Watch out! More Summer Radar Speed Checks in Alicante Province

Trafico have announced their plans for increased summer radar speed checks in Alicante region.

They are also increasing the use of Mobile speed checks with over 30 mobile units currently in use.

The Director general of Traffic (DGT) in an attempt to reduce accidents in the region, has revealed the location of 1,500 surveillance areas, and warns all drivers to reduce speeds in these high accident zones.

Where speed cameras are installed

Where speed cameras are installed

The dark lines in the image above, shows the roads that will be under intense surveillance.

Fines for traffic offences in Spain are more severe than their equivalent offences in the UK, plus points are added to European driving licences of those caught!

More information is available @www.dgt.es

Algorfa School Books Appeal

schoolbooksappeal

Please could you can help fund school books for those children of Algorfa whose families are struggling financially?

You can help enormously,

and it will NOT cost you a penny or a cent!

 

Why do we need to raise money for children’s school books?

In Spain, children’s parents are expected to pay for a set of school books every September for their child’s education.  Depending on what subjects are taken, the cost of books could run to over 200 euros per year, per child.  This is an enormous amount of money for families to find, especially those with 2, 3 or more children in school.

Some families, re use older sibling’s books, rubbing or tippexing out answers, then passing the ‘cleaned up’ books onto the younger child – this is not ideal.  Lessons can and do change over the years, and so the ‘old’ school book becomes out of date.

Sadly, it’s a fact from the recession, that there are families in Algorfa who are destitute!

Please could you help fund a child’s school books for September?

 

The Amazon Affiliate Scheme

Most of us these days shop online with Amazon; and through the Amazon affiliate scheme, algorfa.co.uk hopes to raise enough money to fund several families, though supporting just one child through their education would be a fantastic achievement.

Helping with this appeal is so easy, and as said above, will not cost you any money!

How Does This Appeal Work?

All you have to do; when you decide to make a purchase on Amazon, click on an Amazon link within this site, the links could be placed anywhere on algorfa.co.uk, and the link will take you to Amazon’s online shop.

Each link has a tiny bit of code attached, which drops you a cookie with the appeal’s affiliate number (note: an Amazon cookie lasts for 24 hours only!).

For every purchase through Amazon, Amazon will contribute 4+% of your purchase towards the Algorfa School Books Appeal.  The percentage will go up depending on how successful our appeal becomes.

For example (the example is general and could change):

Algorfa Children's Books Appeal

Here are some links…. depending on which Amazon online shop you prefer (please click the image):

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Click image or HERE!

Amazon.es / amazon.de / amazon.fr / amazon.it

Please note: this appeal has not yet been approved by any person within the Ayuntamiento.  It is hoped this method of fundraising will be adopted by those in Authority, and perhaps will be adapted to help other good causes within our Pueblo!

paella

The Social Spanish Paella

Linguists believe that the word ‘paella’ originated from the name of the pan it is made in – the Latin term ‘patella’, a flat plate on which offerings were made to the Gods.

 

 

 

 

When we first moved to Spain, our community was lucky enough to have a traditional Spanish paella cooked for us by several Spanish residents from Algorfa.

These ‘natives’ arrived with a big bag of sand which they spread over an area, 9ft in circumference, with a 4 inch depth, on the top of our lovely poolside floor surface. Then, on top of the sand, a big bonfire was built to cook our paella. Amazingly, reassurances that the floor surface would not be affected by the heat of the fire, turned out to be correct! But I doubt we’d ever dare cook in such a way ourselves.

A visit to the ‘paella pan stall’ at Zoco market, resulted in us buying the perfect community sized paella pan for cooking up a real social Spanish paella. The owner of the stall will advise you which size paella pan to buy, and what gas burner would suit.

Here is our community’s ‘paella set up':paella1

The pan stands on a special paella gas burner,  Our gas burner consists of three different rings, all three working separately from each other.  For instance, we started our paella by cooking the ingredients on the inner burner, then as the volume of ingredients grew the middle burner was sparked into action.  Finally, the outside burner was turned on – using the whole area of the pan for cooking.

