Week 46 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 25th January 2009

Generally Gibraltar seems to be about 10 degrees centigrade above the UK but when it rains it really rains. To the west is three thousand miles of Atlantic Ocean and you can tell.

Monday 26th January 2009

Today is a bit nicer and the bay is full of small boats dashing about - now that the price of fuel has dropped they can afford to get a move on.

In the evening we watch a programme about Bill Gates (Microsoft) and another about Sir Terry Leahy (Tesco). Both are down to earth men who have improved the quality of life for tens of millions of people and who are villified by the chattering classes because they all hate Capitalism - despite the fact that it alone is what stops us living in caves.

Still, Saint Obama will demonstrate what can be done by Socialism (basically, piss away other people's money). Actually, the lad may do OK because he is not really a Socialist - just a politician. We shall see.

Tuesday 27th January 2009

In the afternoon, HMS Edinburgh (D97) comes back to Gibraltar after a couple of days off who knows where.

Wednesday 28th January 2009

One of the many problems we face (sigh) is that we tend to leave for the UK from Gibraltar and return via Malaga late at night. Inevitably, we then hire a car with the injunction "the tank is full, return the car empty at La Linea". At first sight this looks like generosity - "wow, a free tank of petrol". Er, no. You (ie me) have just paid for it at top wack in expensive Euros.

Even worse, the car, a SEAT Leon Ecomotor, does about a thousand miles on a tank of diesel (seventy miles to the gallon). It looks snazzy and is very quick and agile. Good car.

If we had it for a month then no sweat but we only have it for a few days and I am damned if I am going to hand it back with a virtually full tank for them to sell again. So, we are off on a mission to burn diesel. Yes, I know - global warming. Well, there you go. A snail dies in the jungle and I am it's killer. Maybe. Or maybe Prince Charles killed it when he flew with an entourage of 20 people to New York to collect his Eco Award. Actually, I think the snail is down to Prince Chuck.

Anyway, to Ronda - a town where every single building is just exquisite. When we get back from our 150 mile round trip, the needle has hardly moved.

Thursday 29th January 2009

Still intent on burning fuel we drive to Tarifa. Noting, on the way, that the Spaniards can not only do "exquisite" but are right up there with the leaders when it comes to doing "ugly" and "tacky". I don't mean the tower - I quite like that - I mean the general ambience of much of urban Spain.

Friday 30th January 2009

Very unexpectedly we find ourselves in Betty's in Ilkley. This is because we have just flown from Gibraltar to Manchester for the day and are then on a grand tour of the Northwest UK which ends up in Skegness ("very bracing").

Saturday 31st January 2009

From Skegness, we drive back to Manchester Airport via Birmingham and arrive in Dublin just in time to go to a party in a pub called the Woolshed in the centre of Dublin. Very noisy.

Afterwards we go to a sort of night club which is even noisier.


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