Week 88 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 15th November 2009

We meet a nice lady from Sweden at the party but sadly she is flying back to Stockholm at 10.00am which means that she will be lucky to get more than a couple of hours of sleep. We finally get home at about 6.00am when my girlfriend insists on warming some pizza. After a while the flat is full of black smoke but we eat the remains and go to bed.

We wake up in the mid afternoon (OK, the late afternoon) and suddenly realise that we are a bit late for our weekly meal in Marbella. We get there just as the sun is going down and I take some photos of what I assume is a man and dog but, on closer inspection, is actually a young lady.

On the spur of the moment we go and offer to send her the photos, which we do. She turns out to be a charming person with excellent English and gives us her email address. Who knows what friendship will come of such a chance encounter? That is what is exciting about living - once it becomes totally predictable you might as well be dead.

We then go and call in to see my girlfriend's friend who works in the Havana Bar - we buy (yes, really) a couple of drinks and chat for maybe 20 minutes and then leave having arranged to meet them in Gibraltar next week. I know from experience that owners are neurotic about friends of staff calling in and getting free drinks and wasting time so we make sure the owner (who is pretending not to be watching) sees that we really do leave the money on the counter.

The Havana Bar is lit with blocks of Red, Green and Blue LEDs which combine together to give pure white light - just like on the screen of your computer - science in visible action!

By now it is late and we set off to drive home. We pull off the road to get the camera from the boot of the car but as I climb out, three very attractive ladies materialise from nowhere. When they see my girlfriend in what looks like the driver's seat (it is a right hand drive car) they look confused. Being a very friendly person she tries to engage them in conversation but it turns out they only know one word of English - a very rude word indeed. When we leave the prettiest one blows me a kiss! I think maybe they were chiropterologists (people who study bats) on a night vigil.

Monday 16th November 2009

Yet again we watch the sun go down in Marbella.

On the way back we spot the Nazi images on a local Indian restaurant in La Linea - has nobody told them that this old Hindu good luck charm has been taken over?

Tuesday 17th November 2009

In the evening we go to see Couples Retreat which is hardly great art but quite amusing - at least there was nobody vomitting blood.

Wednesday 18th November 2009

At mid-day I set off for the UK - this is my plane taking off!.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend is photographing animals around Gibraltar. In the evening I drive to Norwich and stay at the Sprowston Manor Hotel. The girl at reception gives me a 45 minute internet card with a number on it. As you would expect, in order to actually get internet you ignore the card and its number completely and select the 24 hour option and input your room number and name. Simple. Why did it take me an hour to work that out?

Thursday 19th November 2009

Today I fail yet another hotel IQ test. How do you have a shower when there is no shower curtain and nowhere to hold the shower spray? Well, I do my best but the correct answer is "use the other shower in the smoked glass cubicle". Duh.

In the evening, I drive to London.

Friday 20th November 2009

In the morning I have yet another dismal shower experience - I break my toe while climbing out of it. I know I have broken it because it hurts just as much as it did the last time I broke one - on the other foot.

I return the hire car to Avis at Heathrow which is unbelievably efficient. Superbly signposted, just incredible. Maybe they are Germans? Later, I discover that I have left my sunglasses in the car but that is hardly their fault - I wonder if I will ever see them again? Watch this space for exciting news of my glasses.

Today, we are both photographing poles - Heathrow has set up several free charging bays which are extremely handy for phones and laptops. Who would have thought it? They are actually trying to make life a little bit easier without petty charges - well done guys!

I arrive back in Gibraltar at about 7.30pm local time to be met by my girlfriend who has meanwhile also failed an IQ test - she got there two hours early because she got the time difference the wrong way round. Duh, again.

Saturday 21st November 2009

On the spur of the moment we set off to explore Algeciras. Nobody does ugly or elegant quite like the Spanish - and Algeciras is very ugly. Think Grimsby crossed with Tower Hamlets.

But in the middle there is a beautiful square with a lovely fountain - if they pulled down 99% of the city it would be a nice place. On our walk we encounter a whole gang of 14 year olds - an experience that would be seriously scarey in the UK. As we pass they all simultaneously drop to the floor and burst out laughing and so do we. A grim place but fun - we shall return.

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      End of Week 88 of Gibraltar Diary

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