Mixed bloggings

Since the beginning of January I have been busy organising mock exams and other school work, so have left the blog too long without a new post. Also the high winds have meant little opportunity for donkey walking photos, as they become quite skittish in the wind, and they have instead been running around their field quite a lot during January. So here are a few notes and photographs, in no particular order, before the blog gathers too much dust!

Puig Campana

Sometimes, people looking at my photos on this blog ask about the mountain that appears in the background.

Puig Campana is a majestic jurassic mountain that breaks out of the surrounding cretaceous rock, thrust vertically by enormous force of the north-western movement of the African plate. This oceanic crust from the prehistoric Tethys Ocean once formed the seabed now occupied by our Mediterranean Sea.

Puig Campana in the evening light of the setting sun

Puig Campana in the evening light of the setting sun

The complexities of the geology of Puig Campana are explored in his 1978 Ph.D thesis by professor Granier: The Lower Cretaceous of the Costa Blanca. A more accessible guide is published by Finestrat Ayuntamiento, a handy leaflet walks in Puig Campana

Puig Campana January 2014

Puig Campana January 2014

Donkey portraits

Morris patrols the manger to see if food has arrived yet

Morris patrols the manger to see if food has arrived

Aitana and her mother Matilde

Aitana and her mother Matilde



Matilde. Her nose has now healed up from the injury in the autumn

Matilde. Her nose has now healed up from the injury in the autumn

Night time donkeys

I always visit the donkeys last thing at night to check fences, make sure they have water, and they are settled for the night. Sometimes, when the weather is warm, I sit down with them and gaze at the moon – which is a constant source of fascination for donkeys.  Photographing them at night is always a problem, however, because flash will startle them and without flash – even in moonlight – it is difficult to get good results.  I would appreciate advice from any photography enthusiasts. I use a Nikon D80 and a Nikon Coolpix S3300; but the following night photos were taken with my phone for convenience.

Donkeys at midnight: Aitana Matilde and Morris

Donkeys at midnight: Aitana Matilde and Morris

Matilde under the lemon tree

Matilde under the lemon tree

And now for something completely different… Blasphemy!

Finally, I want to finish this blogpost by expressing my astonishment at the news from a far away country called England. The land of my birth seems to be increasingly bizarre, but I am alarmed to see that Muslim intolerance has now apparently become part of the Liberal Party.

A prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party who happens to be Muslim said (on BBC Radio 4 Any Questions) that he had no problem with the Jesus and Mo cartoons. He has since been attacked by other Liberals and they are threatening to drop him as a candidate!  At the same time that murderous acts are being committed by Muslims against Christian communities in the Middle East on a daily basis.

Read the story here on the excellent Archbishop Cranmer blog.  Give support to LibDem PPC Maajid Nawaz by signing the online petition http://tinyurl.com/ndkvgy4 .  Also have a look at the Jesus and Mo cartoons, which can only gain more popularity every time the extremists condemn them.

What is more offensive, portraying Jesus and Mohammed in a cartoon or slaughtering Christian men, women and children in the name of Muslim jihad?

What is more offensive, portraying Jesus and Mohammed in a cartoon or slaughtering Christian men, women and children in the name of Muslim jihad? Maybe the “Liberals” could speak up about that outrage?

Update on the above story:

Cranmer has added a blogpost reporting that 19,451 signatories to the Muslim petition against the LibDem PPC Maajid Nawaz are now vastly overwhelming the 5,348 supporters of free speech on the petition supporting him. Good luck, England…  Sharia law awaits you.


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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11 Responses to Mixed bloggings

  1. Wind! As an ex teacher I know that children are more unsettled when it is windy but hadn’t made the link to donkeys…Ambrogio was very jumpy on his walk this afternoon and now I know why! (or is it that he knows the vet is coming next week?)
    Lovely photos of Puig Campana!

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    Generally, windy conditions can lead to skittish and sometime dangerously unpredictable behaviour. I have noticed that a following wind is the most troublesome: they do not like the wind behind them. It is something creeping up on them from behind, and donkeys have a very strong sense of the enemy at the rear, hence their most powerful atavistic defence mechanism, the rear legs double-kick!

  3. Troll says:

    Comment removed.

    Shiva@yahoo.com (IP address Nice, France.)

  4. Troll says:

    Comment removed.

    Modestine33@hushmail.com (IP address Missouri USA)

  5. Annie Oakley says:

    What can one say? Well . . .

    Perhaps a song posted by a Muslim, dedicated to Matilde, is the answer we’re all looking for:

  6. Frere Rabit says:

    Note for trolls:

    If you are the time-waster Phil Evans, using a multitude of “Hushmail” IP addresses and identities, or indeed any other kind of troll, please note this is not a Daily Telegraph blog: it is my own property. You will be deleted. Thanks.

    Note to regular readers:

    Regular readers of this blog may be aware that in the past there have been occasional periods of troll activity directed against this blog. New readers should be aware that comments need approval by me before they appear, but very rarely are comments deleted. Only offensive or deliberately hurtful or horrid comments are dealt with in this way.

    Due to the nature of the blog, many children visit the site to look at the pictures of the donkeys. The children at my school sometimes come up to me when I am on playground duty and comment on the pics of donkeys. Therefore I have to keep a high level of alert on incoming comments.

    Troll attacks are usually obvious and are spotted quickly. This one was trying to be more subtle, but eventually rumbled. Sometimes the material that people try to post here is deliberately offensive, even illegal. You would not believe some of the troll attacks here… and all directed at a blog primarily dedicated to four sweet animals. Crazy world.

  7. Frere Rabit says:

    Well, Annie, that is entirely appropriate! The lemon tree has been mostly destroyed now by Matilde eating the bark. But what a goddawful song. I dare not listen to it again in case it gets into my head.

    Hopefully it will keep the irritating troll away from my blog anyway.

  8. bukojin says:

    Garlic may be more effective than lemon trees against trolls.

  9. Troll says:

    Comment removed.

    truthhouse@yahoo.com (operating from false IP address

    Multiple IP address troll now reported to WordPress.

  10. If I find out who is making nasty comments on a lovely donkey blog I might have to make him an offer he can’t refuse. Better not be that “goat butcher” again !

  11. Frere Rabit says:

    Ha ha, Scary! I think you are looking at the culprit there. Same old tired irritant troll. Some people can’t cope with cuddly donks. Others can’t cope with cartoons making fun of religion. Those of us who take cuddly animals AND religion seriously can happily laugh at both. Mental health is a real problem on the internet, innit?

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