € a la fundación de pesca para niños que se ha creado, con el objetivo de enseñar a los menores de las localidades de Caspe y Chiprana, como a niños de otros países a la práctica de la pesca de forma responsable y sobre todo, respetuosa con el medio ambiente. Por eso, animamos a todos los particulares, asociaciones e incluso empresas a participar en este proyecto para tomar conciencia de la importancia de mantener las orillas del Mar de Aragón en óptimo estado, para el disfrute de todos.

Durante los días 25 y 26 de Mayo el punto de encuentro será en las puertas del Ayuntamiento de Chiprana, y durante los días 27 y 28, nos reuniremos en la plaza de la estación de Ferrocarril de Caspe, media hora antes del inicio de cada jornada.

Si quieren comunicarnos con antelación su participación como voluntarios, pueden hacerlo a través del e mail, o simplemente personarse en los lugares y horarios establecidos.

Tanto el rio Ebro como la organización del evento necesitamos su ayuda

Hazte amigo del Rio Ebro.

Ross Honey
Responsable de “World Catfish Classic”>

Please also show support by joining on Facebook with the groups:  Angling Spirit and Friends of the Ebro.

Go visit a very informative and interesting website

“…the Ebro is a wonderful place and deserves the assistance we are trying to provide for others to enjoy” , Ross Honey

Born 18th February 1997 at Airedale Hospital, Keighley West Yorkshire

Happy 14th birthday Jack Benjamin Dodgson . 

Your birth father Stephen would be so so proud of you grandson!

We believe that Peter Harvey is your step father and your mother Emma may have changed your surname to Harvey.

Jack was born to Stephen Mark Dodgson (from Keighley) and Emma Bell (from Denholme) both of West Yorkshire UK.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing remember we love you we never stop loving you!xxxxxx

Aside: If anyone knows of his whereabouts and reads this message please pass it on to him that he has another big family out there who loves him so much and hasnt seen him since he was two. But we never stop thinking of you and still treasure his photos. We believe they were last living in the Coventry district and he was singing in  a choir.  His maternal grandma Annette Bell misses him too!

Almeria vs Barcelona last night results = 0 – 3 and more!!

Away from home and don’t have TV satellite to pick up your national or local football matches. Worry not!  The internet has a solution, as always, the lifeline of any Expat .

I found a lovely site where you can watch all the highlights of the exciting Copa del Rey matches

2011-02-02 Almeria – Barcelona 0-3

Copa Del Rey: Almeria Barcelona Highlights

However, Expats you can pour over football highlights from around the world. The Germans can see their beloved  Bundesliga. (Deutschland über alles, perhaps). The crazy Brits who think of Football before food or beer (well, maybe?) can argue late into the night about the Champions League and English Premier League (EPL).

There is more. Ladies Football where I’m not sure whether the men will admit it, but I’ve seen the men watching these matches (or the legs) with amusement but also amazement at the little women’s skills.

It seems to covers most countries around the world and loads of South American matches too:- !

2011-02-02 Besiktas – Gaziantep BB 5-0

Turkish Cup: Besiktas Gaziantep BB Highlights

 I didn’t even know that Turkish played football so seriously. I mean what would I know, I am only a woman.

2011-02-02 Rangers Glasgow – Hearts 1-0

Scottish Premier League: Rangers Glasgow Hearts Highlights

Another brilliant feature of this site is they update Live Score every two minutes


Rosie Reay Catalan Vocab / Phrases: football = futbol; football club = club de futbol;  footballer = futbolista;  football field = camp de futbol;  football game = am partit de futbol; inside football five-a-side = futbol sala; football crazy = futboler(-a)

Do you know some exciting (clean) football expressions to shout during the match or to celebrate or commiserate afterwards with? Please drop me a line .  I’d love to learn them too.

Sin fume

The toughest anti-smoking legislation came into effect on January 2,2011.

Smoking is no longer permitted in open spaces belonging to hospitals or health centres, such as carparks.

I was always  previously bemused when I arrived at Hospital Verge de la Cinta ,( the one on the top of the hill with the best views of Tortosa, the castle and beyond) to see a cluster of medical staff huddled outside the entrance door to the Out Patients clinics  puffing away. Two metres inside the doorway and the walls are plastered with signposts  of Sin fume.

Yesterday, the group was conspicuous by their absence.

As you pass by the outside steps to the Cafeteria, there is a new map signposted with two areas circled in red. Now I didn’t have time to stop and digest, but one assumes they have designated two permitted areas that allows smoking.

So please don’t celebrate when you find that hard-fought for carpark space up there or in the old castle moat (now water free), and light up. They are vigilant about stamping this out as the fines are steep.

Furthermore, you may no longer smoke while you rest on your laurels in public children parks.

Well, maybe that will give the influx of Mossos d’Esquerra to venture out of their posh new building, on foot to monitor the situation, otherwise the Police Local will be busy buzzing about on their motos.