Chicken and Chorizo Paella – for 20 people

(Adjust as necessary)

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 2.5kg chickens [11.00 euro]
  • 1 chorizo sausage – cubed [3.90 euro]
  • 5 litres chicken stock, ready prepared from the supermarket or home-made
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 4 onions – diced [0.99 euro]
  • 3 peppers (green, yellow and red) – diced [1.99 euro]
  • 10 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 5 heads of garlic – halved [1.39 euro]
  • 4 cans chopped tomatoes [2.48 euro]
  • 4 tablespoons tomato purée [1.13 euro]
  • Vegetables, fresh or frozen [2.75 euro]
  • 2 packets of rice (1 kilo packet) [1.24 euro]
  • Optional seasoning: salt, red pepper, parsley, thyme, ground black pepper, saffron, ready prepared paella seasoning.

 

Cost: supermarket cost 26.87 euros, plus ingredients from the store cupboard, approximately calculates at under 1.50 euro per head!

Method:

1.    Prepare the chickens by removing the skin where possible, cut off legs, thighs, breasts and wings. Cube breasts, and discard wing-tips. (You could use the leftover chicken carcasses and wing-tips to make some good chicken stock).

2.    Season a warmed paella pan by spreading two tablespoons of olive oil over the surface of pan with a paper kitchen towel.

3.     Heat the centre of the pan by turning on the small (inner) burner, and add 150ml of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic halves, cut side down. Cook the garlic in the oil till the cut side is brown, and the garlic cloves have softened. Remove the halves and keep to one side for garnishing.

4.    Tip in the diced chorizo into the hot oil. Keep stirring the chorizo to avoid burning. When browned, move the chorizo to the edge, and cooler part of the pan.

Paella

 

5.     Add the onions and garlic to the oil, again keep stirring to avoid burning. Cook until the onions are soft and lightly brown.

6.     Add the peppers to the onion and garlic mix. When the peppers are softened, ‘rake’ the mixture to the cooler edge of the pan, where the chorizo is ‘waiting’.

 

paella

 

 

7.     In the hot oil, in the centre of the pan, add the chicken. You might need to turn on the medium (middle) burner to increase the cooking area. Add the rest of the oil if necessary, and cook the chicken until the outside is browned.

 

 

paella5

 

8.     Turn on all three burners so the whole of the pan is being heated. Then add the chicken stock, tinned tomatoes, vegetables, and tomato purée.  Taste for seasoning.

9.     Turn all three burners to low, and simmer until the chicken is tender, and falling off the bone. You might need to keep adding water as the liquid will evaporate.

paella

 

 

 

10.     Taste, and season as necessary prior to adding the rice. We got a little carried away at this stage, and added two bottles of white wine, and more of the cooked garlic (see 3 above) – panic set in by some that we didn’t have enough garlic!

 

 

Traditional Spanish Paella

 

 

 

 

11.     Add the rice – generally it is ‘one kilo of rice per 10 people’.

 

 

 

paella

paella

 

 

 

 

12.     At this point, recruit as many people as possible to help stir the paella. The paella will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn if not careful. Though any gently toasted ‘bits’ are a delicacy in Spain; this is known as the socarrat.

 

 

 

13.    When the rice is softened and cooked.  Turn off the heat, and cover with foil. Let the paella relax for about half an hour.

After the half hour, remove the foil and garnish with lemons and the cooked garlic heads.

Don’t forget to pat yourselves on the back for making such a delicious paella!

paella

paella13

 

 

You can make delicious paella from a range of foods.

In our Valencian region, making a rabbit and snail paella is traditional.

Algorfas new mayor

Algorfa Has A New Mayor

Algorfa Tiene Un Nuevo Alcalde

Taking the liberty to speak on behalf of Algorfa’s ExPat Community, we’d like to extend our CONGRATULATIONS to the new ‘Alcalde de Algorfa’, Manuel Ros.

For voting results see here!

solfrito

Healthy Homemade Sofrito Sauce

It’s no surprise, that for both our mental, and physical health, we need to get back to the primal diets of Mediterranean countries, and I’m not talking about the ‘pseudo Mediterranean diet’ concocted by the many ‘diet gurus’ of the later years.

Sofrito is such an essential part of the Mediterranean diet.

