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Letters from the Atlantic Letters from the Atlantic by Barrie Mahoney

'Writing Inspired by an Island in the Atlantic'

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​Chocolate, Avocado Eggs and the Canary Islands

Chocolate, Avocado Eggs and the Canary Islands

The Spanish love their chocolate. Pastries are dipped into it, biscuits are coated with it, churros are drowned in it and anything else is sprinkled with it. Chocolate is everywhere in Spain, which is not surprising, because it was the Spanish who discovered and gave birth to modern chocolate. It was Spanish explorers who brought chocolate to Europe more than 500 years ago with the addition of sugar to a bitter cocoa drink transforming it into the chocolate delight that we know today. Indeed, it was Christopher Columbus who may be credited for being the first European explorer to encounter chocolate. It is said that Columbus intercepted a trading ship loaded with cocoa beans during one of his voyages, but thinking they were almonds he ignored the precious load.

This article has been withdrawn from this website as it has now been published in Barrie’s latest book, ´Letters from the Canary Islands and Spain’.

For more information, click here

Kill or Cure?

Kill or Cure?


An article about bee sting therapy caught my eye this week. Tragically, a woman recently died in Spain after undergoing a bizarre form of therapy at a clinic that involved bee venom. The therapy is known as apitherapy, which involved the woman attending a session every four weeks for two years, which was designed to improve her muscular control without allergic reactions.

This article has been withdrawn from this website as it has now been published in Barrie’s latest book, ´Letters from the Canary Islands and Spain’.

For more information, click here

​The Virtual Spanish Hotel

The Virtual Spanish Hotel

Our first holiday in Spain some years ago was not a great success. We had booked into a major tour company’s “flagship hotel”, as it was described, only to find a bed containing the residue of its previous occupant, a couple of cockroaches and the distressing remains of a previous night’s curry in the toilet. Needless to say, we complained and were moved to another room. It was not the best introduction to our first holiday in Spain.

This article has been withdrawn from this website as it has now been published in Barrie’s latest book, ´Letters from the Canary Islands and Spain’.

For more information, click here

​Brexit and the Faint Hearted Expat

Brexit and the Faint Hearted Expat

Of course, the tabloids never miss an opportunity to try and raise the blood pressure, so it was with some amusement that I read the headline in one tabloid this week that “Brit Expats flock from Spain because of Brexit”. Seriously? I have yet to meet an established expat living in Spain, either in person or online, who is planning to return to the UK simply because of Brexit. However, I do know many who have been widowed, have significant health issues or whose businesses or relationships have collapsed and are reluctantly being forced to return to the UK, but not simply because of Brexit.

This article has been withdrawn from this website as it has now been published in Barrie’s latest book, ´Letters from the Canary Islands and Spain’.

For more information, click here

​Learn a Language with Beer and Insomnia

Learn a Language with Beer and Insomnia

Those expats who enjoy a tipple will no doubt be delighted to read the news that I am reporting this week. According to researchers, German students studying the Dutch language found that their pronunciation improved remarkably after drinking just one pint of beer each. So, I guess many readers are now wondering if a glass or two of Spanish Rioja before attempting to speak Spanish might be of help? Sadly, I have no more information about this, but if you too find that your Spanish language skills soar following a few drinks, do please let me know and I will pass this information on to the researchers.

This article has been withdrawn from this website as it has now been published in Barrie’s latest book, ´Letters from the Canary Islands and Spain’.

For more information, click here

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