Week 20 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 27th July 2008


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We get home late from the function but next day we are up fairly early as the sun is shining and the passing lorries are even louder than usual because we left all the windows open. We go for a walk in Phoenix Park which is the biggest enclosed city park in Europe. On the way back we stop for a moment in the Croppies Memorial Park where there are some lilies that would have got Monet all worked up.

Later we go to a festival of acrobatics which is great fun because it is a totally free form chaotic collection of young kids leeping over things and doing somersaults on bikes, skateboards and feet.

Monday 28th July 2008


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Today's theme is "wheels". It didn't start that way - it was going to be "things in the river" which included a bicycle, a gull doing not very much, another gull eating a crab and a big eel just doing what eels do, which is swimming mostly. But wheels it is.

As it is we encounter a land going bicycle and an amphibious
DUK. Not to mention the statue of Molly Malone known colloquially as 'the tart with the cart'. These days, what with the cost of bronze being what it is, they would have to find a flat chested model on the grounds of economy. Not sure what the funny green thing is but it does seem to have at least one wheel so it just scrapes in.

Finally we go to see the new Batman film, the The Dark Knight which is a lot harder edged than previous efforts at the genre which were in danger of being more camp than Butlins. Robin has been firmly banished back to the closet, maybe owing to ill health ("Holy atomic piles, Batman!") and the villains are seriously villainous. The producers have struggled to decide whether Batman has super powers or just a lot of hi-tech but as Arthur C Clarke has stated "a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" so it doesn't really matter much.

Quite what it is all about I have no idea but that doesn't really matter much either. At one point the DA (District Attorney not Duck's Arse) decides to become villainous but you can see why - being teacher's pet is a lot less fun than being expelled for impregnating matron. You can only admire Batman's patience for resisting the urge to do something seriously naughty as well - although he does drive at times without Due Care and Attention and somewhat disregards Health & Safety in general ("don't try this at home kids").

Heath Ledger as the Joker has made a brilliant career move by dying right at the top of the market and will no doubt reap an Oscar or two. At least we will be saved the acceptance speech.

All in all, a merry romp and worth seeing.

Tuesday 29th July 2008

We go to Wicklow to meet some people who turn up very late with a baby. I leave them to talk babies for a few hours while I read the papers and then fall asleep in the car. Meanwhile, they don't just talk babies they also photograph everything that moves and a quite a lot that doesn't.

Wednesday 30th July 2008

Walking around Dublin we come across an enterprising establishment that offers "Reflexo Teraphy" for the bargain price of 35 euros per hour ("hurry while stocks last"). This is far more interesting than boring old "Reflexo Therapy" and has a vague feeling of tortoises about it. I like tortoises. Very slow. The only other place in the world offering "Reflexo Teraphy" is in Romania so Dubliners should count themselves lucky. Mind you in Romania they only charge 12 euros per hour.

What happened, of course, is that the signwriter found towards the end that he had an "h" left over so he just bunged it in and hoped that nobody would notice and they didn't - being on a higher spiritual plane and all that. Having said that, I bet they would notice if you tried to pay with a forged 50 euro note.

But why stop there? This idea of "consonant migration" can be taken a bit further. Anybody for "Relexfo Chakras"? Or maybe we'll just settle for "Totally Chrakas"

If you want to read something really funny, read this. I found it while doing a search for "New age bullshit"

Thursday 31st July 2008

A damp and miserable day but we decide to go for a walk. On the way we spot a busy bee - a lesson to all of us. Quite what that lesson is I am not sure - maybe that it is hard to aim and focus at the same time, the damn things move so quickly.

Friday 1st August 2008

We decide to go to see The Love Guru but this involves parking the car. We easily find a space which in itself should have raised suspicions. Surprisingly, the meter informs us that we do not need to pay. Even more suspicious since it is just after 4.00pm on a Friday. On the other hand it is a bank holiday weekend and maybe this starts at 4.00pm in Dublin? Who knows?

It turns that somebody does know and they inform us that you are not allowed to park there after 4.00pm as it is a clearway or something. Note to Dublin Council. If you want to encourage visitors, explain these things rather than giving cryptic messages such as "NO CHARGE PARKING PERIOD". Stupid visitors may assume this means there is no charge for parking when in fact you mean "PARK HERE AND WE WILL TOW YOU AWAY". My view is that they would be bound by estoppel but a difficult point to argue when your car has been taken away and turned into a cube.

The film is panned by the critics but I thought that it was quite fun - infinitely better than The Spy who Shagged Me which was excrutiatingly bad. Even worse than Lord of the Rings, which was dire in my opinion.

Saturday 2nd August 2008

We get a flight to the UK which is so early in the morning that we are semi comatose zombies all day and forget to take any photographs. Not to mention the fact that we have forgotten a whole stack of stuff such as charging cables for my laptop. Very irritating


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