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So I said “arrivederci” to Naples and “hola”, or more accurately “hello” to Gibraltar. As Gib’ is a funny mixture of about 70% British, 10% Spanish and 20%, well, Gibraltarian.



 Almost everyone speaks English, most as their first language, the locals speak a mixture of Spanish and English often in the same sentence “Gibberish”, it is built up with very expensive flats as it is a tax haven, you pay with sterling in the bars but still go home stinking of cigarette smoke.  It also seems to be perfectly legal to continue with building work outside people’s homes all through the night - I am sure even Anneka Rice stopped after dark (most of those staying in the Mess had several sleepless nights).


I was very interested to see what Gibraltar was like as I will probably be working there permanently in 18 months time.  The hospital is very new, it is small for a hospital but big for a medical centre. Having the general practitioners in the hospital is very useful for me. There are three GP’s, a physician, a surgeon, an anaesthetist, an ob’s and gynae’ consultant and a paediatrician. There is a small ward, a laboratory, HDU beds and delivery suites. We treat service personnel (mainly Gibraltarian army) and their dependants. The General Practice clinics were very full, so I was busier than in Naples, but as the deputy principle medical officer I would not be in charge of the medical centre like the GP in Naples is.


As I was there over the Easter weekend I only had to work for eight days. The rest of the time I spent enjoying what Gibraltar has to offer: climbing The Rock, exploring the caves under it, eating and drinking in the (occasional) sun, looking at some expensive yachts, watching a military vs celebrity football match and ice skating (something I have not done since I was 8). 


It brought up some questions about living there for two years. Being married in the military with a family has pros and cons. Usually it is difficult for family life, especially if you are in a job when you are off to sea frequently. However somewhere like Gibraltar your family can come out and you are put up in a house. Single people (like me) live in the Officer’s Mess, which is great in some ways, as all your meals are cooked for you and your room cleaned. On the other hand you do not have your own “home”, cannot cook for yourself at all and cannot easily escape the military life, which you do sometimes need a break from. It was a good two weeks, I now have a better idea about what working and living there will be like and have a lot to think about. A couple of weeks leave now before I go back to Naples.

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