Category: Lifestyle

Summer means Mozzies

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!

Safety and style from Zenia Services

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:

Clairvoyance for charity

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.

Tenth anniversary Walk for Life

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

Second Best Boutique makes a move

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.

Satellites Direct leads the way for TV services

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: or email: satellites Alternatively call into the office in Calle Ronda Oests 4, San Miguel de Salinas open 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Connections from the heart

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 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 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

Caterpillars appear earlier each year

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.’


Next Tuesday 19th March is a bank holiday here as Spain celebrates the feast day of San Jose, Father’s Day. The Costa Blanca People will be printed and distributed as usual on the Tuesday. However, if any of our outlets will be closed on Tuesday and would prefer not to receive their usual delivery of papers, please let us know by 12 noon on Friday 15th March. You can let us know by phone on 966 70 10 60 or email to

Milestone for Benidorm Palace

Benidorm Palace will greet its 16 millionth customer this year after 42 years and over 3,500 shows, announced its owner Vicente Climent. The huge cabaret venue and restaurant burst onto the tourism scene on 12th July, 1977 with a show by a Brazilian ballet company.
Climent himself – who was 30 when the venue opened – took over after 13 years and his first commissioned show was a landmark performance with Soviet dancer Rudolf Nureyef – a night Finestrat-born musician Climent describes as ‘incredible’.
“Tickets sold out months before the show, and the keenest fans went along in the early morning to watch this world-class performer rehearsing,” Climent reveals.
With seating for 1,600 spectators per performance, and practically every single show being a sell-out, the current owner estimates that this summer, on the 42nd anniversary of Benidorm Palace, customer numbers will break the 16 million barrier. The venue has hosted the Spanish Song Festival and the Miss Spain finals, as well as major international conferences. Benidorm Palace’s complete renovation in 2005 saw it hosting all types of music and dance events, magic shows, comedy nights and acrobat displays in an eclectic programme that is constantly expanding.
“There are no cabaret halls like this left in Europe, and we need them,” Climent said in a recorded interview destined for Benidorm’s Tourism Museum.
“What else is there left to see on the stage at Benidorm Palace…? Everything we can possibly put on, that’s what, and for as long as we can, because my daughter will take over running it when I stop, then my grandchildren will, so it’s always going to stay in the family,” Climent concludes.

Darkness Into Light to host second annual walk in Costa Blanca

Darkness into Light, the global campaign to promote awareness of suicide and self harm prevention has announced that they have formed a charity partnership with Spanish Charity AFESOL Salud Mental, an organisation that looks after all aspects of mental health.
The Darkness Into Light charity walk was formed 11 years ago in Ireland with the charity Pieta House. From its first walk with 400 participants, this has now escalated into a global movement. In 2019, over 200 venues around the globe, with an estimated 200,000 walkers will be taking part in the global walk.
Following a good attendance in 2018, the Costa Blanca Darkness into Light team will be hosting the second annual walk, which takes place on Saturday 11the May. The walk will depart from Gogarty’s Bar at La Zenia at 5:30am and the 5km silent walk will commence towards Cabo Roig, with a beautiful reflective pause at La Zenia beach, where walkers see the darkness turn into light as the sun rises.
To register for the walk and for more detail:
The DIL team can be contacted by email at: or

Emirates cabin crew recruitment in Alicante this week

The airline Emirates is looking for flight attendants in Alicante and is set to hold a recruitment open day this Wednesday January 9th. The airline is also holding recruitment events in Mallorca and Barcelona.
The recruitment conference will be held at the AC Hotel Alicante, starting at 8am.
The airline is looking for “open-minded, attentive, friendly and service-oriented” candidates to offer customers a good on-board experience. Candidates can present themselves with an up to date CV in English, in addition to a recent photograph. Although it is not mandatory, candidates are recommended to complete the online application on the Emirates Group Careers website before attending.
According to the airline, there are a few qualities which will make you stand out on recruitment day. Namely, you’ll be positive, confident, flexible, friendly and very keen to help others. Emirates also requires that candidates are:
• At least 21 years of age at the time of joining
• Arm reach of 212 cm while standing on tiptoes
• Minimum height of 160 cm
• High school graduate (Grade 12)
• Fluency in English (written and spoken)
• No visible tattoos while you’re in Emirates cabin crew uniform (cosmetic and bandage coverings aren’t allowed)
• Can adapt to new people, new places and new situations
• Physically fit for this demanding role with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)
More information on applying, and on the dress code for recruitment day can be found at

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