Gibraltar summer hours

Gibraltar is embarking on the famous summer hours.

This is where everyone does even less work than normal – if that is possible – and clears off to the beach at lunchtime for the rest of the day. Or whatever they choose to do after they have put in an excessive four or five hours of graft.

I joke not. I went to one shop last week and the opening hours were 10-2.30pm. Given that they rarely open on time anyway, that makes it more like 10.30-2.30pm. Amazing. Just amazing.

More about Gib summer hours on a previous post.

In keeping with the inconsistency of Gib summer hours – each shop/office/business changes to summer hours on a different day and keeps different summer hours – I shall also be blogging inconsistently.

Apart from anything else my PSA for summer hours comes at the start of birthweek. Birthweek (or birthweekend depending on how it falls) is when my partner and I have birthdays on consecutive days. Most convenient, except that his comes first so there have been occasions when I have been somewhat under the weather due to celebrating his, and feeling too much the worse for wear to celebrate mine.

However with more than 50 years of age comes a little wisdom. And hopefully tomorrow will see me able to embark on some celebratory cleaning of the flat and paperwork, given that Birthday Partner has already been to the shops and washed up. Oh! Such an exciting life!

‘Would you like to go out to eat?’ I asked. Knowing the answer.

‘**** off.’ After 28 years together people do become predictable. Just as well though. If I thought he might have said yes, I wouldn’t have asked.

Perhaps I shall do some leek delicacy for him. After all he is Welsh so that would be appropriate.

While most of Gibraltar is winding down and tanning up (not me, sunbathing is not my thing, and if it is yours, I suggest you think again) the government and the political parties are going hell for tanned leather.

Due to the death of a government minister, Charles Bruzon, we have a by-election. Apparently this is a first in Gib. As I’m not sure whether we will be here or not, I thought I would go for postal voting. At the last election, there were hellish queues outside our polling station. And, it’s no good being in the queue before closing time, you need to be inside when they shut the doors or you don’t get to vote. Very strict, and at the last election, very well organised.

Off I went to Parliament House with my duly completed application forms. Only I could pick a day when there was a police officer outside refusing admittance because there was a government meeting.

‘Come back in ten minutes time, or fifteen, or at 3pm.’ Or whenever?

I went to the post office to look at the electoral register and fill in our numbers which seemed to be the only essential item on the form. I would have thought name and address for a postal vote would be quite important too. But who am I to say?

Then I visited the shop that only opens between 10-2.30pm in that narrow window of opportunidad when they grace customers with their presence.

After that I wandered slowly back to Parliament House. No copper outside. Buzzed the intercom. Got allowed inside. Wandered up the sumptuously carpeted staircase. I love decent carpets and rugs and this is luxurious staircase carpeting.

Once inside the office it was hectic. Half the world seemed to be applying for a postal vote. Or half of Gibraltar.

I handed in my forms. The ‘phone kept ringing. The intercom kept buzzing. I sat there patiently waiting for her to check my form. The big thing was our numbers, she was amazed I’d even filled them in, and promptly got out the register to check they were correct.

While I was sitting there patiently, a few other people came in. I was in no rush, and let them hand in their papers, moan, query, whatever.

One person said there should be an elevator, or maybe he said ascensorvater, nicely mixing his Spanish and English.

‘Oh,’ said the office person. ‘I don’t think so, we need to do some work in here.’

And she pointed to the walls I’d never noticed. Me, a decorator’s wife, and I’d never noticed the paintwork hanging off the top of the walls. I bit my tongue and didn’t ask if they were going to use a legitimate Gibraltar business with skilled qualified people. Not her job.

She asked when we would be leaving Gib and wrote it on the form. The postal ballot has to be in by the date of the election, 4 July. We received the forms a couple of days later. How efficient was that? We’ve already posted them back.

There are four candidates. Obviously a government one (Gib Socialist/Lib alliance), the main opposition – Gib Social Democrats, the PDP which is an offshoot of the GSD, and an independent candidate.

I looked up the manifestos as no-one has had the courtesy to send anything around. The GSLP/Lib candidate said he would continue with govt policies. Or something like that. The other three slagged off the government but didn’t say what they would do to improve things. We can all criticise, and I’m not hugely impressed with the current government, but I’m not sure they are totally to blame for the global economic problems. So who to vote for? Because the irony is, it will make no difference to the balance of power.

There are 17 members of Parliament. At the last election all ten candidates for the GSLP/Lib alliance won seats, with the other seven going to the GSD. So that’s a balance of power of 10:7. If the GSLP/Libs don’t get the seat, that makes it 9:8 to whatever opposition. Still a majority.

