Saturday, 21 April 2012

Easter time and reject pots get destroyed on Zakynthos!

Well, well, well. What a great week I've had, Helen was here, Easter, lots of coffee, lots of eating out, T-shirts printed and all my stuff for the bar has been delivered without any breakages LOL

So lets start with the T-shirts and here are the other 9 designs to go along with the one I've already posted on here:-

These are available from the bar but need 24 hours notice for printing as saves me having to carry stock.

I like to keep an eye on how things are going in Greece so i buy The Athens News Weekly and its quite a good read, it also has TV listings and was surprised to see that Doctor Who is actually a Documentary. The definition of Documentary is a Nonfictional film or Programme, Wow so time travel is real, Brilliant! I watched it and Kylie Minogue was a waitress on a spaceship called Titanic, She really has fallen on hard times from music superstar to a waitress, these documentaries are cutting edge stuff haha.
Also you can see just below it "Auto Programme" this is actually "Top Gear".

Always love Kalamaki before the season starts as its so quiet, exactly like a ghost town, No Quads, No Boy Racers, No High Powered Super Bikes tearing up the strip popping wheelies, its bliss. 

And doesn't Laganas look clean, also that strange smell has gone which you get when you walk down the road during the day in high season, you know the one, stale beer, rotten food and rainbow yodle all mixed together mmmmmm, Nice! DON'T THINK SO!

So my lovely Helen came to visit during Easter week to help me with the bar and to enjoy the celebrations. Shame the weather was bloody horrible. Was lovely the day she arrived and lovely the day she left, the days in between were rain, high winds and storms. She got out of the painting (isn't that lucky) but she did do an excellent job of glossing the toilet doors, i hate painting so much which you could most probably see last season as the bar looked like Stevie Wonder had a go at it. Getting stuck in to it now, all the inside of the bar is finished just need to put the new art work up supplied by Alan. Many thanks Alan you can see his work on his site:-

The first 3 paintings you see on his site being held up i have for the ceiling of the inside of the bar along with 8 others for the walls to go along with my autographed rock pictures.

Being as the weather was so bad, during the daytime we always used to head out for a coffee in town to a cafe bar called "Lobby" on the port road next to the Strada Marina Hotel, they make my frappe exactly the way i like it. Then in the Night we would visit a different cafe bar called "Filion" near St. Marcos Square on Alexandar Roma, in here it was Havana Club Gold & sprite, they made it just the way i like it LOL.

Now being as i never get a chance to visit Zakynthos town at night (unless its after 4am) i don't get to go to my favorite tavernas apart from during the day but at night they seem to come alive. In one of them where we ate when Helen was here my friend Thassos who owns "Methanes" (may have spelt it wrong but that's what it sounds like LOL) got out his guitar and sang traditional Greek songs. It was so good to see, the locals joined in with singing, i joined in pretending to know the words as i did know the songs, and my foot tapping was second to none. So below is a pic of the man himself in action and a short video. Sorry for it being so short but its quicker to upload and also sorry for the quality but its off an old phone that i wouldn't change for anything as it does the jobs i need it to do. Enjoy!

Now on to Easter! Over here its a real big thing, its not about chocolate eggs and its wonderful to see. You do have to be a night owl though as the parade doesn't start till 4am. We headed in at 2.30am to get a seat in Filion cafe bar so we could watch the parade go by as it starts from St. Marco Square. Myself, Helen, Leigh and Rachel had front row seats. The parade is to symbolis the funeral of Jesus Christ. Of course with me being a Reverend it was a bit of a busmans holiday LOL. There were 3 marching bands, a local school and a few priests with the coffin of Christ thrown in for good measure. The local school was first but they looked frozen bless them as it was cold and pretty late, then came the bands, all of which only played a drum beat to keep time for the slow step and then there was a few guys with a velvet gazebo and at the very end the coffin of Jesus Christ that is said to have a little of his spirit in it.

First marching band.

Second marching band.

Third marching band didn't have a very good costume so didn't take a pic haha.

