Thursday, 30 September 2010

Location, Location?

I have not made any structural changes to this blog for a while. The last interesting thing was loading GPS tracking. Some of you do not read my blog as it was intended so this post is just a way to say hey do not worry about where I am it is on the web.

While I am yet to develop a real stalker, I have developed a false sense of celebrity. Serious stalkers and paparazzi  will find this tool invaluable.

Of course the real reason of this entry is to big up myself for having been on Ibiza again.

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Now you can see I am back in London. This weekend it will be Barcelona. Hours of fun.

A Gentle Nudge

Landing back in the land of warm beer, inventive pub names and inclement weather was not shocking. More of a gentle nudge into reality.

The scenery around the East Midlands airport was very Christchurchish. The air on exiting the plane was relatively bracing and we soon joined the trudge of Ibiza dazed souls towards immigration. Being the only non EU passengers we were given a mild grilling by a very solemn passport stamper. With a minute to spare we boarded a bus to parts previously unknown, Derby.

The bus was very full, so full that we soon began listening to the very English  sport of........ laughing at people trying to flag the bus down as the driver passes them by. Derby town seemed nice enough, I am pretty sure nearby Chatsworth is no relation to Chatsworth Estate which is where Shameless is set.

I did take a few photos of Derby so alien it felt.

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The Derby colosseum

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Gladiator refuelling station

Our accommodation in Derby was very good. We did actually toss up the idea of remaining in Derby and doing a two hour commute to London for our appointments. This was written off as impractical, but part of me still wonders….

We then moved to London.

Ibiza has transformed my walking speed into a very leisurely gait. There is no place for gaiting pedestrians in London. There have been a fair few unsuccessful attempts on my life by cars, motorcycles and buses.

We found some very budget conscious accommodation in Peckham. Peckham is very, how shall I say…. urban. It is so urban that the local kebab salesman gave us the “You are not from around here are you” spiel. We thought he was just making conversation but after a couple of gaits through Peckham I began to seriously ruminate. I could feel an uneasiness which should be investigated on Wikipedia. 

Peckham is a high-crime area with high levels of gang violence, for which it has a reputation, despite a £290 million regeneration programme in the late 1990s and early 2000s.[4][5][6] Camberwell and Peckham, the constituency that contains Peckham, is one of the most deprived in the country.

High crime rates aside, Peckham does have a lovely library and there are a lot of students and learning establishments which consoles me. It also has solicitors offering very reasonable rates for any alleged criminal who is charged. Something to think about

I spotted a t-shirt in a shop which I could normally get behind or in.

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Fuck retox I’ve just been in Ibiza.

Our appointments have gone well and things were swimming along until Tuesday night when we found out that the couples job that we had our hearts set on had slipped away into a management and owner morass.

This was disheartening and upsetting. When you do not have a home,  jobs are a grounding force even when they float. More about that at a later date.

We saw our second West End show of our lives on Tuesday night. A fanciful tale Wicked. Wicked was well, choice. Modern musicals employ some amazing effects and technology. A firm child of movies and television I find myself gobsmacked at how real life, real life is. Sound silly? Good.

Where to from here?

Well the plan at the moment is…..

We will leave the UK this weekend. we are heading to Barcelona and then onto the glorious kingdom of Vigo and Prince El Fuerte and his gorgeous wife Andrea. 

From here it will be back to Nice. I am going to do an mechanical engineering course which will improve the life lessons I have learned with lego. It should also help us with our job hunt.

Mantra mode

We will get a couples job. It will be going to the Caribbean.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ibiza, the Odyssey is over

Our trip to Ibiza was an Odyssey, I realised this on Thursday morning when we discovered we had missed our return flight.

A truly mythical miss hap, exhausted by days of dancing with exotic sirens and slumbering after a poolside lotus infused cocktail drinking session. I began to wonder if we would ever be able to leave. We did have the best intentions of leaving, but in true ratherlargeadventure style we missed our flight out by a day. We soon realised there was no real reason to leave Ibiza. Our first commitments outside of Spain were not till this Monday. Why should we leave?

It did take us a few days to leave, flights on the weekend are at a premium. Flight roulette gave us the option of the serene sounding East Midlands UK. 

