Friday, 31 October 2008

The Biggest and the Best

It's amazing what you find on You Tube. I came across a couple of blasts from my pre Ibiza past the other day which have personal significance.........

When Jaki and I were married nearly 25 years ago in Manchester's garden suburb of Stretford my best man was lifelong friend Barry Flynn.

(Yes, I know, it was the 80's!)
Anyway, from that same period, courtesy of You Tube, here's a video made by The Big Supreme

And remember, it was the 80's!!

Ibiza Kitten Update

Great news. After splattering Sunny Jim's mugshot on posters all over the parts of Ibiza where animal lovers may congregate (?) it was our Ibiza Sun advert that paid dividends when a friend of ours, Warren, saw it.

So Sunny Jim's now in his new house, probably with a new name at the start of his new life, with his new people, Warren and Judy.

(Don't forget, we still have 'Squeak' up for adoption)

Monday, 27 October 2008

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall

Being from the north of England I'm used to four season's worth of weather (often in the same day) and being clothed to suit. Here in Ibiza it's a bit different, though not quite as bad as Madrid where they have the saying

'Nueve meses de Invierno,
Tres de Infierno'
(9 months of winter 3 of Hell)

The change in our Ibiza seasons is marked by week-long torrential, steamy downpours which constitute both Spring and Autumn. After plenty of rain last week our night-time temperatures have plummeted and I was able to enjoy one of life's rare pleasures last night (26.10.08) – freezing cold sheets. I always quote Tony Hancock to Jaki on these occasions, 'ah, freezing cold sheets, one of life's luxuries they can never take away,' but it never does any good.

I can guarantee that within the next two days we'll have a log fire, central heating blazing away at 30 degrees centigrade, and be wearing two pairs of socks each!

On a side note, when it's 30C outside, our bank is cooled down to 10C inside and the staff work comfortably wearing jackets and jumpers while customers freeze in skimpy linen attire. Obversely, when it's 10C outside, our bank is heated up to 30C and the staff work comfortably in flowing linen garb while we sweat it out in our overcoats and scarves!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Ibiza Sun ny Jim

Here he is, Sunny Jim, specially photographed to accompany our pleading Align Centreannouncement in this week's Ibiza Sun.

Sunny Jim's looking for a forever home. Can you help?

Friday, 24 October 2008

Oh Well II

The phone's not working. It rings and shows the number of an incoming call but cuts off when we try to answer. It rings out but cuts off when the call is answered.

I rang Telefonica via Skype and before I got to a real person I answered a series of questions and tapped in my phone number on two occasions. The first question the real person asked was 'what's your phone number?'

Anyway, having explained everything I left my mobile number so the engineer could contact me and guess what???????????????????????????????????

Yes! They rang me on the phone I can't answer. I know it was them because when I rang the number identified by our phone a message said, ' this is one of Telefonica's private lines which you can't ring.'

Oh Well,

Ha! Breaking news, this very minute they interupted my blog to ring and say that they've sorted the problem in the 'central' (I think they call it the exchange in England)

Good old Telefonica!!! See, even in Ibiza, good things sometimes happen.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Oh Well

When I tell people that we get our water from a well I'm sure that a romantic notion of Jaki wearing a dirndl dress and two wooden pales suspended from a shoulder yoke and splashing her way across the agricultural terraces from somewhere like this crosses people's minds.

In fact, if we'd been here before 1973, when electricity finally arrived in San Jose, we would have been winding buckets up by hand. Nowadays, modern Ibiza is more functional and slightly less romantic.

This is the well which supplies our water. It's pumped up the terraces and stored at the top in a giant tank from whence it flows under gravity's insatiable influence to the houses in our street.

The countryside around the village is criss-crossed by flimsy black tubing delivering vital supplies of water to our dwellings. It doesn't take much to cut the supply and we ourselves were ploughed back to the stone ages after a tractor incident involving this very pipe.

We also have a large storage tank of water in the house - it's about the size of a child's bedroom and is two metres deep with water. It acts like a giant toilet cistern, as the water level drops with use, a floating ball cock opens a valve and allows more water in.

In August the ball cock broke with the valve open and we found ourselves with gallons of water gushing from the overflow pipe and onto the patio. The only way to stop wasting water was to cut the supply to the whole street (at the main storage tank) because Pep, the owner of the well was away on a trip.

Anyway, we got it fixed and some days later I asked Pep where he'd been. The answer was Expo Zaragoza 2008 to learn about conservation of water and sustainable development! Oh well.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Ibiza Weather Forecast II

We had some terrible weather in Ibiza just after I spent a fortune on my new sunglasses (or 'shades' as hip young gunslingers like moi prefer to call them)

The Ibiza weather forecast for the next month or so will be hot and dry - official!

How do I know? Simple

I've just maxed up my Mastercard on a pair of Timberland deerskin gloves and a Massimo Dutti brolly. Get your flights booked!

