I actually can’t believe how quickly the first month of this year has gone. One visitor. One day trip. Lots of gym. Loads of baking and home cooking. Anything to keep the apartment warm and toasty! This month we (Mr BOTR and I) shall be celebrating five years of being hitched. That five years has gone by very quickly! I feel as though it was just last week…. As for the rest of the month, I shall venture a guess that it will be fairly normal and similar (minus the house guest) to January. With less snow and warmer temperatures I hope!
So what have we been up to? Well we have renewed the lease for our apartment. So thankful that we don’t have to move again for a year. The idea of packing up and carting furniture around Gibraltar again really didn’t appeal. Also this place feels very much like our kind of space. And on top of the hassle of moving is the paperwork. No matter where you go there is at least a trees worth of paperwork to fill out. I would love if the utilities companies here would let you update stuff online, I hate the queues! And also if they didn’t try to rip you off in the process (a fee for a change of address, seriously, shame on you!). This actually leads nicely on to a topic I have been discussing with a few people here. The cost of regular stuff.
When you first move here, as an English Expat, you can’t help but get sucked into the ‘Morrisons’ routine, this is probably not the case if you’ve lived somewhere else and don’t have that (my) lazy mindset of shopping at a store that is familiar to you. For the first few months it seems as though you buy everything from there. Go in for a loaf of bread, some veggies and shower gel and leave £35 lighter. Tell me that it isn’t just me. Whilst they do have some great offers, and I will agree they have good prices on some items, there is a huge amount of stock that you can buy elsewhere for a vastly reduced amount.
So lets talk toothpaste, you like the Repair and Protect stuff from Sensodyne? Well in Morrisons it averages about £2.50 more a tube. Same with several brands of shower gel, deodorant, and cleaning products and don’t get me started on Aussie Shampoo prices in there. But the worst for me is coffee. We have a Tassimo machine, the coffee I like is £6 something a box, compared to €4 a box in Carrefour, or £5.50 a box in Khubchands on Main Street or again £5.50 in Eroski, even more annoying is that in England I could purchase it for £4.98 a pack from Morrisons. I have asked staff in Morrisons before why their prices are so high compared to shops on Main Street, (and just off Main Street in Gibraltar) they answered that it is because they have to transport the goods across Europe. I don’t know what kind of crazy witchcraft the rest of Gibraltars retailers are using to get goods in, but I would wager that they don’t have the buying power of Morrisons, and they also have to have goods shipped, so I really don’t understand the massive price increases. I know retail is about profit, but there comes a point when you are just scamming your customers. Why people travel across the border to shop there instead of Carrefour is beyond me. Anyway the moan is almost done. If you want cheap shampoo and toothpaste I swear by City Mill Pharmacy. Or Wesley Pharmacy. Make sure you always shop around. Also in case you think I am just being a grump (perfectly understandable) check out Morrisons online store. Obviously we can’t get it delivered from the UK to here, but you’ll see for yourselves that almost all the products have inflated prices. And it isn’t 10p here and there, it is in some cases pounds. I for one, only go there now when Eroski / Main Street doesn’t have what I want. Otherwise our two person, one cat household costs about £80 a week, compared to £35-£40 a week. Also all the extra walking is great for my health. Lol. Seriously though, once you’ve looked up the prices you’ll most likely be as annoyed as me. Have any of you noticed this? Or am I just being old and mean?
How was your January? Did you go and see the snow. I didn’t. When you grow up in England the novelty quickly wears off. Although I wont deny I enjoyed the pictures. That’s my limit. I’ll look at snow through a screen. Even looking at it through a window is a bit much for me. Cold, soggy annoying stuff! Did you make any resolutions? How are they going? Mine were the usual kind of ‘get fit and learn Spanish’, two things I have been doing now for six months. So I am not entirely sure they count!?! And whilst I can understand a lot more Spanish, my bathroom scales tell me that I am in fact heavier than before I joined the gym. Weird. I shall put it down to gaining muscle mass. And not eating my body weight in chocolate.
I’ll sign off for now, I genuinely need to hit the gym, but I will leave you with some images from this past month. I wont lie I have been a bit (very) lazy with regards to taking my camera out, but now the weather isn’t so freezing I shall charge it up and take it for a walk…
All of you take care, and I shall post some time soon 🙂