Tosceeeeta!

Día de Andalucía

And … Tosca’s gotcha day. Or got us day. Or whatever.

It’s a year since the pathetic underweight timid bitch followed Partner and Snowy home.

Toscy
Toscy

I swear she has doubled in size. Naughty fat girl. We put it down to her being underfed before, and maybe being malnourished when she was pregnant. But hell, she was alive, and not beaten around the head, * insert all manner of graphic tortures* and is now a happy friendly dog. Like Snowy, she is also a good guard dog.

She happens to be a Tea Leaf too. Tosca Tea Leaf. Here are the latest in toeless socks. Thanks Tosc.

Height of fashion
Height of fashion

Podencos = affection, guarding, sofa/bed loving. Crazy dogs but eminently lovable. Assuming you like dogs.

………

Meanwhile, back at the finca, I got a huge harvest of peas. OK, maybe not so huge. The acelga threatens to overtake the main veg plot. Has now been moved. Winter jasmine is flowering. As are nasturtiums.

Veg plot. Go away acelgas!
Veg plot. Go away acelgas!

………

And, it rained. What does one do when it rains in Spain? Read.

I read a short story set partly in Ecuador. When I embarked on my round the world trip, Latin America was on the return leg after Australasia. Trouble was I got distracted and married in Sydney so Latin America never happened.

When I was a lass my parents hired Saturday boys to work on their market stall. One of them won a Churchill Fellowship for travelling. He came from a local council estate and went to South America, sending me postcards from his travels. I so wanted to go there.

Later, he became a newspaper editor. His older brother, also a Saturday boy, became a High Court judge. I wonder if kids from rough council estates can do the same today?

………

But back to Ecuador. Can’t remember if Ian sent me a postcard from there, I only remember Machu Pichu. And now I speak enough Spanish I want to go to South America even more. In the meantime, vicarious book travelling.

First, here’s Roger’s travels:

100% Love Guaranteed

All you need is love …
All you need is love …

With a title like that, the reader might be forgiven for expecting a Mills and Boone drama, although with a slightly exotic touch as it is set in Ecuador. In fact, the first part of the book is redolent of predictable romances where couples meet, are attracted, fall out, make up, rinse and repeat. It was like reading about a pair of teenagers except he’s 30 ish and a software engineer, and she’s a 22-year-old medical student.

Luckily the story picks up when Keays ends up being arrested because his visa had expired (duh), and he ends up in an Ecuadorian gaol, which he seems to manage with amazing aplomb.

On his release, he resumes his relationship with his girlfriend, but on the expiry of his new visa, leaves the country and hits the road again, simultaneously maintaining internet contact with the ex (?) girlfriend, and having sex with other women.

Keays paints an interesting picture of himself, whether intentional or not. He comes across as arrogant, selfish, egotistical, and a womaniser who hits on women younger than himself for casual sex. He seems like a typical commitment phobe and/or someone pursuing greener grass. His personal introspection, however, is well written and adds depth to what could have become a somewhat vapid and bland book about his sexual conquests and hedonistic travel adventures.

Get past the lengthy teenage-type section at the beginning and it’s a story worth reading. I’ll admit the travel aspect drew me more than the love element, but the combination of the two made it a powerful story. And for those of us who travelled in pre-internet days, it’s interesting to read how much things have changed. Text messages, Facebook, and, Keays works on the Internet while travelling. A far cry from me ringing home from the central exchange in Bombay (as was) and my postcards from Nepal never arriving at their destination. My promised Indian job (charity work with free board/accommodation) didn’t pan out, but there was lots of work in Sydney. Keays doesn’t even have to leave his hotel room for work if it has wifi.

The book raises some interesting moral issues about travelling and relationships: casual sex, sex without contraception, getting involved with people from different countries and different cultures, expectations, going back home – home doesn’t change – the traveller has changed, are white western men the golden prize for latinas (or other non-white women) – the cash cow to be milked until the gold has run dry? To what extent can we remain friends with people we met/had sex with on our travels? And for how long?

