More Than Just Food

ADEJE-entrega de kits de higiene personal cruz roja y ayuntamiento de adeje (8)Well done to the Adeje social services department.  While many homes are suffering the effects of the crisis and struggling to feed their families, it’s not just food that is needed to keep people healthy.  Good hygiene is important too, but to often this side of the needs of those on the bread-line might be ignored.

Councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo and her team along with members of the Red Cross have just distributed 80 boxes of home hygienic products for families in need in Adeje.  Amada also praised the solidarity shown throughout the borough with neighbour helping neighbour.

 

Applying for School

studentThere’s just a few days left (until May 2nd) to apply for a place in a public infants and primary school.

If you haven’t already done so, you need to either go directly to the public school in your cathchment area (Adeje centre, Armeñime, Tijoco, etc), and get the application form, or fill in the form online http://www.gobiernodecanarias.org/educacion/pagina.asp?categoria=3367, where you request an online form to fill in.

In general you will be allocated a place in the school district where you live, however if, for instance, you work in another part of the borough you may request that your child is in a public school near to your work. You can list up to three first choices of school on the form. Preference will also be given to children who have brothers or sisters already enrolled in the school.

The provisional list of places will be published on May 14th and there is a two day period for queries/requests for alternative placements.

Austerity Policies?

queueAre governments hiding behind austerity policies?

The latest unemployment statistics here in Spain made global headlines – over six million people  are currently out of work!  That’s a lot of people.  Many of those are young, many have no employment history to fall back on.  Here in the Canary Islands 34 per cent of the labour force are currently not in employment. That will leave scars on the population that will take more than words from Madrid to heal.

As the figures were announced the political reactions were swift, and despite their time in power and their introduction of game-changing labour reforms that, in effect, eased the path for employers to fire people who had been in long-term employment, the current administration blamed the previous one for the rise.  But such is politics.

It has also long been the fall-back position of political parties in power throughout recession-hit Europe to blame the world recession, bankers or other countries for national woes.  Ok, that does make some sense but is it fair to use external forces as a guilt blanket for all local problems?

Those countries who had had to look outside their national financial boundaries to Europe for assistance have also had to knuckle down and adopt those dreaded ‘austerity’ measures.  Again, the governments who must impose them are in a precarious position – having sought outside aid they must agree to certain conditions to satisfy the terms of the assistance, and also sell it to a jumpy electorate at home.  Perhaps here in Spain much of the ire currently directed towards the party in power is that there were many who believed that by voting the coservatives into power all would be well, jobs would be created, and while social policies might receive less attention, the economy would return to an even keel. 

So who is to blame for the current economic woes, not just in Spain, but in Europe and beyond? Do national governments have the right to blame others for economic and employment problems within their borders.

Tomrrow on English Time I hope to speak to Andrés Ortega, a writer and journalist. He has previously worked as Director in the Department of Studies and Analysis, Presidency of the Spanish Government for two different terms (1994-1996 and 2008-2011 – being a permanent advisor since 1990); Director of Foreign Policy Spanish Edition, published by FRIDE; and Editorialist and Columnist in the Spanish newspaper, EL PAÍS.

Tune it, English Time on Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm, at 1pm.

 

Up to €1 million in credit for small and medium enterprises

Adeje mayor Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga and Microbank Managing Director Alberto López

Adeje mayor Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga and Microbank Managing Director Alberto López

Good news for small and medium enterprises in Adeje.

Yesterday the council signed an agreement with Microbank with up to one million euros being made available to people in need of loans to maintain or start small businesses.  Companies employing or planning to employ up to 10 persons and with a turnover of €500,000 per annum can apply for the loans through the council and if approved will be given up to €25,000, without the need for guarantees, to be paid back at 8.25 per cent.

The new initiative will, it is hoped, both save and create jobs in Adeje.

Today on English Time, on Radio Sur Adeje, at 1pm,  you can hear an interview in English with both Alberto Lopez from Microbank and  Cesar Garcia Arnal from UPTA, the union of professionals and self employed giving more details of the scheme.

 

Page Turners!

reading

Page turners

I’m not sure about Kindles and the like.  Old fashioned, behind the times, Luddite?  Maybe, but I have read books and newspapers online, however there’s still something different and special and un-online-ish about holding a book in your hand, knowing your about to turn to page one, embark on a fictitious journey that is new and, hopefully, worthwhile.

When I was growing up books were treats, treasures.  I invented a symbol that I drew on the inside front of my favourite books, my special mark, these were my books to be guarded and minded.  On some weekends my father would take me and my two sisters to a book shop (Parsons along Baggot Street in Dublin is the one that sticks in my memory) and we were each allowed choose a book.  And we could take time picking it too.

