There’s no better way to get a party started or kick off a feast than with cocktails. But you don’t need to buy in specialist ingredients and fancy kit to make impressive drinks. These simple cocktails are easy to make at home. Each requires just three ingredients and is ready in minutes. With many sharing the same components and only a small group of core spirits needed, mix up a storm with minimum mess and fuss.
This Italian concoction is not for the faint-hearted. Combining three different spirits with a healthy dose of bitters to kickstart your appetite, negronis make a great apéritif before a meal.
With three ingredients combined in equal proportion, negronis are a doddle to make. Mix one part gin, one part red vermouth and one part Campari (a bitter-tasting liqueur) over ice cubes in a tumbler glass. Garnish with orange peel and you’re done.
One of the most famous cocktails worldwide, the perfect martini is something everyone should master. Once you’ve got the basics down, endless riffs on the original are possible.
Pour one part dry vermouth and six parts gin over ice cubes in a cocktail shaker, and stir or shake. Strain into a v-shaped martini cocktail glass.
A dry martini will have more spirit (closer to 100 percent gin) while a wet cocktail will have more vermouth. For a dirty martini, add olive brine and an olive or for a martini with a twist, add lemon peel. Twist the peel before you add it to the glass to release the fruit’s natural oils.
The Moscow mule
Originating in 1940s Manhattan rather than Moscow, legend has it the cocktail was created after two traders wanted to sell more of their wares: one sold vodka, the other ginger beer. They combined them in a drink and the Moscow mule was born.
A Moscow mule is typically made and served in a copper mug. Squeeze around one tablespoon of lime juice over ice cubes then add a lime wedge. Pour in one part vodka, top with three parts ginger beer, stir and serve.
The Kir Royale
French priest Felix Kir is said to have popularised this cocktail in Burgundy after the Second World War to promote two key local ingredients: wine and crème de cassis. The original is traditionally made with the white wine Bourgogne Aligot but the ‘royale’ indicates it’s made with Champagne.
Add one part crème de cassis, a blackcurrant-based liqueur, to a Champagne flute. Slowly top with Champagne for a bubbly royale or any other white wine for a straight kir. Garnish with fresh blackcurrants or raspberries and serve chilled.
This celebratory cocktail was invented after the Spanish-American war when Cuba won its freedom. It’s a simple mix of three widely available ingredients that balance sweetness and bitterness for a refreshing long drink.
Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, squeeze in the juice of half a lime and drop in the spent lime. Add a generous measure of white or medium rum and top with cola. Stir well and serve with an optional mint garnish.
We’re delighted to introduce you to a lovely new restaurant, right on the beach serving traditional English cuisine.
Casablanca has been open since Easter 2019 and is under new management by new owners Chris and Deborah.
Casablanca has great up-to-date reviews and customer comments such as “Great food and location”, “Always a warm welcome from Chris and Deborah.”
The menu includes British traditional favourite such as Sunday lunches, cooked breakfasts, succulent steaks and delicious curries cooked to order just how you like. They also have a great choice of Icelandic cod and Norwegian Salmon for the fish lovers. Fresh seafood is always on the menu.
Casablanca is located on the first floor overlooking Acequión beach with beautiful views across to the marina.
Perfect for those intimate evening dinners for two, Casablanca has recently been refurbished and has a tranquil atmosphere, providing a light and spacious dining experience.
The bar offers an extensive choice of in-house homemade flavoured gins and freshly made cocktails.
There is a large seating area available for private functions with personal catering – a wonderful choice for parties, celebrations or club functions.
You can also enjoy weekly entertainment and regular events for charity etc throughout the year.
The spectacular views offered by the panoramic sea views are only topped by the food itself which is freshly prepared to a very high standard.
The next time you rush out the door in the morning without something to eat, consider this: Skipping breakfast can set you up for overeating later in the day. A healthy morning meal, on the other hand, provides energy, satisfies your appetite, and sets the stage for smart decisions all day long. You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fibre with protein.
Old-school breakfast option oatmeal isn’t just low in calories and high in complex carbs. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that’s been shown to help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. Need another reason to dig in? Oats are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.
