The Vegman Cometh

You know you have become truly Spanish when the biggest topic of conversation is, when will the vegman come?

When we first arrived we used him regularly. He turned up on Thursday afternoons at different times, which was annoying. Sitting around for hours waiting for the van was frustrating.

On Friday a different vegman came, but we didn’t use him. Not as much choice.

Then Thursday man added Mondays to his routine, so we had two days in which to buy cheap fresh veg delivered to our house. Back when money was plentiful, we would all rush out to be first in the queue to fight for fresh peas at four euros or so a kilo.

Some years ago, a new veg shop opened in the village. Brilliant. Not only was it cheap, she had regular delicacies such as setas, wild asparagus, or normal asparagus, always had nabos (white turnips), artichokes, fennel, and lots and lots of veg for me to drool over. She had peas and broad beans before everyone else. She’d also buy them in for me. So vegman bit the dust.

My tiny veg plot, peas, beans, lettuces, herbs, and a rather large artichoke. Maybe best to put him in his own pot in future ...
My tiny veg plot, peas, beans, lettuces, herbs, and a rather large artichoke. Maybe best to put him in his own pot in future …

But, when I returned after my broken ankle exile, she had closed. Gone. Shut. Fin. I was gutted. Back to vegman, who had now changed his routine to morning calls. Much, much better. So we resumed our gracious patronage of all of three or four euros. Times are hard and money’s tight, so the veg are cheap now.

On Monday, Partner sat outside with his list and some cash. After a while, he asked the neighbours if el vercero was coming.

‘Oh no. He’s got to take his brother to hospital today and on Thursday. He’s coming Tuesday and Friday this week.’

OK. We could live with that. We had enough to manage for another day.

Tuesday it rained. Partner had planned to take Big Dog for his annual jabs. Nobody does anything in the rain in Spain. By the same token, I reasoned vegman wouldn’t come.

‘Yes, he’ll come,’ said Partner confidently. He didn’t.

By Wednesday, Partner grudgingly went to the village supermarket for a few veg, not too many in case vegman turned up.

‘You’re buying veg?’ said Loli on the check-out.

‘Well yes, the vercero hasn’t been and he’s cheaper.’

He didn’t come on Wednesday either. (Big Dog got his jabs though).

The nasturtium came out, and the rosebud bloomed.

Thursday morning our neighbours and us asked each other if he would turn up. We were all out of veg. And they’re not even vegetarian. None of us could hazard a guess. We speculated about Thursday, Friday or maybe next week.

Around 11am we heard a familiar toot. Yes! The vegman cometh.

The vegman van, so important ...
The vegman van, so important …

Partner grabbed the purse, his list and his gafas.

Next door, José said ‘Anda!’ and then for our benefit, ‘El vercero’.

For somebody aged 86, he shot out of his gate pretty quickly.

Partner was second in the queue.

‘You should let him go first,’ said Adelina. ‘He’ll be faster.’

‘I’m first,’ said José.

‘No pasa nada,’ said Partner, who really didn’t care.

They spent fifteen euros.

We spent €3.95 on a kilo of potatoes, three pimientos, three tomatoes, a bunch of nabos, four carrots, a cucumber and a courgette. Good huh?

José and Partner weren’t the only ones, Maria next door on the other side of José was waiting too.

‘How’s your wife?’ she asked. And then, as Partner finished his haul, ‘That’s cheap’.

‘They don’t eat meat. Only vegetables,’ said veg man proudly passing on this fascinating titbit.

He’d learned it the previous week from Adelina. He’d said we’d bought a lot of veg and Adelina said ‘They don’t eat meat.’ And as his jaw dropped, she added the finishing touch, ‘Nor fish either.’

Maria was stunned enough to discover we didn’t eat meat, so vegman never added the finishing touch about no fish.

It’s interesting that in these days of prepackaged plastic-wrapped foods from hypermarkets that a delivery van can still earn a living. Not a good one, he tried to chuck it at one point for a council job, but it was temporary and after three months he was back in the van shrugging his shoulders.

When he was asked why he didn’t turn up on the Tuesday in the pouring down rain, he said it wasn’t worth it. While the three of us might have stood there under our brollies, how many others would? Plus, he delivers to a lot of campo houses down dirt tracks that turn to mud at the first fall of heavy rain.

But isn’t it more sound to have one person delivering fresh veg to everyone than tens or hundreds of people all jumping in their cars to go to the nearest supermarket? We also have bread delivery vans and fish vans too.

There are so many images of Spain. Flamenco, bull-fighting, wonderful music, all night parties on the beach, religious processions, tapas, fresh orange juice, the list is endless. There is no one ‘real Spain’. My village life in La Axarquía where the non-appearance of the veg man is the main discussion of the week is just one view. Or perhaps we are like the characters in O’Neill’s play The Iceman Cometh? Waiting for the vegman? Or maybe we are in Waiting for Vegman by Beckett? (except vegman did come unlike Godot).

And if we aren’t waiting for the veg man, we discuss the rain. It rained yesterday, it will rain tomorrow. Or the day after. Intellectual conversation? No. But easy. Very easy. Sometimes it is nice not to discuss the state of the world (terrible) or how many people in the village have died recently. Rain and the vegman make for easy chat. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed.

Rainy day photos.

