Week 12 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 1st June 2008

This is the Earthracer. The site it is from (click on the photo), is the usual stuff about global warming and alternative fuels but the artwork is spectacular. In reality nobody takes a blind bit of notice of people preaching. What they notice is the cost to fill up at the pump.

Which is where we come in. We decide to go to Tarifa yet again but we are a bit low on fuel. We drive to the main fuel station in Gibraltar (on the right as you come in) and find that it does not tell you the price of diesel anywhere - not even on the pump. The only way to find out is to lift the nozzle out of its cradle at which point we find that it costs 84p per litre. Very irritating as we were only paying 65p a few weeks ago. Yes, I do know it costs 130p in the UK but that is not the point - it costs about 5p per litre in Iran.

After an hour or so of reversing and driving around Gibraltar we finally buy it for 73.5p per litre at the SAS Petrol Station just down the road - being very careful to keep our hands out of our pockets and not make any sudden movements.

In Tarifa we park ourselves under a big umbrella on the dunes and watch the kite surfers and the pretty girls.

Monday 2nd June 2008

Yet again we are down at the beach. Once I have finished reading the papers I look around and spot a lizard a few feet away. It is almost a foot long but heads for the grass and I only get a couple of shots - no wonder they fake wildlife TV shows. Later I try to identify it on Google but with no luck.

Tuesday 3rd June 2008

This Mona Lisa transformation has been floating round the web for a few years - normally saying "The Mona Lisa after one week in the USA". Even given walk in clinics, I think three months is more realistic - time to recover from surgery and get the celebrity hairdresser onside. Not to mention the Botox and Collagen implants.

Which reminds me that we have been in Gibraltar for almost three months but look much the same - except for the black and white stripey feet. Actually the sun on my feet seems to have healed my eczema but I had no idea that this was a well known phenomenon until 5 minutes ago.

So, girls, if you suffer from psoriasis or eczema on anywhere interesting don't hesitate to come to Tarifa and strip off - unless, of course, you are aesthetically challenged, in which case you could well get skin cancer so best stay at home.

Wednesday 4th June 2008

On the subject of transformations, you may not have noticed that the Mediterranean sunshine has brought out a more glitzy aspect of our Gracious Queen - long may she reign over us (as opposed to her prat of a son)

Apparently, the liner Queen Elizabeth 2 was not named after our current Queen - had it been then it would have been called Queen Elizabeth II (ie Roman numerals). You learn something every day - the only problem is that I also forget something every day, too. Yesterday my dentist told me a very funny joke about cancer and Alzheimers and if I eventually remember what it was I will tell you - you'll die laughing.

Thursday 5th June 2008

I have acquired a Tele Vue 85 spotterscope which is considerably bigger than my old scope, which describes itself, in an outbreak of great modesty, as "The 7.62 Spotting Scope, made in Japan". Being wider, the Tele Vue 85 collects more light and is therefore measurably better at night.

Having said that, the Tele Vue 85 has some drawbacks:

  1. It is bigger, heavier and therefore much more difficult to carry (but there are special lighter models to carry arround)
  2. It reverses images so that the name of a ship has to be read back to front (but at least it is not upside down and you can buy a corrector lens)
  3. It is very expensive (but there are cheaper models)
  4. Using it with a camera may be possible but it is by no means easy (but you can buy a special attachment for a digital SLR)
  5. Having a 90 degree viewing piece means that the scope is lower so bushes and trees may interrupt the view (but you can buy adaptors for "straight through" or 45degrees)
  6. There comes a point where haze and heat distortion are more significant than the optics

So do I regret buying it? Probably, ask me in a month, when I have tried it for a while.

Friday 6th June 2008

Not sure what this is but I reckon it could be an experimental aircraft carrier. Maybe not. Looking again more closely it turns out to be one of our friendly local tugs pushing a big pontoon. How disappointing.

No doubt what this is - a few seconds later it took off and flew right over Morrisons. Did a few circuits of the car park then landed on the roof of McDonalds for a fish burger.

Finally, we bring you the products tanker Vindemia. Nice pipes, guys. And the cutaway side is really cool.

Saturday 7th June 2008

As I stand staring out across the bay I note the tug Capable pulled up alongside the Iron Duke and our old friend HMS Sabre rushing about. Shortly after this the Iron Duke leaves the harbour and steams (actually, diesels, I suspect) away to who knows where. Have a nice trip!

Later on we wonder down to casemates Square where we have a cup of coffee and a snack. According to the Daily Telegraph, the circulation of the Daily Sport has plummeted by 11% in one month because they have ignored the old adage that "sex sells". A lesson to all of us.


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