And it’s all go…

Or rather – all grow – in the garden.

Firstly, the white jasmine, pink jasmine, winter jasmine or jasmine polyanthum in the header photo. Called winter jasmine because it flowers in winter, and the other two refer to the colour of the jasmine. Unlike yellow jasmine, which is not called yellow jasmine, but yes, winter jasmine.

The jasmine is especially for Andrew in Hong Kong for whom I have provided an internet gardening consultancy service. While I may not have solved his problems, or his jasmine’s problems, I provide photos of mine just to prove that mine is rampant and more. Luckily it thrives on neglect. Less is more when gardening, I think.

I doubt my broad beans/habas would thrive on neglect but luckily José has been watering them, and we’ve had some rain over the past few weeks, so I got a nice harvest of two or three kilos, of which naturally some went over the wall to next doors.


My spinach/espinacas or acelgas/beet spinach whichever it is, is also producing a decent harvest.

Spinach, next to Easter cactus

I use the small leaves for salad and the larger ones in casserole.

Spinach leaves, fresh from the garden
Spinach leaves, fresh from the garden

For the past few weeks I’ve also had a small plant that decided to seed itself on the garden path which is on the side of the street. Amazingly no-one has taken the leaves. I did though on this week’s trip, in case they tempted anyone in future.

Spinach is one of my favourite plants. Apart from the fact that it is so versatile as a veg, it also happily settles itself anywhere. Here it is nesting with the aloe vera which is just coming into bloom. Another useful plant, although we don’t drink the juice, I do use the gel for cuts, grazes, and as a general skin emollient. And, for cat bites of course.

Aloe vera, and more spinach
Aloe vera, and more spinach

Wandering around town early one morning, we noticed some work generation going on. Because there is so much unemployment around, the local council tends to generate additional work for unemployed people. When their two years dole has run out they get three months work, and then can go back to signing their benefits.

Work generation although not much income generation
Work generation although not much income generation (not much work either given that two out of three are standing around)

As well as construction labourers, the other work tends to be gardening and cleaning the beach from Easter onwards. Hard work that one. They get dropped off at one point and then just work their way down the beach picking up rubbish. Sounds ok, but it isn’t much fun in 30 odd degrees of blazing sun walking eight kilometres on sand/pebbles and wearing protective clothing while holidaymakers are idling around in beachwear doing nothing.

And here we have a van catering for the English-speaking market. Or attempting to.

Spot the error
Spot the error

Meanwhile before I left Gib for Spain, I noticed the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, said he would never set foot in Gibraltar unless the Spanish flag was flying above the Rock.

It may have escaped García-Margallo’s notice, but I don’t think Gibraltarians have the slightest interest in whether or not he ever sets foot on the Rock. Quite frankly if he did, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was stoned. With rocks. From the Rock.

This beliigerent and aggressive ‘politician’ has rejected the previous Cordoba Agreement signed by the socialist government under Zapatero, and, stated before the United Nations that the only talks on sovereignty of Gibraltar will be between the UK and Spain. Thus pushing Gib’s nose right out of it. After all, what do the people who live here matter? That’s before we even get into the Treaty of Utrecht, which as you all know by now, was signed 300 years ago by Great Britain and Spain, and included Spain ceding Gib in perpetuity. Simple.

He has, of course, also bleated on about waters and air space and criticised the local mayor in La Linea, Gemma Araujo, (who happens to be socialist and not right-wing) of siding with Gibraltar. Well, it’s hardly surprising when the economy in La Linea is, like most of Spain, up shit creek. And without Gibraltar providing a paddle, or rather, jobs for Spaniards it would be a hell of a lot worse.

Note, García-Margallo wants to continue with co-operation between the UK and Spain, and Gibraltar and the Campo (ie the countryside area across the frontier in Spain). Well, he would, wouldn’t he? How to have your cake and eat it.

In fact, never mind García-Margallo, it would be helpful if a lot of other Spaniards stopped setting foot in Gibraltar every day to work here and take money out of Gib to spend in Spain while Gibraltarians are STILL unemployed. Maybe you should recommend that to them Señor? And provide jobs for them in Spain? Sí, Señor.

