Week 30 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 5th October 2008

We wander down to Casemates Square where we find to our surprise that the orange trees have fruit at an advanced stage of development. When do they ripen? Christmas?

Monday 6th October 2008

We have various highly important missions to execute such as going to the dry cleaners to collect my only jacket. We wait while the girl behind the counter asks a tiny man carrying a huge bundle of stuff various questions in Spanish. Each time he replies with the same word. Clearly, this is a very useful word and I try to remember it but without success. Which is a pity. I assume it must mean "whatever" or "no idea" or maybe it was just a grunt.

The jacket appears to be a different colour to what I remember but that is probably a good thing. Next we go off to replace my only pair of trousers and again achieve some success. Later we have to go up to the other end of the peninsula and on the way back we see a bus and manage to get on. The fair is 60p which seems very reasonable for a ride of about two miles. This could be the way of the future - a whole network of these things going all over the place.

In the evening the sun comes out and we go to bed with the windows wide open.

Tuesday 7th October 2008


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I have finally managed to accumulate all the bits and pieces needed to take proper photographs through the TeleVue-85 telescope. The new camera is a Canon EOS-1000D which is very nice but does not allow you to see the picture you are taking on the screen (ie the LCD at the back of the camera). You have to look through the view finder. This is a bit like buying a car and finding you cannot see through the windscreen and have to drive with your head out of the window.

As you will see from the above there is a measurable improvement over the Panasonic FZ18 but then there should be as the telescope, camera and bits cost ten times as much. Having said that, overall I am very happy with it.

The Canon was bought specifically to attach to the telescope but you could carry it about if you are fit and strong - it weighs 750g as opposed to the 500g of the Panasonic.

Wednesday 8th October 2008


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Our Panasonic DMC FZ-18 has gone into a serious sulk and is refusing to work properly. No doubt it is jealous of the Canon EOS1000D which, as the new arrival, is getting all the attention. In fact there is no need to be jealous as the Panasonic is far better as a general purpose camera to carry around - it is lighter, has a superb zoom and is totally silent and with the screen turned off is perfect for candid shots. It also takes video which the Canon does not.

Once the Panasonic cheers up, the Canon will be used soley to take distance shots through the TeleVue-85 - and you don't get more distant than the moon (OK, you do but the stars are hard to see from our flat because there is a lot of light pollution) which was taken at the astonishing speed of 1/200th at ISO 200. The 'scope collects a huge amount of light.

Thursday 9th October 2008

The Panasonic has stopped sulking but is still in disgrace. Meanwhile the Canon is showing off it's light gathering abilities without the telescope, not to mention it's special TV shot capability. Wow! That is somewhat Shrek - "I am authorised to take you to a re-settlement facility". Sorry about that.

Friday 10th October 2008

Gale force winds here in Gibraltar and the UK stock market has dropped 20% in a week. What goes up, comes down.

Saturday 11th October 2008

Even though La Linea is right at the top of the Bay of Gibraltar, it has still been battered by the seas. Or maybe they didn't do a very good job in the first place?


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