Thought there couldn’t be any more? Wrong.

No construction materials imported into Gib. Guardia Civil diving in Brit/Gib waters. Gib government trying to reach agreement on letting Spaniards fish in Gib waters. What’s going on now?

Lazy Wed Ann Day/Weekend. Except the intrepid Gib News Sleuth-Hound has yet more to report.

Sand trucks are not being allowed into Gib. This is allegedly because Gib is buying sand from a firm that has been stripping Tarifa dunes illegally. Hey, Gib is buying from Spain, funding their crap economy.

That’s an official news story courtesy of GBC. The construction site news is that neither bricks nor gravel/stone chippings to make concrete (hormigón) are being allowed in either.

This is about the East Side development which Spain doesn’t like. And all the other construction work in Gib. This keeps Spaniards employed. How many on Partner’s site are Spanish? The majority. They live in Spain and cross the frontier every day. If the firm can’t get materials they will have to lay these people off. How stupid is that?

Meanwhile, Gemma Araujo (mayor of La Linea) has told Madrid she wants compensation for loss of income for La Linea because Gibbos are no longer spending their money there. Well, they wouldn’t would they? Sit in queues for 3-6 hours and/or get your car fire-bombed.

What else is in the news? It’s all happening here in Gib.

Oh yes, the Guardia Civil decided to have a dive around the concrete blocks. This represents an incursion into our waters.

The Convent has pointed out the reef, which it calls the North/West Artificial Reef System, was created by the Gibraltar Government in compliance with EU Legislation and International Conventions. 

The Governor says the act of diving itself constitutes a serious violation of British Sovereignty but that the apparent interference with the Reef is a new and worrying aspect.  Sir Adrian Johns says this is a blatant attempt to exercise jurisdiction inside British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and, in the light of the conciliatory position taken by the Gibraltar Government, a particularly unhelpful development at a time when all parties should be seeking to ease the current tensions. 

The Convent says the incident was reported immediately to London and Madrid.

For some reason that I haven’t worked out, the Gib Gov is going softly softly on the fishing dispute and seems to think it is a good idea to let the Spaniards fish our waters. What is so special about the waters around Gib? Give an inch and they take three miles, including sending in GC divers.

My Spanish reader added another comment to the earlier post and I thought some of his comments were interesting:

I don´t know who is right or wrong, I mean, the people in Gibraltar demanding independence, territorial waters and anything or the Spanish government demanding a change in the situation. I think that the tax, or toll as you named it, would be totally unfair. But it is my personal view and my knowledge of the Gibraltar matter is poor.

Gibraltarians are not demanding independence. I think we need to be clear about that. Gib is perfectly happy with the current status where it governs itself but is linked to Britain as part of the sovereign realm. The only one who wants change is Spain. (As it has done for the last 309 years just in case anyone has missed that point).

People living there have got some feelings that the Spanish living far away from the Rock may not understand. Believe it or not, some Spaniards would be happy if a good relationship with the Gibraltarians goes on. Some people here assume well the fact that you have some rights in there. Consider, nevertheless, that some Spanish might dislike giving up to a part of the physical country in the Península.

I think distance does make a difference. The relationship between Gibraltar, the cross border workers, and the campo de Gibraltar is only something that people locally understand. Some rights? I think we have a lot of rights. This is so NOT the territorial integrity discussion again. Does Spain want Portugal too?

Meanwhile, as my commenters clearly like to be controversial, I’ll post up an exchange I had with a British reader:

However, did Gibraltar tell Spain that it was planning to build the reef? If not it seems rather confrontational, after all, if I was going to do some home improvements that might affect my neighbour then I think I would have the good manners to discuss it with them first! Just a thought!