Let’s get back to the bedrock of the Mediterranean diet, back to the main, and THE basic dish that is so beneficial for us to eat everyday, that super-dish is ‘Sofrito’.

sofritoMany would recognise Sofrito as the tomato sauce in pasta dishes, yet it is a base recipe for so many Spanish and Mediterranean dishes. It is so adaptable that it would be deliciously easy to eat the recommended amount of 120 grams per day. Plus to make up a batch of Sofrito is so easy, for storing it in the fridge on a weekly basis. The sauce can also be kept in the freezer for 6 months, which is a great way to store a glut of tomatoes.

Combining tomato, olive oil, garlic and onion in a sofrito increases the amount of polyphenols and carotenoids, making Sofrito a super powerful dish.

awesomsauceness
Scientists at the University of Barcelona, and the Biomedical Research Centres in Network, have for the first time, identified polyphenols and carotenoids to have healthy antioxidant substances, and show that Sofrito has at least 40 types of polyphenols. Plus other bioactive compounds are carotenoids vitamin C, and beta-carotene.

Various studies have shown that the intake of carotenoids such as lycopene prevents prostate cancer, and the consumption of foods rich in beta-carotene help reduce the incidence of lung cancer. Sofrito can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sofrito Recipe:

8-9 garlic cloves
120 ml extra-virgin oil
600g – 700g onions, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons of oregano
500 g pureed fresh tomatoes or canned tomato puree
1/2 tsp salt
Can also add chopped green or red peppers.

Pulverise the onion and garlic in a blender.

Put a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil.

Fry the onion and garlic mixture until browned.

Lower the heat, add the herbs, then fry, stirring frequently, until the onion has browned.

Add four-fifths of the tomatoes (and pepper) and cook for 30 minutes.

Add the remaining tomato (and pepper), cook for 30 more minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

 

Add the hot sauce to sterilised ex-Dolmio sauce jars, cover immediately, and store in the fridge when cool. From my experience, the sauce will keep well in the fridge for several weeks, or you could pop batches of the sauce into containers and freeze. Take care though, as the sauce could stain plastic containers.

For lots of sofrito recipes, you can ‘cheekily’ visit Dolmio’s Recipe Collection!

Picking up your fruit and vegetables from the local Algorfa, or Almoradi markets, is so economical, and healthy, that for the supermarket price of a jar of Dolmio Sauce, you could make up several jars of your own home-made bolognaise or lasagne sauce.  A sauce that is super-healthy owing to vegetables being grown in one of the healthiest, and most organic area of the world… which of course is the Vega Baja!hola soy sauce

Scientific Papers on Sofrito Sauce

 

Gold fish for catching wrigglers

Are you geared up for the ‘Annual Mozzie War’?

mosquito

Mosquitoes are nasty little beggars, and if you’re unlucky enough to suffer painful effects of their bite, or sting, then you’re entitled to call them something much more derogative.

Mosquitoes ‘Understand Your Enemy’!

It’s only the female mozzie that ‘bite’, using their mouth-part called a proboscis. She will use the serrated proboscis to pierce her victim’s skin, locate a blood capillary, then she will draw blood through one of two tubes. While one tube in the proboscis is engaged in drawing blood, the second tube pumps into your skin saliva, containing a mild painkiller, and an anti-coagulant. Many people can have a minor (sometimes major) allergic reaction to the saliva, and it is this that causes the area around the bite to painfully swell, and itch.

Once she’s had her fill of blood, which can be up to three times her weight, the female will rest for a couple of days before laying her eggs. She can lay up to 300 eggs at a time, and throughout her life she can go through this process of laying eggs three times before she dies.

Mosquitoes Suck Fat

She will lay her eggs in stagnant water, which will hatch out into what are called ‘wigglers’. The wigglers feed on the organic matter in the stagnant water, and will breathe oxygen from the surface of the water.

After 10 days or so, the wrigglers evolve into pupae. Whilst in this pupae state; they don’t eat as they are partially encased in cocoons. It takes just several days for the pupae to change into adult mosquitoes.