Steel-cut oats, which take about 15 minutes to cook, contain more fibre than rolled oats or instant varieties, but any type of oatmeal is a healthy choice. Just avoid the flavoured kinds, which can be packed with sugar. Instead, sweeten your bowl with milk and a bit of honey, and top with fruit and nuts.
This tangy, creamy type of yogurt is loaded with calcium and boasts plenty of protein—nearly twice as much as regular yogurt—to keep you feeling full throughout the morning. Choose a plain, nonfat variety, and add some fruit to give it some flavour and nutrition.
A little wheat germ goes a long way. Just two tablespoons provides about 15 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E and 10 percent of your daily folate. Vitamin E is often a little low in people’s diets, so this is a good way to add in some extra—especially if you don’t eat a lot of nuts or seeds, two other big sources.
There’s nothing like a banana at breakfast to keep those mid-morning cravings at bay. The yellow fruit—especially when they’re still a touch green—are one of the best sources of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that keeps you feeling fuller longer.
Thanks to a healthy dose of potassium, an electrolyte that helps lower blood pressure naturally, bananas are a particularly good choice for people with hypertension.
Once shunned for being high in dietary cholesterol (one yolk contains about 60 percent of your daily allotment), eggs are now embraced as a healthy source of protein and nutrients like vitamin D. Research has shown that the cholesterol in our food has less of an impact on blood cholesterol than previously thought.
Fresh or frozen, these tiny superfruits pack a big antioxidant punch. Studies suggest that eating blueberries regularly can help improve everything from memory and motor skills to blood pressure and metabolism. (Wild blueberries, in particular, have one of the highest concentrations of the powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins.) Blueberries are also lower in calories than a lot of other fruits (they contain just 80 per cup).
Espresso doesn’t just wake you up. Drinking coffee has been linked to a lower risk of several diseases (such as diabetes and prostate cancer), and it may even help you live longer. Researchers suspect the combination of caffeine and antioxidants are responsible for many of the observed health benefits.
Of course, loading coffee up with cream and sugar may erase any potential benefits. So skip the fancy flavored drinks, and stick with skim milk
Tea has a pretty impressive résumé of health benefits, too. Because it has less caffeine, it hydrates you more effectively than coffee, and it’s also a rich source of the immunity-boosting antioxidants known as catechins.
All tea (black, green, and white) provides antioxidants, but green tea may be healthiest of all. Research suggests that drinking five cups a day can increase your body’s metabolism and help you lose more weight around the middle.
Any fruit is a good addition to your breakfast and cantaloupe is no exception. A six-ounce serving (roughly a quarter of a melon) contains just 50 calories and a full 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of both vitamin C and vitamin A, an important nutrient for smooth, younger-looking skin.
Like most melons, cantaloupe has a high water concentration, which means it will help you stay hydrated and keep you feeling full until lunchtime.
• Tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and neck pain, among the most common complaints.
• Reducing time of use, holding the gadget at eye level, and using both hands when typing may help avoid these injuries.
Alicante, Thursday, October 31, 2019. An increase in the use of electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets has increased the number of traumatology consultations due to neuro-muscular-skeletal injuries, according to Doctor Alfonso Cort, Traumatologist at Quirónsalud Hospitals in Alicante and Torrevieja.
According to recent studies, each of us spends an average of five-and-a-half hours connected to our mobile phones and computers, which explains the appearance of so-called technological injuries, increasingly at younger ages. Among the most common injuries, we can include De Quervain’s tendonitis of the thumb, carpal tunnel syndrome, and epicondylitis or tennis elbow, due to the use of the mouse in an inadequate position or repetitive movements. “These pathologies have their origin in the repetition of the same movements with our hands and fingers for long periods of time, which causes inflammation of the tendons and nerves,” states Doctor Cort.
“These injuries,” indicates the traumatologist, “start to manifest as a constant tingling on the hands, especially at night, accompanied by muscle pain in the upper limb.”
The neck and back are two other areas that are significantly affected by the use of mobiles and tablets, due to the posture we adopt, both standing and seated, when using these electronic devices. “The most common injury,” says Doctor Felipe Garibo, Specialist in the Spine Unit of the Traumatology Service at Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia, “is cervicalgia, which manifests initially with pain, tension and overload in the region of the neck and shoulders, caused by muscle overload from continued use of mobile devices, because we bend our head for continuous periods of time.”