The truly perplexing thing is that after two and a bit weeks in Ibiza  I feel simultaneously satisfied and the faintest hint of wondering. What say I about Ibiza ?

Dance Denseness

If you like dance music there is no place like it for people like us who do not have fixed homes any more and time off is a premium. We can stay in Ibiza for a week or two and see quality DJ's every night of the week at any time over the four months of summer.

There is dance music everywhere. In your taxi, in your elevator, in the super market. All of the night clubs give business’s promo discs. It is great.  

Climate

The weather is brilliant, This summer has not been a stand out one in the med. However we had sunshine every day bar one. On days when it was cloudy, it was usually until lunchtime and then it was clear skys tillabout 8pm when the sun set. At night time the temperature never dropped below 18-20 degrees. This is September mind, things are a lot hotter in August. 

Geography

The Island is stunning. The beaches and rock formations can put your eyes in a spin. We had an amazing afternoon parasail off the coast of Cafe Del Mar and it was mind blowing. Unfortunately they company was not keen on me recording the trip with my camera. The also dunked us in the water after promising they would not.

People

I knew the people of Spain were awesome before I stepped off the plane. I know mainlanders do not think Ibiza is really Spain but we felt right at home and very relaxed. So relaxed I may have started to drive on the wrong side of the road on a couple of occasions.

We met some neat people out and about, we even met some nice English in the end, be careful how you apply tar to your brush and all that what what.

The sad thing?

Well the sad thing is that we did have to leave. The really sad thing is the climate, culture and cardiac shock that is England at the end of September after living in Balearic bliss for a couple of weeks. More of that at a later date.




 

Good bye Ibiza!

PS I'm sitting on quite a lot of video, pictures, petite ramblings and chance meetings from Ibiza. I am not sure what to do with them. What say you?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Ibiza; past the point of no return

Well since I last left you, Anna and I have fallen into a very comfortable routine. We have been out every second night. The next days we have been making impassioned calls home, lying in the sun and sleeping. The most challenging things we have done during this time has been walking to get food or purchase club tickets.

This routine has included observing Spanish Ibiza and noticing how soul destroyingly annoying the English are that come here, more about them later.

Great Spanish Inventions

Bless the Spanish they really are creative people.


The no worries car rental.

Renting a car in Ibiza is like renting a car in South America, or what I imagine it to be. You give the man your licence and your credit card and that is about it. There is no pre rental ding check and no after rental ding check. I imagine you could return with just the keys and they wouldn´t even notice the car was not there, until long after.

Retractable Petrol Pump Hoses

A first for me. Very clever.

The fucking shit pillow mk 2

Many years ago we had a realy bad pillow which was like the anti pillow. It was uncomfortable, lumpy and horrible. It was thrown away in a fit of rage and I thought it was dead. Until I met its cousin.

The spanish fucking shit pillow.

Witness the cover has no ends. This means the cover works it self off all of the time. Such a devious contraption.

The topless bikini

Now I have lived in France and Italy and have seen many topless sunbathers but the Spanish seem to have done away with the tops of bikinis all together, such is the vast array of breasts on display. Top marks Spain.
The fenced off pool for people that don´t want to think when they are lounging on inflatable beds.

Securing a sun lounger at our hotel is really hard work. Those scurvy English get up at 6am drape towels and sunblock all over the sun loungers and then use them at their own leisure. Crap eh?

To combat this we bought inflatable lilos so we could float around the pool, drinking eating and inflatable bed dancing. Something we have perfected, it is one step up from chair dancing.

The only problem with using the main pool is that it was hard work. There were currents, wind movement, pasage planning, collision detection and underwater objects.

Too much like my real job. This is where the fenced off section of the pool comes into play. It is only 40cm deep and you are never very far away from something to grab on to. Excellent.



I noticed in this shot that my feet which always seem to take a battering on rather large adventures looked a big sad. The very next day we booked in for a fabulous pedicure. I had the largest feet the poor Spanish lady had ever seeen. I had to help her move them off her knees onto the ground.


Those scurvy English.

Now let me clear something up. Every english person I have worked with has been perfectly affable and well to do. However, the English on holiday here are a different beasts. For starters they do not speak anything slightly resembling English. It is like their vocal chords have been grated and then thrown in a vice. They are also incredibly hard to look at, mutant like. We have also found them incredibly rude and hard to talk too. They are also very suspicous. The problem with all of this is that they ruin Ibiza for all English speaking people. Bring on the Spanish lessons.

