It never rains …

The good ship WordPress churns out a lot of advice. Luckily I rarely follow advice. Not even my own.

One of WP’s gems on blogwriting is don’t apologise for not being around. Because, who cares? Well, the people who email me and ask if I’m OK, that’s who.

So, an apology to those who were concerned to email me and ask. Hardly surprising given last year’s hospital antics, and an apology to everyone else for not announcing I would be taking a break. Busy, busy etc.

Here is what I planned to write:

It never rains (in Gibraltar) but it pours

Life on the southern end of the Iberian peninsula is currently wet. Very wet.

Search on tinties for wettest parts of Spain and north western Spain comes up. Search for highest rainfall and Grazalema comes up, a pueblo in the province of Cádiz in sunny Andalucía. Somewhere else I read that one of the sierras in Málaga province had the highest rainfall. Whatever, it rains in Andalucía and in Gibraltar.

Probably inspired local famous Gibraltarian music man Albert Hammond’s song, ‘It never rains in southern California’.

And then I meant to tell you all, I wouldn’t be around for a week, or two, or more …

I did have a slight foot setback, but I’ll save that one for a later post.

So here is what happened when I wasn’t blogging. In sunny Spain.

Nice. Warm. Need hat sitting outside weather
Nice. Warm. Need hat sitting outside weather

Captions on all piccies. Gallery takes a while to sort pixels, so no, they aren’t all out of focus!

The veg plot

Get these old postcards!

When did my mother buy these?! Anyway, useful for veg signs
When did my mother buy these?! Anyway, useful for veg signs

Spring flowers

The boys


Food :)

And a rather belated advance warning, ha tee ha, I’ll be thin on the ground for a while yet, due to editing and book review commitments.

For those of you who don’t follow Clouds, I have been posting on there from time to time though.

I will be publishing a couple of book reviews, with a European feel, in coming weeks which may interest people. One, combines Paris and photography, which should appeal to anyone who loves the city, photography or both. I’ll be including lots of pix (the photographer’s, not mine) for all you photography experts. Another is an intriguing novel set in Florence. The third, which may interest you authors and would-be authors out there, is how to sell your books on Amazon.

So there we have it. Hasta la proxima.

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101 comments on “It never rains …

    • We did have a lovely time. I worked a lot on editing, can’t remember what he did apart from shopping and washing up but that’s a good start, Little Rat barked, and Pippa slept.

      Didn’t feel like being a drama queen, the foot tale can wait. Betterish now :)

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  1. No need to apologize … ever. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do miss you, so thanks for this lovely post. Been feeling yucky since yesterday again, so I haven’t been around that much. I will start reading a post and then I start feeling bleh and then I stop. But I need to tell you I just love this post and your garden. It’s so beautiful there.

    Of course Pippa and Snowy are my favourites of all. The ‘Dog on the Table’ shot is absolutely stunning! And the one of the two of them together is just so adorable. :D

    That is one stunning mantis for sure and yes, it does consume aphids, caterpillars, flies, mosquitoes, spiders and other soft-bodied insects and when fully grown will eat the larger grasshoppers, moths, crickets and beetles. So, your beautiful veggies are safe, it seems. :D

    Take care hon and please give the boys lots of hugs and kisses from me. :D Ask them to give you some as well. :D ♥

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    • Well, yes but when people ask where you are and if you’re ok, it did make me feel thoughtless and guilty. I’m really sorry you’re feeling crap again :( At least you didnt have to read through too much on here for once.

      Snowy has his imperious look down to a fine art. You can tell he has pharoah dog lineage.

      The mantis was cute, I couldn’t get the head in focus which was a shame. Apparently they can be a pest too in some cases. I realised it wasn’t a bean on that occasion but a couple of days later, when I was harvesting, I tried to pick it as it had moved plants and I just glanced at the sticky out bean thing. I think it nipped me!

      You take care too, and I’ve just had a huge welcome from Little One who has come in from a long hike. 🐶❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • You shouldn’t feel that way and I am sure if they do, it wasn’t their intention. Be glad at least some people still think of you and wonder where you are when they don’t hear of you. :lol:

        Oh well, as I always say .. sh!t happens. I made hubby sick as well. Now I don’t have to feel sorry for myself. I can feel sorry for him as well. :twisted:

        He sure is and I can see that for sure. He is adorable! :D

        I think those were great shots. I wish I can find them here. They hide very well. I think they know it’s monkey and bird terrain. I read up on them and it seems they even try their luck with hummingbirds. Can you believe it?