The Velvet Gazebo with man carrying picture, never did find out who the painting was.

The coffin of Jesus Christ, wasn't he short!

The poor school kids freezing before the parade.

We sat at our seats until all the parade had passed then went for a walk in to Solomos Square and caught up with the parade where the bands had started playing properly so we joined on to the parade behind the coffin and walked with it to the church behind the Diana Hotel in St. Marco Square where there was then a service. Now by this time it was 6am and the service was still going on and the best was yet to come, the "Smashing of the reject Pots". Now you could get a pot to smash for between 5-10€. Everyone gathers around the center of St. Marco Square and lobs a pot in to the center, IT'S CRAZY! Almost everyone has a pot to throw and i mean hundreds of people and then just all of a sudden everyone starts throwing them over the heads of the people in front in to the center of the square to smash on the floor, its like a friendly happy version of the London riots LOL. Feel sorry for the cleaner. Its now my third time of seeing all the celebrations and its still just as good.

The children have a tradition of colouring eggs then playing a version of Conkers with them. You get your egg and tap someone elses egg end to end, if yours breaks you can then use the opposite end of your egg to play again but if it doesn't break you then continue smashing other peoples eggs with yours till yours breaks or doesn't. It was like a more colouful scene from Cool Hand Luke.

mmmmmmmm. Eggs!

Easter over, Helen's holiday over and off she went, very horrible seeing Helen leave as had a great winter and a great week but she's on it already looking for her next flights, WOOHOO!

And finally (sounds like news at 10) while i was at my suppliers looking for some new drinks to try i came across a box tucked away on a bottom shelf and i was amazed to see Bruce Willis staring out from it (he wasn't in it staring out, that would just cruel) the pose looks like more for a watch advert but as you can see its for a vodka, Sobieski? Bruce says "The best vodka i know" he obviously doesn't know many vodkas LOL.

Do you think it was a one off shot that can be used for anything?  could be for aftershave, you could paste a watch on his wrist, a gun in his hand, cap on his head, its a multi photo that his agent can use to sell to any company and get a shed load of cash for it, the company just adds a phrase.

Ticky Tocky Watches - "The best watch i know"
Bang Bang - "The best gun i know"
Handy Cap - "The best cap i know"

No pics of the bar as its an absolute mess outside, bricks and rubble, palm branches, dirt everywhere, right old mess it is but as soon as its all finished i will reveal it in all its blue and white glory. All my paperwork is complete now so I'm all ready to go. so glad i don't have to do paperwork for staff as well, thats why i work alone LOL. I've been told by a friend who works in the tax office here and my accountant that this season they're cracking down on illegal workers who aren't paying tax (IKA). Business owners will be hit hard with big fines if anyone working at the business doesn't have the correct papers to produce there and then when they pay them a visit, this has come about due to Greece losing millions in none paid tax. So beware, you've been warned haha.

So until next week my lovely readers, REACH FOR THE SKIES!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Athens, Designer T-shirts and Sir Tom Jones! Exciting or What? LOL

So my lovely readers, how have you been this week? Well its been all go here. Been doing lots and lots, so without further a do lets press on with this weeks update.

Been going around all the shops looking for some bright and shinny things for the bar as its having a complete new look this season but sticking with the blue and white. Got some new lights, some new seats, some new tables, built a new bar and i bet I'm the only person who's stupid enough to take out the whole of his toilets just to clean them, i mean the pan also, why oh why did i do that, Uugghh! Its all nice and clean now with a fresh coat of paint inside the bar, just the kitchen left to rip out and clean, think I'll leave the sinks where they are though.

Thought this week I'd take a trip over to Athens, a day trip to Athens, only cost 64€ return. Blimey, forgot what a long trip it was. Got up at 4.30am to get on the coach at 5.30am that will take me to Athens. Got on the ferry which was meant to leave at 6.00am but got away at 6.15am as that night we had strong winds, i mean real strong, the trees were blowing over at 45deg angles, Aaagghh! The ferry was an Ionian Star Ferry, one of the older ones.