• That’s a good analogy. Let’s continue it. You allow your neighbours to visit your garden to pick crops and flowers. They’ve already stripped their garden bare, and those of a few other neighbours. (qv Maurice’s quote re fishing in Newfoundland) In fact one member of the family next-door readily admits that they have trashed their own garden so they need to go elsewhere to deplete others.
• Being a nice person, you have agreed for them to take what they want, making sure they respect the integrity of the plants. But they don’t. They just rip them out, leaving you with no successional crops or flowers.
• You decide to build a polytunnel. They aren’t happy with that. They threaten to destroy it. Instead they come and have a peaceful protest in your garden. You ask some neighbours in to monitor the demonstration and it nearly comes to blows.
• Your neighbours tell you your house isn’t legal, neither is your garden. They apply to the local council for your garden, and one of the councillors is a member of their family so the council rules in favour of them getting your garden.
• It doesn’t matter that you and Kim want to stay in your house, and that you have had it for donkey’s years. Your neighbours want it – for free, I might add. They want to kick you out on the streets.
• Their cousins want your other house – shall we call that one the Falklands?
• Shall I go on? You want to put some compost/turf/doesn’t really matter what, down in your garden for a new project as you still maintain the garden is yours. The neighbours blockade your garden and won’t let the delivery truck in because they say you have bought it illegally from some dodgy person up the street (refers to some sand trucks not being allowed into Gib).
• It’s not actually anything to do with the alleged illegality, it’s because your neighbours don’t want you to carry out the new project in your/their garden. (Refers to a development on Gib’s East Side).
• Let’s go back to the garden. Your neighbours won’t let you in and out of your house. Once you get out of the door, they won’t let you back in and you have to stand there for six hours. Same happens when you finally escape and want to return. It’s summer and it’s hot (OK maybe not in the UK). You are in full sun, while they are in the shade under a parasol with bottles of water.
• It doesn’t matter whether you agree to not build a polytunnel, not returf the lawn, let them take all the crops they want, They. Stll. Want. Your. House. They will do whatever they can to make your life miserable.

Oh and Spain has something like 130 artificial reefs kicking around.

With which I shall clear off to enjoy my rather limp Wed Ann weekend/bank hol. Catch you on the flip side. Hopefully not flipping the ankle again.

Sources: GBC and Partner on the construction site

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58 comments on “Thought there couldn’t be any more? Wrong.

  1. -My goodness your commenters clearly do not really know the history and do not know what is fair and square. All this sounds like a nightmare and if push comes to shove could this lead to war? Heaven forbid the mention of such. Clearly Spain would not win but maybe the nut cases think they have it over the Great Britain and think GB is just a minnie mouse.

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    • Y, I owe you a mail, apologies for the delay. And I am going to be offlline for a few days so it may be next week before I reply.

      Arguing with me about history (ancient and medieval history grad and feeling very ancient these days) is not the best idea in the world.

      I doubt it. Although Spain made the first European invasion since WW2 some years back when they invaded Luta/Perejil (island off Morocco disputed territory).

      Gibbos and all who live here are resilient. We would sit out a border closure. Morocco and Portugal are our allies, or were before. A lot of people are disappointed with the ‘diplomacy’ and would like to see firmer action.

      On more important matters we are looking at rehoming a new dog, but don’t know when yet. Hoping to write a post about it soon when Gib news stops happening.

      Have a good weekend :)

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  2. This is one of those times when people need to watch what’s ahead. The cat and mouse game at the border does not serve any citizen, regardless of how it may further the cause of ONE of the governments.
    Which brings me to the point.
    It’s a matter of opinion, I know, but in one view (mine) governments are instruments of ‘the people’ and, as such, need to be answerable to those to whom they serve. The end game here should be a better society. Richer, fairer and (using a term that really needs definition, but what the frig) happier.
    Right now, as I see it, the situation is reversed with the needs of the people being subservient to some so-called ‘greater good’ which obviously is not.
    It’s apparent to me (and how far away am I?) that your part of the world is in for a rough ride. This is a bad business and will not be solved until difficult choices are made by the parties who need to make them. Tough times are ahead and you and your fellow citizens had better be prepared to stick to your principles as they will continue to be tested by a body that clearly has some other goal ahead of it.

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    • In this case people are just pawns. Disposable items. If it was a war zone we would be collateral damage.

      While the EU has come down in favour of Gib/UK regarding queues/border tax, the EU also gets in our way. Given the Spanish stance atm, I think both Gib and Uk should be equally firm and resolute instead of trying to be nice. Who knows?

