Friday, 29 February 2008

Low Technology

At last it's arrived. I've been waiting for ages for my latest new low tech gadget and obviously I want to show it off to all and sundry so...........



Ta-da


My new Apple i-pod!!! (And it's totally unaffected by all our Ibiza power cuts.)

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Blink

and you'll miss her. Marli's 3 second feature length video!

video

Ibiza's Six Kilo Cattering Ram

We never have any problems getting up in a morning in San Jose. From dawn onwards, every day, our pussy posse lays seige to our bedroom door ably led by six kilo cattering ram Mouseymouse.
She's not much cop when it comes to running up and down trees, but with short anaerobic bursts of speed and barreling brute strength she's gato numero uno.

Here she is doing her rat out of a drainpipe act (Flossie is the bait)

video

Difficult to believe now, that when we found her she weighed only a few ounces!


Sunday, 24 February 2008

Those were the (pre-Ibiza) Days

Remember before digital cameras when, because of expense and time constraints, you only ever got the camera out for special, usually happy, occasions like holidays, weddings and more holidays. These days, in the era of digital splatter photography, people snap everything from the nightly Ibiza sunset to the inauguration of a new plant pot!

So, leafing through our paper photo archive which arrived not long since from a ten year storage in England, my over riding impression was that we had an absolutely brilliant time. Life was one long sunny beach, walk in the country or Tom Sawyerish adventure with your best dogs by your side. And weren't we handsome, and thin, and with no grey hair?

Living in Oldphotoland certainly has advantages!

Any road, you probably won't recognise the young couple in the photo below - no it's not Sir Oswald Mosely and Diana Mitford - in a well known European city.

Your starter for 10 is who and where are they? And no phoning home for the answers please.

There's a little slideshow of the scans I made today on the top right of this blog - click on it for the bigger picture!

God's Fresh Air

A series of unrelated tales connected only by references to God's Fresh Air.

As yesterday was a perfect Ibiza Saturday, warm, sunny and with no work commitments, we decided not to relax but to do a bit of spring gardening. Turning all the radiators OFF we flung open every door and window to allow God's Fresh Air (and four cats) to enter, circulate, and exit at will.

Our gardening efforts required precise planning and the sort of logistical wherewithal that helps you do a Rubik's cube in about 15 seconds (life skills or what?) as we were re-potting, re-using and transferring pretty well everything in a pot to another pot (only bigger.)

Here are my tips based on lessons learned.

If you are potting up 200 litres worth of pots then do buy more than 80 litres of compost.

If you are trying to pick up and carry an enormous terracotta pot containing succulents to another part of the roof, do not walk backwards when there are several steamer chairs scattered about behind you.

If you wish to avoid blisters all over your hands when spending an afternoon digging, then do wear the gloves you went all the way to the garage to get.



New Plants on the Balcony


As predicted by Old Testament scribes -
"Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and smite them on their own midden"
Ezra 10:4
- God's team won on Friday night. Arriving without a pack of forwards Saints still out-monstered the Bulls leaving them clutching at God's Fresh Air when on the attack and producing a magnificent scrambling defensive effort in the second half.

Also on Friday night our team came third in the quiz. (it would have been second if our chosen scribe had chosen to copy the correct answers onto the neat sheet for marking, rather than make up his own incorrect ones.)

Any road, winning was not important, but beating Bob the Vicar's team was, which we did, by a similar margin to the Saints – Bulls game. Bob had obviously been on a shopping spree at San Jose Clown School (yes we really do have one) and was sporting the most voluminous pair of comfy trousers ever seen.

If he ever had any fertility problems (a lack of begatting for example) before, they would have certainly disappeared with the amount of God's Fresh Air that entered, circulated and exited during the course of the evening!


Just joking Bob, no need for any smiting!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Marli


Jaki tells me that I was subliminally inspired by David Hockney to produce the this portrait of Marli. I disagree. It was a plain and simple rip-off m'lud and society is to blame.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Quizzin' for Jesus

And yes I really do mean the son of God and not my pool-cleaner-guy who also has the same name. There's a fund raising quiz night on Friday with all the proceeds going to the English Speaking Church on Ibiza.

Let's hope there's plenty of Rugby League questions as in direct competition with this heavenly event is Bradford Bulls v St. Helens, where according to Chris Irvine of The Times (yes, THE Times) God will be lining up in the famous white jersey with a red vee!


Judgement Day

Whilst I know it's in The Times and therefore must be true, I did double check with Sky Sports (showing the match live) and found the Saints' squad.

St Helens: Wilkin , McGilvray , Meli , Dean , Tyrer , Gidley , Talau , Eastmond , Moore , Smith , Long , Sculthorpe , Clough , Gilmour , Bennett , God , Cunningham , Hargreaves , Fozzard , Cayless , Fa'asavalu , Flannery , Ward , Rowlands

Ade Gardner Touches Down


So there you are - God exists.

