Category: Living in rustic Catalonia (Page 1 of 3)

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/

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.

 

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 www.FodenPress.com.

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 www.fodenpress.com 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 – BrighterSpain.com

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

http://football-highlight.com/en/spain/copa-del-rey/2011-02-02-almeria-barcelona.html

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

http://football-highlight.com/en/live-score

Aside:-

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.

Big, big football events kick off 22.00 CET tonight on Spanish TV

For those footballer fanatics and Expats to enjoy a warm and comfortable night in front of the logfire and exciting TV viewing.This is the second leg of the well sought after Copa Del Rey cup.

Firstly:- Real Madrid vs Sevilla Copa Del Rey Preview Kings Cup @ the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid ( Match kick off time 22:00 CET). Sevilla have a lot to play for and are not taking their previous defeat lightly. It will be brilliant to see the underdog valiant in beating Real Madrid tonight.

 Secondly:- AlmerĂ­a vs FC Barcelona Copa Del Rey Preview Kings Cup Almeria (Match kick off Time 22:00 CET) Barcelona easily won 5-0 in the first leg. Yet, will still go out their fighting to maintain their league. I’m sure Almeria,  first time at this level in the cup, will run their legs off trying to score back some goals and honour. Whatever happens Almeria will relish in the sheer delight in playing against the  skill  and pride of the Catalan capitals’ footballers.

 Come on Barça! Barça, Barça.

Well you have to support a local team to where you live.

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

To Bees or not to bee.

There is more to bees than being stung. Please read and digest the email below and Support the Avaaz community!

<<<Dear friends,

Bees are dying off worldwide and our entire food chain is in peril. Scientists blame toxic pesticides and four European governments have already banned them. If we get the US and the EU to join the ban, other governments across the world could follow, and save bees from extinction. Sign the petition and forward this urgent appeal:

Sign the petition

 

Silently, billions of bees are dying off and our entire food chain is in danger. Bees don’t just make honey, they are a giant, humble workforce, pollinating 90% of the plants we grow.

Multiple scientific studies blame one group of toxic pesticides for their rapid demise, and bee populations are recovering in countries where these products have been banned. But powerful chemical companies are lobbying hard to keep selling these poisons. Our best chance to save bees now is to push the US and EU to join the ban — their action is critical and will have a ripple effect on the rest of the world.

We have no time to lose — the debate is raging about what to do. This is not just about saving bees, this is about survival. Let’s build a giant global buzz calling for the EU and US to outlaw these killer chemicals and save our bees and our food. Sign the emergency petition now, and send it on to everyone and we’ll deliver it to key decision makers:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_the_bees/?vl

Bees are vital to life on earth — every year pollinating plants and crops with an estimated $40bn value, over one third of the food supply in many countries. Without immediate action to save bees many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves.

Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations — some bee species are already extinct and last week we learned that some US species are at just 4% of their previous numbers. Scientists have been scrambling for answers. Some studies claim the decline may be due to a combination of factors including disease, habitat loss and toxic chemicals. But increasingly, independent research has produced strong evidence blaming neonicotinoid pesticides. France, Italy, Slovenia and even Germany, where the main manufacturer Bayer is based, have banned one of these bee killers. But, Bayer continues to export its poison across the world

This issue is now coming to the boil as major new studies have confirmed the scale of this problem. If we can get European and US decision-makers to take action, others will follow. It won’t be easy. A leaked document shows that the US Environmental Protection Agency knew about the pesticide’s dangers, but ignored them. The document says Bayer’s “highly toxic” product is a “major risk concern to non target insects [honey bees]”.

We need to make our voices heard to counter Bayer’s very strong influence on policy makers and scientists in both the US and the EU where they fund the studies and sit on policy bodies. The real experts — the beekeepers and farmers — want these deadly pesticides prohibited until and unless we have solid, independent studies that show they are safe. Let’s support them now. Sign the petition below, then forward this email:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_the_bees/?vl

We can no longer leave our delicate food chain in the hands of research run by the chemical companies and the regulators that are in their pockets. Banning this pesticide will move us closer to a world safe for ourselves and the other species we care about and depend on.

With hope,

Alex, Alice, Iain, David and all at Avaaz

MORE INFORMATION

Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/22/chemicals-bees-decline-major-study?INTCMP=SRCH

Bee briefing
http://www.soilassociation.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=RXLEm9WXrHk%3D&tabid=439

$15 Billion Bee Murder Mystery Deepens
http://www.businessinsider.com/colony-collapse-disorder-still-unsolved-lead-researcher-had-connections-to-bayer-2010-10

“Nicotine Bees” Population Restored With Neonicotinoids Ban
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/nicotine-bees-population-restored-with-neonicotinoids-ban.php

EPA memo reveals concern that pesticide causes bee deaths
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=79910

Beekeepers want government to pull pesticide
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/beekeepers-want-government-to-pull-pesticide-1107701.html

Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/03/bumblebees-study-us-decline?INTCMP=SRCH

Pesticide industry involvement in EU risk assessment puts survival of bees at stake
http://www.corporateeurope.org/agribusiness/news/2010/11/16/pesticide-industry-future-bees >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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

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