Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Catbladder the Third

Who'd have thought that when Sir Isaac Newton came up with his third law “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts” that this could be applied to our third cat (Mouse) and my bladder?

Aware of a dull ache in the bladder area the other morning I noticed that it and Mouse, lying on top of it, were obeying Newton's first law “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed”

Mouse, who weighs in at a hefty 6 kilos, decided to change the state of inertia by leaping through the window using me as a launch pad. After several minutes writhing in agony the formula for calculating the amount of pain came to me in a blue flash of inspiration.

p = (w x d) + (c/a2)

p is pain
w is the weight of the cat
d is the distance to the window
a is the amount of ale consumed the previous evening
c the capacity of the bladder

Mouse demonstrates inertia

It's enough to instil a fear of cats (Aclurophobia) in a person!

Talking of phobias, I have some advice for would be competitors on 'America's Next Top Model.' Girls, when you get to the box marked phobias on your application form just put the word NONE otherwise, as sure as eggs is eggs, your assignments will include hanging from the top of a tall skyscraper, being caged up with a million man-eating spiders or having to spend an evening listening to Tyra Banks talk about her Mom if you've listed Acrophobia, Arachnephobia or Tyrannophobia amongst your fears.

It could be even worse if Homophobia is on your list, as you'll be subjected 24/7 to a bunch of mincing gay boys doing your make-up, hair, taking your photo and showing you how to cat-walk!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

St. Helens 26 v Leeds 16

A Game of Two Halves

Sean Long

and Leon Pryce

Postscript. I've just read about the terrible tragedy at the match (no, not the referee) and my condolences go to anyone affected by it. With 20,000 tickets sold and temperatures of 30 degrees forecast, the bar staff took it upon themselves to order in beer for 3000, which ran out after no time at all!

I do have personal experience of dreadful situations like this, when, on a memorable-for-all-the-wrong-reasons trip to Salford, 12,000 tickets had been sold and 3 barstaff were trying to cope with an insatiable demand for ale. Imagine how we felt, sober, when Saints' prop Tony Burke made the only pass of his career straight to a Salford player, who promptly scored to knock us out of the cup.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Golf - A Funny Old Game

If you ever thought there was no humour in golf then this story will surprise you.
I spoke to the old fellow yesterday who told me that a friend of his (let's call him Billy F. to protect his identity) had booked to play in a golf competition but couldn't make it.
'Why couldn't your friend Mr. Foster make it?' I foolishly enquired.
'Because he'd forgotten that his daughter was getting married that day,' was the reason.

I should add, that the old geyser is getting a lift to the comp with a Roy H. who is the father of the bride's brother-in-law.
Mr. Hesford had obviously forgotten that his niece is getting married on golf day! (and still not remembered)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

The Albert Memorial

Albert Cooper made a triumphant and sober return to Ibiza this week. His appearance at Raco Verd was marked by strict instructions to the bar staff not to give him any brandy before the show.

Last year's show featured Albert falling over the trumpet player (and he thanked me profusely for posting it on You tube) but last night in an almost identical scenario Albert demonstrated that he could indeed, walk, sing and drink, though not all at the same time.

FYI the band consisted of Miquel Botja's combo, The Blues Mafia, Albert's son Chris on keyboards and 3 members of the Ibiza Jazz Big Band's brass section

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Ibiza Tango Joint

Lamb kebabs and tango (the dance not the drink) were on the agenda last night. Pep the butcher was in fine form, completely agreeing with my proposal to buy a lamb leg joint, bone it and cube it.

Me'n'Pep off duty from our normal customer/butcher roles

Pep really knows what he's doing and with a couple of lightning fast incisions with a razor sharp knife (whilst holding a conversation with someone over the other side of the shop) a quick twist and the shin bone, knee and thigh bone came out at right angles with merely a sharp intake of breath.

'Anything else?' he asked.

'You couldn't have a look at the anterior cruciate ligaments in my left knee, could you? They're not half giving me gyp today,' I joked.

Four fabulous BBQ'd lamb kebabs later I hobbled up to Raco Verd for some hot Gaucho passion straight from the steaming streets of Buenos Aires in the fortnightly Tango show.

My chaps weren't half in a flap watching the dancers' flailing legs and knees at right angles, however it wasn't the thought of Strictly Come Dancings' Flavia that had me all hot and bothered, I just kept picturing Joe Theisman's career ending leg break in '85.

Anyway, after a couple of pints, Jaki and I took to the floor to show them how it was we are below

The Big One - Oh (Oh, Oh, Oh)

That's TEN THOUSAND visitors to the 'View from the (Ibiza) Villa.

