Lives on the limit

Chilean photographer Magdalena Correa's latest exhibition Vidas en el límite, is currently on display at the Isolina Arbulu gallery.

Magdalena travels in search of the extreme corners, of lives on the edge of the world. The exhibition is a personal investigation that starts with cohabitation for long periods of time with unknown and surprising indigenous people and cultures,  capturing everyday moments.

The exhibition aims  "to achieve awareness and reflection of the viewer on human life that takes place in these territories of difficult and scarce access: to show their existence," explains Correa.

Magdalena has received the Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma Award in Photography (XI International Biennial, Chile) and her works are part of numerous public and private Spanish collections, including the Audiovisual Department of the Reina Sofía Museum; Museum of Fine Arts of Santander; IVAM, Valencian Institute of Modern Art of Valencia; Port of Barcelona, ​​among others.

Monday Motivation - The Sugar Rush

"Is sugar an addiction?" asks Ali Silver

If you feel out of control around food and fearful of having a certain foods in the house because you can’t stop at one, you are not alone.

Many clients come to me as self proclaimed food or sugar addicts, saying they’re obsessed with crisps/ice cream, they fear having just one bite as they know it will end up being much more, and generally feeling powerless around food.

Calling yourself an addict may feel helpful but this label could be causing more harm to our relationship with food and our bodies.

I’m going to walk you through the research and do a bit of de-bunking along the way!

The claim:

When we eat sugar, the reward system in our brain lights up in the same way as with alcohol, drugs etc.

Additional research shows that we tend to release more of these “feel good” chemicals in response to high glycaemic foods; in other words, sugar and carbs.

Food addiction researchers believe that continued over consumption of these highly processed foods rewire our brains to become dependent on them, in a way that’s similar to drugs. Indeed, MRIs have shown that food and drugs can have a similar effect on brain activity.

When we eat, our brain releases dopamine, serotonin and endorphins—the “feel good” neurotransmitters.

The reality

Doesn’t this make total sense, however? If eating wasn’t a pleasurable experience, then we wouldn’t seek out food, and we would starve to death.

Our brains also release these feel good neurotransmitters when we cuddle a kitten or laugh at something funny.

This research also doesn’t account for caloric restriction and restrained eating.

When we haven’t been eating enough (dieting or restricting foods) there is a hyper-response in the reward region of the brain. Not only does this occur when we eat food but also when shown pictures of food or just thinking about eating food. Most people who identify as food addicts have a history of dieting and food restriction. Therefore doesn’t it make sense that when they “give in” and eat the off-limit food, that their brain is even more responsive?

The claim:

A study showed that rats can become dependent on sugar, exhibiting typical symptoms of addiction, including craving and both behavioural and neurochemical signs of withdrawal.

The reality:

What these animal studies fail to show is that the only time the rats consume sugar in an ‘addictive’ way is when they have been deprived of it. When they have unlimited access, this addictive behaviour does not occur.

If you’ve been reading my blog or those of a similar nature, you know that deprivation drives compulsive binge behaviour, which is why when dieting we are more vulnerable to enhanced brain-based responses to foods that are labelled as “naughty.”

What does this mean for us?

The research for being addicted to sugar or food in general is in its infancy. As for comparing it to drugs and alcohol: food cravings lessen with fasting whereas drug cravings do not lessen over time, indicating that there are important differences between the two.

A person’s sense of being out of control or addicted to food is not the same thing as having scientific evidence that it is occurring at the physiological level.

However this does not diminish a person's very real experience of feeling as if they are addicted and out of control. It makes sense in fact in the culture we live in that we feel this way, as we’re being fear-mongered around so many foods

The label of being a sugar addict, whilst you may feel like one and see the answer being to go cold-turkey on sugar, you may just be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy

You tell yourself you are an addict and therefore mustn’t eat the chocolate. Eventually the cravings kick in or you’re in a situation where you have a bite, and due to your rhetoric about being an addict and not stopping at one – that’s exactly what happens. You eat way past the point of comfortable fullness, thus reinforcing your belief that you indeed are a sugar addict and must do better next time.

If this is your experience you are not alone and it is possible to find peace around food.

Has this piece resonated with you? Are you ready for food freedom? Contact me

It's time to Frol!k!

Grab your masks, dig out your lace and head to Cat's Kitchen, ArgoJardin, Estepona, for a one off Burlesque performance from UK based artist Zaffire Phoenix this Saturday, May 11

The show is part of Frol!k's Mask & Burlesque banquet, a hedonistic night that promises to be unforgettable.

The party continues after the show with DJ's making you dance until the early hours. Dress up and be who you want to be!

