What price life?

Honestly! I can’t leave Gibraltar for a couple of days before the place falls to rack and ruin.

There I am happily taking my Christmas/New Year holiday finally, when I get a notification on the Twitter account I never use, about the shooting in Gibraltar last week!

What shooting?

It seems last Tuesday that a man was shot in the late afternoon at Europa Point (photos of which were on my previous post – Europa – not a shot man). His injuries were so severe that he was moved from the local Gib hospital, to a specialist one in Cadiz.

Where, the daily bulletins were, that his status was critical. For those of you not familiar with hospital/journo speak, it means you might die, you might not. Fortunately a few days later, he was pronounced stable – ordinary speak: on the mend, and may survive.

The police arrested three men to help them with their enquiries/on suspicion of attempted murder. And then released them on bail without charge. Six vehicles were also seized. The cliff face at Europa was abseiled and a diver found a firearm on the seabed. Another gun was recovered from a local residence. As well as searching the six vehicles, police also searched four homes, two stores, two commercial premises and a garage. Ninety police officers were involved in the investigation – yes Gib does have a lot of police officers.

As for the injured 38-year-old man? He’s a member of the Royal Gib Police although statements have said the shooting was not work related and he was off duty at the time.

But this is no good. Gib is a safe place. The last time I remember a shooting was when I was crossing the frontier and the Guardia Civil opened fire. (Not at me, that I know of).

Meanwhile all this was going on, I had arrived back in Spain to chill out for a week. As soon as we arrived at the finca, José decided to come and cut back my garden. He used to work at a nursery, and still propagates carnations and roses, ferns, spider plants, and anything he feels like really. As you do at nearly 86.

However this was not what I had planned. Rushing around like the proverbial fly picking up after roses, jasmine, plumbago and everything else he recklessly chucked on the floor.

He cut down rosebuds and flowers. I decided to stick them in vases glasses. The jasmine and roses smell delicious, the plumbago is pretty, and the pelargonium may root. Or not.

Rosebuds and jasmine
Rosebuds and jasmine

Plumbago and jasmine
Plumbago and jasmine

My first afternoon back is meant to be, have a beer, eat some food (often that I’ve left in the freezer before), read a book, and fall asleep at siesta time. Wake up and make salad. This plan was not happening. At all.

Next day, I tripped off down to the veg shop. My dear readers will know that I will never win shopaholic prize of the year, my only concession being visiting veg shops/market stalls, and health food shops.

For once, I even recorded the prices, so you can all consider I live cheaply or expensively. Prices per kilo and in euros unless pound sign added. And a Gib comparison added where appropriate.

Tomatoes – 80 cents, the cheapest ones and just as good if not better than the others. Gib price – I normally buy organic from Morrisons, £1 for four, no weight, I’d estimate around 10 ozs for the four.

Peas – 3.30/3.50. No peas in Morries at the moment, but in summer they vary between £1 on special, or £1.50/1.75 per bag. Unhelpfully I can’t remember the weight of the bag.

Setas (oyster mushrooms – but ours are huge!! and very fresh) – 4.50. In Morries they are now £8 a kilo!! They are so dear they are priced by the 100 grammes at 80 p so it doesn’t sound so expensive.

Avocado – 2.50. Mine came to around 43 cents. Morries prices – £1.50 ish for two organic ones. They didn’t seem to be ripe.

Oranges – 1.20, they were mid price range, there were some cheaper and some dearer.

Lemons – 80 cents. Around £1.75 in Gib.

Cebolleta. Fresh green onions – 1.40. No comparison with Morries because they don’t sell them and can’t remember the Gib market price.

Potatoes – 15 kg sack for 8.50 ie 56 cents a kilo. At Mercadona (Spanish supermarket) a five kilo sack is 3.50. In Gib, normal potatoes are around a quid a kilo. Organic Marie Piper salad pots are £1.40 for 750gms. The Spanish potatoes are much better.

Two barras of pan rustica in the same pack, 95 cents. A loaf of pain de campagne in Gib – 400gms, £1.85.

A block of tempeh, 250 gms, (does for two or three meals) – 3.34. Not available in Gib.