On a closely-related theme, the first news I looked for on returning to Gib was the result of the Falklands referendum. You know, those Malvinas that belong to Argentina.

It was hardly surprising that the Falkland Islanders wished to remain British. In fact, they even topped the Gibraltar referendum results with a massive 99.8% in favour of remaining British. The Gibraltar results were, in 1967 – 98.64, and in 2002, a slight decrease to 98.48%. Hardly a vote in favour of leaving the UK though, just like the Falklands result.

But what do we have next? Oh, yes, the new pope, Francis 1, pressing Argentina’s claim to the Falklands, well, that’s surprising isn’t it? seeing as the 76-year-old pensioner is Argentinian. Bet Kirchner was clapping her pretty little hands when he got in.

It strikes me as being excessively hypocritical that the major players on the world scene bleat on about self-determination and then totally ignore it. Both Spain and Argentina refer to the problem that needs solving and that there should be bi-lateral talks only, thereby negating the people concerned to less than nothing. There. Is. No. Problem. But does anyone do anything about their claims? Do they stuff. Not only are they allowed to whinge on about it, people, ie the UN and other countries (invariably with Spanish speaking and/or Catholic interests), actually give them credence. Why?

Fact Number One. These are British Overseas Territories.
Fact Number Two. The population of said overseas territories wish to remain British.
Fact Number Three. People do not wish to be either Spanish or Argentinian.

The only problem about Gibraltar and the Falklands is that Spain and Argentina want them and the people who live there don’t want to change.

I did wonder to myself, after reading about García-Margallo’s comment, why the Foreign Minister of Spain was dealing with Gibraltar. If Spain is so convinced it is theirs, surely it should be the portfolio of the Home Office? Or whatever the Spanish equivalent is. Perhaps the Spanish haven’t thought of that. Too busy allegedly accepting backhanders, quelling protest marches and refusing to pay people dole money.

Yes, that’s right. The word on the street today was (could be right, could be wrong) that a number of Brits who live in Spain, and have worked in Gib, and their contributions have been transferred to Spain, are not entitled to dole money because they are not Spanish and there isn’t enough money to pay everyone. Good one eh? Compare that with the good old UK where every immigrant under the sun seems to be able to get housing, benefit, and health care, although naturally I couldn’t because I have lived out of my own country for too long. In which I paid 40% tax rate.

Disclaimer: I have never claimed any benefits from Spain, nor has my partner. We have paid wealth tax, which was an illegal tax imposed on foreigners in Spain and has since been scrapped due to an EU ruling. It wasn’t much, a hundred euros a year, but still, I’ve not had it back.

The phrase ‘couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery’ comes to mind. In the case of the Spanish politicians (I’m talking both local and national here), they would accept a load of back-handers to fund the piss-up, sack all the staff, drink the brewery dry, before the guests arrive, and then lay claims to a neighbouring brewery on grounds of territorial integrity and shortage of beer in their own brewery.

However, while Spanish politicians are the scum of the earth, our local neighbours are lovely people.

Walking around the beach one day, we did the usual Hóla, buenos días, to anyone and everyone and acquired a new walking friend. In her dressing gown, naturally.

I say we, but I mean he, because as usual, being a woman I was superfluous. I amused myself by taking a few photos, while the two of them chatted happily together.

‘You speak very good Spanish, and understand very well,’ she said adoringly to Partner. I groaned. Until she told us she was ‘viuda’ and I could see Partner didn’t understand. ‘Widow,’ I said. Smugly. That was my sole contribution to the conversation. She still loved him to bits anyway, hell, it was only one word he didn’t know.

She was 83, and she’d been a widow for 16 years. Her husband had been killed in a car accident. She liked to get out and walk every morning and every afternoon. Partner and her had the usual Spanish conversation about if you don’t use your legs, they won’t work. ‘Exacto,’ she said.

Walking and talking in step
Walking and talking in step

Got to admire a woman of that age, walking out in her dressing-gown, doing a couple of miles twice a day, and not being afraid to speak to a foreigner. One of the many good things about Spain.

And another one, that I have learned to admire, is their capacity to make something out of nothing. Beach furniture outside a bar/hut/mini-chiringuito, made out of pallets and scrap timber.

