Roughseas is busy, navigating the channels of life. So if you are looking for something to read, you’ll have to visit Clouds. Otherwise, I will be back. Sometime. Later.
My dears. I have an apology to make.
My Reader thing or whatever it is called just is not working. Some of you appear and the rest of you have vaporised.
Either you are not writing, or Reader does not consider your blogs are of acceptable quality.
But wait, I will indeed, eventually, ie in a million years time, get around to visiting you all.
Although lazy sleepy roughseas invariably hits on the easy option of clicking on commenters because at least I guess they are on line.
To be serious, I have been annoyed that a load of posts have just floated by me, out of sight, so I will try to catch up. In the meantime, I vented my annoyance at – yes – WordPress yet again.
Edited to add
I forgot to mention that new posts appear on Reader and then disappear. I end up having to scroll down to find a previous post, to click on a blog and then find the new one from there. Aaaaagh!!
I don’t normally play at taggy games, but the dinner party one is an interesting idea. I am meant to have five guests but I can’t possibly do that.Thanks to the history tourist for this.
And anyway it would be a buffet, so rather more of an intermingling as and when. Food for dinner party already posted on Clouds.
I studied Middlemarch at school and enjoyed it. But for my senior school exam we had an extract from Mill on the Floss that involved Maggie, Tom and the rabbits. Never liked the book from thereon.
However the complexity and the characters in Middlemarch did appeal to me. So, my first author invited to the extremely vegetarian dinner party.
Emily Bronte or Anne Bronte - or maybe all the Brontes.
Wuthering Heights and Tenant of Wildfell Hall were so powerful and full of raw emotion. Very different to Eliot’s restrained characters. Interesting contrast between the authors.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
“the savage lives within himself; the sociable man, always outside of himself, knows how to live only in the opinion of others; and it is, so to speak, from their judgement alone that he draws the sentiment of his own existence.”
One of my university courses was about the history of political thought. Rousseau was one of many that we studied. I love this quote, which I have memorised for the last 30 years or so.
My interpretation, is that more than ever, people live only in the opinion of others.
How on earth could someone produce such brilliant music when they were deaf?
Bit of a problem re the dinner party, we’d either need to write down our conversations or have a crash course in deaf and dumb language. Or maybe use computers?
Another wonderful composer, and I wonder what he would have had to say to Beethoven?
Continuing with the Russian theme, and one of the most influential politicians of the 20th century. I’d like to speak to him first-hand.
I think he is a total toe-rag and would prefer him to bring his own sandwiches. Rose to fame on the back of the Lofthouse Pit Disaster which happened a few miles away from me when I was a kid. The local view was that he milked the disaster for all it was worth. At some point, as I vaguely remember, he was arguing for more money for miners for working in dangerous conditions. Surely the point is to make the conditions safer rather than pay people extra for risky work?
But I’d be interested to hear what he would have to discuss with Lenin.
And from one extreme to the other, although in some cases maybe not.
Renowned, or rather remembered, for his infamous speech in Birmingham against immigration.
Reviled for that speech as being racist.
A man who was a professor in Ancient Greek at the University of Sydney by the age of 25. Who spoke 12 languages, or ten, or 14, depending on what you find on the internet. His mother taught him ancient Greek at the age of five?! He spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Urdu to start with, before we even get into European languages.
He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, and, in his first year, won all the main classical prizes open to undergraduates: this achievement was, and remains, unique.
The truth is, this was a man of superb intellect, and basically above the rest of us in terms of intelligence. He was also ahead of his time. Many of his predictions have come true. European Union? Single currency? Race riots in Britain – Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, South London, Yorkshire (I’ve lived in half of those areas). I don’t agree with racist policies. I also don’t agree with the fact that I can no longer go back to the UK and qualify for benefit and health care – a system I paid into quite heavily – when other people from wherever can turn up at the drop of a hat.
If Enoch was known as being a monetarist before the term was invented, how about Nige? Enoch was anti-inflation, Nigel was the opposite, but did me a big favour in the 80s. An eighties babe me. Gotta ask him to dinner on those grounds alone.
