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Posted on April 3, 2017 by @cad in Newsletters Archive 2016

** Some of the content might not be relevant on the date of reading this**

2016 coming to an end:  What a year! Who would have thought it? The UK voting to leave the EU and now the Americans have elected Donald Trump to be their next President. No wonder so many people view Park La Posada and Paradise Park here in Spain as probably the sanest places on earth. We think the message has got across that the residents are simply here to enjoy life and that is all that matters to them. Everything else is just news.

For Costa Difference Ltd 2016 has been a very enjoyable year. We have had lots of visitors to the parks every week and we also attended more mobile home shows in the UK than ever before. They included the NEC show in February, The Lawns show at Hull in September, the Beaulieu show also in September and the Glasgow SECC show in October1) In 2017 we plan to do these shows again plus one more UK show and that will be at the Olympia show in London around May.

In 2016 we have also welcomed many new residents to Spain as plots became ready on both parks. 2017 will start in much the same way as three new homes arrive straight after the New Year celebrations.

>>> 2016 will be a year for us to remember <<<

Ex-Pat: Patrick, otherwise known as “Ex-Pat” on the park now has a Twitter account because “Brains” the retired teacher told him it was cool to tweet and with his dry humour he should be tweeting .

Now the two of them are checking daily to see how many followers he can get. That does not mean of course that we will stop talking about Patrick Ex-Pat in our newsletters, there will always be a story to tell.

Here is this month’s Ex-Pat experience.

Patrick was sat outside the bar one lunchtime enjoying the winter sunshine whilst playing cards with Stan at the same time. It was during the game that the gas man entered the park gates and started honking the horn to tell everyone he was on the park to deliver gas. “Sod it” said Ex-Pat “I need to change 2 gas bottles”. Without another word, he quickly got up leaving his cards on the table and rushed home to put the bottles outside to be changed. It had been a long time since he had any need to change a bottle. In the spring and summer months gas is only used for cooking and taking a shower.

A short while later he returned slightly puffed but was pleased to announce that he now had a full set of four gas bottles to cope with the winter chill. Ex-Pat of course was right about one thing, in Spain during the winter months it can get a little chilly and yes heating can be needed first thing in the morning and again in the evenings as winter takes a hold. However, he was wrong to think that using the gas central heating in his home was the answer. Using his aircon as a form of heating is a much cheaper way of getting rid of the winter chill and a lot quicker to take effect as well.

Stan, who has been a park resident for many years then enjoyed telling Ex-Pat the error of his ways and had great delight in telling him that with the two full bottles he already had there was no need for him to rush anywhere. He could have easily waited the two or three days before the gas man returned. As if to prove the point about rushing away Stan then went on to calmly win the game of cards that they were half way through. A game that Ex-Pat was quite sure he was going to win before he left in such a hurry.

Sorry Stan, with us telling this story in our monthly newsletter (Ex-Pat gets a copy) he will now know that the only reason you won that game of cards that day was because you had a good look at his hand whilst he was off urgently buying two bottles of gas that he did not need straight away. He was on a loser all round that day for sure.

>>> Now you can also follow Ex-Pat on Twitter <<<

Winter sunshine: Living in Spain is not simply about relaxing by the swimming pool all day or boasting to family and friends in the UK that you are enjoying many hot sunny days with next to no rain. The health benefits in taking on board doses of winter sunshine is for many residents a much more important reason for their move to Spain. The biggest benefit is an increase in the levels of vitamin D you can absorb. You may not know it but this is one hell of a vitamin as it supports lots of functions within the body. Winter sunshine gives you your vitamin D for free and is also great for those with arthritis. Residents with signs of arthritis will tell you just how much better they feel in the winter sunshine.

So how can you make the most of it? In Spain, it is only the wind that is chilly during the winter months. On bright sunny days, it can still feel chilly if exposed to the wind. Very warm however if only exposed to the sunshine. That is why it is important when designing the decking area that you have an area in mind that is exposed to the sun but shielded from any wind that may be present at the time. That then becomes the area you will use most in the winter. You can easily sunbath on the many nice sunny days during winter feeling the warmth.

>>> You can also enjoy a BBQ in the winter as well <<<

Christmas: In Spain Christmas is called Navidad and the Spanish enjoy their Christmas dinner on the evening of the 24th and not on the 25th as in the UK. All bars and restaurants close that night. Spain falls very quiet on the 24th as all family and friends celebrate “Noche Buena”. They do not like anyone missing out on that night so many families invite as many people as they can who might be on their own that evening. It is a wonderful evening with lots of very Spanish food prepared at home.