And food …

His salad, highlight being the garden leaves
His salad, highlight being the garden leaves
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115 comments on “The Vegman Cometh

  1. Even we get a visit from the vegman still on a weekly basis though we get a visit from the fish man too. Much better fresh veg than stuff bought from the Continent and shipped over. I’m glad yours is back again and you’re finding it economical, it must take some of the pressure off.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  2. We have a veg man here in Costa Rica…he arrives with a lorry and does as much buying as selling…..when we have bulk plantains, colocasia, lemons, off they go with him and he offloads bulk potatoes for us and any other odds and bods he has.

    There wasn’t a vegman in Spain…we asked the neighbours who were busy supplying us with veg anyway- but we could not believe the quality of the fruit and veg…nor the low prices.

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    • That’s good. We don’t even have enough for us never mind selling anything. Lemons. Next doors daughter a couple of doors up has one or two lemon trees, lemons piling up on the ground underneath and rotting. A couldn’t believe next doors bought lemons last week when all they had to do was walk up to Ginny’s or ask her to bring down a bag. I picked one up in the street last week. Waste not …

      I’m glad you thought it was good cheap and fresh. Is it expensive in CR? Not good quality?

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      • Can be expensive – especially in the run up to Christmas – but the quality is usually good. Apart from lemons we also have limes and something called a limon mandarina…knobbly green skin which turns orange when over ripe, and sharp tasting orange flesh. The veg man buys these while under ripe as they are used to make ceviche. I keep the limes for lime pickle of which we seem to consume/give to friends vast quantities.

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        • No limes here :(

          Nightmare for making chilli cilantro salsa, just use lemon. Everything we have is sooooo basic. Interesting really though that people are satisfied with what they know. No aspirational crap,

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          • Same over here…you use what you have.
            Though…
            The woman who comes to muck us out each week was horrified at the price of tomatoes which ‘have’ to go into tamales.
            Leo said that we’re not buying them when they are at that price..we’ll eat something else.
            All right for you, she said, you know other things to eat…but what will my son say if there are no tomatoes in his tamales?
            Suggestions that he might buy them himself fell on culturally deaf ears…

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          • One of the good things—for me—about leaving the UK and thinking more sensibly was that it really wasn’t the end of the world if I lacked tomatoes for tamales, or the equivalent. Totally changed my cooking. Everything had been so rigorous before, but with time, comes the ability to think. A great freedom. I think I’d like to eat something that uses this and tastes of this today … Shazzam! And so you do.

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    • Well it was interesting. Agree with some but not all. For example the author compares the ’boutique’ beef person who won’t deliver with the cost of shipping foreign produce to Walmart. Getting it to Walmart is one thing, but then, you have to factor in people driving to Walmart etc etc which is no different to driving to the boutique butcher. And then you can get into the Walmart (lack of) ethics discussion …

      If the veg man doesn’t turn up, there’s a supermarket in the village and a host of small veg shops in town. A day either way makes little difference. I just adapt the meals. To me, being a cookarian is about using what you’ve got.

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  3. We have a weekly market. Well, two actually. An expensive, but gooood, organics (produce from a single farmer), and a larger street market with everything from veg to herbs and fish.

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    • We bought some organic overpriced not very good veg in Spain once or twice. No actual certification or any information (Spain does actually have it) and wondered if it was just a rip off. My (organic) veg look better when I grow them. The local market in town is weekly but no different to the local veg shops for the most part. Easier to go to shops where you are known six days of the week. No fish stalls, too hot. No meat either. Just veg and cheap clothes, records, I man CDs, knick knacks, herbs (bought some once complete with mouse droppings), plants, shoes and tablecloths. Too many tourists aimlessly wandering around too.

      I would like your organic one though.

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      • He just a guy who sets up a stall in the church parking area: 20 carrots, 5 Pawpaw, 25 onions… small quantity (although remarkably diverse range), but awesome colours and exploding with taste.

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        • Not sure I could always tell on taste grounds. My objection is primarily religious, I don’t agree with eating foods cloaked in Agent Orange, neither for my health nor for the benefit of the chemical industry. Out of the veg I’ve grown, in the UK potatoes, beans, cabbage and salads were superb. In Spain, salads are great (rocket, lettuce, spinach), potatoes were ok, not as good as UK, but crop was less, spinach great as veg, and broad beans excellent. Carrots delicious but poor crop. Not good on root veg here I suspect. Onions not bad, fresh garlic superb. Really hoping the peas work out. Don’t you grow anything?

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          • Hey! New post. Forget religion. Show us your goodies, everyone else seems to be into it …

            My chives are feeble. Mint doesn’t fare well either. Both did well in the UK. Now, basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, oregano … I suppose the answer is obviously. I would still like mint and resplendent chives though. Decent tomatoes too, but I don’t have tomato fingers. Mine are only green fingered.

