Sunday, 30 December 2007
Mary Ann selected the only programme on the hard drive that she'd recorded - Heartbeat, a fast paced Yorkshire-bobbies-on-bicycles-with-a-60s-soundtrack vehicle for ex-Eastenders heart-throb Nick Berry. We'd been watching it for about 20 minutes before we realised that it was on pause!
Competition Time. Is Nick acting here, or is it just a photo?
Here's the shot
Was it worth it?
Saturday, 29 December 2007
In April we've booked a 4 bedroom house in the middle of town and are taking the old dears along with us. We're collecting them at the airport the day after we arrive.
and a bedroom
looks smashing doesn't it?
You've already got the picture but I'm going to supply the details from two articles from the last two days.
Article one. Some rich bloke bought his son a brand new car for Christmas and the son duly piled it into a tree and wrote it off completely the same day. It was a €60,000 Porsche.
Article 2. In Playa den Bossa the wonderful 'La Griferia' (you have your own computer controlled beer pump on your table) was subjected to another assassination attempt by a suicide motorist. This is the seventh time a car has ended up either in it or on its terrace since it opened and the fourth time this year.
This powerful Audi was going just a bit too fast, hit the only remaining tree (all the others went in previous accidents) and just missed two kids drinking lemonade on the terrace. When it caught fire, alert staff, used to this kind of thing happening, doused the flames (thankfully with the contents of a fire extinguisher and not the beer pump)
Image from Ultima Hora
(You can just see the tree, branches akimbo, in the photo)
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
It's mind boggling to think that this unknown face staring back out of an old photo plays some part in my make up.
Thomas was born in 1812, the same year that English writers Charles Dickens and Robert Browning were born. In that year the Luddites were attacking wool mills in Yorkshire, the British PM Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the House of Commons and Britain was at war with the French and the USA.
Abroad, Louisiana became America's 18th State and Napoleon introduced the metric system and invaded Russia only to find Moscow burning. He obviously didn't realise how far the 2484.92 new fangled kilometres from Moscow back to Paris was!
Many decades later, the year of my birth makes me truly a member of the Rock'n'roll generation. The Fender Stratocaster was unveiled, Bill Haley recorded Rock around the Clock, Elvis was first heard on the radio and Marilyn Monroe married Joe diMaggio!
Others born this year include, Jermaine Jackson, John Travolta, James Belushi, Elvis Costello, David Lee Roth, Denzel Washington and, for fans of Strictly Come Dancing, Willie Thorne!
Does anyone know which year it was?
Tuesday, 25 December 2007
and here's Flossie in her own starring role
Any road, we went to San Antonio yesterday where the annual Christmas day swim across the harbour took place. It was a warm sunny day, hundreds of people were out on the paseo round town and sitting out in the sunshine on the terraces of ALL the bars that were open near the harbour.
Here's some photos of the swim
Six Brave Swimmers
Monday, 24 December 2007
and I replied that they'd been wearing them since long before yesterday tea time!
Sunday, 23 December 2007
Whoops, there goes another cormorant!
By way of an experiment I'm presenting the world premier of my recent video 'Stealth Dog at Cala Conta' on The View from the (Ibiza) Villa.....
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Unwritten rules of motoring. I've noticed that when I'm walking with Marli along narrow country lanes with no pavement that local motorists always courteously slow down and give you a really wide berth. I also suspect that they are smiling but as the dashboard blocks the view of most of their face I can't confirm that.
Empire State Human. Here's Jaki towering above 'the local people' at a country gathering.
You'd think she was seven feet tall wouldn't you? She is, in fact, quite normal and everyone else is vertically challenged. Average height for villagers is a hobbit sized 7 links (4' 8" in English) which leads to problems for us when visiting their burrows.
You think I'm joking? Take a look at the extractor fan hood over our hob.
I keep banging my head on it when I'm crouching down to see what's cooking!
Paco Fernandez, the well known Chill Out Flamenco Jazz guitarist was in the queue in front of me in SYP the other day. We were both in a pretty chilled out mood as a whopping 4 out of the 5 check outs were open (and I'd succeeded in buying about 60% of the items we desperately needed to survive another week.)
This is as opposed to the previous week when only one solitary girl manned the check outs and she'd chosen to open the one with a broken belt so we all had to manually pass our purchases over an enormous empty box stopping us from putting stuff on the belt. (though Christ alone knows where they managed to get an empty box from?)