To avoid these injuries, Doctor Garibo recommends reducing the amount of time we use these devices, holding them at eye level to avoid bending our heads, using both thumbs and both hands when writing texts, and performing exercises to improve the cervical muscles.
Main Injuries Derived from Technology Abuse
1. Tension, overload and feeling of weight in the area of the shoulders or neck, due to overloading of the cervicoscapular muscles.
2. Headaches and/or dizziness due to the sustained contraction of the suboccipital muscles, and the possible effects of maintaining the gaze fixed on a screen for a prolonged period of time.
3. Different alterations of the cervical spine, due to asymmetric tensions derived from rigid or unstable positions, or the blocking of certain segments of the vertebral spine.
4. Pain and rigidity in the hands and fingers, and even tingling. With the excessive use of the thumb that is tied to the use of smartphones, the appearance of tendonitis is common due to the movement of this digit. For this reason, we recommend the use of digital pens.
5. Referred pain in the frontal and cervical regions, and even a feeling pro pressure in the ear canal and/or the eyeball, due to the excessive use of mobile phones, which actives a myofascial trigger pints (MTP), described as hyperirritable nodes.
6. Weakness and inhibition of the muscles that stabilise the trunk and vertebral spine, as well as the loss of motor control, which leads to the loss of the normal physiological pattern of movement.
7. Epicondylitis or tennis elbow, due to the use of the mouse in an inadequate position or repetitive movements.
Quirónsalud is the leading hospital group in Spain and, together with its Fresenius-Helius headquarters, also in Europe. It has over 40,000 professionals at more than 125 healthcare centres, which include 47 hospitals offering close to 7,000 hospital beds. It offers the most cutting-edge technology and a great team of highly specialised professionals of international prestige. Its centres include Centro Médico Teknon, Ruber Internacional, Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Hospital Quirónsalud Barcelona, Hospital Universitario Dexeus, Policlínica de Gipuzkoa, etc.
The Group works on the promotion of teaching (eight of its hospitals are linked to universities), and medical-scientific research (it has the FJD [Spanish acronym, Jiménez Díaz Foundation] Research Institute, the only private research centre certified by the Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación [State Ministry for Research, Development and Innovation]).
Additionally, its healthcare service is organized in units and transversal networks that allow it to optimise the accumulated experience of the different centres and the clinical translation of its research. Currently, Quirónsalud is developing over 1,600 research projects throughout Spain, and many of its centres perform cutting-edge work in this field, making them pioneers in different specialisations, such as oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, gynaecology and neurology, among others.
Rosa Ruiz Aragonés
T. +34 626 023 153
Summer is here, and so are the mosquitoes. Nothing has the power to ruin a perfect evening like the buzzing sound that means its owner is in search of a warm meal of fresh blood. There are more than 3,000 species of this insect spread across the globe, enough to ruin the evening no matter where we happen to be.
It’s no joke, either. These tiny creatures are considered the deadliest animals in the world, contributing to more than 725,000 deaths a year. Not even humans cause this many fatalities: people kill around 475,000 other people a year. Snakes are behind some 50,000 human deaths, while dogs are responsible for 25,000 (mostly from rabies). Some of the world’s most feared animals, such as sharks or wolves, kill fewer than 10 people a year.
For those who wonder why mosquitoes make that buzzing sound, and for those desperate to know why they are always singled out by mosquitoes, even in a large group of people, here are a few facts to keep in mind.
Why do they buzz?
Mosquitoes do not buzz as a warning to their victims, but to alert other mosquitoes who are willing to breed. The sound is simply louder when the insects are flying around your head in search of a place to land.
Dr Louis M. Roth, who spent his younger years studying mosquito-borne yellow fever for the US Army, published a report in 1948 about the species Aedes aegypti, in which he found that males ignored females when these were resting quietly. But when the latter buzzed away, the males would go after them frantically upon hearing the distinct female flight sound.
Why do they always choose me?
Although both sexes make a buzzing sound, males do not bite: they feed on nectar. Now let’s see how the females select their victims.
The key lies in the chemical “landscape” in the air that surrounds us. Mosquitoes use specialised behaviour and sensory organs to read the subtle chemical traces that our bodies emit. They depend on the CO2 that we exhale to find their hosts. When we breathe out, the CO2 does not immediately mix with the air, but creates temporary plumes that the mosquitoes follow. Like bloodhounds, they follow those tracks to locate targets as far as 50 meters away.