Last week I heard about a couple of Spaniards who had been disallowed a contract in Gib to work as labourers. The reason being that they don’t live in Gib, and there are Gibraltarians out of work who could do that work. So, if the government is even enforcing a tiny bit of their employment promise, that’s good enough for me.

On the other hand, time to crack down on the black market. We priced a job the other day for £190. That’s for painting two rooms, two coats of paint, different colours to ceilings and walls, plus two extra ceilings, and swapping some light fittings. It would have been a three day job at the minimum. Apparently not cheap enough.

Would you like me to divide three into 190 for you? Or possibly even four into 190? And yet we know people coming over the border, working illegally who charge £80 and £100 a day for cash.

Our neighbour deplores the use of illegal frontier workers, but promptly uses them on his own flat.

Gibraltar will probably never change. But it’s time the government, opposition ministers, and anyone in public life, started pulling their fingers out and putting their money where their mouth is. And use locally-based firms and Gibraltarian residents for work, whether on their own homes or government buildings. Rather than employing scab labour from across the frontier that only takes money out of Gib anyway.

Oddly enough, we got a letter from the GSLP/Libs this week saying how much they loved us and sadly they didn’t have our ‘phone number to contact us for meetings. Could we please update our details? Such nice timing eh?

After that rant, let’s finish with some foody piccies. (I could get freshly pressed yet?)

One, the verdad ensalada de Axarquía.

Essential ingredients, avocado, orange, and my home-grown organic radishes
Essential ingredients, avocado, orange, and my home-grown organic radishes

Two, a greedy person stealing the salad that I had made beforehand for our snack at the service station.

mmmmm, look at those chips
mmmmm, look at those chips

Three, some Indian patty things, courgettes, onions, flour and spices. Yum.

I didn't make enough of these
I didn’t make enough of these

And if anyone with access to UK TV is watching the Gib six part series on Channel Five on Tuesdays at 8pm I’d be interested to know what you think.

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61 comments on “Gibraltar summer hours

  1. Opening with an item unrelated to your post but, nonetheless, interesting. Here’s a British/Spanish/Newfoundland Labrador link that’s sort of interesting:
    http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2013-06-24/article-3290545/Red-Bay-named-world-heritage-site/1
    Now, on to pick away at bits of your post:
    1-Happy Birthdays. Yes we are all too bloody old to get giddy at the sight of birthday cake but it’s still pleasant to know we all made it through another interesting year. Especially when you to get to do it together. Milestones are milestones.
    2-I’m with you on the sunbathing. I’m a fair skinned (former) redhead and can’t handle the sun at all. My favourite place is behind my house, under the silver maple tree, completely sheltered from the sun (and with a good book) but I still burn there (and yes, it is completely out of the sun) unless I wear SPF 45+. Good thing we get so much fog–beneficial vapours they are indeed.
    3-It’s truly one of life’s great gifts that we are able to slack it back, at all levels, during the summer. It’s even warming up here. Yesterday I went to the top of signal hill. Atop that always-windy spot it was a lovely 26 C even though the wind was right off the Atlantic. Saw a pod of humpbacks too. Last night found me behind the house watching TV on the laptop until around 10. The temperature was 21 even then. The TV show was an engaging US/Canadian series called “The Killing” it’s based on a series originally shot in Denmark. http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-killing
    4-The verdad ensalada de Axarquía (I copy/pasted that bit) looks like something I would pay $$$ for :>)
    5-Lord save us! You could win, hands-down, any painting contract in NL at that price.
    All the best!

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    • I’ll check out your linky – and your Disco Day post too. Día de San Juan in Spain today.

      1 – Can’t remember the last cake I ate. We don’t do dessert, although as a kid we had a rather nice local bakery firm called Silvios that everyone used for cakes, they were seriously good.

      In fact, I’m cooking chips for him today !! Oven ready ones, the type I peel and stick in the oven as it is easier and tastier than frying them. Means I can faff around on here while they are cooking too.

      2 – I did sunbathe somewhat when young. Teenage, topless, in the garden. I’ve done it in Spain, but it was rather more lying on the beach between bouts of swimming in the sea than sunbathing per se. I’m fair with lots of moles, so the only tan I have these days is from walking around. Melanoma is not clever.

      3 – Slack it back? I like that. That suits me down to my slacked right off back ground. In fact your temps of 26C are not different to ours, actually higher as we are 21 now according to my Hal computer. It has been windy but it has died off. Today’s low temps are 19. Perhaps our Rocks are not dissimilar after all, well, at least in summer.

      4 – I’ve actually never seen it advertised out. But I swear it is the local salad! Who would think to combine orange, avocado and radish? A gourmet dish in the making for trendy restaurants?