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  4. You paint a lovely picture, and take lovely pictures! of village life. Not everything has to be hard. It’s a mad, bad world out there – that we’re all aware but there’s nice serenity, domesticity, community at the heart of this post. Sigh.
    I don’t need to convert to see you got great value veg… yesterday I spent A$50 at the small Newtown Markets from a stallholder who sources locally from growers around the periphery of the city: potatoes, apples, avocados, tomatoes, corn on the cob, cucumbers, lemons, onions, mushrooms, green beans plus a dozen eggs, and maybe a punnet of last-of-the-mulberries that didn’t end up in the bags. Then I went to the little organic supermarket and spent $15 more on red peppers, baby spinach, rocket, cherry tomatoes, baby corn, shallots… all of which I dragged home in my overloaded granny trolley but will feed us for the week!
    I love the idea of a vegman, and I enjoy knowing the people I buy our food off… and that next time I can ask if he charged me for the absent mulberries! Worse than that I was really looking forward to eating them with a nice cheese for dinner last night.
    And rain… we hadn’t had any, we need it. But Sunday morning, it’s raining now. No need to hurry, just enjoy. Almost village life but not quite. Not yet :)

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    • I’ll do a city post next but one. Total contrast, like your two lives. But, yes, we like the peace and tranquility of the village life. Nice and simple.

      Just lost my first draft as I did a conversion of Aus dollars 65 into euros and pounds and nearly died. We do not spend that on veg, and we live mainly on veg, plus carbs and non-animal protein. And I felt for you forking out for organic produce, rocket and baby spinach currently at the finca, (I must add another piccy) plus lettuce leaves, herbs, a rogue garlic, and peas and beans coming along nicely. I just need a nice plot of land in the city …

      You need to ask your lucky dollar when it will be time for village life. But don’t knock city. It too has its advantages. Just, cheap easy home grown veg aren’t one.

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  5. I love the idea of village life in Spain, well away from the rat race.
    You’ve got some cracking photos of flowers with the raindrops, but my favourite I’m sure you will guess, is the big, furry, huggable Pippa.

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    • Rat race was one of our reasons for escaping, but it always finds you, to some extent.

      Very sound of music, raindrops on roses eh? While I’m not fond of the marguerites, they grow like weeds, and smell when you dead head them, they look quite pretty after the rain. Plus if you get the light right, they can look quite striking against the dark green leaves.

      Because I’m doing this on HalPad I’ve not downsized the pix so you can get full size if you go into gallery, and then, click bottom right. It looks out of focus to start with and then sharpens up. A had just pulled up in the Landy so they were waiting for him.

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  6. Remember when that was it? It was either the van or driving all the way to one of the big shops. Back in the day our local shop was a 20m2 affair in the marina. It was a One Girl Does All, as her father and husband sat outside watching football on a mini-television. Time flies.

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    • We’ve still got three bread vans, the fish ones come and go, but there is usually at least one, there’s a soft furnishings one that comes round quite often, and we also get the seasonal crop vans, eg melon, sandía, new potatoes, ajo, naranjas. Oh and grapes too. I think the village Supersol arrived just before us, and it’s pretty well supported if somewhat pricey compared with the vans. With the closure of the ‘new’ veg shop we are pretty much back to basics again now though. For a small village though, it’s always had a range of shops, it’s an agricultural centre (huge corrida) and has a wide campo area that it also serves.

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  7. Years ago we used to get a milkman, a baker, the fish monger, the rabbitoh and a ragman. Now it is the village markets that are popular. A market somewhere every Saturday or Sunday. Of course the supermarkets are king, killing all corner shops.
    I loved the flower photos but noticed your dog under the vegies, waiting for a meal.

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    • As a kid we only ever got the milkman, but when my parents retired they got a fish can and a meat van, the meat one also sold a few veg I think. Nothing in the cities/towns I lived in although the last one did have a rag ‘n’ bone man. Moved up from a horse to a ute though. There are still a lot of small shops in Spain, old habits die hard, and people often buy fresh for the day’s meals.

      Thanks. Yes, little Snowy does hang around when I’m cooking or bags are rustling, although he really prefers buttered toast. He’s taken to licking off the butter and leaving the toast recently, little toerag.

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  8. I remember the bread man and the milkman when I was a kid. Never seen anything like this here in SA.
    Maybe there was such a thing during Apartheid in the townships?
    All we get are blokes coming round selling fertilizer and brooms.
    I’d love to have this type of service.

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    • We never had a bread man. Only a milkman. We often ran out ‘cos I drank loads, but luckily their smallholding was across from our front garden so I would climb over the gate and trot off for a couple of pints in the evening. Amazingly never broke a bottle climbing back over the gate.

      The vans are a real throwback to when people didn’t have cars, no supermarkets, women stayed at home cooking, cleaning and shopping at the vans. And some of them still do that, although most have cars. But why go out to buy something if what you want is brought to your door?

      It does involve waiting though. But if we miss him, or forget something, he stops at a couple of places up our side street, so we can trot back out for more. I don’t know why more people don’t use it? Too personal? Not seen as being the right thing to do? I tell you, we live in the best street in the village, and in our section of four houses, most of us use him regularly. Seen as old-fashioned? What’s old-fashioned about fresh, cheap and convenient? I’m giving my age away, huh?

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  9. Loved this exposé of daily life ;-) We don’t have a vegman here in Toledo, at least not one that comes in a van. The casco’s streets aren’t made for vans, we can hardly squeeze through with a couple of full shopping bags. We have several green grocer’s though, and knowing when to go to which one to get what is a science in itself…

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  10. No one delivers anything in the States anymore. Newspapers and mail seem to be the last holdouts, and I bet that will end within my lifetime. And the occasional ice cream truck during the summers.