Tables and benches to go
Tables and benches to go

To end up, yet more jasmine. After all, it only lasts for a few weeks a year, so might as well make the most of it.

Yet more jasmine
Yet more jasmine

54 comments on “And it’s all go…

  1. I felt my sinus twitching as soon as I saw your header. lol. Now I’m wondering if my issue with jasmine, and constant sneezing, is all in my mind after all. :-) No – lovely photos and interesting tale. thank you.


    • Funny my neighbour says it molests her, but it never bothers me and I manage to get an allergy/hay fever for most things. But jasmine not. Maybe the wonderful scent just knocks me out :D

      I don’t get sneezing from scented flowers, just seedy ones I guess, and usually when it is damp. Or something!


    • I don’t like politicians. That’s easy. Haven’t had chance to read around it yet, although the only other news item I noticed was about defence cuts, which I didn’t find very optimistic. Dare say I can write about that ..

      Here in Gib today it is beautiful, clear blue skies and sunshine after last week’s rain, but I’m a few hundred miles south of Madrid. Knowing Madrid, I’d guess it will be cold, dry and sunny. Pack a warm pullover and a jacket. If you want to look tough, take a pair of shorts. If you need an umbrella (unlikely) buy one. Buen viaje.


    • Actually I can smell it too. I thought my floor cleaner had suddenly developed a wonderful new smell, until I realised it was the few sprigs I had put in a glass in the dining room.

      I am sure you would be a fine neighbour, just water my garden and help us fit new windows and doors, but when it rains and your roof is off, we will help sort that out too, oh and paint your house for free. Horses for courses.


  2. Much to talk about in your post! I could open about how it’s snowed for the past two days here and is expected to do so again tomorrow. Not exactly a blizzard, mind you, but there’ll be no outdoor blooms here for a while yet! I’ll have to vicariously admire yours for now. And on to ‘others’ wanting what they do not have. Just off the coast of Newfoundland lie the Islands of Ste. Pierre and Miquelon. French soil. Yes. Rich fishing grounds–the Ste. Pierre Banks–surround them, hence, one supposes the motivation to maintain the French national claim. Or could it be the possibility of the fantastic oil and gas wealth that still lies undiscovered but highly expected in the nearby St. Lawrence basin. As is the case in Gibraltar the people who live on those islands, and on mine, would just wish that the national interests would just go away and let people get on with their lives.


    • Oh, you’ve reminded me, should have mentioned the temps, between 11 and 15 when we went for a walk.

      Ste Pierre and Miquelon are interesting (I have me a draft post on Treaty/ies of Utrecht in waiting). Portuguese, and then English/French ad infinitum. But aren’t they basically French these days? Language, traditions, Basque festival? Territorial integrity would lead to them being Canadian but if people are happy with their history and heritage, whose to say they shouldn’t remain French? I don’t know, you would know more than me on this one.


      • The status quo is okay for us all right now. The two French Islands are a bit of a tourist draw and, more importantly, a GREAT place to go and study the French language as it is spoken in Paris (as opposed to the way it is spoken in our own French-speaking provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick). If oil is found in the Laurentian sub-basin, I wonder what sort of a claim France will try to make though…


        • Just looked up one of my earlier posts about colonies in a reply to someone else, and noticed I mentioned them on there, as one of France’s many remaining overseas territories.

          I think the difference between SP and M, and FI and Gib is the claims disputing the current status. Although I do see France has a 200 mile exclusion limit around SP and M ….


          • That’s where we come full circle right back to the point you made in your post. All of us who live here do so in harmony. The other agents though–the oil companies and governments–they see it all differently. If there’s oil then the governments of both Canada and France will want to get ‘their bit’. Both have 200 mile jurisdictions…and they overlap. Combine that with the oil companies who will want to minimize the overall amount of state royalties they pay and the end result has the potential for being a fine bruhaha :>)


          • Money huh? And that wonderful black gold (Beverly Hillbillies comes to mind).

            I’m loving the idea of overlapping waters. Makes Gib trying to enforce a three mile limit laughable.