Ironically, most of them had no idea what they were letting themselves in for as they clicked in from some search engine or other. If any proof of this were needed, it's in my length of visit statistics which show that 77% click right back out again within 5 seconds.
I suppose it must be quite disappointing when you think you're going to find the top secret location of James Blunt's Ibiza Villa, or see some gratuitous Topless in Ibiza photos and all you get is me crying into my beer about SYP!
Ironically, amongst all those thousands of unknown strangers from, quite literally, across the globe, the person who visits least, is the one for whom this blog is written, my father.
The old geyser is way too busy, clogging up shopping centres and riding around on his free bus pass, and who can blame him?

Monday, 21 July 2008

Sacre Bleu

Oh no, not another anti-French diatribe! Yup, the Froggies are at it again and have roused my entente discordiale.............this time some female Frenchy (interviewed by the press at Ibiza airport) has been moaning that there's too many English in Ibiza and that it's like being in England in the bars here.

Unfortunately for the island economy, if Ibiza's bars were full of Los Froggos, they'd all be shut within a week as you can't run a bar selling five black coffees a night.

Out at La Ruta last night we witnessed a demonstration of the French Martial art of Zut Alors when a crowd of them arrived en masse (ever wondered why we use a French term to describe enormous groups of people milling pointlessly about?) and proceeded to hor y hor their way to the table next to us.

The nine elegantly clad big spenders gorged themselves on two pizzas, two beers and two bottles of water before disappearing noisily into the night! That's less than we had before we disappeared off to Can Bernat for a few G&T's.

I wonder if they left a tip?

Bar owners needn't cover their eyes and shout mamma mia should any Italians hove into view, cos none of them ever will. Spending money isn't on the agenda for these lads but schlepping about in flip flops, floral swim shorts with no pockets and a towel slung casually over your naked shoulders is.

My observations in the Casablanca on Saturday night lead me to believe that the point of all the shuffling about is to avoid anything that has to be paid for and to find somewhere where you can admire your own reflection.

Allah be praised that I've only been unkind to nationalities with a low fatwa risk in my blog!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Wide to West

Picture this. You're a St. Helens supporter and you've just endured 79 minutes and 58 seconds of nailbiting rugby, but your team's down 10 - 11 and it's the semi-final of the season's most important competition.
Plan A isn't working - they should have been 40 points up and coasting in but with only 2 seconds on the clock and the Bradford fans counting time away, what to do?
Simple really. Plan B, a well rehearsed Hail Mary move they've been practising all week in training and code-named 'Wide to West.'
If you're sitting down watching this, don't fall out of your chair like the Bradford coach!

Callate - Shut Up

I picked up an infection whilst waiting for my pizzas in La Ruta last night. No, it wasn't anything to do with the mozzarella, it was a song I heard on the radio, which was more virilently infectious than the Black Plague. I just can't get it out of my head, and as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved, here it is.
Fulanito - Callate..........

Por Favor, no me digas mas

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Sweating in Santa Eulalia

Well, who wouldn't be after a visit to the sauna? Well, not me, because after driving all the way over to the other side of Ibiza to luxuriate the lunch hour away at Magdalena's, I found out that they close for lunch. Like you do when you're involved in the leisure sector of the economy, you wouldn't want any pesky customers turning up in their free time - lunch time, Saturday afternoon or all day Sunday - using your facilities.

As you can see from their modern, minimalist website, it's uncluttered by information regarding times and prices. So when I arrived unknowing, I must have had that look of gobsmacked wonderment I should have lost years ago, through overuse, on this island.

Mentioning how staggered I was that they were closed, the sympathetic receptionist said that the opening times were on their price list, which unhelpfully for those that live more than 3 metres from reception, was stuck on the wall behind her.

'We'll be open at four,' she proffered. 'I won't be here then,' quoth I with the mere prospect of spending a couple of hours in Ibiza's dullest domicile already adding several years to my age.

I'll just have to make do with my regular bath a week on Friday.

Monday, 14 July 2008

The Art of Timing

Good timing really is an art on holiday island Ibiza. So here's some art and some tales of timing, mostly bad, from yesterday and today.

Having free time on our hands we went to the Plaza del Parque in Ibiza for a Sunday snackette at the Hostal del Parque. Settling into a shady nook we were struck by the sight and sound of some tuneless bearded wonder, in possession of a dangerous recorder, who was having less success conjuring a melody out of it than I was with my roast beef baguette. Play Handel's Largo or Greensleeves next time was my tip when he came wanting money.

Any road, next up at our table was a bloke selling paintings. At €3 a pop they were good value so we bought three.

Here's number one, Dalt Vila, Ibiza.Nice isn't it?

I just happened to be gazing at our clock when the church bells chimed 8 yesterday. I noticed we were 2 or 3 minutes slow and so put the clock right this morning. This timely intervention is already paying dividends as Jaki discovered when boiling an egg for lunch. It was done to perfection and not all runny and watery as per the last few outings when the clock was wrong.

