Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Cute Kids

Come on, you never thought you'd hear me goo-gaaing over a couple of kids, did you? Well these are not the drooling, dribbling, malodorous human variety. They're neighbour Pep's brand new one day old Ibiza born and bred goatlings.

Mother, kids and cat all appear to be in good health, though the cat does seem to be acting the goat!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Strikeforce Ibiza

Even the Israeli airforce would be hard pressed to locate my top secret Ibiza rooftop bunker 'El Cielo' Bar. This year we won't be caning it, but have gone for a shock and awe look a la Desert Storm (couresy of Sluiz) so Lawrence of Arabia is quite welcome to pop in for the odd G&T should he ever pass by San Jose way.Can you spot me secreted away somewhere in this photo?

You Can't Judge a Dog by its Owner

Here's a photo I took at the Ibiza Cancer Fair a few years ago. I just noticed that the dog and owner look quite similar.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Sofa Cabriolet 3PSi - Topless in Ibiza

Land of Chill that Ibiza is, another rule we have to adhere to is (apart from having a Buddha) is the possession of either a Bali bed or a mountain of funky outdoor furniture.
Compliance with this led to the ceremonial unveiling of our new convertable all weather outside oval sofa.

You can have the rag top up like a Triumph Spitfire

or be totally daring and go topless...........

Pre Dining Wining

As Ibiza's top blogger and something of a celebrity round San Jose way, I'm accustomed to receiving invites to all the top functions on the island. As everyone knows my presence was requested at the village Wine Tasting last night and what a surprise I got when I arrived fashionably late - the mayor of San Jose had turned up and got all the wine suppliers to raise their glasses to welcome me!

After this Jaki and I well and truly got stuck in to a vast selection of colours, varieties and regions. (Occasionally aided and abetted by Ibiza's second top SEO man and extremely lightweight boozer Pete Young)

Prizes awarded go to:

Synera for the freshest fruitiest white wine at an astonishing €2 per bottle.

Seis al Reves for the funkiest bottle design.

Berta Bouzy for having the most apt name

here are some snaps

Any road, when I told the mayor that I was the bloke who wrote View from the (Ibiza) Villa this was his reaction.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Syp Suggestion Box

Another angry trip to Syp led me to browse their website. Here's their mission statement.

We endeavour as the expression of our social responsibility, to:
Provide satisfactory solutions for our customers by means of permanent innovation.
Create a company project and model aimed at integrating people.
Promote the workers’ personal and professional development.
Achieve positions of leadership on the Spanish market.
Obtain profits in order to achieve a wealth-generating growth.
Distribute the profits in a framework of shareholder cooperation and participation.
Commit ourselves to defending the consumer.
Foster environment-friendly management.
Contribute to improvement of the community in which we operate.

Notice how it lacks anything about selling customers foodstuffs they need?

Anyroad, if Syp had a suggestion box in their Ses Paisses branch I'd slip this note into it.........

Being as May is almost upon us, why not give up trying to get rid of the tons of special Christmas nougat you have filling acres of shelving which even at 50% off hasn't shifted. Instead why not put something useful in its place? A chicken would be nice as I've been unable to find one on my last two visits.

Yours blah blah blah

Social Maelstrom

My life in Ibiza is a constant social whirl. I'm just so in demand. Now they want me to go to a wine tasting in the village and I suppose I'll just have to go.

Jaki has pointed out that it's not just me that's going - they'll be happy to take €5 from any old Tom, Dick or Harry - but I'm deluded enough to believe that the above poster splashed all over everywhere constitutes a personal invite to MOI!

See you there?

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Buddha: Cleansing and Purification

As you probably all know it is a law in Ibiza that every hip villa has to have a Buddha. Like, hey, we've got two we're so cool. But enough bragging, the pump in the Buddha fountain was making a bit of noise and was quite putting me off my kundalini raising activities on our yoga platform.

Jaki said it was 'cacked up' and needed a good clean so I spent the morning cleansing and purifying the inside of the hollow plastic statue and eventually liberated 10 months of evil smelling slime from it.

