Monday, 20 December 2010

Medical tests part 2!

Sorry my update is late folks but what with snow, medical trial and night shifts its been pretty hectic.

So the testing continued, as the days went on the testing became easier but on days 6-7 my ECG showed up a heart irregularity, it was called a Physilogical Artiria Rhythm ( i think that was how it was spelt LOL) now what that means i have no idea, i did look it up but found nothing solid and the nurse when taking my blood test did say "Do you have life insurance?" WHAT? So hang on, i've gone from 100% fit to choosing which wood i want my coffin made out of haha

While i was having my test i had 4 different nurses taking my blood samples, as i said previous on the odd day i had to have 12 needles and i always stuck to the same arm but some nurses were a bit easier going on my old veins than others, especially first thing in morning, you've had a good nights sleep, your feeling good that, JAB the needle feels like its rooting for bone marrow LOL but i have to say its only on the rare occasion.

This time also i didn't have to collect my pee every time i went, i would forget sometimes even though i had a plastic gallon bottle with me, i'd go in to a cubicle, place bottle on top of toilet and forget about it, DOH!

The food as ever was lovely, i think my favourite this times was sweet and sour chicken and favourite dessert was a lemon pie type thing with lemon cream mmmmmm.

Didn't sleep that much while i was in there but felt good after just 3-4 hours sleep, i was in the shower by 5.30am most mornings which is great as i knew there would be hot water there and no, dare i say it, pubes in the shower tray as i was the first to use it. Nothing worse than using communual showers, so there are plus points to not sleeping much.

In all as always Simbec is always a pleasure to go to, in fact i love it in there, all the staff like the security, nurses, doctors, reception girls, office staff, chefs and cleaners really are nice geunuine people who you can have a good laugh with even though i'm being tested, poked, pulled and proded all day it doesn't bother me at all, if they did holidays there i'd book in for a fortnight all inclusive hehe!

So thats it for another year of my medical tests, still waiting on my post medical results to come back to hear if the heart irregularity and samples are ok but i think it will be, i feel ok just ache a bit but then again that comes with old age LOL.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

What do you want from me, BLOOD? Yes please LOL

Well i'm back in the Simbec medical clinic having my medical trial again and its all going well 5 days in. The first day was very manic what with having 12 needles within 10 hours and an ECG and blood pressure test before every needle but now i'm down to 1 a day with my tablets first thing in the morning, 4 more days to go and thurs its back to 12 needles again.

I have my usual penthouse suite here with a great view from my bed.


I must say though that this time around the room has got a certain how do you say, farty ass smell about it, think these tablets must be having this effect cause im very gas free most of the time LOL. If methane could be stored and used at this moment i'd never have an energy bill ever again.

This morning for some bizzare reason we are having a carol concert, now with me being a reverend i feel its a bit to soon in the day and in the month, in fact i just wouldnt have it full stop. It will sound better than X Factor though that i'm sure of. I mean, im sure that X Factor is passed off as a singing contest and all that i've seen is average karaoke singers or droning turds, got to give it to her though Rebecca has got a voice but if she didn't have a mic stand to stand behind i don't know what she'd do. Again she has one of those voices like Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis and Anastacia at first its like wow what a great voice but after 3 songs its boring. Also has every song she's sung been down tempo? God her concert would be so dull like like Westlife and Leona all bloody ballads, BORING! I'm sure i must be watching a different show when i hear the judges making their comments and they're the experts, no wonder the charts are so crap these days. Can you tell that X factor winds me up haha.

This year at Simbec we have been blessed with the most wonderous christmas display, i was told that the window dresser that puts together the window of Selfridges in London was brought in to add some flare to the decorations and i have to say i was blown away, it was money well spent getting them in.

Well not much more to say really apart from all the staff and nurses here are as wonderful as every, always happy and chatty which is a great thing to have when your in here for 9 days or more and it always helps when the other victims i mean patients in the clinic are good people to get along with, never had a medical trial yet with a bad person on it, yet.

Oh yes i almost forgot, this time we were allowed 5 mins yard time on saturday for some fresh air which was so good to be outside and i hate snow so i must have needed some fresh air or it might just have been good to get away from the green gas that was in the penthouse, it always seems to be thicker first thing in the morning LOL.

So i will post again in a fortnight. As i said due to it being winter time i won't update it weekly like when its season time but i'll try to keep you all entertained until its time to be back in the sun again on Zakynthos.

Tatty bye everybody, tatty bye.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Christmas, bah humbug!

As you most probably know from previous years i'm not really a christmas kind of guy, hate christmas pudding, hate the cold, christmas decorations are a pain in the ass just for 4 weeks, and i guess soon santa claus will be banned for political correctness after all he is a strange old man creeping around a childs bedroom while hes asleep, you know it will happen one day.

Toys R Us is in full swing but god its torture listening to christmas songs all through the night for 9 hours, i've heard this year 4 versions of "santa claus is coming to town", 3 versions of "Santa claus is coming to town" and 2 versions of "these are a few of my favourite things" is this song a christmas song? and thats in just 1 night thats without all the other crap christmas songs, now i do like 2 songs from christmas though these are Greg Lake's "I believe in father christmas" and Chris de Burgh's "A spaceman came travelling" they aren't your usually christmas type jingle bell sounding tripe LOL.

Since i've been working nights i've seen kids dragging their parents around the store demanding they want this and that and the parents grabbing the toy quickly before the child can throw themselves on the floor kicking and screaming and thats just the emo stroppy teenagers. Then once the said item is placed in the trolley they are followed by the words "now you don't have this till christmas day as santa has to bring it" WHAT? so their paying cash for it at the till in front of the child and the child is expected to believe that santa still exsists, so has santa now been employed by parcelforce just to deliver the presents. I can't believe he's not a real person, i'm shocked.

Also its getting towards the christmas party period where lots of guys will be getting the Hi Karate and Brut splashed on trying to look macho with just a shirt on in minus degree temps (and trousers and shoes of course) with mistletoe strapped to their head, while the ladies walk the streets with wine bottles drinking out of them like the local wino, dresses 2 sizes to small that doesn't do much for their Michelin tyre man figures with silly head wear such as antlers or flashing santa hats, yes very funny indeed. Only the other night as i walked to work i saw 3 guys and 4 girls walking to the main bar street in Swansea, it had been raining 5 mins before i saw them and as i passed them 3 of the girls were barefoot with their shoes in hand walking on rain soaked pavements, classy. Now i know that the street cleaners in Swansea do an excellent job but this street is known for people drinking outside so spilt drinks, broken bottles and glasses, drunk people being sick, guys using it as a public toilet and thats without the dogs using it (i mean the 4 legged kind), so my question is why do women buy shoes that they can only wear to stand still in? its always a good look for women, bottle in one hand, shoes in other and eye make-up running where they have had a row with a friend, don't you just love christmas.

So its time for a little nap now if i can as i've got a long night ahead of playing with toys, seen some really good ones which are quite fun so my nights are very entertaining, not much work getting done but very entertaining never the less LOL.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Season 2010 review (at last)

Just a quick non review related sentence, if anyone goes to Toys R Us and sees a Sony Ericcson W910i phone with a set of headphones and a Guns N Roses logo as its main screen or has already got it you git, its mine ya bugger give it back! Such a pain.

So lets see if i can remember the season, these days i'm lucky if i can remember yesterday. Well, i started the season thinking that this season i better set myself up for a struggle, UK economy was rubbish (still is) Greek economy was worse than UK (still is). The first thing i noticed was the price of things in the local supermarkets, most people used to go abroad to buy cheap booze and cigs to take back with them but you can buy your booze at stupid prices now in the UK, so items that were alot of supermarkets bloodlines like booze weren't being touched which through the season would hit the traders hard.

The resort when i turned up looked alot better than most seasons it was quite clean and looked quite fresh. My bar on the other hand looked like it had been hit by every natural disaster known to man along with a few stray cats strutting around like they owned the place. With a swift kick up the ass of the cats and a bit of Mary Poppins clean up magic the bar was ready to open.

