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The pikeys are back in town

Partner picked up an interesting chair. Not as good as my find, but solid and quite nice. Struck me as slightly frenchified, Louis whateverish.

Chair
Chair

Meanwhile my prize mirror find was taken back to the finca and plonked on the top of drawers where it makes a rather good match.

Ace find by me
Ace find by me

Our Gib neighbour has an extremely clean and spartan flat. That’s because he gives all his junk to us.

Boat. Of little use or ornament …
Boat. Of little use or ornament …

The latest was a pair of trainers worn once but they pinched his toes. Too small for Partner, too big for me. Partner recycled them to an Eastern European who sleeps rough.

And, found on the street, a rather spivvy black dress jacket. May find its way to charity shop. Spiv does not suit Partner.

Gib round-up

Heard outside the vet’s. Dog licences are £50 a year. Dogs apparently are being DNA tested so that Dog Poo Enforcement Officers can pick up after non-picker-upperers and get said poo tested. Has it not occurred to anyone that the type of people who don’t pick up are unlikely to have a dog licence? And why waste time and money on testing the majority of dogs whose owners do pick up? Hello government, what about cracking down on a) illegal working and b) choosing cross-border workers in preference to locals, and, basically ensuring locals get decent jobs? No, lets concentrate on dog poo.

…..

A friend of ours wanted to set up a management committee in his block where nothing gets done. He’s obviously impressed with how good ours looks since we took over. Theirs gets no maintenance or cleaning.

‘Of course not,’ said the block owner. ‘We let you rent here out of the kindness of our hearts so that poor people like you have somewhere to live.’

…..

The same friend was asked to clean the flat roof – for free – of his neighbour. This would involve climbing onto the roof of his block, strolling along the parapet and clambering onto the other roof. Fall = certain death.

‘Why can’t you do it?’ asked friend, not unreasonably.

‘I’m a lawyer. I don’t do that sort of thing.’

…..

In fact, same lawyer employs the most useless tackiest people to paint his house, presumably because they are cheap. Or he thinks they are cheap. The one who painted the front door knob had to come back because the paint fell off. I was informed in advance that this would happen by He Who Knows All Things About Painting. The other day, the cleaner was shouting at a different painter who was throwing paint around liberally inside the house ensuring the floor was painted at the same time as the walls.

‘Get a mop and bucket and clean it up,’ said the ‘painter’.

I might add, that is a typical sexist reaction in this part of the world. Men make a mess? Women clean it up.

…..

And still on painting, we heard that a friend working ridiculous hours in the UK — let’s hear it for the Working Hours Directive at this point – had passed out on a job. Because if you don’t work the twelve hours a day plus any compulsory overtime, you Do. Not. Have. A. Job. Just for those of you who think the EU has achieved any improvement in working hours.

…..

Another painter friend, in mid fifties, so younger than us, had a stroke.

Insert slight digression

When I first met Partner I told him he couldn’t possibly be a painter and decorator because painters were always old men. Like Mr Manners from my childhood, or his cousin, Mr Fallus, who we used when Mr M retired, because he was, well, old.

With the death of our painter friend Steve 15 months ago, and the two above incidents, it seems painters aren’t even getting the chance to become old these days. Odd, considering back then that they were using lead-based paints and there were no VOC regs. Or maybe back then, in the days of lengthy apprenticeships, skilled tradespeople were more aware of health and safety issues.

End digression

It turned out that it wasn’t a stroke. It was a brain tumour. He’s had surgery and is now awaiting chemo.

Second digression

When I was working in cancer services I was chatting with the clinical director, who was a neuro clinical oncologist, about patient information. Good bloke, somewhat blunt. Patient groups were interested in having recordings of consultations. It’s difficult to remember what doctors say at the best of times, let alone when being faced with a cancer diagnosis and treatment options.

Doctor T had actually tried this out. Patient goes in to see him, gets not very good news about brain cancer.

‘What would you do doctor?’

Naturally at this point, T had forgotten he was on tape.

