Tuesday, 21 October 2014

OCEANIC, SEASON 8, EPISODE 13 "T-Minus 6 days and counting"

 Is it really almost that time of the year again, CHRISTMAS! I hate Christmas, BAH HUMBUG!
No seriously i mean its almost the end of another amazing season.

Bar talk first as always.

Oct is very quiet now but I'm still getting people in even up until last night i was getting at least 20 customers through the door which is more than last year at this time but i think from tonight onwards that will drop off but as long as I'm covering my 4 euro opening costs then its all a bonus and may even be able to afford a donkey who i shall name "Jebus" or at a push a lovely fluffy wavy tail squizzle.
Got enough stock to cover the next 7 days till my flight on the 28th. The resort is empty. 6 accommodations left open and 3 of them are all inclusive so you can see where the school holiday tourists will be staying.
Some businesses are staying open even though not one tourists is going in, I'd cut my losses and close as soon as no one came in on a night.
In saying all that Oct has been better for me than the last 2 years which is when the tour operators decided to cut flights and airports to the island from the first week of Oct. I remember when you could get here from every airport up until the 3rd week of Oct. The tour companies are slowly killing the island off to a 4 month season, maybe Zakynthos should take a leaf out of Crete's book and open up in April and Close end of November that way we will get 6 full months, even Easyjet have cancelled their first 3 flights that began end of March even though the flight i was on 30th March this year was packed, not one empty seat. Oh well, Athens flight for me next year.

I had a young lady in my bar this season over a few nights who drew a very good detailed picture of Oceanic for me but she didn't sign it. As you can see even down to the red and yellow connect 4 counters, how amazing is that. If she or her parents read this could they please get in touch.

 Best drawing ever. Who needs Dali.

After doing the washing one day i had run out of space on the washing line and had to drape my socks over the wall. I'm rubbish at collecting washing in and they were out there for 4 days. When i eventually run out of socks and had to get them underneath one of the pairs of socks was a big fatty lizard. To say was surprised was and understatement. He was the biggest I've seen. He'd obviously been in a fight as tail had gone but think with his size he kicked ass. I went real close, no movement. I kicked the wall near him, not a flicker. I beeped the horn of my bike, did not blink and eye lid. I decided to leave him there thinking he had died and was just clung to wall. Come home that night and the big fella was gone. So strange.

Lip up fatty ah, lip up fatty fatty lizard.

Welcome to another edition of  "Cooking with Kevlar"

This update we're talking Stodge, Dunking and Greek cuisine.

I just love it when a certain food pops in your head and that's it, you just got to have it. Good job Yeti burgers don't pop in to my head that often, very hard to come by.

Sausage, Mash and Gravy. Now is that proper food or what? Forget fancy pants, gourmet, pretentious food, you can't beat good old stodge.
Now in saying that in my 14 years on the island i haven't eaten much British food, I've only ever had 4 full English breakfasts and one season a few Sunday roasts at The Lighthouse and that's it but i do like to make my own every now and again, why would i want British food when Greek food is just amazing and love it (I do like my crumpets and black pudding though).
The only problem was could only find village sausage so was a bit to spicy for a traditional sausage and mash but never mind still tasted good.

If you want British fare then Express Market in Tsilivi has more than anywhere else.
Look at this 3 biscuit pack. I'm in dunking heaven. Better than those luxury dunking biscuits i bought from there last time.
I've had more cups of tea the past week than in maybe 3 years. Just dunking, dunking, dunking, not had a cup of tea since i munched them all which I'm afraid to say was in one day.
Packet of nice in morning, Custard creams for lunch and Malted Milk for supper,mmmmmmmm.

This is a microwave curry. now I'm not at all in to microwave food at all but I've been that busy at bar and closing late i just wanted simple quick food. On first getting it out of microwave it looked more like curry soup but once i let it congeal again after a few minutes cooling down it was really good and just the right size portion for a very small child or Victoria Beckham. I could have done with at least 4.

Greek cuisine.
For 14 years i have never known what cheese is used in Saganaki (my favourite starter) but in the same supermarket i decided to ask at their deli counter. I bought 4 slices of it and promptly went home and made myself some. WOW, it was so good and tasted just as good as anywhere i have had it. Oh my god, i can feel a cheesy roly poly pudding belly coming on.