May i was expecting to be very quiet but from the first day i had hit double my daily target which was a good feeling but i take a day at a time and never take anything for granted any day can be a fluke or lucky. May continued in this fashion which gave me a good set up for the season but then the tax hit from 19% to 21% but didn't change my prices.
The season just kept getting stronger and stronger through june then another tax hit 21% to 23% still kept my prices the same due to the UK economy and wanting to give my customers value for money which i think is what kept the bar full most nights due to getting a very large measure of real spirit for very little money also a pint bottle beer for less than a pint in the UK. Its was great to see so many regular customers back and also at least 50% of my trade was new customers which is the way you want your business to be, if you just rely on regulars all the time at some point your business will fade away. The internet did help with trade but no more than other years about 20% were from different websites that had read good things about the bar and the other 30% were from word of mouth within the resort and walk by trade. Out of all those customers i only had one couple who never came back for a second visit but then again they were very rude to me when i was only being polite to them so it was no great loss. Thats the best thing about running the bar alone, i meet ever single person that comes in to my bar so i can then see who returns and who doesn't, its a great feeling to see people return.
Through the season i changed my menu 3 times as i kept on coming up with new cocktails, next year i'm sorry to say the smoothie cocktails will not be available as it was just to much of a pain in the ass to make LOL especially when most nights it was manic in the bar then an order comes in for 4 different smoothies aaargggh! A plus point out of this came the confectionary cocktails i developed and new for next season i have the Banoffee pie cocktail. The cocktails i devised were the best sellers all season and it was a close call between Oceanic cocktail and the Fry's Turkish Delight cocktail to which was most popular. I know a few people have e-mailed me for recipes and i will get round to replying very shortly.
Before i knew it my season was coming to an end but with a bang and phut as everything started to go wrong, computer blew, amplifier blew, tree lights blew, bar flooded, high winds and heavy rain hit bar trade badly when i was still making double target in beginning of Oct but i still carried on, the bar would have only closed if it had collapsed as my regular customers no matter what the weather still came in for drinks even if it meant catching a taxi.

It was very sad to see so many businesses close during the season and even more i would think won't be open next season, no matter who the people are or where they're from you wouldn't wish for their business to close and if anyone is happy about the fact that a business closes down or wants a business to close down then those people should be ashamed of themselves as one day it may happen to them.

So thats about it for this topic all i can say is it was my best season out of my 4 on the island so far wiith Oceanic and have another 2 seasons left on my lease which i will complete no matter how good or bad the next 2 seasons are.

I am also looking forward to getting back to start the refurb but in saying that the people i went to see about quotes for a new roof didn't get back to me after 3 weeks and still haven't so god knows how long it would take for them to build it haha.

So all thats left to say is "Roll on 2011".

Don't forget i still update through the winter but usually fortnightly as all i do is play with toys LOL.

I have got some pics to post that i've taken through the season so that will be in the next topic.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Observations i've made lately! (God here he goes again)

So i've been in the UK for a week and made some realisations ad observations. Oh and before you say anything my seasons review will be the next topic i post.

So since i've been without my laptop which was end of Sept beginning of Oct i think i can honestly say if it wasn't for Tripadvisor, my e-mail, using it to download music/play music and watch programmes i've missed i don't really need one which then brought me on to writing, do kids still use pens in school and do they know how to spell properly? No one wants to have anything hand written anymore its all via e-mail or text, then there is the spelling L8tr=Later (wow one letter less thats much quicker) Ur=Your (ur is what i used to say when impersonating a thick person) *$=Starbucks(yeah like i'm gonna figure that out)Srsly=Seriously(that just looks like someone hitting any keys), now i do use LOL=Lots of laughs but no wonder the kids are looking more like Kevin & Perry's everyday they don't need brains anymore as its all done for them with preemtive text and spell checker.

This then brought me on to my childhood and teenage years, i'd never pick up my landline phone and tell my mates "i've just farted loud" but with facebook people seem to let their friends know the slightest movement they make sometimes even their bowel movement haha. When i was a kid I used to write to friends i'd met on holiday with a pen & paper, remember those days, they used to be called "penpals". Me and my friends used to meet and cycle 12 miles to Barry Island ( yes Gavin and Stacey fame) now kids don't even leave their bedrooms to talk and meet with mates as they can use cams and socializing networks, as technology increases socializing decreases. As you can see i've been doing alot of thinking lately about "now and then".

So its back to Toys R Us as i've seen some amazingly bad things, two things really made me laugh. I think i saw a Cheryl Cole board game and i think it went like this, you start off as a chav, get found on a crap TV show with a girl band, mime most of your concert, marry a half decent footballer, get him to cheat on you just before you go solo, get sympathy from the public so your sales rocket, judge on a crap TV show and mime on it when the crap wannabes have to sing live, game over.
Also saw a book and i read autobigraphies "Justin Bieber: First step 2 forever, My story", Brilliant! It goes something like this, mum and dad do the birds and the bees, i was an embryo, i crawled, i walked, i went to school, i got spotted, i was hyped up, i'm just growing soft facial hair, the end! I look forward to the follow up, my voice breaks, i do drugs, found with a lady of the night, make best friends with Macaulay Culkin and Britney Spears, the End! haha.

Oh also noticed another thing, i've not seen sun since i've got back LOL.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Back in sunny uk, i think not!

Guess whos back? Yep and god is the UK crap LOL. Well the last time i updated i was sat in an internet cafe in Greece, now i'm sat in an internet cafe in Swansea and guess why, my new/old laptop that is a Samsung that i've used only a dozen times has given up the ghost before i've even used it this winter as the motherboard has gone, What the F@*K is a motherboard and why does it cost as much as a new laptop? sorry for the swearing LOL Its just that in this fine month of Oct 2 laptops worth over £1000 have gone Bang!, my amplifier costing £400 went Phut! The chain on my Yamaha Virago went Twang! The Bar got flooded out for nearly 12 days (but still opened) Whoosh! My Greek bank took my savings out as i hadn't used it for 2 years but kept the account open but can't give me my money back, Robbing Bastards! And still i have a computer geek sitting opposite me picking his nose and munching on it only this time he's pastey white HAHA!

On a plus point i start to work at Toys R Us next week, Woohoo, watch out talking buzz lightyear i'm coming to teach you naughty words LOL.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Time for a holiday!

Well thats it for another season, the Oceanic is closed till 2011.

After last night i closed the bar, tucked it up all warm inside and now look forward to 2011. The weather spoilt the end to a brilliant season but what can you do. So now i have a few days holiday before heading back to sunny south wales and playing with toys all winter at Toys R Us.

Just about to pay my accountant Oct V.A.T. then thats me with a clean slate with everyone.

Still no laptop so at the net cafe. Its strange but i don't have the same writing ability sat here as when i'm in the comfort of my own home, my home must inspire me more instead of being sat opposite a computer geek playing online games slurrping on a frappe LOL.

So the next update will be from the UK and will be my review of the season which as you all know was my best season so far.

Now i should know by now that everything here on Zakyntos is slow but i had a company come in to measure up for a quote on the building work i want done, they said i would have a quote the next day, 11 days later still no quote ready, no wonder businesses are closing.

The resort is like a ghost town now and looking forward to having a walk around to see whats left open and to eat and drink in a few places i don't get to during the season due to closing so late.

So thats my last update from this beautiful island and going to watch Zakynthos F.C. on sunday, i've always said i like a good laugh haha Its a local derby so i'm told so should be fun. The last time i went to watch them it was against Kefalonia, watching the supporters was better than the game.

So i'll say "Asta la vista baby, i'll be back" thats a bit of a naff signing off isn't it but my artistic juices are being drained due to the keyboard hero opposite me picking his nose and having a good old munch, Blurgh!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Cloud rain and more cloud.

Well i'm sat in the internet cafe once again with it being black cloud and heavy rain outside, BORING!

Well its been a quiet week since saturday because of the turn in weather as most of my customers all season have come from the far end of the resort so in this weather they don't venture much further than the Drunk Corner area as not knowing if they are going to get caught in rain but i'll stay open for the few hardcore regulars that come in every night no matter what the weather.

I've just looked out the door of the cafe and its monsoon rain, big old fat drops and at a fast rate, its raining that hard its splashing back up in the air 2 feet, bugger, got loads to do today and forgot my water proofs LOL.

Well i've been in contact with Toys R Us and i start back almost as soon as i land 1st Nov so looking forward to playing with all the new toys, i mean doing some hard work haha.

Well had my first company come in to measure up for the refurb so waiting on a quote from them, only another 6 companies to go, lets hope its not the usual case of wanting it done in March 2011 and its completed by Oct, also i hope they're not going to be silly with the price, fingers crossed.

Not got much to say today as not done anything due to weather and rain is easing off so better make a move while i can as it looks set in for the day.

See you next week for my final update from the island. See yah later folks.

Friday, 8 October 2010

A week to forget and remember!

Well i'm writing this weeks update from a net cafe in town due to my laptop having a major meltdown. Now i'm not to worried about not being able to get on the net but i lost all my songs, pictures, movies and my paperwork including my sitcom and autobiography, bugger! Along with that my motorbike needs a new chain as the one thats on there could cause an accident, oh pooh! and to top it all off my amplifier went grrr, bang, somebody shoot me! All this happened within 4 days, so today bike is getting its new chain and laptop and amplifier are in a skip with a screrwdriver through them LOL.