Because they are cold-blooded, some mosquitoes die, and other species shutdown, and hibernate when temperatures drop to less than 10C. They thrive when temperatures rise to over 25C. Depending on the species, some adult females find holes where they wait for warmer weather, and that can be a six month wait. Other species lay their eggs in freezing water then die, where the eggs keep until the warmer weather arrives.

Mosquitoes have a lifespan of less than two months. Males have the shortest lives of about 10 days or less, though a female can live about six to eight weeks. As mentioned above, winter hibernating females can live up to six months.
Evil Mosquito T-ShirtAmorous male mosquitoes seek out females by the sound of their wings, and the male and female will synchronise the beating of their wings in a sort of lover’s duet. It’s believed females can beat their wings up to 500 times a second. It’s no wonder we awake with a start in the night through the dreaded sound of those little bloodsuckers’ buzzing about.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) that we exhale when we breath, attracts the females, and this can even be from some 75ft away. CO2 plumes rise into the air, acting as trails for the mosquitoes to follow through receptors on their antennae in their hunt to find their dinner, which just happens to be our ‘life’s blood’.

Sweat also helps mosquitoes find their victims. When we sweat our skin produces more than 340 chemical odours, including the chemical octenol which excite those hungry females, as does cholesterol, folic acid, certain bacteria, skin lotions, and perfumes.

If you happen to be on a ketogenic diet (akin to the Atkins diet), where you encourage your body to run on ketones instead of carbohydrates, then you have nothing to fear as mozzies hate the smell of ketones. Some sources say that nail varnish remover (which contains acetones) can act as a repellent. [The word ketone derives its name from Aketon, an old German word for acetone.]

Body heat can also be a ‘waving flag’ for mosquitoes to find you, so you’d be wise to wear light coloured clothing as dark clothing can make you feel hot. Plus dark clothing seems to appeal to the mosquito, especially navy blue!

One of the several dreaded diseases passed on by the mosquito, is malaria. This gives the mosquito the disrepute of being the creature that has killed more humans than any other.

Malaria is caused by a parasite that lives in mosquitoes. The parasite gets into mosquito saliva, and is passed on when the insect bites their victim. West Nile and other viruses are passed the same way. Mosquitoes can also carry and pass on canine heartworm, which is a horrendous illness for a dog to suffer. Dogs who sleep overnight in outdoor kennels are especially vulnerable to heartworm.

Mosquitoes have had 210 million years to hone their blood sucking, homicidal, tactics. Even poor Alexander the Great is believed to have died of a mosquito bite, which gave him malaria in 323 B.C.

Fortunately for us, mosquitoes do not transmit HIV. The virus that causes AIDS does not reproduce in mosquitoes as their stomach actually breaks down the virus without it being passed on

History of Malaria in Spain

Malaria was considered the biggest single health risk by the Spanish authorities at the turn of the 20th century. An estimated 800,000 people had malaria in Spain, with some 4,000 dying every year.

This concern in 1918 led to the passing of the ‘Cambó’ Law, giving legal backing to the already strong trend of draining wetlands, which had been practised since the middle 19th century. The law was often ineffective as it allowed for wetlands to be converted into rice fields. Nevertheless, the law was responsible for the destruction of much of Spain’s wetland surface area. In 1964, just in time for the mass tourism to Spain, malaria was officially declared by the Spanish Authorities to be eradicated. The ‘Cambó’ Law was annulled in the early 1980’s.

Along with draining the wetlands, one of the most effective controls of the mosquito was the release in 1921 of a fish called ‘gambusia’ or mosquitofish. Incidentally the fish is now probably the most widespread freshwater fish in the world. This little fish is a voracious devourer of mosquito larva, and it rapidly thrived in Iberian waters. Improvements in housing, public health and sanitation, and a falling rural population all helped to cut back the parasite in Spain.

So how can we keep ourselves safe from these little horrors?

DEET is considered the ‘gold standard’ of mosquito repellents. It is a solvent, so be careful using it with clothing made from man-made fibres as it could make holes in them. DEET can stain, so protect all clothing.