Jar of Delicious capers – 65gms – 1.20. Can’t remember Gib price. £1.75 maybe?

Jar of gazpacho olives – 1.80.

Pack of San Miguel, 12 x 33 cl – 5.10. In Gib, a pack of 6 x 50 cl is £5.20 (although went down to £3.99 before Christmas). I’m sure you can all work out that four litres for 5.10€ is cheaper than three litres at £5.29.

Bottle of cava – Jaume Serra Brut Nature – 2.15. Bottle of Montcadi in Gib, £4.29.

Meanwhile, I escaped going to the shops today and partner was chatting to a local on the bus. He’s got UK relatives so he’d been back for Christmas.

‘Rained every day,’ he moaned. ‘And so expensive.’

The cheapest cigarettes he could find were £7.50 a pack!! Really?? Just, good grief.

Beer was £5 a pint.

As far as I know because a) I don’t smoke and b) I don’t go to the pub, fags are about £2 a packet here (that may possibly explain a little of the smuggling?) and I think beer is around £3 a pint in the pubs.

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44 comments on “What price life?

  1. I was surprised how much prices had gone up in France and the U.K. since my last visit….and I checked mother’s ‘basic shopping’ list iin the U.K., which rarely varies much.
    Last time it was costing her a bit over 25 quid…now between 35 and 40.

    Prices had a tremendous hike on Costa Rica about three years ago but have been stable since – despite the government’s idea of imposing a ‘luxury’ tax on aubergines….

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      • I’ll take a proper look when I next shop.
        I don’t use the upmarket supermarkets much unless desperate for chorizo so tend to use local shops and the brilliant veg markets.
        Oddly enough these don’t tend to figure in the expat chronicles….means mixing with the locals!

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        • Haha! Sounds like me going to the Roccy (Moroccan) shops in Gib or the local Spanish veg shops. You’re right, a lot of expats like using the supermarkets because they don’t have to ask for things in Spanish and can just buy nicely packaged plastic food that they pick off the shelf. So much easier eh? (and so much more expensive…)

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  2. Glad the off duty policeman is recovering, any idea of the reason behind the shooting?

    Jeez, you must have a photographic mind being able to remember all those prices. I’m just back from a supermarket trip, and thinking about a past post from EllaDee, was trying to memorise food prices, needless to say nothing logged into my brain cells ;-) apart from my recent Peroni purchase which was on offer at £5 for four 330cl bottles, saving 64p

    Where on earth in the UK was the ‘local’ drinking? I’ve just asked T (a regular visitor to the ale houses), cheapest is £1.99 a pint, most expensive is £3.30 a pint.

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    • Nothing about the shooting yet. As you know, very little about it and police had asked people not to speculate on social media. Yeah. And that will stop people?

      Yeah, great mind me :) I also have an iphone with those little yellow note things. I copied the veg prices from a couple of receipts, although I did remember some prices. Can’t remember what Peroni is – one pound something. I think I’ve only bought it normally on offer as San Mig is cheaper. And the tins are lighter to carry.

      I think he was in London somewhere. Says it all doesn’t it? Don’t know whether he was drinking lager or beer either. As I vaguely remember lager was always dearer in the UK. Cheap prices though – beats Gib. You can’t get much under three quid a pint here and some will be dearer.

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  3. Sorry to hear about the shooting. it looks like nowhere is exempt from violence.

    The Morrisons prices on Gib look very similar to our local Morrisons in Mid-Wales, which is why we buy as much of our veg as we can at Lidl, where it’s usually fresher and cheaper. Markets here in the UK aren’t known for being particularly cheap nowadays and are only once a week anyway, with fewer and fewer stalls to choose from.

    Your flower photos are wonderful to look at from cold, snowy Wales. :-)

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    • Yes, it was a shock to hear about the shooting, hope to hear more about it at some point and report on what was going on. But maybe we won’t get to hear, who knows? The Gib gossip circuit is speculating already, but much of that is misinformation so no point repeating that.