At this point, the mosquito has located the group of people in which you, the primary victim, are to be found. Things start getting personal at a distance of around one meter. At short range, these insects factor in several elements, such as your skin temperature, the presence of steam, and the colour of your clothes.
But scientists believe that the most relevant variable is the combination of chemical compounds produced by the colonies of microbes that reside in our skin. Bacteria turn the secretions from our sweat glands into volatile compounds that mosquitoes detect through olfactory sensors located in their antennae. There are over 300 different chemical compounds that are combined variously from person to person, depending on their genes and surrounding environment.
According to an article published in the science journal PLOS ONE, people with a greater diversity of microbes on their skin tend to get fewer bites than those with lower microbial diversity. These subtle differences can explain the great difference in the amount of times a person gets bitten by mosquitoes.
And since there is nothing we can do about this microbial mix on our skin, there is not much we can do to avoid the bites, except maybe avoid wearing black, which mosquitoes seem to love!
Summer is finally here and along with the sunshine and sangria come more unwelcome seasonal additions such as mosquitoes. With new warnings being issued regarding the Southeast Asian Tiger mosquito as well as the more common and garden varieties, Mosquito blinds are pretty much a necessity if you live or have a holiday home in Spain.
Zenia Services has built its excellent reputation over several years as the company that does ‘everyhing to do with windows, except the windows’ across the southern Costa Blanca and is now leading the way by offering evacuation safety grills, grill refurbishment and, of course, those all important mosquito blinds.
Zenia Blinds makes and manufactures all of its blinds in house – it offers full range of roller blinds, in addition to mosquito blinds – cutting out the middle-man. This allows the company to pass the cost savings directly to the customer. The mosquito blinds and roller blinds are tailor made, of the highest quality and are supplied and fitted by Zenia Services.
These blinds also have additional summer benefits for hay fever sufferers, as all Zenia Blinds mosquito blinds actually stop pollen from entering the home and they also stop all unwanted bugs, including cockroaches, from getting in.
Zenia Blinds also offers a general shutter and persiana repair service, with the majority of repairs can be carried out within 24 hours.
Grills and glass balustrades
If you are looking to modernise your property then adding glass balustrades is a cost effective way to achieve an up-to-date look and add value to your house. These striking and chic panels can be used for stairways, balconies, terraces and around swimming pools and Zenia Services can manage your needs from start to finish. Choose between clear or frosted 8mm laminated glass for extra privacy. Just imagine how stylish your property would look if you replaced your wall or concrete balustrades for this stylish contemporary look. And imagine never having to laboriously paint all those balustrades ever again! Call Zenia Services now for a free no obligation quotation.
Grills on windows are a tried and tested way to prevent break-ins and opportunistic thefts. However, should doorways be blocked by fire then these safety grills can affectively become prison bars. Zenia Services can transform your security grill into a secure fire escape which allows the grill to be opened from the inside and as an added security feature the mechanism cannot be seen from the outside, giving the evacuation grill the same appearance as any other grill. The safety grills lock from the inside and can be quickly and easily unlocked by key.
Zenia Services can also give your tired grills a new lease of life, sprucing up the kerb appeal of you property ideal for a summer clean or pre-sale makeover. The team will uninstall and collect your grills. This can be done even if the grills are built into the wall. These are then sandblasted to remove the old paint and rust and then powder coated in any colour of your choice and are the only local company using this technique.
This technique can be used on grills of all shapes and sizes; providing the rust has not damaged the integrity of the metal; although most damage can be repaired. Even better, the service can be completed on any metal object from ornaments to home and garden furniture. The results are impressive with the item looking like new again. The business also offers a galvanising service to prevent rusting for upto7 years.
There is no job too big or small for Zenia Services and work is guaranteed. All services offered are fully legal and fully insured. For an unbeatable, affordable and friendly service call Neil and the team on 659 763 517, check them out on Facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday 16th May an evening of clairvoyance was held at Bar Sacko’s in El Limonar in aid of the San JóseObrero Orphanage. Four mediums gave their time for free and the co-ordinators of the event would like to thank Belinda Bradley, Morag Bullock, Debbie Blevins and Sammy Fitzsimmons for their support.