But there is rough justice in all of this. Prison inmates are still allowed to smoke, so if you can’t pay your fine…

Rosie Reay’s Catalan Phrase of the day: Fins demà – see you tomorrow.

Amusing Bar name in Ferreries – Tortosa

Driving through the quieter streets in Ferreries -Tortosa to save time and avoid the slow moving traffic, a signpost caught the corner of my eye, Bar Gravy.

Never!  Who would name a bar after the famous British salsa called gravy?

I had to go around the block again just to make sure I had read it right. Yes, a tiny little bar with a  faded notice above it, in large print announced the drinking hole as Bar Gravy.

I’ve heard of Oxo, Bovril or Bistro spread over the traditional British style Roast Sunday dinner and they have never caused me amusement as this bar signature did.

Do you go in and ask for  a pint of gravy please ?

When I tried to Google it, all that came up was the actress Claudia Gravy :

This has flickered across my thought pattern all afternoon. I am just going to have to go and check it out. I will definitely take my camera along with me.

New Mountain Walking Guide/29 November, 19.30 at the Biblioteca Marcel•li Domingo, Tortosa

Invitation/press release

Presentation of a New Mountain Walking Guide 29 November, 19.30 at the Biblioteca Marcel•li Domingo, Tortosa

English authors Philip and Vivien Freakley issue an open invitation to the launch in Catalunya of their guidebook: Mountain Walking in Southern Catalunya. Publisher: Cicerone Press August 2010.

This is the first English language guide to walking routes in the Parc Natural dels Ports, the Serra de Cardó, the Serra de Montsia and the coastal path between L’Ametlla de Mar and L’Ampolla. It aims to introduce walkers from Northern Europe to the outstanding natural beauty and diverse landscapes of the Terres de l’Ebre..

Working with the generous help of Català walkers and guidebook writers, local English walkers, tourism agencies and Parc Natural employees, Philip and Vivien have gathered together 30 walking excursions – ranging from easy strolls to challenging ridge routes. Walkers are introduced to the dramatic geology, unique flora and fauna and human use of the uplands.

The book also gives a brief introduction to some of the history and culture of this special corner of Europe together with extensive practical information about travel and accommodation.

In Britain, the book is of interest to walkers seeking respite from the cold, wet greyness of winter there. Walkers from other Northern European countries (many of whom speak English as their second language) will also be drawn to the winter walking possibilities of Southern Catalunya, as they currently are to Mallorca, Andalucia and the Canary Isles.

The presentation launch on 29th November will feature short introductory talks by Català and English speakers, together with a visual presentation showing the extraordinary beauty of the area. There will be opportunities for formal and informal discussion and a chance to celebrate with the authors over a glass or two of wine. The Llibreria de Viladrich 2 will have copies of the guidebook for sale.

About the Authors

After leaving their academic careers in 2002, Philip and Vivien Freakley moved to the French Pyrenees to indulge a lifelong passion for mountains and the natural world. They discovered the mountains of Southern Catalunya during an escape from a particularly cold and snowy Pyrenean winter. Their first explorations were prompted by curiosity – as to why none of the English language guidebooks gives the region more than a passing mention. This is still something of as mystery. Having bought a house here in 2004 they have spent five winters putting this guidebook together.

Fig -figa -higo-figue-feige or Figs in grammar!

It reads like a tongue twister that I was made to say over and over as child to try and overcome a bad stammer. Though this one is more of a fruity nature of calling  a fig in different languages for Expats. Reading across it goes as: English, Catalan, Spanish , French and then German.

Do note (but not to be preachey) in Spanish the <h> is silent to hear i-g-o.

I did find it amusing when I saw the Catalan have merely added an <a> as a suffix to the English fig. Adam and his fig leaf at the time of first pro-creation. Oh, well never mind I must always tease out the root source in every word being a daft Namiac.

Now I ‘d like to share the following expressions with you:

  • figa de moro = prickly pear or a softey
  • figaflor =wimp, weed, drip
  • figuera = a fig tree
  • figura= figure (as a form)
  • això són figues d’un altre paner = that’s another story (or kettle of Fish -to us Brits) or that’s a horse of a different colour
  • figurar = to imagine, to represent or as in the US slang “go figure”

… and some of my favourites

  • figurar-se = ja m’ho figurava! = I thought as much!
  • no es figura com em va costar de convèncer-lo = you can’t iamgine how hard it was for me to convince him!

Would love to hear other figgy expresssions used in daily speech in any of the above mentioned languages fromExpats and locals and general readers.

Are there any good poems or lyrics out there where  figs are the centre force, apart from the well healed Christmas carol  of “Figgy pudding”?

Look forward to your comments

Fig harvesting Jesús 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.

Ooh look there are more:  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

Oh yes, madre mia bake me another one!

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

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2020 Ebro voice

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