My relaxation lately has been at the Alexandra Beach Hotel. Its a nice location, pool is really deep and clean and the sunbeds are comfy. 2 weeks ago all sunbeds were full. I took this picture last week, just 3 people. Crazy. Its amazing how quickly the season just cuts off now instead of of just fading out.

Don't forget Kevin's Big Last Adventure on my final update from the rock next week but until then he has been trying his hand at cocktail making. I don't think he got the idea of it if I'm being honest. Archers Peach Schnapps, Whiskey, Tabasco, Lemon Juice, Choc milkshake and sliced cucumber. He called it "The Stomach Pump". Yeah buddy, i don't think even the name would make people want to order it never mind whats in it. He drank it and passed out. You have a lot to learn little one.

I've been trying to get up and out early every day as running out of days to enjoy the island. In all honesty i haven't had hardly any time to myself this season so these last few days have been a welcome break to clear my head and re-charge my energy but the one morning i got up a bit late and rushed to get ready and out. I have 2 pairs of trainers that are exactly the same apart from one pair are black the other white. It was only until i put my feet up while sorting the bar that i noticed i had put one of each on, DOH! Its not to bad when your sat on bike as people only see one side of you but when i went to the pool i must have looked like either a trend setter or a village idiot. no comments please.

 Who says i got no fashion sense.

Well its only a short one (like myself) to keep you going till my big final update with my seasons report, Kevin the Minions Big adventure and my winter plans. So I'm going to make the most of my last 6 days, i think i deserve it don't you? After all I've worked bloody hard this season and I'll be back in good old grey wet blighty with the rest of you before i know it.

So until my last blog from Zakynthos,

Serve all, Love All, Peace All, Kevlar Out!

Friday, 3 October 2014

OCEANIC, SEASON 8, EPISODE 12 "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, All in a seasons work"

Howdy Diddly Doodly Doo to you folks.

Well haven't you been lucky not having to put up with my ramblings for so long but never fear, I'm Back!

Bar talk first as usual.

The Good!
All i can say about Sept is, WOW WOW WOW! It was that busy my poor little legs just couldn't run anymore as they had started to seize up so it had to be a jog to the supermarket instead of my Usain Bolt impression. One day i had to stay in all day with my legs up just to recover, well i am 46 now. My brain is willing but my knees are saying "No chance you old git" LOL.

Still, I'm not complaining and wouldn't have it any other way, until i actually collapse i will continue to work the bar alone, why take on staff when i can cope serving all my customers personally.

The cocktails have outsold any other drink by 10 to 1 and most have been my own creations which I'm very pleased the customers enjoy.

My t-shirt sales from the bar alone have now reached 1,007 over 3 seasons. I am amazed and how well they have sold and don't forget new designs are to be added next season so hopefully they will continue to fly out of Spiro's t-shirt shop.

Next season i will be adding short cocktails to the menu (no jokes about my height please). Even though these are not on my menu i have sold loads of fresh Strawberry Daiquiri, BMW, B n B, Manhattan and B52's.
so just to tease you here is one of my very strong B52's.

MMMMMMMMMMMM neat alcohol, not for the faint hearted.

The Bad!
With every season comes the wind down but this season it just dropped off very quickly within 1 change over day in fact. It went from the old road being quite steady with people walking around about 7pm when i open to absolutely no one. Its a good job that most of my custom, 90% in fact comes from the opposite end of the resort. even though Oct is only 3 days old the first 2 days have been great but i think it will be a quieter Oct than last season but hey, anything in Oct is a bonus.

7pm and all is quiet.

The Ugly!
Ha, you thought i was going to go on a rant didn't you, DIDN'T YOU? Well not at all, there hasn't been an ugly side this season, all my customers have been great. I've enjoyed chatting to each and every one and each one has been great company and have made this season Oceanics all time best season by a mile and still got Oct to go. That's not to say i don't get stressed, i do, i want my customers to relax and have the best time possible and that is the first thing on my mind. I never take anything for granted, just look at Aug, for almost 2 weeks it was very bad, just hitting target, in fact it was worse than the first 2 days of Oct this season but Aug all come good at end. So ugly can be put away for another day.