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    • I think PP stands for pedantic person. I think I am following convention when reporting about news issues by referring to the government by the country’s name.

      But sadly they do represent the majority in the last election. Half the spaniards we know who work in Gib claim they don’t vote. If only I could vote in Spain …

      So what say do you get? because I’ve never had a say despite everything I have spent in Spain, taxes and living and bills and a house and a coche and ….

      I even paid the illegal wealth tax!

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  3. I just wanted to say thanks for your posts on the situation down there. It’s great to have your on-the-spot info and insights. Personally I can’t help but wonder if Rajoy is keen to keep the situation ramped up to deflect attention from the whole Bárcenas and corruption scandals.

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    • Thanks for that. What’s the odd spot of corruption, appalling unemployment rate compared with sabre rattling at Gib? Why tackle the difficult problems when there is an easy target on the doorstep? If Rajoy got remotely near recovering Gib all that wd be forgotten.

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  4. I do not know the history, but I enjoy your read, and how you put the points across. But I am British and on the side of them. After all it is now us the british that is assisting in the lending of money to bale out countries ,, and Spain is part of it. not the point, our land our laws and our people, leave be. :)

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    • The history is simple. Home to Neanderthals, not much else until taken by Moors c 7th century, spaniards took it briefly 13/14 century. Moors took it back. Spaniards took it again late 15 century for 200 or so years. English took it in 1704 and Spain ceded it in perpetuity in 1713 by Treaty of Utrecht.

      The devil, as ever, is in the detail. But that’s it in a nutshell. I may have some dates wrong as I’m going off top of head – no books or Internet to hand.

      Those are the salient facts. There is more detail on here about the history. No idea which post!

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  5. Interesting perspective. You are doing a great job for an equal and fair society. We will be criticized but what matters is our unflinching belief in greater good over greater evil as Kant underlined.
    Cheerz

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    • I am putting forward a biased perspective and I freely admit that.

      But it should also be said that I am not ignorant of the Spanish (ie person in the street not politicos) perspective. I am replying from Spain where I also live. We have Spanish friends and colleagues who work in Gib. But the current situation serves no one apart from self seeking politicians.

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  6. I’m curious about this sort of politics. Is it diversionary. The Spanish government appears to have stepped up rattling the Gib situation to take the emphasis off its other issues. It’s a tactic that has been employed by others before with disastrous consequences. You are living in what the ancient Chinese saying refers to as “interesting times”. Your posts give it an immediacy the media doesn’t.
    We’re also celebrating an anniversary weekend, although not wedding. The G.O. took a 2 day weekend in honour of the occasion but that’s it, we’ve just spent it quietly, enjoying the time we don’t usually have. I also gave my ankle a nasty turn on uneven footpath yesterday, thought of you and was glad it didn’t turn out worse.

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    • Hope you had a lovely Ann. Ours was pretty muted given my immobility. Glad your ankle not as bad as mine. Still fat and swollen but walking is easier. Not sure if I shd ask for the disabled ramp on the bus though.

      Silly politics. So unnecessary. What is it achieving? When the Brit PM turns up in Gib on National Day to say there will be no sovereignty talks, why font they just shut up and worry about corruption and unemployment. Oh wait. That’s too difficult.

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  7. I think all the politicians involved (well from Spain and the UK at any rate) are being disingenuous as to their motivations.

    Spain has a right wing nationalist government, their plans for the economy don’t seem to be taking off very well. Their party supporters are also nationalists, so they are playing the Gibraltar nationalist card to divert attention from the woes on the home front.

    In the UK David Cameron has issues with the European Union and has opposition from a party even further to the right than his own (namely UK Independence Party). He wants to look tough on Europe, this gives him an opportunity to be tough on Spain.

    Furthermore in the UK, the leader of the main opposition party is rumoured to be saying privately that Gibraltar is full of crooks (I believe he may be alluding to those wonderfully upright citizens involved in the International Gaming Industry) and tax evaders and he’d give it over to Spain at the first opportunity.