Keays uses Spanish well throughout the book, although flits between translating some words, eg barrio, but not others eg muy bien. Given there is a glossary at the beginning, it seemed an odd mix. And I’m not entirely sure the average non-Spanish speaking reader couldn’t work out documentos, gringo, discoteca, passaporte, for example. It’s never easy to decide how to use foreign languages in books but I’m not a fan of translations in brackets after the word/s. It detracts from the flow too much. Given he doesn’t use full conversations in Spanish, I thought the glossary on its own without in-text translations was fine.

The structure of the book is clearly defined and well thought through in three distinct sections: the initial stage of the romance and its development; Keays’ time in gaol, subsequent release, and the adjustment of the relationship as the pair finds a balance between work, studies and love; and finally, leaving Equador and the girlfriend for more adventures and sex with other women, culminating in a reunion in Barcelona. Chapter titles are good, showing thought and imagination, acting as an enticement for each particular chapter. Descriptive passages are not overly long, but evocative of stunning scenery and run-down squalor, depending on the location. The frustrations involved with dealing with slow Spanish-speaking bureaucracy are well expressed.

And I loved the map. Maps are a must-have for travel books.

I was surprised to see it had four beta readers and an editor as I thought it read like a self-edited book with some very basic errors (including a couple in the glossary), and relatively weak initial chapters of Part 1. Do these spoil the story? No, just let it down. What should be an easy four star book, ends up as three and a half.

I really must write my own travel/love story on the other side of the world!

And next, a slightly different story:

Seduction Squad: Captured

Hot stuff
Hot stuff

This was a great read. What I liked about it was the gradual developing relationship between the two main characters, the clever way their separate back stories was told, and their surprisingly mutual goal.

It reminded me of a line in the James Bond film, Casino Royale, where Vesper Lynd says to Bond that MI6 recruits maladjusted young men because they kill efficiently.

The female character is a top Mata Hari, originally from Ecuador, and the male one grew up in Zimbabwe during the Mugabe period. But both had a sad childhood.

There are some nice descriptions of Quito, the city and local environment, a bus journey, and, all in all, it’s a well rounded novella. And, because it’s erotica, there is some sex. It was the story that did it for me though. Cracking female seductress and assassin character, and well worth an easy five stars.

And no errors! What a pleasure to read a story without punctuation and spelling mistakes. Seriously.

………

Both good in their own ways and recommended.

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126 comments on “Tosceeeeta!

  1. I don’t usually read erotica but I like the sound of the second book more than the first. I think the bloke’s personality would piss me off too much, however good the introspective bits.

    I have planted nothing yet, I’m miles behind with the gardening, although thinking I will probably just buy plants from the market.

    Cheers

    MTM

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    • The sex was sort of irrelevant in the erotica. I liked me the clever woman :)

      Ah, dear Roger. I described the book to Partner and he hit the roof. Fucking Aussie surfers was the kindest thing he said (remember we lived in Aus). But, in its way, I thought it was good. You know, selfish good-looking bastard shags his way around the world. God, he will be sticking pins into me by now.

      Needless to state, I read both for free. The second author got five stars from me and another reader so may be up for further reviews if you are interested. It’s not really your genre though I wouldn’t think. Totally suited me. Wicked.

      It’s only Feb. What on earth can you plant in the uk in Feb?

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  2. Interesting books those must have been.
    Your height of fashion reminds of high school days. There are fellows whose socks were permanently toe-less. It’s like they cut a piece in two so one pair of socks made two pairs. I never understood it at all.

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  3. Very glad that the little lady landed on her paws with you….even if she is a phantom sock gnawer.

    ‘Assuming you like dogs’….We’ve just had a surprise – for which read shock – visitor who loathes all animals as being carriers of dirt and disease. Oddly enough, we have no allergies; he seems to have the lot. In spades. Serves the bugger right.

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  4. Toscy is a fashion designer getting the spring line ready. She picked the right home to adopt – and little did you know you needed her, too. What a beauty (Shiver to think of the ones not so lucky.)
    Molly will search the laundry basket for a sock to suck on if we are gone for what she feels is too long…of course, the mouthing for comfort seems to be followed by gnashing of teeth. We are always happy if the sock is just wet.
    You are right about pre-internet travel. Used to worry my parents when I was off somewhere. Now books with traveling (and maps – love maps!) are greatly appreciated. Even more if the story is good, characters realistic, and proofread well.
    The grand waterfalls, Machu Pichu, the coastal areas as well as the mountains. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Toscy is a naughty girly whirly. But we were lacking a dog with long fur to moult everywhere post Pippita.