    Very artistic salad. Looks like sweet (?) pickles in the pic. Do you make them yourself?

    Gorgeous flowers. And as always, happy to see the pups doing well.

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  11. “But isn’t it more sound to have one person delivering fresh veg to everyone than tens or hundreds of people all jumping in their cars to go to the nearest supermarket?”

    This is what I don’t get. That’s just such a ‘D’oh!’ … and yet the free market fundamentalists will claim that if there are no veg delivery vans in [insert your local area here] then that will be ‘because there’s no call for it, guv’.

    I sometimes think of all the pet dogs and cats and daydream about dropping the day job and starting a business just delivering dog and cat food. I know I’d appreciate such a service; Stupid Cat catches the odd mouse but still comes begging for the plastic pouched stuff. I wish I could turn him veggie. (Don’t tell him but the biscuits I get him sometimes, according to the packaging at least, contain some veg too. So far, though, he’s turned up his nose to carrots.)

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    • Ah, but did you read Disperser’s link to Skeptoid? Worth a read if you didn’t.

      I still think there is inbuilt prejudice against using a van delivery service. Even if you can pre-order certain foods/goods.

      I forgot to mention that we had dog food delivered in the UK. It was vegetarian :)

      They also delivered smuggled beer from across the Channel but we didn’t buy that.

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      • I went back and read Locally Grown Produce by Brian Dunning. Very interesting. What’s said sounds very plausible; but I’d want to investigate more fully — I’ve read Merchants of Doubt. My first impressions are that there’s cherry-picking (‘scuse the pun) going on. Dunning says, for example:

        One of Salatin’s rules is that, in the interest of a minimum carbon footprint, he won’t ship his beef at all; customers have to drive to him to pick it up.

        Maybe I’m missing something, but that feels like a specious argument. It obviously makes no sense to have every customer visit the supplier. Clearly a van delivery from supplier to customers is preferable in this situation; just because one person has got the wrong idea about carbon footprints doesn’t invalidate the entire concept.

        I think one elephant in the room that Dunning omits relates to his assumptions regarding pricing. Nowhere, for instance, does he bring in the important point that air travel is heavily subsidised by taxpayers (so that we can get bananas). As of 2012 (and I don’t think there has been any movement on this):

        […] although road fuel is charged excise duty, which represents a substantial proportion of the pump price paid by motorists, aviation kerosene (AVTUR) which is used in jet engines is exempt from this tax.

        Dunning’s argument doesn’t acknowledge that economic principles based on the concept of infinite growth on a finite planet are fatally flawed. Our entire financial and economic system is broken; we need to admit that, chuck it and find something better. Incredible Edible Todmorton may be an example of the kind of thinking needed. (Incidentally, I find it especially ironic that the concept of free food is anathema to the so-called ‘free’ market.)

        That link to the program that solves the Travelling Salesman Problem was worth the trip, though! Incredible to think that a problem that has taxed so many minds over many years appears to have been solved, elegantly, in a program that’s just 40k big (ie tiny). That’s the kind of thinking needed to cure the world’s ills :)

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        • I’d like to be clever and intellectual, but I truly think half of it is common sense. I agree with you about Salatin. But his whole set-up struck me as pretentious, so maybe not a good example. PR? Loads of vehicles outside his place looking busy? Not costing him fuel? Driving round in a van beholden to people? Oh no, you come to me. Clever but transparent. Only if you choose to see through though.

          Todmorden? Would that be the Lancashire part or the Yorkshire part?

          Trouble is that we really don’t need algorithms. Just for people to think clearly and sensibly. Why does it take a computer to work out the shortest most cost effective route. It doesn’t. It needs someone who monitors mileage, fuel consumption, and costs, plus wear and tear, duh.

          Ha! With which I will go and check tea.

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        • I’m pretty sure the whole transportation industry is heavily subsidized, as are roads, water delivery, and pretty much all infrastructure.

          I think the point of the article was not to comment on infinite growth. That is s different issue all together.

          The facts are that we do have large numbers (too large, in my opinion) of people to feed and provide for. I looked at the article strictly as a discussion of logistics with a tie-in to economics from the consumer’s standpoint.

          The larger issue as to whether anything we are doing as a species ultimately makes sense is itself an interesting discussion.

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          • As far as I can see most uf us don’t aim to make sense. Merely to survive and get what we can out of life. Some of us want more than others.

            We *could* feed people differently. And as a non child producer I can rest on my laurels with that one :)

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  12. I so enjoyed reading the social activity around the arrival or non arrival of the Vegman. We had one in England, along with the Milkman, and the Tinkerman. I think with the advent of supermarkets, these personal deliveries have gone by the wayside. There was a Vegman in South Africa, but I never used him, because it was so easy to jump in the car and go to the shop whenever I needed something. How is your ankle doing? Are you still going to see your specialist?

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    • Because we live in a tight community, it’s quite a social event when he turns up. The other week Partner had forgotten garlic, mainly because I didn’t ask for it, so he went up to the stop outside Fat Builder Woman’s house, whereupon they both had a lengthy conversation about the health benefits of garlic and the need to use it in every meal.

      And that’s the point. A car/supermarket society.

      It’s still in one piece and screwed together. I’ll do an update as a few people have recently asked. Thanks S.

