Sunday, 29 July 2007

Saints Joke

I'm in high spirits after my team, Sintellins, beat the Bradford Bottlers yesterday to reach the new Wembley for the cup final. In what could only be described as a battle of brain and brawn against brawn and brawn, the racehorses overcame the donkeys on a dry sunny day suited to running with, and passing, the ball.

To celebrate, here's a funny joke about St. Helens

An injury crisis strikes at Knowsley Road, and Daniel Anderson is desperate. Eamon McManus has been out to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papau New Guinea, and has phoned every union and league club in the UK. Nobody is available.McManus knows someone has to be signed, and at the advice of a supporter, sets his sights on Iraq. He flies out and in the very first game he watches, he sees a brilliant scrum-half. He is lightning fast, can kick goals, has an excellent passing game and tackles hard. Mc approaches him after the game, and obviously the Iraqi lad is keen to sign on.2 weeks later, he's making his debut at Knowsley Road. Saints are losing 22-0 with 20 minutes to go when Anderson turns to him. "Get warmed up son." He goes on, and a miracle happens. 4 tries and conversions later, the Iraqi kid has won the game for Saints.After the game, everyone wants a piece of him. The fans sing his name, magnums of champagne and Tissot watches rain down on him, and he's overjoyed. He gets on the phone to his mum to tell her about his day."This is the best day of my life, mum, what a day. I scored 24 points to single-handedly win the game!""Well son," she replies. "I'm glad you've had a good day, because I'm afraid I've some bad news. Your father has been stabbed and shot, your brother has joined a gang of looters, and your sister and I have been raped and tormented.""Mum," he begs, "I'm so sorry to hear that.""SORRY?!" she yells incredulously. "It's YOUR fault we came to St. Helens in the first place!!!!"

And to finish off, here's Roy Haggerty, who's probably given me more laughs in a Saints' jersey than anyone else. Ironically, he isn't wearing one for this photo!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Island Hopping

Holiday Blog Day 4 Tuesday 17th July.

One of the things we did this week was to book a real holiday - the type where you leave home and sleep in a different bed. As we're getting a new car we thought it would be nice to put as much of our own stuff (and Marli) into it as we like and hit the open road to the ferry port.

With the whole of Spain at our mercy we couldn't decide where to go. Cantabria, Galicia, maybe back to Catalunya or Lleida, I'd always fancied Teruel and someone Jaki knows had offered to donate their accommodation in Isla Canela near Seville.

However in from left field came Deia in Mallorca so we booked it.

Our Accommodation in Deia

The next bit was the difficult one; trying to book a ferry via a Spanish website when, God forbid, we are a surname short. As you probably know every Spaniard in the world has two surnames and so every Spanish website has two compulsory boxes which just won't let you proceed until you've completed the pair of them.

Yes, we've tried inventing a second surname, but then when you want to pay on your credit card your new name doesn't match your real name.

The solution was to drive to lovely, cool, uncrowded Ibiza town where parking spaces are ten a penny in July and physically visit the Trasmediterranea offices. Luckily for us lazy-disinterested-teenage-ticket-office-girl was on duty. Despite her best efforts to send six of us off to Palma two months to the day before our cottage was booked for, we succeeded in getting our tickets - and €15 cheaper than the internet price, where you pay extra for the privilege of not having to deal with a real person. We later spent this on coffee, fruit juice and croissants whilst relaxing after the ordeal of me trying to explain to l-d-t-t-o-g that I couldn't tell her the registration number of our car because I only pick it up from the dealer in September.

After that we just tidied up at home and had chicken kebabs on the barbie.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The Rolling Stones in Ibiza

Holiday Blog Day 2 (Sunday) and 3 (Monday)
A quick summary because I have to leave soon to take photos of Ibiza's newest 5 star hotel.

We spent Sunday afternoon by the Macao Cafe on Es Codolar. We like it because it's quiet, you can park, it's a pebble beach, so not many kids, and it's dog heaven - there are loads of them!

and finished up with pizza from Can Verge, San Jose's pizzeria with a view.

View from the Verge

They make fine pizzas but are lacking in the organisation department.

Here's some advice - if a pizza takes 15 minutes to prepare, and a donner kebab is ready in two, then wait until minute 13 to start on the kebab if your client wants them both ready together to take away.

Monday we had lunch in Amarant at Cala Codolar, the restaurant owned by the son of Terry Thomas.

El Ste with Es Vedra backdropping

We ate only fish dishes and drank a wine called Pescador (fisherman). I tried sashimi for the first time and found it so clean on the palate that I vowed never to eat anything that needed cooking again. My vow lasted until my baked dorada (sea bream) appeared!

Then we went home, got changed, piled Marli into the back of the car and headed for some lounging and swimming at Es Codolar. None of the dogs present was interested in playing with Marli so in an effort to prepare her for her forthcoming holiday (more later) I carried her into the sea and set her off swimming in the direction of the shore. I managed this twice before she got wise and wouldn't come anywhere near me, hiding in a seaweed hollow!

We had tapas from Es Galliner for dinner.

And the Rolling Stones?

