Wednesday, 30 December 2009
It's quite easy. Here's question 1 on the form
1. Are you related by birth, marriage, or both to someone who works in the town hall?
A. If yes, go and collect whatever you want in reception in 5 minutes.
B. If no, answer the other 149 questions on this form and come back in 6 months to be told you've been unsuccessful.
Monday, 28 December 2009
Despite an overdose of double entendres I can't think of a caption of this photo Jaki took of the opera La Boheme. It shows her little cat and a woman with one of those hand warmer things posing for an artist.
I'm completely writer's blocked.
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
I said what about El Cid? Wasn't it strange to hear Charlton Heston speaking English as he rode round the walls of Valencia?
Anyway, did you know that when Hollywood films are dubbed into Spanish the same actors are always used to dub the same star. For example Arnold Schwartzenegger's stunt dubber is always a little fat guy (I've forgotten his name)
Here's a definate case for watching the original version of a film - whoever dubbed this sounds like an airline steward announcing that duty free's coming round - not psyching himself up for a night of mayhem and ultraviolence.
Friday, 25 December 2009
A shame really because when I bobbed out to the marquee last night where San Jose's Christmas entertainment takes place there was a live concert by the Rolling Stones in progress! If I'd been all Internetted up I could have blogcasted live from a San Jose rock concert - a first I believe.
Anyway, just to prove I was there, here's a photo I took
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
From Eyebeetha to the Nawfuck Brawds”
Warbled David Bowie in his song about 70's package tourism “Life on Mars” which was also the inspiration for the TV detective series of the same name about Life before the Internet.
Whilst swearin', smokin', bein' politically incorrect and drivin', a Ford Cortina were all fab in the world before computers, goin' on hols was an odd affair.
Take us, in the world of 30 years ago we went to Mallorca, which in holiday brochure speak was then called Majawka, and we didn't know a thing about it, and once we got there we didn't know a thing that was happening in the outside world.
Newspapers (and only the southern editions at that) arrived 2 days late and you needed a magnifying glass to find the rugby results amongst all the reports about football teams you'd never heard of like Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal. And if you actually wanted to watch a football match, there was only one night a year when you could do this – European Cup Final night when Liverpool (or Forest or Villa) would show the foreigners how it was done.
Don't forget that Franco had threatened to ban football in Spain unless his favourite team Real Madrid won everything, something that the Scousers obviously didn't know about when the beat Franco's lads in the final when we were in Mallorca.
Totally reliant on our holiday rep, we booked a fun night in an all you can eat BBQ, along with hundreds of others who were all bussed in and seated on benches cheek by jowl with fellow happy holiday makers.
It was awful, but not quite as bad as the coach ride back, full of people too full of pork chops, chips and salad, and more importantly cheap champagne. I've never eaten pork chops, chips and salad since.
Anyway, here's a picture of one of the ritual tortures we were subjected to in the BBQ – drinking from the porron. I've never done that since either.
Monday, 21 December 2009
The organisers of the race had thoughtfully decided that the runners should be protected from traffic on the routes through the bustling Sunday morning centre of the village by putting barriers up blocking the entrances to traffic.
In a land of joined up thinking the bloke doing the blocking (the village's street sweeper) would have realised that for all the people who live within the area of the route those entrances were also the only exits to the world outside!
Anyway, we got out without knocking any runners down, only a barrier, and made it to Talamanca beach.
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Looks a bit like Cap'n Jack and the Black Pearl's hove to in the centre of San Jose doesn't it? You don't need to be a marketing genius to notice that there aren't any opening times given on the flags (I went on the 17th and it was closed) and that a marketing campaign that nobody sees isn't very good. Why put all the flags out on a street where only 10 people live and which is a dead end in a goat farm?
The answer of course is that all the other lamp posts in the village are too low to have a flag attached so there is some logic to the decision.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
That's not quite true, all the bars and restaurants remained open so local folks could eat and drink all afternoon, but what kind of a holiday is that for them? They do it everyday anyway.