Ibiza Cathedral

Maybe I should have waited to alter the clock until everyone else had altered theirs? I'd built up a stock of tasks to do today so as i could apply the 30% success rule and actually accomplish some of them. Here's my list and what happened.

Drop off bedding at laundry - not open, late for work

Collect CD of photos from office - CD not ready

Drop off laptop at computer shop - shop not open, late for work.

Pay in cheque at bank - bad timing, arrived a nano second behind a slot machine arcade owner paying in a year's takings in copper.

Get special key cut - success.

All in all 2.5 hours to do about 5 minutes work.

Thank God for art.........

La Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Ibiza: Phew, Hotter Than Manchester

You know how on the one day of the year when there's no precipitation in the Rainy City and the headlines scream ' More Scorchio than Ibiza, Alriiiiiiiight!' Well, there hasn't been one of those days for a while and we're doing our best in soaring sticky temperatures on the White Isle.

Poor Marli's bored, she's the chairman of the bored. With a big fur coat on permanently, the best she can do is stretch out on the tiles, looking errrr, bored.

Any road, as the daft dog won't go near the water for a cooler I decided to get on the dog and bone and order a nice chewy bone for her. Unbelievably, she took it out to the SHADE of the garden to chew on it. Normally she lies on a patch of roasting hot gravel and then complains she's hot.

Here she is during her moment of pleasure

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Three Stooges

One of the three people below is not an Ibiza resident.
Is it
El Ste

Steve the Ibiza Builder
The hilarious Jimmy Carr

Answers on a £10 note to the usual address please. The winner receives a ticket to a fabulously funny Jimmy Carr live performance. Everybody else gets two tickets!

It's a Small World

Even though Ibiza is one of the world's largest islands, amazing coincidences still crop up here. For example meeting someone for the first time and discovering that you also know one of their 58 cousins...............

Any road, I was in Raco Verd the other Saturday on my way to La Ruta, when in conversation with a bloke at the bar it transpired that he had made his decsion to holiday in a villa in San Jose after reading an article I wrote several years ago for Ibiza Spotlight. He said that it sounded such a great place that he booked immediately and wasn't disappointed by the village.

here's the article San Jose

And here's the dry stone wallers at work.

On the same subject, Raco Verd's landlord and landlady Sam and Clare, once told me that when considering taking on the bar, their internet research had led them to several articles I wrote. Here's one, a snippet from the easyJet inflight magazine

"Live Music [view all listings]
Raco Verd (Plaza Iglesia, San Jose. Tel. 971 800 267) This bar is so intimate that you sit next to the keyboard player during Saturday night's jazz sessions. On Thursday evenings there's rock and blues music, with flamenco on Fridays."

And finally, despite my constant advice to the old woman about never listening to strangers at bus stops, somebody (a total stranger) told me that the pizza at La Ruta (where I'd never been before) was fab, so i went, and it was!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Lost in Translation

With two official languages and millions of tourists of many nationalities we do get the occasional lost in translation episode in Ibiza.

Last night in Es Ventall I learned a new expression in Spanish. After a fabulous plate of dorada (sea bream) and one of those bye bye belt moments the waiter asked if we'd like to round off our meal with dessert. Pointing to my well rounded tummy I explained that I couldn't even fit a waffer thin mint within.

That's 'la curva de la felicidad' he explained or to translate, the curve of contentment - which is a nice way of saying you have a large beer belly.

Not quite so bad as the translation of an ad for one of Ibiza's famous girlie bars, Pure Platinum which promised 'curvas peligrosas' running down the form of a well siliconed young lady. Only problem was they'd translated it as 'dangerous bends' which gave it all the flavour of a traffic hazzard warning.

Finally at the airport this morning the translators on the information boards had done an excellent job by getting 'en hora' exactly right as 'on time.' The only problem was the vexed issue of interpretting what exactly on time means - in a land where if anything happens at the appointed hour it is described as Britannic punctuality, the arrival of a plane due at 9.45 only 10 minutes late at 9.55 is still deemed to be on time.

Any road, I must dash, I'm on time for a meeing................

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Syp Supermarket Silliness

The usual story at Ibiza's Ses Paisses Syp today. Empty shelves, items uncoded and unpriced, no code lists at the checkouts and cashiers unable to identify basic vegetables. Ours turned our spinach upside down looking in vain for some clue as to its name.

Any road, Jaki was with me today to provide the silliest comment of the day which was provoked by the sight of some cans on the shelf.

'OOOOOhhhhhhhhhh shandy,' she said.

In my entire life I've never once been excited by the prospect of a can of shandy.

However, mard-arse-southern-shandy-drinking-softies from London might just be interested in this public service announcement regarding girls' drinks in Ibiza

A shandy is lager with bitter lemon added
A clara is lager with lemonade added

Don't ask me what they taste like.