      5 – We’ll be flying in shortly, complete with dog, two chickens, me, a tent, all trade papers blah blah. Do we need a permit? :D

      Thanks.

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    • It’s a sort of related mix. Or maybe unrelated. Depends how you read it.

      I tend to like a few food pix from time to time, even though I’m not a recipe blog.

      Thanks for commenting, I’m well overdue on yours, be over at some time in my summer hours.

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    • Impossible to tear away from tennis! I know that feeling too well.

      I’ll just watch another match, switch to BBC2, and what else and suddenly the day has gone. But if you do watch it, it would be interesting to hear what it says and your views.

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        • Thank you. Peeps move for lots of reasons. Partner likes sunshine (well, anyone coming from damp south Wales would) but it’s irrelevant to me, I’m merely an economic migrant. Sunny places tend to be cheaper, less money and all that.

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    • Thanks V. Mix of foods just for interest really. Local salad, motorway chips (!) and my salad, plus some attempt at a courgette kofta (which is seriously good). It was just flat instead of round :D

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  2. So glad you’ve done a new post. And happy birthdays to you and your partner. I had to smile as I read that you asked your partner if he wanted to go out to eat and of course he said no and that is what you expected anyway. Leek soup sounds good. I wondered if you grow any in your garden. I think leek is easy to grow as garlic. The dishes looked so good and I was wishing that I could eat potatoes. But anything in the nightshade family my body does not like. Sets arthritis into high gear.

    You had lots of patience to do all that you needed so that you could vote. Here in the the states the process might not be quite as involved but I’m not sure since I’ve never used that option. Just stood in long lines to vote and then voted what we call a straight ticket.

    About those summer hours. I detest daylight savings time here in the US. That extra hour of daylight seems to cause my “internal clock” to have fits of rebellion. It seems every state does the DST thing except Arizona but that might have changed this year or the last.

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    • Hello Anonymous. Y? I’ll guess from the writing style.

      Thank you for the greetings. It’s great having birthdays together. Much more fun.

      I used to do vichysoisse in summer but I’ve stuffed up the machine because I was doing olive paté and missed a stone, so no more anything like that for now. I was thinking leeks vinaigrette. I fail on onions, leeks, garlic, the lot. Not my green fingered touch. I am a greens person, ie brassicas and salad.

      Actually the postal voting is pretty easy, and easier than remembering to go on the day and queue up. It’s out of the way now. I have voted.

      Daylight saving, tell me. It drives me ballistic. I hate it. I spend seven months getting used to it, permanent jet-lag and then – phew, it goes back. I wrote about it a while ago, somewhere, some blog post :D

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  3. Well I can appreciate that you will attempt to uphold the spirit of summer hours by blogging less, you need to uphold some solidarity.
    My wife and I have the exact same birthday. Different year though.
    you have me thinking of heading to the beach now.

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    • I will try to comment though, sometimes I find reading and commenting more fun.
      Aren’t the birthday coincidences odd? One of the reasons that I couldn’t believe the date of his birthday when we first met was because my parents also had consecutive birthdays, and the same way around, his first, my mother’s the next day.

      Beach is ok for swimming. Or walking. Couldn’t spend all day there.

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  4. Happy Birthdays! (How convenient to have them close)
    I remember you talking about summer hours last summer – sometimes think you live in a sort of Wonderland – or Oz – or time warp.
    Actually glad you haven’t posted too much – I’ve been busy and feeling guilty about not keeping up – but it’s summer.
    These days I stay out of the sun, too. It used to be iodine mixed with baby oil and a full day in the sun and water surfing or sailing. Now even dog walks are with hat.
    Avacado and oranges – why haven’t I thought of that. Perfect for now. Thanks

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    • Thank you. Definitely a bizarreland. Maybe one of the reasons I like it in spite of the faults.

      Haha! Well, I don’t post daily anyway, I can’t keep up with daily posters, and usually end up checking out specific blogs from time to time (eg yours) and backtracking a few posts. Am also cutting down on the number of blogs I follow. Less distraction.

      I will confess to using olive oil in my teens. Good for the skin but not for protection although where I lived it wasn’t exactly scorching. You only have to look at one of my earlier posts where Partner is sitting on the beach with a T shirt and hat. A bit like the old Brit stereotype of wearing a knotted hanky on your head and a vest.

      We do the hat thing a lot though. It’s not just for skin, sunstroke causing dizziness/headache but also for eyesight. It’s strong here, just as it will be where you are. Silly to fry yourself like a sardine. Frightening to see all the Spaniards out on the beaches from early May getting that Must Have tan.