Now some good news for people like our Martin who prefer to do very little at Christmas. Because the main event for the Spanish in Spain is on the 24th all the local bars and restaurants open as normal on the 25th. For them it is just a normal working day. That means normal prices and a normal menu for food. It will only be the English bars here in Spain that will be hiking up the prices because it is the 25th.

Martin will as usual be with his brother Derick (the pale one manning the office in the UK) and they will be doing what they do every year. They will be going to their favourite Spanish restaurant at lunchtime to enjoy a wonderful meal washed down with a few beers and a bottle of Rioja red. The cost of this will be around 25 Euros each in total which is great value. Before going out however both will be Skype calling all the family back home wishing them a Happy Christmas. Then it will be out to eat, Christmas over.

>>> If nice and sunny a walk afterwards is planned as well <<<

Spanish you will hear: Living in real Spain is one huge part of the retirement lifestyle (it is not all about park life), so why not let us help you in advance to understand a few words that the residents hear all the time when they venture into real Spain, which as you already know begins as soon as they leave the park.

The phrase this month is ¿Por què? Pronounced “poor K” and means WHY?. These words are perfect when it comes to being told in broken English that your car is not ready yet by the mechanic. He will then point to the reason why it is not ready and you will then have an idea without needing to fully understand his Spanish.

>>> The lifestyle is great, try and say a few words in Spanish <<<

Park Home Lodges: Right now, we have a lovely couple currently enjoying a winter holiday in the Marjal holiday resort near Alicante whilst their dream custom built Park Lodge is being constructed. They had already been well involved before arriving and can now see the home as it progresses from their design stage to completion. They are seeing all their wonderful ideas come to life.

Their home will be ready to be transported and installed on Park La Posada on the Costa del Sol right after Christmas. Then the second Park Lodge home ordered and destined for Posada will be started. Park Lodge homes are built in Spain for Spain. They are in fact more like villas than mobile homes.  Every Park Lodge home built will be different and that is what makes them so special.

Costa Difference Ltd is the only company operating in Spain able to offer the quality “Counties” range of Park Lodges built by Alhambra Homes in Alicante. There are already several of their Park Lodge homeson Paradise Park and soon there will be several on Park La Posada as well.

For us we can see that in 2017 the Park Lodge homes will be in great demand as people get to see and hear about the quality for themselves. Quality that only the likes of Willerby and Pemberton in the UK can match. To give you an idea we are expecting a new Park Lodge home and a Willerby Vogue to arrive at the park at around the same time. For sure that will get the residents talking.

>>> 6 new homes are currently on order with more to follow <<<

Finally: Donald Trump will soon be the President of the USA and like him or hate him you just know that the world will be very different for a few years. The Pound has already started to rise after the initial Brexit fears were completely overshadowed by Trump fears in the markets. It only goes to prove how false the market exchange rates are. We have said that all along.

So, what can we expect in 2017? Brexit will (or should) start but will not finish, and the US Government will no doubt be stirring things up with the EU over trade and NATO. That said we can see nothing that will be affecting Spain in any way soon. For us we will just carry on as normal. We will still be running the £79 per person dedicated 4 day visits to see the parks as normal (we have many booked in 2017 already) and we will continue getting all the new residents their 5 year residents’ cards as normal.

Spain for sure is not interested in Donald Trump in the slightest and as far as Brexit goes they will not want anything to happen that encourages the British to leave Spain and return to the UK. People retired and living in Spain is good for Spain and they know it well. Spain is also very good when it comes to dealing with the EU over decisions that impact them in a negative way. In 2016 they got the EU to agree that Spain and Portugal should not be fined for failing to take “effective action” to correct their budget deficits.

This action was taken by the EU despite both countries breaking all the budget deficit rules. Fines are set by the EU to be imposed when that happens. You can however bet your bottom Trump Dollar that the UK would not have been let off. The UK would have been fined for sure under the same circumstances. That is what makes Spain so special. Rules are rules if it works for them. Paperwork is around every corner in Spanish life (boy they LOVE paperwork) but being told what they can and cannot do by Brussels rests heavy with them. A perfect country for us British to enjoy, they dislike Brussels interfering in their way of life as much as we seem to. Brussels once suggested that siestas came to an end. Boy that got a reaction.

So, there you have it. 2016 is soon coming to an end and all that remains is for us to say HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE from all the team at Costa Difference.

As always, many thanks for taking the time to read all this. We hope you have found some information worthwhile and our take on life here in Spain interesting.

To plan your park lifestyle visit, why not call us using our **free phone** Inspection Visit hotline number 0800 772 3980. Derick, Steve and Martin are here to take your call from 9am to 10pm UK time 7 days a week.

**free when using UK landlines**

The Costa Difference team in Spain

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