Armin VS Ferry.

On Tuesday night we got to see the worlds number one DJ Armin Van Buuren. It was incredible. He was soooooo good. Well you can see for yourself.



Notice I spelt release wrong. This was intentional. It is all of the Spanish I have been reading. Probably

Might I add that it was very sneaky me recording anything inside Amnesia. Because celebs like to get off their heads in Ibiza there is a total camera ban. Luckily I have a sweet technique which I will share in my next blog entry of Ibiza tips and tricks.

On Thursday night we got to see Ferry Corsten another fabulous DJ. Ferry did not have the luxury of a seven hour set and a band. But the real difference was in the arm movements. Armin is an arm flailer and flapper. Ferry is a technical finger pointer. There it is the real difference between Armin and Ferry.

So the plan is from here is to hire some bicycles and ride around town today. Tommorow and Tuesday we will have a car. Monday night we get to see Tiesto for free. Tuesday night Armin again and then we will go to Carl Cox´s closing night at Space.

Tough life.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Ibiza so far

It is very easy to forget we are in a different country, so many elements of Eivissa are familiar from previous adventures. Getting safely in our hotel was an adventure. We arrived at Gatwick airport very early and launched into a feast of duty free shopping. Our flight announcement was delayed and five minutes before it was due the entire airport was evacuated. Standing in a cold concrete jungle listening to hordes of English moan about not being able to smoke is not something I will want to do again, ever. 

With the fire alarm quelled we got on board our plane and were finally on our way. Our flight was very rowdy. It was easiest the loudest flight I have ever been on. Imagine a school trip in a plane on the way to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. The enthusiasm is infectious and made me smile, a lot. Have you ever been on a plane when people cheer as it lands? Given the miracle of flight we should probably cheer every time we land and take off.

Immigration was very laissez faire, there was no customs clearance. Eivissa wants people to come and stay with little fuss. We then hopped on board the largest shuttle bus I have ever been on. It had like 200 seats(small exaggeration). Our bus driver neglected to take us to our hotel so we got the added bonus of seeing all of the region we are staying in. He was very apologetic. It was 3:30 in the morning.

First impressions. Well, Eivissa is very isolated and barren. It looks like an evergreen desert and the rocky outcroppings on the coast remind me of Koh Tao in Thailand. The Thailand comparisons do not stop there. there are a lot of scooters and quad bikes on the road. We shall definitely be indulging in those. There are also a lot of funky restaurants with concrete floors, plastic furniture and exotic names.

It is amazing what regular sun light can do for a people. I have found all of the Spanish and ex pats working here very friendly and welcoming. Reading Spanish everywhere is strangely familiar, it is a blend of Italian and French just better eh El Fuerte.

How awesome to walk into a clothing shop and see a wall of Dance CD's inside a glass cabinet? I buy all of my music digitally now, but I fondly remember buying CD's but they slowly disappeared in New Zealand along with the boom from the early 2000's.

Funniest moment so far?

Well catching the bus to see Carl Cox left us walking a very lonely path across country. One of those moments where you are left wondering what the hell are you doing.



 The highlight of the trip so far?

Well we got to see Carl Cox playing funk, soul and disco beats on the beach. Carl was in good form really putting his hair on.

Most beautiful moment?

Last night we went to see the sun set at Cafe Del Mar. It is one of those things that you have to do and I am glad we did.


Today we are going to rent a car and drive off into the hills. We have a loose plan for the next couple of weeks but enjoying every moment is top of the agenda.

Adios.
 

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Destination Sunshine

Despite my own and others efforts I am not a deeply religious person. I have however spent many a Sunday morning gazing at the heavens, reaching transcendental states and worshipping dance music.

The Mecca of dance music is a small island in the Mediterranean called Ibiza and I have dreamed about going there for over ten years. It is with great excitement that I can confirm we leave for Ibiza on Wednesday night and we will be there for at least 8 nights.


Plenty of people who have not been to Ibiza will happily tell you it is not what it used to be like. The thing is, nothing is what it used to be like and if you were not there to like it the first time you are not going to know what it was like and you can not really hold an opinion on things with out having had a chance to like them first.