There have been health concerns concerning DEET, but scientists appear to have come to the conclusion that DEET based repellents can be safely used, as they balance out the dangers of contracting malaria. I guess you have to outweigh the safety of using DEET in Spain, where there is hardly, to no risk, of contracting malaria, (see more on this), though personally I’m reluctant to put anything toxic on my skin, let alone put something that ‘melts’ labels near the skin of a child. In my way of thinking, it’s best to use a ‘safer’ deterrent method – but this depends on assessing how much the risk of contracting malaria would be.  For example, if I had the urge to float down the River Amazon, then I’d have a bath in DEET before I set off!

But… in the attempt to stop getting bitten by mosquitoes, just how safe is it to coat yourself in DEET?

“[DEET] has been in use for over 40 years, and has a remarkable safety record. Only few hospitalisations have been reported, and these were mainly due to gross overuse,” says a correspondent on WebMD. The American Academy of Paediatrics states that low concentrations of DEET (10% or less) are safe to use on infants over 2 months old.  A product containing 10% DEET can protect you for up to 90 minutes. A product containing 50% DEET is considered to be highly effective.

DEET doesn’t kill the mosquito, nor does it dull the insect’s senses; it is merely a repellent because the insect doesn’t like the smell of DEET.

There are other repellents like picaridin, citronella, lemon-eucalyptus oil (see more below). Talking about ‘citronella’, and as a side note; I’ve often wondered why there are mosquitoes in Algorfa, when you consider we are surrounded by citrus trees!

We’re off to make war on the mozzie, prevention is the key to winning!

You’ll have to do your own assessment of what does or doesn’t work.  Below are only suggestions for you to try.  You might have your own family preference.

Mosquito Zappers:

From my experience, zappers appear to be useless!  But then I’ve never been lucky enough to have an industrial sized zapper.

In the Garden:

Watering garden plants, and leaving water to stagnate in plant pot drip trays to stagnate, creates an ideal mosquito breeding ground. Automatic water irrigation in your garden can cause these problems when you are not in residence.

Cutting vegetation around the edges of any water would help avoid a mosquito breeding environment.

Drill holes in any outside receptacle like a dustbin to drain out any rainwater that can accumulate.

Should you spot a wriggler in a water feature, sterilise the area with normal household bleach. Keeping the water in a water feature moving, and aerated, should deter the female from laying her eggs in the water.

If you do have a water-feature in your garden; and if you can keep them safe from cats, then get a couple of goldfish. They just love mosquitoes and wrigglers. Mosquitofish would work of course too, but they are ferocious eaters, and would eat dragonflies (and their larvae), which are of course mosquito predators.

fish

After a heavy rain, take a look around your property for puddles that could stagnate through not draining away.  In my experience, even damp areas topped with dead vegetation can breed little nasties.

Clean out bird baths every couple of days, and don’t forget to refresh the dog’s outside water bowl everyday.

Mosquito Repellent Light Bulb

bulbWe’ve had good (nay brilliant!) results from using special electric light bulbs [available in E27] which work on a frequency that deters mosquitoes within some 12m2. Having one of these bulbs at the entrance or porch to external doors (and open windows) helps to keep your home mozzie free at night. If the external doors are open in the evening, we flick the light switch on, even though there’s an hour or two of daylight left in the day. They work like a dream. AKI in the ‘Habaneras Centre’ (Torrevieja), sell them for about 12 euros. Presently they can be found on the racking behind the cash tills.

If you happen to be a handy DIY type, or just like to mess experiment, there is a home-made mozzie trap you can make.

The theory is that the yeast will ferment, causing carbon dioxide to escape, which in turn alerts the mozzies within the vicinity. The mozzies should crawl through the ‘inverted’ top of the bottle to find the source of the CO2, getting trapped in the bottle as they can’t find their way back.

Placed near mosquito breeding grounds, these traps have been known to knock the mozzie population back.

The YouTube presenter states this trap could work for about 2 weeks.

Caution:  Keep away from small children and animals.

Citrus:

I’ve seen a ‘pretty’ finca where the occupant had spent hours, over time, arranging coils of lemon and orange peel around his garden. The citrus were peeled spirally into corkscrews. Whether or not it worked, I’ve no idea; but it did look attractive.

mozzieIf you have one of those mosquito repellent gadgets where you heat up a special pellet or tablet through a hot pad.  I’ve discovered that orange or lemon peel, void of any pith, works just as well.