I got to know Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Tolkien, Dickens and Shakespeare (though the latter two were more through school), JD Salinger, and as a growing child these were the stuff of legends.  They spoke of worlds real and imagined, where incredible stuff happened, but through the words on the page I was there to witness the happenings, and could go back and relive it whenever I wanted.  And even today I still re-read some of those books, and they haven’t lost their lure over the years. Some books were and are keepers. 

I love bookshelves,  mine and other peoples.  You can’t really ask someone can you browse through their online book collection.  It’s just not done, but there’s nothing odd about checking out someone’s bookshelves, even if it’s your first time in their home.  And you can get to know a bit more about someone too by looking at their bookshelves, though don’t be judgemental.  I think a healthy bookshelf should have a bit of everything, from thrillers to chick-lit (depending on the readers), informative stuff, dictionaries, and more serious books if that be your own particular choice.  And as for the bathroom – well your not going to bring your ipad or kindle to the toilet, or are you?

In fact I would panic if I didn’t have a book to read.  I couldn’t contemplate getting on a plane or a train or going to the beach to to bed without the comfort of a few printed pages near at hand.  If I really thing hard about it I’m probably bordering on addiction.  But I think it’s a healthy addiction and certainly don’t think passive reading will harm anyone nearby either!

OK, I know that this is a generational thing too. The other day I told my young daughter that when I was growing up we only had two television channels, mobile phones hadn’t been invented and there  were no such things as home computers…”but iPads yes”, she assumed. No.  And no doubt in the next few years there will be more innovations that will leave some of us crumblies behind. But I hope the book never dies. And it’s nice to know that there is still a healthy respect and encouragement for those writing books for younger readers, spearheaded by people like JK Rowling and those behind the Geronimo and Tea Stilton adventure books here in Spain.

So why am I rambling on about books – well, Adeje is about to celebrate its annual Book Fair – tomorrow I will be talking about this on air, on English Time, Radio Sur Adeje, finding out where and when events and readings are taking place and also chatting to an author or two. 

Do you have a favourite book or author – or do you really prefer to read online or in digital form?  Leave a comment here if you like and we can discuss this more on air tomorrow on English Time, Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm, 1pm.

 

Adeje Book Fair (in Parque Cesar Manrique)

Thursday April 18, 5pm children’s workshops, animation show, two book readings, La leyenda de la escritora de Haikus by Graciliana Montelongo, and Guía de Narnatan by Narcy Méndez, and performances from the Adeje school of music.

Friday April 19th, events from 11am, story telling, etc. At 5pm there will also be a story-workshop in the La Postura Cultural Centre, sponsored by the Cabildo  At 6pm there will be a presentation by the Adeje dance school and at 7pm a reading of Cuardenos de Marta by Isabel Medina followed by a poetry recital

Saturday April 20th, book stalls will be in place from the town’s book shops, with a range of titles on sale. There will also be a chess workshop and a range of children’s activities. Readings from Hari Maguada by Carmen Marina Rodríguez and Rumbo a un sueño by José Luis Cámara will be in the afternoon, and that evening the Fair will close with the launch of local rock band Paradigma’s first disc, Igual es Fácil, at 8pm.

Bookshops taking part in the Fair are Librería Tabernáculo, Todo Hobby La Clare, Centro de la Cultural Popular Canaria, J. Moraga Libros, Librería El Buho, Editorial Bahai, Ifara Libros and Librería de Mujeres.

English Time, time for everyone

ADEJE-entrevista Rafael Dolado en Radio Sur Adeje (2)English Time, time for everyone

 

In its first six months on air English Time, which is broadcast twice weekly on Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm, from 1 to 1.30, has established itself as an informative and welcome part of the ex-pat day.

 

The Adeje mayor said he was “very happy with the way the programme has developed and its success, particularly as we have noticed that it’s not just foreign residents who are listening, but a lot of Spanish residents are also tuning into English Time and using the programme to help improve their English”.

 

According to presenter Clio O’Flynn, an Irish women resident in the Adeje village of Callao Salvaje, it has been a fascinating, challenging and rewarding first six months.  “The programme has already established some excellent regular contributors, such as the highly respected local British blogger Janet Anscombe, Colin Kirby, as well as inputs from journalists based here, Spanish, British and Irish, freelance and staff from national and local publications such as Island Connections Canarian Weekly and Diario de Avisos, and I am always delighted to welcome the local talent onto the programme”.  The British and Irish Consuls Steve Jones and Ward Woods, as well as Embassy staff have also appeared on the programme, as has the Irish Ambassador to Spain Mr Justin Harman, on the eve of Ireland’s accession to the presidency of the EU.  Tenerife’s Cabildo president Ricardo Melchior was also one of the many welcome guests. 

 

However the programme is very focused on news and views from Adeje and South Tenerife, and members of the Adeje council are regular contributors, in English, to the programme, as are members of other neighbouring councils and the Tenerife Cabildo.

