Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Dear Diary.....13th November 2018

Dear Diary.....13th November 2018

just logged on to do the update on my blog in Costas and the Christmas songs are relentless in here so I'm going to now, on the spot come up with a poem, it may take some time and be rubbish.

"November means Christmas all over Wales
  Storms and rain being battered by gales
  that special time is 42 days away
  when father Christmas comes out to play

  But why so early with the crappy songs
  the festivities for Christmas last far to long
  we all must be jolly and become excited
  within side me anger and annoyance is ignited

  Christmas adverts make peoples tears drip
  I want to shout at them loudly "Get a F**king grip"
  Its just a advert to make you spend cash
  customers go crazy for that Black Friday dash

  One day is enough maybe a few hours at most
  just to eat turkey with a Christmas hat host
  Kids don't care about old St. Nick
  they just want that most expensive selfie stick

  So lets all forget the real meaning of this day
  as your credit cards get max'd at the prices you pay
  for presents you buy that aren't really needed
  just because little Johnny and Julie begged and pleaded

  Aren't you glad its only once a year
  but for 2 months "CHRISTMAS" is all you hear
  roll on Jan for a happy new year
  when Easter will start, oh joy, all cheer"

  BAH HUMBUG TO YOU ALL! Best thing about Christmas is Kevin the Carrot.

So what ya think Diary? I know I'm not in the league of Dylan Thomas, more like Pam Ayres at her worst but not bad for 15 Min's in a coffee shop eh?

Back on with the update.


Swansea was nice but there's no place like home. When i was living in Cardiff i didn't think much of it but now I've moved back i appreciate it more. 

Great to be back in the capital to watch Wales beat Australia at the Principality, to watch Cardiff Devils in action at the IAW, go out for some lovely food with my partner and just generally enjoy my life being happy with the one i love and my family.

Unfortunately since I've been back and been to Cardiff Devils games they haven't won, up until then they hadn't lost. I do apologies Cardiff Devils fans I'm sure it's not my fault.

The Cardiff Devils team and management have been very generous and given me a players ice hockey stick that has been signed by this seasons team so i can put it on display in the bar next year.

The players stick is Josh Batch.

 Signed by the whole 2018/19 team.

The ice hockey stick at the moment is on display in my reading room that my partner has decorated for me and above my reading throne she has displayed one of my all time music idols, Mr Dave Gahan.

A rainbow. Not sure what else to say about this pic but we did walk to where it hit the land and there was no pot of gold. I did however get a sack thrown over my head and was asked for my lucky charms. Yes i am short but i ain't no leprechaun to be sure.

It does feel weird this winter not working at Toys R Us and playing with toys, after all i had been with them 17 years every winter and didn't have any time to myself.
This year now i have loads of time to myself and its been great. I'm going to lots of events, having a few nights out at our local and just having a laugh.
On Saturday we went to see Rock of Ages at the New Theatre in Cardiff after the Wales rugby game. That was a busy day i can tell you.
I have seen the show before in London and enjoyed it then but it was nowhere near as good as this version, just a shame the New Theatre stage is a bit small but the performance was amazing. 
The company was great as we both like that sort of music with seats smack bang at the front and centre, the audience were more involved than the London audience and Curly Watts from Coronation street played the bar owner Dennis (yes i know his real name is Kevin Kennedy but if i said that you'd be going "Who?") where as in London Dennis was played by verbal abuser/stalker Justin Lee Collins who isn't a actor and to be honest wasn't very good.
In all Saturday was a great day and night out.

Well apart from walking miles, drinking coffees, enjoying my weekends and loving life back in Cardiff there isn't much else to say. I do have a few rants that i need to get out when I'm not in a happy mood so i will leave that for another day when its wet and miserable outside but today its sunny and I'm hap-hap-hap-hap-happy.

So until the next rant filled update......

Serve All, Love All, Peace All Kevlar Out.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Dear Diary.....25th October 2018

Dear Diary.....25th October 2018

I'm Back.

After seeing my last sunset on the beautiful island, albeit a cloudy sunset.........

And being the last person to leave the departures hall............

It was time to head home.
As usually its champagne time. What the............only small bottles of prosecco. Who the hell wants a large bottle of champagne? There is no way I'm drinking prosecco as a celebration drink and i couldn't drink a whole bottle of champagne. Me, Kevin Orzabal Cassar Ormerod Wigbert Pinnell the third drinking prosecco, HOW DARE YOU INSULT ME!