(photo credits to The St. Helens Star and Michelangelo)

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Ibiza: Living in Paradise

Gertrude Stein once nearly said, 'Go to Ibiza, it is paradise, if you can stand it.' She actually recommended Mallorca to the young Robert Graves, whose grave we saw in Deia, and also spoke highly of Adolph Hitler, saying he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for all the good work he was doing in Germany.


Any road, the reason I mention life in paradise is that we have a Bird of Paradise plant in the garden - and here it is pictured after heavy overnight rain (just when we like it!)

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Ibiza Interlude

video

Ibiza Interlude was brought to you by 'Nobody goes cold in this house while I'm in it' productions. Music by Miles Davis.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Earth Shattering Ibiza News

I have some momentously exciting Ibiza news, so portentously important that I can hardly contain myself. But, like Eastenders would do, I'm going to have to keep it bottled up so that the suspense and tension builds up to a crescendo.

Instead, today's blog covers an exciting new development in navigation - the No Click Map!

Here's an example. It's the Boozer's Guide to San Jose.
All you need to do is take your laptop along the 'Ruta Alcoholica' (you can start at either end) and consult it every now and again to see where's next on the agenda!

Please note that thus far I haven't developed the technology to produce the woman's upside-down version.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Whoa !!!!!!

Look what landed on the patio.

Stress, Worry, Anxiety.

Yes, I'm a St. Helens supporter and we're off again tomorrow on a nine month roller coaster ride as Super League XIII kicks off.


Fans of Wigan Worriers and Bradford Bottlers should look away now as I'll be sporting one of my two caps for each match.

Come on you Saints!

Ibiza Gold Dust



What a pine in the neck!


Not without good reason are Ibiza and Formentera known as the 'Pine Islands.' They're covered in them. Even today, after all the development of recent years, around 50% of Ibiza is still virgin pine forest.


Every February they pollenate and cover everything in a fine golden yellow dust as the wind blows through the trees.

It's no coincidence that there are lots of bleary eyed, sneezing people about this month!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Not So Famous Ibiza Restaurants

Hands up anyone who likes splashing out a quarter of their salary on a meal? No, me neither. Thanks to to exchange rates and differences in the cost of living in different countries, what is a reasonably priced meal in Ibiza for Fancy London Townies is for me an horrendous proportion of my salary.

It's one reason I've never been to KM5, Bambbuddha Grove and all the other 'eateries' favoured by today's lifestyle magazines. The other reasons are of course the dreadful din of foreground chill out music and the ever present risk of tripping over a scatter cushion!

Any road, style free though this blog might be, it won't do any harm to recommend one of Ibiza's nicest off-the-beaten-track restaurants. Can Lluch on the Santa Eulalia to Cala Llonga road is one of those family run, family patronised dining rooms in the country where they have one set meal per day. Lentils on Tuesday, Sofrit Pages on Wednesday, and Paella on Thursday for example.

We went on a Thursday and experienced a slight delay as we were all waiting for grandad to return from the fields with his moped loaded with fresh ingredients.

The astonishing thing about the place was the 80-odd year old cook who was practically blind and cooked by smell.



The lunch we had was delicious, hearty, wholesome, well-cooked, extremely tasty and lasted well into the evening. As it was about 8 years ago I have my doubts that the lady in the photo is still alive, but you never know in Ibiza.

And finally here's El Ste's outrageous but true law of Ibiza restaurants


"The popularity of any Ibiza restaurant amongst the clubbing fraternity and music press is directly proportional to the price, amount of scatter cushions and chill out music therein. It is also inversely proportional to the quality of food (if any) and service provided there."

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Wild Asparagus

If it's February in Ibiza it can only mean one thing - it's wild asparagus time.



I tracked down this specimen hiding in some spikey foliage but left it there until next week when there'll be lots more and enough to gather for cooking.

Almost a year ago when i related the tale of picking wild asparagus to my father he gave me some excellent advice - 'Be sure to wash it before you eat it.' I informed him I'd be dropping it boiling, salted water before ingesting it.

Did you know that French novelist Marcel Proust waxed lyrical about asparagus because of its medicinal properties as a salve for urinary infections? He claimed that asparagus "...transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume," probably in an outrageous French accent.

I think I prefer my father's quote and he's never written a novel in his life!

Ingmar Bergman

Here's our View from the Ibiza Villa tribute to Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman.






Using two relatively inexperienced actors, Jaki and Lucy, against a backdrop of the sunset on Cala Tarida beach, I have managed to recreate a scene from Bergman's tale of upper-class family life in early 20th century Uppsala - Fanny and Alexander.

Their pose raises existential questions of mortality, loneliness, faith and contemporary alienation.


Good Init?

Ibiza's Undersea World

Isn't juxtapostion a great word? It can provide us with so much fun and entertainment. I spotted an example of it one day walking round San Antonio Bay (San Jose side by the Hotel San Remo) which was so good that even the editor of local daily, El Diario de Ibiza, deemed it fit for publication.

The red Renault 5, waist deep in water, had resided in an abandoned condition on the nearby terra firma for approximately a year before this photo. The Guardia Civil's sub aqua squad spent 3 days splashing about in the surrounding sea making sure that nobody had gone down with the vehicle when it sank.