Saturday, 29 November 2008

Ibiza Winter: Cala Conta

Given the amount of visitors to the 'Ibiza Villa Blog' arriving via searches for Ibiza Winter or Winter Ibiza, I thought I'd oblige by posting a few photos. So, right at the bottom of the blog is a slideshow of photos I took in December last year.

It lives permanently on my Picasa web album page

This very day we were at Cala Conta where the air was clear enough to see the distant mainland to the south of Denia. It doesn't show on this photo, but it was stll worth a shutter click!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Today's Ibiza Weather

has been officially classified as 'Five Cat Cold'

A cold wave of cold polar air in the outside world has forced all our five cats to seek warmer climes inside. They all know my favourite saying regarding the central heating
'nobody goes cold in this house while I'm in it!'

Charlie and Spook are by the radiator

Flossie and Tillie Flop are on the sofa

Mouse is concealed behind a chair, a log basket and a large passing dog (Marli)

He Has Given Us a Sign

Nothing to do with Monty Python, but a tale of two signs I saw yesterday. Having hobbled bravely (not complaining but just getting on with it) with the aid of a knee brace and (occasionally) a walking stick for the last month I finally went to the doctor's yesterday.

It was, as always, full of nosey old people wondering what was wrong with each other. Having exhausted the supply of magazine (fancy Franco dying?) my attention was drawn to a sign on the wall which read

“Out of respect for your fellow patients please do not open the door to the doctor's surgery if it is firmly closed”

and thanked the Lord that it was knackered knees and not my prostate that I was there for.

Anyway, if your doctor's a little like mine, with all the sympathy and bedside manner of Arnie's Terminator, you can lighten the proceedings by prefixing every sentence with Doctor, doctor.......

So, then I had to go to San Antonio health centre to make an appointment for an X-Ray. There are two counters there, one with a big sign APPOINTMENTS and another with a similar sign MEDICAL CARDS. At the appointments counter they asked to see my medical card as proof of my entitlement to free medical treatment here in Ibiza.

'I haven't got it. When it expired I went to the next counter to renew it and after only three months the new card still hasn't arrived at my house.'

'You'll need it when you go for your X-Ray.'


'December 19th!'

'OK, I'll go to the MEDICAL CARD counter now and sort it.'

Later, at the MEDICAL CARD counter.........
'Oh no, this isn't the medical card counter it's the EMERGENCIES counter. Medical cards are in a morning, emergencies in an afternoon.'

So remember, if you're on a purely administrative visit to the health centre, go before lunchtime, and if you're dashing in with say, your severed arm under your non-severed arm, then you'll be running around like a chicken with a severed head unless it's round about tea-time!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Ibiza Christmas Treats

As one who embraced the famous Mediterranean diet years before I came to live in Ibiza I was a little surprised to discover that it also has a dark side - and I don't mean knocking back brandies for breakfast!

For every healthy aspect of my adopted national cuisine - olive oil, garlic, sunshine vegetables, etc - there are at least two super sweet, sugar loaded concoctions to eat before, during and after our regular four meals a day.

The number kids running around at 100 mph with glazed eyes or sitting in an obese heap proves there's something amiss with our diet.

Christmas is approaching, so what better time to load the shelves with sugar high inducing treats for the festive season..........



Here's my Christmas tip #1: If a strange man offers you either product, just say no, they're truly awful.

Christmas tip #2: If you are the buyer for SYP, and every year for the last 10 years, your shelves have still been full of Christmas Turrón by the following May, then buy a bit less this year!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Pipe Down

On my way from the gas station (88 cents a litre today) my eye was caught by lots of boats in San Antonio Bay as I drove over the summit of San Jose. Even from 10 kilometres an enormous hulking shape was visible dominating the horizon.

Eventually I arrived at the viewing point by the Hostal La Torre and took this shot of the giant pipe laying platform which has been drafted in to connect gas from the mainland to Ibiza and then to Mallorca.

I'll be writing an official news item tomorrow but as a taster I can tell you now that this aesthetically pleasing vehicle can accommodate 330 people on board!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Cala Bassa: The Video

In an attempt to document (ie preserve on film for posterity) each of Ibiza's goodness knows how many beaches I would like to present, tah-dah, Cala Bassa.