Thats the bad week but on the other hand the bar is still full even to the point i used my emergency chairs and then had to borrow 5 more chairs from the roof garden restaurant across the road this week which i'm amazed at but i think after yesterday and todays change over it will get alot quieter but can't complain at all.

The taxman commeth and boy is it a biggy but then again you can't have a busy season and not expect a big tax bill, lets hope they don't hike up the tax rate to much by next season.

Kalamaki is starting to look like a ghost town now, places are starting to close and the tourists are less and less with each change over but i still have 2 weeks left open then its Toys R Us time woohoo!

Well time to go as this has now cost me 3 euro LOL

Friday, 1 October 2010

Its October, the finishing post is in sight!

Well, hasn't the season flown my jolly little readers? Where has 5 months gone, its gone in a flash this season but i suppose when your that busy time flies.

So the cold nights are drawing in and its time for the Oceanic to get in to cosy comfy mode. Gone are the sofas from outside, gone is the prep area from inside and now inside i have the chill out lounge, outside the bar has been weather proofed so no matter what the weather gales, monsoon rain, tornados, plagues of locusts, meteor showers, the Oceanic bar will stay open till the end, well the 21st at least.

I had a card delivered about 2 weeks ago from Ireland from a lady called Christine who was on holiday with her husband in 2009 and she had a very bad toothache, so i sent her to my dentist in Zakynthos town where he sorted the complaint out and she was fine after. In that card was this green good luck stone which i thought was so nice of her to send to me a year after they had been here, well i'd really like to thank Christine as its working as the bar is still full up till today so lets see how October fairs.

Didn't do my TTT (Traditional Taverna Tuesday) this week as it was my birthday on Tuesday, if it wasn't for someone putting on Tripadvisor that it ws my birthday i would have forgot about it LOL. It was also a young mans birthday called Malk on the same day so it was a great night, with cake and a free buffet for all my lovely customers to enjoy. I'd like to thank the Kalamaki Bakery on the main strip for supplying the buffet, they all loved it and i lived on it for 2 days after mmmmmm. Also a big thank you to Lesley and Andrew for coming over from Kefalonia to visit me on my birthday, that was so kind.

Now in saying that i did go on a TTT the week before which was a bit of a strange one to be honest. I ate opposite the fish taverna that helen and myself went to the week before. So i sat there ordered Saganaki and out of the dishes they said were on the menu that day i had a grilled pork cutlet also i treated myself to some wine. From the kitchen out come my Saganaki (lovely) then they brought out my wine, now its the first time i had seen wine that had the colour of vinegar and vinegar that looked like red wine, very confusing. To make me even more confused as i looked up across the road i saw my waiter crossing the road from the fish taverna with my pork cutlet, whats that all about? haha

Which is the wine?

So just 3 weeks left open then 4 days after i leave for the UK, Got some building work to do on the bar before i leave ready for its refurb next season thats weather, timing and quotes permitting, need to get out next week to get a few builders to come and have a look at what i want doing then see what prices they come back with but will be doing a fair bit myself, don't worry its staying a chill out bar just making it even more relaxing for next year.

Just before i forget i'd like to thank all the holiday makers that have made trips over to Kalamaki from Alikanas/Alykes, Tsilivi, Argassi, Vasilikos and Aghios Sostis just to drink in my bar, i'm very thankful to you all for making the trip over.

Right then time to make bangers and mash, what a life a lead, doesn't get much better than this LOL.

Friday, 24 September 2010

I've found a hero in the bar!

How we all doing in Interwebland? yes a few days late i know but i've had the most amazing 3rd week of sept ever, even compared to when i was in Tropicana.

The bar has been packed to the rafters even on the nights its rained and had a good laugh with the customers in there, some repeat offenders others newbies but none the less they all socialized, got on and had a good time. It also made this my best september since i opened in 2007 and still got a week to go.

As the title of this post says i found a hero in my bar. Now everyone i have ever talked to about Pernod have said they have had a session on it that has made them sick as a pig but i found someone who has not had a bad reaction to it and his name is DEAN EATON, what a guy, i take my hat off to you, he surely is a god among humans LOL.

Anywhoooo, its been a funny old week weather wise, its been the hottest 3rd week in sept i've ever known but its also had cloud and rain and still warm at night. Thursday night it rained quite heavy so i went out and stood in it, my customers thought i was a bit of a loon but i haven't seen rain in 5 months and the rain was warm, shame i didn't have any WASH & GO with me but then again my hair seems to be washed and going anyway haha.

The resort is getting very quiet now, i run out of Smirnoff on wednesday night at midnight and had to go to my friends bar to borrow some as the supermarkets were closed as i drove down the road all the restaurants were empty, 2 or 3 bars were quite busy but the rest only had a couple in. I remember in 2006 when i just lived in Kalamaki that even at 2am the main strip was vibrant and buzzing, how things have changed and not for the better, lets hope the resort can get back to its glory days.

Well my bar is now all set up for the cold nights with inside ready to be set up as a chill out lounge, the weather tenting ready to be put up and the outdoor heaters set to go as it does get pretty chilly in Oct at night.

This season i have had many compliments and also many look-a-like comments some good, some bad, some a bit wierd. This season i've been told i look like like Graham Norton (many times), Alan Carr (how rude), Elton John (is there a theme with the first 3?) Colin Farrell (think they were blind or drunk), Jason Statham (I think they were after free drinks) and Ewan Mcgregor (I can handle this one). Out of all of them i think i'm proud of the Ewan Mcgregor one, anyone who compares me to Obi Wan is cool by me, not the Alec Guinness Obi Wan of course.

There's a new leader in the Oceanic Cocktail of the season, it was the Fry's Turkish Delight but now its my signature cocktail The Oceanic, with the Original recipe Mojito in second place, i made so many Mojitos on wednesday i had to go to garden centre to buy 3 more mint plants as my mint garden was bare, all that was left was the stems i even had to use the baby leaves by the end, aw poor little mint plants, there, there, there LOL.

Well not much more to write today, still going on my Tradtional Taverna Tuesdays and this week was the most bizzare, the white wine looked like vinegar and the vinegar looked like red wine, i ordered my food and the waiter brought my Saganaki from the kitchen then went across the road to the fish taverna i ate at last week to get my pork cutlet, whats all that about?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

I've had a bad review at last, YEEEHAAAA!

As i've always said nothing is ever perfect in any business and my bar is definately far from perfect. I have had my first bad review although they didn't have anything bad to say about myself, or my drinks or the bar, they even said its a nice bar but it seems the people who were in there were the problem as they were to old for the reviewer. I have said this before which i think i'll have engraved on my tombstone "I'd prefer to have a full bar of old people having a few drinks than an empty bar for young people" they even seem to think that if your over 50 that people of this age don't know what a computer is, oh dear LOL. Also i find it a bit strange as i always ask every customer without fail is everything ok and if the drinks are ok as if not i'll replace it and not one customer has had a bad word to say or returned a drink.
In the Oceanic every year since 2008 i have had a guestbook, they are on the bar with a pen for everyone to see and for anyone to sign be it good or bad and for anyone to read. In those books in all there are over 1500 comments from different holidaymakers that have drank in Oceanic and not one bad comment has been left, these are the reviews that matter to me as the people sign it when they are in the bar.
Reviews are funny old things and you have to take them with a pinch of salt as its each persons individual opinion and not everyone likes the same thing.
If you walk in to a bar that has loud music playing and cocktails really cheap you can't walk away and complain on a website saying " the music was to loud and you couldn't taste alcohol in the drinks". When you walked in to that bar the music would have already been loud and if the cocktails were say 1.50€ what were you expecting from it so how could they complain? The same goes for Oceanic, it was set up for the 35+ age group (the reviewer is 25-34) and it says outside "chill out bar" so if your expecting pole dancers, loud drunken brits or an oompah band you've read the sign outside wrong LOL. The person also goes on to state that they think the reviews previous to theirs were put on by my extended family and friends, wow, the last time i had 40 friends i was the first person in my school with a pirate video tape of the film E.T.

Well its been a very up and down week, one night busy, next night quiet, one day cloudy, next day sunny but in all its been a really good week considering i've lost so many customer who have gone home but there are always surprises on every flight that comes in to the island.

Helens last week this week but its been a great 5 months so its not like she ain't had a long enough holiday haha and i only have 5 weeks to go which in a way i'm quite happy about as my body really has been put to the limit this year and a little break in lovely South Wales is just what the mind and body needs after this season.