    If Labour win power in 2015 and the PP win the next Spanish election when ever that might be, I can see Gibraltar being run by the Spanish by 2020

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    • I hope there is a safe haven for some macaques in case spaniards try and get rid of them (gib will always be British with the apes still there etc)

      I think UK has to respond to Spain. They are pushing it too far. If it suits Cameron fine by me. At least he came to Gib yesterday.

      As for The Opp Party, they were the bastards who tried to sell Gib down the river earlier this century with the help of that shithead Caruana. Vote Tory in UK and Socialist in Gib!!

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      • Welcome back to the land of the living, hope the ankle is much better by now. Did you see Mr Petcher has been putting in his 2p about Gibraltar.

        I think it was Blair, Straw and Aznar who were the main villians of the peace; the dual sovereign negotiations were in return for Aznar sending troops to Iraq.

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        • Yes. But Mr P knows more about Gib (Ceuta, Melilla, Perejil etc) than us put together.

          I thought Hain was involved too. Or was he doing the dirty with the FIs ? Much of a muchness

          Didn’t realise the reason for the deal. Aznar was a wanker anyway. At least Zap had the balls to pull out when he got in and didn’t play the US axis.

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  8. Gritty issues. You are right that the people living close could/do work it out fine if the larger/more distant people/government weren’t trying to stir up dust while they skate on other difficult issues. Gib is small – easy to yell at with little danger.
    So many people (here and there) are too lazy to keep up with things, connect past history, and see potential in the future – too easy to let others think for them.
    Backing up on the fishing rights doesn’t seem wise…it’s like don’t cross this line…don’t cross this other line…don’t cross this real line, I mean it this time….
    Wonderful way you logically – step by step – develop the analogy with the garden.
    People are raised in a society which says be nice – always give the benefit of the doubt – walk in their shoes – be an example and share – when the other side often has a whole different view and goal? Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself. Sometimes “No” is a perfectly acceptable answer.
    Enjoy anything left of your holiday. You and Elladee have ben being careful with the ankles…seems like and epidemic of ankle misery.

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    • While I wasn’t at National Day in Gib, my partner was. Said it was very good and a lot of strength of feeling. Let’s hope there is some follow through.

      I find it annoying that Gibbos, Brits, Spaniards, Roccies, plus everyone else can all work and get on together. And then Big Brother starts interfering. No need.

      No holiday here with pup to look after :D not too much chaos though. Snowy /copito sends Molly a naughty bitey nose or a tail pull.

      Like

        • Snowy’s diary may be included on pippas blog. Should Pippa so agree. Gotta get his jabs, chips and passport before he can leave Spain. Vicious little thing he is. Visited my vet to day for worm tablet and he thought he was cross Podenco (Spanish hinting dog from greyhounds). Certainly hunts my toes. Looking forward to making M’s acquaintance and pulling her tail.

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          • Sounds like you’re going to need running shoes. Van’t wait for pix – and Pippa’s permission for Snowy to debut. Molly is absolutely enchanted already and keep pushing flight schedules in front of me…or a sailboat might be more comfortable…just a couple of sleeps to get there? Have fun!

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  9. I have been thinking of you these last few weeks. What a shame that Gib has to suffer from the fascist tendencies of Spains useless government. I particularly like the fact that Spain refuses to handover its Moroccan colonies which are much more dubious than the state of Gibraltar from knowledge of history (excellent though it is if I say so myself!!).

    I say, proceed with the building and jut right out into the sea towards Morocco. Does the Spanish government not realise Gib has splendid docks which are well able to handle cargo ships containing sand and building materials!

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    • Some interesting points but how do you come to the sweeping conclusion that the Spanish Government is useless? In respect of the Moroccan possessions Spain makes an entirely alternative argument which you may not agree with but needs to be understood. The days of Empire, colonies and overseas possessions are over. Gibraltar exists as an anachronistic tax haven for those you can to abuse the system!

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      • Gibraltar is no longer a tax haven. It has introduced corporation tax at the level of 10% which is the same rate as levied in Malta and I believe South Cyprus although the latter may have been told to increase the rate as a condition of possible bail outs.

        Gibraltar also levies income tax. It does however, very sensibly, not tax income from savings under certain cirumstances. This encourages people to save, and if UK governments had done the same thing for the last 30 years, the UK would have been in a far better position to survive the 2008 financial crisis.