      Our laundry basket currently sits on top of the latest chair find. A minor deterrent in the Podenco scheme of things but ok in the short term (oven cloth and tea towel were today’s successful snaffles).

      I can’t imagine travel with mobiles. Where is the exoticness? The mystery?the far-away places? One click and you are back home. Ugh. Not that I have parents to mobile to, but still. Even when I have travelled separately to partner, we rarely contacted each other. No need.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tosca looks adorable, and well worth having socks becoming an open-ended question for — hosiery into hose?
    In the opening paragraph of review 2, have you most uncharacteristically made a singular error, or am I missing something?

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      • Our Tess is adorable in spite of being a tea leaf of finest blend. Her latest exploit was to demolish the month’s supply of cheese.
        YOU generally don’t, which is why I wondered if ’twas I.

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        • We manage to keep them away from food strangely enough. Snowy’s finest exploit was chewing a pack of cox 2 inhibitors that Pippa had for arthritis. They were kept on top of the sideboard, in a box, in foil, and overdosing is *not* recommended. Ill effects? None.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That took enterprise! Rivals one by my earliest German Shepherd who scoffed a batch of fudge containing two tins of condensed milk and a pound of butter inter alia, and didn’t even have the grace to be sick.

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          • Dog scavenge tails ;) are great. Mother looks puzzled. ‘I thought I put out the buttered teacakes for the fish and chips.’ Smirk from smug ridgeback. The same one who peeled a flipping banana. Skin left on floor. The there was the labrador that ate the remains of the shepherds pie, dish carefully left on floor (taken from table), unbroken, and cleanly licked out. All too funny to get annoyed about.

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    • Great things? Well, good enough I guess. Before your time, but Kerry was the defence solicitor for the Yorkshire Ripper :( ugh. But yes, high court judge and newspaper editor from a large Irish Catholic family on a council estate (may have been single parent, can’t remember) is what British society should be about. Opportunities for everyone, no discrimination, the chance to make something of your life. The family needed the money from the Saturday job and they were both nice lads, conscientious and pleasant personalities.

      You should see the bras and knickers. I figured toeless socks were more discreet than crotchless knickers!

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        • Although how someone from a council estate could afford to get a law degree these days is beyond me. In fact how anyone can afford a degree is beyond me. If that was me know, I’d get a job (hopefully) and do distance learning. Unless I lived in Gib of course where university education is still funded.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes me too, I wouldn’t have been able to afford going to uni at 18… I was one of the last few lucky enough to get a full grant, although that was rather depleted by the time I got there as it hadn’t risen with inflation for about a decade. I survived on an overdraft, bar work and working through my holidays to start with a zero balance at the start of the next term. How you pay for teaching as well as everything else frightens me… especially with 3 kids.

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          • University costs are one of my mega gripes. For all that I don’t have children, I can get worked up about education. Quite frankly, I don’t know why the system has been changed from grammar schools, sec modern, technical colleges and apprenticeships. I don’t see that people are any smarter, and in terms of technical trades, the skill base is deplorable. I think anyone capable of going to university (although it seems everyone is these days) should not be saddled with a stupid debt. Teaching fees? Never? Assessable grant, fair enough. I never got a full one, most of us who relied on the parental contribution never got it made up to the same level. In my last year I managed on the partial grant alone. Back in year dot, (late 70s actually), nobody needed to work to supplement the grant. No bar work, let alone prostitution.

            It’s wrong though. Education should be a given. Like health care. Rant. Rant. Rant!

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          • I totally agree on all levels. We need so many more skills than just degrees. Eldest has already decided he wants to go to uni, but I will be discussing other options with my other two when the time comes (and not just for financial reasons).