Not sure who he will chat to, but as he died off Gib and his body was brought into Rosia, and my dad was in the navy (and served in Gib), he gets the dinner party gold-printed invitation too. Actually, he would probably get on with Enoch.
And the odd one on the list (Or maybe they are all odd!):
The current best-selling author worldwide.
Steel was born Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel in New York City, the only child of Norma da Câmara Stone dos Reis and John Schulein-Steel. Her father was a German Jewish immigrant, a descendant of the founders of Löwenbräu beer. Her mother, born in Portugal, was the daughter of a diplomat.
Steel was raised Catholic and had wanted to be a nun during her early years. She spent much of her childhood in France, where from an early age she was included in her parents’ dinner parties, giving her an opportunity to observe the habits and lives of the wealthy and famous.
But I read a Danielle Steel novel recently. Wings. Courtesy of our informal pass-books-on club. At least it didn't involve details of cutting of gory bodies. Or cutting up bodies gorily.
It was about a woman who wanted to be a pilot in the 30s/40s in spite of her father's opposition - he owned an airfield. She also had an older man fixation, the guy she married was 14 years older than her, and the one she really loved was 18 years older than her. I don't care about disparity in ages, but older man = good, older woman ≠ good sends out bad messages. Little girls do not need protective men, thank you very much.
Anyway, she got to fly, so it wasn't a bad result. But I wonder what the Brontes would have made of Ms Steele?
Speaking of flying, both Mariano Rajoy (Spanish pres) and Cristina Kirchner (Argentinian pres) appear to be flying by the seat of their pants.
Rajoy has been accused of accepting backhanders.
Meanwhile, what is happening with the economy in the eurozone's fourth biggest economy? Oh yes, highest unemployment rate in Europe now. The highest in Spain since the 70s when stats were started.
We have now achieved a prestigious total of 60% of people under 25 being unemployed and overall, 26% of the population are jobless ie six million. More than double the EU average.
In 2012, an average of nearly 2000 people a day lost their jobs in Spain. And the country has overtaken Greece for the highest unemployment rate in the EU.
But still, it's ok if you are a Spaniard working in Gib. Because you know what, you will keep your job while a local is sacked. Once a Spaniard is sacked, it is a bit difficult to get around the paperwork to explain why a Spaniard gets preference over a Gibbo (although not impossible). So, Spaniards don't get sacked and Gibraltarian residents do. The bottom line is that firms continue to employ cross-border workers at the expense of local residents.
Just up the street from me there is a block conversion of a five-storey building. Carried out by a Portuguese firm. Using Portuguese workers. Who live over the border. Vehicles registered in Portugal. What on earth is that doing for the Gibraltarian economy? I met a neighbour who said no-one local could carry out the work. As if. I can think of ten Gib firms who could do that job.
But if you do get the push, and you live in Spain, there is that lovely Spanish dole. Mmmmmm.
Used to be 80% I think, but has dropped to 70% for the first six months, now down from 60% to 50% for the remainder - of the two year period. That's right. Two years of benefit. Two whole years.
If anyone wonders why the Spanish economy is fucked, this is one good reason. I mean it's nice to get a couple of years on 50-80% of your previous salary for doing stuff all (don't forget the obligatory redundancy payment too) but it isn't doing a lot for the national debt is it?
Here in Gib the dole is a statutory figure for 13 weeks. It’s around 85 quid for a couple. We know a guy who happily claimed his dole in Spain (been working in Gib) and drank and smoked so much he had a heart attack. Another one has said quite happily that when he gets laid off he will register in Spain. (He lives in Gib but has a Spanish home too). ‘Why don’t you do that?
Well, I know it sounds slightly old-fashioned but we have some principles. Yes, I know it is not financially sound, but I am not interested in scamming the system. Even though all the systems are a scam. I want to be able to sleep at night.
Kirchner is still claiming the Falklands and is adopting the Spanish tactics of wanting to ignore local views and representation.
