Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Luckily, one of the other, less important, items on my list was oven chips, which they did have. I'll be rubbing two of them together tomorrow in an effort to warm our living room.
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Spain's Christmas Customs do not include the same Holy reverence of the Sacred Sprout of Brussels that we British have. For many years my Christmas Eves have been spent driving fruitlessly (or more to the point vegetablelessly) from greengrocer to greengrocer on a sprout trek more akin to the search for the Holy Grail.
This year my shopping mission was to achieve 3 things; buy sprouts, replace lost cutlery and collect my meat order from Peter the Butcher.
The replacement cutlery shop was closed for 4 months, there were three bags of sprouts on one of the stalls at the country market, and Peter the Butcher only cracked one joke the whole time I was there.
Here's our Ibiza Christmas Sprout Shrine
Let it be known that the sprouts are now (as of 10.00 hours) on a low simmer so they'll be done to perfection by the Queen's Speech!!!
These lads, all 112 of them, are squeezed into accommodation designed for 50 to repay their debt to society when their only crime has been to break the law without being related to the 'powers that be' by blood or marriage (or better still, both)
Just to prove that being in the nick isn't all fun, here's an article I wrote yonks ago
Friday, 19 December 2008
Today I crossed paths with world famous Flamenco-Jazz-Chill guitarist Paco Fernandez BUT NOT in the place I'm accustomed to seeing him. We were not in SYP Ses Paisses (remember when he offered me his free gift savings stamps there?) but in the Can Tomas woodyard close to where he lives!!!!!!!!
What a coincidence! it doesn't end there though, because spookily I'm actually going to see him play at Raco Verd this very night, AND (this is the million to one chance) we were BOTH buying firewood at the wood yard!!!!
Talking of the woodyard reminds me of a conversation I had with its owner, who's about my age, and confessed to me that he was fed up with his job.
'I hate wood,' he said. 'Every day for the last 40 years all I've seen is wood, wood, wood. I'm F*****g sick of it!'
If I wasn't such a blokey bloke (I don't even do any of that kissy-kissy stuff with girlies) I'd have given him a man's hug and said, 'there, there,' as I felt so sorry for him.
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
And then on to La Puerta Olvidada (The Forgotten Door) to buy replacement baubles, decorations and sumptuous scents for the festive season.
Baubles, bangles and beads
Now, the good bit. It was 18 degrees and sunny (Brits will be more familiar with its equivalent in Fahrenheit, which is now a balmy 86 degrees given the new rate of exchange) so we decided to sit outside on the terrace of El Yate.
Crikey, because it was Wednesday, if you paid for one 3 course menu of the day, you got another free!! The price:quality ratio is so good here anyway but a free meal sends it into the stratosphere. Take a look at what we got for €12 (about a monkey if you're a Cockney)....................
Fish and shellfish soup
Roast pork and vegetable rice
Brownie (don't know how it is in English)
I really wish I had one of those new aroma-cams!
And finally, my Christmas photo to one and all - a bauble's eye view of San Antonio.
I could have put a similar one over our newly installed Christmas decorations yesterday blazing out this message
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
Here it is.............
It is the only bar in the village, so you'd think the prices would be astronomical given its monopoly of the alcoholic beverage scene, wouldn't you? Well you'd be right - but only if you are unfortunate enough to live in formerly fancy London town with its faltering economy and fast falling currency!
I paid €1.50 for a Bacardi(yes the internationally renowned Bacardi) and Coke (short for Coca Cola.) In normal Ibiza bars I'd fork out €3 or €4 for this depending on where I was sitting, so my Biniaraix Bacardi was pretty cheap. In fact I went back several times!
Given current exchange rates, poor Brits would have to stump up about 40 quid for the very same. No wonder they're all saying Spain's become expensive recently!
If my map is a bit confusing, here's a photo of the bar.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
A cold wave of cold polar air in the outside world has forced all our five cats to seek warmer climes inside. They all know my favourite saying regarding the central heating
'nobody goes cold in this house while I'm in it!'