‘Get a gun and fucking shoot myself.’

I don’t know if they ever did bring in tape recordings.

His other gem was on the train to London, where he had a second home.

A group of Germans were ensconced around a table on the train. Trouble was, one of the seats was reserved for T. But, the Germans didn’t want to move.

‘Go and sit somewhere else,’ they unhelpfully said.

‘You might have annexed Poland, you aren’t annexing my seat. Move.’

He was big and assertive. They moved.

End second digression

I wonder what sort of info about brain tumours our friend has received?

…..

Spanish round-up

We walked round the beach (header pony pic), and olive tree plus jar photo, entrance to our village. We had a flat tyre, €10 to fix. Tomatoes from next door after we gave José some unneeded tools. I have peas! And lots of acelga, shared with another neighbour.

…..

And, in blog news, I’ve accepted an invitation to be a regular guest blogger on Kev’s blog, where I will be writing a monthly Editor’s Column. My end-of-Feb post will be a round-up about the controversial topic of book reviews. Yeah. How can book reviews be such a thorny topic? Believe me, they are.

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75 comments on “The pikeys are back in town

  1. “Has it not occurred to anyone that the type of people who don’t pick up are unlikely to have a dog licence?”

    LOL

    Focus on what’s doable. Jobs and making the world a better place ain’t it. So dog poop policing must suffice.

    Great photos. Remind me that there is a good life somewhere out there, still. Thanks, RS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t decide whether to transplant the chair to the finca or leave it here. Came in useful when I was locked in the bathroom the other day with the dogs … another story.

      The mirror works so well. Really pleased.

      I read today the UK is lacking veg in supermarkets due to Spanish weather. Not in my part of Spain. Supermarkets are contracting with the wrong firms. Try AgroAxarquía sweethearts (our local huge corrida). Apparently there are shortages in lettuce, spinach, baby green leaves – all of which I have in my tiny tiny garden. Take it your garden is enfolded in chilliness?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, man! Spinach, lettuce, baby green leaves? I’ll be there to raid your garden tonight!! Our garden is snowed under. I’ve been trying to grow arugula indoors – it’s pitiful — and I brought the scotch bonnet pepper plants indoors and they have each grown one tiny pepper! I keep cutting them back, thinking they’ll put their energy into peppers – but no way! Instead, they send out huge new branches. My husband says “It’s winter; they won’t bear”, and I reply: “How do they know it’s winter? It’s warm inside!” He rolls his eyes and mutters something about daylight….

        Liked by 1 person

        • Aragula grows wild here. My neighbourcouldn’t understand when I started growing it in the garden. I grow what works. Some things do, some don’t, so I learn. The spinach is actually swiss chard but the young leaves are similar. Anyway it’s green and leafy and yummy.

          Scotch bonnets. Ugh. Neighbour gave me loads. Supposed to be hot, hot, hot and … tasteless. Chucked them in the bin and I never do that. José told me to sow some seeds from his last crop. I think not. Sowed some nice picante long ones instead. I only cut chillies back after they’ve borne fruit. Let them do their own thing, harvest, then prune.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ya didn’t get Scotch bonnet peppers, I can tell you that. They are very hot, and full of flavour. Unfortunately, I rarely cook with pepper – so ask me what I’m doing with pepper trees? I give the peppers to my relatives who are great cooks of Jamaican food.

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          • But they were. They were that stupid shape. No other chillies have that shape, which, I think is ugly. I like nice thin green or red chillies. No idea where my neighbour got them from. He doesn’t like chillies either so … grows them and gives them to us!

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve revamped my herb garden as winter is a good time for it. We actually get rain. Bought thyme, rosemary and mint, and sowed cilantro last time so that is growing nicely. Not sure whats happened to my aragula. Maybe that and my chillies will have germinated by now 🌶

            Liked by 2 people

  2. *snarl, snort* To comment here, I not only have to be signed in, but then do it a second time?
    I like your chair and covet it. I love the boat. The rigging seems to have been done with meticulous care and accuracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nothing to do with me, isn’t that normal WP settings? I’m pretty much perm signed in though.
      Oh, Partner will be pleased re the chair :)
      I did think about you when I posted the boat pic. We had to fix a couple of stray strings to sort the sails, but even landlubbers like us could do that.