      Aguacates and oranges are perfect together. And the radishes add that piquancy. Or maybe a little rocket/aragula? Whatever. Happy to provide a little inspiration for those taste buds.

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  5. Was feeling like something was missing in Blogworld and then realised it was dry humour and wit mixed with a bit of politics and everyday living in Spain and Gib – ha, and there it came! Blogworld feels more aligned. Hope you both had happy Birthdays and survive the summer hours! I think it is bloody marvelous that the Gibs just shut shop over this time of the year, but must drive the locals nuts, never mind driving the local economy – nowhere! Makes me think of season here when the holiday makers arrive and stroll to the beach spread out right across the road, with big floppy hats so that can see diddly and loads of small children on all manner of bikes and push scooters and so on and then have the cheek to wave at me with gestures to slow down as I drive by at the normal speed limit, in a car, on the road, in my village, etc,,,etc,,,not the same actually, I realise as I write but still frustrating! Hope you having a good summer.

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    • Ha! That just about describes my blog posts, except rather flatteringly. Just a mix really, although it all makes sense to me.

      You commented last year about my summer hours as I remember. It’s just an oddity. But there again so is Gib. We have tourists for most of the year. If it’s not the ones from the cruise ships it’s the Spanish ones buying cheap perfume, chocolate, tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco smuggling goes on every day here. Also off topic :D

      Thank you for the good wishes and really our birthdays have become an excuse (do we need one?) to do less than normal. Which I confess to enjoying.

      As for summer, I keep to the back streets, in the shade, avoid the tourists, and wait for winter!

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  6. Did that quote include the materials? If it did it sounds very reasonable.
    Siestas and erratic opening times seems to me, as a Brit, to be something different about Europe and I hope it doesn’t get eroded away like so much else! It’s a bit like half day closing in the UK – that’s gone – what a shame! When I was a boy and visited my grandparents in London half day closing was on a Saturday and I always thought that rather odd!

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    • Summer hours would be ok if they started on an official day and everyone who did them kept loosely to the same hours. But they don’t. Half day closing was ok. A lot of places near us had either Tuesday or Wednesday. In fact Wednesday was half day at school too :) until I got to senior school where we had to stay all day. Such a shock to the system.

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  7. Firstly, by the time you read this it will be a happy belated birthday to A, and a happy birthday to you.
    Secondly, can I book you for some decorating, your quote seems extremely reasonable to me.
    Your food looks yummy as ever, those Indian patty things especially so.

    I watched the first program on Gib enthusiastically, but found it hung on subjects, not necessarily Gib related, someone’s wedding, holiday makers on the beaches etc.

    I’ve just watched last week’s on catch up.
    Folk mentioned, who’s names I managed to catch were:
    Dr Eric Shaw, who looks after the monkeys.
    Tony and Angie Watkins and their dive shop.
    Shane Athie diving instructor.

    There were articles on the airport radar being maintained, and how it bring out of action caused flight delays because of the Levanter.
    The Gib re-enactment society.
    The strongman competition being held there.
    And how the monkeys like the cruise ship tourists for the food they bring when they visit.

    Here’s a link to it in case you can watch it:
    Gibraltar Britain in the sun

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    • Thanks V.
      Do you want the woodchip stripping yet? :D
      The Indian things were wonderful, I should probably experiment with other veg but they work so well with courgettes. Must post the recipe.

      Can’t say I’d be interested in someone’s wedding – in the botanical gardens was it? Holiday makers on beaches are the same everywhere.

      Monkeys are interesting. But why the dive focus?
      The airport is interesting too. And re-enactment. But strongman comp?? They might as well mention the chess comp every year and various other boring comps.

      Naughty tourists should NOT be feeding the monkeys and very bad of the prog if they didn’t point out the fine.

      I’ll try the linky – ta.

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      • I had my doubts whether the link would let you view the program, never mind, I really don’t think you’re missing much, you’ve given far more insight into Gib than the program has.
        I’d love the woodchip chiselled of my wall, but I’m guessing there would be an extra nought on the end of your quote ;-)

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        • Funny isn’t it? Programme makers must start with a misconception, even the title and the blurb is misleading. That’s presumably why the slant is wrong and some of the comments on the website are so critical.

          Woodchip per room, £100 for a good price for us, £70 if desperate :D Assuming it wasn’t PVA-d it shouldn’t be that difficult to get off with steam stripper and bonum and/or scraper. Seeing as Shell and Deb are always moaning about it, they should get it stripped off it no time ;)

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          • Wedding in the first episode was at the Caleta Hotel, but the main focus was about the failings of the airport and diversions to Malaga. Anyone would think only about 10% of flights ever managed to land at Gibraltar watching the first 2 episodes.

