Week 24 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 24th August 2008

I have never given much thought to the "Prt Sc" key on my keyboard, although if you had asked me I would have probably said "Oh, yes, I've pressed that a few times but nothing seems to happen". In fact, it sends an image to the Clipboard from where you can paste it into an image processing program if you have nothing better to do for half an hour, like this.

Anyway, I suddenly wanted to save screen shots so I did a quick search on Google and downloaded a program called Print Screen (from Russia, with love - you don't have to log in or pay, just download it) which is very small and needs no installation - you just click on it. Anyway, it takes over the "Prt Sc" key and every time you press it, it makes a musical noise and saves a nice print screen straight to a folder of your choice (" for your comfort and convenience in the safety of your own home"). Unless you live in Georgia, of course.

So, I sit there pressing it like a monkey connected up to a food dispensing button and what I get is as above. Fun or what?

Monday 25th August 2008

My girlfriend is now back and we walk to the Cinema past this bronze of two ladies sitting on a bench.

We decide to see Get Smart for two main reasons. Firstly it just happens to start in twenty minutes and secondly it stars Anne Hathaway. Not of Shakespeare's cottage but of Hollywood. The very beautiful one who was in The Devil Wears Prada which was truly excellent.

The film is total garbage and contains only one memorable line when a character says "Ah, movie stars, where would we be without their razor sharp political analysis". The cinema is totally packed and I am the only person who laughs. Perhaps I am on the wrong planet.

The ladies are still there on the bench when we return a couple of hours later.

Tuesday 26th August 2008

According to the Daily Telegraph, Japanese scientists have tought a whale to speak three words. You can see just how useful that would be to a whale.

Wednesday 27th August 2008

We have not been to Wicklow for a while so off we go. Despite being cold and overcast there are lots of people swimming - including this duck.

Thursday 28th August 2008

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We set off bright and early to see the Giant's Causeway which is in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, we are not sufficiently prepared - shrewd people contemplating such a trip would fatten themselves up like bears getting ready for Winter. Northern Ireland makes Wales (and Scotland, for that matter) look like a haven of culinary delight, a veritable gourmet's paradise.

Eventually we call in at the
Ecos Centre which we assume will have a nice cafe. After all, people concerned about the environment are not going to stuff themselves with nasty chemicals, are they? I am already imagining home made soup with organic bread and elderflower presse. Or maybe a cafe latte with a nice quiche? My hopes are crushed. The cafe is totally empty at 1.00pm, a very bad sign.

When we walk in I cannot believe my eyes - sandwiches which are not just tired but totally exhausted. Made of white bread in plastic wrapping. And to drink? Glass bottles full of artificial colouring with artificial flavouring and artificial sweetener. And just stuffed full of all those exciting E-numbers. We beat a rapid retreat from this ludicrous white elephant (my girlfriend liked the giant penis near the front door though - they are evidently not without a sense of humour) and head morosely for the car where we gnaw our fingernails in frustration.

Giant's Causeway is nice - well worth the trip. I cannot see how the rocks have formed - to say they are crystallised basalt is not an explanation but merely a description. My girlfriend thinks it was built by giant bees and I think she is right. For 5 to park the car (that's it - no other charges) you can decide for yourself. They even have a cafe where a starving person would probably risk eating something.

Friday 29th August 2008

My girlfriend wants to go to Wicklow Historic Gaol for their night time tour. We duly arrive and, as expected, there is no indication of where the gaol is. By shear accident we park only fity yards away which is a good start, although if I had realised what was to come, fity miles would have been too close.

After we get over the 15 Euro admission charge (each) we then run the gauntlet of "gaolers" who see their role as being to so irritate the punters that the said punters never come back again - don't worry, it worked and we won't.

Once the "gaolers" have moved on to a fresh cargo of victims it becomes a little more interesting - some of the exercise equipment would have Madonna salivating - a five hour work out on the treadmill - just think what that would do for your Gluteus Maximus.

Saturday 30th August 2008

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Today's theme is transport - we didn't choose this theme it just panned out that way. This starts when we hear a noise like thunder and we look out of the window expecting to see the Red Army, having slightly overshot on their invasion of Georgia. Fortunately, it is a vast army of motorbikes raising money for charity (slightly more convincing than in aid of Global Warming but only just). The rear is brought up by a mighty three wheeler.

Not sure what the coach is about but it looks nice.

Later that evening we get a taxi from Ellis Quays to the Cinema complex at the top of Jervis Street - Dublin's equivalent of Leicester square. The driver is doing six things at once - driving the car, listening to the radio, talking to somebody on his mobile, talking to taxi control, watching his navigator and talking to us. He misses the turning and asks us what we want to do! The only alternative is to go on until we find another turning and we suggest that. Actually, since we cannot understand a single word he says we just sort of grunt to acknowledge that he has overshot the turn and there is now no alternative but to continue - doing a U-turn on the world's busiest dual carriageway is hardly an option.

When we get there the bill is 8.10 euros instead of the normal 5 euros and I refuse to pay. He has the brass neck to say that we told him to go that way! Finally, he calls the police while we patiently wait. No less than four
Garda show up and are very pleasant about it. We reluctantly pay.

In the pub where we are going, all this has earned us a lot of street cred from the doormen, "Four Garda - you'se must be really serious criminals. Come in, come in."

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