Ionian Star Ferry, this was the one on the way back, didn't want to show you the older one LOL

So we head off, as soon as we were out of port the waves began. Just as the ship started to roll from side to side, i remembered it was the anniversary of the Titanic, good job my bar isn't in a country where you might see an iceberg.
Decided to get a water, a pastry and sit down to watch the entertainment. The entertainment was "Americas Got Talent - The Final". This was on channel Ant1 on TV. I think they may have transformed the old cinema room in to a TV room. The final was between a young girl about 15 singing "Somewhere over a rainbow" while sat on a crescent moon? A rather large white gent who sounded like Stevie Wonder singing....... Stevie Wonder, A guy with a dummy that was a turtle with black wig and shades on (the turtle that is) singing "crying" by Roy Orbison (whenever i hear that song all i can think of is Only fools and Horses, "Cwying", Classic!) and a female called Butterscotch who was a human beatbox. Fortunately due to bad weather they lost the signal, OH DEAR WHAT A SHAME!

The impressive entertainment suite on the ferry, "Get your head down at the front!".

90 mins later we arrived at Kylini to a slightly overcast day. Back on the coach and onward with the next 4 hour coach trip.

All good coach companies have a service station stop along the way usually at the half way point, nope, this was only an hour after stepping on the bus. Anyway got off, had a tea and took a wander around. At the back of the service station i found this stunning view of snow capped mountain.

But what was to come was even better. I forgot that along the way we pass over the Corinth Canal. Someone on the coach asked if we could stop so they could take a pic and the driver was so kind he said yes but be very quick. Its amazing to see.

Back on the Coach and on our last stretch of the journey and Athens here i come. We arrived at the bus station at midday and i headed out on to the main road. I knew which direction i was heading in and that direction was "IKEA". On goes my headphones, off comes my jacket and start marching at a quick pace to the sacred land of the cheap furniture. 30 minutes later i arrive close to the store after taking in huge lungs full of traffic polluted air as i walked along the main highway of 14 lanes of vehicles bumper to bumper, mmmm smell those fumes. There in the distance i could see the blue and yellow like a homing beacon drawing me to it, YES! I'VE MADE IT, I'VE MADE IT!

Isn't she a beautiful sight!

So its now 12.30pm, give or take a few minutes and its check time. Money? Check. Debit Card? Check. Shopping List? Check. Business Tax Number? Check. OK, lets shop! Got myself a flat trolley and snaked my way around the store (at this point i have to say i didn't slide around the store on my stomach). Well. i could have bought so much stuff it was unreal but i kept a level head and just got what i made the trip for. After taking ages at the checkout as they couldn't sort my tax invoice out but then the lady on the till realized she had put one number in wrong i was through to the delivery department to have all my goodies shipped to the island. At this point it was going so smoothly until the very nice man at the delivery desk said he doesn't think they deliver to Zakynthos any more. BUGGER! I had visions of pushing a trolley full of stuff back to the bus station but after a few phone calls he found a delivery service and guess how much? Only 48€, that was amazing, i was almost crying as on the wall behind him said 130€ for delivery. I wiped my eyes as i had something in them and bid him a kind farewell.

Back walking on the highway to hell. To get to Ikea you have to cross a footbridge. Now the clue is in the word "FOOT-bridge". On the way there i was passed by 2 motorbikes on the footbridge as there was a queue at the traffic lights that were on red. Of course, why should they wait like everyone else LOL. On the way back i was passed by a police bike and another 2 motorbikes after the police. On the last bike i decided to take a picture for my blog as i was amazed to see such a thing. As the last bike got closer he started to slow down and stopped right in front of me. On it was a big grizzly type bearded Greek gentleman who asked me in Greek "What you doing?", I replied "No problem, its OK", he asked "Why you take my picture?", I said "No problem, your fine", again more angry he said "Why my picture?", "I'm a photographer around the world", he smiled, shook my hand, patted me on back as he passed and carried on, PHEW! Thought i was going to have my head ripped off and shoved on top of the footbridge LOL.