 

The programme, in line with the policy of Radio Sur Adeje, sees itself very much as a public service provider, and in recent weeks devoted time to bringing listeners information on making tax returns, the new legislation covering the declaration of overseas assets, local and insular assistance during strikes or weather disruptions as well as clarifying issues such as driving licence renewal and most recently confusion over a by law regarding laundry and barbecues on balconies.

 

English Time is continuing to grow and develop and there is also now a blog, Adeje English Time (http://englishtimeadeje.com/) and a facebook page where people can interact with the programme in English.  The programme is also beginning a series that will focus on new businesses in Adeje, particulary those that are linked to the development of tourism and involve ex-pats.

The programme also depends greatly upon the advice and help of the Adeje council team and the Radio Sur Adeje personnel.  “I have been made feel extremely welcome and helped in every possible way during these first six months by the team”, said Clio O’Flynn.

 

If you would like to contact English Time please ‘like’ the Facebook page, visit the blog, or listen to the programme on Mondays and Thursdays, on Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm and get in touch

English Time, Time for Everyone!

ADEJE-entrevista Rafael Dolado en Radio Sur Adeje (2)

 

In its first six months on air English Time, which is broadcast twice weekly on Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm, from 1 to 1.30, has established itself as an informative and welcome part of the ex-pat day.

 

The Adeje mayor said he was “very happy with the way the programme has developed and its success, particularly as we have noticed that it’s not just foreign residents who are listening, but a lot of Spanish residents are also tuning into English Time and using the programme to help improve their English”.

 

According to presenter Clio O’Flynn, an Irish women resident in the Adeje village of Callao Salvaje, it has been a fascinating, challenging and rewarding first six months.  “The programme has already established some excellent regular contributors, such as the highly respected local British blogger Janet Anscombe, Colin Kirby, as well as inputs from journalists based here, Spanish, British and Irish, freelance and staff from national and local publications such as Island Connections Canarian Weekly and Diario de Avisos, and I am always delighted to welcome the local talent onto the programme”.  The British and Irish Consuls Steve Jones and Ward Woods, as well as Embassy staff have also appeared on the programme, as has the Irish Ambassador to Spain Mr Justin Harman, on the eve of Ireland’s accession to the presidency of the EU.  Tenerife’s Cabildo president Ricardo Melchior was also one of the many welcome guests. 

 

However the programme is very focused on news and views from Adeje and South Tenerife, and members of the Adeje council are regular contributors, in English, to the programme, as are members of other neighbouring councils and the Tenerife Cabildo.

 

The programme, in line with the policy of Radio Sur Adeje, sees itself very much as a public service provider, and in recent weeks devoted time to bringing listeners information on making tax returns, the new legislation covering the declaration of overseas assets, local and insular assistance during strikes or weather disruptions as well as clarifying issues such as driving licence renewal and most recently confusion over a by law regarding laundry and barbecues on balconies.

 

English Time is continuing to grow and develop and there is also now a blog, Adeje English Time (http://englishtimeadeje.com/) and a facebook page where people can interact with the programme in English.  The programme is also beginning a series that will focus on new businesses in Adeje, particulary those that are linked to the development of tourism and involve ex-pats.

The programme also depends greatly upon the advice and help of the Adeje council team and the Radio Sur Adeje personnel.  “I have been made feel extremely welcome and helped in every possible way during these first six months by the team”, said Clio O’Flynn.

 

If you would like to contact English Time please ‘like’ the Facebook page, visit the blog, or listen to the programme on Mondays and Thursdays, on Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm and get in touch

Steve Jones, British Consul appointed Global Contact Centre Manager for the Foreign Office

Search for new Consul for southern Spain begins – handover expected in May

After just seven months as British Consul for the Canary Islands and Malaga, Steve Jones is to take up a new role as Global Contact Centre Manager for the Foreign Office’s flagship Contact Centre programme.  He had taken over the expanded post from Maria Leng here in Tenerife at the end of last year. foto---consul253

After two terms as Consul for the Canaries and four years as Consul in Malaga, Mr Jones has been appointed to manage the expansion of the highly successfulMalaga Contact Centre – which will soon handle consular enquires from across the whole of Europe and Africa – and the creation of three more centres in Hong Kong, Dubai and Ottawa. Once all four centres are established, Mr Jones will oversee the day-to-day performance of the global contact centre operation.

Dave Thomas, Consular Regional Director for Southern Europe, said:

“We will be sad to lose Steve as Consul, particularly after only five months in the Canaries.

“However in that time he has increased the number of customer-facing staff from eight to nine, including the Honorary Consul in Lanzarote, extended opening hours at the Consulate in Tenerife, and set-up a new process for seeking customer feed-back in Gran Canaria that we will now be extending across southern Europe.