PS. What is not to like?

That time we met Michael Barrymore

Last Friday attended a very worldly flat party in Hammersmith put on by a school friend of Anna's. There were Australians, Spaniards, Germans, French and other murky characters. There were sadly no Swedes for me to banter with. I improvised with a lot of cider and was soon swearing in French, German, Spanish and Australian.

There was no ice in the house. The brave New Zealanders decided to venture out to the local Tesco to find ice. We found ice and Michael Barrymore. He was in the queue in front of us. He was nursing an arm in a bandage and some provisions. Now please excuse me, my cider ailed vision did not twig to who he was straight away. In fact, I did not know who he was until a lot later. It might have been because he was not in a suit and he was not singing or dancing. Anna's friend invited him to our party, but he had to take his groceries home. Being friendly, affable people we offered to walk him home and then take him to our party. Mike was quite chuffed to be taking some Kiwis home.

He was probably quite chuffed to be taking some men home. I thought he was harmless enough, a bit touchy but as far as people to go home with from a Tesco on a Friday night on a whim he seemed alright. We were soon scaring the two people he had at home and meeting his Jack Russell terrier named Jack. Some drinks were made and I slowly started to realise who we had gone home with. Another friend turned up who was very English and was not very comfortable about gatecrashing Michael Barrymore's flat in Hammersmith. I let slip to Mike that I was married and the magic moment started to fade away.

I did leave Mike one of my cards with the address of the party on it. I also got to tell him to keep his shirt one. Some great Zen Kiwi philosophy there.

Worst thing about meeting Michael Barrymore. Going back to the party and no one knowing who he was. Even the mighty El Fuerte does not know who Michael Barrymore is. Quite a hard person to explain.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Everybody is a Gangster!

Going by this incredibly informative article everybody I know is a gangster. I mean sometimes I doodle, make gang signs, use facebook and listen to rap music all in one day.

Somebody think of the children!

London troisième

Thrice now I have made London a place of habituation. It remains a bubbling world class city ever so slightly spoilt by its inclement weather. Maybe I have been spoilt by the French and Italian summers? It has rained every day since we have arrived, and I think if I was working I would be feeling a bit more out of sorts than usual.

Sub note (I should not take so long writing things. We have had two very nice days in a row)

We have been relishing living in a house. I have learned there are two sides to me. There is the diligent adventurer who loves exploring on foot with notebook and camera in hand. There is also the reclusive dragon who loves to sit amongst his trinkets and treasure writing up stories from excursions. I think that in the last year my adventure/life balance has been so heavily tipped towards adventure it was hindering my health. It is so nice to wake up in a bed that is not rocking in the same place every morning.

Let me now take time to reflect on some of the simpler things that I have spied upon about the last week.

Commuting,

When your daily commute is from your cabin to the deck of the yacht, it is well quite short.

The evolution of the seasoned London traveller works something like this,

Catching Taxi's
Catching the Tube
Catching a Bus
Riding a Bicycle
Working from home & going online for shopping

The Pale People and the Great indoors

The limited sun light has meant I have felt my carefully crafted sun tan fading away by the minute. Such was the despair felt on Thursday that we booked an eight day holiday in Ibiza, Spain. In the mean time I will be staying in doors as much as possible. I have noticed people on the streets are at worst down right angry and at the best deeply melancholic. Maybe this is just working nine to five in a big city?

Step inside however and things change radically, people are cheerful and pleasant, YMMV. London has a wealth of things to do indoors. Why just this Tuesday night we went and saw Phantom of the Opera. It is impossible to run out of things do do. In fact the only part where my theory falls apart is when you see very cheerful drunk people on the streets. They of course got drunk inside pubs so I guess I can let that slide.

The Worldliness of it all.

Again I have been living in a continental bubble. I am having to travel from the very familiar Putney to the exotic melting pot that is Tooting. Tooting is like stepping into down town Bangalore or what I imagine Bangalore to be like. It is only a 20 minutes bus ride away but there could be a transcontinental seamless wormhole along the bus route.

We are going to a party this Friday in an exotic creative place called Shoreditch. I was told by a knowledgeable Australian I met out of a million people at the Notting Hill festival, that to fit in we should wear three completely random pieces of clothing and look interesting. No problem.