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        • No, my variant of cat pix is dog pix. This is down-the-beach pic. That happened to be cutissimo pony. So loved strokes too. I always feel guilty when I meet horses, ponies, donkeys and have no apples or carrots.

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          • Yeah, I know what you mean. We used to live near a paddock with two horses. Always had to take treats with us when we went visiting. They have the softest noses imaginable.

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          • Huge teeth. My father was frightened of horses. Bite at one end, kick at the other. Never put me off. The finca opposite us used to have horses. The stable hand rode out one day, jumped off, passed the reins to Partner who was hanging around outside, and said ‘hold him,’ as though everyone can hold large stallions!
            I think donkeys are cuter, they take food more gently too. Horses tend to snatch.

            Liked by 1 person

          • lol – we learned the open handed technique very quickly and still have all our fingers, but you’re right those teeth are massive.
            I’ve only been ‘on’ a horse once and learned two things – the ground was a long way away, and horses have minds of their own. It went where it wanted and I went along for the ride. :)

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          • Yeah open hands essential!
            I did riding lessons for a while, small jumps, and went pony trekking. Ace fun, but I’ve conflicting views about riding animals so it stopped. My riding hat got thrown out.

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          • I kind of wish I’d had some real lessons, but not sure how much fun that would have been for the horse. To be honest, I’d rather watch them run for the joy of it than watch them ‘mastered’ to the saddle. We have wild brumbies here and watching video of them running free is amazing.

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    • I reckon they are both repro. I hadn’t thought of art deco, which I love.

      I smirk in the mirror every time I walk past. Who, would throw that out? I mean, seriously? Got to be worth a tenner at a car boot sale if nowt else. Anyways. It’s mine. And as it’s nearly the same stain and has similar round thingies, it just works so well with the chest of drawers.

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  3. I covet both chair and mirror.
    Nothing gets chucked out here…well, apart from old televisions which disappear rapidly in the direction of a repair workshop. Most of the stuff I see on sites where expat Americans are returning home ought to have been chucked out though, but, having been in their possession, obviously acquire added value. Who tries to sell their shoes, for goodness’ sake!
    I enjoyed your cheapjack lawyer…considering the things lawyers will do, cleaning his flat roof himself pales into insignificance.

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  4. Love the chair! What a find!
    Oh, and I’ll take that Dr., thanks. He sounds like the one I’ve had since I was ten – an Englishman and he tells it like it is. (He’s also 83)
    Those veggies are drool-worthy; this time of year all we can buy at the groceries stores here just give us the idea. .

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    • Thanks :) doesn’t fit with flat style, which is dark oak, but too good to pass by.
      I liked T because he was straight and didn’t do politics, just got on with the job. After I left I think he became hospital medical director. Used to have an appt with Dr Gordons on Friday evening. With tonic.
      Veg shortage in Spain apparently so empty supermarkets in UK (see Andrew’s comment). Plenty of veg in my pueblo which is a big agro area with a major corrida (veg wholesale market). We get trucks from all over Spain buying there.

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  5. I had so much fun reading this, felt like I was spinning around, trying to focus, but it did make sense in the end. They’re worried about the dog poo because if they distract you enough with unnecessary nonsense, they can get away with really awful stuff and you’ll still be waiting in line to have DNA samples taken and processed. Getting very experienced with this kind of distraction here in US as well. I’d love to visit Gibraltar but I might not be able to get back into my own country. I’ve heard the whole thing is just because da T likes to fight with everyone.

    Next post about book reviews? I’ll be back.

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    • Cheers Sharon. They were all just snippets that struck me as slightly weird. The dog thing is loopy. There isn’t that much poo around anyway. When you get into government what is the priority? Jobs, economy, housing, health care, education, foreign relations. Although I suppose it depends who you are …

      Review post will be on my guest column on Kev’s but I’ll add the link here.