Anyway, as a gesture of solidarity Paco offered me the stamps he had earned from his shopping to put towards a lovely set of plates. I politely declined - what's the point saving for something they never have in stock?
Mental Arithmetic. Talking of stamps, you have to stick them on a special piece of paper in 10 rows of 5 stamps = 50 stamps per page. Simple isn't it? Well not if you're employed as a cashier in SYP it isn't. The girl I chose to hand over my four cava glasses actually counted every single one of the 120 stamps required before giving me the goodies.
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
I had a dozen oysters for lunch at El Yate in San Antonio today.
I'm going back to complain because only 11 of them worked!!
I'll get my coat.............
They came in a fabulous white wine, olive oil, lemon and herb sauce, just great for dunking bread.
Next the Gazpacho (not the cold soup from Andalucia) which is normally made from game (birds or rabbits) on the high plains of La Mancha, but today had grouper in it.
And for eating it all and resisting licking the paellera clean (normally marli's job) I got my just desserts
Though I had to share it with.............
But it was worth it!
Saturday, 15 December 2007
That's the reflection of the church on the left and Can Bernat bar on the right. I doubt if we'll have a white Christmas - just take a look at the almond blossom in flower in our lane...........
She obviously hadn't applied enough force and the writing was on the wall (or not in this case) from that moment.
I'm afraid that after its fall to the tiled floor the E is now in two pieces held together by Blu Tak but looks OK from a distance.
Friday, 14 December 2007
Today, as we sat drinking chocolate in El Yate (end of the port, San Antonio) we wondered the very same thing as we watched a bloke with one arm struggling to complete his daily tasks.
Somehow or other he had found a job as an egg delivery man but was having some difficulty in holding two huge open cartons of eggs and shut the boot of the car. For all I know he may either still be there now or it's tortilla for all in El Yate.
See, I've still got it.
Tomorrow she's going to say 'You don't look a day over 53.'
I know I've used that one before but if top comedians like Jimmy Carr can get away with it, so can I.
Thursday, 13 December 2007
An Island Government ruling states that every man, woman and child on Ibiza is entitled to at least 3 hours exposure per day to at least one of the following
A tile cutter
An angle grinder
A chain saw
And that the ambient din should be at least 100Dbs
I'm happy to say that I'm getting more than my share of decibels at the moment.
As Jaki is at this moment awaiting her connection in Palma (Trafford Centre - Palma - Ibiza) I thought I'd tickle the house up with a duster. As I was walking by the vacuum cleaner I noticed that someone had carefully placed a long strawberry blonde strand of hair on it. I suddenly remembered that James Bond film where someone had done exactly the same (though it was an easily spotted black hair) on a door. If the hair moved, the door had been opened.
Well I'm not so dumb. I carefully left the hair in exactly the same position on the vacuum cleaner so that whoever put it there will know that the Vac hasn't been touched!
Hah! that'll fool'em...........................
Footnote. Jaki rang not so long since to say how happy she is to be back in the land of efficiency and excellent customer service that is Spain. Arriving just in time to get the earlier flight than she was booked on she asked the check in girl to book her on it. Rushing the 4 miles to the boarding gate she was pleased to find that the girl had booked her onto the flight she already had a reservation for. You've got to love them, haven't you?
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Could the myths and legends of UFO's, magnetic lay lines and space goats be true? I reckon there's something odd out there. How else could we account for the apparent complete disregard for the laws of physics on the island?
Consider this. How on earth could your average Ibby, without an ounce of common sense, the most rudimentary knowledge of engineering and the lack of an enormous f*ck off crane get this huge boulder onto this gigantic monolyth??
And whilst in the motoring world I've fully accepted a concept that Einstein couldn't grasp - travelling faster than the speed of thought - there is just one thing I still can't understand.
It's this. How is it that whenever you're behind an Ibby on the descent from Ibiza's highest village (ie San Jose where I live) that all the laws of gravity and momentum go out the window and they actually decellerate, going slower and slower, without putting the brakes on?
Weird or what?
I should, of course, mention that if you have one behind you, then all the magnetic forces of Es Vedra focus on your back bumper, drawing them closer and closer no matter how fast you go.
Sunday, 9 December 2007
We found this Christmas tree - full of little decorations hanging from its branches - in the woods by the roadside. Marli has a penchant for chewing pine cones but I didn't let her get her chops round these.
