Week 86 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 1st November 2009

Finally, at 5.00am, we make our way home. By now my girlfriend is so drunk that when we get home she absolutely insists on starting to cook things. We finally get to bed at 7.00am

In the evening we set off for Glasgow via Betty's in Harrogate. At midnight we are driving through dense Scottish rain when we spot a Ghoul (see left of photo). He has obviously got confused about Halloween - easily done.

Monday 2nd November 2009

We arrive at the SAS Radisson at about 2.00am and find that the room stinks of smoke. I pick up the phone but there is no button for Reception - just a button marked "100% Customer Satisfaction". I press the button but still feel dissatisified - especially as nobody answers. Eventually, I get hold of Reception (which is labelled "operator") and they move us to a new smoke free room.

We then try to open the refrigerator but cannot. I ring Reception and explain that we cannot open the fridge door. The woman clearly thinks I am an idiot ("you pull the wee handle on the door") but promises to send somebody up to show us how. Meanwhile, we solve the problem - you have to push the fridge right over and then squeeze your fingers underneath the front right hand side of the door.

A nice man arrives who turns out to be the night manager. He strides in confidently but his confidence falters as after several minutes he cannot open the fridge either. We meanwhile are gazing earnestly at the fridge with great gratification. Unfortunately he eventually he works out how to open it. The nice man then gives us some free drinks for our trouble and leaves.

So, now we need ice and I try the "100% Customer Satisfaction" button again. This time it is answered by the receptionist, who is called Holly. She explains that the "100% Customer Satisfaction" button no longer works but the ice machine is next to the lift. No doubt if SAS Radisson made cars the brake would be labelled "The complete drving experience pedal" and would not work - having been connected to the accelarator instead.

My girfriend goes for ice but does not return because she has not taken a note of the new room number. So, she puts the access card into every room in the corridor until one of them opens. Sorry about that.

At 3.00 am we eventually get to bed.

Tuesday 3rd November 2009

The tree stump burning exercise has not been too successful but it is early days yet. I spend most of the morning at the dentists and in the afternoon I drive to Blackburn in torrential rain.

Wednesday 4th November 2009

More dentist and then to Blackburn in the torrential rain - this could get boring.

Thursday 5th November 2009

Today is one of those days. I call in at the cash machine and it is sulking and refuses to give me any money. In Liverpool I get stuck in an enormous jam and do a detour. I pull in off the road alongside a number of cars. As soon as I pull in a man climbs into the one facing me and I have to move. As I do so another one then reverses out and would have hit me if I had not lent on the horn.

I find a cash machine and pull into a huge bus stop. Three buses then trap me in and just as I am about to reverse out over the pavement a woman parks behind me. The buses move off but still deliberately continue to trap me. I drive straight at them and they blink first - I am free at last.

The man I have come to see does not turn up and the KFC no longer sell chicken nuggets and there is no paper in the lavatory. Meanwhile our huge bonfire is soaked from three days of continuous rain.

In the evening it gets better and we have a wonderful little party. Some friends bring their new baby which is not only intelligent looking but quiet too.

Steve brings the world's biggest firework which sends up so many explosive flairs that it is like Afghanistan.

Eventually we get to bed at around midnight.

Friday 6th November 2009

At the crack of dawn we head for Norwich and then drive to London via Mildenhall where I have arranged for four heavy USAF bombers to land just as we arrive. Well done lads, your timing was perfect. Next time maybe even lower - we hardly had to duck.

Saturday 7th November 2009

In London we face a different kind of menace - who would have thought there would be a tribe of Parking Attendants in Africa?

We head for Heathrow which is somewhat posher than Gatwick and finally we are back home in Gibraltar

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      End of Week 86 of Gibraltar Diary

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