  3. I believe that, despite defence cuts, the garrison in The Falklands is about 3 times the size it was in 1982, Additionally the airport at Mount Pleasant has been extended so that 747 sized aircraft carrying troops and equipment can now land there, so they only need to hold on to the airport for 48 hours and the UK military presence can be significantly increased.


    • Is it? I’m not up on that. Cameron’s defence cuts aren’t exactly encouraging. I think the UK needs to stop sucking up to American and fighting its oil wars and look after its own empire. As was.

      Don’t think 747s can land in Gib though.

      If people wish to remain British, vote to remain so, I think it is appalling that other countries choose to ignore that, and persistently continue with their boring old territorial colonial and extreme claims from the past.


  4. As a grateful beneficiary of the gardening advisory service I shall feedback to you in due course whether the jazzy blooms or withers. You don’t do IT consultancy do you by any chance?

    It is also exceedingly good to see that none of your feistiness in matters territorial (and other) have been buffed off in the blogging hiatus. A pope who interferes in matters such as the Falklands is clearly a man of questionable priorities. I would have thought that child sexual abuse was fractionally more of an issue for his holiness but it seems not. I presume that if the Falklands had a cardinal he would have voted against an Argentinian pope in anticipation of rather more papal bull than usual. Alas I am not a man of a religious persuasion. I forget who it was said “I am very religious. I go the pub religiously every night”. If I were a drinker, which I am not, that would be my outlook too.

    What is missing in this blog is an insightful analysis of the Cyprus problem as the odds must have risen now that the Spaniards will all be worrying themselves shitless that the government of Greater Spain (including Gibralter) will try to confiscate 10% of their life savings to bail out the banks and politicians. Mattress banking will be back in fashion.

    Seeing partner out walking with an 83 year old is rather touching. Can she out run him?


    • Have to say, I thought your gardener’s suggestion of root-rot was a strong contender as my jazzy gets by on little water.

      Had I the time or the inclination the Span FM would have received my ire (or even my dies irae )
      before I departed, but other things of a more mundane nature took priority. But to continue with the religious theme, when has the church not interfered with the state? At one point I thought I was doing a religious degree and not a history one it was that dominated by Christianity.
      I remember that quote too :D except we find it cheaper, and the company more convivial to remain at home.

      Hey there is only so much I can do in one post, Mr Flippant Blog Posts. Most Spaniards don’t have any money and if they do, it will definitely be safe or mattress banking.

      She could probably out-run me. In fact, she legged it to catch up with us and then promptly slowed down once she had hooked him. Hence me faffing around with a few photos.


  5. Your veggies look wonderful, I smiled at the Easter cactus amongst the spinach, such contrast.
    I had to read the sign writing twice before I spotted the mistake, just shows letters don’t have to be in the correct order, a bit like those mixed up words that are circulating the net that we can all read.
    Very interesting about the new pope, I thought he was supposed to be a neutral leader of the catholic faith, preaching peace and harmony amongst all men. What a load of bullshit, that has just fuelled what I think we already know, which is religion is the biggest cause of most wars.
    Don’t get me on my soapbox about the UK’s benefits etc. My mum is looking temporary respite care, but because my parents, who worked all their life and did without luxuries to save for their retirement, she’ll end up having to fund it herself.
    I love the pic of A with his admirer, they look deep in conversation :-)


    • I am, she says modestly, most pleased with the beans. Runners worked well in the UK, although my peas did not.

      The signwriting did strike me straight away. Although normally I’m good at reading letters in the wrong order, I struggled with mansory!

      In my youth (ie history degree mentioned in above comment) I too thought religion was the cause of all wars. In old age, I consider it the excuse for a war.

      Now I am sorry to hear that about your mum. You try and fund yourself for your old age and WTF happens? You end up skint. Stupid UK system.

      I thought the body language of that pic was great. Said it all.


    • Mmm, think France may be behind a few others in the queue to raid personal accounts.

      Just glad I closed my Spanish bank account a lot of years ago (when they introduced charges without telling anyone).


        • The Spanish have always been able to raid the bank accounts (well, ever since we moved here). If I did have an account I’d use one of the savings banks, and keep a minimal amount in to pay bills like one of our Spanish friends does.

          After the British govt messed up my pension planning by changing the age limits, I wouldn’t put anything past any government. Apart from morals and ethics.