R Jaki, in England to see about having her eyes lasered, keeps ringing me, rubbing it in that she's got things to do - 'I'm in a shop. I'm at a Christmas fair. I'm at the till, paying for something.' and just to show her that there was life in Ibiza I drove 13 kliks to the throbbing metropolis that is Ibiza town to find something going on.
The emergency chemist on the Vara de Rey was open AND there was a queue of people in it!!!
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Here's a video from this morning at Las Salinas beach in Ibiza showing Floyd 'in the pink' though I've no idea why it looks like one of those 'The Thirties in Colour' programmes.
Monday, 30 November 2009
Talking of coats, take a look at this one.
It's a Levi's special edition jacket with Liberty of London lining. At least it was 20 years ago when Jaki bought it, since then it's been used as share wear, the denim has faded and frayed at the edges, the lining ripped and came out, and it has a hole just under the collar at the back. In fact, it's just right for going somewhere special in Ibiza as I don't have to spend all afternoon sleeping in it on the sofa before going straight out in it.
Any road, Jaki commanded that, as it was looking a little tired, I should find her a new denim jacket on Ebay.
Look what popped up - a Levi's special edition jacket with Liberty of London lining!!
Sunday, 29 November 2009
On Friday I only needed three things from SYP (in Ses Paisses, between Can Tomas and San An); firelighters, bread and hygienic kitchen wipes. Some sniper had obviously just run in, moments before I got there, and denuded the shelves of all of those items (bar one ripped packet of firelighters which I bought rather than go cold on Friday evening.)
This same person has done this trick for the last 4 weeks in the case of the hygienic kitchen wipes as I haven't seen one packet for at least a month there!
Still, at least this Friday the one cash desk that was open for checkout was the one where the credit card machine was working!
And on a happier note you remember how I've been making a 30 kilometre round trip to buy water for our kettle from the 'well' in San Rafael? Well it transpires that there's a similar 'well' just 500 metres from our house that I could have been using all along.
You can imagine how I laughed when Warren, a mere tiler and follower of this blog, told me. If it weren't for all those bloody trees in the photo above, you'd be able to see it midway between our house and the Renault garage on the main road.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
No matter how long I leave it to put in a bid for something I really, really want, and no matter how few seconds are left in the auction, someone always pips me to the post. Yes, some nerd with IT experience and a programme to outbid everyone by 20 pence always wins.
The funny thing is, and anyone who's ever worked in an office will concur, that the iron law of office work is that the level of interest in IT is inversely proportional to that person's appearance.
Let's face it, you don't need to make much of an effort dressing up for downloading a few cult classics like 'Gummo' to your laptop in the middle of the night.
So all things being equal this super coat I'm gagging to buy will end up in a darkened bedroom within the next week or two......
Saturday, 21 November 2009
The answer is that I have a Hardyesque frustration with Jaki who doesn't like spirits and despite my request that she accepts their offer and has exactly what I'm having so that I can drink both 'chupitos.'
last night in Es Ventall when they said 'and what will you have Jaki?' she said, 'none for me thanks, I'm driving.'
And now a quiz for all the old folk who read this.
What's the name of the Scottish soda fountain barman whose catchphrase 'Doh!' is now used by Homer Simpson?????
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Anyway, to try and escape from cyberia, I'm taking us both out tomorrow to San Antonio where we'll have plenty of choice of cheap food - a 3 course meal for €12 - courtesy of the Restaura-t scheme where we'll celebrate 5 years since buying 'the villa.'
Here's the menus (in Spanish) of all the restaurants - where would you go?
I don't really want much out of life. Just that occasionally it's made a little bit easier by our Ibicenco hosts. I'm not looking for anything complicated, I don't want them to be the first people on Earth to put a man on the moon, I don't even want them to invent an 'easy open' milk carton, just to give me a bit of info on when they're open for business.
Here's the website of the Sirenis Hotel group with establishments in Ibiza and the Caribbean. As you can see, it gives all the information about their Spa in Playa den Bossa apart from when it's open. If you want to know that you have to ring. I rang. No answer and no answering machine with a message about its hours.
I rang their head office. No answer.
I drove down to the Spa, no signs on the doors and the only sign of life at 10.30 was a cleaning lady who told me that 'they open at 11.00.'
