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Fuengirola, Spain








When a Book Costs Less Than a Drink…

When a Book Costs Less Than a Drink... I will admit it straight from the off! I am a writer with an axe to grind and I cannot understand people who complain that books are too expensive. Most books, in the form of ebooks, cost less than the price of a drink! My ebooks cost an average of 8p or 10c per 1,600 words, which means that a coffee costing £2.40 is the equivalent of a 48,000-word book! Let's call it 50,000 words... because many writers use that as the norm these days. Mine are usually...


#FBPE – The Anti-Brexit Twitter Hashtag

#FBPE - The Anti-Brexit Twitter Hashtag Have you ever heard of #FBPE ? No, I hadn't until recently either, but apparently #FBPE is the anti-Brexit hashtag that is sweeping the country amongst those who can't see the sense in leaving the EU. Well, to quote the Animals, "And, God, I know, I'm one..." I have tried and tried, but cannot see any good reason for getting out... I really can't; whether it happens or not. The only plausible argument that I have heard for leaving is 'to return power...


Spamming YouTube

Spamming YouTube YouTube is owned by Google, which I will admit right up front is not one of my favourite companies. In my opinion, Google behaves like most bad, bossy fathers, demanding that you do as they say, not as they do, if you want to do business with them. I also suspect that they are are a data-collection agency for the CIA and would sell out dissidents in any country at a dime a time. Hey, but that is just my opinion... although there are probably a few who would agree with me....


Water Supply

Water Supply I didn't realise it until today, but the local water supply was cut off five days ago. Please don't assume that I don't wash often, it isn't that, we have a water tank with a capacity of a thousand litres and an automatic pump attached to it, so while other households have been without a water supply for the last three or four days days, it has only just hit us. When I bought that tank ten years ago, I had calculated that it would last us five days, or maybe even a week, if...


Fourth of July

Fourth of July From the thirteenth of September, 2004 to the fourth of July, 2005, we slept on my mother-in-law's floor in the small, rice-growing village where we live in northern Thailand, while we were waiting for our own house to be completed. However, after a party at a friend's that finished after midnight on the third, instead of going back to Mum, we slept on our own floor. You could say that the fourth of July, 2005, was our own Independence Day. There were no windows or doors yet...


Patreon – What’s That All About?

Patreon - What's That All About? Put simply, Patreon is a way for an artist - in my case, a writer - to keep in touch with his or her most avid fans and receive patronage (sponsorship) for his time. Conversely, it is place where fans can have a closer relationship with their favourite artists for a small fee (in recognition of the fact that an artist has to make a living too). So, basically, in this post, I am asking you how much you would like to become involved? Levels of Patronage I...


Carling Black Label

Carling Black Label I think I remember when Carling Black Label was first introduced to the widespread British beer-drinking public. There was an advert for Carling lager on television and my mother commented that that was my father's latest favourite drink. I was still underage, and I remember commenting that I couldn't understand why people would want to drink pint after pint of beer just because they were thirsty. She gave me a verbal pat on the head for my naivety, when my mother said,...


August 2017

August 2017 This is the month I have tried to take off every year since I left school. August falls in the school summer holidays in the UK. When my father remarried, it was my sister's birthday on the first, my dog's on the fourth, my brother's on the seventh, mine on the fourteenth, my real mother's on the twenty-second and a good friend's on the twenty-sixth. It was easier to take the month off than keep making up excuses! There are two weeks left, and I don't see those I used to know...


Search Engines

Search Engines I should imagine that if I asked a hundred people, which is the best search engine, at least ninety percent would say Google, but how many of them ever consider using other search engines? Google has done such a tremendous job of PR that it now attracts at least 85% of search queries. In this article, I am going to look into the phenomenon of search engines. I looked through my computer's logs and found that my blog had figured in a search that used the query 'Asus F541U...


Residence Permit for Spain (final part)

Residence Permit for Spain (final part) We applied for my wife's residence permit for Spain on February 14th. 2017, although we had been working on it for a year before that. When we left Thailand in May 2016, the Spanish Embassy had assured us that we had all the paperwork we needed for my wife to obtain her five-year residency card. So, we set off for Spain. Our tactic was for me to get my residency permit first, as that would be easy for a Brit, and sure enough, I did get mine, although...