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          • I read a comment on a forum recently replying to what career advice would ypu give someone. And the answer was, unless you are studying law, accountancy, medicine (etc) don’t waste time and money on university. Get a job instead. Honest, but sad. Me, I’ve got two degrees (BA, MBA) and a craft trade (journalism). But that was then. This is now. Part of the issue for your family is, how long will you be in Gib? As you know, Gib and the UK are so not the same.

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          • Gambling? Some companies are committed to Gib eg BetVictor and William Hill. And look at Price Waterhouse, 200 new jobs allegedly just round from us in Main St.

            Glad I don’t have the responsibility of kids. Dogs are quite enough!

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          • Even with commitments, business is business, what if the border gets tricky and the majority of their staff can’t get into work or can’t afford / don’t want to live in Gib. I plan in school years and always have since we arrived… I always wonder where the kids will be going to school next September because nothing is concrete. In the meantime we make the most of the blue skies and hope for the best. Long may it continue…

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          • We made the decision to live in a crappy one-bed flat in Gib. It’s also just off Main St, we are convenient for everything, buses are free, I manage our block, we have no daily frontier hassle etc. If people prefer cheaper properties with more space in Spain, that’s their choice. Seven hundred quid to rent in Gib, five hundred euros in La Linea. Buy a place in Spain? How long to sell? In my block flats sell like hot cakes. Depends what people are looking for. If people have a job they can afford to live in Gib. They just may not choose to.

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          • I’m too old to be aspirational! We only ever live in one room ie wherever the cooker is, and more rooms means more to clean. So a bigger place in Santa Margarita, La Linea, San Roque, Guadacorte etc is just not us. My partner started work at 8am yesterday, got the bus up there, walked the rest. Imagine doing that from Spain (at age 60).

            If people want to earn money in Gib and live in Spain because it’s cheaper that’s fine. But let’s call it what it is. There are three people renting in my block. One is a pensioner, long time renter so lower rent, one is a lawyer, and the third was on minimum wage before he got promoted. If someone earning very basic wages can afford to live in a decent central block then it’s not a question of affordability, rather choice.

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  6. The winter jasmine is beautiful. Things are beginning to bloom here, but it’s way too soon. No doubt we’ll have a hard freeze before spring rolls in. As for the toeless socks, I bet you could sell them on Ebay. :)

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    • The winter jasmine only lasts a month or so. It is so delicate though and has an intoxicating smell. I have a summer jasmine plant which is in bloom for the other eleven months! Well, it might not be this year as it has been cut right back to a stump!

      Maybe Etsy?

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    • Thanks Ark. it was a take-off of one of my favourite Pippa shots:

      https://pippadogblog.blogspot.com

      (The header). Pippa had to be the most photogenic dog we’ve ever had. Although I do like Snowy’s Anubis poses. If he’d been black I would have called him Anubis. Natch, you will know all about your Egyptian god colleagues.

      I read anything and everything especially in a foreign setting which is a big attraction for me.

      Straight sci fi, or fantasy spec fic sci fi? Does Lyz’s series count? I’m not particularly fond of sci fi per se, only when written by authors I know and like. This is the woman who hasn’t read Adams (as well as E L James). I am editing an interesting futuristic short story though, probably more dystopian (which I do like) than sci fi. I’ve read Day of the Triffids though :) you got any sci fi requests? I consider most things for stone gods.

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      • I could offer some wonderful books for you to read: Brian Aldiss’ Helliconia trilogy is superb.
        I recommended Marrow, by Robert Reed to John Z and he became hooked at once, so he told me. He even emails the author these days! (Ask John about the book and he will rave on for as long as you let him! )
        I have a habit of reading and re-reading favorite novels until they are almost falling apart in my hands, so I don’t often venture out to read a lot of new stuff! It took years of nagging from my kids before I picked up a Pratchett book. Bit I consider that was nagging well worth the effort, and helped with my own writing tremendously.
        I am not a great fan of Crime Novels, but Cyber Way, by Alan Dean Foster combined a murder mystery and sci-fi and was an excellent read. That one you might like. Set in the US of the near future,it deals with Native American tribes and sandpainting … and aliens, of course!
        I learnt quite a lot which is always a bonus.
        If you get chance to read any of the Sci novels I mentioned you will understand the type of thing I like.

