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    CanaryIslands BarrieMahoney Spain CostaBlanca Telefonica telephone AtlanticOcean
    • 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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    CanaryIslands GranCanaria Fuerteventura ship shipwreck liner SSAmerica LasPalmas AtlanticOcean Huelva Spain vessel cruiser
    • 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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    marsh ExtraHighTides AtlanticOcean YarmouthCounty Wedgeport
    • 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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    CanaryIslands GranCanaria Spain CostaBlanca BarrieMahoney TwittersFromTheAtlantic AtlanticOcean LettersFromTheAtlantic
    • 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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    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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    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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    AtlanticOcean books CanaryIslands CostaBlanca ebook expat GranCanaria hats Kindle LettersFromTheAtlantic RoyalWedding XXXXXXXX...
    • 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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    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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    CanaryIslands GranCanaria Tenerife ebook Kindle TwittersFromTheAtlantic LettersFromTheAtlantic books CostaBlanca AtlanticOcean...
    • 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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    PaternityLeave babies children CanaryIslands GranCanaria Spain AtlanticOcean
    • 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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    babies baby CanaryIslands BarrieMahoney Spain CostaBlanca AtlanticOcean Tenerife
    • 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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    AtlanticOcean description DylanThomas Ennistymon film graveyards JoSlade JohnFDeane Lahinch LiteratureFestival mayo play XXXX XXXXXXXXX...
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    coffee GranCanaria CanaryIslands Spain AtlanticOcean BarrieMahoney LettersFromTheAtlantic TwittersFromTheAtlantic Agaete XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    • 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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    AtlanticOcean BarrieMahoney CanaryIslands CostaBlanca ElHierro electricity energy GranCanaria renewable solar Spain XXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
    • BarrieMahoney El Hierro gained its original name of ‘Fire Island’ from its origins of volcanic eruptions many years ago, and although volcanic activity has now gone, the natural Earth forces of water and wind remain. These power sources are now due to be harnessed so that by 2012, this small island in the Atlantic will be the first to be able to generate all of its electricity needs from sources that are renewable. and
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    grass lawn CanaryIslands GranCanaria Spain CostaBlanca AtlanticOcean expat BarrieMahoney
    • 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.
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    It is strange how expats suddenly develop a craving for something that reminds them of life in their countries of origin. I guess it is...
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    AtlanticOcean BarrieMahoney CanaryIslands GranCanaria LettersFromTheAtlantic Spain TwittersFromTheAtlantic barranco calima
    • BarrieMahoney “Phew, it’s hot up my barranco today, darling,” gasped Miranda as she staggered down the street carrying two large and heavy bags of clattering bottles from the local supermarket. Before you get too carried away by imagining a doctor about to don a pair of surgical gloves for some emergency female probing, I should explain that Miranda is one of the village’s more colourful characters. She is a school assistant in one of the less classy private schools by day and a tattooist by night. I once asked if there was any conflict of interest between her two jobs. She screeched loudly in my ear, before resting her mug of gin on top of my car. and
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    Regular readers of ‘Twitters’ may recall that an emaciated, flea ridden and sickly kitten burst into my life last year, and a number of...
    • BarrieMahoney Regular readers of ‘Twitters’ may recall that an emaciated, flea ridden and sickly kitten burst into my life last year, and a number of readers have been asking about what happened to him... and
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    storm thunder lightning GranCanaria CanaryIslands Spain AtlanticOcean BarrieMahoney LettersFromTheAtlantic
    • BarrieMahoney It is a safe bet that few people living in the UK and Northern Europe will have little sympathy for poor weather conditions in the Canary Islands. At the time of writing we see people facing horrendous weather conditions in the UK with reports of temperatures plummeting to minus 20ºC in parts of Scotland, and little better in most parts of the UK. Daily lives and routines are all thrown into chaos, and the health and safety of the young and elderly in particular are put at risk by the excessive cold, as well as very dangerous road conditions. and