Two Spanish-speaking countries with domestic and economic problems choose to intimidate British Overseas Territories.
But I’ll end with the Cordoba Agreement (2006)
about which I doubt any Brit, let alone anyone else, knows about. Britain is paying Spanish pensions. Get that? Because my pension has been put back five years (if not more) while Spaniards get paid by the UK.
“Under the Cordoba agreement the UK has made payments totalling £63,607,954.35 between April 2007 and December 2012. During this period pensioner numbers have fallen from 5,175 to 3,592. The figure covers both quarterly pension payments and one-off lump-sum payments that were made to Spanish citizens in connection with their withdrawal from the Gibraltar social insurance fund. The one-off payments made in April 2007 and April 2008 totalled approximately £24 million,” said Baroness Warsi.
I mean, sixty three million pounds? So that ‘planes can fly over Spain into Gib airport, and we can have our own telephone system (part of the agreement). Well thank you Spain. That is really helpful. One day I will work out why the UK is paying for Spanish pensions for people who have lived in Spain and worked in Gib, received a higher wage than they could in Spain and take it out to spend in Spain.
Answers on a postcard. Spanish or English equally accepted.
Every year, some poor unfortunate in the newsroom got dropped with the round-up of the year.
The good thing was that you were left alone to plod on with ploughing through a year’s worth of newspapers.
Not so bad on a weekly, where you only had 52 editions, and usually just went for the front page headlines.
The bad news was on a daily, when there were more than 300 newspapers to go through.
Either way, I can’t resist an annual summary – it’s so easy to forget what has happened all year, and this is a neat reminder.
As I did a thematic review last year, I will stick to a monthly one this year:
January started off well in a somewhat strange festive mood for us as we went to the local Spanish Living Belen production, because our neighbour and two sons were in it, and she also wanted someone to walk her father up there.
Equally spectacular was the Three Kings Parade back in Gib on the evening of Jan 5th. Nothing ever happens on Jan 6th, they always do everything the night before over here.
Having been bitten by next door’s cat, I wrote an amazingly helpful post about cat bites – aloe vera is the key, I tell you.
January was a lonely blogging month as I’d just made the switch from blogger to WP.
However it was busy on the job hunting front. We both had interviews. He got his job (immediately), I didn’t get mine. Nothing new there. In fact he was offered another one a week later but they were too slow off the mark as he’d already started work.
Onto February, where nothing much happened, he worked and I blogged. WordPress visitors and commenters were slow but consistent. Thanks to those of you who were regular commenters (and some still are) in those early months. Then I wrote about walking to the shops – OK so it’s a nice walk – and the comments more than doubled! I mean a walk to the shops?
Followed by a post on our local historical city wall gates, whereupon the comments and visits dropped right down again.
On 29 Feb, I wrote about baked beans and had my busiest post yet. No wonder there are so many food blogs. Shopping and baked beans were my most popular posts. It doesn’t matter that people tell me they want to read about Gib history and see photos of the place, what they comment about is food and shopping!
About the only thing to say for March is that I got my first ‘First to Find’ geocache in Gibraltar. That means I was the first person to find a new cache. It was a multi-cache, which means you have to go from one spot to another (and another, and another) before you finally get to the eventual location. I ended up walking from one end of Gibraltar to the other so it was a good thing no other toe-rag had beaten me to it.
April and May saw the usual flurry of bank holidays and rain. It rained in Gib and it rained in Spain. Not only did we have an Easter break but the Gib Govt introduced a new Workers’ Memorial Day holiday to make a long weekend with the early May bank holiday.
May was a rather more lively month – certainly on the international scene with the start of the ongoing incursions into Gibraltar and British territorial waters by Spanish fishermen and Guardia Civil boats, and the defence of our waters by Gibraltar Police, Defence Police, and Royal Naval forces.
And in retaliation, the border queues lengthened as Guardia Civil officers delayed the passage through the frontier of all vehicles. We spent more than an hour in the queue at the end of May, turning a less than three hour journey to the finca into a four and a half one.