            Not sure how many of the people on Catalan Bay were holidaymakers, more Gibbos enjoying their summer hours.

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          • Ta for that. Can’t work out the Caleta seeing as they don’t have on-line menus. Not a place I’d choose to get married anyway. But you know my views about weddings. There are some diversions – occasionally – however if you are stuck to cross the runway when a ‘plane lands it doesn’t feel like there are ever enough diversions! (I joke).

            Catalan isn’t really a holidaymaker’s beach. You don’t come to Gib for sunbathing anyway really. I’ve got a friend who goes down Eastern beach, others go down Western beach, and another likes Catalan because it is shady in the evening because it faces east. I’ve never beached/swum in Gib yet, probably because I like to swim in Spain, deep, big swell, and no rocks. I may get around to trying the sea off Gib but not western since La Linea nastily put a sewage outfall in that direction …

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  8. Episode 3 of Channel 5’s Gibraltar series is on tomorrow night. Mixed reviews from me so far. The first one for me was good, lots of shots of Catalan Bay and of the monkeys fleecing foreigners of snacks and ice cream. A friend of mine went diving in Gib about 15 years ago and there large as life was the dive guy he dived with. (From Vicky’s post it was Tony).

    Second one seemed to concentrate on Gib’s BAD weather. Why make a one hour program about the Levanter, the impression it gave was the Gib was covered by this thing for about 8 months of the year.

    I thought it was time for your summer hours post. Normal service resumes, what, October !!

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    • Vic’s review above yours, left me feeling that it wasn’t showing the most interesting aspects of Gib life. Balance of good and bad is ok, but trivia :( and a whole prog about the Levanter? No way. I like the Levanter anyway. You made me think of six progs I would make about Gib though, so for a later post.

      I’ve just looked out of the window, so although it is overcast it is not Levanter.

      I’m not sure I provide a normal service….

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  9. Happy birthday to you and A but not necessarily in that order. Is Spain in mourning for Rafa today? We were out at a Jethro Tull (actually Ian Anderson) last night, didn’t watch any tennis, woke up, saw the result and thought I was dreaming. Perhaps he was on Gib Summer Hours too. Mrs. Ha and I don’t have same or consecutive birthdays – we are 13 days apart, same year, and 6000 miles separated us. Such a small world. At your prices for work you would clean up in HK. Our ‘tame’ contractor is not the most expensive but his bills still make the eyes water. We use him because he is reliable, good and trustworthy. And Lulu likes him.

    Please send Indian Patty things – they look fabulous.

    Oh and stay away from melanoma. One of my very best friends has just (successfully) finished 3 rounds of surgery for melanoma. Took a huge chunk of his calf away and stapled the rest back together. Too much sport – especially I guess the skiing as he lives on the border of France & Switzerland. It is not to be taken lightly.

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    • Thank you. TV less here so not up on the tennis, much as I used to like it. When I saw Rafa I had to struggle to think as a couple of my Spanish neighbours are called Rafa and they came to mind first.

      No idea what the mileage is between Yks and S Wales, but a couple of yards down the corridor separated us when we met in the youth hostel in Sydney, however many thousands of miles that was from home. Indeed a small world. Also met someone there who had worked for the same newspaper company as me.

      Perhaps we should move to HK. But could we afford a property? Methinks not. Although we are extremely animal friendly and have worked with dogs, cats, free range budgies (ie they flew around the house) and really prefer the animals to their human companions.

      Indian patty things? You did read the caption? I didn’t make enough which = there are none left. And as I am out of courgette there are no more. But they are good.

      Sadly our horrific beauty culture glorifies that sexy golden tan. I didn’t deal much with melanoma when I worked in cancer services but since then I have heard some nasty stories about it, and I’m pretty careful and mostly clothed these days.

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      • Solution to not enough……. Make more. Probably too far for us to order a take away but how about you offer 4 free patties with every room renovated / decorated. A unique combination. Painting & Patties, Suppliers to the Gib Gentry since 19**.

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        • Thank you for that profound solution. Not one I would have worked out in a million years.

          If we had direct flights to HK the take away might be possible but given the delay via London I suspect that sadly you are right.

          People don’t want extras. They want cheap, and even then they want to stiff you. Anyway, that’s for another post …

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  10. Hey there,, I watched the show on catch up, and cannot judge it from real life but it was interesting, They were showing an airport with problems, a man trying to catch monkeys and record them, not very successful I might say…and the Strongest man competition which I have no doubt are not standard to Gib,, It was interesting but I did feel they were showing things going wrong rather than general life… I will however watch the show for tonight and give a further view. Thank you for this enlightening piece of info, will get back to you on the next episode… any way nice read and encouraged other than just a reading.. ;)

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    • Sounds bizarre. As I said to Blu, I decided to think up six of my own subjects for progs. The airport and the monkeys are part of daily life. Strongest man though? No. Thanks for watching and adding your view too. Look forward to you watching the next ep and letting me know.