  6. I’m always worn out but much better informed when I get to the end of your posts, partly because reading the comments and nodding sagely is mandatory. And smelling the jasmine. We have some in our UK conservatory but it’ll be a few months yet.


    • Laughing at that. Mind you it took me a few hours to put this one together! It was going to be short (honest) with just a few photos, but I got distracted :D

      I’ve had to split it into a couple of posts anyway for later in the week. You have to read the comments (and nod) because people put a lot of time and thought into them. Probably more than I do with the actual post.

      I never grew jasmine in the UK. My parents had plumbago in our conservatory although nothing like the one I have grown here in Spain which is truly wonderful, covers Pippa with blue flowers and annoys the hell out of my husband, but I love it :)

      PS Always good to comment early and then there aren’t as many to read!


  7. The beans and spinach look like heaven. I’ll never forget the first (and only) time I had just-picked beans from a garden. We were having dinner with at a friend’s, who grew all her own veggies. I never knew that beans tasted like that — that they were supposed to taste like that. I should grow some beans….


    • We spontaneously invited a neighbour to eat with us (she was gabbing so much we couldn’t get rid of her and thought we would never eat so easier to ask her to dinner) and I pointed out it was spinach or some greens from the garden and some garden salad too. Was that OK? Oh yes, she said breezily. Not only was it ok, she had seconds!! Just as well I had done enough that it could be padded out for three greedy people.

      My UK runner beans were seriously good, I was most surprised. I never knew they tasted like that either. No idea why I grew them as I never really liked them. I only acquired a taste for broad beans here in Spain where they are pretty much a staple where we live, and even when not home-grown, pretty fresh. But there is something about picking something out of the garden and eating it the same day that is magical.


        • Runner beans are the flat ones, often scarlet runners (the beans inside are red, yes) in the UK, although just plain boring green in Spain.

          Check out the link to the paella page. Scroll down and there are broad beans with asparagus for the winter paella, and runner beans with peas for the spring paella.


          • Paella is great but it does improve with being started earlier which is why all the restaurants tend to start it early in the morning for a late afternoon lunch. I should really start it before I put breakfast on! Mail order is one option for scarlet runners I suppose. But, because there is such a climate difference between the UK (where I used mail order) and Andalucía, I prefer to try and use local seeds as I figure they are more appropriate for the environment.


  8. The smell of jasmine flowers is just wonderfully overwhelming.

    There’s a restaurant in Vancouver where the Chinese food isn’t stunning, surroundings are nouveau fusion. But they have some expensive awesome jasmine tea. It’s like drinking in flowering bush!


    • I’ve got it pretty much all year in the garden, as I have some summer jasmine too, which due to the odd winter this year is also still in bloom!

      We used to live near a Chinese that we visited occasionally. The food wasn’t bad, although as with most Chinese places it was pretty expensive and we only at the vegetarian options anyway. But the best bit – you’ve guessed already – was the tea at the end. I think they even did coffee, but whoever has coffee at a Chinese? I’ve no idea what sort of tea it was, just that the pot came with a few huge pieces of something in it. Ambrosia for all I know, because it really was divine.


      • Obviously there aren’t many Asian restaurants on Gibralter: It’s just your figure of speech to go to “a Chinese” and the fact that it’s expensive…suggests to me of scarcity of certain ingredients and ….perhaps, not many locals of Asian descent living there? (or more often, it’s lack of knowledge or infrequency of using Chinese cooking techniques. It is possible all one needs is a bottle of soy sauce and ginger root as presumably uncommon ingredients in your area-island. Seriously. It’s technique and how dishes are put together taste-wise.)

        Honestly, you wouldn’t hear people refer to “a Chinese”, just the adjective, for a restaurant in Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary…places where there are larger proportions of people with ancestors from the Far East. Probably on par with London or even more. We /they would say “a Chinese restaurant” or “Korean place”, etc.