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  13. i like the idea of a vegman!
     
    in some smaller villages in northern Germany, and probably other locations, they have a similar service. there is a baker, for example, or a deli.meat wagon which is of less usefulness to vegetarians, etc. only the items tend to be more expensive than buying them in a shop in town – but maybe taking into consideration the cost of auto fuel and the time spent getting there and back, the cost might even itself out.
     
    that salad looks so yummy!
     
    but even more importantly, it is great to see Pippa and Snowy looking so well. Snowy looks as cuddly as a cat all snuggled up in A’s arms. He really does remind me a lot of Timmy, Snowy does.
     
    and those flower images, complete with raindrops. those are really lovely. enjoyed those. if you had the like option, consider them liked. nothing like that blooming here at this time of year.
     
    may your recovery continue. i read about a setback somewhere in a previous post :( but do take care. Timmy sends you an extra set of purrs. or perhaps those are just snores. the temperatures have dipped to around the freezing level, outside, and the fireplace is nice and toasty, and Timmy is lying in front of it.
     
    and i quite like this blog format. adjusting to the two-column format took no time at all, although i did a double-take initially :)

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    • I can imagine Germany going big on meat/deli and bread, less so on veg. Interesting that our van is as cheap as local shops and even cheaper than all the supermarkets. I don’t buy veg from supers in Spain, and only in Gib when it’s organic. Silly to buy veg that’s travelled miles in trucks when I can get much fresher from small shops.

      Salad is a typical mix of what’s kicking around in the house, and garden of course.

      Yes, Snowy is def in cute lapcat mode there. However in his mind, he is a person first (shares all furniture and food and goes to the big person bed), a dog second, and doesn’t even know he is catlike.

      Raindrops and the light make for much more interesting pix so I couldn’t resist.

      Thanks to you and Timmy. Make sure Timmy doesn’t accidentally toast himself though.

      I really must check it out on the laptop. Doesn’t show up on the iPad or iPhone.

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      • i should also mention, the best places for fruits and veggies here are some of the local farmer’s markets where they sell many of their own products. you can’t beat the freshness, nor the prices. i used to be convinced that the best corn on the cob came from Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley where my parents had retired. but this year I tried the corn from Richmond, which is south of Vancouver across the Fraser River. that was incredible. enjoyed it while it was in season on several occasions.
         
        no danger about Timmy toasting himself. he is a migratory fireplace snoozer. when he is too warm he suddenly gets up and goes to the far side of the room. then when that gets too cool, he returns to the fireplace. then when it gets too warm, he leaves again. etc etc. another form of exercise, i suppose :)
         
        sweet Snowy! i sometimes wonder if Timmy thinks he’s a person, or if we are cats. on occasion he uses the tone of voice a mother cat uses with her kittens, like when we are visiting downstairs, and he thinks it is time to go home. he’ll get up and call us at the door, and it’s not in his unhandsome voice, but a sweet invitational purry chirp. funny boy. :)

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        • We went to one farmer’s market in Spain (miles away) and never returned. Too much tat, one decent stall with nice produce, not cheap, so overall a wasted visit.

          Oh we get the funny voices too. There is the mewing one (of course!) and the grumbling one which is really funny and ends with a BARK if we don’t pay attention to the grumble.

          I looked at the two column layout on the desktop. Hmmm. I’m too idle to find another new theme just yet, but I will look later. Trouble is this looks fine on the iPad.

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  14. It’s always fun and interesting to learn how people live in different places. I’m trying to picture a veg man in my hood. There are a lot of deliveries here, but they are for the restaurants and pubs. They are loud (the trucks and swearing) and such a nuisance. Miles gets to worked up. I would prefer a veg man.

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    • I do like reading ‘foreign’ blogs for the same reason. Although I get a bit bored with the ‘I’ve been here six whole months and everything is wonderful, the locals are darlings and accept us as one of them’ type of blogs.

      We get deliveries (commercial) up and down Main Street in Gib between 7-10am. No swearing that I’ve noticed. No veg vans here though, pretty much like London really, worlds apart from rural Andalucía.

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  15. That salad looks delicious indeed Kate and I wished we had a veg man here as well. Your photos are absolutely stunning! The flowers are so gorgeous and you’ve captured them so well. I love the ones with the raindrops on them. And my favourite of course are the pups. They are so adorable! :D ♥

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    • The salad is A’s, I don’t have the cheese on mine.

      Thank you for your lovely and very generous comments. I read and answered them all. I do think raindrops so enhance flowers.

      As I’m not keeping up to Pipp’s blog, I sneak some piccies on here from time to time. I like them, and I like to see dog (and monkey and spider) pics on other blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome. Now leave me alone. I am back in my corner and I am still sulking.

        I think so too and you took great shots. Sorry, forgot I was to ‘tone it down’ with the compliments.

        I love sneak piccies and it’s always great to see them. They are way more adorable and friendlier than most people I know. :)

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          • Pfffft! I hope the hot water runs out, so you’ll get an ice cold shower when you get in!

            Well, they definitely worked and I agree on digital photography. I never liked films. All that waiting to get it developed and most of the time the places you took it to messed it up and you had to pay for that as well.

            Sorry .. forgot I was sulking. Let me get back to it….

