Monday, 28 September 2009

Space, Ibiza, Closing Party

I almost missed one the most important dates in the Ibiza calendar yesterday. It was the closing party of world famous disco Space and had been brought forward one week to show total disdain for all its fans who'd already booked flights and hotels for next week.

Anyway as Marli and I returned from a walk on San Antonio's Paseo Maritimo we noticed an enormous queue of identically clad like minded individuals at the taxi rank and not a taxi to be seen.

'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


Just to prove that you don't have to go traipsing round volcanic craters in Papua New Guinea in torrential downpours to see wild and wonderful animals I took this picture in my neighbour's garden in San Jose, Ibiza today.
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

La Ley de Murphy

We even have Murphy's law in Ibiza, if it can go wrong it will.

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

Cat Trampoline

You know how we've got a couple of shade sails slung across the sunken garden? Well, if you're a cat, there's nothing finer than launching yourself off the ballustrades by the front door onto your very own bouncy shade sail.

I lay on my back on the floor to get these shots of Tillie (the evil one) trotting back and forth above.

San Jose News: Takeaway Opens

I was specially invited to the opening of our new village takeaway yesterday, as was everyone else in San Jose, and a fine evening of free food and booze was had by all. As you can see it's called Sa Cuineta and they'll be making ribs, lasagne, fish stews, paellas, roast chicken and lots, lots more and the best thing is, it's only 50 metres along our street! I sampled some sublime octopus fry up - really subtly flavoured as opposed to the overpowering version in some places - and a vegetable 'coca' with olives, peppers, onions and aubergine which was delicious.

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

Nostalgia: San Antonio Bay

Remember when we used to live down on San Antonio Bay? We do, but sometimes we forget the details. I took Marli for a walk along the sea-shore and we returned to the car via 'the strip.'

That's Calle Es Calo on a map and it's wall to wall tourist world. Karaoke bars, endless football matches - today in Shooters bar you could watch West Ham v Leverpool (spelled that very way on no less than two blackboards) whilst in the Millenium bar the commentator (you could hear the commentary in Wigan) wondered if Arsenal could be regarded as one of the Big Four still.

I digress, there's a kids' playground on every corner with slides and bouncy things, and every plate of chicken, chips and salad sold in an afternoon would stretch to the moon if laid end to end.

Every so often there's a culinary oasis (and I don't mean the bar called Oasis which does and early evening - 4 pm to 6pm - special roast dinner) where you can buy some genuine Spanish food at economic prices.

Walking past Meson Alberto I was attracted by the Chuleton de Avila and the roast shoulder of lamb with lashings of freshly boiled potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and at Visions' Kiosko the BBQ was smoking away and brought back memories of quail marinated in spices that was so succulent straight off the grill.

It just goes to show that in Spain, no matter how naff the resort you're in, you can still find the most brilliant, simple, tasty and reasonably cheap fare. (Obviously Magalluf is excluded from El Ste's observation)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Swine Flu Attack, Ibiza

Yes, we've got it. But don't worry, I read up on it in one of my more lucid fever stricken moments and discovered one or two salient points.

1. Swine flu victims afflicted by death tend to be those that already have some death bringing ailment already, like terminal cancer, or have some death attracting syndrome, like complete lack of an immune system.

2. Swine flu, whilst having a slightly different name to all the other flu's has exactly the same symptoms, fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, bit of a chesty cough, and an inability to get out of bed and think straight.

From the dawn of time (and presumably into the distant future) men have strugled with a week off work and rung in with dinosaur flu, sabre toothed tiger flu, rabbit flu and alien v predator flu. It still leaves you knackered but just about able to remember the last time you had a drink - last Tueday (that's Tuesday of LAST WEEK) so that's 7 days without alcohol!

Anyway I couldn't resist putting the camera on timer to get this snap of the two of us suffering together. Note to self - get haircut when better and put a bit of air in that back tyre.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Dinner in El Yate

Yes, THE El Yate at the end of the port in San Antonio. Jaki was celebrating her birthday in style there yesterday after having lunched in Macao Cafe on the rocks at Es Codolar!

With a reasonably fresh breeze these days, the terrace was cool enough to sit and people watch and being at the end of the paseo from all the sunset bars, there are processions of people just after dark.

The food was as fab as ever - a first for Jaki, she tried some of my baby eels in garlic and chilli without me having to pretend they were bean sprouts - and we sipped lashings of ice cold Mocen Rueda wine.

The real point of this post is that we went for after dinner snifters to the Villa Mercedes where Ibiza based Austrian saxophonist Muriel Grossman was live on stage. I'd never seen her before and I never knew she could sing. She has a great voice for Bossa Nova, and also played some classic trax - A Night in Tunisia by Charlie Parker, and at my request, St. Thomas by Sonny Rollins the 'Saxophone Colossus.'
Eagle eyed readers will notice that Muriel plays a vintage Conn 6M alto sax, which I believe was Bird's chosen instrument until he had that plastic one made! How about that then?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Hard Faced Swine

They're hard faced swine, those two.
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?'