Flew back in to Bristol and booked in to Mercure Hotel for 2 nights. Isn't it amazing, only an hour away from Cardiff and I've only been there twice in 50 years. First visit was Bristol Zoo in 1978 and second visit was Bristol Ice Rink in 1982.
So the last time i was there apart from passing through was 36 years ago and i have to say people of Bristol.........Bristol City centre ...........What a Dump!
This I'm sure is no reflection on the people of Bristol but local homeless people around every corner, graffiti on almost every wall, grubby looking and that lovely odour of stale urine almost everywhere. What the hell is going on in Bristol?
Such a shame as the waterfront area is quite nice but that's the only part that is.

Booked in for a special meal on the Monday evening at a restaurant on the waterfront, a fresh Crab and seafood platter.
It was amazing. So much stuff and freshly made in front of us so we could see them prepare every part of the dish and how to dissect a crab.

Our chefs killing and dismembering our huge Crab.

One side of the platter.......Main crab top shell under the green in middle.......

and the other side.

The crab claws were huge.

All together there was oysters, Scottish mussels and langoustines, crevettes, parlourde clams and 2 for 1 cocktails, we have a party folks lol.
Even though it was soooooo good I'm not the most tidy of eaters. Lets just say my side of the table looked like i had gone at it with a chainsaw not a crab fork.

It was a nice change for both of us but wouldn't fly back in to Bristol again. Fly from there yes as I'm leaving it behind lol.

Anyway, Nice weekend ahead now I'm back in Cardiff with cinema, ice hockey, a meal and afternoons in the pub. Great to be Home.

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

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Dear Diary.....21st October 2018

Dear Diary.....21st October 2018

Agggggghhhhhh, Diary why can't i sleep! Excitement, yep excited that today is the day i head off back to rainy, grey and cold Wales. Don't you just love it. 
When i tell people that i now look forward to going back when before i didn't they look at me like I'm mad. 
For one, my partner is there and love spending time with her even though i see her allot over the season there's nothing better than being in same country as her and secondly having to much sun and heat is just as bad as lots of rain and cold. It's true. I wake up sometimes in Oct and think "Bloody hell, not sun and blue sky again". 
This season when we've had bad weather its been really bad on that day but we've had less bad weather days than other seasons.

My last night in the bar was the 16th Oct. Very early i know. From 14th till 16th i had not one customer in to the bar.
I think the season died so quickly because many places closed so early. Just look at Jet2. 
They have 550 rooms over 11 hotels in Kalamaki and almost all closed first week of Oct. So at the least by 7th Oct the resort was without 1100 tourists due to Jet2, that's a hell of allot. 
So at 11pm on 16th i decided to close.
I had my tool kit ready to go and cracked on

The last customer to visit me was Bobby the Dog. He made himself comfortable, watched for a bit then fell asleep.

Unfortunately for Bobby as the bar was getting packed away i needed his chair but he was determined to stay with me till the very end so he moved to the Sofa.

I left Bobby there till the last and his sofa was the last to go in at the very end, he stayed with me for over 6 hours as i started to pack away at 11pm and finished 5.30am.

Couple of hours and few Jack Daniels later the bar was bare apart from a sign i left for any rumour mongers just to put them straight.

Now i know what your saying "But Kevin you've left the Oceanic letters up" Yes i have, that's because they have seen better days so need new for next year. There you go, there's a clue about what it says on the sign.
Even with me still being on the island, last night i was told that some tourists are going round telling people I'm not back next year, SERIOUSLY! UTTER, UTTER, RUBBISH!
So once and for all until i myself say out of my mouth "I'm not coming back" tell whoever says I'm not coming back these words, and please be specific with these words, tell them they're "Talking S**T and stop lying".

This season has been a first for many things. First time closed bar for Birthday, first time I've flown in to a airport other than Gatwick, first time i've not stayed over in London on return and first time I've had a few days holiday after closing as i usually close and fly home the next day.

Wednesday off to the beach i go. Within half an hour on my towel i had had multiple ants, flies, earwigs and a Caterpillar. That's it, I'm off, doing my head in. Not paying for a sunbed just for me.
On packing up i saw a very very rare sight, a woman, in active wear, actually being active, she was jogging. What a strange sight. Usually they are just having a coffee or doing shopping. Never ever thought active wear would be worn for a active purpose.
Perfect example, i was having my last frappe of the season yesterday and a woman came in for a coffee wearing full active wear gear and wedged shoes. So she ain't training is she.

