Monday, 30 March 2009

Unlikely Combination

There's a somewhat absurd, Viz-like feel to this post due to the against all odds juxtaposition of Nasa, Marks and Spencer and St. Helens RLFC all on the same page!

Musing over Marks' website whilst wondering how long our order from them would take to reach Ibiza (it took a day to get from Liverpool to Madrid last week and has since already arrived back in Madrid again) I noticed these...........3 °Climate Control Cotton Rich Assorted Trunks

and the Outlast technology behind this innovative fabric was originally developed for astronauts and is recognised by NASA as Certified Space Technology.

Hopefully somebody in St. Helens who may have a pair of these climate control space underpants can use them to ensure it's nice and dry for the match against Leeds this weekend in the Cup? ie unsuitable for ploughing up the middle of the field knocking people unconscious.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Ibiza's Most Wanted

They're here, and they're on the run!

Yes, it's my Ibiza Brogues' Gallery

Friday, 27 March 2009

In Hot Water

Sounds like a Laurel and Hardy film title and the comedic exploits we've had for the last 21 months trying to get our solar water heating system repaired could well have been the plot of one.

The new water tank is installed

Anyway, let the record show that as of yesterday evening 26th March 2009, we now have lashings of free piping hot water! And how fortuitous that after all those months of waiting I could actually test out the system today as it is official 'having a shower day' in Ibiza, the last Friday of the month.

It was fab, and now I can hardly wait until Friday 24th April for my next brush with clean hot water.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

View from the (Stretford) Villa

I've been on a trip down memory lane today thanks to Google Street View. Quite literally, actually, because we used to live at 79 Memory Lane on the Stretford/Chorlton Border (StreChoBo) and I was able to see our old house which I haven't seen for 12 years now.

Unfortunately I can't get Bobby Goldsboro's Honey out of my head and that line, 'see the tree how big it's grown,' since I saw the tree that we planted nearly 30 years ago and how big it had grown.
I took a trip into downtown Chorlton - Thresher's still there, Canadian Burger and the Inn Plaice Chippy too, but Norton Barrie's gone.

My barber's (now known as RJ's) is still there with the same gang in attendance. About 3 metres of my hair ended up on the floor of the shop in the years we lived in Manchester and we didn't half have some laughs there.

Here's a snippet.

Why does Jim Ramsbottom (millionaire bookmaker, property developer and decorater of the shop) have JR1 number plates on his Roller?

Because somebody already had TWAT1 !!!!!

The prediciton I heard about Norton Barrie's shop also obviously came true. A men's outfitters specialising in super sharp, super expensive, Italian suits, was frequented mostly by super cash rich mobsters from Moss Side. The prediction went like this

'if ever a tiny gun is invented that can be carried in your suit jacket without showing, then Norton Barrie will go out of business.'

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Nine Bar Blues

Out last night at San Jose's bar run - Ibiza favourites Pota Lait playing live from the back of a truck in front of each of the Nine Bars in the Village centre - I was reminded of a story concerning one of them.

The Bar Can Llorenc had been closed for a while and I was having my haircut at Loli's just across the passage about a year ago. It's the village's top place for catching up on what's happening so I asked Loli what was happening.

The pasteleria were moving into the bar in March. I said it's March now and she said 'yes, but they didn't say which March!'

It was of course March 2009, so they're now open.

Here's Loli and her salon
Don't be fooled by that glamour puss on the window. Most of the female clients are in for a quick chin pluck and a back shave for the blokes!

Friday, 20 March 2009


You know how sometimes when you hear some music for the first time that you didn't know existed and it's just so good that all you can say is 'wow!' ??????

It happened for me a long time ago round my mate Glynny's house when he brought home Miles Davis' Tribute to Jack Johnson. It happened again the other evening when watching a Journey Through American Music on Sky Arts. The gyst was that African Muslim slaves and their religious chants were the basis of Blues Music.

To illustrate this this 'roots' theory they featured this performance by Tinariwen, a Touareg band from Mali with their own brand of desert blues.

Here they are

What made the moment a little more special was that I'd cooked chicken with lemon and honey and accompanied it with Couscous and roast yellow pepper, sweet white onions and cherry tomatoes which has a bit of a North African theme to it.

The Ibiza connection is that I'm fairly certain that I see these lads every morning going to work in a big ol' Merc after they've bought their breakfast in the pasteleria.