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          • I’d be jumping, or rather hopping right out and screaming out your name!

            I used to get my films developed matt not gloss. How many pix did I have to take back because they were gloss, oh and the wrong size too?

            Off you go, shoo. Back to the sulky corner.

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          • hahahah! Good exercise after all. Don’t scream my name please. The neighbours might get the wrong idea. LOL!

            Same here. Digital is way more fun and easier for sure! :D

            Tired of the corner and I’ll do as I please. If you excuse me, I think I’ll go and play with Snowy and Pippa. They’re lots more fun than you are. :P

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    • Thanks Mak. Aren’t you in the city? I don’t know about city Spain, I’ve only spent short periods in cities, but the vans are very much a mark of rural Spain, where people lives miles from towns and in the (recent) past didn’t have cars to get out.

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          • Yes. 17km is not so far out of the city precinct. In fact most of my neighbours would say they live in Nairobi though we are actually out of the county where the city is

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          • We are not part of the city (Málaga) admin area, and we tend to look towards our local county town, which is the centre for a huge countryside area, ie La Axarquía, plus our village although small in the pueblo has a big countryside area too. So we look away from the provincial capital of Málaga and towards the countryside networks.

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          • Didn’t know if my convoluted explanation made sense but you obviously worked out what I meant.

            Of course, when I worked in London, and lived 40 miles out in a small town, London was the focus. And when people used to ask where I was from in the UK (ie birth town, childhood), I would say Leeds (nine miles away). It’s all relative.

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          • Ha! Going up is easier than going down. I think I’ve got vertigo when I look down, but I can manage one step one foot going up so that’s good. I wouldn’t quite call it running.

            Physio said months back that the next set of exercises would involve hopping but I want ready for that. Too right. I’m still not.

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  16. Good post… pics are great, but doggy ones are the best! … whose matchstick legs? :D
    You can’t beat fresh veg. takes me back to grandma’s garden… almost. I can taste the earth thinking about it, it’s a nice taste. I think that’s what I like about roots… potatoes, radishes, etc.

    What’s vegman precious? Is it tasty? Does it come wriggling and raw! ;) Not like nassty orcses, hey precious. We don’t like orcses! :D

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    • Doggies insist on appearing. DDI Pippa most annoyed by his blog absence. Must sort, must sort …

      A’s right leg. He had polio as a baby in whatever they called special baby unit or whatever back in the fifties. He was three months premature anyway, 2lb 3ozs so that plus polio … meant he didn’t come home too quickly. Unlike healthy little roughseas :)

      My dad grew some decent veg, carrots, sprouts, cabbage, toms, cucs, rads. Odd mix really. Never grew potatoes which grow themselves.

      Precious, I don’t think vegman would be tasty. Not too fresh, sort of old and wrinkly like the rest of us, not fresh and wriggling. Raw would be X rated. Even orcses would be tastier. Maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As they should. Yes you really must. (Get to it!)

        My ex-mother-in-law had polio. It affected her back and shoulder. (hunched down a bit too) A real shame for those caught by it before they came out with the vaccine. He does well to work in construction then! No wonder he doesn’t mind the break from time to time.

        Sounds good. I think it’s a good mix. Got my favs in there! :D

        Pfffst! Keep nassty vegman! Smeagol eat fissh! :D

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        • Ah yes. He’s got the curvy spine thing too. Hunchback of notre dame really. He was right on the edge of the vaccine years, 1956, yet I swear he’s got the same polio jab as me. ?? He wasn’t diagnosed until years later either. Hey polio, thalidomide, late fifties kids had all the fun.

          No fishes here Precious. Onlys on Fridays. Try hijacking the fish man Precious. But they are dead :( no wriggling raws.

          Liked by 1 person

          • He may not have had it. Remember parents were more suspicious of new things back then. (sometimes are now)
            You’ve worked in the NHS… geez some of them still try to get out of their kids having stuff (nuts) as you know. And being on the tail end of it… they may have missed him. Can”t imagine that anyone would have missed you though. ;)

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          • He may not, but it looks extremely similar. And if they didn’t know he’d had it, they might have jabbed him anyway. Because, yes, working in the NHS means you know records and communication are crap aren’t perfect.

            Each to their own. I don’t think people should be forcibly vaccinated and neither should their kids if they don’t want. Nanny state I am not. Tail end or tail beginning? 😀🐊🐉

            Apparently I was a very good baby. Can you imagine it?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yes they are crap.

            I’m sure some who suffer because their parents didn’t have them vaccinated would beg to differ. But there you have it… it’s all a matter of perspective.

            No. (People tell fibs, but it’s all for the better good) :D :D :D

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          • Really? A Journalist? And autism is the argument you go with?

            But, let’s then talk about risk analysis for all sorts of things, not just vaccines. Everything humans do has a cost associated with it. We may not see it, but the electricity we use has an associated human cost to it. The food we eat (even the vegan food), the water we drink.

            Like it or not, once we, humans, opted to live in a society as opposed to as loners in the woods, at that point everything became about risk analysis. As a consequence, people’s rights are abrogated for the real or perceived good of all. That is how it has been, and how it will be.

            The case for vaccines is not a weak iffy one. It’s more that people’s memories are iffy, and combined that with incredible ignorance, we are now in a resurgence of diseases we once thought as of “rare” or done away with.