From what i can gather from other workers out here a few of the businesses will be closing before the end of September so the resort may look pretty closed by Oct but i hope the owners change their mind as its terrible for the remaining visitors to come to a closed down resort, October can be a great month for business but even i think this Oct will be very quiet but i always stay open till the end.

Well its pool time with Helen now so she can top up her tan before going back to the UK with all the lilly white people, catch yah next week folks.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Anyone need a cowboy on Zakynthos?

Its been another fun packed week here on the island where i was called to do some plumbing work so out come "The Yee-Haa Kid" with his set of tools that consists of a toffee hammer and a butter knife and off to work i went. Got to my friends house and his water pump wawsn't working to clever, so after a long look at it, a large intake of breathe i utter those immortal tradesman words "looks like a big job" and followed by "its gonna cost yah". So i got stuck in checking pressures, checking blockages, changing pressure cylinders, giving pipes a blast through and cleaning valves with cotton buds and after 2 days of technical precise work almost like a brain surgeon it was all fixed.

Kalamki seems to be starting to go quiet now that the schools are all starting back but in the Oceanic there has been no let up, in fact my trade has gone up, i even run out of my reserve reserve seats and had to get out the reserve reserve reserve seats from the Roof Garden restaurant across the road last night but that will all change after today as 26 of my customers and friends all went home which is half the bar but then again i never know who will turn up on the flights so we shall wait and see.

It was a great week with my good friends Sam and Caz, Steve and Jo, Richard and Trudy, Pete and Sharon, Michelle and John, Brian and Penny being here also lovely to see Ann and Johnny a bit more this year, thanks for your company even though i didn't have much time to spend with you what with being so rushed.

I think Oct will be very quiet month for me as alot of my regulars who come out the end of Sept/Oct came out early this year but with the season i've had that won't be a problem, it will give myself a nice break and give me more time to chat with the customers that do visit me.

Still got 6 weeks to go so its all gone to plan and already looking forward to next season with the complete refurb of Oceanic but still keeping the same qualities that my customers love about the bar.

I'm a bit brain numb at moment so just a short update today but will improve on next weeks.

Friday, 3 September 2010

All aboard but you can't get off!

Ok i know its a day late and you can stop texting now asking where's the update as here it is.

Well its finally happened, Kalamaki has got a land train, well not really, Laganas has got a land train which drives through Kalamaki but it doesn't stop. It just starts at Laganas and finishes at Laganas. And my, how the people on it look so happy and thrilled as they drive past Oceanic, i always give them a wave to cheer them up, you wouldn't believe these people are on holiday they look that fed up LOL.

So whats been happening this week, well my oldest customer Les was back with his mates Joe and Colin. Now if you have read my blog from day one i have mentioned Les before, he loves Matt Monro, was a navigator for the B52 bombers during the war and has an eye for the ladies at the ripe young age of 90. Always great to have the guys back in the bar even though they give me a bit of stick but its all in good fun.

Had a visit from the licence inspector and tax control and everything was tip top, all very straight forward and no problems at all which is good news but then again i run a tight ship, i don't mean i have a ship, its a bar, oh you know what i mean.

I have some sad news, i have taken my unique smoothie cocktails off the menu, i know i know, i can see your all devastated but they took so long to prepare and what withn the bar being so busy it just held everything up so they have been replaced by my confectionery cocktails instead and you have 4 to choose from, this is now the 4th time i've changed my menu but its good to keep my customers on their toes.

This week has been my best week of all time and i also beat my best target for a night of all time which was also earlier in the season, i was that busy on wednesday i run out of my reserve seats and had to get balcony furniture from the Oceanic Margarita studios to fit everyone in and in the end had to turn some regular customers away as i just couldn't fit anymore in, god did my old legs ache after that night haha.

So we're now in to September and Helen and I have continued to go on our TTT (Traditional Taverna Tuesday) this is where we find a traditional Taverna while out and about and have lunch there.
So what is a traditional taverna? Well first of all you have a Greek Taverna and a Greek Restaurant who both serve tradtional greek food but a Traditional Taverna doesn't have a menu where as a restaurant does. The traditonal taverna will have a blackboard with the food of the day written on it in Greek and the waiter will tell you what meals are available that day, usually about 6 in all. You can only find these types of tavernas in town or in villages around the island, in the resorts there are only restaurants which serve traditional greek food not tavernas. In saying that i have had some great food within the resorts but its so nice to go to a little locals place where all the food is cooked fresh that morning and when its gone its gone, then the next day the 6 dishes are all different. Roll on Tuesday. I have taken pictures of the places we have visited but i will post them all at the end of the season.

Its starting to get a bit cooler at night already and a bit of cloud today, better get to the pool a bit more before end of season as after that the only pools i'll see will be the pools of rain water in dull grey Wales, better dig out my wellies, please no sheep jokes at this point haha.

In the river there is a log, to cross the river is a slog, if you cross the river with this in mind, you'll be quite surprised at what you'll find!

Lets look at the rhyme more closely.

In the river there is a log, whats on a log? Bark so this may lead you to think of a dog but what else barks? yes a person with a cough.To cross the river is a slog, when you have a cough its a hard slog. if you cross the river with this in mind, Whats a river in your mind? yes a running nose, you blow your nose in to a tissue, you'll be surprised at what you'll find? After you've blown your nose you look in to the tissue and you may be surprised to find that you have to throw it away and where do you throw it away, yes your right you've guessed it its DUSTY BIN!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I say "mama we're all crazee now"

Its the festival of St. Dionisios week or the festival of St. Dennis. It all gets a bit manic while the festival is on, there is a market here for 5 days selling all end of line stock and clothing rejects but you can pick up some real bargains if you can be bothered to rummage around in the heat of the day. Been to the market 2 mornings on the trot (Sunday, Monday) and all i could find to buy was a 20 metere hose pipe, it is a lovely hose pipe though, green re-inforced with a adjustable nozzle, not that you people in the UK would know what a hose pipe looks like what with the hose pipe ban after having only 2 weeks of sunshine haha. I did fancy buying a couple of chipmunks (real ones not Chip & Dale the Disney ones) but they would have to fend for themselves through the winter so they had to stay put. The main day of the festival is the 24th August when the main man himself St. Dionisios is paraded around the streets to thousands and thousands of people almost every Zakynthean from all over the island from every little village makes their way to the town, add to that the tourists on trips with the tour companies and tour shops and the ones who make their on way there so its a pretty crazy day. I went to see it in 2002 and that was enough for me.

This week has been a strange old week, one night full the next night half full, one night all cocktails, the next night beers and soft drinks, most probably my most unpredictable week i've ever had since Oceanic opened.

I read through most of the websites linked to Zakynthos and there is alot of talk of whats better in a resort or whats changed and why its changed so i thought i would share my unwanted views with you, my avid readers, are you sitting comfortably?

When tourism first began many many years ago people went abroad to have a taste of other countries cultures and food, as time progressed tourists would plant seeds in the business owners minds, you know the sort of thing "Do you know what would make your bar busier, showing football" so the bar evolves over the years in to an entertainments bar. So then that has a knock on effect to the resort which also elvolves to bigger, brighter, louder. Now in saying that there are Greek islands that have stuck to the traditional roots and these places are still very busy. On the down side of this you only have to look at resorts that have changed to much and are now dying or are dead, Faliraki was once a real party resort for years but then it died off till it was nearly empty due to its bad publicity and the locals deciding enough was enough of the bad behaviour from the 18-30's, Aiya Napa the same happened to that, Malia in Crete has died off from what it used to be and so has Laganas. These types of resorts attract the younger crowd and for some reason people seem to think this age range of tourists have money to spend which in fact they don't, they buy cheap spirits and wine from the supermarkets get drunk even before they leave their rooms and then spend very little in bars that then puts a strain on the businesses in the resort which eventually and sadly leads them to close.