        The cheecky little thing! It must have quite a scare. I think if you get lots of them, they might do some damage.

        I will thanks and it’s wonderful to have such welcomes. I’m furry-sitting for the neighbours. They have a beagle called Leo and he is just adorable. Simba is not very happy, but he takes it in his stride. :D ♥

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        • I know it wasn’t, but it was my fault, I planned a post and it didn’t happen. There is a balance between saying ‘Hey, I’m off for a while and I am oh-so-important so I know you are all going to wonder where I am’ and ‘I have a lot of loyal regular readers so I’d like to let you know I won’t be around for two or three weeks’. One is up yourself, the other is thoughtful. I didn’t do the second. That’s all. And I did appreciate the mails I received. Now that was thoughtful.

          Sorry you are both crook. Still, you can sympathise together. Get well soon :) Although maybe you aren’t the same sickness? Anyway, the thought’s there, wishing you both better health. Feeling off is just crap.

          Sssh. Snowy is not adorable. He is a little monstro.

          Their camouflage is brill. And luckily for me, they stay still. Well to be fair, I did try and pluck him off the broadcbean plant, and then shrieked and flung him away. Hope he landed flew ok. We had a locust a year or two back. We just seem to get the odd thing paying a visit. Don’t forget it’s totally organic in my garden so they will come and pay a kindly call.

          We’ve done sitting, but not in our own house. Rabbits, cats, dog walks … damn site easier than people sitting :)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well said from your point of view. :D

            Thanks. I think I’ve just not been resting enough. I am irritated when I feel like this, and then I see things in the house that irritates me and I start cleaning. Decided I’ll put that irritation away and rest until I feel better. :D

            hahahaha! Snowy is adorable! Hug and Kiss them up for me please. ♥

            They do and I wish I can find some here. I love them! :D

            He would have. I think they’re used to us humans freaking out. LOL!

            I totally agree! I would do that anyday. Leo also slept here last night. He is not a young pup. 7-8 years old and started developing seperation anxiety. When they’re not there, he howls and cries and then I also want to cry – so I offered to furrysit him. Slept with eldest son on his bed last night and even have his own couch now and watch movies with us. He is adorable. :D

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Your posts are a riot of topics I never know where to start. But I shall await the selling on Amazon post with keen interest.
    What species of caterpillar are those?
    There is one nasty species that another blogger, Piglet in Portugal, made mention of that are poisonous (?) – I think.
    There was a sort of outbreak a while back if memory serves. I even asked my brother in law but he hadn’t seen or heard of them.

    Like

    • Hey this is pretty succinct for me. I usually have too much to write about, that’s the problem. And if I write about a few things, there’s usually something for everyone. I thought I’d stick to photos with this one though.

      Really exciting cabbage whites I suspect, given that they’d decimated some of the rocket and the odd one or two happily flutter around from time to time. They were pretty though.

      Processionary ones maybe? We have them here in Gib in the botanical gardens though I’ve never seen any.
      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_processionary

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        • There are big signs all over the gardens about them, well, at least a couple of medium-sized signs. I had visions of one dropping on me from the trees and slipping down my neck but nary a one has ever appeared. Meant to be bad news for dogs though but they don’t hang out in our part of Spain. And they aren’t allowed in the gardens. Dogs, not caterpillars.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the garden photos, nice artichoke (I am assuming that is what it is). Love the grasshopper in the nasturtiums. Makes me think I need to plant some as they seem to thrive in any type of situation, no water, poor soil (which is what we are looking at this summer). Most of all love the photos of the dogs!!!!

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    • Thank you, yes it is. I’m looking forward to harvesting it.

      Nasturtium seeded itself, it’s actually growing out of a crack in the tiles on the terrace but it looks happy enough. So you could be right about growing anywhere. I did find them full of caterpillars last year which was a nuisance as I was growing them as companion plants.