I'm off to the beach..............................

Another 48 Hours in Ibiza

You probably never read my blog on myopia and bathroom products. With an average click-in-click-back-out time of under 5 seconds, the title is usually as far as people get.

Not to worry. Don't ask me how I found this, I've been using it for months now, but never noticed what a splendid money saving device it was. This deodorant actually lasts for 48 hours (or two days, whichever comes first) and could have saved me a fortune had I known I had it.

Not only will an application last twice as long as ordinary 24 hour deodorants (about a week round these parts) but it will save about a litre of cheap cologne every month.

Sanex, I salute you (and please make the writing a bit bigger)

Bedraggled, Flea Riddled Kitten for Sale

Another first in Ibiza, a four week old kitten - skin and bone - rescued from the jaws of the main road whilst scavenging for food near the SYP bins.

(what he expected to find in the bin when there's sweet F. A. in the shop is beyond me)

Anyway, he's now in our intensive care shower room, enjoying kitten food, an inside litter tray, a towel to sleep on and looking forward to an all over wash when he gets strong enough and is known as Speck.

He's for sale at the low, low price of €250 or nearest offer (even if it's €0)

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Cute Kitten for Sale

Here's something you don't see often in Ibiza - a cute kitten abandoned in the street. Our 'animal loving' erstwhile neighbours (they spend summer here) took it in, tamed it, made it fairly reliant on humans, and then buggered off back to Mallorca.

It obviously sensed that we might home it and whilst we have tried to discourage it by providing it with food, it is still trying to wheedle its way into our affections with its abject cuteness. It is not us however, on whom it should be working its charms!

Our own existing pussy posse already contains four warring factions, not bad going for a four member pack, and feline discontent is rife with the appearance of the new would be member.

So if anyone would like to offer this little girl cat - about 6 months old and code named Squeak - a home, we're willing to accept a bargain basement €300 for her.
Oh, alright, free to good home!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

My Last Ibiza Blog II

My somewhat confusingly titled blog post below 'My Last Ibiza Blog' drew a stream of criticism from angry readers.

So, rather than take up valuable gigabytes by publishing them all, can I just say that no whales were harmed in the making of that photograph.

I did not use a darning needle and bottle of quink to tattoo my desperate message on the whale's side - it was merely a clever use of special effects and photo manipulating technology provided by Picasa.

Valencian Observatory

An unrelated stream of hints, tips and observations sharing a common relationship with Valencia where I've just spent a country mouse visits town mouse type holiday.

Hip young guide writers refer to the city as VLC in order to save key strokes. Meanwhile grumpy, middle-aged guide readers have an extra syllable to cope with thanks to the 'abbreviation' being pronounced oo-vey-el-ly-thay.

If you have been lost many times whilst squinting at a map of the Greater VLC Metropolitan area, try turning the page over before the last day of your holiday where you may find a large street plan of the central area.

VLCN's do not sleep on their money, they drive it and wear it.

Aquarium bosses, try putting the signs prohibiting flash photography and sitting in the perspex tunnels, in another language other than English, VLCN and Spanish, preferably French. This may prevent hundreds of Frenchies taking flash photos of each other sitting in the tunnels.

At dinner, VLCN's can chew with their mouths closed.

If you have been trailing round the shops for 3 days building up a vast list of purchases you're going to make on your last day (ie doing everything in one fell swoop) then do ensure that it is not a public holiday to celebrate the Community of VLC day.

VLC's Opera House is even bigger than its equivalent in Sydney! However, its programme lets it down badly. This season starts with Parsifal by Wagner, whilst the home of Aussie culture boasts Wallabies v Koalas tag wrestling in mud.

There is a slideshow of VLC photos at the bottom of the blog at present or it can be viewed in Picasa by clicking the link.

Friday, 10 October 2008

My Last Ibiza Blog

Seems like ages ago doesn't it? While I was in Valencia I was thinking of ways to attract more readers to the blog and had to discount getting myself fired or claiming that this would be my last ever blog as they've both been done before.

Instead, I brokered a sponsorship deal with Willy the whale to swim round with 'View from the (Ibiza) Villa' emblazoned on his side. I thought I'd only have to pay him a few billion plankton in exchange but I was totally in the wrong ball park. No wonder they don't call him Free Willy any more!

Whale of a Time in Valencia

One of the unwritten tourist laws of Valencia is 'thou shalt visit the Oceanografic.' So we did.

Top attraction for us was the beluga whale which managed to conceal its 50 ton bulk behind a small pillar. I'm not sure who was the most surprised to see the other in this short scene, Jaki or the whale.

For some reason I can hear Billy Connoly's commentary, 'it's a whale, a whale, a fekking whale!'

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Knackered in Valencia

Four days in 'The Big Orange' totally immersed in








and lashings of alcohol

can sometimes take its toll on a man!