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    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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    • 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 "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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    • 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. www.barriemahoney.com
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    • 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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    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
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    • 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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    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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    • 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
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    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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    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
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    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
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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
    4:16
    • 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
    • purplelover110 I love hand-written letters ^^. I do write letters to my friends sometimes :).
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    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
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    5:39
    • BarrieMahoney Gay Pride is always a huge event in Gran Canaria – after all, it is the second largest Pride event in Spain and one of the biggest such events in the world. The very first Gay Pride in Maspalomas took place in May 2001 and we have seen the festival get bigger and better each year. Each year thousands from the gay community worldwide, have fun in the sun, culminating in the shows and street parade of the big weekend. This year’s Pride also will be a week of parties, cultural events and shows. Those tourists and residents who are new to the island may well be asking themselves, “What is all the fuss about?” www.barriemahoney.com and www.thegaycanaries.com
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    4:49
    • 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. www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
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    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.
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    • BarrieMahoney "As with many things, the Spanish do this in another way, and maybe this illustrates just one side of the Spanish psyche that I find fascinating, charming, and often amusing, in my adopted country. A new craze by Spain’s anti-bank protestors is sweeping the nation. As an alternative to the angry UK’s direct-action protestors that are engaged in street violence or fire bombing offices, angry citizens in Spain are calling into banks and dancing a live flamenco show, complete with anti-bank lyrics before disappearing as quickly as they arrived..." www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com
  • 0:00
    3:30
    • BarrieMahoney "As with many things, the Spanish do this in another way, and maybe this illustrates just one side of the Spanish psyche that I find fascinating, charming, and often amusing, in my adopted country. A new craze by Spain’s anti-bank protestors is sweeping the nation. As an alternative to the angry UK’s direct-action protestors that are engaged in street violence or fire bombing offices, angry citizens in Spain are calling into banks and dancing a live flamenco show, complete with anti-bank lyrics before disappearing as quickly as they arrived..." www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com