God give me strength, when the Ed offered me the job he did issue a warning that the old duffer MB was an acquired taste, with strange habits. Understatement of the year Señor F, he’s an egotistical old scrooge, to boot. He’s done nothing but moan about Christmas, and he hasn’t heard from the Balearic Government about his award, now he’s stomping around like a bad tempered bull rhinoceros on heat, swearing like a battalion. And, if he really wants to go to Phuket to refresh his expired Masters ticket, and visit a few massage parlours while he´s there, why doesn´t he stop talking about it, and go buy a ticket... no better still I’ll buy the ticket, that way I’ll make sure he goes. Anyway with the office Christmas Party coming up, you never know, we might manage to coax the humbug out of him with some festive cheer. I just hope it´s the Ed´s wife that gets caught under the mistletoe with him and not me!
As we are about to enter a new year, you might be thinking about what you can do with the family in 2008 that´s a little bit different.
Well, square metre for square metre, there’s one thing for sure, you’ll never be bored on this island and just when you think you have done it all, seen it all and people are calling you a “know it all”, you might like to tell them that you have some of these events in your agenda for next year:
“Fira de la miel” - A bee keepers extravaganza.
“Fira de s’Oliva de Caimari” - The olive fair.
“Fira de l'esclata-sang” -
Worshipping wild Mallorcan mushrooms.
“Fira de sa perdiu" - The Partridge Fair.
And just in case these do not appeal, how about: The Fiesta of the Melon, The Fiesta of The Black Pudding or The Funeral of the Sardine!
The mind boggles at what occurs during the last one !!
Did anyone see the pic of the boss and Mrs F. in the local rags a couple of weeks ago, both looking a bit windswept and shipwrecked, on the deck of the tri-hull bio fuelled powerboat “Earthrace”, during her promotional visit to Palma. Actually me and Bates were a bit peeved, as the Ed gets all the invites to sexy boat shows and regattas, while we will probably be left to cover next years “Funeral of the Sardine!”
So, on this occasion we permitted ourselves a little chuckle, when we saw the headlines; “Rescue in the Bay of Palma” the next day, showing the Ed visibly shivering in a lively N.Easterly blow!
But PF reckons the local hacks made a bit of a meal of the story, and he rates the Kiwi Skipper Pete Bethune as a top man, who handled the situation superbly when one engine packed up unexpectedly. (Berthing a tri-hull with one engine and lots of freeboard windage, into a stiff offshore wind, is apparently not easy!)
Pete told the Ed. that he was very grateful to the management and staff at Marina Port in Palma who really helped out with providing facilities and support during their stay.
The Ed is putting some more info and photos on our website to show what it will be like onboard, for the five brave souls who aim to circumnavigate the world in 65 days with Pete next year! (Web viewers -please see our "News" section for these photos)
If you have been out shopping with Er (or Im) Indoors this Christmas, maybe you´ll agree with the following survey findings? Apparently men are 22% more likely to give a positive response in respect of the product or retail experience.
Men are much more likely to go into a shop, get what they want, and feel as though they’ve had a good deal. Women expect more, and will notice things like poor customer service, unhelpful staff, or below-standard products, and give a more negative rating if they feel its deserved.
Not surprisingly, these revelations have started a debate in the office, with Bates insisting that most women are never satisfied, and the female staff putting the viewpoint that the fairer sex simply have higher standards...Don´t expect a meeting of the minds on this one any time soon!
Well done to the Guardia Civil who managed to apprehend yet another high speed RIB with several tons of hasish on board in San Telmo, after it had made the dash across from North Africa.
Apparently 7.5 tons of the old “wacky baccy” was incinerated at Son Reus, from the last two successful busts on the Mallorcan coast. Rumours are, that an unusually high number of joggers, practising deep breathing, and wearing silly glazed expressions, were seen around Son Reus at the time!!
Strange thing is, that these flying machines capable of up to 80 knots, propelled by 1000HP of outboard power, and usually in a very dark sinister color, are available “off the shelve”, and in fact one was on display at the Barcelona Boat Show.
We heard that several of the other exhibitors complained to the shows organisers, saying that there was only one use for such a beast, which had nothing to do with sport or family leisure.