      That’s interesting regarding your Morrisons. The permanent gripe here is that in Gib we are charged over the odds on the alleged grounds of fuel costs to transport goods down here. I tend to only use Morrisons for organic produce and sometimes peas and beans in summer when the local shops don’t stock them (they use Spanish seasonal produce which is different ie fresh peas in January :D)

      When I was a kid working on the market back in the 70s, (my parents had a food stall), markets weren’t really known for being cheap, but rather good quality and fresh. I wrote a couple of posts about our stall.

      http://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/bacon/

      http://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/cheese/

      The flowers were lovely and had such a gorgeous scent. They lasted all week too. I was all for bringing them back to Gib!

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  4. Avacados are on sale about $1.00+. Lemons were on sale for 2 for $1.00. Navel oranges are $.90 this week, green onions $1.00 a bunch which seems high, tomato bunches over $1.00 a pound. Can’t wait for spring growing season – prices at the grocery store are going up weekly. We buy what is on sale, but some stuff like tomatoes and lettuce we just buy. Too much rain to grow anything – can’t wait for spring produce at the local farm and their little market. (miss my dad’s farm – he always had something growing and plenty to share)
    Love your header pix – looks yummy. Veggies sound good.
    Gib always sounds so safe -the strict law enforcement must be the key – with honest officers. (Here: a police chief of large metro investigated for stalking Ex…there were witnesses, but he’s not even gotten a slap on the wrist, in the same area multiple officers arrested for stealing drugs from dealers and selling those themselves “just for the thrill of it”…arrested, on bond, drug dealers out after agree to testify. Here the job is dangerous/pay low and those becoming officers not as qualified as in the past)
    Looks like your cut plants are responding to water. Maybe some will root. Good news is you have a handy gardener next door who knows stuff…bad news is his view of your garden is different from yours. Sigh. What can I say – had the same thing happen at out first house.
    Hope the weather is nice and you can get out for more adventures – and share!
    Paws to Pippa from Molly who is stuck in crate after taking big bite out of window sill….now must find glue or something…

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    • Wow! Are your veg cheap or what?? Although if you are talking pound prices and not kilos then maybe not. The onions are still cheap at $1.00 a bunch (had to look for the dollar key there as never use it). The peas were delicious, just perfect for the paella I was making. Might see if I can hunt some out here in Gib today.

      Gib normally is safe. Nothing like your part of the world. No idea about the level of honesty or corruption though. Guess nothing like you just wrote about.

      One of the pelargoniums had just started putting out rootlets, so I popped him in some soil and hope he will have taken on my return. The real benefit (apart from him watering for me in my absence) is that he knows what to do at the right time of year and my gardening is still rooted in British climate and seasons which are so very different. I can live with his helping :)

      Oh poor Molly. Pippa sends some treats her way instead of eating windowsills.

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      • Those were weekly sale prices. Our climate is mild and cost of living one of the lowest in the US (stuff is higher in mountain regions and the more you go north, the higher the cost of food) – which is one reason we are here – but the quality of life is a question..we are outside the actual metro area although it’s basically cities/neighborhoods all the way from the Galveston coast to Huntsville to the north…huge sprawl of people. But we are near the lake, bay, and coast, so there’s that…you just detach from the rest.
        Did a bit of bush trimming yesterday – sunny and 70. We have another 4-6 weeks of winter, but plants are already starting to wake up. Always hard to learn the plant preferences and rhythms in a new place!

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        • Still good prices though. Isn’t true everywhere – further north, more expensive, higher wages and higher cost of living. Swings and roundabouts.

          I can manage to best guess the flowers etc, it’s sowing the seeds at the right time that throws me. Still I’m getting there, more by guess than anything else :D

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  5. Wow, hope the policeman is OK. I guess it seems worse and closer to home when you have a small population in a small place. Not good.

    As for the price of fags then yes, as a smoker, I can confirm that they are indeed very expensive here. I don’t often buy the packet cigarettes any more. I buy packets of tobacco and roll my own as it works out around 40% cheaper. Failing that you can tell partner to buy brands like Lambert And Butler or Richmond which are currently ‘only’ £6.50 a packet (20) ;-) However they are bl**dy awful……

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    • The last I read about him, they were talking about bringing him back to Gib from Cadiz, so that was promising. It’s all been kept extremely quiet.