On a lighter note, at the beginning of the month, we arrived in time to watch the local Romería in our pueblo, and back in Gib we made our first visit to the cinema in more than ten years to watch Contraband with Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale. An appropriate film to show in Gib given the amount of smuggling, but we had the cinema virtually to ourselves. An excellent cinema at King’s Bastion, my only gripe was that the sound was too loud.
June was another month with yet more holidays and events. Namely at the beginning of the month, the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, which Gib enjoyed in glorious summer weather – unlike the UK ones which I gather were somewhat damp. As with National Day, we – and many others – wandered around wearing patriotic colours.
Although we didn’t get invited to the Royal Garden Party unlike this handsome pair.
Later in the month we met up with some internet contacts from Seattle, USA. Sofia, and her parents Jan and Amy, were over here for the summer holidays. We enjoyed their company and we met them again later a couple more times for Sunday morning walks and a coffee afterwards.
And June always ends with our birthdays on consecutive days. Luckily his was on a Sunday this year, so he didn’t have to take a day off work, and we had a lovely lazy sunny day en famille.
On a sadder note, June marked the first bush fire I have ever seen in Spain around the golf course at Duquesa. And the following month we would see the devastation repeated around Sotogrande.
In fact July was pretty much a repeat of the previous two months, with more incursions into Gib/British territorial waters, the Sotogrande bush fire which was bad enough for the Guardia Civil to turn traffic around and divert it via the toll road, and two good walks with our friends from Seattle.
Along with the threatening and bellicose attitude of Spain regarding Gibraltar’s status, the other major news event of the year happened in August. This was the arrest of a suspected Al-Quaeda Turk, who just happened to have worked as contracts manager for three years on the same construction firm as partner. Brrr – shivers down spine stuff.
As far as blogging goes, I went onto summer hours in August, which didn’t seem to deter people from visiting so thank you very much for that. Partner was made redundant due to lack of work at the end of the month. At least they paid up square which was more than the previous firms did – although I did manage to extricate the owing money from the second one after some five months.
September was marked by even more summer hours on the blogs on my part, the always wonderful National Day celebrations on September 10 – and the second visit to the cinema. Twice in one year. This was to see The Bourne Legacy. No Matt Damon as Jason Bourne but Aaron Cross as Jeremy Renner. He was good and we enjoyed our evening out.
The following month Skyfall (James Bond) was due to be released so I made sure to check the programme for King’s Bastion every week. In fact, we never did go, even though it was extended for one week, and then brought back for another week. I figured if it was that popular I wouldn’t get the cinema to myself.
Back in July I’d taken on chair of the block management committee. Having chaired meetings, written board papers, acted as company secretary, and also managed rented properties in previous lives, it wasn’t exactly new territory.
In October, a nice man from Environmental Health knocked on our door and asked us to unblock the sewage or he would serve a notice on us, ie me as chair of the management committee. Have useful Partner, avoid shit happening. Although he didn’t exactly avoid the shit.
And the following month, ie November, we woke up one Sunday morning to the sound of running water. A pipe had burst underneath the hallway and was gushing gallons of fresh water down the street. We called AquaGib to cut it off, and set about getting quotes the following day. Because water pipes always go on a Sunday, yes?
It was a nightmare getting quotes. Someone came out and didn’t give us a price. Others wouldn’t quote unless they could charge emergency fees. One came out, quoted, went to price materials and nearly doubled the price (and no – the materials did not cost that much). In the end I gave up and called a Spanish general tradesman we knew and asked him to do the work. He’s good, reliable, and I knew he wouldn’t double the price at the end.
Meanwhile, some of the block residents kept asking when the water would be back on. ‘When it’s fixed,’ was the obvious answer. And I put regular updates on the noticeboard. It wasn’t as though we were without water. AquaGib had provided us with a bowser right outside the door full of fresh drinking water. But maybe I’m the only one in the block who doesn’t mind skipping outside to get a bucket of cold water and boil any hot water in the kettle. So it didn’t come through a tap. So what?
I really wonder how precious people are sometimes.