The evening began with the co-ordinators for fundraising events on behalf of the orphanage, Ken and Lyn Adams, explaining more about it and the reasons why the money is so badly needed. The orphanage is home to children between the ages of 6 and 16 whose parent are unable to care for them.
During the evening there was also opportunity to take part in a raffle and altogether €300 was raised. The cheque for this was then presented to the Director of the Orphanage along with €200 vouchers for clothes which Belinda and Kevin donated.
The orphanage is always in need of funds to support the children and young people who live and work there. Ken and Lyn would like to hear from any clubs or associations who think they might be able to help with their fundraising events. They can be contacted on 676 650 210.
On Sunday 2nd June Maria and the Pink Ladies is hosting its annual flagship fundraising event “Walk for Life”. This year is an extra special event as it will be the tenth anniversary of the popular event which donates every penny – or should that be cent – raised to the Spanish anti-cancer charity the AECC.
As always, the 5k walk will start and finish at the promenade at Playa Flamenca Beach front and organisers are asking the local community to join forces and make the event one to remember.
The day is always full of fun with walkers dressing top-to-toe in anything and everything pink from bras to tutus and fluffy dresses…and that’s just the men!
This is always an occasion to bring friends, family, colleagues and social groups together to put their best foot forward to fight cancer. Anyone can do the walk, men, women, adults, children and pets. You can walk, jog, run, cycle, roller skate, hover board or segway – as long as you raise as much as you can for the charity.
It costs just €5 to enter and this donation along with any sponsorship money goes directly to the AECC. All those who register to take part will receive an official T-shirt donated by Spain Property Shop and a bottle of water donated by Evolution Bar, both locally based at La Fuente Centre.
To register in advance call in to the AECC office at Flamenca Beach Comercial Centre, Spain Property Shop or you can register on the day at the venue from 9.30am onwards, with the walk beginning at 10.30 am.
After the walk there will be a family fun day with live music through the afternoon performed by some of the top entertainers on the Costa Blanca, an on-site bar, hog roast and burger bar.
The walk is supported by the Orihuela Costa Town Hall and the Local Police who will safely guide the walkers around the circuitous route.
The money raised will go directly to the AECC to help fund it subsidised Early Detection Programme and research projects. The Early Detection Programme provides subsidised private screening for male and female cancers including: bowel, skin, breast, cervical, ovarian and prostate. Since being formed Maria and the Pink Ladies have raised nearly 400,000 euros for the AECC
One of Orihuela Costa’s favourite clothing boutiques has made a move, but luckily just a few doors from its well-known home. Second Best Boutique can now be found inside the Easy Ads shop next door to the Randy Leprechaun.
The boutique has always been a favourite of ladies who love quality clothing at affordable prices. Celebrating its eighth anniversary later this year, the boutique has grown and evolved, starting life as 200 square feet focussing on high quality nearly new clothing. Now in its new larger space Second Best Boutique offers new and nearly new stock, but sold at cost price to ensure that it is always reasonably priced. All new stock is sourced in London and can often be seen at treble the price in top UK stores. New clothes come in around every six weeks, so it’s always worth visiting the boutique regularly
The range at Second Best Boutique includes: occasional wear, cocktail dresses, Mother of the Bride, evening wear and cruise wear. The Boutique also has designer wear from labels for men and women. Men’s designer clothing currently in stock includes: Ralf Lauren, Lacoste and Hugo Boss. Owner Amanda is currently awaiting her new range of spring and summer wear, which should arrive this week.
In addition to quality clothing, Second Best Boutique also has gorgeous accessories such as shoes, hats, hand bags, costume jewellery and fascinators to complete any outfit.
Second Best Boutique specialises in clothing for all figures with sizes from 8 to 28 in clothes and 3 to 9 in shoes.
In addition it the new clothing ranges, all nearly new stock is in immaculate condition and only been worn on one or two occasions and everything is cleaned and pressed before being displayed.
Owner Amanda said: “I would like to thank all of my regular customers for their continued support, without them the Boutique would not be the success it is. Many customers have been with me from the start, calling in on a regular basis to look at new stock.
