Local author does it again, and again!

The Prince's Lady

Mary Chiappe, author of The Grapes of Warmth, the only book in English about Manilva, its environs, and much more, has followed it up with her first solo novel, Mosaic of an Unquiet Time, which appeared in June this year.

“It is set in 1963 in an imaginary British colony off the coast of Portugal. Probably the best thing I have written to date,” she says. “It is about a time of change as seen through the lives of five major characters with their loves and problems, whether these involve religion, sex or politics. I’d say it’s a many-layered book to be enjoyed and re-read!”

Mary has, concurrently, been writing whodunits with a childhood friend, Dr Sam Benady, a paediatrician and amateur historian. The Bresciano Mysteries are set in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Gibraltar, Morocco and Spain. Their fourth novel, The Prince’s Lady, was launched on 6th November.

“We plan a rough outline of the book and get splendid ideas that later – as we attempt to wrestle with the logistics involved – land us in the soup. Further meetings are involved… a good excuse to get together for a tasty lunch… as the book develops and expands and we have to keep adjusting and readjusting and abandoning old ideas or accommodating new ones. Our best-laid plans can certainly go awry, and often do!

“We write a chapter apiece and constantly revise each other’s work – suggesting changes and pointing out errors or inconsistencies and dealing with all the niggling details that require adjustment – from punctuation to characterisation. By the end of it all, it often becomes impossible to remember who wrote what.”

The books feature a local man, an Anglo-Genoese amateur investigator. Bresciano has a talent for spotting anomalies and clues – without always drawing the right conclusions at the time, but, like the Canadian Mounties… he always gets his man (or woman!) in the end.

While the central character – Giovanni Bresciano – is fictional, many of those he works or deals with are real historical personalities connected with Gibraltar. They can range from Governor Eliott or General O’Hara, to Sergeant Miles who became one of Gibraltar’s first policemen and Abraham Hassan, the only local man to volunteer and be recruited into the army during the Great Siege – both their descendants are still around.

Books may even feature someone else’s fictional character – like Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

The books have attracted good reviews both locally and in the UK in “Historical Novels Review”.

The Murder in Whirligig Lane “passes the Good Mystery Test, because the dénouement is unforeseeable, in spite of a generous supply of clues, and yet plausible. I read it at one sitting, and look forward to Bresciano’s next case.” Alan Fisk. Historical Novels Review, U.K.

Fall of a Sparrow  “An unusual crime novel… an unconventional hero… an interesting setting… a very enjoyable read.” Lynn Guest. Historical Novels Review, U.K.

The Pearls of Tangier “Well plotted… and characters strongly conveyed. The time period… and the exotic setting permeate the novel without overpowering the action or the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed (it). Recommended.” Anne Northfield. Historical Novels Review, U.K.

And now we have the latest book of the series: The Prince’s Lady. The book centres round Prince Edward, fourth son of George III, who is posted to Gibraltar in disgrace in 1790-91 to serve as a young Colonel. He is the man who will, many years later, father a child who will ascend the throne of England as Queen Victoria. As the novel opens, he is living contentedly with his mistress, a cultured French Baroness. They rent a house in Spain for occasional use. All is well until the morning when the Lady vanishes. Has she suffered an accident when riding out? Has she fled to the arms of a new lover? Or is it something more sinister? And there are bandoliers in the area – desperate and violent men…

And over the week that follows, Bresciano becomes involved in a flight that may turn out to be an abduction; he faces the Giants with their fearsome reputation; and is horrified by the murder of an innocent accessory. And it all has to be unravelled before the wind blows from the west – or from the east – for both become crucial either to the villain or the Prince… and to Bresciano himself, for the east wind may take the woman he loves away to the opposite side of the world.

Books are available from the English Bookshop in Sabinillas as well as in bookshops in Gibraltar and at Longman’s in Estepona. Steve at the English Bookshop is planning an Author’s Day when you can meet Mary and get your copy of the books signed.

Manilva’s accounts finally up to date


Manilva’s Finance Department has announced the completion of the municipality’s accounts for the years 2006 to 2011, this follows on the announcement earlier in the year of the finalising of accounts for the period 2001 to 2005.