NaNoWriMo 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 I just finished NaNoWriMo 2017, my fifth consecutive NaNoWriMo and I still enjoy it enormously. I overheard a few people talking about it a while ago, and all three of them had written their entry during the year, so that their annual novel would get a sticker. I think that's really sad, because the race to produce 50,000 words in thirty days is what it is all about. Pushing yourself, and having a good time with others, tens of thousands around the world, who are in the same...


Getting My Thai Wife to the UK

Getting My Thai Wife to the UK (part 213) Those of my regular readers who have followed the five-year saga of my trying to get my Thai wife into the UK will recognize the reference, because Getting My Thai Wife to the UK has been my biggest problem for a decade. Well, I have had some good news today. An acquaintance of mine has successfully taken his Thai wife from Spain to the UK with very little hassle. This is exceptionally good news for me because our circumstances are almost...


Citibank and Gambling

Citibank and Gambling I have had my main bank account with the American giant financial organization Citibank for thirty years, but have spent more than half that time abroad and had very little contact with them, which suited both me and, I think, them perfectly. Anyway, whatever, Citibank never gave me cause for complaint, and indeed, allowed me to keep my account even after they found out that I had moved abroad to live (which my three British banks did not). That happy situation lasted...


Your Computer: The Spy You Trust

Your Computer: The Spy You Trust We all have some sort of computer these days, don't we? If you don't have a desktop computer, you may have a laptop, and if not those then a tablet or smartphone. If you don't have any of those, perhaps you have a new smart TV or fridge or burglar alarm, which uses the Internet to transfer its signal to you. They can all be used to spy on you. Let's call all these Internet-enabled devices 'smart', because the Internet is the only difference between a phone...


British Bureaucracy

British Bureaucracy My Thai wife and I arrived back in the UK for the first time in five years last Wednesday, so our first encounter with British bureaucracy was at Rhoose airport's immigration. My wife was coming in on a five-year Spanish Residency Card, and the official had never seen an Asian with one before. The poor man didn't know what to do, so he gave her a six-month visa. A friend coming in six months ago in exactly the same circumstances, obtained an open-ended right to remain...


Beware Amazon Book Rankings!

Beware Amazon Book Rankings! If you are a reader, or a writer, you probably use Amazon book rankings at some time or another. Even if you are a bookshop owner's dream and buy your latest reads locally, the chances are that you do your research online and, therefore, on Amazon. And why wouldn't you? 'What could be wrong with that?' you might ask. The answer is: nothing, as long as you are aware of some of Amazon's weirdest policies. I will come clean here, and say that I am a writer, and I...


A Life in Twenty-Two Kilos

A Life in Twenty-Two Kilos Forty-four kilos is the average luggage allowance for a couple flying abroad - twenty-two kilos each. That is how much you can take with you, even if you are starting a new life – even if you are emigrating. It is the airlines' norm. I can see why that is and I have no argument with it. However, that is from the airline's point of view. Two years ago, my wife of twelve years and I left Thailand for Spain to start a new life there. It was very exciting and a great...


MPS Blog Reaches New Heights!

MPS Blog Reaches New Heights! May 2018 was a record-breaking month for my MPS blog in terms of readership figures. The blog, which strives to inform readers and writers about the easiest and or best ways of doing things, continues to go from strength to strength. We almost reached 10,000 pagereads last month! The record-breaking statistics are: unique visitors up by a whopping 83% from 5,365 to 9,818; total visits up by 39% from 29,618 to 41,397 and total pageviews up by 34% from 164,208...


Arrival in the UK

Arrival in the UK We had planned our arrival in the UK three months in advance and had bought flights accordingly. I had asked friends and family to look out for accommodation for us and spent a lot of the intervening time researching procedures and looking for possible immigration problems and their solutions. Two days before our actual arrival in the UK, my brother, our fall-back in case we were homeless, informed me that we would not be able to stay with him. I rushed to reserve a hotel...


Liverpool vs Real Madrid

Liverpool vs Real Madrid It was Liverpool vs Real Madrid in some football cup final or other in our local pub in Fuengirola this evening. Well, I suppose it was in nearly everybody's local too. I am not really into football. However, many of my friends are at various levels from professional to fanatic, so I try to take an interest in the most important games. People started to arrive early to ensure a good seat and the tension was rising ever higher as it filled. Normally, the clientele...