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Costa Women Costa Blanca South: Local Group Latest

The official collaborative blog of the local group of Costa Women, bringing you information about what's going on in Costa Blanca South. Our members consist of business women, therapists, teachers, writers and volunteers, all keen to bring you the latest information and the best services from your corner of the Costa Blanca.

Costa Women CB South October Meet Up with Dave Bull
03 November 2015

The Costa Women Costa Blanca South Meet Up on 28th October was held at the Algorfa Hotel. On a lovely sunny day, five Costa Women arrived to hear guest speaker Dave Bull talk about his life in Spain, and the Kayak Challenge. On 28th November, Dave and his son Mitch will row 52 kilometers – around 32 miles – along the River Segura from Murcia city to Guardamar de Segura to raise money for AECC and raise awareness of the work of the Samaritans in Spain. Dave is a patron of the Samaritans, and a close relative has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, so the challenge is very personal to the boys.

Before Dave arrived though, it was time to get to know the new arrivals. Marian has just returned from a trip to England, where she saw three of Sir Cliff Richard’s 75th birthday concerts. She told us all about the trip, and showed us her photos. As a Cliff fan since the age of 8, I was both envious and enthralled!

Member Sonia brought along her friend to see what Costa Women is all about. Ginny home schools her children, so they came along with her – and very good they were too. However, as they’re boys, we missed out on an opportunity to grab them young! Pat knew Dave from way back, and it was interesting to hear them reminisce on their time working in local English language media in Spain.

Dave – resplendent in one of the official Kayak Challenge t-shirts sponsored by Blacktower Finance - spoke of the generosity of all their sponsors, who have financed essential equipment for the challenge. Specsavers provided sunglasses for Dave, Mitch and the driver of the support vehicle. Not wishing to take advantages of their generosity, Dave was looking at sunglasses which were reminiscent of those worn by Olive in the 1970’s sitcom On The Buses, but their sponsors were having none of that. Dave and Mitch now have stylish Tommy Hilfiger and Puma gafas de sol to keep the sun out of their eyes as they row the River Segura.

The plans are coming together nicely – Howells Removals will be transporting the kayaks from Gran Alacant to Murcia on the day, and there will be a display of classic cars to welcome the boys to Guardamar Port when they arrive somewhere between 5.00 and 6.00 pm. This time of year, it gets dark early, but the boys have thought of that – they are equipped with head torches in case the last few kilometres of the row have to be completed in the dark!

The boys will be stopping off at Algorfa, where the team from the Vestry Restaurant will be providing refreshments. If you want to go along and cheer the Dave and Mitch along, or donate to the fund, they’ll be arriving about 3.00 pm, and coming ashore near the bridge across the river on the road to Almoradi.

It was an interesting, productive meet up, but it was a shame that it was not better supported. However, those who were there had a great time, and that’s what really matters!

This post was written by Sandra Piddock. Check out her website Sandra In

Like 0        Published at 21:46   Comments (0)

Calling all fans of Sir Cliff Richard!
03 July 2015

Among some of the Sandra in Spain stuff I do - apart from the writing, radio appearances and hustling people to give me interviews for various expat sites - I'm a group host for Costa Women on the Costa Blanca. We're trying to set up a group of business women, writers, mothers, professional people, students, rocking retirees, and any other brand of woman living in the Torrevieja area. It's getting to the time of year when people head for their homeland for the summer, or leave on a jet plane for cooler climes, and there was only one other lady at the most recent meeting before the summer recess. But what a lady Marian Donovan is! I was actually glad it was just the two of us, because it gave us plenty of time to talk about one of our favourite topics - Sir Cliff Richard.

Now, I've been a big Cliff fan since the time of Summer Holiday and Lucky Lips, when I was around 10. I sat through three back-to-back showings of Summer Holiday, and scared my parents silly. It was the only time I ever remember my father raising a hand to me, but it was justified - I'd been out alone, at the age of 10 or 11, for almost 8 hours, and this was around the time of the Moors Murders, and several other child abductions. Someone had even been taken from our school, although thankfully they were found unharmed.

It turned out Marian was also a big Cliff fan, and she used to walk half an hour from her home in London to the Juke Box Jury studios. Her mother knew where to find her though - she'd be on the telly in the audience, having been invited in to watch the rehearsals as well as the show. She happily recalls sitting in the stalls with the Shadows, the only fan who'd turned up hours ahead of the show in the hope of catching a glimpse of her idol. I saw Cliff live too - usually at Blackpool, during our summer holiday, which obviously wasn't as good as Cliff's film version. For a start, we were short on sun, although the music was great, and I managed a quick hello here and there.

So far then, our Cliff experiences were similar, but since then, Marian has left me far behind. Not content with seeing the movies, buying the records and attending the odd concert, Marian reckons she's been to hundreds of concerts since the 1970's, and she's booked 3 dates for Cliff's 75th Birthday Tour at the Royal Albert Hall. Not only that, she goes to Portugal on holiday every year and rocks up at Cliff's winery at Guia on the Algarve.