      Neither of us smoke. It was the guy on the bus who had been back! Sorry, my confusing sentence structure. The only reason I know anything about them here is because of the smuggling issue due to the seriously cheap prices. I mean they are cheaper in Spain than they are in the UK, but here they virtually give them away.

      I can’t remember what loose tobacco costs. I’ll have a look next time I’m down the town.

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  6. Fresh food, ‘real’ food, is definitely on the upswing. It is costly to eat well – and by well I mean again ‘real’ food and not the pre-packaged stuff. It really is too bad that the packaged barely food foodstuffs are so readily available and cheap – it sure doesn’t do much for North America’s obesity issues…

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    • You’ve certainly hit the nail on the head there. One of the issues we would talk about endlessly in the health service (UK) was how to get low income families to eat ‘real’ food when it was so much easier to buy packaged meals and fill kids up with carbs. And British people seem to have grown amazingly obese since I left the place if some of the tourists in Gib are anything to go by. I did look at an international chart once and was surprised how high Britain was on the rankings.

      A convenient life hey? But at what price? Your health? Not for me.

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  7. I don’t smoke but a friend does and she pays £7.65 for 20 Marlboro Red from Tesco. The wine prices in Gib look much higher than in Spain (I don’t know Montcadi but if its a low end Cava its not much cheaper than the price in the UK).

    I appreciate one is not paying VAT in Gib and probably paying less of one’s income in taxes, is there duty on wine. One rarely sees even an ordinary bottle of wine for less than £4 and my Spanish red plonk costs me £10.99 for 3 bottles sized box.

    I know one can’t go over the border to stock up as the amount you can bring into Gib is limited to a few litres. What is the price of red plonk in Morrisons, maybe A can have a look next time he is there, here its £4 to £4.50.

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    • That figures about the cigarettes, bears out what the Gibbo told A on the bus the other day. Montcadi is a low end cava, ie cheap, but quite honestly I can’t tell the difference between cheap and expensive so no point paying for the expensive ones which are invariably Freixenet, which I don’t much like. If I was going to buy expensive it would be Diamant Bleu as champagne of preference but years since I had that too.

      I don’t know about the duty on the wine. It doesn’t seem cheap which is a damn nuisance when spirits are and I don’t drink those :( You can buy dirt cheap wine, say a litre of Spanish red for a couple of quid. It’s quite drinkable for a couple of glasses :D but works well enough for cooking. For an everyday Rioja I quite like Cuné which is probably around three or four euros, and they do more upmarket (aka expensive) varieties. Which I haven’t tried. Don’t know what it costs here.

      As for income tax, that’s an interesting one. You can get allowances and go on the phased taxation, first level is 17%, followed by 30% and then 40% I think. Or you can go for a flat rate of 20% with no allowances. We go for the allowances (you get one as a first time buyer in Gib!!), there is an comparison on the govt web site so you can check which suits better, and the tax office staff in PAYE are pretty clued up too. What you can’t do, a bit like installing a water meter, is changing back once you have gone for the 20% option. It obviously works better for HNWs.

      A is useless at looking at red wine prices. I’ll have a look for you, except it will be a while before I go. If you give me a couple of names or examples, I’ll look at specifics. Don’t forget we also have an Eroski now, which has marginally cheaper prices, so if we go there again, I’ll have a look.

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  8. So many shootings going on all over the place, but the closer to home it gets, the more ‘personal’ it feels. We have something going on here in SJ [no shooting] that has the city reeling. In one way, I’d like to write about it, but then again … I’ll just wait, it’s too … ‘raw’.

    It’s funny about money/currencies .. after all these years I’ve been away, I still have to convert everything into Sw. Crowns if I want to get the real feel of how much a product is.

    A pack of smokes [25 ciggies] is $9.50 Canadian and US $ is about the same nowadays. Beer, I wouldn’t have a clue … alcohol is something of the past for me.

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    • I tend to only write about the big issues here in Gib, or the ones that I can find from official sources. I don’t feel like being targeted if I write inside gossip up in public :(

      I can live with both euros and pounds, like so many people, we cross the border regularly so it’s just a part of life.