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          • That I cannot answer. The Aldiss novels are quite old, mid 80s, so probably not.
            Marrow is 2001.They might be able to get it?
            You shy to ask for Fifty shades? I can’t believe that .
            You should march in boldly, and ask if the books include free toys … or whips!
            ;)

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          • I know some of the librarians personally! So when we are standing outside the courthouse waiting for shitty jury duty, Y will be thinking, hmmmm, you are into kinky bdsm sex …

            More of a chance of older books. Get it? This ain’t the UK sweets.

            Liked by 1 person

          • :)

            Be prepared for Librarian Ears going Red and a fair amount of ”Ers” and ”Ums”.

            You can play the scene out in your mind, can’t you?

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          • It goes like this:

            Hi Y, how are you?

            Good thanks roughseas, and you?

            Not bad, the ankle’s getting better.

            How can I help?

            Well, my pal in SA, Douglas Pearce who lives in Observatoryville in Jo’burg, has recommended a book. Fifty Shades of Grey. I think it’s something about painting, cos, as you know Partner is a decorator. Have you read it? Worth a read? Any good tips in there? Although tbh Partner pretty much has all that down to a T.

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  7. I love the toeless socks pic. Too funny. But who can beat having a podenco for a pet? She and Snowy are such wonderful dogs and I know that you would not trade them for the world. They are your babies. :-)

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    • Thanks David. You sock toe diet comment has just given me a huge laugh. The naughty toerag will eat anything. In the absence of food, socks are the next best choice (and knickers and bras and T-shirts, and sweatshirts and pullovers and shoes and …)

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  8. I have some toeless socks, but don’t have an adorable culprit to blame. When I adopted Attie he was severely underweight. Within a year he plumped out and he’s still obsessed with food. It’s been more than a decade.

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    • Our last three came directly off the street. Pippa was never greedy for whatever reason, Snowy was too young to have gone hungry, but Tosc must have had major probs the way she devours her food :(

      Don’t tell me you bought toeless socks!

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  9. I remember my dad growing peas, I tried it once but it seemed to be a lot of work for disappointing results. Two months staking with twigs and keeping the pests away for just a couple of meals. Thank goodness for Birds Eye!

    When I lived in Spalding there were fields and fields of peas and at the right moment for harvesting (sometimes in the middle of the night) the heavy machinery moved in and stripped a field in a matter of minutes.

    That dog looks happy enough even though it’s intestines must be clogged with wool!

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    • Have to say that sums it up on the pea front. Broad beans give better results, and scarlet runners in the uk were brill. No scarlets here :( I do like fresh peas though. Four euros fifty in town, so still worth the attempt.

      That dog. You are so anti-dog! That dog is Tosca. Thrown out by some shithead hunter. But still, better than being hung from a tree, dropped down a well, or generally beaten up and left for dead.

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      • I never liked Broad beans and these days French beans have very little taste and are a waste of money. I like the runners but for best taste they need to be eaten in season. I think they were better when they were stringy as well. My Mum used to have a kitchen contraption that shredded the pod and removed the tough bit down the side.

        I didn’t say that I liked the dog, I said it looked healthy – happy too, you have done a good thing!

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        • Broad beans, any beans, were on my official exemption list of food I was not forced to eat, along with mushrooms and smoked bacon.

          I first ate French beans with almonds. I was hooked after that. Probably the almonds but I started eating them. Spanish beans (habachuelas) are pretty tasteless unless they are well fresh.

          We had contraptions too. Fingers.

          The dog is fat :( But happy. A year later and she still can’t believe her luck. Sofa, chair, bed, food! (Don’t come vist :D)

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Love what toskeeta done to those socky-wockies… Bless! See, she’s made you fashionable for a change. Whether it’s a new hat, socks, shoes… pass to darlin’s first; it makes perfect fashion sense. You know she agrees with me, and it’s the right thing to do. 😁

    Can’t say I care much for your choice of books this time ’round… I think I’m starting to get tired of romancey, lovey, er, make me puke type books ’cause I’ve had so many to read… Gonna have to put a cap on it… Don’t go there! Where was I? Oh yeah, so I kinda skipped over your reviews this time… Sos. 🙄

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    • We loves the naught chewy monsters, we does.