I waited and at 11.10 am precisely she said, 'the lad will be here any minute,' and I said, 'how do you know?' and she said, 'because that's him gabbing on the front to the bloke from the bar next door.'
Anyway, not a scrap of paper existed with the opening times written down, though this lad had commited them to memory and his parrot fashion recital ended with 'and at weekends until 9pm.'
And I said, 'you're open 'til 9 on Saturday and Sunday?' and he said, 'no, only Saturday, we're closed all day Sunday.'
Still, at least they don't close for lunch
Sunday, 15 November 2009
This excellent eyesight comes at a price as cats are blind as bats close up.
Even with my poor vision I can tell the difference between this cat litter tray (right) and a brush pan (left) and if I catch the little bugger who keeps peeing in the brush pan everyone will be able to see the brush inserted firmly up its backside!
It's one of life's ironies that 25 years ago I had a dog - Joe - who we couldn't keep out of water. Living in Manchester the water was always a bit too parky for me to join him.
Now, that the water's warm and clean enough for me in Ibiza
I'm blessed with two mutts who won't go near the stuff!
Saturday, 14 November 2009
The penalty for not registering was having your phone cut off and losing any credit on the sim card. In the land of procrastination and tardiness 2 years notice isn't really enough and this week as the cut off date of Friday approached stories of packed phone shops reached our VFTIV control and command centre.
It was therefore with the utmost confidence that I went down to our Orange phone shop in San Antonio to register JAKI'S PHONE on Friday, the last day. Good news, there wasn't a soul in the shop. Bad news, they were now the Movistar shop.
Unbelievably, the new orange shop, was not just round the corner, but in Ibiza town, 'in one of those streets that crosses the Avenida Espana near the Consell Building.'
I ran good humouredly, gammy knee and all, to the bus station, (Jaki had the car) and then yomped across I-town, past the Parque de la Paz, past the Mercado Nuevo, upto the Consell Building, where also unbelievably there was a big sign directing me to the shop. It was empty!
Two minutes and a mountain of photocopies later we were done. Dashing back to the bus station I discovered that I only had 45 minutes to wait for the next bus to San Jose, lucky me, with only 5 services a day it could have been up to 4 hours wait.
With time to kill I wandered up the Avenida Isidoro Macabich to buy a Bollo Chocolate from the French patisserie and you can imagine how much I chortled when I saw, just 100 metres from the bus stop, another Orange shop, which was also empty!
Anyway, I got home 3 hours after I'd left and spent 2 minutes doing what I needed to do.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Just after we got home from the Guy Fawkes celebrations on Thursday we were hit with a massive storm. The area around San Antonio Bay was badly damaged by a tornado which uprooted trees across roads, blew down lamp-posts and billboards and one poor bloke, Paco the Barber, had his roof blown off.
We were lucky, all we had was a broken plant pot and intermittant loss of satellite signal on the telly. Fortunately we still had enough BBC beams coming down the line to catch the normally incomprehensible Raymond Blanc's assertion that 'all over Britain, thousands of restaurants are farting for their lives.'
BBC, get someone who can speak English on the telly please!
Have a blimp at this
Monday, 9 November 2009
He did let the family name down this morning when he acted just like a girlie in the face of dog groomer Trish the Dish's nail clippers. Having lost his 70's style nails he can now put his paws on the ground and is walking better, though not fast enough to outrun me, even with my gammy knee.
Here he is in the front field (it's a video)
On the subject of gammy knees, the national health hospital rang me today. Their waiting list is really long, so would I mind having the op for my torn cartilage in the super luxury private hospital within the next few weeks.
Whilst I'd prefer to hobble around in pain for the next 4 or 5 months, I said yes, I'd help them out by going private and getting it 'out of the way' quickly.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
The dog's name is Floppy. He'd been taken to the vets to be put to sleep because he was 9 years of age. He was thin, undernourished, infested with fleas, had an ear infection and arthritis.
Fortunately, a German lady, Vera, with strong links to DUO a charity which helps dogs on Ibiza, was in the vets and took Floppy home.
That's not the end of the story. Take a look at this photo.
