Dirty Cash is a clear winner

Win Two Tickets for the Hot New Crime Movie – Dirty Cash

Dirty Cash the Movie

This month sees the much anticipated release of independent, locally produced movie, Dirty Cash, by up and coming British director, Craig Ruddock.

Starring, and introducing, Roger Portainer as the anti-hero protagonist and Guy Olivero as the ‘God-Padre’, Dirty Cash sees an ambitious heist go badly wrong with the double-crossing fall-out running head long into a very different type of criminal enterprise causing a high-octane clash with unpredictable and suitably nail-biting results.

Suffice to say, if you’re a fan of crime flick cliff-hangers, the action-packed ending won’t disappoint.

Shot entirely independently on a tight budget on location in Cadiz and Malaga, this crime thriller is a completely grassroots production showcasing solely local talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and displays incredible ingenuity in the props and set department.

The result is a taut, sophisticated action thriller with a twist, all played out to a stunning Andalucian summer backdrop.

Excited? Well, this your chance to win TWO tickets to a private VIP screening including a cava reception, props exhibition and a behind the screens documentary where you’ll also get to meet cast and crew!

Screenings are at Manilva Theatre, Manilva Town on 29th November and 5th and 6th December and if you don’t win, don’t worry…

You can buy tickets online at www.dirtycashmovie.com where you can also check out the electrifying trailer.

To win TWO free tickets simply visit www.dirtycashmovie.com and answer the question: “The Overlook Hotel” is featured in the film. In which other famous film does this hotel name appear?

Water cuts in Manilva on Wednesday 23 September

The local water utility, Hidralia, have announced that due to major works on the municipality’s water infrastructure the supply will be cut for five hours on Wednesday 23 September from 9 am to 2 pm, which will affect the whole of the municipality including all urbanisations and rural areas.

Hidralia apoligise for any inconvenience during these essential works.

Water Cut

Obituary – Christine ‘Tina’ Davin­Smith

born Llywnypia, Wales 1949, died Arroyo de la Miel, Malaga, Spain 2015

It is with great sadness that we inform everyone about the untimely death of Tina Davin­Smith, a well known, and much loved face around the Manilva­Casares costa. Diagnosed with cancer in January this year, Tina had to give up her job at The Bookshop, Sabinillas, where she had loved working for the last 10 years. Tina lived and breathed books, and like most of us, came with her own fascinating story.


Born Christine Mathias in Llwynypia, Wales in 1949, she grew up one of five brothers and sisters. Her mother, who still lives in Wales, frequently rented rooms to the many visiting actors, orators and political activists who visited the valleys and coal fields during the time. She told once of a time, where as a very young girl, she sat on Paul Robeson’s knee at the family table, eating bread and jam, and being mesmerised by this ‘enchanting, deep voiced, fiery black man’.

It no doubt set Tina out on her discovery of all things to do with theatre, drama, literature and the arts.

The family eventually moved to Cardiff, where her parents ran several pubs ­ something that she would emulate with her husband, John, later on in Spain. It was in Cardiff that her rebellious nature developed, and although she did well at school, and was training to be a teacher at Cyncoed Teacher Training College (fellow students included Gareth Edwards, JJ Williams and Lynn Davies) a brighter life beckoned and as soon as she was able to she ran away to Tenby in West Wales, to join the growing number of ‘hippies’ and young people who were escaping the ‘rat race’ so defined by Derek Tangye’s ‘Minack’. It was the summer of love, and she did exactly that and fell in love.

She married John in 1968, and they had just one son, Justin, a year later. Tenby was a beautiful place to bring up a family, and the next few years were very happy. However, the pull of her family in Cardiff was strong, and increasing tension between her and John, saw her return to Cardiff. With a new sense of freedom she took a job in the Welsh Office, where she met her good friend, the poet Sheenagh Pugh. Encouraged to write herself she joined writing and drama groups, and became involved in left­wing and feminist politics. She also discovered her talent for cartoons, and created very funny (and very rude) cartoons for the local paper.

Eventually, she and John got back together when he took a job as a catering manager in Cardiff. Lessons learned they decided to give it another go and stayed together until John’s death in 2004. With a newfound sense of purpose and empowerment she enrolled at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, and once again set out on becoming a teacher, but this time of Drama. It was not to be. Her first teaching practice placement was a disaster “Get that chair of your head!” “But, I’m a Dalek, miss!” “Get that [deleted expletive] chair off your [deleted expletive] head!” They didn’t invite her back. She instead joined Chapter Arts, and was an active member of the theatre company, Moving Being, as well as being prominent within the local arts scene in Cardiff.

She and John had rekindled their love for each other and had a good life in Cardiff for a great many years. Justin eventually left home and started art school, and they decided to ‘give it a go’ in another part of the world. In 1988 John found a job in Gibraltar, and Tina soon followed him to set up a life in Spain. They are probably best known for opening and running ‘The Penguin’ in Puerto Duquesa. If you remember those times, then you were never really there. The curried meatballs were famous for miles around.