Of course high speed RIBS are great fun, and the sport of racing them is highly skillful and increasingly popular, but these particular ones do really look very anti-social, and a bit like floating mafia wagons!
For us ex-pat Brits, our thoughts tend to turn towards home at this festive time of the year, and depending on how long you have been away, your opinion of the typical Brit can become lets say .. a little cynical!
So what is being British really all about, here´s some suggestions:
Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a
Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a
Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch
American shows on a
And the most British thing of all? Suspicion of anything foreign!
Oh and...... Only in Britain - can a pizza get to your house faster
than an ambulance.
Only in Britain - do supermarkets make sick people walk all the way
to the back of the shop to get their prescriptions, while healthy people
can buy cigarettes at the front.
Only in Britain - do people order double cheeseburgers, large
fries and a DIET coke.
Only in Britain - do banks leave both doors open and chain the
pens to the counters.
Only in Britain - do we leave cars worth thousands of pounds on
the drive, and lock our junk and cheap lawn mowers in the garage.
And worth mentioning at this time of the year, not that we suspect for one moment, that any Islander readers would do this...... 31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in!!
It seems that the finances of the Balearic Ports Authority are in a bit of a mucking fuddle.
The new Environment Minister, Miquel Angel Grimalt, recently announced that that there is a deficit of 41.5 million euros in their budget, and that the dosh available for expenditure in 2007 was all used during the first 5 months of the year.
Predictably he blames the previous government, claiming that the debt has been building up since 2004. For her part Mabel Cabrer the ex Minister of Public Works, claims that 90% of this debt was accrued towards the vitally important dike project to protect Ciutadella in Menorca from future “Rissaga” (mini Tsunami) disasters.
With the tender process for the civil engineering works already delayed, and due to be awarded soon, wouldn´t it be refreshing if the politicians spent less time “mud slinging” and just got their heads together, to make the project happen ASAP.
You would certainly think so, and maybe respect them more if you were a Ciutadella resident, with your life, livelihood and property under threat from this natural disaster, which could strike again at any time!
Ever thought how ridiculous it is, that thousands of small boats sit in the water taking up valuable mooring space, when they could easily be “dry stacked” on land, and put into the water only when their owners want to use them.This concept is used very successfully in other countries, for boats up to about 28ft long, but so far not seen very much here in The Balearics.
But that could change, as the aforementioned Sr. Grimalt the Environment Minister has dug out, and dusted down an old proposal which it seems was first presented to the local government in Manacor 22 years ago!
The plan is to build a “dry marina” which can accommodate several hundred boats at Porto Cristo, near the cliffs at the entrance to the port, and will now be studied again for it´s feasibility and presented for approval. Difficult to see why not, in view of the serious shortage of moorings.. isn´t it?
Talking of smaller boats, here´s a good one:
A guy (who shall remain nameless) was towing his boat home one night from a day on the water when his car broke down. His mobile phone was where he’d left it that morning, in the kitchen.
Climbing into his boat he ingeniously thought he might raise someone on his VHF radio to call for roadside assistance. "Pan Pan, no imminent danger, request assistance” he says a little nervously.
“State your position” the voice at the other end asked. “Er..M-50 two miles south of junction 8”…….
After a long pause the voice came back; “Blimey, how fast were you going when you grounded?”
As we go to press, it has been announced by the Mayor Of Madrid that Valencia has been chosen, instead of Palma as the venue for the Olympic sailing, should Madrid be selected by the Olympic Committee to host the games in 2016.
No doubt this decision was influenced by the delay or even possible cancellation of The America´s Cup, and the need to get some return on the infrastructure investment in Valencia.
But looking at the bid competition that Spain faces including Rio de Janiero, Prague, Chicago and Tokyo, it would seem the odds are stacked against Madrid being chosen. Anyway we can all hold our breath now until October 2009, when the selected city will be announced, but right now the smart money appears to be on Chicago and Rio as the favourites.
Meanwhile we reckon that Palma has more than enough on it´s agenda for yachting events, and can now focus on those, with this one crossed off the list.
And finally, if you are organising a dinner party for the boss and his wife during the holidays, please make sure that you don´t leave any “intimate” gifts lying around under the bed, for the dog to sniff out and bring to the table!