Hooray – It’s Spay Day!

Yes, I did type that correctly.  Funny, the dogs have all disappeared….

Seriously, we love our 4 legged friends, and since moving to Spain have, like many expats, opened our front door and our sofa to several vagabonds, ragamuffins, in Barney’s case, downright vagrant.  He’s the only dog who can look like he’s been through a bush backwards half an hour after his bath.

Love and money

But apart from food, flea collars and firewood to keep them warm there’s another real expense with stray dogs and that’s the delicate topic of spaying, neutering, ball chopping – whatever you want to call it.  But, there is a solution, and that’s where Spay and Neuter Assistance comes in and saves the day – if not poor Fido’s manhood. Contact them via that link – it goes to their Facebook page – and they’ll fit you in on one of their Spay days and give you a quote.  Their work is brilliant, they also pick up unwanted and abandoned animals and spay them.  They have several spay dates a month, at a fraction of the normal cost, and will fit you in.

How big is the problem?

Guys, it’s epidemic. If a picture paints a thousand words, then look at this:


Not convinced yet?  Okay, you do the math…


Radley has had his date, just 3 more to go…and Jimi the street cat – ssshhh he’ll hear!

Jimi Car

So I’ll say it again – Contact Spay/Neuter assistance today. Please share this post. x

How big is the problem?

50 Granada Haikus

Sharing a little poetry this morning from awayfromthenoise.com #Granada

Away From The Noise

After having written a few posts here, I thought I’d try something different today and so with this in mind, it seemed like a good idea to post a blog of the daily haikus I wrote in my first three months in Granada last year.

For those who may not be familiar with haikus, there are a number of different types but the one I have focused on is essentially a poem of 17 syllables, divided into 3 lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. I first learnt about haikus at school and have always liked their simplicity and have also found the ‘restrictions’ of the syllables strangely liberating when writing.

I’m not a natural photographer and so moving to a new country seemed like a good opportunity to get into writing haikus again to ‘take a picture’ of the moments we would have. These haikus cover the period of arriving, the…

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Hybrid crumble

They had me at crumble…

Notes on a Spanish Valley

This is one of those recipes that we cooked on the run, part-making-do, part amalgamation of well-loved recipes. crumble mix on the spoon 28-7-14a pear 22-7-14 (2)Pears… because we had a huge bowl of pears to use;

Citrus… because we love the citrus sauce from an Ina Garten fruit crisp recipe;

Almond… because there’s a Nigel Slater almond crumble topping we’ve been wanting to cook. It didn’t disappoint.

crumble – cut into 28-7-14Pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
For the sauce:-
Juice and zest of an orange
Juice and zest of a lemon
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
For the topping:-
120g plain flour
85g cold butter, cut into cubes
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp ground almonds

Set the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

Put the pear chunks into a bowl, add the citrus juice and zest. Stir to combine. Add the tbsp of flour. Stir again, then tip into your baking dish. pears in the baking dish 28-7-14butter 28-7-14To make the topping, put the flour and butter into…

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7 Things I dislike on Facebook

Will I tell you 7 things you don’t know about me? Er, no. Not that I mind YOU knowing about my slightly interesting, occasionally hair-raising stories of my murky past – but, dear Stranger, because Keef the Identity Thief might just be reading over your shoulder. Horrors, he might even be a ‘friend’ already.

Identity theft word cloud shape

Which brings me to my point, and the title of this blog. Hmm, perhaps it should be ‘Would the Real Carol Byrne/Jenny Bloggs Please Stand Up’

1.  I dislike...the way folk are clearly uncomfortable with themselves. You know what I mean. Why does an online diary, one without a lock that you want the whole world to read, have to be given such a soft focus? Why does everyone have to pretend to be better, wittier, more interesting than they really are? It’s a sort of Wishbook, where we get to tell everyone how great we are – rather than how shitty our lives often are.

2. I dislike…doctored photos too, especially the plethora of mindless selfies.. Even my own perfectly pretty, often spotty, 16 year old has to use a zillion effects on her never-ending instagram shots. As someone said, let’s hope none of these kids go missing – we’ll never be able to distribute a photo anyone will recognise.

Yes, I used to look like this – but I sure as hell won’t ever again! And that’s alright.


3.  I dislike… the illusion everyone has that the whole world agrees with them. They’re YOUR friends, idiot. So when you throw your dummy out of the pram and then boast that everyone agreed with you on something – well…..unless you’re friends with me, you might not like me telling you you’re wrong 🙂

4. I dislike…the Chicken Licken approach. you know, The Sky is Falling Down, “I read it on Facebook so it must be true and I have to be the first to tell everyone else….” Urban Legend? Probably. Run it through Google first, you eejit.

5. I really dislike...The term Hun. Even typing that word makes me cringe. What’s that all about? Do they mean Honey? Then that’ll be Hon – and, actually,  call me that at your peril. Hun. It’s not an endearment. Also, it’s a NOUN. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hun

6. I dislike...the random sharers. Dog – must share. Soldier – must share. Cute whatever – must share. If I share a dog that’s been badly treated it’s not to make you go awww. It’s because I like true justice and hope some of my friends in low places might just know that person and go and slice their bollocks off. Really. Stop spamming me. At least when I spam you I’m at least trying to sell you something 🙂

7. I dislike…the Blessed are We who are Special Brigade. If I see another fecking Halo on a smug emoticon I might flip. Keep your blessings to yourself, try doing something for someone else instead of telling me. If you love your son don’t share the picture, tell him, or make him his favourite meal or don’t nag him for a week – or something. I find it all a bit sad in the way some Facebookistas insist on telling us how lucky they are, how wonderful their mundane life is. I always get the feeling it actually ain’t – a bit like, if they say it enough….it might come true.

Disagree? So,go right ahead, unfriend me at your leisure – I really don’t mind.:) Yes I’m a grumpy old misanthrope – but at least I’m being honest, right? 

Next time you sit in front of that flashing cursor on the status bar – think before you type. Or better still, log off and go hug your son/dog/cute kitten.