There’s A Buzz In The Air Across The Costa Blanca!

The Weekly Buzz

weekly_buzz_2015_72_bigAS SOME folks will know I have a fairly bizarre hobby – obtaining English language papers abroad and reviewing them for Counter Culture. In early September, I was in Spain for a very brief family holiday and was lucky enough to pick up a few papers. One of them was a freebie called The Weekly Buzz.

I got hold of issue 48 (dated September 9 – September 15) which means that The Weekly Buzz must be a recent addition to the growing number of English language papers centred in Benidorm. As a free paper it makes itself pay via advertising. My copy (consisting of 48 full colour pages) was absolutely crammed full of all types of adverts – some of which were really outstanding. Indeed, although I’m a vegetarian, the advert for the End of Summer Charity BBQ hosted by Monroes Restaurant & Carvery really caught the eye!

I laughed out loud when I read the brief lead article on the front page which continued onto the centre page spread. In fact, I laughed so loud that my wife asked if I was ok! The reason? It was the news that “Heat FM Spain broadcasting live from their new studios in Calpe, Costa Blanca’s favourite hit music station have just landed a big catch in radio celebrity names.” The ‘radio celebrity name’ was none other than Vicky Locklin.

I can now hear the vast majority of Counter Culture readers asking “Who is Vicky Locklin?” I did the same myself. And with all due respect to her, I’ve never heard of Vicky Locklin in my life! However, I was interested to read that she “is a household name in British Radio presenting having worked with Hallam FM in South Yorkshire and also Radio Aire of Leeds.”

Apparently she’s had stints with ITV Granada, ITV Tyne Tees and ITV Yorkshire. I’m not really into TV (although I do listen to plenty of different radio stations) and I don’t regard broadcasters as ‘celebrities,’ ‘stars’ or whatever. And to be brutally honest, I don’t really understand the mindset of those who do. So although Vicky Locklin has a lot of media experience, I’m afraid I wouldn’t know her even if I pulled her out of my stew!

With this slight technical detail aside (!) I must say that I really liked the way that Heat FM (which you can find on 90.3 or 106.8 in case you’re wondering) sponsored the Entertainments & Showbiz section of The Weekly Buzz.

I was also really impressed with its In Focus section, which devoted a page to number of smaller towns like Albir, Calpe, Javea and Moraira. Here I was able to learn about subjects as diverse as the family-friendly Interpretation Centre Faro de l’Albir and the Open Air Museum Villa Romana in Albir, the Fira L’Alfàs (a discounted shopping week) in Alfaz and the Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir who were performing near Moraira.

However, as one would expect, news from Benidorm dominated the In Focus section. But the news from Benidorm wasn’t good. It featured the British Benidorm Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/BritishBenidorm – who have been campaigning to improve the area. Concerns included the number of thefts, with tourists and residents “having to be constantly vigilant to pickpockets, muggers, mafias of professional beggars, pea-men (hosting a game called Find the Pea under trick cups) fake charity collectors as well as landscaping issues like the dirtiness of certain areas, bad condition of pavements and roads to name but a few.”

I noted earlier that The Weekly Buzz is full of adverts. As a free paper it makes itself pay via advertising. Many of these are for properties – and these are very tempting, especially as every villa in the Costa Blanca seems to come complete with blistering sunshire, palm trees and a swimming pool!

As with any community-style paper worth its salt, this issue also came with puzzle pages, a motoring section, health, TV, sport and much, much more. Main articles included a look at Benidorm Pride 2015 – https://www.facebook.com/benidormpride?fref=ts – flash floods (which we experienced first hand when we were over on our holiday) and the 70th Anniversay of Tomatina.

I’d never heard of this festival before, but it turns out to be a tomato throwing festival – https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Tomatina/108480779175799 – held in Buñol. At one point 50,000 people used to turn up to chuck tomatos at each other, but it’s now a ticketed event restricted to a mere 20,000 participants!

According to legend the “story of Tomatina dates back to August 1945 where a group of young people went to Buñol’s town square to see a parade and in the excitement, manages to knock a musician off his float. The angry musician started to throw anything in his path at the group and unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be) came across a vegetable stall stocking tomatoes … and the rest is history!”

During the event, people lob 150,000 kilos of squashed tomatoes at each other. Indeed, the festival is so popular that tickets for next year are already available! Along with the annual Festival of Moors and Christians (an old tradition that dates back to the 16th century which commemorates the confrontation that took place between Moorish and Christian soldiers in the 13th century over the rule of Spain) I wouldn’t mind taking in this tomato throwing festival.

I must say that I really enjoyed reading The Weekly Buzz. It’s an attractive, lively paper that has something for everyone. Apart from me not knowing Vicky Locklin – and again I must admit I have absolutley no interest in ‘celebs’ – it’s a good all round read. If you’re an English speaker and are ever in Spain, keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, you can check out its web-site http://www.vistacostablanca.com/

Reviewed by John Field

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