      The only reason I know about the tobacco price is because it is such a hot issue here because they are so cheap. Looks like your cigarettes are around £6 ie three times the price of the Gib ones. I must get some exact prices on cigarettes, as I don’t smoke I only ever generalise, ie you can buy a carton of 200 for under £20 therefore cigarettes are less than two quid a pack (is how my maths goes).

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  9. Oh, this makes me laugh… how sometimes our lives go along similar storylines…
    Big news after we left TA was huge drug search apparently door to door… Drug busts in TA are not unusual but door to door is… and reports of visiting ‘hoodlums’ from another area but not a shooting [yet] – that would be quite disconcerting.
    And yes, on occasion, our neighbour doesn’t get the space we’re (well, I’m really) in and transgresses with good intentions… but I like how you made the best of it with the beautiful posies :)
    The meal you made [header photo] from the produce looks divine. And, the Spain produce and grocery items sound wonderful. We actually ended up with left over holiday money as we also lived very simply during our break. I noticed fresh produce prices were more expensive in the city last weekend than up the coast but whether that’s ‘seasonal’ or locational, I’m not sure.
    I paid 50c for avo’s from coast fresh produce markets which although they took 2 weeks to ripen were divine – $ 4.58 in the shops here… no way.
    Cigs, I think the G.O. pays $20 for a pack 40 JPS but he also sometimes smokes ‘rollies’ at approx $37 for tobacco…. which lasts twice as long or more but far too expensive habit for me, and he does try to cut back/quit.
    Decent wine here is approx $13 to $15 per bottle. You can buy cheaper but I wouldn’t drink it.
    A week just chilling out sounds wonderful, is wonderful. You will miss it, I’m sure.

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    • Weird about the drug bust. They do seize them here and look in some houses, but not usually the area we live in, within the city walls in a pretty established respectable part of town.

      I couldn’t see the flowers just getting chucked out when they are pretty and the combined smell of jasmine and roses was lovely.

      The meal was the start of paella. Green onions, peas, and some beans that came out of the freezer (gift from next doors on our last visit I think). I took a fair amount of money with us, but that was partly to pay a couple of bills, buy more tablets at the vet, and pay the tolls on the motorway. That accounted for more than half of our holiday money, and of the rest, I had some left too.

      The problem with waiting for avos to ripen is that I am too impatient and always, always end up cutting them up too early :( 50c is a good price eh? As for the tobacco!! That is unbelievable, and I thought the UK at £7.50 was expensive. Is that heavily taxed to put people off as a health measure? (health measure aka government revenue income stream).

      I tend to look for the special offers on the wine, ie buy decent at cheap price, eg six or eight quid reduced to four. Otherwise I pay around fourish. My Chablis days are long gone. So are the cheap wine boxes in Aus :( Used to pay four bucks for a box of decent chablis. A schooner was a dollar. When I was back in the UK, a friend with an Aussie wife went back and told me the price of the wine boxes, I nearly died, and that was only a couple of years later, there had been a real tax hike on the wine back then (late 80s).

      I really struggled to get my head around being back on Sunday!! Getting a bit back into it now. I think. Looking forward to the next break though, whenever it is. Just like you will be for your long weekend.

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      • Apparently the drug bust was part of the ‘annual eradication program’ accordingly to the local newspaper I eventually got to read online, targeting certain areas of NSW, which netted $580 mil of cannibus plants… I guess it’s only a drug bust though if they find drugs… but they did seem to know where to look…
        Correct, tobacco prices continually increase as a disincentive and the revenue goes straight into govt coffers and from there to whoknowswhere…
        I looked up cava, and I would like it… problem is the G.O. only very rarely drinks sparkling, but I will buy a bottle & split it with Mrs S. when she next visits :)
        There has also been continual increases in alcohol tax which in a country that has a considerable domestic wine industry is stupid…
        I haven’t had wine from a box for years… but that may change when we give up our day jobs and move…. At one early stage there were brands & varieties that were pretty drinkable but I think now there pretty terrible, so I will have to investigate.
        A good Chablis is a luxury item… cheapest I could find last I looked was imported & $33 a bottle at Dan Murphy’s which is usually cheapest place to buy.
        I think a schooner of ordinary Tooheys New is now $4.50 – $5.50, and at a Newtown pub I had a Peroni from the tap on the weekend which was $8.50… tall glass in between middy & schooner volume.
        50c avos are very cheap… I did the same with the first lot I bought in early December, got impatient & cut too early but persevered for 2 weeks with tthe second lot in a brown paper bag with a ripe which became mouldy banana.
        I will try to grab a few more on the weekend, now I know they will come good :)

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        • I see things haven’t changed, the north east coast is still cannabis haven or heaven ;)

          I don’t have an issue with governments saying tobacco is bad for health, but it’s pretty obvious to any brain dead person that they are basically hiking the taxes to fill the ever-depleting purse.