Of course, needless to state after that, the salt water pipes decide they wanted some attention too. Call back Spanish mate and fix salt water pipes. Not so much of a disruption to the block as salt water is only used for flushing toilets.
As for December …
And as things all come in threes, not only our neighbour’s water heater decided to pack up but so did ours. Hey ho. Talk about a baptism of
My sheers (aka nets) did not survive the wash :( and we ventured on a social engagement with local geocachers which was good fun. Even better we went to find a couple of caches just before Christmas and I found them both. Clever me.
And, as you will have recently read, the Christmas holidays were devoted to laziness and cleaning and decorating. Not a bad combination as they were all productive.
Speaking of productive, here is today’s brunch. Served sometime after ten o’clock as we had been up for around four hours.
Toasted burger sandwiches, salad and oven ready chips. Readers may be surprised to see that I eat oven ready chips. Simple really. Buy potatoes, peel, slice in chip form, and then they are ready for the oven. Cook in fan-assisted oven on 180ish and crisp on higher heat for last ten or so. Or you could cook them on a higher heat to start with, but I was waiting for the burgers to defrost somewhat. (And writing this blog post).
But no I didn’t make the burgers. Morrison’s
veggie meat free burgers, basically textured soya and wheat protein. I suppose you wouldn’t want to call them veggie burgers, even if that’s what they are, as meat free is so much more acceptable and healthy than veggie .. semantics semantics.
To finish on a serious note. Here in Gib we have a Christmas speech by the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir Adrian Johns, Vice Admiral etc etc etc, presumably as the Queen’s representative in our overseas territory.
Earlier this year, he spoke about the Spanish invasions into Gib/Brit waters and said this was no time for gunboats and it should all be solved by diplomacy. At the end of the Christmas speech, he’s changed his tune a bit. Presumably he can’t say what he thinks at all, only what the FCO says. (Foreign and Commonwealth Office for non Brits).
In fact, his speech isn’t a lot different to mine. Nice Jubilee year, Gib is a great place to live, and perhaps Spain could possibly leave Gib alone as it is a sovereign part of the UK and the Queen of Gibraltar is Elizabeth II. If you can’t be bothered with the soft words at the front, the last bit of his speech is worth a listen.
For 2013 I too hope that Spain addresses its own problems, there are more than enough, – for example, in La Linea across the border, the local town council has only just paid employes their MAY wages – instead of trying to distract attention by carping on about Gibraltar.
Vain hopes I suspect. Since 1703 when the Anglo Dutch forces took Gibraltar, the Spanish have been trying to claim it back ever since, regardless of signing the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
I think we need a few commemorations next year. Tricentennial anniversary of Spain ceding Gib to the British.
My new year message then? Spain, I love you to bits, you are a gorgeous country with lovely people, but politicians, sort out your economy, your corruption, and please fuck off with your asinine claims to Gibraltar.
As for everyone else on the internet who I have come to know – happiness, health and prosperity, inasmuch as you can have prosperity in a global recession. Perhaps in these days, sufficiency would be a better aspiration.
Either way, thanks for participating not just in roughseas, but all my other blogs, and looking forward to seeing everyone next year. So to old friends and new ones, enjoy your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (as it’s already New Year’s Eve in Auckland and approaching in eastern Aus).
PS 1 – I added links for the early posts, but after a couple of months, many of you had started reading. If you missed any of the posts I have mentioned, and you want to read them, they are in the archive for the relevant month. A woman can only add so many links.
PS 2 – Thought I would add this …
And as for the most popular posts, or rather the ones with the most comments as I am dubious about page hits/views, they were:
In first place, gold medal – Me! – people want to know about me.
Followed by two of the top news stories I identified – Spanish invasions of Gib/Brit waters and the suspected terrorist working in Gib.
Then, the next popular couple of posts were a shopping post (!), and a food post (!).
From the serious to the frivolous in one easy click of the mouse.
Then next were: my post about Earth Day in Gib, Juan Carlos (king of Spain) shooting elephants on a private safari while Spain is suffering financial cuts right left and centre, and questions about Gib. (All had the same number of comments there – 64).