        • The restaurant I was referring to was in the UK actually, and normally in the UK I’ve found Chinese places to be relatively expensive. Indeed you are right about it being a figure of speech that is prevalent in the UK, eg do you fancy an Indian, shall I pick up a Chinese, how about an Italian tonight, I feel like some Thai etc

          As for Gib, there are certainly a lot of Indians here, shopowners, restaurant owners, and one of our residents in the block is Indian, another neighbour is Filipino. Less far East than Indian sub-continent overall though. With restaurants, we do have Thai and Chinese as well as Indian and Pakistani. We also have Italian, Spanish, Moroccan and Argentinian, which isn’t a bad choice for a place of a couple of square miles and 30,000 people.

          Soy sauce is readily available here, as is ginger, both of which are regulars in my store cupboard/fridge. I tend to prefer tamari to shoyu, and organic when I can buy it. I also use miso. Because of the ethnic make-up of Gib, we can get pretty much most things, and our main supermarket branches out quite exotically, not that I buy mushrooms costing £30 a kilo, for example.

          My own preference is for Indian, Thai or Indonesian meals at home, but that’s mainly because they are hotter. So even when I cook Chinese style, I end up throwing in a few chillies. SE Asian meals suit me for the tofu, but Indonesian is great for tempeh, and Indian ones for veg and/or tofu curries.

          Gib isn’t an island by the way. We are stuck on the end of Spain, as a peninsula and connected by an isthmus.

          The percentage of far eastern populace in Toronto and Vancouver is quite staggering. In my time in the UK I lived in one area for many years that was 33% ethnic (ie Indian subcontinent) and had one of the highest deprivation levels in the UK. Where I went to university had the first black and chinese immigrant communities in England, and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. London is the only place in the UK where white British are in a minority. The number of Chinese there is tiny, and far exceeded by Indian sub-continent residents and blacks (ie Afro-Caribbean).


  9. I wish I could make a pithy and enlightened response to the world politics content of your post but sadly any pith and enlightenment comes from reading your take on it, which makes perfect sense to me. I have cabin fever at the moment from being stuck in the office, the apartment and the neighbourhood so even thinking about the sunkissed fragrance of jasmine and considering your home grown veges is a feast for my senses. La dolce vita exists… somewhere. I laughed at the story of A and his other walking companion. Exactly the same scenario would occur if it were the G.O. and me :)


    • As I’m stuck in the middle of it, it’s fairly easy to come out with a few sarcastic comments about the whole situation. A quick soundbite here and there, so appropriate for today’s here today and gone tomorrow society.

      I was sooooo pleased with the veg, and the jasmine pix were really just to show off to Andrew in Hong Kong. La vida dulce eh?

      That’s the trouble with having a friendly, good-looking man, all the women want to talk to him. But hey, who cares. He’s not going anywhere ;)


  10. Thanks for the feel of summer, let alone spring, in your photos. I write this from a snow-covered Wales on the day before the official beginning of spring!

    i don’t think ancient treaties cut any ice with modern politicians unless it suits their electoral chances, which in the case of Spain and Argentina means not at all.


    • Glorious sunshine here in Gib today too. Totally clear blue skies, although I do like variety in my weather. Ah yes, spring tomorrow. Often the coldest part of the year!

      Very succinctly – and accurately – put. The irony is that most Spanish people don’t give two hoots about Gib (no idea about Argentinians), like most of us, they are concerned with enough money coming in to feed, clothe and home them.


  11. Ah, clear day now that the front has moved through -mild again – but loaded with pine and oak pollen so your skin feels gritty. Dog snoozing on patio with nose to the wind. I want to maybe go to the beach and walk around later.
    Jasmine is blooming like crazy here, too. We’ve got quite a bit of aloe growing – the winter’s been mild so it didn’t have to get hauled into the garage. I’m envious you are able to grow veggies in pots…when I try, they look pitiful and sad.
    The constant tug of war over the Falklands and Gib is baffling. Done to deflect attention of public from other matters in Argentina and Spain? When they chose this pope, I thought about the Falklands.
    Loved the paragraph: “It may have escaped García-Margallo’s notice, but ……”
    Those Gib “work crews” look about like ours: 6 people – one holding a caution flag, on doing something slowly and the others standing around.
    Get pretty tired of govs. thinking of ways to take money away from people …know I’ll never see a penny of it back. Sounds like you have to deal with the same – and more with multiple governments
    But being able to be old and walk down the beach and comfortable enough to talk with strangers – that’s pretty nice