            There are many, many studies on autism, and someone opting not to vaccinate because of autism concerns is at best ignorant. Neither ignorance nor good intentions are an excuse that should be, or is, accepted as a valid reason to buck the accumulated knowledge and results of the past century.

            http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vaccines-didnt-save-us-intellectual-dishonesty-at-its-most-naked/

            http://www.antivaccinebodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Home.html

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          • Not just got the journalist hat on, got the health service one on. The issue is, whether you go down the ‘greater good’ road, or look at the individual perspective. Public health and epidemiology disregard the individual for the population view. You can’t buy into both. So I didn’t have MMR. I’ve had measles. So what? Why vaccinate me? Why waste (in the case of the UK) taxpayers’ money? What else? I haven’t had a TB jab either (natural immunity). Should I be isolated on an island?

            Freaky obsession with vaccinations is off the wall. Whichever recent flu scare happened a couple of years ago was offered to everyone in Gib. Less than 20/25% took it up. No outbreak. No, well, no nothing?

            Putting people onto little plastic squeaky clean bags serves for nothing. It’s like being force fed paracetamol in hospital. What’s the difference?

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          • Whoa, whoa, whoa there . . . please read about herd immunity, the real cost (lives and medical) in places where idiot parent decide “I don’t wanna”.

            Now, were they to shut themselves in their own compounds and not mingle where I might cross paths with their snotty-nosed little kids, then sure; they can do whatever they want.

            But if I’m expected to abide by the rules of the nanny state regarding guns, regarding how I drive, regarding controlling any dogs I might own, regarding behavior that might endanger others, gorsh durn, they too damn well better abide by the rules of the same nanny state when it comes to putting those around them in danger.

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          • So, we can manage not to argue about guns, but we can about vaccinations. Why should someone get inoculated for something they may not contract anyway? Just why? And where is the comparison with having dogs or (horrors) guns? Apples and pears doesn’t come into it.

            People choose to have guns. (A bad choice but there you go).
            People choose to have dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, whatever.
            Being told to have a vaccination is not the same thing.

            I take it you know something about public health. In which case you will know that ‘flu vaccine is a prediction, and cervical screening (pre HPV vaccine) was largely unnecessary for women with numerous clear smear results, yet women at low risk were still encouraged to have one.

            Inflicting personal and intrusive compulsory health rules is not the same as saying there are gun rules, dog laws, vehicle licensing. Some people may not want jabs. They may also be happy to keep out of the way. They may be happy to sign up to happy religious Sundays too. You don’t choose to be born and have a life, you choose to have a dog, a gun, a vehicle.

            Telling you to have a compulsory vaccination is like the whole abortion debate. You can’t do what you want with your own body. Dangerous road.

            Microchipping next. Should fit well with your novel.

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          • Ooh, I do love a Mexican stand-off… (or whatever equivalent you want to call it) keep going you too, this is fun! :D

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          • The mention about guns was relating to a perception of risk.

            The connection is that while me, an individual having guns, is zero risk to those around me, the same is not true with my neighbor choosing not to vaccinate his kids, especially if they are then around someone who cannot be vaccinated for whatever reason.

            Look, I answered half in jest, and half in earnest, but this, like the gun debate, like everything else I care about, is not something I argue out of emotion.

            I recognize rules exist, and I follow them. Whether I agree with them or not is another issue altogether, and that involves a lot of research, learning both sides of the argument, and keeping emotions from it.

            I still follow the rules, but if I don’t agree with them, I will voice my opposition and try to get them changed. By the same token, if I agree with them I will argue against them who want to change them. Meanwhile, if a rule exist, people damn well better follow it. The alternative is everyone does what they want.

            Now, that’s the general approach. I know dicks who take up two parking spaces because they are, after all, dicks. In the overall scheme of things, it will shorten my life by a few seconds due to the irritation, and I regret the universe does not dump on that guy something fierce, but I go on with my life.

            Some things are more important.

            Let’s assume, for a moment, we are both smart individuals. Many, many individuals are not. Worse yet, they are also intellectually lazy and prone to listening to “opinions”, be they fact based or not. Those people can be swayed by the likes of the average starlet who half the times forgets to wear underwear and is proud to make the world aware of the fact.

            Those intellectually lazy and easily swayed people deserve to hear the other side, even if it’s from people who keep their underwear on.

            But it goes beyond that . . . I see it as a duty and as a personal benefit to me to argue against ignorance, superstition, and stupidity.

            Vaccinations, certain vaccinations, are open and shut cases, and we are seeing the result of ignorance and stupidity standing proud in the face of long term data as people die.

            So you did not die from the measles. Neither did I. But now I am at risk for other things associated with having had the disease. And, worse yet, some people do die. And, truth be told, while it may not have been a big deal for you, it is not a particularly fond memory in my life. Quite the opposite.

            I’ve had my boosters last year specifically because there has been a resurgence in ‘childhood diseases’ and because they can have more dire consequences contracting them as adults. I played the odds . . . less people vaccinating against the diseases, more chance of me getting them, ergo, booster.

            Got me a flu shot too, both last year and this. First time ever. I got it because people have gotten complacent about stuff like the flu. Sure, it’s miserable, but they can still go to work, right? Shopping? Sure. Sneeze and cough in public? Extra sure. Ask me how many time I see people cover their mouth with a handkerchief (I carry two). Not in many, many years. It’s always their hands, if they cover their mouth at all.

