Week 169 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 5th June 2011

There is a lot of naval activity at the moment - so much so that it is difficult to keep up.

Monday 6th June 2011

The Time Out cafe in Europort (opposite MacDonalds) still has the smoking starers at the bar but you can now get away from them by sitting outside - if you can put up with the mobile phone shouters.

Tuesday 7th June 2011

A surprising number of ships have seriously impressive structures on their decks - I guess this is oil or gas ...

Wednesday 8th June 2011

HMS St Albans seemed to come and go without us really noticing. It is unusual to see a tug physically nudging a ship - I guess they mostly have bow thrusters or even rotating engine nacelles

Thursday 9th June 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised the "unelected" Coalition for their policies. Well, perhaps my memory fails me but I don't seem to remember having the opportunity of voting for him either. Not to mention the fact that if I headed an organisation based on fairy stories whose market share had dropped from 100% to 2%, I might have the grace to shut the fuck up and try and solve my own problems before kvetching about other peoples'.

And I seem to remember the Bible saying at great length and in many different places that you must "lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth ...". So why has the Church of England got hundreds of millions in the stockmarket? And why are they letting women speak in church when Saint Paul specifically tells them "Let your women keep silence in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak but they are commanded to be under obedience ...". So why does ole beardie let dem bitches yap in da church?

Not to mention the gays. "Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin", Leviticus 18:22, Living Bible. What's hard to understand about that? Seems clear enough to me. Just in case you have any lingering doubts try 20:13 "The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties ...". See, told you.

So, don't old beardie believe in the infallible word of The Holy Bible? And if not, then why not resign and admit the fact? And if he does believe in it, then he should adhere to what it says, give away all the money, tell the women to stay schtum and start terminating the gays with extreme prejudice rather than having the gall to criticise people who live in the real world? Of course, this may not be politically acceptable and he could end up doing serious time in prison but that is a small price to pay for doing God's will. He could be Saint Beardie of Wormwood Scrubs. Or maybe he knows it is all a load of old hokum but he likes living in a palace and telling the rest of us what to do.

I could go on but that is probably enough people annoyed for one day.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Happy birthday to the Duke of Edinburgh who continues at the age of 90, to do an incredibly good job. Decades ago the Duke turned up at our place and the conversation with a friend of mine (wearing a furry looking sweater), went as follows:

DOE: Where did you get that sweater?
Friend: My girlfriend knitted it
DOE: Looks like she skinned it

Ok, so its not state of the art but typical DOE.

The Queen's Birthday parade in Casemates Square is very professional as usual but a couple in possession of a telephoto lens are bound to take inappropriate photos (a Jane Austen moment)

Every year we feature the big bass drum - sorry.

Not to mention pretty girls ...

... and other notables.

I think these are the symbollic keys to Gibraltar (or maybe the real keys to the city gates)

Friday 10th June 2011

Off we go. When we get in the lift my girlfriend says "How do I look? How do I look?". "Like a million dollars" I reply "green and smelly".

Well, I knew the Rock was inhabited by wild creatures that spend all day screaming at each other, what I had not realised is that they use the Number 1 bus to get up there. For what seems like hours, we have to endure an incredible noise as a small woman with reddish hair yells to her friend (yes, you, with the baby) at the other end of the bus and her friend screams back. Then, when we finally arrive at the new bus stop next to our flat the driver refuses to let us off. "There is no bus stop here, where is the bus stop?", he says. "There", I reply, pointing to it. "Ah", he says "that bus stop". And we get off with with our ears ringing from the racket. Never again.

This is the build up to the Gibraltar Calentita which is a sort of food fair with tents from all the different nationalities represented. The queue for food at the Moroccan tent is enormous. Needless to say there is no English Tent and if there were my guess is it would have the shortest queue

We get apprehended by a pretty girl in the Irish tent who turns out to be Spanish.

There are dancers ...

... and 2009 Miss World Kaiane Aldorino is standing right next to us.

The Grand finale is a wonderful fireworks and laser display

Saturday 11th June 2011

The Superyacht ECLIPSE, owned by Roman Abramovich is the largest private yacht in the world and is parked up in Gibraltar right now. How cool is that?

Meanwhile down in Europa Point they are building a wonderful playground for children of all ages.

I am also delighted to see that they have excavated the war time gun emplacements which had been buried under mounds of soil. Gibraltar has a lot of history and should be showing it off - a nice development.

In the evening we go to dinner at 4 Stagioni on Rosia Road near Jumper's Bastion. It got its name from the fact that the first officer ashore at that spot was Captain Jumper. Its a pity he wasn't called Captain Sebastian becuse then it could have been called Bastion Sebastian. Well, never mind - I thought it was funny. Well, moderately funny, anyway.

We are with a delightful couple who are fascinating on the subject of domestic appliances. Indeed, I am only sorry that Sir James Dyson was not there too because then we could have discussed the 5,127 prototype vacuum cleaners he built - one by one.

[Note: 5,127 prototypes in 5 years means that if he worked 10 hours a day, every day of the year he would have to design, build and test a prototype every three hours. Me too]

The Tiramisu is awesome.

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