So, does she just stand at the gates and peer through? Not on your life! Cliff is very approachable, and loves meeting the fans who come to the winery. He's often to be seen in the gardens, meeting people, and one year, without thinking, Marian called him 'Darling' in front of her husband. Her husband played to the gallery, and Cliff thought it might be pistols at dawn, until Marian explained her husband was a right wind-up merchant. The following year, Cliff spotted Marian and shouted 'Hello darling!' across the gardens. Once seen, never forgotten, that's our Marian!

So, is her husband jealous of all the attention Marian showers on her idol? Apparently, he does sometimes say she spends more on Cliff than on him, and her very reasonable reply is, 'Well, I've known him a lot longer than I've known you!'

Now she's in Spain, it's not so easy for Marian to follow Cliff, but that doesn't deter her. She's pathologically scared of flying, so when she heads from her home near Guardamar to London in October, she'll be travelling by train and bus, and maybe boat, although she has still to work out a route and find places to stay. And she'll be doing it alone, unless she can find someone to travel with. Her ever-supportive husband usually accompanies her, but he's recovering from surgery, and won't be able to make it. When she gets back, having wished Cliff a very happy birthday in person, she wants to try to set up a Spain-based fan club.

So, if you fancy a trip to London around the end of the first week in October, or if you can advise Marian on the best way to get there, leave a comment below or message me privately and I'll pass it on. You don't have to be a Cliff fan - once you're in London you can do your own thing, or if you want to see Cliff in action, you can try and pick up a ticket. I'd be first in the queue myself, but we're not back from England and Portugal until late September. I'm swinging past Guia too!

Sandra Piddock is a writer and blogger living in Algorfa, Costa Blanca. She's also a Costa Women host. Check out her website Sandra in Spain

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Why Networking With Women In Spain Lifts My Spirits
03 May 2015

I went to my first Costa Women's networking group this week. I turned up a little late, but was warmly welcomed by everyone there. We were having casual chats about our businesses and what we were passionate about. Sometimes it can be easy to feel disconnected in a place like this, which can be transient in nature - so it was wonderful to meet with a group of driven women coming together in the spirit of harmony.

Sandra the organizer, brought everyone together and encouraged us to write for the Costa Women Blog to collaborate about our experiences. It was a great way to connect with new friends... A few of us swapped business cards too. It is funny how The World brings people together who are a good fit when you make the effort to seek each other out like this.

I look forward to the new connections in next months meeting. The group made me see why it is so important to come together to support each other and life each other up. Chatting about our interests and our business passions over coffee in sunny Spain was such a great way to spend the day!

See you at the next meeting!

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A big Hola from Costa Women Costa Blanca South Group!
25 April 2015

Hello Eye On Spain! This is Costa Women Costa Blanca South calling, with a brand new blog to tell you what's happening in the Torrevieja area, and also put you in touch with people who can help you with all aspects of life in Spain. I'm Sandra Piddock, and I'm a freelance writer, living in Algorfa, about 10 miles inland from Torrevieja.  I'm the host for the Costa Women CB South group, and I organise the monthly meetings for the group.

Our members are all members of the Costa Women online community. This is a free to join online group for women of all ages living all over Spain. Currently there are almost 4,000 members. The website has lots of useful information, with many special interest groups and opportunities for networking, finding work or recruiting staff, or simply supporting and making friends with other expats from all over the world who have made their home in Spain. The group was created by Ali Meehan in 2010, with the idea to connect, inspire and support Women during their move and life in Spain. Originally just for the Costa del Sol to meet with like minded women, and maybe networking a little, Costa Women now covers mainland Spain and the islands, and is set to move into France too.

Ali is keen to set up local groups for 'real time' meet ups, and the Costa Blanca South group is the newest of those, having started in January 2015. At the moment, the group is small but (we think) perfectly formed, as we all get on well together and have a broad range of interests between us. We are looking to welcome new members though, and be active in the Torrevieja area, which is why we're starting this blog.

You see, we don't just want to meet up for drinks and chat - pleasant as that is. We want to use our local knowedge and life and professional experiences to help and inform people in the community, so we'll be posting useful information, and letting you know about up and coming events we think you might be interested in.

Over the next few weeks, our lovely members will be introducing themselves to you, and explaining how they can help you to get more out of life on the Costa Blanca. And we promise we won't try to sell you anything at all via the blog, although several of our members do run businesses here in Spain, so look out for links to products and services that may be useful to you. It's all about helping to spread stuff you need to know, and making new friends.

If you feel one of our members can help you with something, please feel free to comment on their posts, or contact them directly through their links at the end of their posts. We welcome general comments too - because that way we know we're not talking to ourselves!

If you'd like to come along to one of our meetings to see if Costa Women can help you to make the most out of life in Spain, we meet at Reflections Bar, San Luis, on the last Wednesday of each month, from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. If you decide we're not too scary, join Costa Women - it's free - and become part of our local group. Hope to see you soon!

Sandra Piddock is a freelance writer and blogger, based in Algorfa, Spain since 2008. She's also the owner of the website Sandra in Spain.

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