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  6. Pooh DNA analysis? Seriously? Perhaps the govt could re-direct those funds to animal shelters and education just across the border to stop the crimes against dogs (and I assume cats) going on there?

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    • So we were told. We’ve got an animal shelter here attached to a vet clinic, a separate cat refuge, and there is a fundraiser next Sat for the animal hospital. And that’s just what I know about. Education across the border would be good. When we got Snowy, he was the only podenco here, although we did meet a cross pod/water dog. Now they are all over the place. The shelters over the border are always full and have suffered with the rain deluge, needing to ship animals out. Podenco (and galgo) organisations are trying to work with hunters to get them to hand dogs in rather than brutally killing them. Or attempting to and leaving them for dead. A long slow process. We are light years away from spay and neutering disposable objects :(

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I love how you tell it like it is. Too funny in some spots and ghastly in others. The lawyer was disgusting. And I never heard of testing dog feces to determine who is not picking up. Such a waste of time money and, effort.

    The fresh produce looks delectable. And your lucky find. That is a match made in heaven. I love old used things. My house is full of old and used stuff- including me. This old nag should be put out to pasture but it seems I need to keep on trudging. :-)

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  8. thoughts (numbered just because — no significance to order):
    1. Acelga is new to me; will have to look it up. I have never had success growing veggies, although I want to grow some (I think) once the snow disappears. We have a lot of that at the moment. Some facebook friends were excited about the prospect of thunder snow. (sorry, off topic)
    2. I dislike the attitude of your friend’s landlord. Rude! Especially since I assume that your friend isn’t paying less rent just because he is “poor.”
    3. That pony is lovely. Very short legs though. Is it somehow hobbled so it doesn’t wander? And if so, is there water nearby for it?
    4. I am looking forward to your “dogs vs router man vs toilet prison” post
    5. I like the sound of that doctor — except I don’t think he was kind to the patient who wanted some glimmer of hope. Hope is in short supply, and makes life so much more …hopeful.
    6. dog poop — that’s it: That is the most bizarre thing I have heard in eons. Oh, wait! I live next door to our southern neighbours. I take that last comment back. second try: That is bizarre! how does one separate the dog DNA from the DNA of the creatures eaten? And where would it go for testing? Perhaps this is part of a “make jobs” attempt by those in power who have no idea what they are doing. Or — more likely — it’s an attempt to bring in more money without having to provide any actual service. I can’t imagine anyone testing dog doodoo for the purpose of identifying a pooping dog’s owner. They don’t even always/ever do DNA testing when solving break and enters or other more violent crimes.
    7. I might have to follow Kev’s blog in order to read your guest posts. Have fun with those!

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    • 1) Swiss chard I think in English. But acelga is shorter :D Tastes like spinach so it often gets called that too. Self seeds and grows like wildfire. Good veg. I’ve had success with different veg in spain compared with uk, which may be more like your bc climate. Good veg for me in uk were potatoes, scarlet runner beans, cabbage, mizuna, rocket, spinach. Useless on the things needing sun!
      2) Landlords here are Rachman-like, and some are Jewish too. But they all operate the same way. When they put the rent up it goes up a hundred pounds a month or a thousand or two a year. For no reason as they don’t maintain the blocks.
      3) Spaniards like tying animals up. Water? There’s grass to eat. It looks like a pit pony to us, which have short legs.
      4) No dog/router man/toilet prison post! Suffice to say my dogs do not let people in easily if they don’t know them. And if they do, their welcome is overly enthusiastic.
      5) I don’t know. I think honesty is good. Well, I would prefer it. Been reading a draft book about … dying from cancer and there is honesty throughout. A good read. When there is no hope left, the family adjusts and copes with the last days. Why lie and give people false hope? Maybe it depends on the patient?
      6) It just strikes me as insignificant in the scheme of things and unfair to people who pick up that they have to pay an increased fee to cover the cost of dna testing for those who don’t and prob won’t have a licence anyway.
      7) I’ll give a link when I post it at the end of the month.

