Boston, UK (1971). Rachel has a degree in Modern Languages from Newcastle University and a postgraduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. After moving to Malaga in 1994 she joined the SUR in English team in 1996 and has been Editor since 2014.
What were those phrases we said and heard over and over again as we wished one another Happy New Year two weeks ago?
"Let's hope 2021 is better than 2020." "Well 2021 can't be any worse than 2020, can it?" This year we couldn't wait to say "out wit
The festive season is here and, while this year will be very different from others, preparations are well under way for the traditional celebrations.
The coronavirus that has dominated our year, and dictated changes that we could never have imagine
When Manilva resident and former councillor Dean Tyler Shelton saw the Jerusalema challenge dance videos coming out of Africa, he decided to "jump on the bandwagon", as he puts it himself.
Dean got together with friend and producer Craig Ruddock f
The former editor of SUR in English, Liz Parry, may have been retired a few years, but she continues with her mission to "link communities".
The idea of making English-speaking residents feel more at home and integrated into life in Spain extended
Every time I look at a photograph, any photograph - in the newspaper, on the internet, in my own albums, the same thoughts cross my mind. Look how close we all were together; look at that big group all squashed into the frame; look how no one's weari
Michael Anthony Bartram, British consul in Malaga between 1990 and 2000, died in the city's Hospital Regional on Tuesday morning. The retired diplomat fell ill just a day after arriving with his family from the UK on Saturday to spend some time in th
Sitting in front of an empty page or a blank canvas can be terrifying. You've been told you have to write a poem, a story or an essay, or draw or paint something to hold up for all to admire, or criticise. The words don't always come, your teacher ha
José from flat 5D tuts as he discards the butt of the cigarette he's been smoking at a carefully chosen spot in the middle of a trampled flower bed two metres away from the busy pavement. He reluctantly raises his mask over his mouth and nose (well,
After more than 35 years offering information and advice to foreign residents in Mijas, Anette Skou retired at the end of July.
Originally from Denmark, but resident on the Costa del Sol since 1972, Anette first joined Mijas Town Hall in 1984 as a
The schoolgirl picks up her history book and starts to read. She's on the chapter when countries across the world were struck by a fierce disease that left millions tossing and turning with high fever and killed hundreds of thousands of them.
A few weeks ago we were patting ourselves on the back for being good, staying at home and bringing the Covid-19 case figures right down. We went out, taking the required precautions, heard talk of second waves and new spikes but were still feeling fa
The UK's ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, and the Spanish Secretary of State for Migrations, Hana Jalloul, have sent our a joint message this week to British residents in this country.
The video message comes one week on from the introduction of
Throughout the coronavirus crisis, we have spent days checking on numbers: how many new cases have been diagnosed in Spain, in Andalucía, Malaga; how many people have died; and how many people have recovered.
Then we've turned our eyes to what's be
When the coronavirus lockdown stopped everyone in their tracks, the 1st Fuengirola Scout Group had to rethink its agenda. Not only did meetings get moved online, they also faced the disappointment of missing the camp planned last weekend at the Berme
I was asked earlier this week to briefly sum up the general mood among international residents in southern Spain in these unprecedented times of coronavirus lockdown.
It's interesting when someone thinks that you can put tens of thousands of peopl
On 1 May 1890, workers took to the streets in Spain to mark the first International Workers Day.
The previous July, in Paris, the congress of the Second International, an organisation of Socialist and Labour parties, declared 1 May as an internatio
Just a few days ago I enjoyed a long telephone conversation with a cousin in a rainy northern European country. We were discussing details of the holidays we were planning for this coming summer.
Later I went for a walk on the busy seafront - peop
The 1st Fuengirola Scout Group, part of British Scouting Overseas, joined members of groups from around the province on Saturday for a joint celebration of the birthdays of founder Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Olave.
The Mayor of Malaga, Franci
On 14 February 1779, the Cadiz town of Puerto de Santa María was the scene of a devastating accident in which hundreds lost their lives.
It was carnival Sunday but that year the celebrations had an even more exciting element - the opening of the ne
You may have noticed something a little bit different about the latest print edition of SUR in English. It's nothing major and not meant to jump out and make a big noise, but we've brought in a few design changes which, we hope, will make your readin
After the British government approved the Withdrawal Agreement last Friday, the final step, ratification by the European Parliament was completed on Wednesday, meaning that the UK leaves the EU at midnight tonight, Friday.
A rollercoaster fou
The councillor for Foreign Residents in Mijas, Arancha López, has announced further initiatives to inform the municipality's 8,842 British residents of their rights and obligations during and after the transition period.