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  11. Happy birthdays to you both… and I remembered pre-post as you line up with the G.O.’s which we also celebrated simply in part due to the very non-summery weather, but enjoyably.
    Gib summer hours and corresponding curtailment of normal activities makes perfect sense… enjoy because right now from my wintry POV it sounds wonderful.
    I’ve found postal voting to be very convenient but miss the usual accompanying fete and/activities that value add to the occasion when attending the local school in person to vote.
    I agree that your painting and decorating quote was very reasonable.. even if just for labour. The G.O. does such things for us but I expect it would be cost more in Australia, especially in the city. It would be interesting to see how the winning quoter’s work turns out – mostly you get what you pay for.
    I’m with the consensus – yum – your foody final touches sum up what I love about summer food – simple, light, tasty, local and seasonal :)

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    • I’d forgotten the GOs. Belated ones to him. But there again I am a few years older than you so have a slight excuse for memory lapse there.

      Ours were extremely simple too, involving, beer, cava, books, and food. There will be a mega book review coming up soon :D

      Summer hours are what they are. It’s not for everyone though which makes it somewhat unfair. When I wrote about it last year, Partner was still working from 8-5.30pm. Of all the work that should be doing summer hours in the hot weather you would think it would be construction.

      Activities at election time??!! Never heard of that.

      In terms of price they are. One of the hold-your-hand companies in Gib charges out at £32 an hour for a tradesperson. It’s the sort of firm that does your shopping, dry-cleaning, arranges cleaners, any work in the house etc. On one of A’s previous firms (shopfitting) they charged £35 an hour. We won’t find out. They might not even have the work done. There is an odd culture around here about employing people, I’ll write a post later with some anecdotes.

      Yeah the pix were all taken with a week or so of the post, ie one in Spain, one on the way back, and the other here in Gib. And a spot on description by you. Like you, I do try and use local produce as much as poss although that doesn’t work with organic veg sadly. Another ethical compromise. The food is pretty simple in my part of Spain, but it is based on locally available ingredients, and the village shop I uses largely stocks local veg, often freshly picked/cropped/harvested.

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  12. Love the eccentricity of Gib, but then I am not living there so easy for me to say. I live in a tourist town for outdoor recreational sports in both summer & winter. It is an irony I find that the locals, me included tend to roll up our sidewalks early. I always wonder what the folk from the BIG CITY of Portland thinks when trying to find a decent breakfast out after closing down one of our great craft micro brew pubs. (the one industry that stays open past 6pm)
    …ho-hum….
    But I am still convinced Spain is the addition my bucket list should receive to be revived.

    Happy Birthday to you ms. And wishing you and Partner both a year of tuneful days & harmonic nights
    ♪ ♫ ♪ ♥. ♥ ♪ ♫ ♪ Happy Birthday To You Happy Birthday to you Both!! ♪ ♫ ♪ ♥. ♥ ♪ ♫ ♪

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    • I like it too actually. It’s part of what makes it so unique. We’re not so much sports for tourists, but there is lots of sport here for locals. Tourists want to see monkeys, go up the Rock in the cable car, and buy cheap perfume/fags/spirits. It’s a nightmare when cruise ships are in as Main Street is virtually unnegotiable. I take the back streets, and Partner makes sure he is out first thing.

      Unlike you though, Gib sort of hums 24 hours a day. There may be a brief respite between 2 and 6am. Similar to Spain in a way. Spain is well worth a visit. In fact, Andalucía is worth a visit on its own for the big three – Córdoba, Granada, and Sevilla. Then there are the smaller places, Ronda, the white villages, the stunning national parks, the beautiful Atlantic beaches of the Costa de la Luz .. I could go on and on. Perhaps for a post eh?

      Thank you for the musical greeting. Much appreciated :)

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      • Hey ms. Hoping you had a fabulous birthday and was able to celebrate yours as well as Partners.
        Please do a post on Spain, I for one would love that.
        I have already copied your suggestions from this comment into my journal where my current bucket list is. Thank you.

        I am fortunate that I have been able to experience living in all kinds of populations.From a town of 304 (my family of 4 included) called Fall Creek here in Oregon which by all standards should be called a village. But we don’t use that term here. ( Sadly )
        I raised two daughter’s in this tiny hamlet below the Fall Creek Reservoir where my oldest daughter’s high school graduating class was all of 17 students. I lived on my 3.5 acre Christmas Tree farm with the creek running beside my property Heaven.