Mouse is concealed behind a chair, a log basket and a large passing dog (Marli)
“Out of respect for your fellow patients please do not open the door to the doctor's surgery if it is firmly closed”
'Oh no, this isn't the medical card counter it's the EMERGENCIES counter. Medical cards are in a morning, emergencies in an afternoon.'
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Here's my Christmas tip #1: If a strange man offers you either product, just say no, they're truly awful.
Christmas tip #2: If you are the buyer for SYP, and every year for the last 10 years, your shelves have still been full of Christmas Turrón by the following May, then buy a bit less this year!
Monday, 24 November 2008
I'll be writing an official news item tomorrow but as a taster I can tell you now that this aesthetically pleasing vehicle can accommodate 330 people on board!
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Yesterday was another beautiful day, so, fortified by a coffee, brandy, pan con tomate and serrano ham, I set off with Marli on the long ten minute drive to the beach. As you can see, it couldn't have been more perfect.......sun, waves, pine fringed beach, golden sand and clear blue sea.
Friday, 21 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Believe it or not, it was invented by a Catalan - Facundo Bacardi Masso – from Sitges (site of the first Pacha disco) and, if you Google it in Catalan, around 6 million web pages are returned.
So you'd think that if you mentioned 'Bacardi,' everybody in the world would know what you were talking about? Not in SYP, Ses Paisses' superstore they don't!
For reasons with neither rhyme nor logic, Bacardi is one of the products which sits behind locked glass doors in a display cabinet near the check outs. Yesterday I'd positioned myself in the queue for the till nearest to the cabinet – nothing clever about that – it was the only one open.
I said to the girl, 'before we start, I want a bottle of Bacardi from the cabinet.'
Less than one second later she asked, 'what was it you wanted?'
and about 2 seconds later on arrival at the cabinet, 'what?'
Ten seconds later I said, 'it's on the bottom shelf on the left.'
'Is this it?' she asked, holding a bottle of Anise on the top shelf on the right.
'No, I want BACARDI,'
'He wants BACARDI,' echoed a fellow frustrated customer.
Next time I'll be requesting some obscure Russian Vodka with its name in Cyrillic script, it'll be easier!
Monday, 17 November 2008
Imagine my surprise when I returned a few hours later to find that developers had thrown up dozens of apartment blocks in just a few short hours.They're obviously top quality, as the €2 milion price tag attests, and I was pleased to see (and hear) that a ghetto full of third world Johnnies had already shoe horned themselves into one spacious apartment to regale the rest of the complex with music from the dark continent at ultra high volume.
Viva apartment living!
Thursday, 13 November 2008
A chance meeting at the hairdressers yesterday by Jaki, who bumped into Ibiza tennis player and DJ Andy Wilson reminded me that not only did he live in Didsbury and now San Jose but that he also loved the 80's.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Buoyed up by a successful few minutes assembling two Habitat Tasman beds we decided to go to the Hipercentro to buy a self-assembly computer desk we'd seen previously..........................more later.
Our new second-hand beds had until recently resided in La Belle France at a friend of Jaki's (Jane's) house in Gascony - the home of Armagnac.
Just take a look at the link, it looks fabulous. I'd go tomorrow!
Anyway, the beds had been shipped to Jane's house in England where we had them collected by our man Gary of GB Easymove to bring here to Ibiza. Thanks to Habitat's high quality materials, we had them put together in no time at all and they are now ready to sleep on.
Back to the Hipercentro, and guess what? They didn't have any computer desks in boxes.
'Can we have the one on display?' I asked.
'No, it's on display because new stock is on the point of arrival.'
'When will that be?'
So we asked him to ring us when the new stock arrived. As we walked out Jaki said that that would be the last we'd ever hear from him. And I think she's right
Monday, 10 November 2008
You can lie on the beach, gaze out to sea, eat and drink at one of the cafes dotted along the shore, or take in the views.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
So, in no particular order, I came up with
Craig, Arlene, Len and Bruno
or, if you can't make a decision one way or t'other and are about to burst into tears.......
Louis, Danii, Cheryl and Simon.
Friday, 7 November 2008
It's an exponential scale based on the comedic value of what's gone on. So for example if you didn't find it the least bit funny, click Ross, Brand or Carr, and if it was titter inducing, click Kay.