This is Floyd, he used to be called Floppy until we adopted him yesterday. He's a calm, gentle dog with a lovely character and we've already started giving him medicine to help his old bones.
I could hear it from 200 metres away, our custodians of the law, couldn't hear it from their local police office just 20 metres distant. They had a good excuse though, they were watching a film at high volume on the computer which drowned out any noise from the outside world.
I sat with the poor animal for half an hour and Victoria from Es Galliner returned from the police station with the news that the emergency vet couldn't come – he didn't have a car. Well, it's not really a necessity when you're on emergency call out is it?
Some while later someone from Rancho Can Dog arrived and we gently manoeuvred the little dog into a cage to be taken off for treatment the following day – better than none at all I suppose.
I rang Can Dog on the following Monday and they told me that he was alright, no bones broken, and they would try and find him a home. The waitress at De Res had told me, prior to his accident,that they'd been feeding him and I told her where he was and what had happened.
When I saw her yesterday she told me that the owners at De Res had adopted the little chap and called him 'Lucky.'
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Like a small boy I alternately pictured myself as Ginger Baker, Miles and Trane as I browsed the drum-kit, trumpet and sax, but finally settled on this magnificent pair of congas (ooh I say)
Monday, 2 November 2009
This is how it should be.....
FAQ. No water entering machine. Poke a ton of cack out of the filter with a kebab stick.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Take this brilliantly written piece for Mallorca Spotlight.
I went to Cala Conta instead, where it was pleasantly warm and as photogenic as ever.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
The other day our bank sent us a tempting offer. Invest €3500 in a savings account for 5 months and get this bed set designed by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.
If I had looked at it, I may have seen the millions of desperate messages from the Taylors inviting us for lunch on Sunday!
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
SYP had no potatoes or cat litter when I went.
Somebody from CAEB (they organise training courses) has just rung to say that a my certificate has arrived for a course I did in 2006.
The day that I start a couple of week's teaching in the afternoon is the day they tear up the main traffic artery into Ibiza town - rush hour is marvellous.
San Jose is a mosquito ridden malaria swamp because of all the rain in September.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
We were lucky enough to be on a guided tour by an expert of some of the works in the National Gallery in London who told us all about this picture by Titian, the Vendramin Family.
Monday, 12 October 2009
And on a non-connected, unrelated topic, I gazed into my crystal ball yetserday, 11th October 2009, and the words Whittle, Pacha, Bye Bye, September 2012, appeared, though at this moment in time I can't fathom out what they mean.
Over the last 10 days in London and Manchester we've eaten and drunk (wine and beer) from Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Vietnam, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Spain, China, and Marks and Spencer.
Find of the trip was Akbar's in Manchester which not only was stylish, modern, comfortable, had fantastic food, a great atmosphere, good service AND was only 50 yards from our pad, but also was really well priced!! The price of the wine with our meal started with a number less than 2 and our whole belly busting curry was £44.
Here's me with a vertical garlic nan bread (I'm on the right depending on where you're sitting) which we couldn't finish.
In general, we found the price of food in restaurants only marginally more than in Ibiza but racked up by the high price of wine. In London we'd be paying about £22 for a bottle of what I would consider house wine which costs about €9 here.
The more third world (Less developed country) the country, the more lurid the colours and patterns of the flag.
My photo shows the Embassies of Ugavalu, Malitania and Eritronia, ranked 545th, 546th and 547th (ie last) in a list of countries by GDP.
The misleading title of this blog has no connection with Mr. Bernard Manning's Embassy club in Crumpsall, Manchester, so please feel free to get up to go to the toilet without fear of insult.
Well, we took off 10 minutes late and arrived 30 minutes early thanks to a strong tailwind. There were some screaming kids on the plane and one bloke got up 5 times to go to the toilet.
And now for my mother's benefit, here's that tale again.
Well, we took off 10 minutes late and arrived 30 minutes early thanks to a strong tail wind. There were some screaming kids on the plane and one bloke got up 5 times to go to the toilet.
Monday, 28 September 2009
'They didn't want to be like everyone else'
It reminded me of what I was missing, so I drove home at break-neck pace and performed my annual Space closing party ritual - turned the mattresses over from summer to winter!
