Monthly Archives: July 2015


Ironic really, I am currently sitting at a place where everyone else’s holiday is just finishing, yet mine is just beginning.

Ibiza Airport – full of skanky ho’s that have been pumped full of tunes, drugs and spunk for the last two weeks – they just can’t get enough!!

I really did want to talk about that magical German efficiency that we are all well aware of.  My boss is German, the two Stewardesses onboard are German, the furniture people who arrived at the house in Ibiza are German ( all 4 of them) – it’s a full German team

Now you would expect exemplary efficiency from such a team but what I witnessed was one of natures biggest abnormalities, like flying fish or the San Andreas Fault.

So many Germans, with so many efficient plans, got so confused as to which plan was the most efficient and failed miserably to make a plan that took them forwards at all.  It was painful yet somewhat beautiful to witness and an even greater pleasure to step forward and tell them how to resolve it!  An Englishman promoting the G.S.D. Attitude to the Germans (Getting Shit Done)

Staying with stereotypes of Nationalities and still at Ibiza Airport, this is something I really need to share.  Burger King is something of a treat for me – regular readers will be aware of this.  So, to start my holiday, I hit the Burger King.  A Double Whopper with Cheese and Bacon XXL Burger.  It came as a meal so I got fries and a choice of drinks.  I am not much for the sugary soft drinks that come with it so I asked if I could have a coffee as part of the meal deal instead.  The girl behind the counter shook her head ‘No’, a brief moment of curiosity flashed in front of me.  She had said no to my request but not given me the ‘you’re fucked now’ Spanish shrug that I have become accustomed to after years of living and working in Spain.  She then listed all of the drinks I could have.

The last word out of her mouth was ‘Beer’!  I had to double-check – ‘So I can’t have coffee but I can have a Beer as part of my Meal Deal’?  Yes was her answer.

Now over the years, the Spanish logic has confused and infuriated me, yet on this occasion it actually made me smile.  I had beer with my burger and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Holiday Time

It’s not all work work work though

There are some small pleasures of doing my job.  In this case, it was the trip back from Ibiza.

We were anchor up at around 18:00 and underway and had opted for single crew watches.  Oscar the mate, took the first two hours, I took the second two.

Bit of a coup if I am honest with you – my watch was the sunset watch – only equalled by the sunrise watch.  Sometimes, if I am one real jammie git I get both but this was only a 6 or 7 hour punt so just the sunset watch.  After the carnage of the preceeding 6 days, the sunset watch always makes it all worth while.

Single crew watches are the best too – no polite conversation, no talking shit, no chewing the fat – just me, my tunes and two great big steering wheels – oh and the sun setting behind me. Fucking Magic !!!!

The decks were clear and the tunes came on – a couple of perfect sunset songs to start with, not deliberately selected, just up at complete random.

London Grammar – Strong (if you know this song you will understand why it is a perfect sunset tune)

The Middle East – Blood

Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

then after the sun was down, as if by magic

Maroon 5 – Moves like Jagger – just to liven things up a bit

It was the start of an epic two hour watch and let me tell you something – if I have to tolerate another 6 day slaughter to get 2 hours like that again, I will be at the front of the queue.


Moving on – The Great North Run emailled me the other day.  They reckon that based on my results of the 10k I did a few weekends back, my half marathon time will be 1 hour 50 minutes and 58 seconds. I reckon thats a load of old bollocks if I am completely honest, because I am aiming for 1 hour 45 mintues.  One of us is wrong, time will tell who.

So I need some suggestions – play list suggestions.  It needs to be upbeat but not too heavy something like glad you came – the wanted, this modern love – bloc party, A-punk – Vampire weekend……..that sort of beat.  I need 1 hour and 40 minutes of it.  The last 5 minutes I intend to play Rihanna – with a promise that I wont remove my earbuds until I am across the line, those last five minutes will be my fastest section of the whole event so that I can get the sound of that moaning bitch out of my ears.

Get sending your suggestions without delay less than 2 months to go.




Road to Recovery

Let me clear things up.  For those of you that think I simply ponce around the oceans of the world having fun – I have just experienced my most physical trip yet, and it was also one of the shortest.

The boat is 2 crew members down at the moment and the boss does not want to replace them.  Add to that the fact that we have a Captain that believes he is exempt from any form of physical work apart from flirting with the Boss’s female guests and you will begin to understand what has just happened.


Friday morning at 06:30 my alarm rang, time to wake up.  Prepare the boat to leave for Ibiza.  08:30, lines are off and we are on the way – about 6 hours or so to our destination.  First suggestion is that the boss will arrive by 20:00 so no big deal, we will be safely anchored off his new pad well before that.

Then the plans started changing.  We were in place and ready to receive by 16:00 but the plane would be later, now arriving at 22:00.  Easy, relax for a couple of hours.

The chef has the food prepared, the Stewardess has the tables made, all the beds turned down, perfect.  Then the call, it will be midnight before the plane lands.

Guest arrival at the boat is now estimated for 00:30.  The next dilemma is can the chef, Jean-Claude keep the food in a good condition, will the guests want to eat at all?  Arriving so late, they might just want to hit the sack.