John passed away suddenly after a very short illness in 2004. Tina was bereft. She never fully recovered her loss of her life partner and soulmate. She could have retreated and given up, but she forged herself a new life, and surrounded herself with the things she truly loved, books. She worked with Alma in the bookshop in Sabinillas, until it was bought by Stephen Davies in 2011.

He immediately realised what an asset Tina was for the shop, and kept her on as ‘chief librarian’. She was very happy in this role, and at home she immersed herself in books. She once said that she had three loves in her life ­ books, her son and her daughter­in­law, Sonia ­ not necessarily in that order. She also learned Spanish, was a translator, and volunteered at the Costa del Sol hospital.

It was a terrible shock in January this year to discover that she had lung cancer. She immediately blamed ‘all those smokey, dark jazz clubs in the 70s’. She passed away on 14th August, 2015 in the Cudeca hospice in Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmadena.

The family would like to thank all her friends, colleagues and the community at large for giving her such support and friendship throughout the years.

Her funeral took place in Manilva Crematorium at midday on the 19th August, 2015.

Danii’s Beach BBQ

On Monday 6th July at Chambao Beach Bar, Torreguadiaro from 6.30 pm for one night only the Costa Del Sol’s Top Artists will put on a show to remember to support Danii’s Children’s Cancer Charity at this family event.

Performing will be: Tony Watson, Danceworks Sotogrande and performers from The Sotogrande International School, Echoes Of The 60’s, Jersey Boys, TRIXX, The Bluze Brutherz Band, Voulez Vous.

There will also be the Bucking Bronko, Beach BBQ, Kids Face Painting, Bouncy Castle, Cocktails, Kids Entertainers and special Guest appearances from your favourite cartoon characters compliments of ‘My Party Perfect’

All proceeds go to Danii’s Charity (Helping kids with cancer) see www.daniicharity.com for more information on this worthy cause.

Danii Charity

Red Cross Golden Lottery

Spain’s Cruz Roja (Red Cross) is currently running their annual Golden Lottery, known as the most charitable lottery in the world, and there are some amazing prizes to be won. Tickets cost 5€, with all funds raised going to support the Red Cross’ fantastic work for those most in need. The lottery will be drawn on 23rd of July and there are over 6 million Euros in gold to be won. There are three grand prizes of 3 million Euros, 1.5 million Euros and 750,000 Euros, then thousands of smaller winning tickets from 2,500 Euros to 100 Euros – a total of 3,900 chances of winning!

The Red Cross is a humanitarian organization with the principle objectives of providing aid for victims of disasters, those with social issues, health problems and environmental causes and with the funds raised from the Golden Lottery they are able to do more for those who really need their help. Purchasing one ticket will fund one male essential hygiene kit, six tickets will buy three rucksacks with school materials for children, nine will provide the basic alimentation needs of a baby and ten tickets will provide a basic food parcel for a family. Every ticket bought can really make a difference to a person’s life.

Specsavers Opticas have announced their support for the campaign and are selling the tickets on behalf of the Red Cross until the 16th July. Tickets can be bought from the Marbella store, located on Av. Ricardo Soriano.

To find out more about the lottery and purchase tickets online visit www.cruzroja.es/sorteodeoro
To find out more about Specsavers Opticas visit www.specsavers.es

Cruz Roja Sorteo de Oro

Specsavers – Tell the world you look great in glasses

Specsavers - Spectacle wearer of the Year

To highlight and reward the millions of ordinary people in Spain who look amazing in their glasses Specsavers Opticas are running the Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition. People can enter between the 1st June and the 5th July via Facebook and online at en.specsavers.es/loveglasses by submitting a recent colour photo of themselves wearing glasses.

Anyone from the age of 16 or over can enter and there are five age categories; 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59, 60+. The person crowned the overall Spectacle Wearer of the Year will win €500 and a pair of designer frames. There will also be a semi-finalist from each age category who will each win a pair of designer frames worth 159 €.

All Specsavers staff are fully trained to offer style advice on the latest trends and frames to suit all face shapes and help make glasses wearers look and feel great. The team will be at the Costa Women Big Sparkling Charity Summer Party on 25th June at The Courtyard in Marbella. They will be offering guests a free glasses styling and helping them to enter the competition. Tickets are 25€ which includes a glass of cava on arrival and buffet meal, as well as donation to Fundación Cudeca. Tickets are available at Costa Women events, by calling Karen on 689 992 163 or by visiting The House Hairdressers in Elviria.

People can also enter the competition in store at Specsavers Opticas in Marbella or Fuengirola. Visit www.specsavers.es to find your nearest store or enter the competition online en.specsavers.es/loveglasses.

My Roman Oasis – The peculiar story of Spain’s strangest restaurant

My Roman Oasis book cover

Local restaurateur Paul Hickling has finally released his long promised (or threatened) autobiography ‘My Roman Oasis’ in which he tells the highs and lows of founding and running Spain’s strangest restaurant (his words not mine).

Surely nobody on earth would be stupid enough to buy a mountain tract of arid land that had no electricity or water on the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain and think they could build a successful restaurant there. Nobody except for Paul Hickling that is.
The year was 1981 and the Costa del Sol was awash with celebrities, glamour and gangsters. David Niven, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Rod Stewart, Freddie Foreman and, erm, Wham! They were all drawn by the allure and fun of this Mediterranean coastline. Hickling’s dream was to feed them and millions of tourists.

This is the story of one man’s success in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And yet, after over thirty years of toil, trouble, heartache and the cost of two failed marriages the restaurant has become an unbridled success on the coast of broken dreams. This is a rapidly-paced account of sheer madness on the Costa, with tales of disaster and despair midst cocktail-sipping celebrities, matched bravely against Hickling’s undying will to raise the Phoenix from the ashes that were The Roman Oasis Restaurant. Over the decades it  flew high above the dark clouds of Spain’s bureaucracy and pre-European Union laws that tried to rain down upon it.

This is a book for anyone who loves Spain; for anyone who knew it in the wild, sangria-fuelled, good old days of the peseta to the Euro of today. It is for anyone who sat upon the warm sands and thought, I wonder what it would be like to open a place here…

Paul Hickling, author Myr Roman OasisThe author Paul Hickling (the one with the glass of wine…)

‘My Roman Oasis’ is available for sale at The Bookshop, Sabinillas, The Business Centre Estepona Port, Bookworld España Puerto Banus and The Gibraltar Bookshop 300 Main St. Gibraltar. It is also available for Kindle from Amazon.

Breaking Spain celebrates its first birthday

Local businesswoman, Katie Rawlins, recently celebrated the first birthday of her business Breaking Spain.

Katie, who has been coming to Spain to visit family since 1999, moved here permanently in 2003, and having quickly learnt the language soon found herself in the role of ‘fixer’ for her many fellow countrymen (and women) who struggle with the Spanish language. It very soon became clear that Katie had a talent for this role and it wasn’t long before she was employed by a local Gestor to help expats with all forms of bureaucracy such as vehicle transfers, residencias, etc.

Having successfully fulfilled this role for a number of years, Katie’s entrepreneurial spirit led to her going it alone and thus Breaking Spain was born.

I asked Katie why ‘Breaking Spain’? “It is based on the title of one of my favourite TV series, Breaking Bad” she replied, “which finished at about the same time as I established the business. It also implies breaking through the Spanish red tape, of which there is a plentiful supply.”

According to Katie, running her own business has been a steep learning curve, and like most of the self employed finds herself putting in very long hours, but it has all been worth it as she is very happy at how the business is going.

Of all the bureaucratic processes, vehicle paperwork and residency matters make up a large chunk of her work, but the list of services is almost endless.

I asked Katie what bureaucratic matters should expats attend to that maybe they avoid, and she immediately replied “everyone who lives permanently in Manilva should register on the local electoral roll (Padron). The more people who register, the more money and resources the local Town Hall receive from the state, including doctors, police, etc.”

Breaking Spain provides a specialised service aimed at the expat community on the Costa del Sol, offering tailor made solutions to cut through the Spanish bureaucracy.

Application for NIE & Residency; Registering for health cover and with doctors; Discreet and confidential assistance at medical appointments; Guidance on tax issues and insurance; Vehicle transfers, importation, payment and research of traffic fines; Translation services; Setting up/finishing utility contracts such as water, electricity, telephone and internet; Passport renewals, and much, much more.

For more information about Breaking Spain visit their website www.breakingspain.com, telephone: 951 273 696 or 616 686 732 or email: katie@breakingspain.com

Katie Rawlins

Mushroom hunt

Bistro Paraiso at Urb. Playa Paraiso invite you to join them on a beautiful day out in the stunning Andalucian countryside on a mushroom treasure hunt on Saturday 29 November for just 5 euros per person.


9 am Meet for coffee at Bistro Paraiso, Playa Paraiso (turn towards beach at Punta Paloma roundabout).

Our mushroom maestro, Graham, will give a short tutorial as to which mushrooms we will be looking for and harvesting.

10 am Head off to the hunting ground.

10.30 am Let the hunt begin. Graham can identify more than 300 mushrooms that grow in the Andalucian countryside and, of course, knows which ones are safe to eat.

3 pm Meet up for return to Bistro Paraiso.

3.30 pm Weighing of mushrooms collected. Drinks, and of course sampling of the mushroom harvest cooked by Dani.

Mushroom identification kits will be provided, and no mushroom makes it into the basket without Graham’s permission.

Bring a basket and your camera (so that you can record those mushrooms that you cannot eat), snacks, drinks, etc.

(Drinks at Bistro Paraiso not included)

Call 637 717 512 to book your place.