Top Tapa Tip

If you have just driven halfway across the island and spent 20 minutes looking for a parking space in order to partake of lashings of ale and tapas at low, low prices in the San Antonio Tapa Route, then do remember to take your wallet along with you, as staring in at rows of bars packed with people having a fab time just isn't pleasant.
Map showing all of the 20 bars I didn't get to visit

Monday, 16 March 2009

Dancin' in the Street

Yeah Man! On Saturday we celebrated all that was good about the hippy era in San Jose's (anyone could come) annual Flower Power fest. Just like in the real 1967 everyone had unfeasibly large Afros, headbands and flowers and were dressed in tie-dye string bags. The only thing that was missing here on clubbin' isle was the US National Guard!So, a perfect recreation of Haight-Ashbury, but flawed in only one aspect, the music. Unfortunately, the draft dodging middle class white kids who thought up hippyhood as an excuse not to go to Vietnam, just couldn't dance (it's still the same today - just go to any Uni hop or Pacha and you'll see.)

Whilst I love the Airplane's 'White Rabbit,' it's not something I could get down to on the dance floor, and my 60's outings to dances were accompanied by Sam and Dave, Mel and Tim, and Bob and Earl.
Anyroad, we had a great time regardless, DJs in the church square, Glen's band and good ol' Mr. (Andy) Wilson in Raco Verd, and on the stroke of 12.45, Abbey road, the Beatles tribute band, rolled up on the back of a lorry.

One photo we have that will remain in our 'private' collection is of us accompanying Status Quo with our air guitars just to prove we'll dance to any old shite with a few Bacardis down our necks.

Any road, here's a vid of draft dodgin' Eurodisco classic, Cuba, made in France in 1978

Friday, 13 March 2009

San Jose Flower Power Decorations

The makeover crew are out and about in the village today getting it ready for Flower Power tomorrow. Here's a quick blog before I nip out to watch five rock bands in Raco Verd tonight.

Two Places at Once

Even on the world's tiniest island it's still impossible to be in two places at one time. Confronted with that very problem last night it was a difficult decision where, out of two places, to go.

Would it be the San Antonio Tapas Route, with 20 bars dishing out a tapa and a glass of wine or beer for €1,
or Es Galliner, in downtown San Jose, where a wine and pintxos tasting was taking place?
Es Galliner won by a nose, mainly as we'd arranged to meet someone there, but next week we'll be on Tapeo in San An!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Ibiza Grand Designs

Today's the day the builders moved into our house. No, we're not doing B&B, we're having a bit of work done - creating an urban oasis of rural chic - to be precise. In other words, we're knocking a wall down and having it built somewhere else to give us a whopping 38 square metres of underground loft style living space.

Today already, we've been visited by a kitchen fitter, plumber, electrician and bricklayer/tiler who is as I type knocking lumps out of the house with a bloody big sledge hammer.

Just before they arrived, our apartment lounge looked like this,
now it looks like this and our storeroom looked like this What can't be seen is the metric ton of tiles and associated material that I unloaded by hand last week (even with my bad knees!). And now it looks like this

Monday, 9 March 2009

Ibiza Weather Forecast IV

Jaki's got an all singing and dancing Ibiza weather gadget on her computer that tells her exactly what the weather is doing in Ibiza for 3 days - yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I prefer the more traditional method of looking out of the window - here's what I can see
and here's my weather forecast
"It will be 30 degrees centigrade today - 15 in the morning, and 15 in the afternoon."

I thank you.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Nine Today!

Bit of an enigmatic title that one, but what could it mean? The time I'm going to the bank, the number of cats we've got, the amount Celtic Crusaders are going to score against Saints, or maybe the number of episodes of Ladies of Letters clogging up our Sky+ hard disc?

No, none of them, though they are all correct answers, it's Marli's birthday today and she's NINE!!!!!

It's not her real birthday (though there is a 365.25 to 1 chance that it is) but the anniversary of the day I travelled to Barcelona to collect her from Monica, the vet at the CAAD (animal refuge) in Castellbisbal, where I'd seen her on the internet.

It was love at first sight

This is us after 60 seconds together, and this is us after 4 years, still in love!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Ibiza, Bolkestein and SYP

Under the European Union's Bolkestein Directive, an individual or company who provides a service in one member country, should also be able to do so in any other member country. It's what's known as Freedom of Establishment.

Unhappily in backward bumpkin Ibiza, the tomato growers who make the laws have decided that no big companies will be granted licenses to trade on the island. With no competition, existing shop keepers can maintain high prices, poor service and have a good living for doing not very much - The perfect existence.

Yesterday the Diario of Ibiza published an article about allowing big supermarkets onto the island and illustrated it with this photo of a shop in Ibiza
I posted a comment that the empty shelves were typical of the island retailers and what a good argument for allowing professionals in.

An hour later the photo had been replaced by this one
Conspiracy theory or what?

For more photos of empty shelves click the link SYP