Week 93 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 20th December 2009

Not a lot happens during the day (apart from rain) but in the evening we go for a posh meal in the Rock Hotel which is magnificent as usual.

Monday 21st December 2009

More rain but my girlfriend ventures out and for some reason photographs the Number 9 Bus which spends its life travelling from Market Square (right next to Casemates Square) to the border and back.

In the evening we watch Om Shanti Om - partly because it is such a great spectacle and partly because the TV is not working properly.

There are huge parts which should have been edited out and glaring iconsistencies - at one point the heroine spends a romantic evening with our hero then in the very next scene we discover she is married and pregnant. This is not deliberate - just typical of the way the plot rambles all over the place. They obviously thought both scenes were very powerful (which they are) so they just left them both in!

In the second half, there is a 30 minute diversion to an industry awards event which is totally irrelevant but very funny, so, what the hell, let's leave that in as well. Not to mention a scene where our hero is an armless, deaf mute in a wheel chair but, never mind, he can still show off his 6-pack in a dream sequence - and so he does. What was that all about? Who cares - it's fun!

Then there are the girls - they may not be able to show kisses in Indian cinema but the girls are breathtakingly beautiful - especially the heroine - they make our very own Miss World look like the girl next door. And the dresses (or lack of) and endless dances are all deeply erotic and yet innocent at the same time. Phew!

It is really the ultimate cliche - a film about actors making a film about actors making a film ... and so on. But - and this is a huge BUT - it is truly magnificent. I could watch it every night. And probably will until the TV starts working again.

Tuesday 22nd December 2009

We walk down to Cheers in the rain for my daily bacon fix. When I sit down I very carefully position one of the spare chairs and put my wet umbrella against it so that it stands upright. As soon as the waiter turns up he moves the chair, for absolutely no reason (there is lots of space - we are outside under cover) and the umbrella falls over.

Now I know how von Stauffenberg felt when somebody moved the bomb he had so carefully positioned to kill Hitler.

In the evening, the TV is working fairly normally again. Quite why, is one of life's great mysteries - like how does everybody else know when to put the garbage out in the UK?

Wednesday 23rd December 2009

We are stuck in a loop. Yet more rain and more moving objects. I arrive at a cafe and put down my take away cup of coffee in a very carefully positioned spot on the table. Immediately my girlfriend moves it somewhere else. When I ask her why she moved it she doesn't know.

Then in the evening the TV stops working again.

Thursday 24th December 2009

It is still raining torrentially. All the moisture that has been sucked up off the Atlantic Ocean over the last 6 months - it has scarcely rained from May to November - is being dropped right onto Gibraltar.

Our favourite cafe, Cheers, closes at 3.30pm so we almost miss having anything to eat.

Friday 25th December 2009

At lunch time we go to a long arranged lunch at the Elliott Hotel. We get there soaked to the skin despite buying another umbrella from one of the few shops that are open. The food is very good, especially compared with the Caletta Hotel where we went last Christmas. The Caletta is excellent normally - just avoid Christmas. And don't sit outside or the birds - think The Birds - will eat your lunch for you.



Each guest has a "gift" - a wooden stationary tidy with the name of the hotel on the front. Really. Who on earth thought that was a good idea? Next year we would like a shake up snow globe - maybe showing Santa Claus getting stuck in a snow drift. Anything other than advertisements for the hotel.



When we get back (via taxi - they are operating) - my girlfriend has bought me lots of toys. Wonderful! I like toys. Unfortunately, the flyer soon breaks but that is the inevitable fate of toys and things that fly.

Saturday 26th December 2009

We walk down town looking for somewhere to eat but just about everywhere is shut apart from the Little Rock Cafe in Casemates Square, whcih is one of out favourite places anyway. When it comes to pudding time I emphasise that I want three scoops of Cappucino ice cream "like tennis balls - not marbles" - they can be a little mean with their ice cream (but extremely generous with everything else).

When it arrives I find what I think is a big chunk of glass in it it but since it then melts we conclude that it is ice and it is safe to eat the rest of it. Which I do with some assistance from my girlfriend.



We walk back home through the city gate at the southern end of Main Street. It could be England in August - sunshine with occasional showers. But there is no grafiti or hoodies snarling and spitting and the man in the phone box is actually using the telephone rather than vandalising it or having a pee. So Gibraltar is somewhat alien. But you can get used to it.


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