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      • I had to go to the online help desk for a couple more veggie terms. Rocket = arugula, I think. Mizuna = spider mustard — but that didn’t help, since I don’t know that term either. The photos look like arugula, so I don’t think this is a common veggie here.

        How the truth is handled is patient dependent at some point. I am a fan of the truth, but my mother — who is dealing with dementia — is easily confused and worries excessively, so we have kept the worst of the bad news (the things that there is nothing that can be done about) from her so far. It makes no sense to give her info she has no control over and can’t process, since there is a great risk of ongoing mental torment. The doctor you mention could have shared the bad news a bit more diplomatically, so that he knew he was facing death, but spared him from the image of being in line for so much pain and torment that he’d come to wish he’d killed himself first. That’s the bit of hope I meant.

        I bought a few groceries today, and was really taken aback by empty fruit and veggie sections. I instantly thought of your post. Since I haven’t heard of any limitation or rationing, I am assuming that the dearth is the result of truckers not being able to get the produce to us through all the snow. The routes in and out of the city got larger dumps than we did — and it’s pretty miserable here.

        Enjoy your greens!

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  9. Nice round-up. We have vegetable rationing in UK thanks to bad weather in Spain. Sainsbury’s restricting people to three Iceberg lettuces to prevent stock-piling which leaves (a pun there) me wondering how do you stock-pile lettuce, especially iceberg!

    Nice mirror – good find.

    I won’t get on to the subject of dog poo!

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    • Cheers. I’ve read about the rationing. There have been no organic veg in Morris here for two weeks, well a few toms and mushrooms. I find this weird when I have plenty of veg at the finca. The supermarkets clearly aren’t sourcing the correct suppliers. Profits huh? Why anyone would want one iceberg lettuce is beyond me. Let alone three. Tasteless tat. I grow flat ones (four seasons) and escarole.
      The mirror looks good in situ, the chest of drawers is perfect for it.
      Just as well, although most other people are commenting on it.

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      • Dog wardens are generally useless and a waste of money because to be effective they have to spot an offender and then have the courage to impose a fine face to face which can be confrontational and can make some of them reluctant to do it. So I see some sense in DNA testing because all they have to do is scoop up the shit after the event and not get involved in an argument.

        Car Park wardens have a much easier job of course because they can slap a ticket on a vehicle anonymously.

        I distrust Iceberg because of what happened to the Titanic!

        Liked by 1 person

          • But it is easy to trace a car through the visible licence plate but can’t see how a photo of a dog taking a dump can be so useful unless it has a registration number tattooed on its arse!

            Ah, from the other end of the telescope, as it is the owner who is committing the offence maybe they should be obliged to wear a tabard with a registration number clearly printed on the back whenever they take their dog for a walk.

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          • There are signs up in the Office of Fair Trading asking people to do that. You technically need a business licence here. But how would you know whether someone has one? Hello person, do you have a licence? If not I’ll dob you in. I think not. The recrimination doesn’t bear thinking about.

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      • I suspect if Our Leader can’t get his ex- wife nominated as the next Pres, then he might also claim he has forgotten his name and cop a plea to avoid getting his arse nailed the moment he leaves office.

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        • I’m like you, I don’t keep up to the news all the time, so I’m not up on SA. Interestingly it doesn’t make world news. Well, most countries don’t. But when I read stories like Lyz’s, my heart sinks.

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          • Yeah. That has freaked me out like you can’t believe.
            I tend to be reclusive these days and often live on my nerves.
            That these fuckers came in during the day , armed to the teeth one presumes, ( I can’t bring myself to ask Lyz) did my head in.
            I have only one photo of me and Iain at my first book signing laughing over something or another, and that’s the image burned in my memory.

            I may do a post later but it’s just way too heavy right now.

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          • He just sounds like a nice bloke and they had a good rapport and he was a family person. An overly used word, but in this case I think it’s merited: tragic.