As for most hits – food of course – olive paté.
Getting any Christmas cards is a surprise to me these days. I’ve never had a long list of people to send cards to, and my walls have never been covered with them.
Even my mother received and sent more than I did which always surprised me as I thought they didn’t know many people. Perhaps it’s about staying in the same place and within the same circles of people which is not something I’ve done.
When I was renting a flat at university the landlady (who would probably not like to to be called that, although technically was – she was married to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and I lived in the top floor of their house) said she thought it was particularly stupid to send cards to people you saw every day of the week. She thought they should be reserved for people that you didn’t see, and it gave you chance to catch up with them once a year.
Actually if the only thing you have in common is a once-yearly card it begs the question of why you even bother doing that.
My mother was precious about postage. Not for her the stealthy delivery around to the neighbours after dark to deliver the cards through the letterbox. No. She proudly walked down to the post office (obviously much further away), and paid for the stamps. I think she thought hand delivery was akin to being a penny-stamper – so to speak.
As you move around the country/the world, the list of Christmas card recipients becomes ever smaller. The neighbours fall off the end, with my only remaining regulars being my university friends. Even one of those didn’t bother last year, rather rudely (in my opinion) sending a cursory mail sometime between Christmas and New Year.
But new places mean new neighbours, and I do send cards to a couple of Gib ones. I’ve acquired internet card people too, so I’m nearly into double figures at this rate.
The first card was a lovely surprise. Remembering my love of donkeys she had chosen the card especially for me. How thoughtful.
The next card was a bigger surprise (although not as nice as donkeys). It was from the freeholder of our block of flats, for which I now chair the management council. I don’t think it is common practice for him to send out cards to everyone who has bought a flat in his blocks (he owns a few lucrative blocks), so I must have done something right.
The picture is a presentation of a painting of the queen (Elizabeth II) to the Earl and Countess of Wessex on their visit to Gib earlier this year, in the presence of the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir Adrian Johns. What an illustrious gathering to have on my dusty sideboard. I don’t mix in those circles but my freeholder does.
Next, and totally different, is a card from my neighbour over the road. It depicts the ‘We Three Kings’ carol, always one of my favourites – especially sung by Mario Lanza – and inside she had written a note saying how much she misses chatting to us across the street through our windows (yes we do that sort of thing in Gib) since she had a stroke. I really appreciated her taking the time to write such a personal comment inside the card.
The next card is a County Air Ambulance charity one. Another perfect card with sheep, a dog, looks like a collie to me, and what I shall choose to consider to be a rag-top Land Rover. And – the surprise with that card – was that there was a present inside too. A lovely diary in aid of a dog charity. How good is that? It is amazingly useful, because although Gib is predominantly Catholic, we seem to have every other religion under the sun here too, and it lists all their religious holidays. Extremely helpful when I live in the Jewish quarter of town. Apart from anything else I can’t call meetings for the block on Jewish holidays as it would be disrespectful, so a quick flick to the diary to check out holidays.
Finally the last surprise was a card from our Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and our minister for employment, Joe Bossano (previous party leader and chief minister). In fact, it’s not from them as government ministers, but rather from the Gib Socialist and Liberal Party. From the GSLP family, no less, ‘working for you’. Um, they are not my family and right now they are not working for me at all.
There is far too much black labour from cross-border workers that they are doing nothing about to my knowledge. I know someone who has been working illegally in Gib for more than 20 years (in construction). There are endless cleaners working on the black. Spanish residents (of varying nationalities, British, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Eastern European), are being kept on company payrolls because once they are sacked it is hard/impossible to get them back – so Gib residents get the push instead. Great policy there that is not doing a lot for local labour.
At the job centre everything had changed yet again. No daily updates for jobs, all jumbled together in glass/perpex case displays. Not broken down by date, category or anything.
When I saw an employment officer, I asked what was going on.
‘Those are specialist jobs, for people with degrees,’ she informed me.
Right, well that wouldn’t apply to me would it, with a first degree and a Masters as well.
