Sunday, 27 January 2008
The towers date back to a period when Barbary pirates raided Ibiza in a non-alcoholic frenzy of pillaging and carrying off the natives into slavery. The idea of the towers was to form a defencive network which gave cannon coverage of all the coastline.
The Torre de'n Rovira was started in 1756 by local engineer Ballester, finished in 1763 and is the biggest tower constructed in that period. Together with the cannons on San Antonio church, it commanded the entrance to San Antonio Bay and took its name from the bloke in charge of the defence of the area - Rovira.
and it didn't take us 7 years to complete!
Friday, 25 January 2008
I bought a couple of €'s worth from Syp yesterday to go in a nice fish stew and around 80% of them remained tightly closed - clammed up, in fact. Like the fish we had with them, I was gutted. I love clams, especially when part of Spaghetti Vongole, or Asturian style, with beans.
Just add water, and Hey Presto
"A brief report of our brief visit to Catalonia.
First stop Castello d'Empuries. A medieval village where we made base camp in a nice bed and breakfast built on the ruins of the former home of the Counts of Castello.
We stopped off in many historic little villages all around this area north of Girona, including Peralada, Besalu, the last resort in Spain – Cadaqués, and of course Figueres to see the Dali Museum.
Our next hop took us over the French border to Perpignan. It was just like Spain – Tapas, paellas, lots of seafood and Moroccans– but everyone (apart from me) spoke French.
Then we travelled through miles and miles of wine growing country, Corbieres, Minervois to Limoux which is the place that developed the original Brut 'Champagne' known as Blanquette. We stayed in a Chateau that once belonged to one of Napoleon's cronies and toured the area, full of Cathar castles, and the Cité of Carcassonne and Canal du Midi.
The final trip was the long drive back to Barcelona (I stopped off in Lloret de Mar the first place I ever visited in Spain 30 years ago on the way) to drop off the car and moved into our apartment accommodation.
We did all the tourist things, Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, etc etc and spent 6 hours in the MNAC art gallery. We ate and drank lots. Found a nice little bistro – Crema Canela – by the Placa Real and really had fun in El Gran Cafe, Avinyó 9, great food and a maitre D with a sense of humour.
Mask/balcony detail. Gaudi's Casa Batllo, Barcelona
And that was that.
High points – French roads, wines and toilet paper.
Low points – French drivers, petrol and toilets."
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
As you know we're still clinging to the archaic tradition of the afternoon siesta when everything closes from 1.30 to 17.00 so the only thing you can do is eat and sleep. And if you only manage say 16 winks, you can make up the other 24 when you get back to 'work.'
Is it any wonder that the Spanish, who are nominally at work for longer than their western European counterparts, are 40% less productive? Well, could you produce a set of accounts or arrange a Billion Dollar take-over deal with a belly busting three course lunch and half a bottle of Rioja inside you?
Any road, one of the Ferreterías in San Antonio has a great big sign outside saying 'we don't close for lunch.' It's also the only place that can cut the special security key for my front door, so having nothing better to do one lunch time I went to get a new key.
And this is how my trip went............
'I'd like a copy of this key please.'
'We, can't. The lad's gone for his lunch.'
'But you don't close for lunch.'
'No, we don't close, but everyone apart from me goes home.'
'What time is he due back?'
'It's 10 to 4 now, I'll wait.'
'No, come back in about half an hour, he's only DUE back at four, but he won't be here then!'
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Here's some fennel against a backdrop of the Avenida Es Cubells car park (which cannot be seen because of the fog!).
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a slideshow....
Friday, 18 January 2008
Here are some videos I took.........
an Arabic stylee one
A Jazzyy one
and a Flamenco-y one
Location: San Antonio, Ibiza
It's San Antonio day, a day off for lucky shopkeepers and bank workers, and a special day for the local Holy man. Today's the day he has to pull his finger, and his Holy water sprinkler out as he gives a blessing (Benidiction) to a weird and wonderful procession of animals.
Needless to say I was there on official business (skiving off work) and was accompanied by Mary Ann and three of our dogs, Marli, Sam and Blossom (in size order).
Here's the official photo I took for my news article
and here's one which appeared in the Diario de Ibiza with us in the background
Monday, 14 January 2008
Any road, W.H.Auden put it a bit more succinctly than moi, so here's his poem
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Surprisingly (if you live anywhere other than Ibiza) the only inside leg measurement available in Levi's Jeans in every shop in Ibiza is 34", ie only suitable for big lanky gawks.
Yesterday I lost an inch from my formerly 32" inside leg looking for a pair of Levi's that didn't need shortening before I gave up and gave in. I'm off to the Jeans shortening/alterations shop in the Via Punica tomorrow!
Saturday, 12 January 2008
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
It's taken from Es Cap des Jueu, the watchtower overlooking Es Vedra. For some strange reason I always think of Father Ted when I hear the expression 'The Mainland.'
Monday, 7 January 2008
Prices aren't any lower, they just didn't have about 40% of what I wanted and I couldn't get to the other 10% because of bloody great pallets and boxes blocking the aisles looking like the Americans had just air dropped aid packages onto the Somali desert.
In other consumer news the 'sales' started today in Ibiza. To brighten up my news article I set off to take a picture of a shop front in San Jose plastered with Sales posters and 70% Off signs. I couldn't find one.
Oh well, maybe next year?
That I've never visited: Ku, Amnesia, Es Paradis, Eden, Cafe Mambo, Space, DC10, AK Morgana, Fata Morgana, Pure Platinum, Pikes, Base Bar, Rock Bar, Dome, Privilege, El Ayoun, KM5, Bambuddha Grove, Aura, Bora Bora, SunSeaBar, Malibu, Sa Trinxa, Blue Marlin, Yemanja, Sa Punta, Kanya, PK2,
That I've visited once: Pacha, L'Elefant, Sugar Sea, Coastline Cafe, Bar M, Kasbah
That I love to visit: Es Ventall, Raco Verd, El Destino, El Yate, Es Galliner, Sa Muntanya, Taylor Towers, Es Verro, El Rincón de Pepe, Hostal del Parque, Can Caus, Island Cafe, Rita's Cantina, Cafe Babel, Montesol Bar, Can Pilot, Bon Lloc, El Zaguan, Bar Xicu, Bar Bernat Vinya, Can Verge, Villa Manchega, Sa Clau
Footnote: my memory isn't what it used to be so this list will grow organically as and when I have the odd neurological surge.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
FlowerThe question is what kind of flower is it, because it's been bugging us for months?
and another one a bit like it. It's by Borja Guijarra, a young(ish) artist from near Madrid. Leafing through the rack of his works, Jaki the art critic noticed that he had a fixation with women's breasts. I didn't have to be Tim Marlow to explain that this was perfectly normal as Borja was a bloke.
Anyway, to finish here's another of his paintings - a poster for the Carnaval in his home town of Tres Cantos (it means Milton Keynes)
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
Location: San Antonio Ibiza
After an evening of funky food, scintillating wines and sparkling intercourse conversation (mostly from me as I remember) at Es Ventall's NYE celebration
Cod a la Ventall
I realised as a sat feasting on a pie and a pint at 05.00 this morning that you can take the boy out of Sintellins, but you can't take Sintellins out of the boy!