      Actually I’m sockless atm. One up from toeless socks.

      They aren’t romancey. That’s the point. Sex plus Ecuador does not equate to romance. Although I admit 100% Love Guaranteed is candidate for cheesiest title of the year.

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  11. Oh, what a lucky girl she is! Your holey socks remind me of when hubby and I went out looking to buy a new mattress. He took off his shoes and lay down, revealing a big hole in the underneath of his sock, which was also covered in dried paint. I was mortified….somewhat. :D

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  12. I love maps in books too! Though my husband can never understand why as I’m abysmal at following them in real life. :)
    So how long do we have to wait for the life story, Kate? Till you are a comfortably retired lady? :) :)

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    • Weren’t there maps in Narnia and Swallows and Amazons? And LOTR. I am good at following them, I usually study them for hours before going anywhere, and then don’t need them as it’s all neatly filed away. I should say was as it’s years since we went anywhere new. Or even geocaching. I prefer navigating to driving. Navigating is the ultimate for control freaks!

      Ay, the life story. Bits of it scattered on blogs. Bits of it drafted. Most of it still in the head (with the maps :D). It’s the structure I need to get right, I’m also thinking maybe novellas rather than a long disparate ramble. The easy bit is probably the world trip. One of the best things I’ve ever done.

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  13. I dropped in because your avatar looks for all the world like a podenco. Now I see you have several of the beauties. Given where you are, it’s not surprising they just drift in like that. I’d love one as a companion for our galgo but I’d be afraid of him/her running and running….and just not stopping. Give them all a kiss on the conk from me.

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    • Thanks Jane. Sorry you went in the spam bin. No reason, but checked today and fished you out. Bit like little Snowy really, he went in the bin at a few days old. Never heard of Pods before but we told our vet we’d take the first rescue he heard of. And it was Snows, pure-bred albino Andalucían podenco. Junked. But better fate than many. A galgo would be lovely. They look like such beautiful tempered animals. Pods are feisty little f*****s, but totally affectionate, cracking guard dogs, and far too intelligent.

      With which. Tney run home. When they like home. Hence Tosca ran off and was peaceably waiting for Partner outside our gate.

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      • Glad the comment wasn’t lost forever. I love pods, they are my idea of pure dog beauty. Galgos are very lovely too, but I do love the pods’ big ears. We rarely see them as rescue dogs in town because they tend to have a stronger hunting instinct than galgos (who’s main instinct is to home in on the nearest sofa and go to sleep on it) which in a public park could be disastrous. I’m glad they found you, and that you took them in. They’re gorgeous dogs.

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        • Have to say Snowy is a little beaut. Never a small dog person before (he’s approx ten kilos) but does he think he’s big?! And his Anubis poses are classic. Actually both him and Toscy spend most of the day asleep. Luckily. We let Tosc off the lead once down the local riverbank and our drawers jopped. Sorry, jaws dropped. She was up the vertical banking in no time. There wasn’t even anything to chase, but obviously there had been something. Jeez, she was fast and agile.

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          • They’re dogs for the open country where there’s nobody’s cat about or chickens. This is a clip my daughter made of me with Finbar close to where we live.

            He’s poetry in motion to watch.

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          • What a beautiful vid Jane. Just, gorgeous. I posted a vid of a pod doing a flying leap. Must have taken off 20 ft before the jump (agility). Needless to state I can’t find it :D
            Did one of Snows running on the beach. Can’t find that either!
            Anyways, I am in love with Finbar.
            And mostly we live in a one bed flat in the city centre. But, we have a sofa. That’s what matters. So say/ bark the Dencies.

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          • Finbar is gorgeous. I wish he could meet more of his ‘semblables’ but they’re thin on the ground here except for whippets that don’t count. Shame you can’t find the vid.
            And yes, sofa’s are absolutely essential :)

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          • Are you on the Facebook pages? There seem to be a zillion galgies and dencies over there. Can send you links. People love to meet up with their hunting dogs who turn into sofa dogs. Will look for links.