Of course they want to eat – by the time they do so, retire and we get the boat settled for the evening it is now 03:00 – that’s a 20 hour day in the bag

Next day, up at 06:30 again to help the Mate get the deck ready as he has no deck hand.  Once the deck is completed, I can switch to washing, helping the stewardess as she is also short-handed.  Load the washing machine, unload the washing machine, load the dryer, unload the dryer.  Then into the Galley to help the Chef, chop chop, wash dishes, clean up.

Guests are up, and want to start filming and photographing the boat for its impending sale, so lets start doing our routine tasks over and over again so they can get good pictures and video.

Eventually, we get to evening service once more.  Another late one – 02:00 finish and I am looking forward to an extra hour in bed, a whole four and a half hours of sleep in front of me!!

It wasn’t to be my night though – ships alarm had me out of bed at 03:00.

After that – the  next 4 days seemed to blur into one another until we arrived in Palma again at 00:15 this morning, some 6 days later.  When we got in, I was so shattered, I felt like I had just crossed the Atlantic while clinging onto the boat for dear life.  I have never had such a busy trip as that.  At one point, the boat was so full of guests and film crew, we had 3 people sleeping on sofas – there are 16 beds on this boat !  Everyone had different arrival and departure times, most people kept changing their times and of course we had to go sailing too so that we could make some aerial films of the boat under sail.

We are due back in Ibiza on the 27th so that the furniture crew can stay on board while they deal with the boss’s house.  Thankfully, I have a flight booked from Ibiza to Mallorca on 31st, and then on to sunny Birmingham shortly after that.

I then have two full months of nothing – to which, I am greatly looking forward to.  I think I might turn my phone off too

Beyond the Blue

I have often wondered, how long after someone dies, should you keep their telephone number in your contact list – its been a dilemma for many years now.

I also have a problem with how people express the end of someones life.  By this I really mean when they say they have passed, passed on or passed away.  For me, that is a little bit too weak a phrase to describe the ending of a life.  People die, like all living things on earth, they die.  Do we talk about trees passing away, or the flowers in the vase on the window sill?  Nope, they die, just like our budgies, cats, hamsters, gerbils, dogs and any other number of living things we have in our lives.

The last time I checked a dictionary and as far as I am still aware, the word with the opposite meaning of ‘life’ is ‘death’ – Live and Die.

So today while sailing in the Med, Mallorca in the distance behind me and Ibiza getting ever closer in front of me, I was given a gentle reminder about names of the dead in my phone book.

Frank Sinatra and Luciano Pavarotti are a strange combination to offer me that reminder but nevertheless they did.

Our Chef on board, is a long time servant to the boss.  An old French dude with as much character as you would expect an old French dude to have, no, let me correct that, twice as much character as you would expect an old French dude to have.  He also has more than his fair share of Parkinson’s, not easy to deal with when you also have a large sailing yacht moving around underneath you.  Sometimes, the ships movement can be in time with Jean-Claude and he keeps a true line for his destination, other times, his chosen route can be twice the distance his eyes would have his brain believe.  To watch him with a kitchen knife is pretty amazing but equally frightening.

While we were on our little jaunt between Islands today, Jean-Claude popped one of his favourite CD’s into the player and we had some classical tunes on deck.  When it was my turn on the helm, there was a song that took me back a few years to a Church on the outskirts of Coventry.

The skies were spotlessly clear and only out-blue’d by the Mediterranean sea glistening all around me as the old crooner sang his version of ‘My Way’.  I instantly thought about Big Stan, my hairs stood on end and at the foot of each hair was a big goose bump and then I smiled as I remembered the entry in my phone book, and my dilemma every time I stumbled across it as to when I should delete it.

Well today, I think I finally got my answer – I will delete it when I am good and ready and not one moment before !!!




Return of the Mac

Don’t be daft – Mark Morrison is not what I am talking about.  My beer damaged Mac is back in my sticky little hands, the Windows Vista laptop will shortly be consigned to the bottom of the cupboard once more.

But enough of that crap, let me tell you about my little jaunt around Gateshead this weekend.  The great North 10k was on my agenda and I was thanking my lucky stars that I was fit enough to run.  On Wednesday, I could hardly walk so imagine my glee at being able to leg it around Gateshead this morning.

There were 200 Gurkhas in the group in front of me, special training, British acclimatization and charity fund-raising all on their agenda – for me, it was a target to aim for – could I catch the Gurkhas even though they had a couple of minutes head start on me?

The course took me past several of Newcastle’s famous land marks including The Millenium Bridge, Sage, Tyne Bridge and along the River Tyne itself, although I never saw Gazza sucking sickly sausage rolls – fog on the Tyne is all mine all mine, fog on the Tyne is all mine – come on !!

Best part of the day?  Catching and passing 2 Gurkhas about 1.5km before the finish line inside the Gateshead International Stadium.

Not sure if I have a new PB or not – I guess I do.  49′ 20” .  My runkeeper tells me I did some 47′ times in Florida last year but they were slightly under 10k – either way, it has to be my best time wearing a numbered bib…..!


Back to work this week – I wonder what joys await me.



%d bloggers like this: