Week 53 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 15th March 2009

I know this is getting boring but today we climb the Mediterranean Steps in 11m 25s which is 80 seconds faster than last week which was already a record speed for us. Quite how and why we are getting such great reductions in time I have no idea but it is the case.

At the top the cloud is streaming over the rock like smoke - an extraordinary sight ( see clip on YouTube )

Monday 16th March 2009

The driftwood is now drying out in the bath - makes a change from coal, I suppose - we are from the North of England after all. One slight problem is that some of the wood is bleached on only one side but maybe that can be turned into an artistic asset in due course.

Tuesday 17th March 2009

In my pocket I find that I have four very shiny 50p pieces. Why are they so shiny? This is not straightforward.

I mentioned before that Gibraltar has it's own bank notes featuring a very tarty looking Queen Elizabeth II. If you look more closely you will realise that about half of the coins in circulation are also from Gibraltar too (the other half are British). My guess is that at least a thousand tourists land in the Rock every week. When they leave they do so with a few coins in their pockets of which at least half will be Gibraltarian. Since the population is only about 30,000 this means that the entire Gibraltar currency disappears every year. Hence the need to keep minting brand new - shiny - coins.

Simple really.

Wednesday 18th March 2009

Today we are due to complete the purchase of our flat which means I have to go to the bank to sign bits of paper. The weather is vile - cold and blowing a gale.

Later I collect a printer cartridge for my HP1600 which was on order. I am staggered to find that a single cartridge costs 77.89. Since there are four cartridges this means that the cost of replacing all the cartridges comes to over 300. The printer only cost 100 (but comes with only half full cartridges) so it is cheaper to just buy a new printer.

Later we pick up the keys to our new flat. Everything is fine but we cannot make the refrigerator work. It turns out that there is a switch hidden at the back of an adjoining drawer. Very tricky.

Thursday 19th March 2009

According to the Daily Telegraph, couples who share a bottle of wine in the evening have a higher than average chance of getting liver disease. As my girlfriend points out, we won't have that problem as she usually drinks most of the bottle by herself.

As we now live right next to the Rock Hotel, we pop in later on for a bite to eat - this time I make sure I have my share of the wine as well as drinking both complimentary glasses of sherry. Liver failure beckons.

Friday 20th March 2009

We now have a panoramic view of the cable car - they are still busy replacing the cables.

My shower only dispenses water out of some of the holes - the rest appear to be blocked. So, I unscrew the shower head but it is far heavier than I had expected and it slips out of my hands and crashes to the floor where it chips the shower tray. I run my fingers over the chip and cut my finger tip. My girlfriend gets some plaster and wraps it round the end of my finger. "Cut the end off" I say. Fortunately she realises that I mean the plaster.

I then start a massive hike round the water and electric providers in the baking heat. Eventually everything is sorted out - I hope.

Later I unblock all the holes in the shower head with a tiny screwdriver and put it back. Surprisingly, it works.

Saturday 21st March 2009

In the evening a group of us go bowling - we are all pretty terrible although not as bad a Barack Obama who only scored 37 points which is almost impossibly bad.

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      End of Week 53 of Gibraltar Diary

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