      I can ‘t really do a terrace post without dogs. They are very vain so they will be most pleased.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I tried to take photos of my dogs the other day. I kept walking away from them so I could get a good shot, but they kept following me around. Silly puppies – Trix are for kids!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Pippa is usually lying down so he’s an easy target. I’ve tried to get action shots but for a big dog he moves too fast. Little one Snowy is incredibly fast, combine greyhound ancestry and youth, and I’ve got no chance, so lying/sitting pix are all I can manage unless I take vids.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I’d assumed you were busy from your last blog appearance…very sorry to hear that you had more foot trouble though.

    I particularly enjoyed the dog pics…Snowy looking majestic, Pippa with his ‘I’ve seen it all before’ look…and your veg pics had me wondering if artichokes will be in season yet as I’m in Spain in the last week of the month…French air traffic controllers permitting.
    i hope to do something with what is laughingly called the garden while there….

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    • Of a different type, but more later. Must check your blog. WP has probably unfollowed me again.

      Little dog syndrome is strange. He’s the smallest one we’ve ever had but he exudes arrogance and presence. Not helped that he totally gets his own way. He doesn’t understand the concept of ‘No’ although I do have partial success with Leave and Down. The trouble is I look at it from his perspective, so why can’t he lie on a table, chair, sofa, have a treat when he wants, go out etc? He’s not causing any harm or damage. Well, apart from breaking my ankle but that was different. So I think his confident posture, apart from the breed overall, comes from his conviction that everything is all right in his little world. Ojalá.

      Well, Pippa probably has. He’s eleven plus however old he was on rescue, say 2/3/4?

      Judging by mine, I would say early small ones would be. But this is my first year, so I don’t know about ones that are more mature, ie two plus years old.

      How do you cope with zapping across the world so often. It’s bad enough driving from Gib to Spain and back, let alone maintaining homes in Latin America and Spain! Do you still have Francia or has that gone?

      If your garden is anything like my veg plot, the recent rain will have made it very, luxurious? Verdant? Overbrown? Buen viaje.

      Like

  5. hey, K, enjoyed this post. good to hear from you. have been ‘thin on the ground’ myself and blogged only minimally recently. a longer hiatus coming up soon simply because life happens. apologies aren’t necessary, i agree, and at the same time it is nice to know that someone is not around because they are busy with real life and otherwise keeping. when the silence is long and loud, you do wonder. because even if you haven’t met in real life, people do matter, i find. so it was good to hear and see the latest.
     
    sorry to hear that you had foot issues, though :(
     
    having said that, Snowy seems like such a big boy in that table click. but then seeing him on the chair, and next to Pippa (love that click!), it does put his size into perspective.
     
    what a shame about all those lemons! your garden is certainly thriving. blossoms have been emerging here, too, but it will be a couple of months before there are veggies in the garden.
     
    in any case, must run. do take care! sending you hugs and Timmy sends purrs. he has been here more than 2 years now, and he continues to be such a delight. can’t imagine what we did without him. i am sure you feel that way about your boys too.

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    • Hey Kris

      Yup, behind on my blog, and behind on catching up. Yes, nice to have advance warning though. Still, it will give me time to catch up with the posts I have missed. Hope things are ok with you though.

      Snowy thinks he is huge, along with thinking he is a cat and a person etc. But, Pippa puts everything into perspective :) Such a lovely gentle giant.

      Hmm, more on the lemon story to follow. Different spring flowers around the world are interesting, I used to love the UK ones. Spanish ones are totally different.

      Paw strokes to Timmy, so glad he’s happy 🐈

      Liked by 1 person

      • keeping well, thanks, and no complaints from me. am just busy with so many things that all add up to full days. so thought i would give blogging a good rest for awhile until some of those proverbial bridges get crossed, and life settles down to a more even keel. i do have one more post in the works from a recent road trip.
         
        good old Pippa. always so heartwarming to see how he is doing – and of course Snowy, too.
         
        that reminds me – stopped for some of Timmy’s favourite dinner yesterday at a pet store in Richmond, which is immediately south of the Fraser River from Vancouver. they had a cat on display who is looking for a home. he has been in the local pet shelter since 2011 and has yet to be adopted. a beautiful 6-year old cat with a white collar, and looking very much like Sammy, the cat who helped me with my studies back in my university days. he has been in a shelter for over half his life! how does that happen?
         