Try rubbing orange or lemon peel on your skin – at a pinch, this could make a good substitute if you find yourself outside in the ‘big-outdoors’ without any repellent to hand.

Clothing:

Mozzies can bite through clothing, so take care when wearing loose weaved fabrics.

Try not to wear dark clothing in the evening as they tend to be warmer; mosquitoes are attracted to heat. It’s believed they are particularly drawn to navy blue.

Body Odour:

Studies show that people who’ve had a few beers, score the most mosquito bites at the barbecue. Snack on some Limburger cheese while enjoying a beer, and you will open yourself up to an all out assault. Limburger cheese is made with the same bacteria that makes your feet stink.

Body odour is a big draw to mozzies – if your al fresco for the evening, then you might find it worthwhile to change your socks.

Take care when exercising during dusk; catching your breath after exercise is all well and good, but remember not to kick off your trainers while you are still outside.

Around the Home:

Keep gutters clean and maintained.

Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated.

Make life hard for the mosquito, they don’t like air conditioning, or fans.

Repelling and Attracting:

Avon do a range of products, called ‘Skin So Soft‘  – Reviews state that ‘Skin So Soft’ works very well, almost as good as DEET.

You can buy chemically impregnated plastic wrist, or ankle bands that help deter the mozzies. These bands are easy to wear at night, although they appear to shrink when you get warm (or is it that my feet or hands get swollen in the evening?). I once wore one of these bands in bed, and awoke to a blinding headache. The problem was that I had the band on my wrist, and while asleep my wrist, with the band, was tucked just under my nose. That sort of put me off from wearing them. Local ‘Consum’ supermarkets sell these bands.

Oil of eucalyptus products, even better; use oil of lemon eucalyptus.  Dab a little around your pulse points.

In the last few years, non chemical repellents worn as skin patches and containingthiamine (vitamin B1) can be found on sale. The science behind this repellent comes from a study done in the 1960s. It showed that thiamine (B1) produces a skin odour that female mosquitoes don’t like. But no other studies have confirmed that thiamine is effective as a ‘commercial’ mosquito repellent when worn on the skin.

Skunk Tshirts
Be careful when wearing perfume or shaving cologne. Floral scents are especially attractive to mosquitoes.

Lactic acid, which our bodies produce naturally, is a big draw for mosquitoes. It just so happens that many skin care products contain lactic acid too, and so might help boost your chemistry in attracting these blood-seeking insects. Lotions and creams labelled “alpha hydroxy,” provide the most lactic acid.

Nail varnish remover, as mentioned above, is a big turn-off to a mozzie.  They don’t care much for acetone.

Protect Your Pets

Use mint on your cats and dogs to keep biting insects off of them.

Crush a few mint leaves between your hands to release the oils. Rub the substance off your hands and onto your cat or dog’s fur before he goes outside. Mint is an effective and safe insect repellent.

oath

 

Treating Mosquito Bites

Ambulance - Backwards - Shirt We are all different, so some of the treatments below might work for you, or they might miserably fail.  Anything is worth a try when you’re being driven crazy by a mosquito bite! You might find something on this list that is ‘near to hand’.

Aloe Vera: The plant ‘aloe vera’ has anti-inflammatory properties, and it is known to help the itch. For even better relief, store your aloe vera gel in the fridge as the cold will also help with the itchiness.  If you have aloe vera plant in the garden, break off a leaf, and rub the juice or flesh from inside the leaf onto the area of the sting.

Antihistamine: For those who have a severe reaction to the bites, and look as if they’ve caught measles, apply an antihistamine cream, lotion, or take antihistamine medicine.  Always keep an antihistamine cream, stick or tablet ready, and don’t hesitate to seek medical advice (or a Farmacia if more convenient) – a bad reaction could prove fatal.  If you are prone to severe reactions, consider taking an antihistamine tablet before being exposed to possible bites, such as attending an evening bbq. An antihistamine tablet won’t stop you from being bitten, but will help enormously if you are.  Algorfa Farmacia sells a good antihistamine tablet called ‘Citirizina Cinfa 10g’.

Antiseptic Wash: Washing with an antiseptic will often relieve initial pain from an insect bite.

