Posted by Jim on July 19, 2012
On Summer days like this one (40C-100F) few people want to fill their bellies at lunchtime. In fact the belly doesn’t even ask to be filled. On Summer nights, however, it’s a different story.
I was once eating an enjoyable lunch in the local Italian restaurant and I mentioned to Toni the owner that my friend and I were the only people in that day. “Atacamos por la noche”, was his reply.
“We attack at night”.
Sounds strong I know, but Toni is a sharp businessman and he knows his customers well; he knows they much prefer eating at night. And during this economic ‘crisis’ – now into its sixth year I am told by a local waiter – Toni has been trying out all sorts of innovative ideas.
The only Italian restaurant in Arcos de la Frontera
Image from http://caliope-viajesyvivencias.blogspot.com.es/2012/07/arcos-de-la-frontera.html
Lately he has employed a waitress who used to be part of a local Flamenco group. She also has many contacts in town, and has been instrumental in helping find performers for the new Flamenco shows on Thursday and Saturday nights outside the restaurant.
The shows are designed to bring in more punters of course, and that they do.
It’s no wonder that other bars up here in the Old Quarter are catching on. I am seeing more Flamenco performances in a weekend now than in whole Summers of years gone by.
The message seems to be: in hard economic times, innovate.
Posted by Aaron on July 15, 2012
We’re pleased to announce the availability of Speekee TV Immersion Connect, the latest upgrade to Speekee TV. You know that Speekee TV is an immersion program and with Immersion Connect children can now:
- Connect virtually with the characters from Speekee
- Immerse themselves in a multi-sensory Spanish experience
- Listen, speak, read and respond in Spanish
- Be rewarded for using the Spanish language they have learned
- Measure their progression by earning points and levelling up
- Create their own virtual sock puppet
All the new features of Immersion Connect are available on the right hand side of the Speekee TV screen as shown above.
Get a free Speekee T-shirt
We’re very excited about this latest evolution of Speekee and to celebrate we have 10 Speekee T-shirts to give away. For a chance of winning a free T-shirt you simply need to tell your friends to subscribe to Speekee TV. When they subscribe they’ll be asked “How did you hear about Speekee TV?” to which they should respond with your email address. The more friends subscribe the more chances you have of winning.
The T-shirt offer closes midnight (UK time) on 25 July 2012. T-shirts are available in 3 sizes: Ages 3-4, ages 5-6 and ages 7-8.
What’s happened to worksheets and awards?
We’ve moved a few things around to maximise the learning benefits of Speekee TV. Worksheets are now found in Speekee FastTrack. Awards have been moved into the messages scroller on the right hand side – as soon as you make friends with Speekee your awards will be displayed as a message from Speekee.
We’ve tested Immersion Connect in a range of modern browsers, but Immersion Connect is not currently available on the iPad or iPhone (but Speekee TV is). We’re working on that!
Posted by Jim on July 5, 2012
A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend who happens to be a long-time property developer in this part of Spain.
“I told them [the banks] all those years ago”, he said, “that Arcos de la Frontera was a town, not a city. And that nobody would pay 120,000 euros for a standard town apartment. 90,000 euros would have been a realistic price.”
This image shows the “Novo Arcos” urbanisation. Here, property prices have halved in six years. Image from eyeonspain.com
Seems like the banks didn’t listen. But then, we are talking about that boom period of 6 or 7 years ago when house prices had doubled and were still on the rise. In other words, the boom before the bust.
Those apartments didn’t sell then, and have not sold easily since. So what options are left open to their owners, the now infamous, imperiled Spanish banks?
Well I am told prices have now tumbled from 120,000 euros to between 40-50,000 euros in the last 6 years. Such is the state of the property market; such is the necessity for the banks to have properties taken off their hands.
So is it a good time to buy in Spain? Maybe, although prices could drop further still. Why not consider a low monthly rent with the option to buy… these days the potential buyer holds all the cards.