            I’m not invading her space, but if she ever wants, like many others, I’m at the end of the internet. She’s got her plate full right now though.

            Maybe you could do a post late Feb after his day? Just a thought.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Could the chair be Empire style? Reminds me of Napoleon and Josephine a bit. Could be Art Deco revival – I’ve seen this lines on furniture of the 50’s – that era of Hollywood glam. Cool piece.
    Paints door knobs? With the humidity and use paint wouldn’t last long here – although old rural farm houses often have them..many many coats on top of peeling coats so you have to be careful not to jab your hand – lead paint you know…although lead paint was used for a very long time with great care (from training by an experienced painter). Don’t recall any kids being taught/told to nibble on the walls or paint…actually taught not to put stuff in mouths and wash hands well and keep windows open for fresh healthy air – at leas 15 min a day even in winter (according to my ancient grandmother)
    But that’s all gone and gov. regulates, so now we have assorted chemicals in the always closed up houses and furniture. So much better…
    Can’t believe the gov is officially mandating DNA for dogs (A few apt. projects and subdivisions have started that here as people just can’t do what is right and clean up). With the DNA records, will stray dogs be checked to see who dumped them…will any dog who hasn’t had a human bother to DNA register them be punished by death as obviously they are unwanted and messy littering? Honestly all sorts of problems come up with that new regulation…probably leading to more regulations
    Pony up. That’s really a cute pony – who couldn’t take a picture.

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  11. Gib never changes…. I got told off online for commenting on A Pro Gib site that the local Spanish townships (La Lin., San Roque and the in between bit where I used to live, Campamento, all called it Un Monton de Mierda….. and your latest blog seems to confirm that :-)

    Good news from T’other side of the Penisula ( La Manga ) Granddaughter is 21 next month and Abuelo has been invited! She has finished her first year at University ( Carlos IV in Murcia) and reconsidered her position and is opting for a course in Canine Physiology This would seem to be with the ultimate aim of becoming a veterinary Nurse and then going on to become a fully fledged Vet. Alongside these studies she is to do a course in book illustration
    . Her ‘big romance’ seems to have fizzled out, for what seems to be the same reason as her Mother’s did, way back in Eighties I met her ( Alex’s) first young Lothario who was incredibly good looking (Think a youthful Marlon Brando) He was an orphan and living off his wits and his late Father’s Post Office Pension After a few weeks together, Alex gave him the elbow as he seemed to think that he could go out every night with the boys and she had to stay in cooking and cleaning . When she did go out he criticised her style and choice of mini-faldas and high heels. That lasted all of 4 weeks and after a very vocal parting of the ways, he upped and left and she returned home to Mummy with head high! History seems to be repeating itself with Elaine as her young would be partner had not heard of women’s liberation and was demanding that she became a full time Criada, Mama, Lavadora and his personal sex object. They never learn do they?

    The floods seem to have affected the Malaga/ Lorca / Alicante strip of intensive fruit and veg growing. Years ago we saw mile after mile of huge fields covered with white plastic sheeting had been washed away, along with the roads and bridges crossing the usually bone dry river beds

    “La Gota Fria'”( The Cold drop), had moved West to East roughly parallel with the coast from Gib to Valencia causing massive damage. We drove though this a few years ago with the intention of visiting the Golf Course near San Roque where the Ryder Cup was to be played. We got as far as Minelva and had to stop as a huge landslide had removed several hundred meters of the main road!

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  12. I went into Thin Lizzy mode as soon as I read your header. (replacing pikeys with boys of course) IDK… See what you do to me! You showed chair and dressing table mirror in another post… You’ve done great restorative work on them. I like the boat too, but would probably flog it at the market. 😀

    Not getting into politicy things on this one. 😉

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  13. Gorgeous pony. Reminds me of the ones we used to ride on at the seaside when we were kids. Another lifetime! :? I like the bits and bobs you found. The mirror looks good on the chest of drawers. The dog poo DNA tests sound like a wonderful idea……not. How I’d hate the job. :lol:

    Like

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