A codol, as in Es and Cala (two different places) Codolar is a smooth pebble which rolls up and down the beach with the waves!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Ibiza Oil Spillage Disaster

Yes, we're on holiday! We booked a week off to do all the things that other folks do when they come to Ibiza for r'n'r. As you can imagine I am currently blocked out of my brain on coke and ecstasy and using my passout from $pac€ disco to spend a bit of time writing this.

Holiday Blog Day 1
Saturday 14 July 2007 - the first day of taking it easy. Not really easy because we had to pick up some stuff from the laundry so we combined it with a trip to Can Bernat, San Jose's last remaining 'old man' bar, for coffee, brandy and magdalenas - a nice sweet pastry cake, ideal for elevenses.

Can Bernat Video

And after a leisurely Ambrosia rice pudding lunch we slapped on the sun tan lotion and headed off to Cala Moli. It's our favourite beach because
it's only 8 minutes away in the car
you can park
it's quiet, no annoying 'chill-out' music and because it's pebbles, no kids!
it's great for snorkelling
So we lay in the sun for a couple of hours, enjoyed the cool fresh breeze off the sea, made friends with a French Bulldog who sat on Jaki's lounger and never failed to be amazed at the stream of Spanish who all wanted to unfurl their towels (cheapskates) right in front of us as we were the only ones within about 50 metres. (That's about 50 yards for all you lot still on the old money)
As usual there was the pareo fashion catwalk when a young couple who sell pareos walk up and down the beach modelling the different ways a pareo can be worn. We also saw our first Lookie Lookie man of the season - Senegalese peddlars of fake goods - and were amused by a Spanish woman next to us trying to negotiate the price of sunlounger hire down because she'd only arrived at 4 o'clock. We didn't go in the sea because I'd spotted a few jellyfish (the Spanish call them medusas) and still have painfull memories of my last encounter with a live one.
After a quick shower we got the number 8 bus to San Antonio - great new bus station by the way, they even have timetables! - and headed for the lovely Es Ventall restaurant (Calle Cervantes 26 Tel 971 341729) where we sat in the courtyard dominated by an enormous fig tree and feasted on bread, olives and alioli for nibbles, gazpacho (on the house), asparagus with blue cheese foam, squid strips with olive oil, garlic and parsley, tender pork fillet with straw potatoes and quails eggs and salmon with stir fried vegetables. Washed down with some beer and Galicia's finest -Albarinyo, ice cold, crisp but fruity, it was a delicious treat. (Stock photos of Es Ventall courtesy of my sister Kris)

Now the tragedy. I'd selected a lovely clean white linen shirt and managed to get two oily and deliciously tasty stains right down the front of it from the super sauce on my pork and quails' eggs! Fortunately Jaki is a little stain devil and threw the contents of the ice bucket all over the oil spillage before it could do any serious damage!
Anyway, €65 and an ice cold vodka chupito later we headed off to Cafe Babel, calling in at La Puerta Olvidada - a shop full of eclectic kitsch - and spent €180 on a couple of funky little tables which are waiting for us to collect them on Monday.
We were entertained at Babel by an Oirish folk duo while I sank a couple of gigantic VAT's and then headed down to the 'fountains' square of San Antonio to people watch - San An was so full of life, so many people and lots of really imaginative stag and hen party gangs - and then we joined the long queue for taxis and eventually got home at 2ish, completely missing the band at Raco Verd - our original reason for going out.

Footnote - Taxi Queuers, if you are going to Ibiza town why not take the bus? It'll cost you one tenth of the fare and will probably be quicker. This will leave more taxis available for people like me who live in the back of beyond and have no other way of getting home.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Billy No Mates

I know, I know, you've got the impression that I do everything solo. Well here's some proof that I do actually know somebody! It is of course our friends the posh Taylors. They speak in an accent exceedingly rare, find Eddie Izzard funny, and are from somewhere near London, so naturally Steve is a lifelong Manchester United supporter.
Anyway, the great thing about having friends like them is that you don't have to think. Everytime we go for lunch or dinner there, we can (probably) talk about exactly the same things as the last time. How so? Why, because the lashings of the truth and bad memory liquid work so well.
What do we get up to? Thank calvados, I've no idea. Apart from one occasion when photographic evidence reared its ugly head

I wonder if the telly ended up in the pool?

Friday, 6 July 2007

Success Rate 40%

I never ever go out to do just one thing. the statistical probability of achieving anything on Ibiza is so low that I generally only get out of bed if I have at least 5 things to do. If I succeed in two of them I'm happy.

Today I went to the bank in San Antonio, I had to be there in person as I can't transfer money from account to account without the aid of yet another (the third) secret code. José, the guy with the secret code (if he's received his new secret code giver outer from head office) was out on one his many coffee breaks, though I did hit 50% in the bank by completing the other task - drawing some money out.

On to the Hipercentro to buy bags and bags of slimline catfood - they didn't have any. So, away to Marina Botafoch to take pictures of 'The Navigator of the Seas,' the biggest cruise ship ever to dock in Ibiza and with over 3000 people on board - it wasn't there!

So now I'm on 25% (or one out of four if my dad's reading this) and everything's riding on the last, most important task. Yes, I did it, i put a grand down on the new car - it'll be here for the beginning of September.

Here it is