Thursday, 27 September 2012

Earth to Kalamaki, come in Kalamaki, is there anybody there?

Lets start with a quiz my faithful blog readers.
The picture below shows 3 young gents, are they:-
1/ Party, binge drinking, girl grabbing, foul mouthed students going to Laganas?
2/ Fans of the punk band "Snot flinging fart bag and the gurgling turd quartet"?
3/ Geeky idiots who slept outside a shop for 7 days to be the first to get the iphone 5?
Difficult one i know, i think the Batman costume may give it away LOL
Just a little information for those of you in geek world, iphone 6 and 7 are ready to go in to production once sales of iphone 5 drop off the scale. 

So its almost the end of the season and hasn't it dropped off quickly. The resort is pretty much quiet all over. Not many on the old road at all if anyone after 10pm. The picture below was taken at 7.45pm last night (wed 26/9) and as you can see its deserted. In saying that the bar is still very busy, last night was full to capacity with all emergency chairs being used. This season now i have only had 12 nights all season where the bar hasn't been full to capacity at some point during the evening which i am amazed at. On Monday i had hit last years whole seasons takings and i still have 25 days to go. To all my wonderful customers you've been amazing this season so a huge, massive, big big big hug and thank you.

7.45pm on the old road, more dogs than tourists lol.

Been getting on a health kick now ready to go back to the UK and a visit to my 4th home Simbec Medical Research Centre. I was pleasantly surprised to see Debs my nurse from Simbec appear in  my bar. Debs and her husband Mark had decided to come to Kalamaki for a 2 week holiday. It was lovely to talk to her without her wiring me up to a machine that goes beep, shoving a thermometer in my gob (thank god its not an anal one) or her jabbing me with a needle then asking "do you want tape for your cotton ball?" A big HELLO to all the other staff at Simbec will see you soon and will tell you all the juicy gossip about Debs drunken nights LOL.
So back on to the health kick, lots of All Bran, Fresh fish and fruit. I go to the fish mongers in town for my fish but cant do full fish so i go for the steaks as i can find the bones easily, Not sure what fish I've been eating as cant be bothered to ask, i just point, show 2 fingers ( as in amount not the swear sign) pay and leave. Tastes lovely mmmmmmmmm.

The unknown fish I've been eating. Answers on a postcard please.

While in town i noticed a British family walking along the port road being very loud, then i saw the mother of the group take a picture of this-

Then she went on to take a picture of this-

I decided to follow them (not like a crazy stalker) as i was amused at the pics they were taking and wanted to see what else they would take a picture of. Then this made me laugh proper -

I don't think they have been abroad before, come to think of it with pics like that i would say they've never left their street LOL. Their friends must dread looking through the holiday snaps.

Decided to scale Mount Skopos again this week, on my motorbike, Virago. No I'm not cheating, I've walked up and run up it so it was time to take the easy option.....or so i thought. Bloody hell, talk about wrong bike for the job. Quad easy, 4x4 definitely, but a cruiser motorbike, bad idea. The road was a nightmare, only the first 100 meters was tarmac then from the base of Skopos to the top was all rocks, gravel, trenches and pot holes. Never been on such a bad road in all my life and it was steep. I fought with the bike all the way up but made it. About 500 meters from the summit a large digger with caterpillar tracks had broke down on the road with a guy trying to fix it and there was a space just big enough for maybe a Fiat Panda to pass it. The bike got passed easy and a small car passed me near the top making its way back down. Even with all the struggling with the bike it was all worth it. The views are stunning and i found a church i had never visited before when up there, Church Panagia Skopiotissa. Its so well restored and so peaceful. Just me and a tomb LOL. My mind did start to play tricks on me as i have watched to many horror films in the past. Wheres Helen when i needed her. Had nothing to throw to the Zombies LOL.

Here's a few pics to look over.

I was just waiting for the tomb to burst open while taking this pic.

And to prove i made it up here's a pic of me, had to run like mad to get in position before timer went off, took 5 attempts, was knackered by the 5th one LOL.

Time to head back down after 30 Min's on the top of the mountain avoiding zombies. As i approached the broke down digger the car that passed me on my way up was still waiting behind it as it couldn't get passed, poor buggers they may still be up there now ha ha. So i go past them and it was the most frightening ride i have ever done, couldn't use brakes or clutch, all first gear and bike sliding all over place because of the lose road surface. Front end would go, then i would straighten it, back end would go, I'd correct it. I had to do that all the way down with shear drops over the edge at some points. By the time i had made it to the bottom i had to stop to give my arms a rest. Never again will i go up by bike but i am glad i did it the once.