“He has also successfully managed the development of the Malaga Consulate and Contact Centre over the last two years, increasing the number of staff delivering consular services from seven to 25, and recruiting and launching Honorary Consuls in Almeria and Jerez.

“The Vice Consuls and their teams in the Canaries and Malaga will continue to deliver exactly the same high quality of consular assistance.  The new Consul will take over the responsibility for strategic issues and consular policy. Steve will remain in post until May before the handover to his replacement.”

Hang It Out To Dry

Drying laundry on the street will not be an option...but on, as opposed to over, your balcony is fine

Drying laundry on the street will not be an option…but on, as opposed to over, your balcony is fine

 

All weekend the social networks have been buzzin’ with the news that maybe Adeje council are going to try and stop you drying your clothes on the balcony.  Draconian, a breach of our human rights, we thought the worst.

Today in the coffee shop of the Adeje cultural centre the topic was the same…and Jose María Alvarez Acosta, the Adeje urban councillor was the man of the moment.  He sat down with English Time and explained what exactly had been passed and who it affected.  And lo and behold, some of the Spanish papers rushed to publish without reading the small print.

First of all there was already a similar ordinance in place in the borough regarding drying laundry and lighting barbecues on balconies, but it was ambigiuous. Neighbours and residents had begun to complain about lines of clothes hung over balconies or from windows onto public streets, so the council felt they had to act.

So, what happened last Friday?  An ordinance, or by-law, has been proposed which would ban people from hanging out laundry to dry over the balcony, if that balcony happens to be onto a street. So if, up until now, you have been using your trusted clothes horse to dry your clothes on your balcony, you are perfectly entitled to continue to do so.  It is only over the balcony in full public view that is now under considertion.  And under consideration it still is.  According to Jose Maria, there is still a 5-6 week window where members of the public can make their views felt on the ordinance before it is fully integrated into the borough’s by laws.

Even then, if approved, it won’t mean that the `laundry police’ will come knocking on your door and fine you for hanging a towel over the balcony. They might come and advise you that it is against the by-law and ask you to comply, as they would do if you were playing music late at night or your dog was barking all day and disturbing the peace.

So, no need to hide your freshly laundered smalls.  As long as your laundry is within the confines of your own private balcony you are in breach of nothing.

Healthy Habits

A healthy child is a happy child

A healthy child is a happy child

The other day I had to bring ‘she who must be reared’ (who is old enough to get that reference?) for her 8 year old check up. I am a real fan of the Canarian Health Service, though I will happily rail against the shortcomings (lack of public hospital in the South is a biggie), and when it comes to the paediatric service they are excellent.

My daughter’s nurse took about 40 relaxed minutes for the review (free of course, and an appointment the day after it was requested), taking her weight and height details, and talking to her and me about her daily lifestyle habits, how much television she watches, what physical activities she enjoys and what she eats.  The latter was a detailed chat from breakfast all they way through to supper and snacking if relevant.  And while I felt somewhat under the microscope I was happy to take part, and beamed with delight when I/the daughter seemed to win the nurse’s approval.  And that’s important for parents too I think.  We might have given birth to our bundles of joy but there’s not a gene for parenting as far as I am aware, and it’s an non-stop learning curve. God knows I’ve made loads of mistakes; haven’t we all?

So why the ramble about the visit to the doctor?  Well April 7th is International World Health day and the Adeje council have launched a series of initiatives to improve the borough’s health, all of them welcome.  The public are invited to take part in a number of talks and workshops (they are in Spanish), and these will focus on prevention and early detection of certain complaints too.

On April 11th Women’s Health is the topic in the Adeje cultural centre at 6pm.  On April 17th care of new born infants is the theme for first time parents, followed the next day by a workshop on healthy lifestyles for all the family.  On April 19th the focus shifts to the older residents of Adeje with a workshop on caring for your memory, with a specialist in attendance to answer queries, and on April 26th the public can attendance a workshop on coping with the crisis emotionally. 

On May 22nd a special programme dealing with diabetes will kick off, for those affected as well as family members, learning how to live with the ailment.  This programme is divided over four two-hour sessions from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on May 22nd and 29th and June 5th and 12th.

If children are taught to eat well and behave responsibly when they are young the chances are they will carry that into adolesence and adulthood.  Or so it is to be hoped!  The Adeje health initiative will pays special attention to the younger borough residents with talks in the public schools in Armeñime, Fañabé, Tijoco, Barranco las Torres, Los Olivos and Adeje Casco on nutrition, which will explain the dangers of obesity and steer children towards healthier eating habits as well as explaining the benefits of physical activity. 

At secondary level students will be able to attend various workshops on sexuality and the dangers of drug dependence.

All in all these are welcome initiatives – and while many of us may not speak enough Spanish to get a 100 per cent benefit, our children certainly will. 

For more information go to www.adeje.es. Schools will already have made provision for the education-related workshops and will inform parents in the usual way.