Friday, 21 October 2011

Gibraltar Bus Service Changes

So, the buses are no longer a free-for-all for non-paying tourists and their tour operators. Good news. To celebrate (and because i'm lazy) as I emerged from a meeting in Europort this morning I was walking to the office when the bus came round the McDonald's roundabout en route to market place. Legged it and got on it.  Loved it.

I don't know if I'll ever relinquish the pleasure of having my moped take me anywhere in Gib within a few minutes, sweat and stress free but, this week's actually been really enjoyable without my moped. I'm now jumping on and off my bike far more proficiently than I was used to and I've started fine tuning my use of the locks, my helmet and trouser clip.

I might be tempted to carry on doing this and will likely, when inclement weather arrives, take to walking or bussing versus moped or bicycle. Let's see. For now though, i've uploaded the press release re the bus service as well as the new routes (which you can download for your mobile devices for when you're on the run) for all to see.

Have a good friday...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Day 3 of this In Town Without My Car lark and already a few observations.

I'm worried about my trousers;

I've had a run in with a Toyota Land Cruiser (you know, big 4x4 type car, like the Mitsubishi Pajero);
There are such things as 'comfort pedals' a pair of which I got myself yesterday;

I'm getting helmet hair (though the helmet matches the bike's colour scheme well);

We need more bicycle parking in Gib generally; and
My current steed is really not cut out for getting around on. All that quick release and shiny finish... makes it a target and it's going to get scratched and I don't like that.

So, solutions:  Buy a new bike, one of these single speeds for like £200-£300, everything on it fixed, bolted on. One D-lock and bob's your uncle.  Something like this maybe... click and then click 'watch video'

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/town/urban_utility/earl

On another note, tonight is the liveable/livable (?) cities discussion and, as tends to be the case at these things, I'm expecting some to try and slaughter me for being a petrolhead, criticising me for having the audacity to speak at events of this kind having owned a series of 'gas-guzzlers.'

I'm looking forward to it actually, because I don't think that being militant about the environment in a place like Gibraltar is actually going to get us anywhere.  I'm pretty certain that Gibraltar is not, today, a place where the environment ranks highly on the average citizen's list of concerns. Environmentalists are battling, and will continue to for some time yet, with the personal transportation privilege exercised by everyone in the community and the majority of locals, vast even, pay only lip service to the idea of a liveable city in Gibraltar, for various reasons.

What we need is a paradigm shift, one which will not materialise overnight and will certainly not be in response  to militance in the environmental context. I'm looking forward to having a chat tonight and sharing how I think we should do it. Hopefully there'll be some people there who share my view. If there aren't, its going to be a long night...

One idea that occurred to me yesterday as I nearly got knocked over by a woman in a Toyota Land Cruiser, the registration of which I have seared in my psyche, was that perhaps the ITWC group or even the Gib Cycling Association could create a leaflet as part of an education campaign for drivers and, every time we have a near miss, we can report the number plate and the authorities can circulate a leaflet to that specific person, almost as a 'we know you nearly killed someone today so have a read of this and try not to do it again...' kind of thing. We should probably also campaign for the use of helmets in Gib too...

That wasn't the first thing that came to mind when she overtook giving me about 3mm of clearance though, I can't bring myself to write such things.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

So here's the secret... Which wasn't very secret if you looked for it

Ok, so we didn't make it to 100 this morning at the rally but it was actually a really good turnout...  Have a look at this video and see for yourself..





So, what's the secret then?


A few years back, a good friend and one of my best men, Justin, created a series of internet only tv shows called the Siesta Show. This was to be used on his website www.eyeonspain.com and it featured a discussion of a whole range of subjects and special guests...  The programme's audience was the membership of the website, one which dealt with the vagaries of buying property in Spain which was and continues to be very popular.

I didn't make it to this weight by virtue of the air I breathe on its own. I enjoy cooking and, as part of the shows he did I helped out and recorded a couple of videos which no doubt you will all find worthy of serious cringing.  My favourite was certainly the Huevos a la Flamenca as they were amazing.  Note in particular the choreetsso lol...

Here it is, and now it's out.  Quite a relief now that it is, enjoy...



Thursday, 13 October 2011

Proper Opposition?

In response to a tweet by Matt Raven to the GSD asking the GSD to describe the role of proper opposition, I can offer my own personal view of what that means. Posts on the GSD and other pages are limited to 1,000 characters hence why I've posted this here. 

Proper opposition in my view is opposition which acts to hold government to account for the sole purpose of furthering the best interests of the community. Proper opposition can be turned to for guidance when important decisions need to be made by a community, particularly one our size facing the issues we do. My personal view is that the opposition we have seen over the last sixteen years has been exclusively about reelection, political gain and,  particularly, about rubbishing every last government initiative, failing thereby, to provide effective opposition. 

Their reticence on issues such as the Constitution, the homosexual age of consent and parliamentary reform are, in my view,  plain and worrying examples of moments when the GSLP chose intentional ambivalence and lack of guidance in the misguided hope that the Government's initiative in each of those cases would be undermined, with the consequent political impact that would bring. 

There are many other points that could be raised to highlight the lack of proper opposition over the years in Gibraltar but I would prefer, instead, to encourage a discussion on this very point. One last point, it's not just the Government that's accountable to the electorate!

Visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gibraltar-Social-Democrats-GSD/268644129832550 to leave comments about this post. Thanks!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Might avoid mountain biking in Africa...