Easy. Click away!!!
Thursday, 6 November 2008
We were already feeling festive because on a sausage buying trip to Peter the Butchers I picked up the Christmas order form - the one on which we get our mince pies, Christmas pudding, Wensleydale cheese, pork joint with crackling (the Spanish don't have crackling - though you can buy pork scratchings) and duck breasts.
To cap it all, Happinez Ibiza invited me to their Christmas shop opening fiesta last night to partake in gluhwein and apple strudel round a log fire. It was of course, a rather exclusive guest list, anybody who is anybody in the village was there. As only 23 people live in San Jose this means everybody, so being invited is not a lot to brag about really.
If you're not yet in the Christmas spirit, get a load of this crib scene and snowing Christmas tree. Our cats would love it!
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Yesterday, I bought Jaki a new super duper window cleaning squeegee, and the bloke said, 'there's plenty here if you want more.'
I replied, 'one's enough, I've only got one wife.'
The smile as broad as Buster Keaton's on his face told me I should have tripped over one of the squeegee poles and landed with my head in the bucket of soapy water to raise a laugh Mr. Pastry style.
Next time I'll know!
An exact mirror image of this very same situation happened in Ibiza recently (but wasn't quite so headline grabbing) when a 75 year old man (my dad) left a series of strange messages on the answering machine of Ibiza's top comedy blogger (moi.)
Nothing odd in that, after all I had instructed him to inform me immediately should my mother ever fall well and wake up not suffering from any malady (apart from hypochondria) listed in Webster's Medical Dictionary.
The funny thing is, I don't have an answering machine, and the dozy old codger had been ringing the number we abandoned 4 years ago and now owned by someone wealthy enough to have a contestador!
What the messages were, we'll never know, as the memory man has completely forgotten the entire incident.
Friday, 31 October 2008
When Jaki and I were married nearly 25 years ago in Manchester's garden suburb of Stretford my best man was lifelong friend Barry Flynn.
And remember, it was the 80's!!
So Sunny Jim's now in his new house, probably with a new name at the start of his new life, with his new people, Warren and Judy.
(Don't forget, we still have 'Squeak' up for adoption)
Monday, 27 October 2008
'Nueve meses de Invierno,
Tres de Infierno'
(9 months of winter 3 of Hell)
The change in our Ibiza seasons is marked by week-long torrential, steamy downpours which constitute both Spring and Autumn. After plenty of rain last week our night-time temperatures have plummeted and I was able to enjoy one of life's rare pleasures last night (26.10.08) – freezing cold sheets. I always quote Tony Hancock to Jaki on these occasions, 'ah, freezing cold sheets, one of life's luxuries they can never take away,' but it never does any good.
I can guarantee that within the next two days we'll have a log fire, central heating blazing away at 30 degrees centigrade, and be wearing two pairs of socks each!
On a side note, when it's 30C outside, our bank is cooled down to 10C inside and the staff work comfortably wearing jackets and jumpers while customers freeze in skimpy linen attire. Obversely, when it's 10C outside, our bank is heated up to 30C and the staff work comfortably in flowing linen garb while we sweat it out in our overcoats and scarves!
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
I rang Telefonica via Skype and before I got to a real person I answered a series of questions and tapped in my phone number on two occasions. The first question the real person asked was 'what's your phone number?'
Anyway, having explained everything I left my mobile number so the engineer could contact me and guess what???????????????????????????????????
Yes! They rang me on the phone I can't answer. I know it was them because when I rang the number identified by our phone a message said, ' this is one of Telefonica's private lines which you can't ring.'
Ha! Breaking news, this very minute they interupted my blog to ring and say that they've sorted the problem in the 'central' (I think they call it the exchange in England)
Good old Telefonica!!! See, even in Ibiza, good things sometimes happen.
Monday, 20 October 2008
Friday, 17 October 2008
I've just maxed up my Mastercard on a pair of Timberland deerskin gloves and a Massimo Dutti brolly. Get your flights booked!
I'm off to the beach..............................