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    • BarrieMahoney It is easy to understand the fascination of many Americans with these small volcanic islands just off the coast of Africa. More than two hundred years have passed since the arrival of the Canary Islanders in Louisiana. However, Spanish surnames are plentiful in Louisiana as well as in other states, and their descendants still treasure the unique heritage of their brave ancestors from the Canary Islands.
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    The Canary Islands have a history that is, quite literally, littered with explosions. Each of the seven main islands was created by hot...
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    • BarrieMahoney Agatha Christie visited the Canary Islands in search of a tranquil and recuperative environment to help her calm a troubled mind. In February 1927, at the age of 36, she visited the Canary Islands to recover from a number of events that had taken place in her life and were having a serious impact upon her mental health.
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    • bikeman Thanks Joan it should be fun and looking forward to taking lots of pictures.
    • Joan_W Have a good drive tomorrow!
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    • BarrieMahoney "My eye was drawn to a young man in a wheelchair being pushed by an elderly woman from the arrivals lounge and into the main airport corridor. He looked painfully thin, with a pallid unhealthy looking skin, and his frail body was strapped into his wheelchair. An elderly man followed the wheelchair, pushing several suitcases on one of the airport trolleys. It was clear that these passengers did not travel light. I immediately recognised the Welsh accent as being from the valleys when the elderly woman began speaking to the young man. However, I could not decide whether the elderly couple accompanying the young man were his elderly parents or grandparents." and
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    • BarrieMahoney When I moved to the Costa Blanca, I recall being told by one consular official that, “The Brits come here to die”. I quickly discovered that nothing could be further from the truth...
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    • BarrieMahoney The Ship that Died I am not a great lover of things nautical; after all, I tend to get seasick when having a bath if the water is too deep. However, the recent announcement of a new ferry service from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria to Huelva in Peninsular Spain, with a journey time of just over one day, as compared to nearly three days on the alternative service, set me thinking about a once-beautiful ship now lying off a beach on our neighbouring island of Fuerteventura. and
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    • BarrieMahoney Nothing says “Royal Wedding” quite like an ostrich’s bottom joined to your left temple. No, I had told myself, I would not be spending the day watching the wedding celebrations and associated hats of a couple I did not know, would never meet and who were representing a country many miles away. and
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    I admit to being a proud European. Although English born and bred, and I still love the United Kingdom, including Scotland if it remains...
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    • omaniblog JacquelineB - I don't know - maybe I better listen to it again & see - what a lovely result : that you should laugh out loud... Delighted
    • JacquelineB I'm wondering if you were having a bad day when this was done, an unusually dark episode today :) Classic lines a real grumpy.... Prince (I'm going to borrow this) "... and then she had a sore foot for the rest of the dream" - made me laugh out loud Love x
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    The World recession has claimed the hopes and dreams of many expats, as well as local people. Many expats who finally achieved their...
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    • BarrieMahoney Over the years these values have been recognised and supported in most civilised societies, who have felt that a collective investment in children is an investment in society as a whole. Sadly, as we have seen with the increase in tuition fees in the UK and the erosion of the principles of “free education for all”, these values appear to be under threat or, depending upon the colour of your politics, are requiring “readjustment to meet changing fiscal needs.” and
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    • BarrieMahoney "Living in present-day Spain and the Canary Islands, it is often hard to remember that Spain has only relatively recently emerged as a successful and fully-fledged democracy after years of fear and repression under the hated Franco regime. As the last remaining statue, erected by Franco during his dictatorship, was recently removed from Barcelona, most Spaniards look to a time when a thick line can finally be drawn under this black period of the country’s history. It is credit to the strength of personality and character of its people that Spain has achieved so much since the dictator’s death, and although not always a popular concept with the British, it must be said that membership of the European Union has also been instrumental in the country’s transformation from fascist dictatorship to a highly successful democracy..." and
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    A recent announcement by the Chinese Government to axe more than two-thirds of prime time light entertainment shows and replace them with...
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    • BarrieMahoney My first encounter with ‘The Big Beast’ came shortly after moving into a new housing development in the Costa Blanca. Obtaining a reliable electricity and water supply were both considerable challenges, but none more so than getting a telephone. I recall standing in endless queues with other equally frustrated expats of all nationalities, and sometimes the shop closing before anyone was available to attend to our needs. I have witnessed grown men cry with anger and frustration at the sheer incompetence of trying to get a telephone line installed.
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    • BarrieMahoney One of the many things that I enjoy about living in the Canary Islands is a decent cup of coffee. Gone are the days when “a cup of instant” seemed to be the norm, and I still shudder when I return to the UK for a brief visit. A visit to one of the relatively new, and supposedly trendy, overpriced coffee shops is, for me, an ordeal best avoided. A quick visit out of sheer desperation during a frantic shopping expedition led me into one of the many branches of ‘Costa Lottee’ that are opening up in all of the UK’s High Streets - after all, it did offer “Free Wifi Connection.” and
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    • BarrieMahoney Expats and Ebooks I miss books! One of the most difficult things that I had to do when we left the UK for Spain was to cull my collection of books. We could neither afford to transport them all, nor was there going to be enough storage space in our new Spanish home to accommodate them. Book lovers will know the feeling, I am sure, that books become like old friends - always there to provide words of comfort and support in times of difficulty, laughter as well as endless sources of wisdom collected over the years. In the end, I had to make a decision and most of my collection of books found their way to the Salvation Army shop at the end of our road. It was heartbreaking. Even so, I just could not part with some of my earliest childhood memories and so some of my favourite children’s books are still stored in a box in my elderly Aunt’s garage in the UK. and
    • Audioboo Ugh - getting rid of books is so hard! I just feel reassured seeing them on my shelves. Kate @Audioboo
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    • BarrieMahoney I have watched neighbours struggle and become obsessed with the after effects of red rain in the Costa Blanca. At first it was rather amusing to watch the frenetic activity on neighbours’ patios after a rain storm. Patio furniture, tiles, steps, banisters and balustrades all had to be carefully washed and scrubbed within minutes of the rain stopping. After all, this red dust from the Sahara was pretty powerful stuff and it seemed to get into places, cracks and crevices that you would not think possible.