Friday, 25 September 2009
You don't really get much of an idea of the scale of this yellow and black striped monster from this photo but I reckon it was at least 1/4 of an inch long!!
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Like on Sunday when I took Marli for a long walk, the heavens only opened when we were as far away from the car as we could be.
And yesterday, when I finally found a programme I really wanted to watch on the telly this summer (500 channels x 30 programmes a day x 90 days = 1 out of 1.35 million programmes) it rained so heavily that we lost reception!!
It was 'Flavours of Spain' and featured food in Zaragoza (where I've been) and Teruel and Salamanca (where i want to go). Maybe they'll repeat it?
Anyway, here's a taste of what I missed. It's Zaragoza's Tapas Alley - I can still remember the Pimientos Padron and baby octopus I had there - which is known locally as El Tubo - The Tube - because it's long and narrow.
Sunday, 20 September 2009
And now, on a grammatical note, we've had examples of augmentative and diminutive suffixes in my last two blogs.
Chuleton - where the addition of 'on' gives the meaning of big - a big chop
Cuineta - where eta means tiny - the little kitchen in Catalan
We don't have augmentative suffixes in English, instead we use super, mega, hyper, or uber but we do have diminutive suffixes, for example let and ling (ducklet and pigling,) ette (borrowed from French) as in cigarette.
How about that? The things you don't think about when you're speaking your native language.
Saturday, 19 September 2009
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Monday, 7 September 2009
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Pinky and Perky!
View from the Balcony at Can Berri Vell
And talking of hard faced swine, we had two big spending Spanish behind us on our romantic balcony at San Agustin's lovely Can Berri Vell restaurant the other evening.
They were 'sin verguenza' (shameless) enough to occupy two places while consuming only one meal. Imagine going to a beautiful restaurant with sublime food and then sharing a starter and then a main course?
I'm on standby now for loads of comments from French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish blog fans saying 'why, what's up with that?'
Monday, 31 August 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Whilst I still just qualify here are my today's grumps against society.
As read in some girls' magazine. 'I love his effortless style' referring to the photo of some film star wearing a V neck T and denim jeans. Come on girl, you don't need to be a rocket scientist or style guru to put on the first thing that comes to hand in a morning.
As seen in Syp for the first time ever. A price tag for asparagus. Shame it was over the baby garlic and not an asparagus in sight.
Plumbers. I had one run in yesterday, replace a toilet flusher, and run out 15 minutes later asking for one hour's labour plus another hour's labour call out charge. In total, the same as I get for 6 hours work.
My only consolation is that tens of thousands of people read what I write professionally, whilst his labours are only witnessed by arses.
If you look very closely at the right hand side of the track you'll see a ghostly transluscent figure which appears to be standing at the side of the 'camino.'
I absolutely swear that I never saw it while I was driving, but then I was lighting a cigarette, sending a text message, programming the satnav and talking to someone in the back seat at the time!
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
So, this is what two tonnes of logs looks like when it's been neatly stacked in the garage. Pine on one side, olive on the other, and all on pallets to allow air and mice to circulate freely throughout. And this is what it will look like on a freezing January night................ click me
And why do we choose to buy so much wood in the heat of August? Because dry wood costs less than wet wood as it is much lighter and is bought by weight, and of course it burns rather than steams as wet wood does.
Anyway, after all that stacking, a pizza and a bottle of red wine, I slept like a log all night!
Friday, 14 August 2009
I'd never heard or heard of him before but I really like his stuff and our Ibiza villa has been awash with his music since.
here's a sample
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Can you imagine, when your tank's been on red for ages, nipping out to put petrol in and there being none at the petrol station - only diesel. OK, OK, it happens all the time in Rwanda, but at least the beer's cheap there, The car's still sitting on the drive with a pipette full of unleaded in the bottom of the tank in the hope that they'll have remembered to order some more Sin Plomo 95 by the end of the week.
So, back to the good stuff. Here's Roast shoulder of lamb, roast potatoes, carrots, onions and red pepper which took exactly 35 minutes to cook in the wonder oven. I love it.