The Oceanic Rock Legend Collection t-shirts have sold so well, sold up to today 224. I can't believe that such a small bar has sold so many. Decided on a new design for next season as myself and Spiro who prints my t-shirts are going to sell them through an Oceanic on line shop. The reason for this is so many people have asked about them when they have seen people wearing them in the UK and some people have asked for them to be sent to UK. This winter i will be designing an on line shop and all contacts will go straight to Spiro where he will receive the orders and print and send them. So watch this space.

I don't watch hardly any TV as i watch programmes off the net, documentaries, factual and rock profile programmes. I came across this on you tube about the lead singer of Sweet - Brian Connolly who i think you'll agree was a beautiful looking guy in his day but look at what fame can do to people, very sad to watch but a great documentary.

Right then folks that's it for this week as i need to go and soak in the tub, pulled a muscle in my back turning to quickly as i heard a 1 cent coin drop LOL

Till next week folks, its praise the lord and hallelujah, lets get funky in sandals and socks lol

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Ok folks, you can now all calm down, the update has landed.

Ok before i start this blog i have to make a huge apology to Simon and Liz who i was meant to be meeting at 8am to walk up Mount Skopos. Due to the bar closing late and myself not getting to bed till 5.30am it was difficult to get up at 7am. I set the alarm, alarm went off but i did the fatal mistake of saying to myself "I'll just lay here for 5 Min's". That led to an extra 90 Min's sleep by which time it was to late, so I'm very sorry but i can't help that the bar closes late.
As you all know Helen has been here that's why the update is late as i give all my time to Helen when she's on holiday. Another great 2 weeks and now not long till I'm back home with her. We went all around the island again in search of new tavernas to eat in and visited some of our favourite places along with going to our new home to start to get the place ready for us next season.
So after a visit to Porto Limnionas we decided to carry on north in search of a taverna and we found one at Porto Vromi village called "The Olive Tree Story Taverna" (we were never told a story ha ha). We were met by a friendly middle aged Greek lady who spoke very good English so it was easy to converse with here but there was something strangely familiar about her look, she looked like a younger version of the old lady who years ago mugged me in broad daylight for a coffee at her cafe (the story is on this blog somewhere).
OH, here it is.
So we ordered our drinks, starters and main meal at 2.15pm, she then asked were we in a rush for the food to be cooked as i had ordered lamb chops and Helen pork chop, so i said "no" thinking she was going to fry it instead of put it on the grill. Then i see her walk out the back of the building with a tray of meat, STRANGE. Half an hour later our drinks came, tea and a coffee, longest I've ever waited for a drink. Then i could smell a familiar smell, charcoal. She had only bloody gone and started up a BBQ to cook the meat on, there was only us in there, GOOD GRIEF! An hour after (3.15pm) our meals arrived, Helen's looked so good a nice thick big pork chop. Mine, well, talk about not enough meat to cover a Jacobs cracker, it wasn't so much lamb chops they were more like tiny ribs. Come to think about it there was a kitten hanging about but i didn't see it again after my meal was on the table LOL. But that's what makes the island what it is, all these little experiences. As we were riding around the island i remember one year when i was in Argassi i hired a scooter and went on a tour and on the way back not far from Alykanas something broke on the scooter and it just crawled along, in fact it went that slow an asthmatic snail waved at me as it past by on the side of the road. It took forever to get back to Argassi and to add insult to injury the scooter shop owner passed me going the opposite way near the water village and just waved and nodded.
Really excited about our new home in Bochali we've been up and moved all the personal items of the owner in to the spare wardrobe and started to move things to where we want them and sorted out the patio area. I have moved our outdoor dinning set to what the owner called "Gods Window", so I've taken a picture to see what you think.

I made Helen sit at the table as the glare of my bald patch would have spoilt the view LOL.

Every year i make a vigil to the Tropicana Centre to pay my respects to a bar that was the busiest in the resort at one point in time. Its such a shame to see such a wonderful with a great area just go to waste but Argassi has died a quick death since the all inclusive, very sad to see.

The Tropicana, will never forget you.

While i was in Argassi i was thinking about all the places i have lived on the island since 2001 and what with the new house i have decided to show you a picture history of my old gaffs.