"The British in Mijas are
This week we've eaten our 12 grapes at the 12 strokes of midnight, we've hugged some of our friends and family and sent memes to the rest, we've watched fireworks, drunk fizzy wine, sung Auld Lang Syne and welcomed the year 2020 in style.
On 29 November 1899, a group of young men of different nationalities met in Barcelona to found a sporting association. Several of them had answered an advertisement placed in the magazine Los Deportes several weeks previously by Swiss sports enthusia
Numerous major corruption scandals of one sort or other have come to light in Spain in recent years. They have all followed similar patterns: police raids, shock-horror high-profile arrests and pages and pages of revelations of the many ingenious or
At this year's World Travel Market, SUR in English had its usual stand within the Spain section at the Excel centre. From there over the three days the Southern Spain supplement - inserted into this newspaper last week - was distributed to visitors,
Following a tradition that goes back more than two decades, SUR, SUR in English and Unicaja Banco hosted a formal dinner on Monday night to bring together around 150 key players in the Andalusian tourist industry. This year's event, presided over by
Hugh Elliott may have only presented his credentials as ambassador to King Felipe in September, but he is no stranger to Spain. He met his Spanish wife while he was an English teacher in Salamanca and both his children were born in Madrid when the fa
The British Consulate's Brexit team has announced new dates for its pop-up Q&A events.
Upcoming events will take place on Friday 18 October from 11am to 1pm at Coffee Break for Ladies Inland, Restaurante La Parrilla de Pepe, Coín; Wednesday 23 Octo
After 30 years working in Spain, 16 years on the executive committee of Nabss (the National Association of British Schools in Spain), and four years as president, Adrian Massam, shared his experience as keynote speaker at the BCC event on Thursday.
One of the many highlights of this summer was a rare opportunity to do "touristy stuff" in London. So, just a few weeks ago there I was standing in that very chamber with its scruffy green benches that has been the scene of great drama this week.
The summer is the perfect opportunity for residents as well as visitors to soak up not just the sun, but also the culture. Malaga's art galleries and museums have put the city in the forefront in recent years, filling columns in travel and art public
The Escuela Oficial de Idiomas (official language school) gives its students of English extra optional homework once a year: to enter its annual short story competition. While organised from the Malaga school, the contest is open to students of Engli
We have to go back to January to find the start of this story. That was when teachers at the international schools in southern Spain and Gibraltar received their annual emails inviting their students to send in work for the annual SUR in English Educ
While some are still digesting the results of the 26 May local elections - and others have forgotten them already - we are still in that limbo period when the councillors have been elected but not yet installed in their seats.
More importantly, in
When they tell you you're not going home, your immediate world falls apart. How can you not go home? What will you do with the family? And what about the work you left half-finished when you went to A&E to get an X-ray just to rule out something more
The promenade in Benalmádena Costa looks set to be invaded by hundreds of red T-shirt-clad walkers this Sunday for the 17th edition of the Cudeca Walkathon.
In order to raise funds for the Cudeca hospice charity and awareness of its work, particip
Spain's politicians are about to wind up the general election campaign, leaving Spanish voters free to decide on Sunday the palette of the new Congreso, which looks set to be more colourful than ever.
The four main party leaders with hopes to becom
Today, international women's day, will see men and women joining marches and events to support the feminist cause: women should have the same rights, power and opportunities as men.
On the surface we can argue that at least in developed countries t
Have you seen them? They've been spotted in the streets of Fuengirola, Benalmádena or Malaga, on mountain paths in Mijas, the Sierra de las Nieves or Granada, at the checkouts at Iceland, or cooking burgers on the beach near the Sohail castle. They m
Living in Spain, however integrated we might be, if we come from another country we'll always be outsiders on the inside. That, however, gives us the advantage of looking at current affairs from both vantage points: we know what our friends, neighbou
As the Brexit date approaches, experts from different fields in both the UK and Spain got together in Malaga on Thursday to analyse a scenario that is still uncertain and changing.
On the same day as Theresa May held further meetings in Brussels in
If you were in the Malaga area exactly three years ago today and thought the earth moved - that's because it did.
It was 5.22am on a Monday morning when people were woken by an earthquake of magnitude 6.3, the biggest to hit the area in more than
I've been trying to remember the first time I heard the word Brexit. Back then, whenever it was, I saw it as just another clever, but at the same time silly, linguistic invention that was doing the rounds of social media. Something that would never a
This week has seen the start of a series of meetings at which the British consul in Andalucía, Charmaine Arbouin, aims to update UK nationals in Andalucía about Brexit and what it could mean for them.