Then on past some typical Ibby houses, this one has an enormous lavender garden.
Carrying on, we soon arrived at taxi driver Jordi's bar which sits atop massive vertiginous cliffs with nothing stopping the view to the mainland (though we couldn't see it today) The smell of food was enticing enough for me, so goodness knows how Marli felt with her appetite whetted by delicious pine cones.
That delicious looking Asadura is a lamb's offal fry up - everything goes in, heart, liver, lungs - so vegetarians beware. Anyway, why is Jordi's bar known as The Gates of Heaven?
Because this is the view
On our way home we came across someone who obviously couldn't wait to get there..........
Thankfully I had my 'CarCam' mounted on the bonnet to capture the moment!
A viewers' vote would have ensured that Hatton had won by a mile. Let's face it, dancing prowess is the last thing you need to win strictly..............
Take rugby player Kenny Logan. That lad couldn't pass, never made a one tackle and made more yardage on the dancefloor than ever he did playing for Wasps or Scotland (where most of it was running from one side of the field to the other.) However, he was blessed with a big goofy grin and a kilt, and so lasted for weeks after others who also couldn't pass or tackle (eg his wife) were sent packing!
Saturday, 8 December 2007
I can already see the following zany faced voguers (unfashionably going out for the evening) appearing worldwide with the caption 'ooh, you've got me skin,' emblazoned across the bottom.
Ooh, you've got my skin
In other news this week we celebrated the 29th anniversary of freedom and democracy in Spain with a national holiday. Ironically, it was the very day when the only freedom of choice we had was what time to get up, because as usual, nothing was open!
I tell a lie, because pretty well every bar and restaurant in Ibiza was open, so that you could roll out of bed, eat and drink for several hours and then roll back into it, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow, Sunday, will be Groundhog day.
At El Yate (at the end of the port in San Antonio) you could have had fish soup, bbq mixed grill and greixonera (a kind of aniseedy bread and butter pudding) for €15 and then had me following you home as you weaved all over the road trying to put your seatbelt on, smoke, talk on your mobile and drive. Drunks, know your limits, don't bother with the seatbelts, your head will break your fall.
On the subject of doing nothing, one of master builder Steve Taylor's workforce spent the siesta period the other day doing big fat zilch. Nothing unusual about that, we are in Spain, the problem was that Vicent, the San Jose village idiot whose job is to lock the toilets for siesta so nobody can use them, neglected to ascertain that the loos were free of plumbers, electricians or other general labourers before turning the key. And hey presto - oh dear what can the matter be? at least he wasn't there from Monday to Saturday!
And finally a plea from a fellow journalist and Space Facer Dave Lol
'Please, please, please, buy my books.'
What happens is that I post loads of photos of all my pals vogue-ing zany poses, or pulling a funny face, and you look at them and say something like ' he favours a right twat,' or maybe even something a little less complimentary?
So, after three, stand by to get photo'd up!!
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
And you never know, they just might have a bit of tarmac left over to fill that hole in your driveway.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
We've got a 2.4 metre dish that cost €2000 and every time I look at the telly, all I see is this!!
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Paperwork is king in Ibiza. Bureaucracy's gone mad and a mountain of paper is needed for everything.
I'm trying to renew my 'Residencia' here. One of the pieces of paper I need is a certificate from the town hall which says where I live. Both Jaki and I spent a whole morning at the town hall some years ago getting the right papers so we could tell them where we lived. At the time we elected that in the future only I would have to go (along with her residents' card) to make any changes to our status.
Yesterday I went to collect the certificates for both of us, only to be told that Jaki had to physically be there to request hers because I can only make changes not collect her certificate. So I said I'll ring her now and she'll be here in two minutes.
'Is she here in Ibiza?' asked the girl.
'She's in our house just over there,' I replied. 'You know where I live,' I said to Vicent (the San Jose Village Idiot), lounging on the counter. His afirmative grunt spurred the girl into action and she gave me the certificates.
Later that very day a portly local policeman came to our door to tell us that our car was illegally parked. After a long conversation in which we exhausted all the possibilities about why I couldn't park there the eventual reason was that 'it is forbidden to park in the oldest street in the village.'
A new one on me but perfectly feasable in Ibiza.