For more information click on the link below

Polo on the Playa!

The action and excitement of polo came to the Kempinski Hotel Bahía this weekend, when the II Edition of the Costa del Sol Beach Polo Cup attracted the crème de la crème of Costa del Sol society, as well as over 1,000 spectators.

International players including Patrons Niclas Johansson, Andrew Nolte, and Carlos Piñal the high level professionals Jamie Le Hardy, Douglas Thompson and Hernan Pieres put on an excellent show for the crowds over the two-day event.

The teams battled it out to win the cup with Perlage taking the title. Team Pagani followed very closely behind and all teams put on a fantastic display of beach polo.

Following the matches there were two glamourous events at the Kempinski Hotel Bahia’s new beachside restaurant Spiler Beach Club. The After Polo Party and Polo Glam Lunch saw VIPs including Countess Gunilla von Bismarck and Luis Ortiz, Victoria Junot, and with corporate tables from Christies, Les Roches, Bulgari and Scapa Sports rubbing shoulders with the professional polo players and the Mayor of Estepona, Jose Maria Garcia Urbano. Bélen Cepero from Premier Law won the award of the first 'Lady Polo Chic', which was presented by organiser Isabel de Borbon, while Kempinski Hotel Bahía and the Town Hall of Estepona were congratulated for being the driving force in bringing beach polo to the Costa del Sol.

Photo: Mike Jackson


Beach Polo comes to the Kempinski

Sun, sand, sea and polo will delight the crowds on May 4 and 5 at Kempinski Hotel Bahia as the hotel will host “Sport of Kings” for the second time.

During two days glamour and excitement will be at high as four international polo teams will compete for the second edition of the ‘Costa del Sol Beach Polo Cup 2019’ - a sought-after event that promises glamour and gourmet cuisine by the sea.

The two-day tournament launched last year was a tournament of firsts: it was the first-ever overall victory for the team “Kempinski Bahia” and it was the first time a Polo Tournament was played at a beach in Estepona.

The II Costa del Sol Beach Polo Cup will have two different spaces to experience the best polo: the public area through the bridge and the Kempinski VIP Marquee. Spectators who just wish to watch the matches can do so for free, simply stroll along and enjoy the action. This is a great opportunity for everyone to come and experience the sport, and watch top polo players and their ponies at close range, right on the sand.

The principal sponsor is Kempinski Hotel Bahía, other sponsors include Bvlgari, Scapa Sports, Perlage, Ferragamo and Pagani.

Organiser Isabel de Borbon commented, “I am delighted to bring again Beach Polo to the shores of the Costa del Sol and to the prestigious Kempinski Hotel Bahía. This has been a very ambitious project that could only be realised with the great support of Estepona's Town Hall and the coordination and the enthusiasm of the Kempinski Hotel Bahía since day one.

Axel Bethke, General Manager of the Kempinski Hotel Bahía commented, “Everyone at Kempinski Hotel Bahia is excited to deliver the II Costa del Sol Beach Polo Cup and we look forward to build tradition again this year” he further added “this second edition of the Polo Cup is even more special this time as the timing of this year event goes hand in hand with the launch of our new Spiler Beach Club”.

The 2019 edition programme
Saturday, 4th of May – Matches at Playa Padron (Kempinski Hotel Bahia beach). From 16.00 to 19.00.
Sunday, 5th of May – Matches and Awards Ceremony at Playa Padron (Kempinski Hotel Bahia beach) from 12.00 to 14.00.

VIP tickets will include entertainment, fabulous food and champagne and are available also for those who wish as well to attend to the Saturday, 4th May Gala Dinner and Sunday, 5th May Polo Chic Lunch.
To Book your VIP tickets or call 663 706 105.

Keyboard Warriors

Is it just me, or are people getting ruder?

Perhaps it’s just a sign of my approaching decrepitude that we seem to be a more brusque, less polite society than 20 years ago. I may be developing a pair of rose tinted spectacles, in the same way that youngsters respected their elders, politicians knew what they were doing (insert your own Brexit comment here) and that pop music was good. Although as someone who lived through the horror that was Stock, Aitken and Waterman in the 80s, I beg to differ on that one.

As a northern European coming to Andalucía for the first time it can be something of a shock when you overhear your first conversation in Spanish. The dialogue is so loud and frenetic that you assume that everyone is arguing and you expect the first punch to be thrown at any second. The healthy sprinkling of swearing in any Andaluz conversation, dropping the c-bomb in as a matter of course, would also seem to be a certain prelude to impending violence. Use that particular noun in the UK and you’d probably end up in Accident and Emergency.