In Tsilivi there used to be 2 large clubs which were busy at one point in time for about 2 seasons but due to Tsilivi being a family resort these types of venues weren't wanted by the people visiting the resort and now they are closed. Argassi had 3 clubs which for such a small resort seems excessive but now 1 is closed, 1 is never busy and the other has mainly locals and the younger tourists that visit the resort. Laganas well what can you say, i have 3 friends who have or had bars in Laganas and for the ones still open it is their worst season ever and they may even close at the end of this season. One of the owners had 7 people in all night one night and he is on the main beach road strip of bars. And so to Kalamaki I've lived in Kalamaki for 5 years now and even within that short time have seen many changes but there is one main thing that stands out for me which is that all the businesses that were set up to be bar/clubs have now gone within 2 seasons and now all that is left are bars and restaurants and its a real shame these businesses have closed as no one wants to see anyone close up after the hard work these people have put in to it. Now i'm not saying they are the only businesses that have closed as others have but for the most its been the bar/clubs. Kalamaki has always been a more family and couples orientated resort than a younger persons resort and as soon as you hear the word "club" associated with somewhere you immediately think loud music, dark lit room with flashing lights and drunk people which would deter the sort of tourist Kalamaki attracts from visiting these businesses. Do i think Kalamaki needs a club? Yes because i believe the younger tourists that come out with their families needs somewhere to go but there are plenty of good bars with entertainment to keep the whole family busy. Does Kalamaki need a club? Maybe not from what i've been reading as a majority seemed to like the quieter Kalamaki. The sad thing is that proof has shown that clubs in Kalamaki don't work apart from the short period of time after the exams are finished or at least clubs that are aimed at the younger tourists don't work as they don't have the spending power some seem to think. Its all about what the individual wants from a business, if you want cheap drinks there is a bar for you, if you want karaoke theres a bar for you, if you want sport theres a bar for you, everyone is different but the facts show there wasn't enough people wanting clubs, if there was Kalamaki would still have one. Islands and resorts don't have to advance and move on just because technology does and because people expect it to, just take a look at Kefalonia, Santorini and Thassos, these islands are still more traditional and are still very busy with tourism. Zakynthos was hit hard in the papers because of progression due to Laganas and the island hasn't really recovered since that summer of headlines in the UK press so perhaps the island should step back in time a re-build for a better future so everyone who has a business on the island can survive.

Update from The Lighthouse, have spoken to Veronica this week and she is due to have a check up soon and is feeling a little better but will be glad to see a doctor, Veronica and Derek are missing everyone terribly and hope everyone understands that veronicas health comes first but as soon as she's up and running again they''ll be back.

As for me i'm looking forward to a holiday of some sort as its been a hectic season (shame about the high tax rate gggrrrrrrrr!) and the Oceanic tours start again on the 5th November with a trip to Manchester for 3 nights but will post about that in more detail closer to the date.

Place the firework in a solid foundation, like a bucket of sand. Light the blue touch paper at arms length with a fire lighter. Stand well back. If the blue touch paper does not light DO NOT approach the firework, even though you may not see it lit it may be smouldering. Taking these actions will secure you a safe and happy bonfire night.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Britain, we have a problem!

Sorry for the delay in my update but not had any connection since Saturday, thats what you get for being a tight ass tapping in to someone elses wifi connection. So problem over as you can see.

So whats been going on this past week. Well another sad day on Monday when another business closed its doors for good. At 4.30am when i returned from Argassi Down Under club was open and had a few customers left drinking when i woke up at 10am everything was gone, not a single bar stool was left. Its terrible to see places closing which then leaves big empty holes around the resort and you have to feel sorry for the business owners who once had the glory years but are now struggling to meet the taxes and the rent on the properties. Some people have said maybe Kalamaki will end up changing back to the way it was with just small bars and tavernas but to be honest its never nice to see someone lose their livelyhood and without these types of venues for the younger people to go to where is left for them? We still have to deal with the largest hotel in the resort next season going all inclusive so god only knows how that will hit the main strip, fingers crossed it won't effect it to much but we'll have to wait and see.

Also i have some more sad news but hopefully it will be ok, The Lighthouse Restaurant is closed for the season and with all being well it will be open again next season. Derek came to see me on Thursday (last week) to let me know that Veronica wasn't well at all and couldn't even walk from the car to their house, i don't think its a secret that Veronica has MS and Derek had decided to take her back to the UK so she could get the proper care she needed for this disease which i thought was the right decision. On Friday they started their journey back and are now safely in the UK getting the treatment Veronica so rightly needed. So before the rumours start spreading, they have not done a bunk, runner, flit or whatever you want to call it. A persons good health means more than anything else, so all i'd say is let them sort everything out in peace and look forward to them being back in Kalamaki making the best breakfast in the resort. As soon as they contact me with how its all going i will let you know. I am the last person on the island that Derek spoke to and those are the reasons he gave why they are closed for the rest of this season. Derek and Veronica all your friends and customers wish you well with your recovery and hope to see you soon.

On Tuesday night there was a huge fire at Lithakia that started around 8pm which spread so quickly, also because it was getting dark the sea planes could not fight the fire so it had to be fought by hand and as you can see from the pictures the fire spread quit far but the land crew got it under control which i thought was a fantastic job and deserve lots of credit for the great work these fire fighters do as there was also a fire yesterday in 2 places behind the Cavo Doro hotel which had to be evacuated but again the fire crews got it all under control, don't panic i had my 10m hosepipe ready to help them but they didn't need it so it got put away for another year.

Zoomed in view of fire at Lithakia.
Actual view from Kalamaki of fires at Lithakia.

I've booked my flight back to good old dull, grey, wet UK so bar will be closing the 21st Oct as i'm taking a week out after that to do some building work on the bar. Next season the Oceanic is having a complete new facelift from the floor to the roof but the main feature of the bar remains the same which is a chill out bar without any TV's or Entertainment and all drinks served with ORIGINAL SPIRITS. The plans are drawn up and i've even done an artists impression of what it will look like but can't show anyone just yet, you never know who might be reading this blog, I CAN SEE YOU! haha!

If anyone knows of a good surgeon that does short ass body transplants could they e-mail please as this body has taken a battering since the end of July, my poor little legs have been rushed off their feet, wish i had a pedometer to see how many miles i cover in the bar each night.

So once again its time to sign off for this week, i know, i know, its been more sad news than good news this week but thats life i'm afraid, but i'm still happy, the suns still shining, pools still lovely and cool and the drinks are flowing constantly, so for me things couldn't be any better.

Ok, so who thought that it was Toby Maguire in my last post LOL

Is your dog having an affair with your next door neighbours cat? Can you only string 2 words together in a sentence? Is your brother your mothers uncles aunt with webbed fingers and toes? If so call me Jeremey "smug git, i've been through everything you have only twice as bad, bully" Kyle and i'll put you on my freak show, i mean TV show.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Cake, Cake and even more Cake.

Well this week has been a bumper week for cake as there has been 2 birthdays and an anniversary in the bar that have all warranted a cake, thank god mmmmmm! As long as the man boobs stay away i'll be ok haha!

Been a very eventful tiring week this week but can't complain as really enjoyed it. First i've been out and about looking for a house to buy and seen some lovely ones at bargain prices but need to find out alot more about them before any offers go in, also the boat hunt is still on but been told to wait until after christmas to make an offer on any as they'll sell for less.

Helens birthday was great, had a party in the bar on friday night then totally fooled her on Saturday. She thought we were hiring an outboard motor boat for ourselves to go on a little trip when in fact i had planned for her to have a full spa treatment with massage and haircut at the Lesante 5 star hotel in Tsilivi while i laid by the pool, even when we were in the hotel she still never had a clue what was going on until the receptionist of the spa greeted us. Brilliant!

The bar again this week has been great, every night at some point between 10.30pm and 1am the bar has been full and tuesday i had to turn people away as i just didn't have any floor space for chairs and even then 2 people had to stand. I'm not saying i'm full from doors open till doors close as thats ridiculous, no one is ever that busy, i've been sat reading my book alone till 10.30pm some nights but it is nice to see the bar full even if its just for 5 mins, i like to keep busy. I am closing alot earlier in saying that usually around 2am but its so hot during the day and night my customers are tired from the heat which i can understand. Lets see what change over day brings today, between thursdays change over and todays i've lost 37 customers with also a change over day Monday to come but i always get surprised when a regular to Oceanic walks in on their first night, always lovely to see return customers year after year.

The Oceanic can now have international status as this season had so many different nationalities in Swedish, Dutch, German, Finnish, Polish, Romanian, Greek (of course), Norwegian, Austrian, Swiss, Italian, American, Canadian.......oh yeah and British LOL.

And i've also had a world famous hollywood actor in for 5 nights while his boat was docked in Zakynthos town, kept it very low key until he left but it was no other than Spiderman himself Mr. Toby Maguire. AGGGHHH OH MY GOD!

The 18-30's have gone from the resort as i thought they might, very strange how every season they turn up in Kalamaki for 2-3 weeks in July, it must be just after the exams have finished, wouldn't like to see the resort turn in to extension of Laganas as that would be me out of here.

