Week 83 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 11th October 2009

At 5.00pm we set off to see the film Up at the Kings Bastion Leisure Centre which starts at 6.00pm. We get there at 5.15pm and already they have sold half the tickets. At 5.30pm there is a long queue to get in the actual theatre so we join it and get good seats.

The film starts with a 10 minute documentary which settles once and for all something that has always bothered me - where do babies come from? We all know they are delivered by storks but what about the manufacturing process? Well, it seems they are made in the clouds. Having settled that, the film moves on.

According to the certificate, it is designed for those of four years and upwards (no pun intended). Despite this, the film has long sections that will only really be appreciated by those who have considerable experience of life - during these parts the howls of bored and baffled kids rise to a crescendo.

Although there are some property developer villains (compulsory for all films), the real villain is an explorer who looks just like Bruce Forsythe. A brilliant choice as somebody more loathsome would be hard to imagine. For me, the best part is where the Brucie Lookalike hurtles to his death supported by only half a dozen balloons. I may buy the DVD just to re-play that part until it wears out.

The rest is alright but is a bit slow and generally going nowhere (apart from the Paradise Falls ). Go if you must, or wait for the personalised sequel, Up Yours.

Monday 12th October 2009

At about 6.00pm we set off to walk down town. For the first time for months it is cool enough to walk briskly without getting hot and sticky - the humidity is less obvious now although the cloud patterns over the Rock show that the air is still damp.

On the way back we decide to catch a Number 2 bus which is really just a minivan holding about 10 people including the driver. It seems that it goes up to the Morish Castle but we get out before then and walk up an endless flight of steps that are quite magical but exhausting. It is a real delight to be able to do this without sweating like a pig.

Tuesday 13th October 2009

Bright and early we catch the bus down to Ocean Village to meet a nice lady who is going to teach my girlfriend Spanish. I, meanwhile, buy a newspaper and go and sit in a cafe. Unfortunately, the paper I buy turns out to be yesterday's - very irritating for 1.50.

In the evening we go out again and, since we have bought all day bus tickets decide to go on a voyage of exploration to the end of Gibraltar on the number 3 bus. This turns out to be a magical experience as the light is just fading and we feel like real explorers. Well recommended.

Wednesday 14th October 2009

In the early afternoon we go to a cafe near Cheers, which is at the top of Bell Lane and excellent if you speak Spanish or are good at waving your arms around. Cheers, that is, not the new cafe. The new cafe whose name I forget if I ever knew it, looks great but fails to deliver. The home-made bread is probably home-made but like that jumper your mum knitted for you, "home-made" does not necessarily mean "good". Sometimes it means "not very good". Plus the proprietor could talk for England, never mind Gibraltar. Avoid.

In the evening we go on a complete circuit of the number 4 bus route which is probably the world's most complicated bus route. It basically goes round in circles - it literally passes the old Queens Cinema three times on one trip. Once to visit the Fire Station, once to go up towards the Rock Hotel and once to go to Morrisons. Very confusing. Interesting though. If you like buses.

Thursday 15th October 2009

In the late afternoon my girlfriend goes for some serious dental assault and emerges so battered that she can hardly walk back to meet me in Casemates Square where some sort of kid's band is playing. But she makes it and informs me that she will not be able ot go out for four days.

By late evening she is fine again and we set off to see the latest re-make of Fame at the Bastion Leisure Centre. The film is a series of wonderful song and dance acts wrapped around with typical American hokum. Nobody does saccharine (saccharin (?), it's a tie on Google), nauseating garbage quite like the good old USA. I never saw the old version but no doubt it was better.

Actually, I am wondering why I ever bother to go and see American films since they are invariably crap. Maybe because the alternative is American TV which is even worse.


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