Week 72 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 26th July 2009

Lots of naval ships turning up here. This is HMS Bulwark (L15)

And this is RFA Wave Ruler (A390). In case you didn't know, RFA stands for Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Not sure I like the name - it sounds like something made up by a civil servant. Why not go the whole hog - Ship, Wave Ruling, For the Purpose Of? Maybe not.

Maybe we are going to see England v Spain, the sequel? In that spirit we go down to the Bastion Leisure Centre where there are lots of people bowling but none of them look like the ghost of Sir Francis Drake.

Monday 27th July 2009

If human beings ceased to exist, intelligent monkeys would emerge within a few million years - just look at these, er, cat burglars in action at the Rock Hotel next door.

Tuesday 28th July 2009

It's not just people who go on cruises - animals get to go on them too. One way cruises on the Kenoz that end in death. At some point in the future, we meat eaters will be appalled at our complicity in this trade but for the moment I like mine done rare.

The weather is extraordinary - gale force winds and dense mist sweeping over the Rock and straight through our flat. Later the sun burns through and it is unbearably hot.

At about 4.00pm we decide to go for a drive but the whole of Gibraltar is grid-locked so we abandon the car by the side of the road knowing it will still be there undamaged when we get back. It is.

Wednesday 29th July 2009

Again we go for a drive and this time we actually get across the border but fate is not on our side. Nemesis, in the shape of a woman driving a black SEAT is lying in wait for us. Specifically, she runs into the back of us several seconds after we stop for a pedestrian crossing. It seems she is very sorry but could not see because of the sun. Even after the ritual exchange of information she follows us for miles - presumably still unable to see because of the sun (which is still shining brightly). Very scary. Giving them the vote was the thin edge of the wedge.

Eventually we get to Marbella where we park in an underground car park (2.75e for about 90 minutes) and I reflect on logical abuse. I really am fed up with reading the results of "studies" that reveal, for instance, that victims of heart attacks have high salt content in some blood vessels "therefore salt is bad for you". This is not logic, it is stupidity - confusing cause and effect. On the same logic I could say that "studies" (me looking out of my car window) have shown that young girls in Marbella have longer legs than normal (they do - see proof above). Therefore "if you want your legs to grow longer, move to Marbella".

Thursday 30th July 2009

In the morning RFA Wave Ruler (A390) sets off from Gibraltar but I stay inside hiding from the heat. In the afternoon we set off down town and take shelter in an air-conditioned cafe for an hour or so. Rumour has it that the temperature is approaching 40 degrees ...

Friday 31st July 2009

In the afternoon we venture out into the fiery inferno and my girlfriend spends 1.50 buying a new pair of shoes from Peacocks. At that price they are obviously built by people earning 20p per day in a sweat-shop (not to be confused with a sweet-shop). Previously they were earning 10p per day working in the fields so it is undoubtedly progress of a sort and the shoes look nice and are very comfortable so who's complaining?

The answer is "Guardian readers living in huge houses in Hampstead who have never done a day's work in their lives". So stuff 'em.

And if you pay them 100p per day all that will happen is that the guy who doles out the jobs will demand an 80p a day kick-back for giving you the job or 50 up-front which he will lend you at 10% interest per week. You cannot buck the market.

Saturday 1st August 2009

Studies have shown that dead people never drive cars - so, in order to reduce the chances of dying, we go for a drive up to a nice restaurant near Ronda. On the way back, we overtake a red SEAT who has the audacity to try to keep up with us on the road down to Marbella but on the next bend I lose him and almost lose my car too. But after some screams from the car tyres and cheers from the passenger (who has nerves of stainless steel) we are still on the road moving mostly forward.

This is Gibraltar from Spain - the hills in the background are North Africa. "Whenever I watch TV and see those starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean, I'd love to be skinny, but not with all those flies and death and stuff" to not quote Mariah Carey. Funny though.

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