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          • I am on a few of them but rarely look at FB. I blog and browse twitter but lost interest in FB, long conversations about things that didn’t interest me with people I didn’t know.

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          • But bloggers, you get to thinking that you DO know them. I hate the way complete unknowns join in with comments of FB then bugger off never to be heard from again. Who cares anyway?

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          • I’ve got some good internet mates. Fallen out with some, great friends with others. So it goes.
            I mix in different circles. I always did. IRL.
            At university, i’d sit down for breakfast with whoever. But a lot of people I knew sat only with the same people.
            I read a lot of blogs. Some sit with the same people.

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          • What a jump! That’s why they call them kangaroo dogs. The associations that bring them into France for adoption advise a fence of at least two metres (6 and a half feet) around your property. Without that, they’re unlikely to let you adopt. Galgos can get away with a foot less. They can jump, but don’t do it as a matter of course like pods.

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          • Fantastic agility, sheer fluid poetry.

            Our GSD used to eye up our finca wall, so when our neighbours were changing their railings we snapped them up and put them up to stop him jumping. Tosca’s looked at the unrailed walls so I put a load of (empty) plant pots in the gaps she was considering leaping. Usually to follow Partner down the town!

            At the finca over the road they had a bodeguero. She cleared a 6-8 ft gate from a standing start. Didn’t get it right first time, but the second time she flew.

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          • Husband admires them for their faces. Says he can imagine having a conversation with one. I’m never keen on dogs that have congenital problems because someone decided fifty, a hundred years ago that he wanted a dog with abnormally short legs to fit into holes where it had no business going. Bodegueros don’t seem to have those kind of problems, probably because their owners /users are less into beauty contests than cheap and cheerful.

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          • Great ratters really. Mind you, our huge GSD/husky was as well, so size is no indicator. Walked into him one day merrily swinging around a rat by the tail he had caught in our corral. Maybe most dogs are ratters at heart?

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          • I imagine all dogs would chase a rat if they saw one running, but only a born ratter would try and kill it. Rats fight back, and when you know there’s a whole sack of dog biscuit at home, why take the risk?

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          • Yes but a GSD/husky is hardly a born ratter by breed. He also added a few cats to his tally. A nicer dog you could never wish to meet! Dog bix v kill? My dogs seem to go for the latter all the time!

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          • Another theory bites the dust :) Finbar doesn’t like small rodents. If he ever has the misfortune to catch one, he drops it immediately as if he’s been burned.

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          • Probably better than rat poison. I did a questionnaire on prey drive once without even realising Pippa had it. He was so good with people, children, horses, donkeys, goats. But cats and rats? And how could a big dog be so fast and agile? He’s gone now, so we just have the two sofa-stealing sleeping poddies. We hoped Snows would learn from Pippa’s gentle temperament. The only thing he learnt was to chase cats :D

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  14. I enjoyed the glimpse into the goings-on in your part of the world. Tosca looks great and your garden is cute! Thanks for the book recommendations. I normally wouldn’t pick up a book with a naked torso, but you made that one sound appealing! I might have to give a naked torso a try :-D Lol.

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    • Goings-on? Not much really. Bit of gardening, a tea leaf Tosca, and a couple of reviews. Some of the naked torso books are dire. Others are a decent read for what they are, ie within the genre. Plots are often thin, ie girl meets boy, can’t wait to rip clothes off each other, misunderstanding occurs, then HEA. They are basically romance with graphic sex and not as soppy. But some aren’t actually badly written, decent pacing, tension, so around 3/4 stars.

      So when I read either erotica or romance with an interesting plot rather than the above formula then I think it merits a shout out for standing above the rest. It was short too, which added to the impact instead of dragging out the predictable. And Captured wasn’t predictable, plus what’s not to love about a tough feisty woman lead character?

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  15. oh has it been a year for Tosca! and now a few months more. i have to admit those socks are priceless. it must be a nuisance for you, but in the big picture, it is actually quite funny… fortunately Timmy only goes after newspapers and magazines and tissues.
     
    congrats again on all of you for finding each other. Timmy sends purrs.

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