Benalmádena. 24 January. Edifici
A read of the literature sent by post to every voter by the main political parties before the Andalusian election last weekend made you want to vote for them all. All four were going to do away with corruption, cut down hospital waiting lists, improv
It's been smiles all round on these last few days of the campaign trail as the candidates for seats on the Andalusian parliament aim to round up last-minute support from voters. The regional election takes place on Sunday when 6,541,722 citizens of A
It was November 1811 and Spain's parliamentarians were holed up in Cadiz, under siege, while the rest of the country was in the hands of Napoleon, who had put his brother, Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne.
As the Spanish War of Independence (
The Mijas La Cala Lions have been out and about this week to help the club's Diabetic Support Group spread the word about the illness. Over several days this week the group is offering free glucose testing to members of the public, starting in La Cal
I haven't worked out the exact figure but I would estimate that nine out of ten British CVs that include interests at the end, give travel as one of them. Whether by travel people refer to a backpacking trip around the world or a train ride to Skegne
If someone told the designers of the Marbella congress centre that one day it would be filled with hundreds of people of different nationalities rolling dice and drawing insects on pieces of paper, they would have probably laughed in their face.
The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, suggested at an event last week that the way to solve the problem of noise pollution in the city centre was for people to keep their voices down.
"In the Mediterranean culture we speak in very loud voice
Breaking a world record and getting your name in the grand Guinness book is probably something on a lot of people's bucket lists. For a charitable organisation it is a great way of raising funds, drawing attention to a good cause and having fun all a
World Alzheimer's Day has been celebrated on 21 September since 1994. The awareness day was launched at the opening of the annual Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) conference (held on that date in 1994 in Edinburgh) to mark the tenth anniversar
The last week of August is always an odd one - there's never a great deal going on as the newsmakers squeeze the last drop out of their summer holidays before they go back to the office.
This week, however, has been a colourful if not eventful one.
Plastic has become the dirty word of 2018 as it seems that the message that the planet is suffering thanks to the use of the stuff is making its way into the mass social conscience. Of course everyone has known for years that the miracle material of
In 1974, Spain was still governed by a dictatorship and Francisco Franco, albeit in poor health, would live for more than a year. However that did not stop some law changes to bring the country slowly into a world of equal opportunities.
One of thi
Tourism is what makes the world go round - or at least what makes us go round the world - and even the most virtual of virtual technologies is not going to stop millions of people packing their cases for a welcome change of scenery.
We've now hit t
Speaking to soprano and human rights activist Barbara Hendricks last week prior to her concert at the Nerja Cave festival was both uplifting and depressing.
On one hand, her positive attitude and confidence that citizen activism is making the worl
The scientist Ginés Morata, who brought his theories to a lecture in Malaga last week, believes that we could live to be 600 or 700 years old. In other words, science and technology are developing at such speed that we are constantly having to rethin
This has been an exciting week for people who love facts and figures - journalists among them - who need to pull a statistic out of their hats to support every argument or assertion. On Tuesday Spain's national statistics institute (INE) released the
There's an air of anticipation in most large towns and cities in this region this week. Rows of chairs have appeared along central streets, people of all ages are chatting excitedly, planning excursions, discussing routes; some are having their hair
Yesterday's strike for International Women's Day was more symbolic than anything else. It's impossible to really prove to what extent the world would stop turning if all women downed tools. Yesterday women in Spain did make their presence felt, rathe
Having the car you take for granted suddenly forced off the road for several weeks sheds a whole new light on how we move from one place to another. Forced to find an alternative to just grabbing the keys and running out the door, I've recently had a
It's January, it's cold - even on the Costa del Sol - and pharmacies are busier than ever. Hands up who hasn't had a sniffle, a full-blown cold, or worse still the flu, since Christmas. Not many, I'm sure.
When the pharmacy doesn't have the solutio
Animal shelter boss sentenced in cruelty case
The former president of the Torremolinos animal shelter Parque Animal, Carmen Marín, was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for cruelty to animals, falsification of do
Laura Byrne, regional vice-president of the British Chamber of Commerce for Barcelona, was in Marbella this week to attend a breakfast meeting of the Andalucía branch of the organisation, chaired by the local vice-president, Derek Langley.
SUR in English and Linea Directa called on the expertise of Pedro Fernández this week for another essential expat advice seminar on the subject of taxation.
After the success of the seminar held at the recent Home Fair in Marbella, this week's even
Pedro Fernández, partner at Garrigues the leading Spanish law firm, will be speaking at the Linea Directa and SUR in English Essential Expat Advice Seminar in the Salón de Actos in La Cala de Mijas town hall on 22 November at 12 noon.
Tourism is so important for this region and the figures are increasing every year, with "record-breaking" appearing in numerous news headlines. However the industry knows it can't sit back on its laurels as the rising fugures won't automatically cont
"Andalucía is in the hearts of the British," said the ambassador Simon Manley, speaking at the SUR in English annual dinner in London on Monday. This year the event, organised as a celebration of that special relationship between British tourists and
Commuters throughout London woke up on Monday morning to a copy of the SUR in English Southern Spain supplement inside their free copy of City AM, as part of SUR's and Andalucía's presence at the World Travel Market (WTM) this year.