Local authorities are required to submit their accounts on an annual basis, this was last done in Manilva back in the year 2000.

All the political parties represented on the governing body have participated in the approval process for the accounts which now go to government audit tribunal for ratification.

Manilva Wine Contest

V Manilva Wine Contest

The V Manilva Wine Contest will be held at the Wine Centre in Manilva on Saturday January 5 from 9.30 am onwards.

Local winemakers are invited to submit bottles of wine in the categories Dry, Sweet, and Medium Sweet which will be judged by an expert panel, the winner receiving a cheque for 300 euros; second place a cheque for 200 euros; and finally third place 100 euros.

The public are invited to attend and try some of the competing wines.

The English Bookshop – a growing business

The English Bookshop in Sabinillas

In these difficult economic times it’s always good to see local businesses expanding, as is the case with the English Bookshop in Sabinillas. recently the shop has been extended more than doubling the shop area.

This has allowed owner Steve to extend the range of products now available which include: Stationery, gift mugs, keyrings, diaries, calendars, etc. The range of greetings cards has been tripled, as has the selection of books with children’s books, books by local authors, full selection of fiction and non-fiction. The shop also now features a dedicated party section including helium balloons.

The English Bookshop is also an official agent for Hits Mobile, and you can buy mobile phones, sim cards, credit, and they will also soon be stocking smart phones.

If you are one of those who is reluctant to trust your mail to Correos then you can take advantage of the reliable, first class postal service for sending and receiving your mail to or from the UK and rest of the world offered by Offex for whom the English Bookshop is an agent.

All this under the watchful supervision of Eva the parrot who has settle back into the routine after her recent bid for freedom!

For more information contact Steve on 952 891 545 or email steve@sabinillasbookshop.com

Back soon…


Manilva Media Workshop SLL, home of The Resident and Manilva Life is currently moving to larger premises over this weekend.

We are also making some major changes to The Resident:
The Resident newspaper has been published monthly since September 2006, and apart from becoming bilingual back in 2008 has seen very few changes in design and format.

This is about to change. We are completely revamping the look and feel of the paper including going full colour, on better paper and adding a further 16 pages. As well as our traditional news and information there will also be more features and articles, and advertisers will be pleased to know that we are reducing our already low rates even further.

During this process The Resident will be taking a short break with the next issue out on February 1, 2013.

We will keep all our loyal readers and advertisers up-to-date with progress, and will also be publishing our revised rate card to allow advertisers to plan ahead for next year.

For more information on this please contact me at gary@manilvamedia.com

Nyland Knight Foundation – helping the children of The Gambia

Kids in Gambia

A holiday in The Gambia some 20 years ago was the catalyst for the establishment of the Nyland Knight Foundation by local resident David Harmston and his wife Terri.

What began with the sponsorship of a single child has grown to the extent that the foundation now provides funding for 80 schoolchildren, and has expanded to pay for and manage a whole host of projects in the village of Kunkujang Keita in this small part of a forgotten Africa.

The Gambia is a poor country, and whilst the children in the village are not starving they are so poor they have no shoes and very few clothes, and the school system is not free which means many of the children will never get the opportunity for an education that can free them from the chains of poverty.

It was this fact that prompted David and Terri to become involved as the cost of putting a child through school is just 50 euros a year, a sum which, whilst less than the average round of golf here in Spain, is way beyond the means of most of the villagers.

For the first few years David and Terri sponsored one child, but a chance conversation in a hairdressers in Gibraltar led to a donation providing sponsorship for a further nine, and the Nyland Knight Foundation began to take shape.

Since those early days a number of people have come on board, including Deborah Ives who is extremely active and who was the driving force behind the establishing of a number of regular fundraising events, and who regularly visits the village to deliver donated items and to help oversee the purchases paid for by charity.

In fact one of the important facets of the Nyland Knight Foundation is that all the money is spent on good works, with all expenses incurred paid for by the volunteers and organisers themselves.

As mentioned earlier the Foundation has expanded and now runs a number of projects including a cuts and bruises/small ailments clinic which treats around 600 children a year; a dental hygiene programme; malaria prevention programme; provides chickens and goats to promote self-sufficiency; runs the village football team; and so on.

