Wednesday, 30 March 2011

4 weeks and counting!

Well with 4 weeks to go its all happening here in the UK and on Zakynthos.

Would you believe it only done the UK lottery twice since it started then i saw that for an extra pound your numbers are entered in to 5 more draws, so last week i entered and won £2.50, put that money back on and now so far this week as got 2 more draws to go i'm a £10aire, yes thats right i won £10, woohoo! 2 wins in 2 weeks. Just call me Mr. Lucky.

Lets start here first, well the medical research centre got hold of me and i may be going in for more tests depending on how my pre-screening goes but i will know if i have to go in on Fri 1st and the medical testing won't finish till the 28th April on which dy i will be going straight from the research facilities to Gatwick airport, talk about no time to even fart LOL.

Also i can now announce that our house in Carmarthen has sold and we are buying a new build in Cross Hands, thats between Carmarthen and Swansea but our house won't be ready to move in to till June so Helen has the thrill of entering a brand new home but she then has the pain of unpacking but i will be disappointed not being able to be there to move in on the first day also by the time i get back there will be tat everywhere haha but i get to choose all the electrical stuff, household things are Helens department, not that interested in matching towels and candle holders. The house here at the moment is all in boxes and bags and having to move somethings in to storage, Helen staying at her mums and me at mine, every room here looks like a church hall on a bring & buy sale day.

Got everything ready now that i needed to get from the UK for the bar but its going to be one hell of a rush to get it all done by 1st of May now being as i don't arrive back till 29th April so it may be a week late in finishing but will still be open from 1st day of season. Also it seems someone has decided to start my refurb for me by spray painting my bar different colours, unfortunately its the wrong colours, if only they'd asked it would have saved me the job LOL Never mind it all had to be repainted this season anyway for the refurb as its all change for 2011, so what a waste of money and time it was buying spray paint and going out in the dark of night so no one could see the people decorate it. If these people are looking for painting work there are plenty of firms in the UK that would take on unpaid labour HAHA! Wish i'd known they were going there as would have asked them to do some building work as well if it was free.

So as you can see between the UK and Zakynthos its all go at once and all in a short space of time, Not much else going on as just been packing and buying, buying is much better than packing by the way.

I forgot to say in all the rush rush i through out a load of food and forgot we still have to eat, so helen is on cups of coffee and i'm on ginger & lemon tea as thats all i kept, DOH!

Will update in a week when i may be updated from my medical bed, once again!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

So many things to do, PANIC? Not a chance.

Another week another update. So whats been going on in the world this week, well i'll give you a quick update. I was shocked by a front page of The Mirror, 1/3 of it was taken up by the tragedy of Japan but thats not the shock, 2/3 was taken up by the Oxo mum whatever her name is who had a drink problem and was depressed at some point in her life. Are they serious? Libya at war, 0ver 10,000 dead or missing in Japan but what takes up most of the front page one of the Loose Women cause she's had a crisis in her life, Who hasn't? Jordan or Katie Price depending on how serious she's pretending to be has got her 508th husband to be who's Argentinian and can't speak english, good job as i'm sure her conversation must be thrilling and he must be the only person who's never heard of her, if he had i'm sure he'd be out of there quicker than Maradona in the 1986 quarter final against England, poor bloke. Sad news from the acting world Elizabeth Taylor died today, in her prime she was a beautiful woman who made some wonderful movies and of course was partner of one of the greatest actors of all time Richard Burton. She wasn't looking well for years so maybe its for the best, God speed. Thats my topical news update for the week LOL.

Well times sprinting on now and just realised got loads still to get sorted but no need to panic. Got all my new lights for the bar, pictures and a few furnishings. Got to get the rest when i arrive back on Zakynthos thats if they have what i need. Got loads to do when i get back but thats normal for me a few 14 hour days and it will be all sorted, weather permitting that is as i'm doing more work on the bar this year than i ever have since i first opened.

So by now my regular readers would have seen my new website and new cocktails which i think will go down well also you'll be happy to know my prices are staying the same unlike the up and coming budget. That means i haven't increased my prices since i opened in 2007 which isn't bad considering the tax has gone up 3 times since then and may be going up again before the start of the season.