Kevin my Minion is becoming a bit of a superstar with my customers, they no longer want their picture taken with me they want it taken with Kevin. They even buy him gifts like these Minion Iced Biscuits. Again he was over the moon to receive them but he couldn't get the thought of cannibalism out of his head and it was left to me to scoff them down, DON'T MIND IF I DO!

My pool of choice at the moment is the Alexandra Beach Hotel. Nice and quiet, Nice and clean, Nice and Deep and not over crowded. Unfortunately i had to take Kevin and he just doesn't shut up. When I'm at a pool i just like peace and quiet to chill, no chance with my little buddy. Taking gaffer tape next time.

Kevin being the total tourist as he wanted his pic taken with a Minion relative. I had to explain to him it wasn't a Minion it was a Mycenaean, he just blew a raspberry at me and stormed off, what an ass!

The next update will be with a feature of "Kevin the Minions Great Adventure" He's going for it before we head back to the UK.

I came across this unusual shaped building out in the middle of nowhere. I'm making it my goal to go back to it every season to see its progress and to hopefully get to see the finished article, looks very cool.

Now call me "Mr. Normal" but I'm sure this sign means "No entry, Pedestrians only". I think I'm right.

5 seconds after taking the above pic a car and a scooter drove past the sign and went up the pedestrian area.

I remember when the tiles were first laid and it looked beautiful and thought what a great idea to keep it for pedestrians only and it made Alexander Roma shopping street look really nice. Now look at it after no one taking any notice of the signs. Its like this all the way up the shopping street, all broken tiles and patched up. What a waste of time and money.

WE WANT FOOD, WE WANT FOOD! I love food, no i adore food, no, no, i love food. JUST GIVE ME FOOD GOD DAMN IT! The worst thing about living where i do is that i pass every type of take away on my way home from work, Crepes, pastries, gyros, burgers, pizzas, baguettes, you name it i can pick it up.
But i found a new 24 hour food shop and the pastries there are so good, beautiful sausage rolls, shredded chicken with chicken sauce pies, bolognese pies, fresh paninis, mmmmmmmmmmmm all so good. One night i forgot i had bought a loaf of bread, tomatoes and olive and pepper cheese and went on to buy a bolognese pie and sausage roll. What do i do? Do i eat just the pastries? Do i eat just the cheese and tomato on toast? I know I'll eat both. I sliced the loaf down the centre to create 2 giant slices, topped it with tomatoes and added 5 slices of cheese on both. with me making those i thought i better just eat halves of the pastries.

Shortly after devouring the plate above i went to fridge and finished of the other halves of pastries, well, be a shame to eat it the day after, might not taste as good.

GIMME, GIMME, GIMME. I found for the first time ever in 14 years on this island, real Fry's Turkish Delights, was i excited? I almost wet myself. No sooner i had eaten this picture, sorry, i mean taken this picture, i had eaten all 4 in one afternoon. MORE PLEASE!

I'm in heaven, on the same day i found the Turkish delight i found "Dunkable Luxury Chocolate Biscuits"
ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH! FEED ME SEYMORE! I couldn't wait to rip this packet open and start a dunking.

Woh, Woh, Woh.......What the hell is this? These could only be Luxury Biscuits to a down and out. They were all mangled, chocolate missing and one even looked half eaten. This is not good.

No this is not me holding a lump of poop, its what we call in the food business as a "collective of biscuits" or in normal teams "A mess". How is this dunkable? What do i have to drink my tea out of, a bucket?

I was so excited at seeing the large lettering of "Dunkable Luxury Biscuits" i missed the small print "An assortment of whole, mis-shaped and part biscuits" Bloody small print spoilt my dunking. Also it stated "Coated with real chocolate" Is there any other kind? "That's not a chocolate bar its just impersonating a chocolate bar" LOL.

Well my lovely, amazing blog followers that's it for this update and the next one will be a bumper edition before i leave the rock to head home.

So until my final update for this season,

Serve All. Love All, Peace All, Kevlar Out!