        in any case, it was heartwarming that he was being taken care of and that he hadn’t been deemed superfluous.
         
        if Timmy could handle being under the same roof with another cat, i could have been easily persuaded to take him home.
         
        in any case, i asked about Jet at the cashier, and learned an interesting story. this pet supply store has been housing one homeless cat after another for the last while, working together with the local shelter, and so far 15 have found a home. so i am holding out for Jet to be adopted soon, too. such a mild-mannered and friendly boy and obviously trying to be on his best behaviour. i couldn’t look at him long, as i didn’t want to give him any false hope that he was coming with me.
         
        i hope the next time i am there that he won’t be there anymore, but in a forever home.
         
        being adopted really makes such a difference to animals, doesn’t it? i just love the joie de vivre in Snowy’s attitude and approach to life. and good old Pippa. what a gentle bear he is.
         
        ok, enough from me. this is not my blog :D Timmy says thanks for the paw strokes. long distance ones from dogs are good, and he’ll take them from most people right up close :)
         
        do take care!

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        • I would imagine you will have a trip post in there somewhere, you usually do. A holiday? A weekend getaway? Holidays planned for summer yet? That’s really good of the store to try and home animals through the shelter. They would get my business based on that. A shame Timmy (and Diana’s diva below) won’t get on with others. Our dogs have always been good about accepting new dogs into the pack. Well nearly always. Paddy took a dislike to Pippa, which was odd as he never fussed when Prince arrived. All I can think there is that Prince was neutered and Pippa wasn’t.

          I’ll look forward to a good news Jet story at some point. Rubbish bin puppy Snowy thinks he has the perfect life. Sleeps on the bed, sofa, armchair, people, gets treats on demand, goes out on demand, he’s trained us exceptionally well. Oh and of course the toast routine is still in force. And he knows if he growls at a toy underneath a piece of furniture it will magically appear. Such a happy little mite with no concept of his early destination.

          You and Timmy take care too. My boys say lots of activity needs sleep. 💤

          Liked by 1 person

          • thanks, am hoping for some good news on Jet, too. will keep you posted. lots of the above and more keeping me busy. anyhow, good advice from your boys. Timmy concurs, and purrs.
             
            and off i run. do take care!

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        • are you sure it was supposed to say that?

          When I read your story I wanted to go rescue that cat — but the reigning diva here wouldn’t have handled that well. Instead I will head back up this post to look at the photos again, because although I saw all the pup ones, I seem to have missed the other wildlife (oh, and the fact that Snowy was sitting on a table?)

          Like

    • Always like to see you too Clare. Indeed, it is. My pub is a non-smoking one, oh wait, they all are, aren’t they? I stopped being a real pub person years ago. I spend more time talking to people in the street.

      I probably knew that years ago. I’m more up on Roman Britain names.

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  6. Hey … your whole blog page got an overhaul, didn’t it?! New theme …
    I honestly don’t know about all those advice they put out. In one place, they suggest that you post very regularly, and in another post; ‘don’t apologise for not being around’. Oh well, I post when I feel like it.

    Looking at your pictures [and the temp.] it could be another world, compared to all our ice and snow.

    Very handsome dogs you’ve got there! :)

    Like

    • A while back. I got bored with searching for what I really wanted so ended up with this. Nice for a change but I’ll prob change back when I can be bothered, to something simpler. I like simple.

      I think the advice is crap. I don’t pay any attention to it, but I occasionally lke to point out why it’s crap. Emails I received and comments on here prove that. WordPress has managed to generate, rather than create, a multiplicity of communities, and thrn tells people not to respect other members of that community? I don’t think so.

      It was lovely weather. We had to go in around noon so we didn’t get sunstroke, even wearing hats, and sleeves.

      My boys are cute, but we all love our own animals.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I do agree that the WP comment was silly. Apologising for absence shows good manners, it shows commitment to those who enjoy visiting the blog, and it acknowledges that blog friendships are real enough for the company to be missed when taken away.
    Who cares? Regular followers certainly do!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is the fattest praying mantis I’ve ever seen. Jesus, between your mantis and Arks fat bee’s i suspect Type A diabetes is about to become a serious problem in the insect world.