2001 Angel apartments off the Argassi hill road behind the Palmyra hotel. A large bedroom with a private shower and kitchen separate in 2 rooms off a corridor. The shower i shared with a homeless puppy that used to sleep In there at night and a kitchen i shared food with a field mouse. 4/10

2002 Angela Apartments of the back road of Argassi just up from the family inn. This was 2 bedrooms, living room and double balcony. One memory of this place sticks in my mind and that's when we had an earth tremor and i rushed out of room with just a small towel around me with nothing underneath and locked myself out of apartment at 7am in morning. got back in at 9am. My bits were colder than a penguins ass LOL. 8/10

2003-2005 Athena Apartments behind the Tropicana. Had just a small studio here so was a bit poky but so easy for work, nice family owned it and very peaceful, 2005 was the best season in these apartments. 6/10

2006 - 2012 Gold Centre Apartments this was the cheapest, most modern and best apartment i have had out of all of them and will miss it when i move but the new house will make up for it. 10/10

Been up to my friends taverna George who has the little place on the side of Skopos Mountain and it still is just as good today as it was 7 years ago when i first visited it. It has changed so much since then but the view will never change.

This view is one i hadn't seen since about 2006. Its just after the village of Kiliomeno. There are some amazing views all over this beautiful island if you can take the time to get out of the resort.

Found a new locals taverna that has only just opened this season in Zakynthos Town. It was a Chinese restaurant that had closed down years ago and up until this year it still had the Chinese lanterns hanging outside, The small menu is very traditional and the food was really good. just how a taverna should be.

2 weeks ago i had the shortest customer every visit my bar (no jokes about my height please) he was so pleasant and charming when he first came in but as the cocktails flowed he become a real pain in the ass, swearing, shouting, feeling up women, asking for any spare change, he was GNOMELESS! get it gnomeless - homeless, please yourselves lol.

Oceanic Biscuit Club

Kevlar (president), Helen, Cassey, Sam, Caz, Jackie and Justine. Start time 2am.

Rules of Biscuit Club

1st RULE: You do not talk about BISCUIT CLUB.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about BISCUIT CLUB.
3rd RULE: If someone says "stop dunking" or the biscuit goes limp, biscuit drops off, biscuits over.
4th RULE: Only 7 people dunk and discuss.
5th RULE: One biscuit at a time.
6th RULE: No Orios, no cakes.
7th RULE: Dunking will go on as long as it has to.
8th RULE: If this is your first night at BISCUIT CLUB, you HAVE to dunk.

First to be discussed was The Digestive. We all agreed its your standard biscuit with good dunking qualities and easy to eat dry. 2€ a pack, 12.5 cent a biscuit. Kevlar Supplied.

Lotus Biscuits. Not much dunkability but great for dry eating. Posh expensive biscuits so Sam and Caz say. 2.20€ a pack, 6 cent a biscuit. Sam and Caz supplied.

Jammie Dodgers mmmmmm! amazing dunkability, amazing dry eating. 2€ a pack, 25 cent a biscuit. Kevlar Supplied.

Mr. Papadopoulos (not from eastenders) Cookies. Crap, Crap, Crap, tasted like rusks with dried orange peel and tiny chocolate chips. 1.70€ a pack, 12 cent a biscuit, Cassey Supplied.

Fruit Shortcake. Couldn't find another pack to buy to take a pic so copied one off the net. Good taste, great dunkablitiy and no sugar on top like UK version. 2€ a pack, 8 cent a biscuit. Jackie supplied.
So to sum up BISCUIT CLUB best value and cheapest per biscuit were Lotus biscuits so the opposite of what i had been led to believe lol, best tasting definitely Jammie Dodgers, best dunkability Fruit Shortcake. Biscuit Club will continue next season.
Now I'm sure there is a shed load of other things I'm meant to tell you but really can't remember as its been 2 weeks.
Season is now officially best ever season. first 5 months broke every record with October still to go and once again its all down to my customers, nothing to do with me, if it wasn't for you i wouldn't be here.
I've been hearing lots of talk about my bar from rumours going around the resort which my customers have been told by others so lets sort these out shall we LOL.
1/  I'm only busy because of my regulars. FALSE! This year i have seen less repeat visitors than any other season. They may have gone to cheaper destinations, gone to a different resort, drank in a different bar or even the worst thought, passed away but i hope not this reason. The Internet has helped, with a majority of my customers coming from reading my blog after finding it through searches for Zante and Kalamaki.
2/ The Oceanic is up for sale. FALSE! I have always said if someone came in with the right offer i would consider it, then open a new business maybe in a different resort or on a different island but i have not put it up for sale.
3/ I have offered the business to someone within the resort. FALSE! They asked me last season if i would sell it to them and i told them i wasn't selling it but i told them the amount it would take to buy it if i did decide to sell, it was never offered to them.
4/ I am a millionaire with connections to Roman Abramovich, Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay. False! I only have half a million LOL
So folks that's all i can think of for now, so looking forward to finishing this season, very tired, aching and need a holiday but no matter what condition I'm in I'm always happy and feel blessed for everything i have in my life and why should i moan, I'm alive aren't i, that's the best thing of all.
Till next week my beloved blog followers lets go full steam ahead in to the end of season and see what happens, HI HO SILVER, AWWAAAYYYYYY!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

"Our house, in the middle of our...hills?"