The delightful Greek fellow i met in Athens on a footbridge.

Got back to the station with all my limbs intact and thought it was time to use the toilet (no i hadn't soiled myself). Now i remember these toilets from years ago when they were holes in the floor and you had to pay for toilet paper per square but this time i came prepared, i had brought my own roll, AHA! The toilets had also improved as now they had proper toilets. As i was stood looking down making sure that i didn't wash my shoes and was aiming correctly i noticed a piece of tape stuck to the inside of the bowl with the picture of flies on it (No need for a pic of this i think). So is there a tape that stops flies collecting around the bowl of a toilet? Put it this way the tape didn't look any better than the real thing, Blurgh!

Back on the coach at 4.15pm and on my way back to Zakynthos. I had a travel companion on the way back, Alan Partridge, no not a guy called Alan Partridge, the real Alan Partridge, it was his autobiography which is also my book of the month for April, buy it or if your tight go to a library. The ferry on the way back was a newer one so had a much better seat and view of TV, it was European basketball semi final night with Panathanikos V Macabi, Panathanikos won it by 1 point. The sea on the way back was much worse, real rough. You could hear people talking to the big porcelean telephone LOL.

Got in to Zakynthos town at 10.45pm and the town was all lit up. I don't get to see it that often at night and never from distance on a ferry.

Looks so pretty at night, can't see all the dust, haha.

Got back to coach station, got on my bike and back to apt by 11pm, quick cup of tea then crashed out on sofa, what a real long day. And that's all i got to say on that.

I have some sad news, John, my winter security guard of the past 5 years is no more. He has done his last watch and has gone to that ladies beach volley ball court in the sky.

John with the other legends on the dead wall. He shall be missed.

Talking of Legends, my new collection of Oceanic Designer t-shirts have arrived and here, for the first time ever you can take a look at the "Oceanic Rock Legend Collection"

The front of t-shirt.
The "Oceanic Rock Legend Collection" brand
The back of t-shirt.
One of the designs up close.
Now before you all start saying "That picture on badge is We Will Rock You musical" yes it is but its a good design and suited the t-shirt. There are 10 artists to choose from:-

Bon Scott - AC/DC
Kurt Cobain - Nirvana
Phil Lynott - Thin Lizzy
Joey Ramone - The Ramones
Michael Hutchence - INXS
Ian Curtis - Joy Division
Freddie Mercury - Queen
John Lennon - The Beatles
Joe Strummer - The Clash
Jim Morrison - The Doors

All these have the same set up as the ones shown above. They will be available to purchase this year but to save me carrying stock all i need is 24 hours notice to get it printed for you if you want one, any size you want. There is no year on them or Zakynthos so you can wear them even when home. I've bought holiday t-shirts before and I've never worn them when i get home as it either says the year or place, so that's why I've left both of those off.
It was really hard to decide what i was going to put on them so i went with rock stars from bands who have passed away and a line from one of their songs. Do you know how difficult it was to find dead lead singers who were with a band. It seems the drummers are the ones more likely to go first, must be cause they feel unloved stuck at the back so go on alcohol and drug binges LOL.

On TV back in the UK on BBC on Sat night you now have The Voice with Tom Jones, well guess who was in Zakynthos town in the cafe bar i go to every day, yep, the voice himself, Sir Tom Jones. I took his picture on the sly. I thought I'd make him feel at home so i stood up, walked past him hiding my face, stood behind him and started singing Knockin on Heavens Door by Guns N Roses. He didn't turn around, but 14 Greeks did. TAXI!

The Voice Tom Jones, its not unusual to see him in Greece (Bad joke i know)

This is a great sight to see, 10.30am and Alexander Roma is free of cars, they now close it off. Whether it will stay like this come the tourist season remains to be seen but it will be great if it does.
Well readers i bet your eyes are hurting after reading all that, so are mine from typing it, so its cup of tea time and wrap up in my quilt, its cold at night here, BBBRRRR! Roll on Thurs when Helen arrives, hope she brings my thermals LOL. Till next week folks, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.