Aspirin:  Use a crushed aspirin mixed with a tiny bit of water to make a paste. Dab the paste on the bite. It takes the sting right away. Even a wet aspirin would work. Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, which is anti-inflammatory. Don’t try this if you are allergic to aspirin of course!

Baking Soda:  A strong alkaline solution will often ease mosquito bite itching. Two forms of homemade pastes with baking soda are known to be especially effective at this:

1. Mix baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and warm water: One tablespoon to one pint of water is a good ratio to use. Gently apply to the affected area. Use clean fingers, a cotton swab, or a cotton bud to apply. Leave on for a few minutes, then wash off with warm water.

2. Mix baking soda and household cleaner: Mix a few drops of household cleaning ammonia with baking soda to form a paste. Apply gently to the affected area and allow to dry. This should relieve the itching. Remove with warm water. Note that household ammonia can also be dabbed onto the bites by itself.

Banana Skin: Rub the inside of a banana skin onto the bite.

Clean Sting Area: As soon as as you can, aim to reduce the potential for severe itching by treating the sting areas. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol, alcohol wipes, or plain water.

Distilled Witch-hazel and Calamine Lotion: Mix together as an effective pain relief and itch soother.

Egg: Inside the cracked shell of an egg you will find a flexible membrane. Cover the bite with this membrane and let dry. As it contracts, it will draw out some of the toxin.

Green Tea Bag:  Put a used green tea bag that has been refrigerated on the bite. Oh the bliss…

Hand Sanitisers:  Hand sanitisers with alcohol will soon take the edge off the pain.  It stings at first, especially if the skin is damaged, but it soon passes.

Hair-dryer: Blow hot air over the bite. This is the easiest way to disperse the histamines; it will stop itching for hours!

Infections: If an infection develops from the bite, or from scratching them, seek medical help promptly

Keep Fingernails Clean:  Try not to scratch bites as infections are easily caught through ‘dirty’ fingernails.  Sometimes we scratch to calm an itch when we are asleep, make sure fingernails are scrubbed before going to bed.

Lemon, Orange, or Lime: Cut up lemon, orange or lime into small pieces, and dab gently over the bite, or just squirt a bit of juice on it. Citric acid has some itch-relieving properties.

Meat Tenderiser: Add a little meat tenderizer to the bite area. Mix it with a little water first before applying.

Method ‘X':  Granny’s tip was to put an ‘X’ in the middle of the bite [with your fingernails]. This disperses the protein and stops the itch for a while.

Nail Polish (preferably clear): Providing the bite is not raw from scratching, apply a coat of nail polish over the area. Not only will this keep the bite from scratching, it acts as a seal to protect it.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is renowned for its anti-itching properties. Make a paste with some oatmeal, and apply to the bite area. Allow to dry, then wash off.

Oils and Cream: Rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, basil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties, so they could help prevent bites from getting infected, plus their stinging sensation helps distract you from the itch. Tea tree oil, not only repels mosquitoes and other insects, but it does stop the itch if you do get bitten. Basil oil also has an anti-inflammatory.

Onion: Rub onion juice over the bite.

Penny or Copper Coin: Hold a copper coin against the bites. Copper often makes the skin feel better after a mosquito bite.

Preparation H (hemorrhoidal cream):  Sounds strange, but hemorrhoidal creams can shrink swellings.  Using Preparation H hemorrhoid cream on insect bites is well founded because one of its ingredients, pramoxine, is a painkiller.

Perfume: Try perfume on the bites. It might sting a bit, but it is better after a couple of minutes. However, perfume can also attract more mosquitoes, so don’t use this if you’re still in the area of the mosquitoes.

Regular Listerine Mouthwash: Listerine has menthol, which cools the skin to help relieve itching.

Soap: Rub a bar of dry or wet soap over the itchy area

Spoon (Warm): Let a metal spoon sit in steaming hot water for a minute. Remove the spoon from the water, let it cool for about five or so seconds, then press the bowl of the spoon over the mosquito bite. Hold it there for ten to thirty seconds. Repeat a few times while the water is still hot. Do this several times daily until your bite is healed.

