Week 64 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 31st May 2009

I work on my computer project all day and am both delighted and annoyed to find that a routine I have written in Visual Basic 6 using impeccable Object Oriented programming techniques runs at least 100 times faster when written in crude C++. This does not matter sometimes - the difference between 1 millisecond and 100 milliseconds is not very noticeable but the difference between three days and a year is.

Question: "Does this dress make my bum look big?"
Answer: "Of course not - it's all the chocolate you eat that does that"

Later we go down to the Queensway Marina to eat lots of ice cream. If it costs 1.95 per scoop why does the special - consisting of five small scoops - cost 11.50? So many questions and such unsatisfactory answers.

Monday 1st June 2009


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In the morning, the Adams Challenge finally sets off on its travels. According to their website it is still being built, so if you read this guys, don't believe them - it has been ready for weeks and has been hiding underneath our flat.

In the afternoon we head for the beach in Tarifa - colourful as usual. On the way back we almost get annihilated by a car right over on our side of the road. The idea that I could have been in a high speed crash caused by somebody else is certainly a novel idea. "He was just an innocent motorist, toddling along at about 80mph, when a maniac coming the other way over-took a whole convoy of heavy vehicles - escorted by a police escort for God's sake - and just slammed into him head-on at a combined speed of about 160mph. All the occupants were vapourised."

Later we drive past an enormous shop in Algeciras where there is a crane lowering a huge sign into position that says "Primark". Excitedly, my girlfriend texts her friend Katey who immediately replies "There is a God and that is proof". Well, maybe, but I won't be convinced until Waterstones opens in Gibraltar.

Tuesday 2nd June 2009

The day is somewhat warm and when we get back in the late afternoon we are both roasting hot from the climb up the hill to our flat. Suddenly, all my theories of natural cooling from the huge mass of the Rock behind us begin to look suspect.

Later in the evening we go to the Artie Craftie thing organised by Lizzie. I attempt to make a whistle out of the driftwood that we collected some weeks ago - it is a dismal failure. Still, it was an experiment and the whole point of experimentation is that it is not always successful.

Wednesday 3rd June 2009

A friend comes over for the day from Manchester and so we do some touristy things like going up the cable car. The price seems to have dropped to 7 return for an adult but we have to queue for at least 30 minutes - cause and effect maybe. A gull hitches a ride to the top - rather like commuting pigeons in London that regularly use the tube to save time and energy. "Don't get into a flap - use the tube"

The view from the top is spectacular as always - the ships look like toys waiting to be put inside a bottle.

Thursday 4th June 2009

I thought that our chicks had flown the nest but it seems they are still there - heavily disguised as twigs and miscellaneous vegetation. Maybe the monkeys and othe predators have even worse eyesight than I do.

Friday 5th April 2009


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Still working on my project. The man has changed from being a true blue Tory and is now suitably green. His job is to lure the two predators (which follow him relentlessly) into the black hole, which he manages here very cleverly. Are there some glimmers of true intelligence here? Possibly, intelligence is like an elephant - very hard to describe but you know it when you see it.

Later we go to Ronda to eat coffee ice cream and burn rubber.

Saturday 6th June 2009

Today we make a truly amazing discovery - Sacarellos in Irish Town sell coffee ice-cream. Unfortunately, it is a little too strong for us in its raw state so maybe we will experiment by mixing it with vanilla.

Later we watch Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Now my project may only be showing the slightest glimmer of intelligence but this film shows none. Zero. Zilch. It is totally devoid of even the most basic common sense. Stupid. Brain dead.

I know that it is based on a video game so suspension of disbelief is part and parcel of it but surely they could at least try to make some of the plot intelligent - is fantasy totally incompatible with intelligence? The truth is that you are seeing evolution in action. Kids like stupid nonesense so they churn out stupid nonesense for kids. Very depressing. Even Angelina Jolie's breasts would not make me watch it - that is how bad it is.

Later we watch a few minutes of the original Shrek as an antidote - every line of dialogue sparkles with wit and intelligence on several levels - or should that be "lay-errrrrrrrs". What a work of genius! The later Shrek films are just the usual boring franchise exploitation so don't bother to watch them. But the original - that's amazing, with more than a hint of minty freshness and no unwanted physical contact.


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