        Contrast that with the UK, where non doms (i.e. Non EU/UK passport holders*), people like Roman Abramovitch are able to reside in the UK and pay virtually nothing in direct taxation.

        * non dom rules are complicated, this is an over simplification.

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        • No VAT, no capital gains tax, no tax on savings interest and a list of personal allowances as long as your arm!
          Let’s face it Gibraltarians don’t care if they are British, Spanish, North Korean or from the planet Mars they simply want to preserve their ludicrous tax privileges!
          It is obscene that when most Europeans pay their national taxes that historical anomalies like this are allowed to continue. They want the smooth without the rough.
          What’s more When the neighbours cut up nasty, they demand that those whose taxes protect them (i.e. UK taxpayers) should send soldiers, diplomats and lawyers to their aid without contributing anything to the cost!

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          • I think Andrew its not entirely fair to say Gibraltarians don’t care if they are British or Spanish. On two occasions in the last 50 years they have chosen 99 to 1 to not be Spanish.

            As for tax, their arrangements are broadly similar to Malta and Cyprus. As far as VAT is concerned, not being within the single market they don’t levy it. I’m not sure but I think the same applies to the Canary Islands, although of course you’d be giving them back to the Moroccans!!

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  10. Enters quietly hoping none notice his prolonged absence. It’ll never work. Very interesting, as always of course there is a way out. Turn the rock into aggregate and use that to build! It’s the kind of sense our politicos would espouse.

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  11. Hello, long time no speak, email or comment from moi. Been a busy, busy time here but been thinking of you due to the Gib stuff making headlines here. Also been watching some interesting documentaries about the whole situation. Although from your previous blog posts I knew it was a beautiful place, the docs have brought it home just how beautiful it is. One part of the doc was weird…..it featured a man who was the only Mortician on Gib. He possessed the two most unprepossessing toy dogs he dressed up and paraded in the streets, the dogs looked most unhappy!!

    I just checked Marv’s blog and it appears I haven’t posted for nearly a year! I made it private a while back when life got busy. Hope Pippa is well and you And Partner. Marvin is fine ….14 and a half and still thriving! J ;0)

    Like

    • First good to hear about lovely Marv. I noticed his blog was private but I’m used to that with you :D pippa hasn’t written much this year. I often think of you saying what else can a (at the time) 12 yr old dog say who has been blogging for years.

      My paws are full with young Master Snowy. Spanish rescue pup.

      Hope the weddings were wonderful. Granma Jeannie yet? :D

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  12. Hey ms, I learn so much from you and am fascinated with some similarities between the states and the country of Mexico. In particular Mexican ‘workers’ who cross the border to work for what a USA citizen sees as chump change. then they take it back to the Mexican economy to be spent. We also have the drug cartel faction from Mexico, illegal border crossings into the state of Arizona, Texas & California causing the hard core to arm themselves with guns.

    Civil unrest just brewing under the big boil. I don’t know what the answer is for Mexico and frankly don’t give a damn anymore. I have friends who are construction contractors whose businesses are going belly up because they refuse to hire an illegal alien, so the other companies low ball bids that do hire cheap labor. Also paying these illegals under the table so there are not taxes being taken
    out,and no paper trail of hiring an illegal.

    Thanks for the inspiration to vent my thoughts. Hope you are well. ~

    Like

    • Hello dear friend

      Another regular commenter (Phil mouse of the hedge) has often remarked on the cross border similarities. Nothing new anywhere in the world.

      In Gib, domestic customers always prefer cheap black cross frontier work to legal Gib firms :(

      The govt is trying to clamp down in this by insisting all employees shd be Gib res by precedence but that doesn’t solve the black work prob.

      There are ways to do it. We all know the illegals. The govt doesn’t. Or doesn’t care that much.

      I am OK ish. Swollen ankle still but less pain. On roaming so no blogging or visiting :( Hands, lap, and paws full of puppy who came from a rubbish bin.

      Like

      • Congrats ms to you and partner on acquiring 4 more feet to your home! That always warms my heart when I hear about a rescued critter.