Well August is over and to celebrate that fact last night at 12.30am i bought everyone in the bar a drink. Yes, yes, yes i can hear you all saying "Was it empty?" No it wasn't, there were about 20 customers in, i know I'm tight but i do give drinks away sometimes and the reason i did was because August broke my all time record for a best month of any season over the 6 years. I did cry a little, not because i broke my record but because they all chose expensive drinks LOL
Myself and Helen have started making plans for next season already and first thing was to find a new home as i think after 7 years of living in Kalamaki listening to drunks singing at stupid o'clock in the morning, watching couples fight after the bars have closed, quads beeping their horns as though the horn has only just been invented, children crying and shouting outside as they play and just general noise from vehicles, bars and people it was time to move. So i was given a number of a house that was up for rent all year round. 250€ per month, fully furnished, 2 bedrooms, fully fitted kitchen, living room, patio area and garden in quiet surroundings. Sounded perfect. Called the number and its owned by a British couple, bonus! Then i find out its located at Bochali, DOUBLE BONUS! So i met up with the owner and followed him to the house. I was wondering where he was taking me as we took the opposite turning to Bochali but that's because its not the port facing side of Bochali its the inland view and wow what a view and location. It was so quiet, no main road, no cars, nothing, all you could hear were the crickets (not Buddy Hollies backing band, the little green things) Absolute bliss! His family were holidaying there when i visited so didn't take pics of interior and patio area but will when i start to move our stuff in. I had looked at 2 other properties as well but both were unfurnished and were 300€ and 400€ per month so think i got a good deal with this place. Here's some pics from outside.
Looking down on to our new home which you can see in the centre of the picture, only one other family living near us and they live in a really cool modern mansion.

A close up of our new home.

The Garden. It needs some attention but its OK Helen loves to potter about. Me? Good god no, you won't see me doing gardening, i kill mint which everyone keeps on telling me grows like wildfire, not when I'm looking after it it doesn't LOL.

The stunning view from our Garden.

This is the view Helen will get when she's washing the dishes haha.

Well both my bikes are now fully functional and good to go. You never know when one may break down so always handy to have a spare. Id be truly stuffed if i didn't have any transport, how would i get my take away at 5am from town LOL

Talking of food, bikes and town, i had to wait for my mechanic to finish another bike so i went for a coffee and i couldn't believe my eyes. there sat in front of me was Bo' Selectas Ccccrraig David. He was sat having a frappe. Wow, this island is full of superstars if your in the right place at the right time, RE-E-WIND!
A few people have asked me am i back next year as some of my blog posts have seemed as though i was missing Helen and finding it hard. Of course i find it hard being away from Helen and this season has been so manic and busy i'm struggling with the heat but our aim is for both of us to end up living out here and we know for now it has to be this way. The business has got better and better every season with the first season breaking even which was a miracle to be honest cause in the first season you usually just make enough to cover Rent for business and house, suppliers, tax and living expenses and lose the money you used to set up your business (fixtures/fittings and paperwork) but i made it all back. Very Lucky. We had said in the past we would only close the bar if i was having to pay out of my own pocket to keep it going or if someone made us a good offer to buy the business. I have had 3 offers since 2009 but turned them down. So as it stands i will be back with Oceanic next season that's why we got the new home.
For those of you that visit the old road you will know of the wonderful family that own the supermarket next to the Cavo Doro. Well when i run out of stock i dash across and get it from them and on almost every trip they give me some bananas for free as i like over ripe ones. In fact they've given me so many I'm starting to look like Bingo from the Banana Splits or is that Lee LOL.
I knew I'd find a way to use these pics again LOL.


Well from this weekend the resort will just start to slowly empty as schools, colleges and uni's start back up from next week but Ive been told there are alot of people coming to bar this month so we will wait and see, if I'm busy that's great, if I'm not that's also fine i can't complain at all, even if the season died off completely from next week i have covered all my costs already and can relax from now till the end of the season.
Well folks its time for some all bran with bananas and kiwi for my lunch. High fibre diet now you see ready for winter time so i can pile the pounds on like a hamster about to hibernate LOL
So until next week my lovely blog readers, its all downhill from here, YEEEHAAA!