But that is all part and parcel of living in Spain. Nobody takes offense, although that might have something to do with the fact that it’s in the real world.

Online, however, things are slightly different…

Yes, I am well aware that the Internet has been a largely brilliant and benign invention that had brought people together, allowed family and friends to catch up with news and generally ‘spread the love’.

On the downside, however, it has also allowed small but vocal minority to become keyboard warriors, firing off inflammatory posts indiscriminately. In the Kevin Costner baseball movie ‘Field of Dreams’ there is the classic line ‘If you build it they will come’. The same type of logic applies to posting anything vaguely controversial on social media. It’s much easier to be rude to people if your are safely behind a computer screen.

Luckily as a hard-bitten hack I’m fairly used to being called a witless moron on a regular basis. And that’s just from friends and family. But to those who didn’t have the pleasure of working on the national newspaper in the glory days, where things tended to get out of hand on a regular basis – I received a well aimed mini football on the back of the head on my first subbing stint on The Mirror, which came sailing over from the Sports Desk – having your parentage called into question can be a deeply upsetting experience.

So please, whatever your views on Trump, Brexit or Podemos, next time you feel the urge to savage someone online, do what I do, in all situations, and ask yourself the immortal question

“What would David Niven do?"

La Catarina to Close!

One of Marbella's best live music venues, La Catarina, is set to close.

In a post on the bar's Facebook page, La Catarina's management stated "We feel it is now the right time to announce that La Catarina will close at the end of May. All good things come to an end and we feel that this is the time for our beloved venue to complete its cycle. It's been 5 tough but beautiful  years fighting for what seemed impossible: to create and support the culture and the alternative scene in our city."

The post confirmed that the popular craft beer brand would continue to operate and that the brewery would relocate to the new venture, Cat's Kitchen in Estepona.

The news is a body blow to a Marbella music scene that has a lack of alternative venues. As well as the popular jam sessions, DJs and Sunday markets, La Catarina also saw international acts such as La Mari ,  soul legend Fred Wesley and Chicago's Hypnotic Brass Ensemble perform.

La Catarina's last night will be May 31st. Let's give it a send off to remember!

'Meh' bella Arena

The announcement that Marbella Arena – the former Bull Ring in Nueva Andalucia – was being reformed as an “international concert venue” had concert goers buzzing.

So to say we were not impressed with the management is putting it mildly. First was the lack of invitations to the English media for the Press Conference when the line up of acts was unveiled.

And then there was the line up itself. Promising international acts to "be announced later", the only non Spanish performers so far are  Bob Marley's backing group,  The Wailers.

Somehow we can't see that one packing out the 5,000 seater venue, especially considering that they will be up against other concerts this sunmmer including Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Sting, The Jacksons, and the recently announced Jason Derulo.

And as for the "Spanish Hip Hop" Festival, that would seem to be inviting mayhem to Nueva Andalucia.

Good luck Marbella Arena. Looks like you are going to need it...

The Cat's Whiskers!

Hot new eatery Cat's Kitchen is set to officially open on Saturday.

Located in the Agrojardin centre just past Cancelada, the laid back vibe and great food has already ensured a devoted group of regulars.

Saturday promises to be a day full of great entertainment with lots of fantastic live music including  Colm Fitpatrick, legendary DJ Larry Jazz, live band The Cops and DJ Fadakata

If that wasn't enough, Cat's Kitchen is offering free Paella, La Catarina beer and soft drinks from 2 - 5pm!

We'll see you there!



Free Draw! Win a skydive simulator experience!

Fly4Real is bringing Spain’s first outdoor skydiving simulator to the Costa del Sol next month and have launched a competition to win the first 10 flights.

All you have to do to enter is send them an email, or fill out the contact form on their website before April 26.

A skydiving simulator allows visitors to fly on a column of air, without a parachute. It simulates the freefall portion of a skydive, and is an addictive, exciting and thrilling experience. It's the perfect way to find out what skydiving feels like without jumping from an aeroplane.

Anyone can safely enjoy the thrill of flying and as long as you’re reasonably fit and healthy, age is no barrier.

Located at KartCenter Campillos, under an hour from the coast, Fly4Real’s outdoor simulator is set be an exciting new addition to the area's tourism activities.

To be one of the very first people to try an outdoor skydiving simulator in Spain enter their competition to win one of the first ten flights. They are giving away ten 48,000 foot freefall flights, their recommended option for beginners who are trying out a skydiving simulator for the first time.

The competition will run until the 26th of April. To enter, send an email to or visit the website
Ten winners will be selected at random from the entries, and the winners will be announced on Monday April 29 and be notified by email. Flights will be arranged in the opening week from May 1.