Apart from individuals, a number of businesses and organisations provide support, including The Mayfair Academy which last year raised over 1,700 euros. The Pig and Whistle Pub in Gibraltar along with 888.com are also major contributors.

Nyland Knight Foundation has a whole list of projects for the future which you can find on their website www.nylandknight.com and on their facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/123783964396496 so if you would like to assist why not contact them via these sites and find out how you can help and make a real difference. Don’t forget every single penny goes to help the villagers.

A Taste of Africa – Campbell’s Biltong and The Flame Grill

Campbell’s Biltong and The Flame Grill

If you attend some of the many outdoor events that take place in Manilva, you will probably by now have come across local couple Ron and Eileen Campbell and The Flame Grill catering van.

Ron and Eileen, both Rhodesians, moved to Manilva from the UK in the last couple of years and have begun to make a name for themselves supplying traditional southern African favourites, such as biltong, boerewors sausages, and their variation on that theme, the boerewors burger.

Ron and Eileen left Rhodesia some twelve years ago and headed for the UK, just two of the many who left behind the political uncertainty of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe with the intention of returning once the dust had settled.

Back in the old country Ron had taken an interest in producing biltong, a form of air dried meat, using a process he learnt from Eileen’s uncle who was a butcher, and over the years they developed their own methods and recipes.

After a couple of years in the UK a chance meeting with another Rhodesian, who worked in an abattoir, led to Ron and Eileen picking up the butcher’s knives and once again began producing their biltong and sausages.

Ron went online and discovered a large number of fellow expatriate Rhodesians and South Africans and soon built up a mailing list of some 3,000 people eager for a taste of home. Very soon they were packing off parcels of their products across the UK and overseas, and in a move to expand
their market they purchased an old hot dog van which they cleaned up and named The Flame Lilly, which is the national symbol of Rhodesia.

A close encounter with a tree necessitated some redecoration of the van, which led to it being renamed The Flame Grill, a name which it retains to this day.

The couple would travel all over the UK during the summer attending, fairs, balloon festivals, etc. and it was during this time that they developed the boerewors burger. Boerewors, literarily ‘Farmer’s Sausage’ in Afrikaans, is a 100% meat sausage made of pork and beef with a few added spices, which is very popular with southern Africans who will chuck it on the ‘Braai’ or grill and wash it down with a cold beer. Although popular with their fellow Africans it didn’t seem to have the same appeal with the British public. It was then they hit on the idea of using the same mix but made into a burger pattie, the rest is as they say is history. People would be queueing up at The Flame Grill to get their fix of this culinary delight.

Another attraction of their products is that they are free from any artificial additives, and being 100% meat are gluten free.

As with many people it was the climate in the UK that led to the Campbell’s move to Spain. A particularly wet summer led to the cancellation of many of the events the couple had lined up.

So they rented out their home, hitched up The Flame Grill to their Land Rover and hauled the entire outfit down to Spain where they settled in Manilva.

Once here they soon began producing their famous biltong which is made by marinading the meat in beer or vinegar and their own particular blend of spices, before hanging it up to air dry for from three to five days, depending on the climatic conditions.

In the couple of years that Ron and Eileen have been in Manilva they have already built up an extensive customer base and have begun exporting their products across Europe.

If you want to know more about Campbell’s Biltong and The Flame Grill products then visit their website at www.biltongspain.com or call them on +34 951 277 105.

Cable Thefts

Cable Theft

Local authorities have asked the public of the municipality of Manilva for their cooperation with the wave of thefts of copper wire powering street lights.

The latest areas affected by these thefts are the promenade in La Colonia, La Noria, Los Flamencos areas, the entrance to El Castillo de La Duquesa via Los Granados and the San Luis de Sabinillas sports area, among others.

Robberies over the last month have cost the town hall over 10,000 € excluding the labour costs of municipal workers.

This also offers a bad image of the municipality as the areas with no lighting will remain that way until the town hall is able to repair the damage.

Residents have been asked to be vigilant because, although the local authorities are trying their best to keep the municipality under surveillance, in many cases it would be more effective if they had the help of local people to inform the police of any suspicious situations in manholes or in the road. To do this, anyone noticing strange behavior in this regard should call the local police at the following number: 952 890 945.