Sunday, 31 August 2008

Ibiza: Celebrity Isle

Pacha magazine's editor must have issued 'let's-get-celebritied-up' instructions yet again for the issue I've just read by proxy. Full to the brim of Ibiza residents famous for having pink faces and even more famous fathers, the mag highlights the ability to be well known for the most mundane of reasons. How many celebrity apartment rental bosses do you know for example?

Any road, with St. Helens' third cup final victory on the trot fresh in my mind from yesterday I was reminded that there are indeed celebrity Rugby League supporters too (and there sure ain't none in Ibiza)

And here's the living proof

It's none other than Suzanne Watts at a Saints' match with some fat lad.

Did you notice how I managed to include Jade Jagger, Johnny Vegas and Charlie Chester in one blog post without ever mentioning their names?

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Log Blog

When I mention the word Ibiza and organisation in the same sentence it'll be immediately apparent that my efforts to organise a delivery of logs will have a comedic outcome.

So, I went to order my winter log store on Monday. I took a carefully drawn non-clickable non-google map with an x marking the spot I wanted the logs. I put careful instructions that I needed one day's notice of when they were coming (so I could advise the neighbours that the path to their garage would be blocked) and a note saying that I definately wouldn't be at the house at One O'clock on Wednesday.

"Don't worry," he said, "we'll ring you well in advance."

See where this is going?

Half past 12 on Wednesday, the phone rang. Surprise, surprise, it was the wood yard. "We're loading your wood now, we'll be there at One!"

Any road, after racing back to the house, the phone rang again, "where's your house?" was the predictable question, "is it white?" less predictable but statistically the most probable here on 'The White Island.'

"Have you not got my non-clickable non-google map pinned to your windscreen in a gps style?" I asked.

"Don't know anything about a map," said the driver.

So I went out, found him, showed him where to drop the logs and luckily, Maria, our neighbour had gone out in the car and wasn't trapped.

Here's the logs, which should see us through the chilly nights until March.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Speccy Four Eyes

An article in today's Diario de Ibiza states that around 65% of Balearians can't see well without the aid of glasses. I'm one of them. Normally it's not a problem for me as (just like now) I can wear my goggles anywhere.

Anywhere except the shower that is! So why, oh why, do cosmetic manufacturers insist on using the smallest of small text on their bathroom requisites??

The photo on the left is a tube of sensitive shave cream and the photo on the right is what I see as I step out of the shower - what the hell is it??

I'm trying to think what the most socially embarrassing mix up of bathroom lotions and potions might be but can't be bothered so just make your own up to give this blogette a punch line

Monday, 25 August 2008

Back Field in Motion

It's all go in the View from the (Ibiza) Villa's back field. Regular Villa Viewers will remember the day Pep's (the owner of the field) goats were born. Now they follow him round like little puppies - they're hobbled to slow them down to his speed - and are voracious eaters.

Here they all are under a carob tree

and on the subject of trees, the peasant labour force of almond and carob harvesters has just turned up.

The modus operandi is to knock the nuts from the tree onto a big sheet on the ground, gather them up and then pound them to a pulp to use in Ibiza's top secret Christmas dinner dessert, Salsa de Nadal.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Feet Don't Fail Me Now

My feet are killing me! I never sat down once in Bilbao - in a Bilbao bar that is. Grazing capital of the world, the Basque capital has got eating on the hoof down to a fine art. There's neither time nor room for lounging about - so no scatter cushions or chill out music here - which you'll see on this short but extremely noisy video below featuring the Victor Montes Bar. (you may need to turn the volume down as it features several Spanish conversations on the go at the same time)

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

View from the (Bilbao) Villa

Well, not quite a villa, but never mind. Obviously, to comply with tourist laws here, I´ve had to stroll manfully about in explorer trousers and take photos of the Guggenheim from all angles, the Calatrava bridge, and of course fill my boots every night in Tapas town.

Just to prove I´ve done it, here are some sample shots, so I can collect my exit visa on Thursday.

(for many more photos visit my picasa album)
Btw if anyone reading this has access to the Internet, do us a favour, find out if Zara has about 50 branches in city centre Bilbao, as I´m worried that I passed the only branch about 20 times today when I got lost.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Basque Country

What a swiz! I´ve been here over a day and still haven´t seen anyone like this.

Still, my initial disappointment has been more than assuaged by a fantastic new discovery I´ve made. It´s called a Zurito and it´s a 30 second beer. A small measure that doesn´t take ages to down and matches your little morcel of food called a pintxo.

Pretty well every bar here has a counter laden with snacks - so far I´ve sampled pintxos made with asparagus, anchovies, eels, roast duck breast, black pudding, peppers, sirloin steak, cod, monkfish, baby eels, wild mushrooms - and as I´m having one in every bar, I don´t want to be wasting time (I can´t believe I´m writing this) boozing.

No it´s not true, I get a zurito, a txakoli (slightly sparkly white wine) and two pintxos per bar for around 6 Euros the lot. It´s a great way to spend the evening and as the Plaza Nueva, about a kilometre from my digs, is absolutely full of these bars, life is quite sweet in Bilbao.

Talking of Bilbao, I complied with the law today by visiting the Guggenheim, and I´ll be publishing some photos sometime soon. Coincidentally, the main exhibition was given over to an artist called Juan Muñoz, who died in Ibiza in 2001.

I have a plan to go to San Sebastian on the bus tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Space Ibiza Anniversary

Our wedding anniversary and Jaki's birthday are looming up and as always our conversation went something like this.
La Jaki, "I'm sick of receiving practical presents."
El Ste, "Would you like something mega expensive, but totally useless?"
LJ, "Yes."
ES, "Two tickets to $pac€ closing coming your way."

(The joke is that it is expensive to go to this disco and we've never been nor desire to go. It is, however, wearing a bit thin as I've used it for the last 11 or 12 years)

The Iron Law of Ibiza Ironmongery

Someone hit the View from the (Ibiza) Villa site via a Google search for 'ferreterias (ironmongers) in San Antonio Bay. Had I known that folk would be looking for such a thing I'd have proffered some advice. Based on many years' experience of trying to find little bits of things in the ferreterias in this vicinity I formulated my Iron Law of Ironmongery - which states.

"No matter what you are looking for, if you ever manage to find it, it will always be in the last ferreteria that you visit."

I have a much more interesting law for Ibiza restaurants which can be revisited by clicking the link