        As your other commenter has no doubt said the US govt prefers to turn a blind eye to border crossings, the lack of documents that should keep a non-US resident from pulling employment from it’s actual residents. I’ve not figured out the govt’s actual agenda in this but know there is one.

        World-wide, age-old problem with borders.

        I am not happy my friend hearing your ankle is still swollen, but grateful to hear you are having less pain.
        Mine that I did 4 times will never be as strong again & the last time I did 9 weeks pf physical therapy to try to strengthen it again. My test was being able to stand on the injured ankle alone for longer than 30 seconds. Could i? Nope. I just choose better shoes now when I am going to be very active.
        I tell you this only so that you give yourself plenty of time to heal. Three times I was always in too much of a hurry.

        Good to hear from you my friend, looking forward to your full-time return. You are missed. ~

        Like

        • Ha! Just tried 30 secs. Cdnt manage on either. But I am used to ankle probs and know time is the key.

          My heart is with rescue animals. I wonder if you have podenco types your way?

          Silly govts. They do what suits. No more, no less.

          Sorry not to be around. May try and catch up via a cafe but will be fleeting. Thanks for your lovely comments.

          Like

          • It sounds so easy, 30 seconds balancing on one foot, right? I am trying to recall (I apologize if I am repeating myself) if I mentioned to you the orthopedic doctor I saw for round four. He told me that a broken ankle heals faster than a sprain.The sprain actually pulls the tendons, ligaments & muscles away from a the second most complex joint in our bodies.
            The Temporal Mandibular joint being the most complex per Dr Ortho. Not quite sure if told me this to make me feel better, or just to educate me because it had really served nothing in terms of a remedy.

            Yes we have the Podenco breed here in the states. They are such an exquisite looking animal with their lean & sleek body appearance. But honestly I know nothing about their temperament. Could this be the breed of your newest addition to your family? Photos? Am I missing them ms?

            I also support our rescue shelter here in my high desert . In fact one of my best friends works with the shelter and also is a certified trainer for medical service animals. She just lost her companion of 12 years and adopted a new little guy from the shelter, a pup, so she can again have a companion who also is extremely sensitive to knowing that her seizure disorder has been triggered and he alerts her so she can place herself safely lying down before it hits. It’s a phenomenal thing to witness happening. He is training to detect a different smell from her skin. Such an interesting science I think.

            no need for an apology at all. Life is meant to be lived, our blogging community is an enhancement of that i think. But I get the sense of feeling like there is something missing when regular blogging takes a break. And I do indeed believe it’s a good thing to do,to take a break social media just to remind ourselves of what is around us.
            Jeeze okay… I was certainly chatty, I felt inclined first to apologize, but changed my mind. I am not sorry I shared my thoughts with you.
            Hope you read this at your absolute convenience though ms.
            Take care my friend, I look forward to your return and hearing about what life has thrown your way. ~

            Like

          • Quick reply from a caff. That was really interesting to hear about the bad sprains. I´ve managed the lot – sprains, fractures, ripped ligament, you name it, I´ve ankled it.

            Brief podenco mention now on new post. No pix sadly Will have to wait to post those.

            Seizure dogs are brill are they not? Gotta dash

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      • Congrats ms to you and partner on acquiring 4 more feet to your home! That always warms my heart when I hear about a rescued critter.

        As your other commenter has no doubt said the US govt prefers to turn a blind eye to border crossings, the lack of documents that should keep a non-US resident from pulling employment from it’s actual residents. I’ve not figured out the govt’s actual agenda in this but know there is one.

        World-wide, age-old problem with borders.

        I am not happy my friend hearing your ankle is still swollen, but grateful to hear you are having less pain.
        Mine that I did 4 times will never be as strong again & the last time I did 9 weeks pf physical therapy to try to strengthen it again. My test was being able to stand on the injured ankle alone for longer than 30 seconds. Could i? Nope. I just choose better shoes now when I am going to be very active.
        I tell you this only so that you give yourself plenty of time to heal. Three times I was always in too much of a hurry.

        Good to hear from you my friend, looking forward to your full-time return. You are missed. ~

        Like

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