I didn’t bother answering. Sometimes you waste your breath.
‘The call centre has finished,’ she informed me.
Ah, the one I never heard from. Where it is staffed by inane idiots who decree what jobs I may apply for, based on a tick box form that says my interests are journalism, management, PR, and something else – I forget what because it clearly didn’t matter. They don’t need a CV do they? I might as well have ticked all 20 categories for all they knew.
‘Why did it stop?’
‘It wasn’t working.’
‘They were sending people for the wrong jobs.’
Ha! Just. Ha!
‘You need to speak to us now, as we have the jobs on file.’
Oh, that’s good, instead of an idiot at the call centre who I don’t get to see and who gets to dismiss me on the basis of my interests – and my non-Gibraltarian name? – I get to see a person in the job centre who determines what jobs I can apply for.
Note to prospective job-hunters. Do make sure you can read upside down.
‘I can speak Spanish,’ I said as she skipped a load of jobs that started with ‘must speak Spanish.’
‘Will you accept administrative work?’ she asked.
What the hell. Why not.
She gave me two cards. One was the inevitable gambling/gaming company, and the other was an HR assistant.
I rang the number. It was a legal firm. The job was not for them so I have no idea why their number was on the card apart from to mess people about.
I rang the number she gave me. It didn’t exist.
I’d done enough for the day and decided to do something more rewarding like read blogs.
As with Clouds, Roughseas will also be taking a sabbatical, ie in my case an indeterminate length of time away from blogging.
If, I feel like blogging, I may update the poor dog’s abandoned blog, post on my Landy blog, or maybe a pic on my not-a-photo blog.
Thank you to everyone who has passed by this blog and read and/or commented on my posts There have been some excellent observations, and some extremely thoughtful and interesting discussions.
I’ll try and drop by the blogs of my regular readers from time to time, but for now, other priorities call.
The latest revamp involves an updated blogroll, but rather than have an extremely tediously long list on the original one, I have just made a new page. Simple huh?
If you weren’t included in the last list, from about nine months ago, feel free to head over to More Blogs I Visit, see if you are there and then complain at what I have written about you. I will probably ignore any comments anyway.
If you aren’t on there, and would expect to be, then do let me know. I may well have forgotten a few blogs, for which I apologise in advance. I’ve tended to go for the ones who comment regularly who weren’t on the original roll, the ones who complained about not being on the original list, and in particular, some newer ones, who may or may not stay on there ;)
To be serious, this was long overdue, and if you thought I didn’t love you, it’s just not true. Honestly.
And now that bit of housekeeping is out of the way, I may find time to write a blog post.
Holidaytime. Even this blog needs one, so we will be on the famous Gibraltar summer hours during August when there will be fewer posts on here and on Clouds. I will try and keep up to your blogs though and comment as and when I can.
I’ll be trying to finish off the manual import of the Land Rover posts from blogger to wordpress, and Pippa will be off to visit some of his pals (for those of you with dogblogs). I may even tidy up my pages on here. May.
In the meantime a quick thanks to Robin, of Bringing Europe Home who gave me an Illuminating Blogger Award. Judging by some of the comments where people say they have learned information about Gib and Spain, that seems an appropriate choice.
Robin’s blog is worth a visit, she lives in Georgia, USA, and has lived in Europe so writes about Europe from an American perspective. Always interesting to see our home through someone else’s eyes. She also writes about America too so there is a good variety of material in her posts.
If you are an awardy-type person, visit the link here for the rules and the candle pic. If you are a regular visitor to my blog, please consider yourself duly awarded.
In the meantime, a quick illuminating look at countries that visit this blog.
Regular readers and commenters are unsurprisingly from English speaking nations – Australia, Canada, South Africa, UK and USA. People from Gibraltar also visit, but being a small place, they never comment! Within Europe, Belgium, Italy and Spain come to mind and elsewhere Indian and Sri Lankan bloggers visit too. All have their own WP blogs.