And I look forward to meeting new customers and showing them all we have to offer.”
Amanda has an expert eye for style and colour and knows instinctively what items in her collections will suit which customers. She often creates cruise wardrobes for customers and accessorises evening wear to really make the most of an outfit. She has recently helped 15 members of the Rotary Club with outfits for an up-coming ball. Amanda’s customers span all nationalities and travel from near and far to snap up the beautiful bargains.
Second Best Boutique is located off the N332´s La Zenia roundabout inside the Easy Ads store. You find the Boutique towards the rear. Easy Ads – C/Maestro Torralba – is next door to the Randy Leprechaun and a few doors up from the Dog & Bone and Eurochange. The Boutique is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.
With its head office in San Miguel, Satellites Direct has been leading TV services on the Costa Blanca for more than ten years and with owner Nigel having more than 30 years experience in the industry customers are in safe and knowledgeable hands.
Satellites Direct covers La Manga to Alicante including Torrevieja, Villamartin, La marina, Quesada and inland to Murcia and Orihuela in the Costa Blanca region and beyond. The company has a 4.8 rating out of 5 ranking on Google and strives to give customers the best deal and good honest service with the best advice.
Offering 350 channels from the UK on the Freesat system with no monthly payments, Satellites Direct can also offer official sky cards for Sky sports and movies, sky receivers , NOW TV boxes, and IPTV systems offering the best English television. Everything is in stock including satellite receivers and cards, satellite dishes, remote controls, mag boxes, LNB´s and additional stock.
The team is fully trained and insured qualified installers offers second-to-none knowledge and service. The company has an excellent reputation and is well regarded as being one of the best for service, installation and customer care in the area. Customers can have confidence in dealing with friendly staff at a local headquarters, where they are welcome to discuss their needs.
So if you are looking for UK TV in Spain whether it be Freesat, SKY, IPTV or are having issues with your TV service then look no further than Satellites Direct in San Miguel.
For further information call 966 723 792 visit: www.satellitesdirect.net or email: satellites email@example.com. Alternatively call into the office in Calle Ronda Oests 4, San Miguel de Salinas open 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday.
Hello, my name is Jane Troubridge. I have been living in Spain for 11 years and feel very lucky that my three children and two grandchildren all live close to me in Spain. My husband has a successful business here and we feel truly blessed. However, life has not always been so good, in fact,for many years my life was pretty horrendous. The positive I take from surviving those dark days is the experience and empathy that I am able to share with others.
I am proud to be a volunteer of Help Vega Baja and privileged to be the Co-ordinator of a very special team of compassionate Help Vega Baja volunteers called “The Connections Team.” My family is the most precious thing in my life, closely followed by The Connections Team, whichI consider, my second family.
I was honored to work with the Help Vega Baja committee to introduce a new service to the charity. This wonderful new service aims to provide 24-hour emotional support and guidance to the practical support that Help Vega Baja are, and have been providing to so many peoplefor many years. This service has proven to be immensely successful in helping people take positive steps forward in a times of need, by combining emotional and practical support in a professional and supportive manner. The team currently has 12 carefully trained listeners. Emotional support is available by calling 965021552, 24-hours a day, everyday of the year, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also welcome people to pop in our meeting places for a cuppa and a chat, these are open Monday- Friday.Times and places advertised on our website.
So, what do we mean by emotional support and how does “Connections” help? We listen to anybody about anything that is troubling them in complete confidence and without judgement. It maybe relationship problems, financial issues, health concerns, anxiety, depression, bereavement, loneliness, abuse, addictions and many more. Actively listening to someone is a very special gift to give someone. If you think about it in today’s society, how often do we truly listen? I admit that, like most of us, when listening to friends and family I often peek at my mobile or load the dishwasher or perhaps think about what to cook for dinner. However, when on a Connections duty, a listener is carefully trained to be totally focused on actively listening to our callers, for those minutes the listener will shut the world out and give 100% commitment to every word spoken. By doing this we are able to give our callers time and space to gently explore their feelings in a safe and supportive environment, enabling them to offload difficult and sometimes overwhelming emotions. Of course, byhaving no emotional connection to our callers, they will feel comfortable to voice any feelings without fear of hurting our feelings. We continue to provide this emotional support for as long as our caller feels they need us to, and where necessary we can give guidance to practical support with our Help Vega Baja Welfare Officer, Help Vega Baja Committee, social workers, British Consulate, charities, organisations and counsellors.