Been hearing lots of positive things from the island with regards to whats happening in Kalamaki. Unfortunately The Lighthouse will not be open this season, well not with Veronica and Derek as the owners anyway. They are staying in the UK now due to Veronicas ill health but she is doing better than if she was on Zakynthos because the care and medical attention is better in the UK, they will be sadly missed by friends and tourists on the island, no where did as good english food as them, i'm sure we wish them all the best.
I don't think we'll know exactly whats going to open or stay closed until the last 2 weeks of April. Also the phrase "chill out bar" seems to be very popular in Kalamaki this season with 2 businesses including it in their descriptions for 2011 which i think is great as thats what i think Kalamaki needs dotted about the resort as thats what Kalamaki is all about, relaxing. Good luck to all involved and hope they have as much success as i've had but you have to get it right if your opening a chill out bar its not just about comfy seats.

Do you know what i'm looking forward to the most, getting my bikes out and going for a ride around the island while its quiet on the roads. What i'm not looking forward to, all the paperwork that has to be done before opening, office after office, such a pain.

Not sure how the island is going to do this year, the exchange rate is pretty poor at the moment 1.10, charges are going on flights and holidays, tax may be increased in Greece, we can only hope that the tour companies don't become greedy and see its better business to have hotels and planes full at less money than half empty hotels and planes for more money. Easyjet is a help to the island but its not a lifesaver as still around 85% of all visitors to the island use package holidays, i think sometimes we forget that its not just UK tourists that visit the island, i've had German, Dutch, Norwegian, Austrian, Swiss, Irish, Slovakian, Finnish, Italian and Polish customers in my bar so we have to look to the tour companies to help the island.

Every season i start with the idea that this season is going to be a bad one and aim at a low target but every season i've been lucky and been proved wrong as each season has topped the last one. I know nothing ever lasts forever, all businesses have its ups and downs so its easier to set yourself up for a fall than to be cocky and think your going to do brilliant every season, as long as my bills are paid and i come out clear at the end of the season thats all i ask for and thats whats happened every season so far, its the lifestyle i do it for not the money and greed this is why i can keep my prices as low as i have.

Well the suns out here, my Caramel Cappucino is calling at Costas Coffee and another 10 points on my loyalty card. So until next week my happy little readers, Take A Break, Have A KitKat!

Monday, 14 March 2011

A new website is born!

All i can say is i'm very sorry for being a week late with my update but its getting very exciting now with lots of things going on in sunny South Wales and lots of things getting ready for Zakynthos.

Along with all the other stuff i decided to build a new website for Oceanic. Now before anyone panics i will still be annoying people with my ramblings on my blog as i need somewhere to let my phsyciatric nurse know i'm ok and still only bordering on mentally insane, so here for you all to enjoy is the website. There is a picture gallery of my customers at the back of the website and as i recieve pictures i add them, so if your not on there but have pics of yourself in the Oceanic then please add them to Oceanic Chill Out Bar facebook and i'll transfer them to the website. If your not on the websites gallery yet its only because i don't have your pic, i've put all the ones i have on there and add some everyday as i find them.

So where do i start, well my business seems to be of some interest as to which country i buy things from but as the tax inspector who visited my business last year found out everything is accounted for thats because i do everything by the book, best to safe than sorry i say. Also if anyone is thinking of setting up a business in Greece you can get papers drawn up by your accountant for the Greek tax office that allows you to buy things from outside Greece but you can't claim the tax back against your business but you can use the items in your business. another one of Kev's helpful business tips LOL.

Now i've been in Carmarthen for just under 2 years and have only just gone for a walk in the woods behind the house, well to be honest we hardly ever get a sunny dry day to do so but amazingly we had a week of sun, i know i was shocked as well. I put on my boots and off i went up in to the woods that stretch up a hillside to view out over Carmarthen. It took me back to the days of when i was in the SAS and how to blend in with the surroundings so the enemy can't spot you and you have the element of surprise on passing soldiers. Now at this point we're going to have a game of "Where's Wally?" see if you can spot me in the photographs but my camouflage is that good that no matter what clothing you have on you can blend in. so first i'll show you the woods of where i go walking then i'll put up 3 pics and see if you can spot me in them, then below those pics i shall post the same 3 pics pin pointing where i am with a red eclipse.
The beautiful Woods i've only just found after nearly 2 years.
The view across Carmarthen fron the top of the woods.

So here are the 3 areas that i am using to show my SAS training to blend in with my surroundings, can you spot me? After you've studied these 3 pictures i shall then highlight myself so you can see how good you can camoflage yourself no matter what your wearing.