        I grew up in small rural area but have since lived in various sizes of communities. From tiny,small communities to downtown Seattle Washington on the west coast of the states has been a great adventure.
        Taking a country girl and putting her on the 14th floor of a high rise apartment downtown in one of the largest US cities was a hoot.
        Just a bit of a culture shock.

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        • Thank you, we had two lovely birthdays, just chilling out together and happy to reach another year. The week picked up some unexpected momentum after that, but that’s another story.

          I’ll try and write a Spanish post, I’ll see what photos I have to scan in. I think 304 would be a hamlet! Definitely sounds like a property heaven. Although having said that, I have always really been a city girl/woman. Probably comes of going to school from age 4 in a city. I love the countryside but my life has been city-based for work. I’ve lived briefly in the countryside, and it always feels like I should be going back to the real life in a city/town. I couldn’t do high-rise though. Too much vertigo.

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          • Anticipating that post ms, and photos too? Awesome.

            Another story, eh? Do I feel a little tension or apprehension? ( Don’t mind me). Hope it is or was nothing serious my friend.

            with all the ways you & mirror another being a city girl s not one of them. I grew up in a small rural community. Going “into town’ was a major production. When I lived in Seattle, the largest city to my name I have this sense is when i developed sever insomnia. I’d had issues before but not like after living where it never gets really dark & quiet I need both.

            The energy alone that you are no doubt looking for when you return from the countryside is exactly what I run away from….
            That being said though there were a few winters that I was unable to get home due to hazardous weather & road conditions. Sadly my company did not feel it was their responsibility or advantageous to provide lodging when I could not get home. For a few winters I was either snowed in at home, or in town at work.
            Who has more fun than us ms? ;-)

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          • I’m offline for the mo, so here’s an old post to keep you going:
            http://wp.me/p1XwsS-161

            The slide show has extra piccies in so worth a look.

            Just been a hectic couple of weeks but nothing I’ll probably write about.

            I’m a mix of city, town and village. In the (small) town I grew up in, we had lots of fields around us where I used to go and play, or walk around the village streets when I was older. I found a great website that I must post up about for where I used to live.

            In summer, we stayed in our caravan in a village and I played in fields around there too. Safe environment where kids wandered around wherever they wanted. But as I say, I was city-schooled.

            I’m not really good at insomnia, dark, quiet, noisy, light, I can sleep virtually everywhere and all day and night. I’m looking forward to getting the bus today and having a three hour snooze :)

            Yes, I do like the energy of a city, just as I like the quiet and calm of the countryside (except it isn’t always that). But I also like all types of weather. And most types of music ;) Maybe I just like variety?

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          • I hope your time away will be restorative and you can refuel ms.
            Thanks for the link. Next stop.

            Your versatility in all most all things it seems is one of the things I like about you.

            I am just not a person who will ever acclimate to big cities. I feel a great rush of vibrations from the large population and almost have to hold my breath till I get back into my comforts zone.

            My old stomping grounds ironically include a large field too. Behind my house was an old abandoned apple orchard and we made it ours. Love those memories.One day I will have to write about the old sofa we dragged in there.

            Because my life was always in the same field, the same kids I have known since age 5 .I have led somewhat a sheltered life.
            . I have always felt like I should ‘get out more’. heehee..Living vicariously through travels via the super highway of the Internet is an amazing way to meet new people and new cultures. I love the worlds it takes me into.
            Enjoy your time off. You’ll be missed. I look forward to your return ms. ~

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          • I find the noise and anonymity of cities strangely comforting. Just listened to the dustbin people emptying the street bins and saying ‘vamonos’. It’s a routine and it’s nice.

            My childhood home had an orchard but it was sold off so when I was there the only remains were a plum and a pear tree :( an orchard would have been better, so luxurious no?

            I’m here and there at the moment. Literally and virtually. I’m spreading my time between commenting and posting, so for now comments are coming first with posts as and when. Unpredictably.

            That also means that I may miss posts by friends, if so, I apologise now. It will be due to backlog and catch up. And life.