Yesterday was another beautiful day, so, fortified by a coffee, brandy, pan con tomate and serrano ham, I set off with Marli on the long ten minute drive to the beach. As you can see, it couldn't have been more perfect.......sun, waves, pine fringed beach, golden sand and clear blue sea.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Ibiza Colour Collage

I've bought a new camera. A Kodak C913 which is small enough to fit in my pocket and so will accompany me everywhere (unless it's a place where i wouldn't normally have a pocket)

Today it came with me on a stream of consciousness splatter photography mission to the panaderia/pastelleria in San Jose to buy bread and San Antonio's northern promenade while Jaki had her lunchtime hair appointment nearby.

This photo verité collage captures life in the raw in Ibiza on a Friday lunchtime and the Kodak really captures the Mediterraean colours to perfection.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Buying Bacardi in SYP Ibiza

Bacardi's quite a well known brand world-wide. Its popularity is renowned in Ibiza where it features with Coca Cola in Jaki's favourite drink – a 'Cuba Libre.'

Believe it or not, it was invented by a Catalan - Facundo Bacardi Masso – from Sitges (site of the first Pacha disco) and, if you Google it in Catalan, around 6 million web pages are returned.

So you'd think that if you mentioned 'Bacardi,' everybody in the world would know what you were talking about? Not in SYP, Ses Paisses' superstore they don't!

For reasons with neither rhyme nor logic, Bacardi is one of the products which sits behind locked glass doors in a display cabinet near the check outs. Yesterday I'd positioned myself in the queue for the till nearest to the cabinet – nothing clever about that – it was the only one open.

I said to the girl, 'before we start, I want a bottle of Bacardi from the cabinet.'
Less than one second later she asked, 'what was it you wanted?'
and about 2 seconds later on arrival at the cabinet, 'what?'
Ten seconds later I said, 'it's on the bottom shelf on the left.'
'Is this it?' she asked, holding a bottle of Anise on the top shelf on the right.
'No, I want BACARDI,'
'He wants BACARDI,' echoed a fellow frustrated customer.

Next time I'll be requesting some obscure Russian Vodka with its name in Cyrillic script, it'll be easier!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Cala Tarida: The Movie

Here's Cala Tarida brought bang up to date with a 26 second digital movie showing just how fab Ibiza is in winter.

Ibiza Coves: Cala Tarida

Out and about in Ibiza with my Kodak Brownie the other day I thought that this view of unspoilt Cala Tarida was worth a 40 second exposure.

Imagine my surprise when I returned a few hours later to find that developers had thrown up dozens of apartment blocks in just a few short hours.

They're obviously top quality, as the €2 milion price tag attests, and I was pleased to see (and hear) that a ghetto full of third world Johnnies had already shoe horned themselves into one spacious apartment to regale the rest of the complex with music from the dark continent at ultra high volume.

Viva apartment living!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Ibiza - Manchester Eighties Connection

Past posts on the Ibiza Villa Blog have highlighted the fashion conscious 1980's and my former neighbours in both Manchester and Ibiza. Noel Gallagher lived in both Burnage and San Jose, Nico of the Velvet Underground lived in Didsbury and (died) in Ibiza.

A chance meeting at the hairdressers yesterday by Jaki, who bumped into Ibiza tennis player and DJ Andy Wilson reminded me that not only did he live in Didsbury and now San Jose but that he also loved the 80's.

I'm sure he won't be embarrassed by this early 80's shot of Manc band 'The Passage' sporting haircuts which were the height of fashion at the time (it was the 80's!!!)
Andy, on the left, went on to find fame and fortune on Ibiza's Sonica Radio, whilst Dick Witts, on the right, presented BBC's 'Oxford Road Show.'

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Morning Assembly

Don't worry, it's nothing to do with saying prayers, miming to hymns and contemplating 90 minutes of Latin followed by Quadratic Equations until your next Embassy Regal fix.

Buoyed up by a successful few minutes assembling two Habitat Tasman beds we decided to go to the Hipercentro to buy a self-assembly computer desk we'd seen previously..........................more later.

Our new second-hand beds had until recently resided in La Belle France at a friend of Jaki's (Jane's) house in Gascony - the home of Armagnac.

Just take a look at the link, it looks fabulous. I'd go tomorrow!