Well how did you get on? Did you spot where i was hiding? it is tricky so you have to look very closely. Now here are the same pics with me highlighted to show exactly where i am, don't want you going crazy taking hours trying to spot me so i will put you out of your misery.

This is called The Branch, this is where you hold your arm and leg out to look exactly like the branches of the tree, taking this position you can attack quickly and quietly.

This is called The Trunk, taking this position among a few other trees can be very useful if outnumbered as you can stay here all day and no one would find you.

This is called The Boulder, always a good one in an open space with no trees near you to take up The Branch or The Trunk position, just be aware you may be sat on by passing tired soldiers but a great position for the element of surprise.

I hope you found these SAS tactics useful for when you may find yourself out in the wild during Gorilla warfare.
Looking to head back to Zakynthos in March for a week as need to start the refurb on the bar then finish it off when i arrive in April. Got a whole new menu with more new unique cocktails only available at the Oceanic, you can see a few samples on the new website. Now where as some bars all over the world change the names of original cocktails to suit their bar i've just pinched the names of some and added my own cocktail recipe as i needed some rock song titles to use as names for my cocktails but hey as Led Zeppelin once said "The song remains the same" its just the ingredients i've changed LOL!

Well its time to go and make some food, today i'm making fresh salmon steak with mild sweet chilis, mushroom and onion wrapped in a filo pastry casing, come on BBC wheres my own cooking show, i could call it "The only idiot in the kitchen" or "Simple food by a simple guy" or "Beans on toast, now thats fine dining"

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Look out big red balls, i may be coming to get yah!

So another week on and another update, i am a good little blogger aren't i.

You may have seen on a Saturday night at 7pm on BBC1 a programme called "Total Wipeout" well i've decided to apply to go on it, i got my application form, filled it in and off its gone. Now the chances of getting to the second stage is very slim think there is 3 stages in all before your accepted for the actual programme, can you imagine how may people want to go on this show, a 8 day trip to Argentina plus the chance to win £10,000 so i'm not getting my hopes up but i sent in a witty application along with some photos as thats what they ask for. Below are 2 of my application pics, one to show ability as a welshman to sing and the other to show i'm an idiot LOL

The Singer

The Idiot

I see that on a facebook group that was set up for my bar (not the official oceanic facebook) that someone has asked the question "why i don't by the things i need from Zakynthos to help the greek economy". Well , not that i have to explain my actions but i will. There are a few reasons why but at the same time that question that was asked could be reversed when i'm on Zakynthos "Why don't i buy things from UK to help the british economy". Anyway these are the reasons 1/ The island doesn't have everything that i need so i need to by them from specialist suppliers 2/ I can buy things from the UK, have them shipped and they still end up cheaper than buying them in Greece for example, a table in Ikea UK costs £8 in Greece that same table is £18 3/ I also have to think of my economy, any business will by a product they need from wherever they get it at the best price. 4/ Out of all the money i spend to do with my bar and living on Zakynthos 90% of that money is spent in Greece. 5/ Because Zakynthos is a small island and the suppliers know you need what they've got the prices can be 3 times as much compared to the UK or on the net. So in summary i do help the Greek economy and thats without the tax i pay. I'm sure that other businesses on the Island buy outside of Greece and pay less tax than me. And that ends my financial lecture LOL.
Not done that much this week as the weather has been so pooh its kept me locked in the house which is starting to make me stir crazy but there was a saviour Friday night "Meatloaf", well not the real one but he was really good. We were invited to a surprise 40th and the ladies favourite singer is Meatloaf so they got a local tribute act in. Now to be honest i wasn't expecting much, a welsh guy doing Meatloaf. I've seen alot of tribute acts in my line of work and most were rubbish but this guy was so good it could have been a CD playing but it wasn't. I've got his name and number so i'm going to try to get him out to Zakynthos for a few gigs around the island, he also later sung some more modern tracks Killers, Kaiser Chiefs and more, not dressed as Meatloaf obviously LOL.
Ladys and Gentleman i give you, Meatlof!

Now i know its a short update but the sun has just come out and i need to get out in it as we don't see it that often in South Wales, so time to slap on the suntan lotion, put my shorts on, get my shades out and go for a walk. By the way thats a joke but i have seen some people do that as soon as the sun comes out haha. Byyyeeee!