Footnote. In years gone by, in the St. Helens of my childhood, Vicent (the village idiot from above) would have been called 'soft,' as in 'soft in th'ead.' In our politically correct times he has been given an important function to perform in the village. His job is to unlock our public toilets just after everyone has gone to work, and lock them as they go home for lunch. Ditto the afternoon session. See, in Ibiza, everything stops for siesta.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Well, other than Saturday mornings, they're the same as work times. So when you go to work in a morning, the shops open. When you finish for lunch, they close. Ditto the afternoon session. So when do you buy? Why, Saturday morning, when you have a chink of light in the window of opportunity until 1.30, when everything closes until Monday.
Whatever you do, don't hang a 'back in 10 minutes' sign on your office door and dash out at breakneck speed during your coffee break to make a vital purchase because you'll find an identical sign adorning the locked shop door!
Christ alone knows how the shops make any money at all. My own theory is that they are merely a gigantic money laundering operation for the Ibicenco Mafia's drug dealing operations.
The Pacha Cocaine Mountain (allegedly)
Our extremely efficient Syp supermarkets have made an effort to make life easier for us by introducing a delivery service. And guess what? They only deliver when you're at work - the four hour lunch period when you just could be at home to receive your order is when the delivery boy is also at home having his lunch.
Even better, they've now introduced an order preparation service. You let them know what you want and they shop for you. I can see you all now imagining me sitting at home, ticking boxes on my laptop - 1 tomato, some oregano, oh and some charcoal please - as my order speeds through cyber space to Syp HQ.
Unhappily you're wrong, what happens is I have to get a special order form from the supermarket, fill it in in black ink and then drive down there and hand it in. Please don't let them all be on a coffee break when I arrive!
Saturday, 24 November 2007
Sunday, 18 November 2007
sold our apartment
bought our house
So after a year in which we viewed over 30 properties, had our offer for the purchase of not one, not two, but three houses, accepted and then returned after the owners decided not to sell (like you do) and finally being gazundered twice by would be purchasers of our apartment, we had done it.
We collected the keys, sped up to the house, ran in and stood on the balcony in the sun and I rang my father. His reply to my garbled 'we've done it' message was
So we're celebrating today by having a lazy day - I have a major hangover courtesy of the Posh-Taylors who took us out to El Sol de Siena last night for a fab five hour session of feasting and drinking.
We're having roast lamb with all the trimmings later but relaxing by the fire now.
Flossie's on the settee
Mouse joined her there
Spook is not with the other contestants in the Big Brother House.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Though I still still keep asking myself where all these wheelchair users are going to go. They can't turn round, they can't get into any drives, and the pavement ends in a brick wall at the top of the street. They'll all end up there like trolleys outside the supermarket after the Friday big shop!
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
That same week the council's contractors came along and put the new kerbstones in and left. This week, only 10 months later, they're back to finish the job.
So why do we need a new super wide pavement at the expense of a road which is now so narrow that we can't park on it? Why it's for the many disabled people confined to wheelchairs who in the past have had to trundle with extreme difficulty up the lane.
I'm all for making life easier for people whether able bodied or disabled and would applaud the council's thoughtfulness and concern on this issue where it not for one small point.
If you couldn't get a wheelchair up before, you can't now because the lampposts still occupy their former position on the pavement.
Of course, there's even more irony to come because to make life easier for the flaggers, they've put the new flags straight over the old ones thus increasing the height of the pavement also. This means that the step up from our path to the pavement is now a whopping 43 cms (or 17 inches if my father ever reads this) which would merit a Thora Hird style stair lift should I ever lose the use of my legs in anything more permanent than an alcohol induced loss of control.
I have had some personal dealings with council staff and would advise anyone with tendencies towards apoplexy not to get involved. Here's a snippet of conversation twixt him and me.
me. 'When you make this pavement wider for no good reason I won't be able to park my car in front of my house.'
him. 'If you lived in Madrid you wouldn't be able to park in front of your house!'
me. 'I don't live in Madrid.'
him. 'And if you lived in Barcelona, you wouldn't be able to either.'
me. 'I don't live in Barcelona.'
him. 'And Ibiza town.'
me. 'I don't live in Ibiza town, I live on a small lane in the middle of nowhere.'
him. 'This is the urban centre of San Jose.'
me. 'So are we going to get those antique style lampposts which are everywhere in the village?'
me. 'Why not?'
him. 'Because you're not in the urban centre!'
The moral of this tale is never engage in an argument with a Spaniard. No matter how right you are, you'll never win!