          I drink cava because it is cheap, dry and local. As I remember you have some decent Aussie sparkling wines, we can even buy them here, which seems stupid to me as it is hardly environmental shipping in Aus sparkle when Spain is just over the frontier.

          I actually did like the boxed wine I used to drink. I mean it was in my days of living in a hostal in King’s Cross and nearly everyone had a box of something in their room! Some had the dope too. The chablis was slightly dearer, but extremely drinkable. I tells ya.

          How come chablis is imported though now? It was always Aus when I bought it! Is this one of these name things? It was branded as Australian Chablis at the time.

          How funny. We used to drink Toohey’s New. I think I even worked there at one point in the canteen. That’s not much of an increase, interestingly.

          A Spanish lad we used to buy veg from told us the trick about wrapping avocados in paper to ripen them. I still can’t wait :D

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          • I think Chablis, along with Riesling became unfashionable… synonymous with chateau le cardboard, and maybe also a naming issue… but really it’s all about marketing mid-range wine.
            We were swamped with dodgy Chardonnay for ages because it was over-marketed worldwide. Now it’s the ubiquitous sauvignon-blanc which once was enjoyable but now after years of similar over-marketing is quite disgusting unless you go into the upper price range.
            I’m expecting Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris to go the same way… maybe then they will revert to a good Chablis for a while :)

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          • I’m not interested in whether it is fashionable, just drinkable suits me :)

            Years ago, though, wine was decent. Things change.

            I never did understand the whole Chardonnay thing. Still don’t really. Loathe sauvignon blanc and always have done.

            I do drink the Italian pinots at the moment.. mediocre but tolerable.

            A was fascinated about the Tooheys prices :D

            He now wants to know what the local skilled rate is in Sydney for a craft trade. In 79 it was 50$ a day. In 85 it was more than 400$ a week clear.

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          • I truly have no idea re trade rates but I imagine it woul dbe more than the ’85 figure which seems reasonably low but probably on par with my weekly take home at the time, which has now risen (but so have living costs :( The G.O. works in civil construction/earthworks and their hourly rates are vastly lower than they should be hence few new people are attracted to work in the industry… I think in a decade or so maybe the rates will improve simply due to undersupply. I work in the legal area which is usually competively paid but at the moment volume of work and hence remuneration are stagnant.
            I think an indicator of craft trade rates would be how in demand they are and if considered luxury vs necessity.
            Workwise in general, Sydney is quiet, especially in construction/civil/earthworks/building. There have been a few larger companies go under, which affects everyone below, and a lack of widespread new work due to financing becoming more difficult. Samesame everywhere I guess.

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          • Thanks for that, I’ll let him know. I may have got the figures wrong. Basically, he earned more than me for painting on the dockyard, when I was cutting sandwiches. A job I was offered in journalism offered less than cutting sandwiches for more hours. I didn’t take the job :D

            I did keep his wage slips for some time, as he actually left Vickers Cockatoo being owed some money, so I wrote to them. Never heard back and when they closed, I chucked the slips.

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  10. Well if I ever get to Gib, I know what the price of things are these days..
    The shooting irritates me.. entirely too much of that these days.. we all need to reevaluate ourselves.. (I’ll save that for another rant) ;-)

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    • I find it interesting to read what other people pay, and I have meant to do a comparison between Gib and Spain for ages, because daily produce ie food, is so much cheaper in Spain. Gib on the other hand is significantly cheaper for cigarettes and spirits which sadly doesn’t affect me. Fuel, which I should have included, is 30/40% dearer in Spain.

