Monday, 30 November 2009

I'll Get My Coat

Chalk it up. I wore a coat today, 30th November, for the first time in months. It was parky enough to wear my parka at the crack of dawn today when we make an early morning check that the streets of San Jose have been aired properly.

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

SYP Snipers

I reckon someone in Ibiza, probably in Ses Paisses, Can Tomas or San Antonio has got hold of some of that 'sniper' software that keeps me from buying anything I want.

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

New Hobby

I've got a great new hobby that involves one of my lifelong interests and keeps me occupied all day and doesn't cost me a penny. It's called bidding for designer classic clothes on Ebay.

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......

As usual, there's a quiz for the old'uns. Who designed it?

Saturday, 21 November 2009


What's the connection between this Laurel and Hardy clip in which the boys try to buy a round of soda for 4 when they only have money for 3, and the Ibicenco restaurant custom of offering clients a free shot of spirits or schnapps after their meal?

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

Out of T-ouch

Jaki says I spend so much time on this blog (with an average of two posts per week since its inception) that I've lost t-ouch with the real world. Christ alone knows what Stephen Fry's wife says about him with all the t-weets he makes on t-witter!

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?

All Steamed Up

or a SPAnner in the works.

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

Cats' Eyes

Did you know that cats have really good vision compared to humans? They have great peripheral vision and can detect motion (eg a beetle walking across the floor) from 3 miles away and if a cat was human sized its eyes would be 8 inches long.

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!

You can lead a dog to water

but a pencil must be lead!
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!

This is as close as the old sea dogs got at Cala Tarida today.
And now a video from the Floydcam, friendly isn't he?

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Ibiza Orange Alert

The Spanish Government passed a law a couple of years ago to encourage mobile phone users to exercise more than their right thumb and engage in some real social intercourse by having to register their personal details at the shop where they bought the phone.

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

Ibiza Tornado: Blow Winds and Crack your Cheeks

A Windy Blog

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

We're converting our bar in the sky into a gentlemen's club for next year with the aid of these 'Blofield' (Good evening Mr. Bond) inflatable chesterfields. According to the instructions you just insert the air with an electric pump when you need them and stick a handy kebab stick in when you don't. Easy 

Monday, 9 November 2009

Pretty Boy Floyd

More alert readers of this blog will have cottoned onto the fact that we've got a new dog called Floyd. He's a sweet, gentle lad who, judging by the pads of hard skin on his elbows, hasn't done much in his life other than lie on hard ground.

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

A Dog's Tale II

Take a look at this photo.

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.

A Dog's Tale

A few weeks ago I'd taken Marli out for her evening stroll when I heard the squeals of an animal in pain. I followed the sound and found a little dog (which had been straying round the village all summer and begging for scraps in the bars) that had obviously been run over by a car. It was huddled in a corner with blood on its back leg and obviously suffering – as its squeals attested – a lot of pain.

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

Hail Lidl

Not only does their Ibiza store on the Avenida San Jose have the cheapest necessities for miles around - beer, wines, coffee, chocolate peanut biscuits, oh, and dog food - but it also has the most off the wall special item weeks. In the past we've had ski week, golf week and nordic walking week and this week was - tah-dahh - musical instrument week.

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)

priced at a reasonable €129 including home delivery. Had Jaki let me buy them, by this time tomorrow, I'd be banging them out like this

Does anyone know who he is??

Monday, 2 November 2009

Washing Machine Instructions

Washing Machine manufacturers, stop publishing Mickey Mouse instructions for your products. I've just wasted 30 minutes trying to get our washer to work because of a useless manual.

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

Mallorca Mickey Mouse

You know how we use "Mickey Mouse" as a slang expression meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial? Here's a perfect example from my working life where I encounter lots of Mickey Mouse information websites whilst trying to put together the odd news article.

Take this brilliantly written piece for Mallorca Spotlight.

The first site I spotted it on listed 5 performances but no venue! I checked another site which gave the venue but had 6 performances listed, so I treble checked another site which claimed that it was a one night stand!

This pales into insignificance here on Mickey Mouse Island where I can remember thousands and thousands of posters hung from every lamp-post leading into Ibiza town publicising the Ad-lib fashion shows for that year. The designers of this had also forgotten to tell us where they were being held!

Are we surprised?

Ibiza Winter Wonderland

The holiday season officially ended in Ibiza yesterday and today's a public holiday - 1st November, All Saints Day - when people go and spruce up the graves of their loved ones and decorate them with mountains of fresh flowers.

I went to Cala Conta instead, where it was pleasantly warm and as photogenic as ever.