The most visitors by far come from the UK, followed by the USA, and then Canada, Spain and Australia. For anyone interested in stats, this is interesting because it reflects a significant difference to my blogger figures which showed visitors were predominantly from the US. With blogger, a lot of my visitors came from the dogblog network – of whom the majority were American. On wordpress, I’ve more or less started from scratch with visitors, apart from a tiny handful of previous bloggers. Of course I’ve now forgotten how I found you all/you found me!
Looking at today (1 Aug to be pedantic as I started this yesterday), in the first twelve hours between midnight and noon, I’ve got:
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Yesterday (ie 31 July), I had:
British Columbia, Canada
New Brunswick, Canada
Every day is different, and these are non-posting days. Days when a post is published, and the subsequent day obviously show a significant change.
The detail is taken from statcounter rather than wordpress, as it gives more of a breakdown on location. It actually gives cities but I left those out. Another interesting difference between blogger and wordpress is that statcounter can’t provide the same level of analysis on wp as it does on blogger for search engines and keyword activity. Sadly.
What about search terms? Well there are two categories at the top of the list and they are food and Gibraltar election results 2011.
Top posts and pages? Yesterday it was Me? You want to know about me? which goes to prove how important the about page is, but I’ve been pipped by one view today by Your questions about Gib. Those two pages are well ahead of the rest. But some other of my pages are also popular – Blogs I visit, My other blogs, and Places I have lived. Which suggests that the more information we write about ourselves, the more people will read!
As for posts – Gib territorial waters, Gib election result 2011 (unsurprising given the previous search engine result), 2011 – a review, Sofia the artist, Queen’s birthday parade, Lets hear it for Juan Carlos, and Summer hours in Gib received the most visits.
And although pages with high traffic don’t always attract comments – a lot of the ones mentioned above, also received the most comments. I’d put that down to regular readership whereas the passing trade via search engines rarely comments.
I’ve taken that info from the wp stats. While they are all interesting, I think they provide an interesting snapshot but not worth getting hung up about or shaping your blog around.
A couple of summery pix.
Summer salad of red chard, leaves out of the garden, radish, green onion.
Gibraltar (and La Linea at Gib’s feet) rising out of the heat haze.
Current temperature today forecast to be 35 degrees, the same in Málaga and 38 degrees in Marbella. At just after 9am it’s already 27 degrees here in sunny Gib.
Enjoy your summer wherever you are. And thanks once more for all your visits and interesting comments.
ETA I knew there was something else I wanted to write about.
Congratulations to rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning on winning Britain’s first gold at the Olympics. Well done. Aus and NZ came second and third and it is always difficult beating them at water sports.
And Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins took gold in the men’s cycling time trial. What a great year for you Bradley, and some well deserved wins.
An interesting link on the BBC website shows he now tops the list of British athletes with the most Olympic medals (seven), although not the most golds – Sir Steve Redgrave has five and a bronze for rowing.
What was interesting about the list was the events in which people won between four and seven medals (minimum of three golds) and they were cycling and water sports. Well, I thought it was interesting as they happen to be sports that interest me :D
BBC link here. [Thanks to V for alerting me to it]
I do have other blogs you know.
Which also need my loving attention.
Here are some piccies of bush fires on JustLandRovers
I am a very nice liberal trendy right-on person, and I do think anyone starting bush fires should be banged up straightaway for years on end. Or something like that.
Firefighters lose their lives. Animals often lose their lives. Sometime people living on the land die too.
Because someone thinks it is fun? Or wants to gain something from it? Or is just careless?
Hey, I’m sorry your house burned down, you lost everything you had, oh, and you died as well, but I really didn’t intend that to happen?
For Pippafans, his is the next blog post, linky will be posted on here too.
And – one hell of a shout out and congratulations to both Bradley Wiggins and Christopher Froome. Tour de France for those of you who don’t know.
First British win ever (why ever didn’t Sean Kelly win it? oh well), and not only that, we took second place as well. Go British cyclists. Great achievement.
Just a quick post to people.
Two new pages introduced – history and poetry.
Available on the top bar thingy.