    • Don’t think we have got pollen kicking around here yet, although it does come on big time in a month or so and everyone talks about nothing but allergía. Our temps must be milder than yours then because everything just stays outside in the winter. I like aloe, I love the structured sculptured shape, and the flower just emphasises it. Plus it is useful, and I like useful plants.
      I don’t think veggies in pots are easy. I am surprised the beans worked so well. But it is encouraging that they did. My neighbour grew some onions, or tried to, and they were tiny (he put too many in the pot basically), so he ripped them all out and gave me at least half of them because he wanted the pots for more flowers! They are pretty much like spring onions (do you call them scalliions or something?)
      As for García-Margallo, it was an odd comment to make. Like who really cares whether or not he, or any other member of the Spanish government turns up in Gib? It was as though we were all patiently waiting for a regal visit from him, and I assure you we are not.
      Spain and Argentina are tedious. What they are proposing is messing with people’s lives. People don’t want their lives to be messed with. They are happy with the status quo. Fair enough if Gib and the Falklands had some let’s become Spanish or Argentinian movements that were actively supported by a majority of the population. But they don’t. And the majority of Spaniards aren’t bothered either. So it’s a waste of a smoke screen.
      It’s a Spanish work crew, although Gib ones can often be the same… But spot on analysis, one working (the youngest one interestingly) and the other two gassing to a mate.
      Nothing wrong with the old mattress or the safe after all is there? I actually don’t mind fair and reasonable taxes. I do mind the general population paying for incompetence on the part of governments.
      Did you mean we are old or our new walking companion? :D Either way, yes, it was nice she felt comfortable walking and talking with us at her age.


  12. i am so not getting notification of your new posts so i have come looking. love the jasmine. your spinach looks like the swiss chard in my mom’s garden. it grows here through most of the winter as well if there isn’t too much frost.
    mansory? my dad was a masonry contractor for many years – that typo leaped off the screen right at me. :) reminds me a bit of some of the signage here in certain parts of town. even the names of some of the businesses sometimes just make me smile, even when they don’t necessarily have a typo: Plenty Bright Enterprises Ltd and Seven Happiness Restaurant come to mind.


      • I’m hoping they will reshoot after I cut some back this time so I get a second crop out of them. It’s prime growing season here at the moment. (When I say here, I mean Spain as there is no space to grow anything in Gib).


    • Have you tried follow and unfollow? I’ve done that a couple of times with yours and others. Although yours are always erratic! so I tend to go looking after a while too (with most people actually). Yes, I think it is Swiss chard/spinach beet, because when it grows big it has the thick stalks, although when it is a baby, it looks more spinachy. Anyway, it grows easily, self seeds so therefore it is A Good Plant.

      I wondered whether it was the mansory contractor or the signwriter that got it wrong. Not much point doing it in English anyway, people speak Spanish know to look for an albanil, and if they don’t speak Spanish they would probably go for an English (or German/Scandinavian) tradesperson anyway who would be likely to have pretty fluent English.

      What quaint names.


  13. Have to agree with Jo, about being worn out by the time we get to the end of your enlightening posts and scroll through the comments :-)
    I love the distinctly different fragrance of the red stemmed Jasmine (grows in July/August around here, so I don’t know if the winter jasmine term applies).
    Your commentary on Gib and FI is a revelation, I had never paid much thought to self determination. That should be the way to go with all disputed territory, including Kashmir….but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.


    • I can only answer for the original post, not the comments! I do write shorter posts from time to time, although they never get as many comments :D More to discuss on the longer ones I guess.

      Yes, although they smell similar, the scent is different. And just a few sprigs of the delicate winter jasmine (or pink or white or poly whatsit) fill the house with the fragrance.

      Gib and FI are interesting. I thought about Kashmir when I was reading Bhutto’s autobiography:
      (A very Indian and Pakistan-based post which you may not have seen given Reader’s infidelities)

      The other one that springs to mind is Northern Ireland of course. And like Kashmir, – nearby Tibet.

      What gripes me is very clear evidence that people prefer the status quo and governments STILL want to change and meddle for no apparent reason. Very frustrating.


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