      Luckily there isn’t too much shooting here. Touch wood.

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  11. For high prices come to HK. 2 (large) Dutch tomatoes, HK$45 – close to 4 quid in City Super, Shatin. I cried the other day when I saw how much bread and milk cost. It’s basically a duopoly here. Bandits. Nobody shot in our town recently but plenty of burglaries. What is the world coming to? After a recent trip to Antarctica we are thinking that our stop off point of South Georgia looks good. Don’t know how much ciggies cost there as we don’t indulge in the weed. But a hectare of rat eradication costs £90. There’s not many people know that.

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    • Bet my mate Andy would know about the prices in South Georgia as the last we heard from him he was working down there (following a few seasons on the British base in Antarctica). HK sounds pretty much like Gib for prices, small place, competition – so up go the prices. The big complaint here is that Morrisons, a British supermarket chain, charges far more in Gib. Even allowiing for transport costs (frigi trucking the fresh food down) it’s still an excessive overcharge.

      Most of the crime here tends to be petty crime, and a lot of it is confined to the government housing estates. There’s plenty of drugs (where in the world isn’t there?), and smuggling of tobacco. But in spite of all that, we do consider we live in a safe society, hence the shooting in broad daylight being a bit of a shock. Thanks for the visit. I’ll be over to yours.

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  12. I have only seen a real gun once (other than in a museum) when I was in the USA. After evening meal we sat in a busy bar and were joined at our table by a couple from the reservation visiting town for a Sunday big night out. He was already drunk and his objective was clearly to become completely and thoroughly paralytic. As he became more inebriated he started to become a bit of a nuisance and the subject turned to firearms, ‘What sort of a gun have you got?’ he asked and we explained to him that we don’t generally carry six shooters in England (unless you live in Nottingham) and he seemed genuinely surprised, ‘I’ve got a gun!’ he proudly announced and drew back his buckskin jacket to reveal a colt 45 in a holster under his arm. The hairs on the back of my neck stiffened and I was all rendered completely speechless. It was all rather surreal and scary, we were sitting with an Indian warrior with a loaded pistol. I don’t know if he was supposed to be on the loose in town with a sidearm, I suspect not, because very shortly after this his wife bundled him away and out of the door and I was glad that he had gone!

    £5 a pint seems a bit high – are you sure he didn’t mean litre? Price of cigarettes doesn’t interest me – they can double it if they like!

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    • I remember that gun story! Not as good as mine walking calmly across the frontier when gunfire erupted though :D

      He was in London. That explains everything I think. Price of cigarettes interests me as it is part of Giblife and people smuggle. Not something I have ever bought in the last 50+ years apart from for my parents, and I won’t be starting now. Nasty smelly unhealthy things.

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  13. Ah, you always give us so much *food* for thought, RoughSeas. I agree–it sickens me that some people have such little regard for human life and that places we once thought of as safe havens are being slowly encroached upon. And then you moved to plant life—one of my favorite topics. I love the fragrance of jasmine and gardenias as well, and I also love to fill my home with them when they’re in bloom. As far as the cost of eating (and drinking) goes—I learned during my stay in Europe to buy small quantities of what we needed for a day or two, and in that way, I spend less and waste less. I do miss a good open market, though.

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    • Haha! I haven’t even done the food post yet ;) This was just the raw ingredients … Or maybe the appetiser?

      Aren’t gardenias beautiful? I can’t grow them though. One of my non-success stories. I have learned in life to stick to the gardening successes eg brassicas, salads, and now jasmine.

      In my pueblo, women still shop every day, I guess it’s a hangover from when there were no fridges/electricity. And even these days, in the height of summer food doesn’t stay fresh for long, so I tend to shop every day or two as well. Use up what is in the fridge (and out of the garden) and then go buy more.

      Markets have changed so much over the years. My veg shop in the pueblo is as good as I could ask for. It opened a couple of years ago, has a far greater range of produce, and local, than any other shop. And it is cheap. What more could you ask for? Plus, if I ask for something, she will hunt it down at the wholesale market for the next time I visit. For example, I asked about setas, she didn’t have them but said she would look for them if they were fresh enough. Next time I went, a new box of setas was in her cold counter display :)

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