Over the coming months we are going to be discussing specific issues within the community that we feel the Help Vega Baja Connection volunteerscan help with. The first being loneliness, which is an increasing concern for the expat community. Many people find themselves alone in Spain due to bereavement of a loved one, often with all their other family members and friends in the UK. Sometimes their carefully chosen home in asemi-rural situation enjoyed with a loved one, can leave them feeling isolated, trapped and lonelywhen their loved one has gone.Not wishing to burden their families living so many miles away, these feelings can become despairing.People caring for a loved one 24 hours a day can feel alone with little, if anytime, to socialise with friends or offload the difficulties they face every day.
Some people may feel alone with a problem, they may have many people around them but unable to share their difficult feelings with these people and therefore also feel isolated with distressing emotions. Couples can also feel isolated and lonely perhaps on urbanisations that feel empty in the winter months or unable to get out and about due to physical difficulties, not able to join in activities or socialise. Added to this, is the language barrier.Imagine for a moment someone living alone and not even being able to talk to someone at their local shops, pharmacy, perhaps not voicing anything or understanding any conversation for days on end, not being able to share even the smallest of worries which is a natural thing for us all to do.Connections listeners alsoprovide emotional support with the “Keep in Touch Scheme”.We will telephone people on the scheme who sometimes feel lonely or isolated,on agreed days for a chat. This is a very important part of our service, providing our community with a friendly voice and listening ear as this may be the onlytime they have had an opportunity to chat in days. Chatting through day to day worries can prevent these feelings from escalating and building layer upon layer of distress, which may lead to overwhelming emotions of despair or suicidal thoughts.
In addition to Connections and the Keep in Touch Scheme, Help Vega Baja are proud to announce their new Befriending Service. This new service provides a volunteer to go along and sit with someone, have a chat over a cup of teaand maybe more importantly, provide a carer with a few hours to themselves whilst their loved one has someone to keep them company. Our volunteers also visit people who are lonely and perhaps unable to leave their home through physical disability and therefore have little, if any, interaction with others. We are also happy to visit people who are residing in a nursing home. Many elderly people have limited Spanish, and nursing homes which are predominantly Spanish, can at times be quite isolating. The new Befriending Service and the Welfare team,, which also provide visits and offer advice, work well with the Connections Team and provides well rounded support for people in our community.
Being a listener is one of the best skills I have learnt, I am blessed to be volunteering with such kind and wonderfully warm people and to becontributing to the amazing work of such a successful charity.I find my role immensely rewarding, I often hear the words“thank you for listening”.
If you would like to find out more about HELP Vega Baja, visit their webpage at www.helpvegabaja.com or their active Facebook page. Anyone interested in learning how to become a listener can contact Jane via the HELP Vega Baja San Miguel Centre on 966 723 733 or 865 661 497
A number of sightings of processionary caterpillars have now been reported in the Torrevieja area. This pest creates great concern amongst pet owners as the hairs from the caterpillar can cause a severe allergic reaction. In order to reduce the possibility of pets being affected, the council treats public areas where they have been seen.
One of these recently has been adjacent to Calle Mozart, the street running alongside the natural park in La Siesta. The council placed a warning notice on the gates to the park following treatment in this area to kill the caterpillars. The sign warned people usually using the park that they should not enter for the three days following the treatment taking place.
Costa Blanca People received a request for information from a concerned dog owner living on the street. Her question was why had it taken the council so long to deal with the problem when the first caterpillars had been spotted three weeks previously on the ground in the area across from the Sol Apartments.
The answer appears to be linked to the earlier appearance each year of the caterpillars. In reply, Councillor Carmen Morate explained that the caterpillars are traditionally seen in the spring time but their appearance seems to be brought forward each year. Now, January and February are frequently the months when they are first being spotted.
Although apologising for the lateness she says, ‘It’s difficult to tell when the caterpillars will suddenly appear. It can also be difficult for the company used to exterminate them to react immediately when sightings are passed on. We would like to thank people, however, for the information they send us about where these creatures are so that we can inform the right department and take measures as soon as possible.’