Anyway, the beds had been shipped to Jane's house in England where we had them collected by our man Gary of GB Easymove to bring here to Ibiza. Thanks to Habitat's high quality materials, we had them put together in no time at all and they are now ready to sleep on.

Back to the Hipercentro, and guess what? They didn't have any computer desks in boxes.
'Can we have the one on display?' I asked.
'No, it's on display because new stock is on the point of arrival.'
'When will that be?'
'No idea!'
So we asked him to ring us when the new stock arrived. As we walked out Jaki said that that would be the last we'd ever hear from him. And I think she's right

Monday, 10 November 2008

Ibiza Winter

I like Ibiza in winter. There's room to move, less traffic, no crowds and the weather's perfect (normally) for wearing pretty well what you want. Talamanca, near Ibiza town, is a resort which is made to measure for winter time on the island. We took Marli for a walk round its wide bay yesterday...

You can lie on the beach, gaze out to sea, eat and drink at one of the cafes dotted along the shore, or take in the views.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Strictly Come X-Reacting

Jaki's pointed out that the reaction categories on Ibiza Villa Blog's Titterometer are neither use nor ornament as nobody knows who they are. Wouldn't it be better to have categories that everybody knows and loves?

So, in no particular order, I came up with

Craig, Arlene, Len and Bruno

or, if you can't make a decision one way or t'other and are about to burst into tears.......

Louis, Danii, Cheryl and Simon.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Evade the Tirade Brigade

Ibiza's top comedy blog now has Blogger reactions incorporated at the bottom of each post. Readers can now give their reactions with the odd mouse click based on the comedy value of the post rather than spend ages ranting in old fashioned text.

It's an exponential scale based on the comedic value of what's gone on. So for example if you didn't find it the least bit funny, click Ross, Brand or Carr, and if it was titter inducing, click Kay.

Easy. Click away!!!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Christmas in Ibiza

Remember how surprised we were when we went into Ibiza town exactly a year ago and saw that the Christmas decorations had been put up? Well they've done it again this year!

We were already feeling festive because on a sausage buying trip to Peter the Butchers I picked up the Christmas order form - the one on which we get our mince pies, Christmas pudding, Wensleydale cheese, pork joint with crackling (the Spanish don't have crackling - though you can buy pork scratchings) and duck breasts.

To cap it all, Happinez Ibiza invited me to their Christmas shop opening fiesta last night to partake in gluhwein and apple strudel round a log fire. It was of course, a rather exclusive guest list, anybody who is anybody in the village was there. As only 23 people live in San Jose this means everybody, so being invited is not a lot to brag about really.

If you're not yet in the Christmas spirit, get a load of this crib scene and snowing Christmas tree. Our cats would love it!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Controversial Comedy Corner II

Life in 'parallel universe Ibiza' has also shown me that the Spanish idea of comedy is completely different to ours. Here, slapstick is king, and the subtle nuances of the non-shouted word mean nothing, so Jimmy Carr wouldn't be funny here either and the histrionics of Brian Rix's farcical trouser dropping activities would be considered cutting edge.

Yesterday, I bought Jaki a new super duper window cleaning squeegee, and the bloke said, 'there's plenty here if you want more.'

I replied, 'one's enough, I've only got one wife.'

The smile as broad as Buster Keaton's on his face told me I should have tripped over one of the squeegee poles and landed with my head in the bucket of soapy water to raise a laugh Mr. Pastry style.
Next time I'll know!

Controversial Comedy Corner

Living in Ibiza can sometimes be like inhabiting a parallel universe where things happen exactly the same but completely different to the real world. Take the furore over the messages left on a 78 year old actor's answering machine by controversial comedians Brand and Ross.
An exact mirror image of this very same situation happened in Ibiza recently (but wasn't quite so headline grabbing) when a 75 year old man (my dad) left a series of strange messages on the answering machine of Ibiza's
top comedy blogger (moi.)
Nothing odd in that, after all I had instructed him to inform me immediately should my mother ever fall well and wake up not suffering from any malady (apart from hypochondria) listed in Webster's Medical Dictionary.
The funny thing is, I don't have an answering machine, and the dozy old codger had been ringing the number we abandoned 4 years ago and now owned by someone wealthy enough to have a contestador!
What the messages were, we'll never know, as the
memory man has completely forgotten the entire incident.