September 8, 1938, Gibraltar

Weather mostly hot & nights sometimes uncomfortably so. Sea variable mostly rather choppy. When no wind fish visible at least 10 feet below surface.
The Barbary Ape is said to be now very rare at Gibraltar & the authorities are trying to exterminate them as they are a nuisance. At a certain season of the year (owing to shortage of food I suppose) they come down from the rock & invade peoples° houses & gardens. They are described as large doglike ape with only a short stump of tail. The same species found on the African coast just opposite.
The breed of goat here is the Maltese, or at any rate is chiefly Maltese. The goat is rather small, & has the top half of its body covered with long & rather shaggy hair which overhangs to about the knees, giving the impression that it has very short legs. Ears are set low and drooping. Most of the goats are hornless, those having horns have ones that curve back so sharply that they lie against the head, & usually continue round in a semi-circle, the point of the horn being beside the eye. Udders are very pendulous & in many cases simply a bag with practically no teats, or teats barely 1/2 inch long. Colours black, white & (especially) reddish brown. Yield said to be about a litre a day. Goats apparently will graze on almost anything, eg. The flock I watched had grazed the wild fennel plants right to the ground.
Breed of donkeys here small, like the English. The conveyance peculiar to the place a little partly closed in carriage like the Indian gharry with the sides taken out.

September 8, 1938




Hills steep & animals on the whole badly treated. No cows. Cows’ milk 6d a pint. Fruits now in season, apples, oranges, figs, grapes, melon, prickly pear, brinjals & various English vegetables. Prickly pear grows very plentiful on poor soil. Few hens here & eggs small. “Moorish eggs” advertised as though a superior kind.
Cats of Maltese type. Dogs all muzzled.

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20 Responses to September 8, 1938, Gibraltar

  1. “Dogs all muzzled.” I like that.

  2. Carlitos says:

    Thank God we’re back to animals and food, I thought I’d never see the end of those “political” posts…


  3. Scott says:

    Interesting observation on the authorities’ attitude to the apes compared to Wikipedia’s version:
    “The Gibraltar macaque population was under the care of the British Army and later the Gibraltar Regiment from 1915 to 1991, who carefully controlled a population that initially consisted of a single troop. An officer was appointed to supervise their welfare, and a food allowance of fruit, vegetables and nuts was included in the budget.[…] Any ill or injured monkey was taken to Royal Naval Hospital and received the same treatment as would an enlisted service man”

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  5. Jason Anton says:

    He admits that English have small asses!

  6. Dave Taylor says:

    “He admits that English have small asses!”

    Although getting bigger all the time as the obesity epidemic has started to set in here.

  7. John says:

    “He admits that English have small asses!”

    LOL, best comment to date.

  8. George~~

    I’m surprised you neglected to mention that the so-called “Barbary Ape” is, in fact, a monkey. Must I do everything!?!

    Please refrain from distracting me from my Obsessive/Compulsive Psychoanalysis of you; it makes me jittery.

    Have you seen any Maltese Falcons?

  9. Carl Johnson says:

    When it comes to this, size does not matter. Obviously there is no shortage of asses.

  10. dave says:

    Monkeys treated in Royal naval hospital ??? (ie thats how well the Navy treated its rank and file…)

    To me this sound a bit like the New York Times writing about John Mcain..

    I did see those monkeys on a show about the Royal Navy…pretty cute as monkeys go


  11. I don’t know how he does it, but I can SEE Gilbralter and its animals. I wish he were still alive.

  12. dave says:

    update; re monkeys
    Hospital treatment story attributable to “Wikopedia”
    apologies to Orwell..
    ? sign of early dementia or Freudian slip regarding my thoughts on GO’s opinion of British society?

  13. Lange says:

    I’ve read that the English are notorious for their bad teeth, I wonder if Orwell mentions that.

  14. Lizzy says:

    Wow – I want a goat just like that. What a great pet. Love it.

  15. Klank Kiki says:

    Taken from google:
    “1 US pint = 0.473176473 litre”
    “1 Imperial pint = 0.568261485 litre”

  16. cactus says:

    (Dizzy miss) Lizzy , why not a goat’s head soup ?

  17. Brian B says:

    Re US/Imperial pint by Klan Kiki

    Simpler to visualise difference as

    US Pint – 16 Fluid oz
    Imperial Pint – 20 Fluid oz

    Never have understood why as on visits to US have had it pointed out many times that everything is bigger and better in the colonies than in England

    However I still like you out there


  18. Nice sketch, George.

    Is it true that we should be unceasingly prepared for an unexpected Metric Conversion Spot Quiz? Extra points for Euro Conversion?

  19. Anna Reksik says:

    There is a reason most US universities don’t except Wikipedia ™ as a scholarly reference: one word: bias.

  20. Michael Powell says:

    Lange – “The crowds in the big towns, with their mild, knobby faces, their bad teeth and gentle manners solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar boxes.” from Orwell’s The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941).

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