            People choose ignorance with pride. For some things, it has no consequence. For other things, it has deadly consequences. I have little patience for ignorance, less so when it can harm others.

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          • But, choosing to own a gun, a dog, a tarantula for all I care, is not a value comparison with being told to get vaccinated. One is a choice about whether or not to pursue something in life that may involve risk to others, or yourself.

            I too keep to,the rules, the speed limit, the law, I am boringly squeaky clean. I have never smoked dope or cigarettes for example (not that the latter is illegal).

            However I intensely dislike someone telling me, they know better than me what I should do with MY body in the public interest. Medics and scientists aren’t always right, qv my comment that a ‘flu vaccination is a best guess. By the time the latest ‘flu hits, the labs can’t get out the right vaccination in time. Simple as that. And if I am sick, I stay home, and so should everyone else. We have a crazy work ethic that says people should go to work sick instead of recuperating at home. Do we have a cure for a cold? No? Should we vaccinate against it? We can’t because we can’t sort it out. Should we vaccinate against every single cancer under the sun? Can’t. Or COPD, or emphysema or diabetes? Or course not.

            Vaccination is, a strange mix. Allegedly to protect an individual, but, per your comment really to,protect a population. Which should prioritise? Are we talking self or the community?

            Should I really be forced to have jabs to make your life ‘safe’ is what it seems to come down to, when in reality it will make jsn difference on the ground.

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          • Hey, I feel that way when some snotty nosed little bugger is running around me and has a cold! (Get IT away from me!) lmao! Unless it’s one of my beautiful cats running around me and sneezing/coughing etc, then I’m all, “oh, has my baby got the sneezes, come here!…” And I’ll pick him up. I’m such a bloody hypocrite, I know… hence my reason for saying, it’s a matter of perspective. :)

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          • Never mind vaccinations. It should be a crime to go to work/school with even a sniffle. Stay home until you are fit. Simple.

            Says the woman who got chicken pox on her twenties after a panto visit. Great panto. Russia Abbbott was brilliant.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I hate it when people come around me at work and they’re sick. I tell them to stay away from me now and I also mention the fact that I have a disabled wife who is prone to sickness without me going home from work with someone else’s virus to give her. I also mention that they’re not going to be any better though of by the company for coming in sick. I used to tolerate it, not anymore and I don’t care what they think of me saying it either… needs to be said even if it’s my boss. (Grrrr.)

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          • Of course, though, they ARE better thought of. That’s the big issue, Face Time still counts. Common sense doesn’t.

            I tell you, if I had a head cold/virus and couldn’t think straight, I was useless, yet, you had to go in. I started to use an easy definer, if I didn’t feel safe to drive or walk to the bus stop, ie muzzy head, I stayed home. Not popular for doing it though. I didn’t want to be responsible for driving when feeling ill, or staggering to the bus stop and passing out. Stupid.

            Liked by 1 person

  17. Some people/areas are trying to eat fresh and encourage local growers. I miss the little roadside stands all along the old narrow highways we used to stop at when we were kids. The dirt floor sheds always smelled like fresh veggies. And my dad would stop and chat a bit. Mom sat in the car usually with brother. A real pleasant stop as far as I was concerned…even if I had lumps of food under my feet the rest of the car trip…watermellons are cool in summer to put bare feet on!
    We are lucky to be near several farmers’ markets….a few in the city are trendy/snooty and charge more there. A couple of people are trying veggie trucks with routes in the inner city. And there are veggie co-ops where you pay subscription and what’s fresh gets delivered. Many of the young professionals like both of those options, but many inner city dwellers would rather buy fast food or packaged junk at the corner stores rather than cook. (since many of those don’t have jobs and get gov. checks, it’s not they don’t have time to cook.) There have been outreaches attempting to teach in the schools – they send a bag of groceries home with the kids with instructions. Who knows if the stuff is used or tossed.
    Humans are so odd sometimes. Maybe if they banned veggies and told everyone they were bad and forbidden?
    Paw waves to all

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    • We still get the roadside stalls in Spain. Oranges, potatoes, fresh onions, depends where you go and time of year. Totally illegal I suppose, but hey, who cares?

      We used to buy an organic box scheme, well bag actually. They delivered into the city for an extra quid, but it was en route for a weekly beach dog run, so we picked ours up. Left in a safe box, very trustworthy. On weekdays we’d go and chat with the staff (no Snowy, not bore them, chat).

      In the health service we tried to promote fresh cheap veg and fruit for low income/no income households. Absolute ****ing nightmare. Non-starter before it even started.

      These two don’t like their greens whereas previous pups did. Tomato is popular. Spanish dogs, sweet tooth. What can you do with them? Paw waves back.

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  18. At least your vegman does not disturb you in your homes. We have thriving vegetable markets back in Zambia, but some women make a living by selling veggies door-to-door. The irritating thing is that they knock on the door and woe to you if they think you are ignoring them because they will keep on knocking and shouting “vegetables!” I once told one woman that she should not knock on my door. Her response? “What do you expect my children to eat? Not everyone is as rich as you!” The vegwomen continued ‘harassing’ us.

    Like

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