Week 61 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 10th May 2009

Todays programming task is the washing machine. My girlfriend had done all the preparatory work and set out the program as follows:

Step 1: Turn temperature dial to 40^
Step 2: Press On/Off switch
Step 3: Close door

How hard can that be? Well, the first step is easy but as soon as I do that, the on/off button starts flashing. After some thought I press it as instructed and it still carries on flashing. I press it again - same result. And all sorts of lights are lit clearly saying that it is drying not washing.

And what about the light saying "3:26"? Is it expecting money? Finally, I think "to Hell with it" and close the door.

It chunters to itself for a few hours and then grudgingly opens it's door. Surprisingly, it is full of clean, hot and sort-of-dry clothes.

Much later I notice that the dial has two positions both reading "40" but fortunately, ignorance is bliss and the ordeal is now over.

Monday 11th May 2009

They say that a wise man doesn't learn from his own mistakes but from the mistakes of others.

So, take it from me, if you try to open a box of beer cans on an extremely high shelf with an extremely sharp knife, take extreme care. Otherwise you will have to spend half an hour mopping up beer from yourself, the cupboard, the floor, your shoes and places you never imagined beer could squirt to.

And the place will smell like a brewery.

Tuesday 12th May 2009

At 8.00am sharp I am watching Independence of the Seas come into Gibraltar bay. A little later I look up and find that yet another giant cruise ship has come in - namely Grand Princess (above). Very confusing.

Wednesday 13th May 2009

In case you were worried about our poinsettia I'm pleased to say that it is recovering well although it still looks a little unbalanced.

Talking of unbalanced, the Daily Telegraph is still banging on about the Westminster sleaze bags. If you have ever met any of these people you would be surprised at how dumb they are - they just happen to be people with big mouths who's only talent is self importance and lining their own pockets.

I am reminded of the story of a tribe in some place far away who whenever they find a man with a tremendous talent for persuasion and oratory they call a tribal holiday and take this gifted person and lift him high up onto a platform - and hang him. Very shrewd.

Maybe that is why Barack Obama went to America?

Thursday 14th May 2009

Down on Main Street the Christmas decorations are up (opposite the John Mackintosh Hall). Bit early for that, surely? Mind you, there is a recession on so maybe it's necessary.

Friday 15th May 2009

On the way back from an expedition down into Gibraltar, I spot two men high up on the cable car system. If you look carefully you will see that one of them is holding a big jug of something. I assume it's oil ...

Saturday 16th May 2009

I am up bright and early to fetch my girlfriend from Malaga Airport. I get to arrivals in good time and it shows her flight from Stanstead as having arrived. More accurately, it says "ARRIVALSTI" which I assume is Spanish for "Very Important Arrivals" or something. After a while it dawns on me that it actually says "ARRIVALST1" and that maybe "T1" means Terminal 1.

I look around and all I can see is "T2" signs. Yup - wrong terminal. Naturally, I have no idea where Terminal 1 is because the airport has been in continuous re-development for years and I have a brain like a sieve but I run towards the white bridge that dominates the airport and there it is - about two hundred yards from Terminal 2 - not like Gatwick where you need to get a train.

The key to understanding Malaga is that their are two huge blocks linked by a flying pedestrian bridge - one block has four gigantic underground floors for car rentals and another four gigantic floors above for public car parking. The other huge block is where the plains and people get together. In between the two blocks is a huge queue of taxis. That's it - simple.

She arrives and all is well. We stop on the way back at La Canada for ice cream and then we are home in Gibraltar.

At about 1.30pm the Juan J. Sister emerges from the dry dock right in front of us and turns round with the aid of the tug Wellington.


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