It now works like a dream and if you watch the video below with the sound on all you'll hear is the gently burbling water. Make sure you've been to the toilet before you hit play!

Improperly Dressed

Here in Ibiza you can pretty well get away with wearing whatever you want, whenever you want. In fact a full length mirror is considered a positive disadvantage when preparing for a night on the town or a trip to Syp. Eyelid batting only ever occurs when someone hoves into view wearing a tie - a sure sign that they're on their way to a wedding.

So, my standard attire of cashmere sweater, chinos and loafers is as uneyebrow raising as one can get. Until I went to Soller that is!

Base for a million cyclists and hikers, I had never before felt inadequate in the trouser department. With a mere 5 pockets my chinos were sadly lacking in storage space and unlike the cyclists, even if I had stored a large baking potato in them it wouldn't have shown.

And now a snippet from Viz
Last week my girlfriend finished with me saying that I was hopeless in the trouser department. How right she was because the next day I lost my Job at Marks and Spencer where I worked in the trouser department.

It's the way I tell'em.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Identity Crisis

Thanks to a Fascist Military Dictatorship we are proof of identity crazy in Spain. It is almost impossible to buy as much as 20 Rothmans without an official card with your photo, thumbprint, name, address, details of next of kin, shoe size, and favourite footballer all lasered in a 3D hologram and laminated in plastic which fits nicely in your wallet.

To this end, all EC residents who had bothered to spend one third of their lives in a pointless queue outside the national police's crumbling headquarters waiting to be treated like shit by the uncaring funtionaries inside, eventually earned one of these cards for the next 5 years. Useful if you'd forgotten who you were (Do you know who I am?) if you'd run out of fags but useless if say David Beckham was to leave Los Galacticos for a new life as a Hollywood personality.

Another Spanish trait I have noted is that if something is functioning perfectly well, then every effort is made to change it to something that doesn't function at all. And so it came to pass that the Residents Card became the Residents Certificate. A flimsy and unwieldy piece of A4 paper lacking any other information apart from your name and number and as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

The problem was that with the card, life was as easy for us Europeans as it was for the Spanish. Now thanks to the certificate we're laiden down with yet more paper and there appears to be no clear system of what we need.

Last week we travelled from Ibiza to Mallorca with Trasmediterranea using only our Certificate. Returning, Balearia refused to let us board the ship without our passports despite my protest that travelling between two Spanish islands involves crossing not a single international frontier - you know, the frontiers that we have passports for!

Come on Spain, get your act together - bring back the card!

Nursie, Pep, the Scythe and Ibiza.

Remember Nursie's brother in Blackadder? He had a clever idea and lost his foot - it was to cut his toenails with a scythe!

Here in San Jose I'm pleased to announce that that particular idea has never crossed our neighbour Pep's mind. He still uses his scythe to cut grass for his goats (one of which is imminently expecting goatlets) in the fields at the back of our house.

First he has to make sure it's nice and sharp

and then using a smooth swinging action he carefully avoids chopping his feet off!

Not bad for a bloke of 93! He tells me his father bought the finca and all the land - thousands and thousands of square metres - before the civil war for about 50 duros!!

Footnote - a duro is the nickname for the old 5 peseta piece. It is so called because during Franco's rule peasants who had laboured long and hard in the fields would earn 5 pesetas. As it was 'hard work' (trabajo duro) to earn the pittance it was nicknamed a duro - hard.

That was the Trip that Was

Remember Jaki's dealings with Iberia just before Christmas. Well travel by sea can be just as frustrating as my next little story demonstrates.

Months ago we booked our return ferry trip - Ibiza - Mallorca - Ibiza - with giant ferry company Trasmediterranea. About a week before our departure they rang to say our return ferry on 19th April was cancelled for technical reasons, could we come back on the 18th? Yes we could, as there's nothing I like better than foreshortening my eagerly awaited holidays by a day.

