Week 68 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 28th June 2009

We walk with Eili into the city centre as she has to be at work at three o'clock. On the way back we spot some interesting grafiti - you get a better class of vandal in Dublin.

Much later we go for a drive in the rain.

Monday 29th June 2009

This is our last day in Dublin for a while and in the late afternoon we go to the Santry Shopping Centre to see Coraline in 3-D. We kill time as we wait for a nice lady to put a new battery in my watch. It is only a few months since the last battery - maybe it was a duff one - quite likely in Gibraltar where apart from complacency there is also a touch of larceny in Main Street commerce.

We contemplate an ice cream but decide to watch somebody else eat one instead. Very tasty.

Coraline turns out to be not in 3-D but is an extraordinary film by the brilliant Tim Burton. What it is about I have no idea but it is well worth seeing.

At 10.00pm we set sail on the Norfolkline Viking ferry for England. We think that it arrives in Liverpool at 6.00am where we will sleep in deep repose until 8.00am and then drive forth refreshed from a good nights sleep.

The reality is otherwise. We watch Andy Murray win in almost 5 hours to get into the quarter finals of Wimbledon and then go to bed where we find that the ship shakes violently back and forth. Sleep is impossible. The CIA should give up waterboarding and just send their interviewees on the Norfolkline Dublin Ferry. Instant confessions.

Tuesday 30th June 2009

At 4.00am the warders wake us up and we are herded to our cars where we discover that we are in Birkenhead. Same difference.

We get home at 6.00am and then at 7.00am set forth on the next phase of our UK tour which involves some 300 miles ending up in London five minutes after the congestion charge goes off at 6.00pm. We wander around for a while and then go to bed at about 9.30pm exhausted.

Wednesday 1st July 2009

At 8.00am we are on the road again and end up near Norwich at about 6.45pm having been to Croydon, Bromley, Milton Keynes and probably other places as well on the way. We are heading for Taps Restaurant in Horning which is dreadful to look at but awesome to eat at. The navigator decides that we like ferries (on no evidence) and sends us to yet another one across a small river at Reedham. This works out at about 500 per mile but is good fun.

We finally get to Taps. My rare steak is over cooked. Oh dear.

We try to find a hotel but to our amazement the whole of Norwich is booked solid. We set off for London.

Thursday 2nd July 2009

We arrive in London in the early hours and get up in the early afternoon feeling a little better.

In the afternoon we sit and watch the fountain in Russell Square for an hour or more and then go to see Lake Tahoe at the Renoir Cinema. It turns out that 8,999,998 people decide not to see this film - the cinema is totally empty. We are quite literally the only people in a cinema designed to seat about 200 people. Sometimes the majority is right. This film is slow moving, pointless and amateurish. Go and watch paint dry instead.

Friday 3rd July 2009

Today we get the Gatwick Express from Victoria Station. It costs 33 for two adults and you can pay on the train - expensive but excellent. According to our Tom Tom it travels at about 60mph a lot of the way.

In due course we get on the plane and find that it is travelling at 507mph - you have to put the Tom Tom on the window to pick up any satellites.

When we arrive in Gibraltar it is baking hot and we ignore the taxi touts and get an air-conditioned bus to our door for 60p per adult. Brilliant value for money.

Saturday 4th July 2009

We spend all day in the flat with the air-conditioning on taking the occasional look out of the window. The back end of the ship propped up on the quay was fished out of the water by a giant crane a couple of weeks ago but what the story is I have no idea. Looking out over the bay is like watching a silent film with no sub-titles - why are they doing that? What happened? What did I miss?

At about 10.00pm we venture out but within minutes I feel very hot and sticky. We walk to Boyds Bar on top of the Bastion Leisure centre - it is totally empty. As soon as we sit down other people drift in - they should pay us to be there. If it were mine I would give away free drinks to pretty girls ...

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