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  9. Yes, I too was wandering what happened to you and blogging. It does get a bit much with all those likes and following, apart from life in general. Your garden looks thriving enough with contentness from the four feeted ones just oozing out.

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  10. Oh, I love your terrace. Is that what you would call it there? Your babies are adorable as usual. I also think WP gave poor advice, but then again, maybe those that give that type of advice don’t have the kind of subscribers that we have or subscribe to — people I have come to call my friends.

    Oh, did I say how much I love posts with pics? This one is a gem. I’m glad to see you more active these days. I enjoy reading your posts. I may not always comment but I do read them. :)

    Like

    • Yes, we call this a terrace, ie the front terrace because it is at the front of the house, and one I never show, home to a bike, two compressors, washing machine, dishwasher, coffee machine, firewood, a toilet and sink, is the patio. I had dreams of doing it up like a traditional Andaluz patio, but I can’t see that happening now. It’s not as though we sit in there any more. We live on the terrace and in the kitchen, when it’s cold/wet/too hot with the door open looking at the terrace.

      Thank you. The boys are adorable when sleeping, which is Pippa most of the time, Snowy less so. I think the advice givers at WP don’t actually blog the same way a lot of us do. And they don’t see how much discussion goes on with people who have come to know each other fairly well. I won’t bother with the names because you’ll know who I mean.

      I try and have photos in all posts on this blog, but I’ve not been out in Gib for nearly a year. Hoping to start soon though when it’s quiet, Sunday would be ideal, so that busy people don’t knock me over in the street. It’s easier to take pix at the finca, there’s usually something of interest whether it’s a mantis, or the caterpillars he was probably feeding on (as I said to Sonel, it’s totally organic), or just the flowers and the boys. And it provides a useful record for me. Thank you :)

      Like

  11. This was like 5 posts in one! No quick read at this end. Is there an easy way to go back and forth from the picture slideshows to the written blog? I couldn’t find one, so had to reopen the blog notice each time I got to the end of one of the slide shows.
    Very impressive garden (plants and animals) — although if “tatties” means potatoes, does that mean the potatoes are smaller than the beans? Or am I simply confused?
    Enjoy your hot spring! I’m glad I live in a currently cooler climate — although if the trend continues here we are likely to get pretty hot before the summer comes and goes. Maybe I should plant some shade-producing veggies on my balcony.
    May your foot be well! I think you have enough stories re that foot to last you a few lifetimes, so be well.
    Enjoy your other adventures, and yes — it is good to know you are alive and (sort of) “kicking.” (This is an idiom in this part of the world, for those who may be unfamiliar with it. It simply means you are alive and not laid out on a bed somewhere not able to do anything.)
    I think it would be good if every blogger had someone they trust who could post a notice if the blogger dies or is somehow completely incapable of blogging any more. The not knowing can be worse than the knowing, sometimes. And no, I didn’t think anything had happened to you. I just thought I was inept at locating your blog to read it. I’m actually rather glad that you just hadn’t posted….

    Liked by 1 person

    • First things first. Yes, there’s a tiny white X at the top left of the gallery pix. Hit on that wherever you are in the gallery and it takes you back to the blog post. I thought it was better to group the photos to do it themeaticly (?) rather than one huge random gallery. That way if you are less interested in one topic, you don’t need to bother blowing them up as you can read the captions, well part of them, without going into the gallery.

      Yes, tatties are potatoes. It suddenly started growing after I’d harvested my main crop (about one meal’s worth, maybe two) but I was tidying up so just grubbed around in the soil and took what was there. Doubt they would have grown bigger.

      It’s cooled down again now. And we’ve had some rain. A balcony would be nice for veggies I think :) Beans or sweetcorn would probably grow highest and provide enough greenery/crops to filter the sun.

      I suppose everyone who has operations usually has some sort of tale if they choose to write about it. Writing about it was the last thing I wanted to do when it happened, I was trying to generate a state of denial which was somewhat difficuly lying in a hospital bed with a leg in plaster.