Its a neck and neck race this season between The Oceanic, Snickers and Fry's Turkish Delight Cocktails (Lemon Cheesecake is also a close runner), all selling very well, in fact the exclusive to Oceanic cocktails are selling better than the traditional cocktails but it is making it more difficult each year to come up with new ones as there are already 12 on the menu with another 4 to go on it, Snickers, Fry's Turkish Delight, Bounty Bar and Refresher cocktail are the 4 not on the menu at the moment.

brrr meow grrrr beeee meow buuurr cheeew puuuur brrrrr meow! "Charlie says that if ever you see a box of matches lying around tell mummy because they can hurt you."

Monday, 2 August 2010

Its half time here on Zakynthos

Well we're now in to August and its going very well indeed, so far. May and June were my best months since i opened in 2007 and July leveled out to be the same as last season due to 2 quiet weeks in the middle but last week another busy week. So much so my poor old knees are starting to ache due to my supermarket sprints every night for stock i've run out of. I'm hoping that by 2012 there will be an olympic event for the 40m supermarket sprint in which case i think i could be in with a good chance for the gold medal.

While our good friends Leigh and Rachel were out here they had arranged for us all to go horse riding which seemed like a wonderful idea having never been before, as we arrived there were some beautiful looking horses then as we were about to get ready they showed me the horse that i was booked in to ride, a Shetland Pony named "Tornado", i took one look at it and said "are you taking the p**s, you've booked me in to ride that?" to which they all nodded, "Well i'm sorry but you won't be getting me on that thing its way to tall for me" so i turned away and went to visit Izzy'z Ice Creams instead and let them carry on to get saddle sore.

Tornado the Shetland Pony, one mean beast.

As you can see Leigh is a modern day John Wayne, shame about health and safety though.

Or is it Bingo from the banana splits? Sorry Leigh couldn't resist it haha!

Not been up to much lately due to the heat and petrol strike but i did have a curry last night delivered to the bar ready for when i close. Now before everyone goes on about "why you eating curry when your in Greece?" i think that after 3 months eating lamb with oven potatos, beef stifado and enough Gyros pitas to keep Demis Roussos happy i deserve just one curry, well, 2 currys, 3 starters, pilau rice, chips, 3 pappadoms and a Kemma Nan bread to be precise. I know, I know, what about my wonderful figure, well the way i see it i'm losing my hair so i may as well go the whole thing and be fat as well LOL, now wheres my speedos, bumbag, white socks and sandals.

I may have mentioned a while back that i was writing a docu-comedy, the update is i had the structure of the comedy and i have now started to fill in the script and direction, i've decided to write an episode a month and its not looking to bad so far but sitting on a greek dining chair to write it sure gives you a numb bum, time for a lazy boy relaxing chair i think.

This thing facebook is becoming very popular isn't it, i was on it at one point but i found it pretty dull to be honest, people updating when they were "making a cup of tea" or "eating a pie" or "I'm so busy in work", well if your that busy get off bloody facebook haha! My good friend Steve set up an Oceanic facebook group and i have to thank Helen for being a facebook junkie for keeping the group up to date with pictures and replying to the members and i'd like to thank you all for joining. If you type in "oceanic chill out bar" on facebook you'll find it.

The resort is looking pretty busy now but from talking to other business owners of restaurants and bars that visit me people aren't spending like they used to, which is understandable with the way the economy is in the UK and the euro has dropped down again, lets just hope these businesses can survive this season and hope on an improvement next season. The one restaurant owner who visited me last night for a drink has a restaurant on the main road and he told me his rent was €21,000 a season and this season was his worst but the landlord would not even try to help him by lowering the rent, he will survive this season but he's finding it very difficult, also a good friend who opened a new bar this season told me that his customers are coming in staying for 1 or 2 drinks then going, no all night drinkers like they used to get in the past at their previous business. Fingers crossed that all who are here this year will be back next year.

So lets look ahead to August and keep the good times rolling.

Now then, now then, when your out in your car, don't forget your seatbelt, just remember this little saying "clunk, click every trip" and you'll do just fine.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

You scream, i scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Well its absolutely SCORCHIO! What can you do to keep cool, go for a swim? sit under air con all day? sit in a bath full of ice? NO, get yourself as much ice cream as you can and gobble the whole lot up before it melts, mmmm! Had a nice plate full at "7" ice cream parlour in town but take a pillow with you for when you faint at the price €9, then i had some at the bakery in Kalamaki that was nice and a good price €5.20 but flavours were a bit to stronge, then we hit the jackpot with Izzy's Ice Creams at Busters Bar in Alikanas, a great big bowl full of Vanilla, Banana and peanut butter ice cream and all homemade €5, WOW! Brain freeze heaven.
Helen decided to try the Ouzo flavoured ice cream being as i don't like Ouzo, i was curious so i had to taste a bit and do you know what, it really does work and i enjoyed it as the flavour was there but not to stronge. Good work guys, keep it up!

As my dedicated readers know i don't like to churn out the same old cocktails as the other bars so this week i have created 2 new cocktails, the Banana Blender Bender and a Turkish Delight Cocktail (boy did that one take a long time testing, HIC!) My first Guinea Pigs, sorry i mean customers all survived the taste test and enjoyed every drop so its all systems go with both for the rest of the season.

Well this week has been very quiet. Within 2 weeks i've gone from my best night in 4 years to worst night of this season, still hit target though so can't complain really and back to normal last night with a full bar, very weird. I looked back over past years takings for the week before schools break up and it seemed to be the same fact for the past 3 years that that week was really quiet. When my customers arrive now after 10.30pm being as its to hot early evening they tell me that even some of the more popular bars and restaurants on the main road who are usually busy are empty or just half full. I've even been to see friends who have bars in Kalamaki, Argassi and Tsilivi and their feeling it even more as they all have at least 5 staff, more overheads and takings for a night are as much as mine on a good night. One of the bars is lucky to take €50 after being open 18 hours, poor guy feel so sorry for him. We need more businesses to survive and hopefully even more open, some business owners may be happy when competion closes but in all honesty thats a bad way to think, if a resort has less businesses open then there is no reason for tourists to visit it, tourists want a resort with lots of open businesses not a ghost town with empty properties. Also the landlords of these properties need to help the business owners by lowering the rent in this time of economic crisis, isn't it better for them to have some rent instead of no rent? My landlord dropped my rent without me even asking and now its less than when i first opened the bar, now thats good business sense. One business in Kalamaki has closed already with only 2 1/2 months of the season gone.

The old road was so quiet of people one night i saw a cat and dog walking paw in paw down the road as no one was around but as soon as they saw me they pretended to fight again LOL.

I took a ride over to Argassi this week to have a look around and i have to say it looks a sorry sight and a bit run down with empty businesses just left to over grow with weeds and rubbish collect in the front of them. I went to my old bar "The Tropicana" which in its time was the busiest bar in Argassi but now empty and just left to rot, i felt quite sad as i stood there in its grounds remembering how much fun was had there with my good friends Andrea, Mia and Dez and all the lovely customers that visited me, quite a few even come over from Kalamaki. I still have great memories of some brilliant nights but i don't think i'll ever see it open again.

The once great Tropicana. My writing is still on the blackboard from 2006.

As you all know from previous posts i'm on the look out for a boat and may have just found it, now i'm really torn between the biscuit tin home made landing craft and this 4 mast ship, there is a bit of a gap when it comes to the price, a couple of million in fact but i think 4 million for the homemade landing craft is a bit steep haha!

So once again its time to sign off kiddy winkies till next week, before you go to bed
make sure to put the cat out, lock all the doors, check windows, turn off electrical appliances and unplug from the wall and never smoke in bed. Goodnight viewers and sleep tight.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Its oh so quiet, ssh! ssh!

Well its another week over and time for the latest news from Zakynthos.

What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday was my best night since i opened in 2007 and my best season to date but this week the old road has been like a ghost town so much so you would think its first week of May. I'm very honest when it comes to writing my blog so i don't just post the times when i'm busy but then again i haven't really had a quiet season so i haven't been able to post about a quiet week but now i can, hooraah! LOL Still hitting the nightly targets i've set for the bar this season but boy the nights are long and drawn out. As stated in previous posts over the seasons at this time July and August are quiet months for me but its the first time i've had time to sit down, which ain't a bad thing as my poor little legs ain't getting any younger.
I had a lovely couple come in to my bar on their first night last week and say "We've heard this is the best bar in Kalamaki" to which i replied "I wouldn't know about that, its just a bar". I don't think anyone can give themselve that honour and you can only be voted "the best" by someone who has visited every bar in Kalamaki and tried the drinks. I do feel very honoured by the reviews i get but everyone is different, i've just been lucky that all the people that have visited me have enjoyed Oceanic and yes the couple have been back every night. For me i'd say Cave Bar is the best just for its location and surroundings and i wouldn't even say i was anywhere near the busiest bar as there are a few bars busier than Oceanic but for the size of the bar i'm doing very well.