The 18th dawned sunny and extremely windy. Trasmediterranea's customer service department proved somewhat elusive as their phone number is listed neither on their tickets nor the White Pages. (I eventually found it in the Yellow Pages listed as Transmediterranea, with an extra 'n') They assured me there were no cancellations that day becasue of the high winds.

With a car bursting with purchases and ourselves we were confidently pulling onto the ferry port car park when the phone rang. It was Tras ringing to tell me my ferry was cancelled and would I like to go home on the 19th?
'but that boat was cancelled last week,' quoth I. Much keyboard tapping revealed that, according to their records, that ferry had never been cancelled and was running as normal.

Interestingly, a majority shareholding in Trasmediterranea is currently on sale for around €800 million. Seems like a bargain.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Ibiza - Mallorca - Ibiza

More on our epic journey another time. Today I need to comply with the tourist law of Soller which says that everyone must have at least one photo, video, or ride of the rickety rackety tram from Soller to Port Soller.

So here's my VIDEO

There is now a 'Mallorca 08' and Mallorca 07 slideshow on my Picasa album

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Chino Crisis

Tired of living life in colour I've decided to be all muted tones with the odd citrus splash every now and again for our Mallorcan jaunt. But which muted tones?
The man with more Chinos than days of the week just can't decide. Stone, taupe, beige, light khaki, fern, olive drab or more stone? And that's just the trousers, I've got shorts to worry about too.
Whatever happens I'll succeed in achieving my Gap-Man-goes-to-Cape-Cod image. I wonder what Marli's taking?

Friday, 4 April 2008

Citrus Splash

None of this driving over lemons business in Ibiza! I threw a spare lemon into the pool earlier for no other reason than because I could and as it looked quite Hockneyesque I took a photo.

Looks quite inviting doesn't it?

Anyroad, as Hockney used to say to Ozzie Clark as they were leaving the alehouse 'Let's get the puck out of here,Oz!'

Get it? Puck - Hockey, sounds a bit like.......

I'll get my coat.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Bog Blog

A bit of Ibiza toilet humour now. Jaki specially requested that I buy toilet roll in the cornucopia of plenty that is SYP supermarket. Musing over the multiple choice on the shelves I eventually went for this one.

Not only does it have a cute puppy on it, but also promises that 'nunca se acaba' which means it never finishes. Brilliant, scientific advances in bog roll technology mean I'll never have to purchase a pack again.

You can imagine that I was as sick as the proverbial parrot when i got home and discovered that I'd bought an identical pack of never ending toilet tissue a week or so ago which I'll never have to use.

Would anyone like to take it off my hands?

4,000 Pools

Did you know that there are around ten to twelve thousand swimming pools in Ibiza? Somebody actually counted them with the aid of a clickable Google map and established that here in San Jose there are, like the holes in Blackburn, Lancashire, 4000!!!

Here's one of them, mine, in the process of being filled (like the Albert Hall)

It's the first time I've had to top it up this year and I'd completely forgotten that it takes twice as long to fill it at the deep end!

Paint by Numbers Ibiza Style

You know how in normal places if you want to paint a wall, for example, you get a colour chart, choose your colour and then buy the corresponding paint from the shop?

Well it's the same, but different in Ibiza. Here you go through stages one to three (above) but there's a stage four which is when you discover that the paint you bought is nothing like the sample on the chart and you go back to stage one.

Dani, manager of our local paint shop, had us on the Christmas card and present list we had spent so much money there. One day he said, 'Your house must be like a rainbow inside with all the colours I've sold you.' My reply was, 'No, we've only got two coloured walls but they're both a centimetre thicker than all the other ones because of the many coats of paint they've had!'

Five Coats of Blue Paint Please

Dani then confirmed what we'd suspected all along, 'The colour of the paint in the pot is nothing like the colour on the chart!'

Slam-Bam-Buddha-B-Q and Banana Grove

There you go - Ibiza Nights and Phoenix Nights all mashed up. Having just completed a spring decorate we're all ready to go with our new chill out buddha decking relaxation station.

The BBQ and the Buddha

The Banana, the Buddha, the BBQ and the Bora Bora replica table