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          • I’m trying to comment on posts by regular commenters at the moment, but I’m trying to go round them one by one rather than keeping up to latest posts. I need some time out so that’s why comments are taking priority over my posts. Having said that, I have posted yesterday, and included some travel tips! seeing as I made a number of mistakes :D

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  13. The second prog I recently viewed, showed the annual boat race, of cardboard boats, quite fun.. more of the monkeys and trying capture one that needed surgery… and a quite a large part following the paramedics… all very interesting.. and one couple who were ill in the Spanish part but drove back to English part before calling emergency.. saying that the Spanish medical help is not as good.. I assume you watch as well,, but it does give me a better view to your home..Oh must not forget the re-enactment society and the opening of the child Olympics.. yes I must say quite interesting… :)

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    • Never seen the silly boat race. Prog does sound rather gimmicky. Monkeys yes, paramedics well ok, but aren’t they the same everywhere?

      Naughty Brits cheating on the system like that. Not sure whether it is better or worse. It’s not top level in Gib because we are too small, perhaps it was to do with language issues or just perceptions? Although we did have a neighbour who went for an eye op and they operated on the wrong one! But that sort of thing happens in the UK too.

      No TV here, which is why I have asked for comments about it.

      Re-enactment is good, I like watching them wander down the street past our flat to PRESENT! ARMS! and off they march.

      Sounds a bizaree mix though.

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  14. The idea of summer hours leaves me somewhat confused. How do businesses make enough money to stay open? Is there twice as many customers as during normal hours because people pack inside in order to get their shopping done before the stores close? How can government offices – which are supposed to serve the public – get away with closing more or less when they want?

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    • They probably don’t need to make money! They probably smuggle and/or money launder in their spare time. They live in government housing at minimal cost. Who knows? It’s only *some* businesses and *some* offices eg govt ones that don’t work many hours anyway …

      I think it’s just an excuse to go down the beach.

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        • I’m sure you’d get used to it. A bit like banks in Spain open 8.30-2pm. Many shops in Spain and Gib take a siesta anywhere between 1 and 5pm (not necessarily all those hours. Spain tends to be 2-5, but Gib can be any one or two hours out of that period. Depends on the shop. Many Spanish and Gib govt offices tend to be open mornings only. So in fact summer hours doesn’t make that much difference overall, they are still only open for half a day :D Gibbos don’t really like working anyway.

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  15. Happy birthdays! I came over to leave a link to a blog you might enjoy if you haven’t already found it. I read through the comments while I was here, and I am now wondering if I dare let you into a secret. Junior daughter is getting married again, the prospective in-laws live in the Mijas area and they thought they would have the wedding in Gib…can I now tell her that the Botanical Gardens are very “Nouveau”, and she would be much better off at the Register Office? It goes without saying that I have already told them not to bother at all…

    Oh,and before I forget: http://www.thekrakenwakes.org/

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    • Thanks Tot.

      Never seen the blog before. Makes me sound moderate ;)

      Isn’t one marriage enough for anyone? (sounds rather Oscar Wildeish that one).

      Bot Gds are rather pretty though, even in summer for some strange reason. Everyone gets married by the fish/turtle pond in The Dell under the bridge (loads of pix of that on here and on EveryPic blog).

      I am sure if I wanted a Romantic Wedding they would be perfect. But I would probably end up at the Register Office in Josh Hassan House.

      Thanks for the linky. Your memory must be better than mine. I would have forgotten by the end of the comment.

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  16. The Gib sounds a good place to be at. We live at the foot of the Gib here in Australia’s Bowral. We have a large kind of rocky outpost called The Gibraltar. that overlooks our town. I think a large tunnel goes through it in which mushrooms are grown. I have never been to the real Gib nor to Spain but have been to Malta. Sorry, but that is the only analogy my brain is capable of ferreting out.
    I know about those shopping hours having spent many months in Italy’s Naples waiting for a boat to arrive taking me back to Aussiland. It used to drive me insane.

    Thanks for your large reply to my piece on ‘Banana skin on the doorsteps of our lives’.

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    • Gib is a good place, if only because it is so quirky. We have a lot of tunnels in our Gib so yours is appropriately named. I didn’t know there was a Gib in Aus, but there again when I lived there I was in central Sydney, well hookers’ land really in Kings Cross until I moved up the street and upmarket to Potts Point.

      A boat to take you back to Aus would be good. The first time I went it was in the days when ‘planes were half empty and you could grab a row of seats on the middle aisle to go to sleep. The last time we returned it was chock full and we had the worst seat ever rammed against the toilet. Terrible.

      You’re welcome, it was an interesting post, largely because I so related to both your post and the comments by your readers. I am wondering if it is also an age thing? Do we become less consumerist as we grow older? Not necessarily. Is it inherent? Learned? Or what? I was always interested in the environment as a small child, OK so telling my father not to throw his fag packets out of the car and joining WWF may not save the world, but it was a start. I don’t know the answer but I do have three culprits: 1) Globalisation 2) American politics and 3) sheer human greed (and stupidity). And I can’t see any of those going away.

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