So whats occuring? Ok, well, the large influx of 18-30's are slowing down but the resort is looking more to cater for the 18-30's this season with crazy drinks prices along the main strip and now bars are also selling, wait for it, Laughing gas in ballons, can you believe it, not helium actual laughing gas, whats that all about? I'm sure that when i go in to a bar its for a drink not to have a tooth extracted (laughing gas reference). What will it be next, Intravenous Ouzo? haha. After i closed at 2.30am last night i took a ride around the resort and visited my friends bar. I've never seen so many groups of young girls and guys wandering around the resort at that time of morning in the 5 years i've lived in Kalamaki. When i got to my friends bar there was about 20 youngsters in there and out of that amount i counted only 6 had drinks but they stayed there for the whole hour i was there and were still there when i left with only seeing 2 more drinks bought. Thank god i aimed my bar at the 35+ age group, us old farts really know how to party haha. Nevermind its only for 2 months and i'm well away from it being on the old road, Phew!

Soon i will be a captain, no i haven't applied to play for the England Football Team but i've been on a window shopping spree for a boat, seen a few and waiting to hear back about a little 4 seater speed boat but also seen a boat that looks like a home made world war 2 landing craft, not sure how sea worthy it is but there was a for sale sign on it at the port in Zakynthos town. Can you imagine it, me setting off to sea with a yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, parrot on my shoulder and scuppering all the fancy yachts as they try to dock in the port, i shall call myself "Captain Short Ass Balding Patch" and my boat will be known as "Battle Axe Blodwyn". As you can see from this picture she already has a plank that i shall make them land lubbers walk, aah haaaa!

Some how the rumours have started already that i'm not going to be back next season, news to me. Well of course, how stupid of me, i'm having my best season ever (so far but things can change), its sunny and warm, i have all day to myself to go to the beach or pool or out on my bike, no stress, i'm my own boss and yes i really want to give all that up to stay in the UK with the wet grey summers, no job prospects, society going down the pan and 2 guys i don't even know or care about running the country very badly. I can see the appeal of the UK but i think i'll stick with Zakynthos and have to grin and bare it LOL. When or if i ever close Oceanic you'll read it here first.

So until next week folks, Hold your sparkler at arms length, let an adult light the end, when lit keep the sparkler at arms length at all times, never throw your sparkler, when sparkler is finished extinguish in a bucket of water.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

New e-mail address for Oceanic Margarita Studios enquiries

Ok the old e-mail address for uk bookings is now closed so you need to re-enquire using:-

The old e-mail address was hacked in to and all enquiries have been lost so please use the new address and re-enquire, thank you

Sunday, 11 July 2010

My quiet part of the season or is it?

Well we're now in to July and usually my season goes a bit quiet as my dedicated readers know from previous seasons posts July andf August are quiet months for me due to the fact its more families and 18-30's than couples and older families but in saying that this July has been a different kettle of fish all together (what the hells a kettle of fish?). The nights have seemed alot quieter but its been better than last season. In fact last night i smashed my all time record takings by 85 euro which may not seem much to you but for a bar that can only hold 40 people with only myself running the whole show that ain't bad going and out come the emergency chairs again (thanks Derek and Veronica at the The Lighthouse restaurant) so to keep a record of my best night since i opened in 2007 here are some pics at 1am this morning. Notice the new doorway lights, pretty!

Last Wednesday Myself and Helen took our good friends Leigh and Rachel to a truely beautiful restaurant in Aghios Sostis called "Aperitto". It has an amazing decor with stunning views out to sea of Cameo Island and Marathonisi Island. The menu has some great food on it that is served from 5pm, being as we were there at 1pm it was a limited menu but it was still lovely tasting food and hope to visit it at night some time but that may be difficult due to my bar being open. Here is a link to their website and a pic, forgot to take pics of the views out to sea, what an idiot LOL.
I'm seeing some worrying signs of this lovely peaceful resort getting the early symptoms of "Laganitis" (good word Lee & Emma). Usually about now we get a few groups of all females or males that lasts for 2 or 3 weeks but this season it has doubled in amount. Guys roaming around with tops off early hours of the morning shouting with a bottle of beer in hand, girls falling about with shoes in hand crying. Why are the UK tour companies sending them to a family resort? Many regular vsitors have already said it is putting them off coming back. I had a greek family in 4 nights ago for drinks who own a restaurant on the old road and they said that last week since the 18-30's landed it has been their worst week in years and before that they were doing very well. A friend who owns a bar on the main road said that every night he sees easily about 100 young people getting taxis to Laganas.
Don't get me wrong i've been on 18-30 holidays in my time but i think there is less respect with the "Yuff" of today (Not all are bad may i add). I've had girls walk in asking for free shots before they've even sat down and ordered a drink to which the answer is " Sorry i don't do free shots" then they turn and leave with a "TUT", also had girls in wearing bikini tops at night only to be told by myself they can't come in without a proper top on only to get an educated reply of "Thats crap, its hot", when i don't wear a top to work i'll then allow customers not to wear top in my bar, so thats never gonna happen, who would want to look at my skinny chicken ribs haha. Well lets hope this influx of party people dies off.
Get off your soap box now Kevlar LOL.

So i'm now in the stages of developing a turkish delight cocktail which i will have great joy in tasting as its one of my favourite chocolate bars, hopefully it will be perfected by tuesday.

Well thats it till next weeks update folks so until then, find a good space to cross the road, look right, look left, look right again, if its all clear walk straight across the road until you reach the other side looking left and right all the way.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

State of emergency on Zakynthos!

Please do not panic when you read this but i've run out of Crumpets, Black Pudding and Frosted Shreddies, AAaaaaagghhh! Don't panic Captain Mainwaring! Oh my god i'll have to eat healthy food now haha.

Sorry this update is a bit late but been rushed off my feet, very busy at night and then running around for stuff for the bar in the day so now its time to update my lovely family and friends on whats been going on.
On tuesday last week i went attended a wedding at the Crystal Beach Hotel which i was kindly invited to by the happy couple Kerry & Chris. It was a lovely day but i felt a bit sorry for them as it must have been the hottest day we had had so far this season and with them all dressed up they must have been boiling, poor things. Even so it was a great day and an even better night by the state of Brian (Kerry's Father) never seen you that merry Brian haha but it was a special day so your allowed the odd 1 or 4 carafes of village wine.

Every tuesday my self and Helen go out and about around town and try to find little tavernas on the back streets that locals use not one of the main ones in town or on the port road, we call it our "Traditional Taverna Tuesday" original i know LOL. I take pictures of each one we visit and at the end of the season i will post a topic with pictures of all the tavernas we have visited.

So, Talk me through it, En-ger-land, What happened? haha

Visited a few friends last night after i closed and had a good night talking about Greek Economy, Greek history and having a general good time and a laugh (my friends are greek) but i was amazed to here that bars are now giving away free shots without the customer having to buy one drink just to get people in to make them look busy, also if you do buy a drink you get 4 shots free, thats madness. You can't run a businesses giving away more than your selling just to make you look busy, find that idea very strange.

Since i launched the Snickers cocktail its been the best seller and i bought out all of Lidls Crunchy peanut butter stock and have run out i've made that many, Can't find crunchy peanut butter anywhere only smooth so now i even have to make my out crunchy peanut butter, why don't i ever make things simple for myself haha.

The V.A.T. has gone up again this week to 23% but i'll keep my prices the same being as the season is now officially the best i've had up till this point out of my 4 seasons so my accountant tells me as its now my quarterly payment, BOOOOooooooo! There was even talk that they may have put it up a third time to 25% but i think they decided against that as there is enough trouble on mainland as it is.

I've come up with an easy way for the island to make thousands, its very simple, put 2 police cars on the Kalamaki to Laganas road and book everyone without a helmet on scooters and quads. Now i have to admit within the resort i don't wear a helmet but as soon as i leave Kalamaki i always wear my crash helmet. Its not rocket science. I've seen so many idiots going around the resorts without helmets they could easily pull in €10,000 a day in fines. Already this season there has been more accidents and deaths on quads than scooters. Also how does having a car licence make you qualified to ride a quad, motorbike or scooter? Over here now you need a motorbike licence like the UK to ride a bike so shouldn't the rental shops now only be allowed to rent bikes out to people with CBT licence or full bike licence? Thursday i saw a quad bike crash happen, young guys on quads, speeding, messing about and the one crashed in to the front of The Lighthouse Restaurant, the young guy was very lucky that he crashed going to the right as he was thrown off to the left, if he had crashed straight on he would have hit the large thick electric post and been killed as he was going that fast, instead he was thrown off his bike and landed 2 buildings down from the Lighthouse, very lucky boy. But the worrying thing is he could have killed a holidaymaker walking along the resort or even a customer stepping out from the Lighthouse. Time to revise the rental laws maybe.