      We say alive and kicking too, those of us who can kick. Rather like kicking the bucket. Odd both phrases meaning totally different things both use kicking. After last year, I’m glad I’ve just been/am too busy as well …

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  12. Good to see you pop up again, Kate. I remember one insensitive South African blogger once telling me that if I disappeared from the blogs, no-one would even notice. I immediately went right off him. :D Great photos of your boys. The plants are looking good, but those pesky caterpillars have to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya Sylvia :) what a tosspot. Of course we would miss you. I missed you when I lost you, not sure if it was when you went to another day 2. But you are part of my blog community. I am quite annoyed about that comment 👿 and mostly I find the SA people really friendly.

      The caterpilars did indeed go. I didn’t kill them. Merely bagged and binned so maybe they got to enrich a rubbish bin heap?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah, so there you are – knew you were up to your elbows in something or more likely off enjoying spring somewhere. (Or that line at the border was really really long…)
    Enjoyed all the pix. Terraces are good spots to be for people and dogs.
    This post is an example of real skill and discipline: You managed to catch us all up without writing an entire novel or rambling on and on as I would end up doing. Impressive.
    We are now over 3 inches of normal year’s rainfall…and storms predicted all week. Very green – and humid and hot. Mosquitoes bound to be making reservations for the area now. Oddly there was huge caterpillar outbreak north of us just before Easter – surprised some preacher didn’t start quoting some end of days Bible verses with the Blood Moon eclipse over head day before Easter….
    People collect old post cards with pictures on them. In any case they seem to fit the garden setting.
    I haven’t had what we called “Nasty Turshams” since i was little…not seen in the big box nurseries…and I have so little luck with seeds.
    Paw waves to the regal guardians/jesters of your Realm.
    (Paris sounds good! WIll watch for that one)

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    • Both. And, coming back it was. Pix to follow. And a pic post was an easy option and a change. Pic and mix. Choose your gallery. Veg. Flowers. Boys. Rain fading off although a few showers here today in Gib. Partner claims mozzie bites. No idea why.

      Well these were blank postcards. But pre decimalisation so pre 70s. Forty five years old!

      My dad used to use nurseries, although did a few seeds, loved coleus, neither use nor ornament, well no use. Never grew nasties, but I like them. I’m not bad with seeds.

      Enthusiastic paw waves back. Must snuggle down in the bed though. Important for small dogs to lie between legs. For some reason.

      Paris due on Friday I think. Amazing book.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. So whose arse did you kick too hard that you hurt your foot? You know there’s a proper safe method for arse-kicking. I know… I’m from Texas. ;)

    Love your garden and the delicious food pics!

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  15. Aha, wondered where you’d got to, I thought probably Spain. Nice. Those caterpillars are amazing. Are you around to see what they turn into? The grasshopper thing takes me back to reading Roald Dahl books when son was small. Looking forward to the Paris post. One of my favourite cities.

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  16. No right or wrong in my eyes but I think politeness comes to mind,,after all we all have a regular base of people that deserve a little of this politeness.. just the way I am.. my mum always said it manners costs nothing.. nice one … actually I am at a loss with words not wanting to sound all gooey..teehaa!

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    • I like politeness and courtesy too. Manners indeed cost nothing. I think there is a difference between a teenager writing ‘meugh i feel crap sorry i have nothing to write,’ and an adult apologising for being inconsiderate to other adults who regularly visit her blog.

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  17. Glad the sun is shining….. your white dog (sorry, I’m not a dog person and know little of their breeds beyond the obvious ones) looks like he has real attitude. Your photo is longing for a caption.

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  18. Unexplained or very long absences can be a little perplexing but that’s the way of it in the blogging community unless there is email or other communication too. When you’re not around I assume like us you are elsewhere or busy. Lovely to see Spain pics. We had similar Easter with rain and gardening but will be off again next week for a few days break around ANZAC Day.
    The Paella looks wonderful, I’d like to do similar without rice as the G.O. is coming around to veges but stalls still at rice…

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    • Yes, I think when we have similar lifestyles its easier to understand, but still I do like to say if I’m not going to be around, because that includes not commenting on other blogs too.

      Can’t remember his seafood preferences, if any. Scampi provencale is a good one for non keen rice people, or beef stroganoff? If you focus on the content and the sauce, the rice is incidental, so a good way to start?

      Like

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