With more than
Tax expert Pedro Fernández of Spain's leading law firm Garrigues spoke to an audience invited by SUR in English and Línea Directa at the Home Fair in Marbella on Saturday.
Fernández ran through the different types of taxation foreign residents in S
The figure is frightening enough when you are living in your own country, but when you're in a foreign place the "taxman" becomes even more daunting. This personification of the tax system, turning it into one evil-looking misanthrope waiting to get
British expat organisations on the Costa del Sol have welcomed news of a new website designed to offer support to older and vulnerable members of the community.
SUPPORT IN SPAIN
Languages: English and Spanish
Perhaps it's rather naïve of me to think that people ought to be able to love, or at least tolerate, one another and live happily ever after in peace and harmony.
That's the message drummed into children at school isn't it? Everyone should be treat
Today is the first day of September and many workers who stick to Spanish holiday traditions will be going back to the office after a 31-day break. This month-long holiday, that nowadays fewer people can, or even want, to take all in one go, gives th
He doesn't look like he's the sort of person to play classical music. Not the way he dresses in a T-shirt, trainers and messy hair, nor by the way he talks, with one popular swear word repeated several times throughout the interview. He has recently
'1de enero, 2 de febrero, 3 de marzo, 4 de abril, 5 de mayo, 6 de junio, 7 de julio... ¡San Fermín!" This popular Spanish song, known all over the country, shows how today's date can mean only one thing in Spain. 7 July is the feast of San Fermín, th
"To have been able to play a part in the integration of the international community has been a privilege and a great pleasure," said former editor of SUR in English, Liz Parry, as she received her British Empire Medal on Thursday evening.
The Costa Press Club announced the winners of its Communicator 2016 awards at its 15th anniversary gala dinner on Thursday evening.
The association for international journalists on the Costa del Sol launched its annual awards in 2006 with the aim o
On the morning of 2 June 2014 newsrooms around the country were buzzing with anticipation. La Moncloa palace, the official residence of the Spanish prime minister, had called an unexpected and urgent press conference. There would be an announcement,
Spain's Iberian neighbour has shown that it can produce more than tanned footballers this week. Yes, Portugal finally added a Eurovision Song Contest win to its achievements, reminding the rest of Europe that part of this peninsula we now call home i
This week's SUR in English contains at least two articles that make us stop and think of the most senior members of our communities and families. In her second Brit Back column, in which she recounts the ups and downs of her rediscovery of the UK aft
It's April, it's 2017, but some of the headlines in this week's news are probably almost identical to others published five, ten or fifteen years ago. Politicians are arrested under suspicion of corrupt practice, embezzlement and generally abusing th
Rita Alfonso García was born in Malaga by chance. Her parents, originally from northern Spain, were both orators, taking their recitals from stage to stage. They were living in the southern Spanish city in the spring of 1770 when Rita, one of three s
It's been nine months now since that morning at the end of June when we were jolted awake by the news that the thing had been conceived. It came as a shock to many of us here in Spain, but others supported the creation; there was no question of abort
The province of Malaga lost its round number - exactly 100 - of municipalities on 17 March 2009. After years of campaigning, the small town of Villanueva de la Concepción finally gained its independence from Antequera, becoming municipality number 10
Former British consul, Thomas Tuite, died in Malaga on 18 February at the age of 93.
He was born Thomas Robert Henry Stratford Tuite in Dublin, Ireland, in 1923, son of an Anglo-Irish army officer.
Before settling in Malaga, Thomas worked for t
This week, Nick Clegg's Spanish wife Miriam González Durántez remarked on the irony of being addressed as "Mrs Clegg" on an invitation to an event organised to mark international women's day.
Understanding surname acquisition is one of those issue
Just over six months ago, a lot of us in Spain thought that we were in a bad dream, that something surreal was happening but that we would soon wake up and discover with relief that the UK didn't vote for Brexit after all. Then for a while perhaps we
This week, somewhat drowned out by the news of the snow - and of course the new SUR in English website - the rumblings have continued to emanate from the tremulous local political scene in Alhaurín el Grande.
While the opposition prepares en bloc t
SUR in English has been a pioneer throughout its more than 30 years of providing information to English-speaking residents and visitors in southern Spain. After being the first successful newspaper to be published in English on the Costa del Sol back
The 2017 New Year's Honours List includes a familiar name for British residents in southern Spain. The former editor of SUR in English, Liz Parry, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to British nationals living in Andalucía.