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  • 0:00
    4:32
    • BarrieMahoney "Like so many who had gone before us, often tempted by the warmer climate and lower cost of living, we decided to sell up and move to a country that we both already loved. Spain’s Costa Blanca was to become our new home, together with our loveable yet self-willed corgi, Barney, and later to be joined by a ‘fruit bat’ called Bella..." 'Letters from the Atlantic' - ISBN: 978 184 386 6459 www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
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    5:31
    • 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. www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
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    6:34
    • BarrieMahoney As much as I love visiting friends and family in the UK and Ireland, the necessary air flight fills me with dread, which is why I avoid this tortuous ordeal as much as possible. No, it is not the actual flying part, nor the possibility of catching pig flu from all that recycled air, nor being crammed into airport buses and queues and not even the major airports’ policy of processing passengers like sardines. No, my horrors begin when packing my suitcase, or several in my case, a week or so before the trip. www.barriemahoney.com
  • 0:00
    4:46
    • BarrieMahoney 'Twitters from the Atlantic' is a quirky and amusing weekly blog by author and international columnist, Barrie Mahoney, about an expat's perspective of life from an island in the Atlantic Ocean. For more information, go to: www.barriemahoney.com
  • 0:00
    4:50
    • 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. www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
  • 0:00
    4:39
    • 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. www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
    • audioBoom Ugh - getting rid of books is so hard! I just feel reassured seeing them on my shelves. Kate @Audioboo
  • 0:00
    4:13
    • 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.” www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
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    4:16
    • BarrieMahoney I like eating bananas and, since coming to live in Gran Canaria, I am now a passionate advocate for this humble fruit, which, incidentally, is also called “the fruit of the wise”. From a health point of view, it really is a wonderful addition to the weekly shopping list as it contains vitamins and minerals essential for the human body. www.thecanaryislander.com
  • 0:00
    5:01
    • 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...
  • 0:00
    4:49
    • 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. www.barriemahoney.com
  • 0:00
    4:32
    • BarrieMahoney Like so many ex-pats living in the Canary Islands and Spain, I love receiving post from home. Be it a letter or postcard from friends or family, or maybe the occasional magazine; it is good to know that we have not been forgotten. Although there is no shortage of quality shopping opportunities in the Canary Islands, I am a strong supporter of the delights of Amazon and the QVC Shopping Channel and I am often tempted to order the occasional book, DVD or latest gadget on-line. www.barriemahoney.com
  • 0:00
    4:21
    • BarrieMahoney Do you receive endless email spam messages advertising all kinds of competitions, pills and potions and, in particular, Viagra? The Viagra ones are particularly sinister, I find. www.barriemahoney.com
  • 0:00
    4:34
    • BarrieMahoney "Despite all the positive aspects of living in the Canary Islands there are, as in all things in life, a few negatives too. One of my main irritations is slow delivery of parcels, which is often due to the Aduana (Customs) process. Even though the Canary Islands are part of Spain, and within the European Union, we are outside of both for the purposes of taxation. This state of affairs is of great benefit to residents and visitors alike, who can buy all the luxury goods they can afford whilst on holiday, and pay only 5% IGIC (local tax) instead of IVA or VAT in Spain of 18% and in the UK at 20%. However, there are downsides too..." www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
  • 0:00
    4:16
    • BarrieMahoney The Canary Islands have a strong place in history in setting the centre of world time. Imagine the prestige (and confusion) if the world’s clocks were set to Canaries Mañana Time and not Greenwich Mean Time!
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    5:04
    • BarrieMahoney Cows do it. Horses do it. People do it after drinking lager, or while eating a spicy curry. We all pass gas and lots of it too. www.barriemahoney.com
  • 0:00
    4:46
    • BarrieMahoney 'Twitters from the Atlantic' is a quirky and amusing weekly blog by author and international columnist, Barrie Mahoney, about an expat's perspective of life from an island in the Atlantic Ocean. For more information, go to: www.barriemahoney.com
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    3:45
    • BarrieMahoney "There are references to Carnival in island government records as far back as February 1556, but the fiesta has grown from strong influences from South America and the Caribbean, as many Canarians left the islands after the Spanish Conquest seeking work or their fortunes in the newly discovered lands of the Americas. Some islanders were forced to leave their homes in the Canary Islands by the Spanish government as it wanted more people to settle in the Spanish colonies in the Americas. Over the years, many islanders returned to their homes and brought with them many traditions from these newly discovered countries..." www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
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    5:00
    • BarrieMahoney "We stood in white-faced silence as the woman vet continued to tap enthusiastically on her keyboard, whilst making that sharp sucking in of breath sound that I do so detest in Spain - it always means trouble. We then entered the fantasy and frightening world of surgery - complete with anaesthetics, drugs, treatment and recovery times. Did we also want specialist heart and blood tests before the operation? she barked. We were told that this was essential in case Bella was not fit enough and would die during the operation..." www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
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    3:42
    • BarrieMahoney Who likes trifle? It is strange how the Christmas and New Year period reminds us of times past. I guess that as we get older, incidents and memories that seemed so unimportant and irrelevant to us years ago, gain in both colour and importance as time passes. For me one of these delightful memories is my Mum’s Christmas trifle. www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
  • 0:00
    5:35
    • BarrieMahoney I have always been of the opinion that we are born as either golfers or dog walkers. Sorry, I can already hear some of you complaining, “But I play golf and I have a dog!” Well, maybe, but perhaps one takes clear precedence over the other? Personally, I am a dog walker and not a golfer. Maybe this is in much the same way that most people tend to prefer cats to dogs or dogs to cats. It’s all about personal preference and, more often than not, whether we were brought up to love and respect animals during childhood, and whether we come from cat or dog families or maybe neither.