Week 17 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 6th July 2008

We go to bed late as we are busy getting the flat organised. Eventually we get up and set off to explore Dublin. On the way we spot a boat coming down the river very fast - manned mostly by young ladies. Not sure if "manned" is the right word but it will have to do for now. This reminds us of Gibraltar but the sunshine is pleasant rather than skin removing and we have fun in the sun.

We are delighted to find that our favourite restaurant Pacinos has re-opened. We feared that it had closed permanently.

On the way back my girlfriend decides to do some monument climbing but with mixed results - you see above her moment of triumph rather than landing in a heap at the bottom.

Monday 7th July 2008

We visit our favourite coffee shop in Wicklow which is excellent as usual. On our last few visits it was full of young mums with kids but this time it is full of beefy men talking in foreign tongues. Maybe they are Polish?

After that, we go to Tesco. Can you bear the excitement?

Tuesday 8th July 2008

Everything seems so expensive after Gibraltar - if it costs 9 in Gibraltar then it will cost 18 euros in Dublin as a rough rule of thumb. Accordingly, we set off to reduce our cost of living. We we end up at an open air market in Moore Street which smells wonderfully of fresh fish and vegetables. After wandering up and down we purchase six excellent bananas for one euro, which is more like it. Later, we find that they are even cheaper in Tesco but not as good.

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In the evening, looking out of our flat, we can see what looks like a disco perched on top of a nearby building. The next day it seems to have morphed back into a set of offices - nothing is ever as good or as bad as you expect it to be. Unless you are in Auschwitz in which case things really are worse than you can imagine.

Wednesday 9th July 2008

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Talking of Poland, when we walk round the Smithfield area of Dublin we are struck by the number of Polish shops. To an English person this is somewhat ironic as for many years Irish men went overseas to work because there was little for them at home. Now Ireland has achieved a more prosperous economy and no doubt in due course the same will be true of Poland - there is no substitute for hard work. You can fiddle with the bank rate and taxation as much as you like but if your workforce consists of pregnant teenage girls and uneducated thieves then you are doomed. And so we are.

In the evening we go to see Hancock which is surprisingly good - the idea of a deadbeat super-hero was just waiting to be made. The first half is just slapstick humour but then it has a sudden twist and your attention is gripped. At the end we felt surprisingly moved by what we had assumed was just a lightweight comedy. We lost the sound part way through but the management gave out free tickets so we can maybe go and see it again or something else.

Including ice creams, the whole outing cost almost 30 euros - double the cost of the UK or Gibraltar. What are we doing here?

Having written the above I look at the reviews of
Hancock and find that the critics disagree with me. How can they be so wrong? A mystery.

Thursday 10th July 2008

So we have left our magnificent flat overlooking Gibraltar bay standing empty in order to rent a flat in Dublin. Why?

Friday 11th July 2008

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On the subject of shops ...

Actually, "nude" is a very nice cafe, albeit expensive and "rude" is a trendy women's clothes shop. If you want very cheap but stylish clothes then go to Primark, which in Dublin is lightly disguised as

Saturday 12th July 2008

In the evening we go to see Mamma Mia, starring Meryl Streep using our free tickets. It is absolutely brilliant and Streep sings and dances wonderfully. I am stunned to discover she is 59 years old - there is hope for us all yet.

The less said about the three male leads the better. Fortunately, they don't stand still for long because if they did the woodworm and termites would be right in there - to say they are wooden is to insult trees.

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      End of Week 17 of Gibraltar Diary

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