So as you can see its been a very eventful week in all, think i'll need a holiday the end of this season, Skegness here i come LOL.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

What the....its bloody rain!

Well would you believe it...RAIN! Never in all my years on this usual beautiful island have i known it to rain so late in June. I had my waterproofs on yesterday morning. For once the weather forecasts were right but i wish they weren't, poor little holidaymakers coming to Greece and getting UK weather.

So En-ger-land have won a game and are through to the next round, well done the lads, now everyone can say "2 world wars, 1 world cup and 1 group stage game." LOL It does go to show how bad the national team have got though lets be honest, before they'd be a dead cert to get through to quarter finals and a win in the group stage would be the normal, now everybody celebrates a win like they've won the cup itself. Then again i can't really say anything bad about the english team at least they always get to a tournament, Wales are so crap i'd do away with the welsh football side and enter a team in to the dominos league. Although there are some really good individual welsh players out there.

Thats enough about the world cup.

Business is still going absolutely brilliantly this season what with all the british/greek economy problems, just goes to show that people still need holidays and from what i've been hearing Greece is still good value for money once you get here.

Kalamaki is a lovely peaceful resort and never any trouble but it alarms me to hear that after the england game yesterday there was the odd incident of violence in the resort between english supporters, whats that all about? English fighting English. Aren't you meant to celebrate a win.
Also a certain major tour operator who has its own version of "18-30" have put every hotel they have on their books in to the online broucher for the 18-30's. With the original Club 18-30 they are purely based in Laganas and nowhere else on the island but with the major tour operators version they can book anywhere on the island thinking that hotel is for 18-30's. I wonder if the hoteliers realise this? When i looked at the list of hotels in Kalamaki that were being touted towards the 18-30's i was shocked to find what hotels were listed but i'm sure the hoteliers wouldn't be happy about this fact if they knew. If people want to party hard thats fine but lets keep it to one resort and not spoil the whole island but then again i don't think the tourn operators care that much.

Some times when i'm riding around on my bike i think of home, Cardiff and wonder what is changing in the capitol of Wales. Are Daz, Tim and Ian still talking the same rubbish about how the Bluebirds were robbed HAHA! Is my nephew Leighton ever going to get a proper job so he can by a round at our local when i arrive back in winter? What toy will be the big seller this christmas at Toys R Us so i can mass purchase them and spoil childrens christmas (only joking, baa humbug!) But then as i was turning a corner on my travels i saw a beautiful sight, Cardiff is on Zakynthos.

The Cardiff sign near St. Nicholas Beach

Well blow me down with a feather, not only is Oceanic a chill out bar and apartments its also branched out in to paint and wood stain. This tin by some spooky coincidence is under my apartment exactly where i park my motorbikes. I wonder if i can make a claim for use of name LOL.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The cocktail experiments continue!

So we're now well in to June and business couldn't be any better, had a slight blip of about 5 days during the school break but now its all back to normal and getting a full house most nights. The days and nights are getting hotter every day as the season goes on so the outdoor seating is very popular as this picture shows.

8pm last night.
As the topic title shows i am still developing new cocktails. Last year someone asked me for a Mars Bar cocktail which i did make for them but this year i had a flash of inspiration "Snickers cocktail", now you may be thinking throw a snickers in some vodka and let it disolve, wrong! or maybe blend a Snickers in with a smoothie, wrong! Oh no, thats way to easy, i've developed one using 5 seperate ingredients to make a crunchy cocktail that is a alcoholic liquid Snickers in a glass and unlike the lemon cheesecake you don't have to order it 24 hours in advance. I am getting through the ingredients at a high rate and its only been on the menu 2 days LOL. One of my customers (Tyler) was that excited about the cocktail that he fainted.

Tyler after hearing the news he couldn't have a Snickers cocktail due to alcohol.

Only joking he's sleeping, whats he trying to say about my bar haha!

As you can see from the topic above this one the Oceanic-Margarita Studios are now available to rent at not a bad price with everything included, i'll be dealing with any info needed and the bookings will be taken by Dennis, so i've got the easy part of the deal which is fine by me.

Well its now siesta time with the air con blowing away, it really is very hot now, so till next week, take care of yourselves........and each other LOL

Friday, 11 June 2010

Its getting exciting!

Well after a long meeting last night with the owner of the studios i'm looking to take on it looks like we have a deal, all we need to do is agree on a selling price to the customers. I'm trying to make it affordable holidays for couples and families. I'm having a final meeting Sunday morning, making a blog for them like this one tomorrow and hopefully then launch it when the owner has seen it and ok'd it.

Well the world cup starts today and good luck to Greece (well you didn't think i'd say England did you haha!) I'm very excited and nervous at the same time about not having a TV in the bar but i'll stick to my business plan and no matter what happens it will be a World Cup free Zone, well i think there's enough places to watch it in, almost 98% of the resort in fact. As these pictures show from last night, you don't need TV's, Promotions or entertainment to have a busy bar but you do need a lot of luck, a lot of hard work & time put in to your business and good timing of customers.

My little pet is back in the bar his name is Eddie, Eddie L'Izzard he helps me keep the Moths and Mozzies at bay, well he's supposed to but he's the worst hunter you've ever seen. He has become the most famous lizard in Kalamaki maybe even Zakynthos he's had that many pictures taken of him LOL.

Its great to see the resort starting to fill up now and hopefully all the businesses will have a good share of the custom this season, its been a difficult start for alot of them in Kalamaki and no one likes to see anyone struggling and hopefully more businesses can open after this season, all this island needs is for the tour companies to stop being so greedy with their holiday prices.

Some of the beaches to Visit on Zakynthos!

I took a tour around the some of the best beaches on the island for you to have a look at just in case you hire out a scooter, quad or car fancy visiting a few.

Crystal Beach at Kalamaki.

Gerakas Beach at the furthest point South East of the island.

Plaka Beach in Vassilikos.

St. Nicholas Beach at Vassilikos.

Alykes Beach.

Alikanas Beach.

These are just a few of the lovely beaches on the island, hope you can get to visit them.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The new Improved Oceanic!

I decided this year to do away with the artificial trees and hand written signs and replaced both, also i have given the sofas and chairs a make over and added some new tables, think i watched to many Changing Rooms in the past. Oops that sounds wrong, i mean the TV programme LOL I took these pics to add to my May review but forgot to post them so i will put them on now.

The new frontage for 2010

A full bar at Oceanic

I've spent a fortune haha. (Thats a joke by the way)

As you can see from the pics this was from one of the couple of nights that i had a full bar in May, anyone can say anything on the Net, facebook or blogs so i try to add pictures to show what i've done with the bar from last year. Also in the back ground of the second pic you can just see the changes that have happened across the road at the Cavo Doro this season.

June has picked up again now the schools are back so its back to being busy busy busy but again i take each day as it comes and enjoy my nights whether its busy or quiet. The weather is now getting really hot in the days and much warmer at nights which is great for all the open air bars.

I went to pick up some ice last night from my friends bar about 8PM and every restaurant was full, didn't see one business with more than 2 tables empty so thats great news, so it seems every restaurant on the main strip is doing better than in May.

No news on the apartments yet as still trying to pin the landlord down but the longer they're left empty the less i want them as i want to start promoting them, so he better pull his finger out LOL.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

World Cup? Not in this bar it ain't haha!

Well time for the weekly update. As previously posted May was through the roof compared to the 3 previous seasons and couldn't have asked for a better start. June has been a different matter, the nights have been alot colder than in May so the streets have been very quiet but still the targets are being hit every night so i'm a happy bunny even though the bar is quieter, Roll on the warm nights. Never before have i had my outdoor heaters on after May but had them on last night.

So 6 more days till the world cup and while i'm around the resort during the day i can see that every Bar and Restaurant has a TV in it ready to show whatever match they can, except one business, Oceanic. If anyone doesn't want to watch the football there is only one or maybe two places not showing it from what i can see and one of which is my bar. Now whether i'll be busy or quiet i don't know but when i set up the Oceanic i said from the beginning if ever i had to put a TV in the bar i would close. So there will be no world cup in Oceanic but then again Wales never get through to the finals of anything so i got no worries there LOL even if they did i would close the bar and go to which ever country they were playing the final in to watch them, knowing my luck the day Wales get to the world cup it will be held in the UK HaHa!

During the day been having a lovely time going out and about with Helen and just chilling at the pool, this is the life, just taking it easy during the day and socializing with my customers at night.