Tiger Balm: Clean the area carefully with alcohol. Rub a small amount vigorously on and just around the bite. This will alleviate the itching. Use white Tiger Balm if possible, as it appears to work better than the red. Don’t rub Tiger Balm on delicate areas, particularly around the eyes.

Toothpaste: Regular flavoured toothpaste is the best choice for this method, or use any non-gel toothpaste. Gel toothpaste is not suitable for this method. Rub the paste into your bite, leaving a blob on the top. Wash off in the morning with cold water and mild soap. The toothpaste will dry the bite out, removing any irritation.

Tums Indigestion Tablets: Mix several Tums with water to create a paste. This can be very effective in relieving the itch.

Underarm Deodorant: Rub deodorant on the bite area. Try to use a non-scented deodorant if possible.

Use Your Own Spit:  This might sting for about a minute, but it nearly always takes the itch away. Failing that, salting a bite also stings, but does remove the itch!

Vicks VapoRub: Vick can take away the itch in seconds, and it never comes back. For areas where movement wipes it off, put a bandaid over it. Works like a charm!

Vinegar Paste: Make a thick paste of cornflour and apple cider vinegar.  Gently apply the paste to the affected area. Allow to dry. It will alleviate the itching by the time it has dried. Wash off using warm water. You could also place tape or a bandage over this to leave it on longer. Any type of vinegar can be used. Vinegar stops the itching, and helps the swelling to go down.

Water:  Whether it’s ice cold or piping hot, using water may help alleviate the pain of the sting. The method you choose probably depends most on which temperature you like best applied to your skin!

1.  Take a warm bath with two tablespoons of cider vinegar added can help to alleviate itching.

2.  Put a wet sponge in the freezer, and so when you get itchy, you can put the sponge on the bite. Make sure that the sponge is clean.

Warning: Insect bites COULD be life threatening after an adult, child, or even a pet gets stung. See Anaphylactic Shock.  The paragraphs above are only suggestions that I have discovered, and they are not a replacement for professional medical advice.   

A1S-0002-Spanish-Property-For-Sale

3 Bedroom Detached Bungalow on Montesol 1, Montemar, Algorfa Offered For Sale

With a build area of 85m2, plus an additional huge under build storage area, this 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home located on plot size of 300m2 represents a genuine opportunity to invest in a real value for money property.

Viewing is highly recommended.

This property boasts beautiful views over the extensive tiled garden terraces, one of these terraces incorporates a private Jacuzzi hot tub with a pergola over, providing summer shade.

A further large attractive outdoor dining area complements the superb mature gardens that surround this property.

Outside stairway gives access to the rooftop solarium.  The solarium area is not overlooked, and provides secluded sunbathing space with stunning views over the Vega Baja area, and to the mountain ranges beyond. An ideal place to watch the sunset, and to entertain.

There is a communal pool in this small select development, which completes what is a stunning private property.

Algorfa-property-for-sale-Algorfa13 Bedroom Detached Bungalow on Montesol 1, Montemar, Algorfa Offered For Sale

Currently on the market for Price: €174,950.

For more information, please see ‘Property For Sale’ page on A1Spain.com.

3 bedroom house

Semi Detached 3 Bedroom Townhouse For Sale in Algorfa.

Situated within the Urbanisation Castillo de Montemar, this property boasts 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large separate kitchen, and is well maintained throughout.

This unique property is full of character and charm with some excellent features such as wooden beams, stunning terraces, and two off-road driveways.

The property is on three levels, and has 1 double bedroom on the ground floor; along with a spacious lounge / dining room; a large fully fitted kitchen; WC with a shower; covered porch / terrace area at the front of the property; and fantastic terraces with a garden water feature at the rear of the property.

On the 1st floor there are 2 double bedrooms; a further WC with shower, and a large balcony.

This property also has a 2nd floor where you will find an office area, and very private  rooftop solarium with glorious stunning views over the Vega Baja countryside, mountain ranges, and across to La Finca Golf & Spa Resort.

to La Finca Golf & Spa Resort.

Algorfa-property-for-sale-Algorfa

Currently on the market for Price: €139,950

For more information, please see ‘Property For Sale’ page on A1Spain.com.