Well done that woman.

Time to be a tourist and off to my old stomping ground, Bochali. Just a coffee here.

Over to Porto taverna for a cheeky beer, just the one mind.

My last date night and my favourite place to chill out and watch the world go by.

Then on my last visit to town at night back to the bar where it all started off back on 8th April this year with my partner, San Marco. (San Marco is the bar not my partner LOL)

Cheers folks a Mythos with a Jim Beam chaser.

Didn't eat out over the last few days here as had loads of food to get through in the house.

Who needs a gyros shop when you can make them yourself with proper pork gyros meat.

Kiss my ass Blumenthal, on your knees Ramsay, stick it Oliver you school cook.
This is real cooking, this is high end food. Scampi and pork gyros with beetroot salad, I've called this dish "The Great Beetroot Reef", get it. On one side the scampi and on other side the pork and a reef in between. Its a Greek surf & turf.

As for the winter, many people have asked about what I'm going to do now Toys R Us is closed. Simple answer, enjoy more time with my partner and do more things with the time i have.
After all, the winter seems to fly by and before i know it the summer season is upon me again. A few trips away maybe, lots of ice hockey, some gigs if possible and meet up with friends and family.
I have also relocated back to Cardiff when i get back so there is so much more to do there than Swansea but i will miss Swansea as my house there was only 5 Min's walk from a 4 mile beach which is lovely to walk along when the sun is out.

So as i bring season 2018's blog to a close what can i say. Its been a amazing season but glad for the rest. The bars getting busier with customers every year and more new customers then ever before with more newbies than regulars. The sad fact with life is we're all getting older and as I've got older the bars got busier but luckily for me i keep myself fit, if i hadn't i think i may have quit a few years ago but still healthy and can still cope, got a few years left in me yet so don't you worry about that.

Its now 8.30am as i finish this entry, been up since 6.30am and my flight isn't until this evening so time for a ride out to say my last goodbyes, have a few hours in sun if possible, have my last meal of egg & chips at my good friend Georges place "Kanalos", have a beer with Tassos & Demi and finish packing up the house before mike my house landlord drops me to airport.

Its been a fun, exciting, manic, crazy season but wouldn't have changed any of it.......well,,,,,,,apart from my bike breaking down at the very north LOL.

And finally, for all you doubters and gossips.................

See you 1st of May 2019

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

Monday, 15 October 2018

Dear Diary.....15th October 2018

Dear Diary.....15th October 2018

Doomsday - Accountants appointment day.

Taxes, YAY, All Paid and clear.


Landlord of bar, YAY, All paid and clear
Landlord of house, YAY, All paid and clear.
Suppliers, YAY, All Paid and clear.

I am at peace, as long as all those 4 are paid that's all that matters to me.

Strangest night last night, opened at 6pm closed at 11pm, not one single customer stepped in to bar.
In saying that it doesn't really matter as don't really need to stay open now all my bar finances are sorted, its just pocket money now no matter what. Feels so good.

Look what you've made me do. You have made me sink so low. You have led me to this as i have no other option, you are a vile creature and hope your proud of yourself for lying to people.

Heinz, Its not "Sandwich Cream" it is and always will be "SALAD CREAM", why are you lying? Because i refuse to purchase "Sandwich cream" i have sunk to as low as i can get " Lidl Salad Sauce". Its horrible, it tastes like watery wall paper paste, don't ask me how i know what wall paper paste tastes like, its a long story. No matter what i will never pay for your lies, i refuse to pay.
You should be ashamed of yourself, lying to people just to get money, GREED! Its a terrible thing and some people will do or say anything to get more money.

Still one proper diary entry to go folks.

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

Friday, 12 October 2018

Dear Diary..... 12th Oct 2018

Dear Diary..... 12th Oct 2018

Well diary my day is almost done on the island and this is my penultimate entry from the rock.
What have i got to tell you this time.

What is going on, please in gods name what is going on, i can't take it anymore.
First Salad Cream being renamed as, it kills me to type this but........Sandwich Cream, please forgive for typing that.
Now "I can't believe its not butter" is called "I can't believe it's so good". What the ..........
Has the branding world gone mad? or is this a fake version of a fake version of butter.
Food has now clearly become a minefield.

Well my bike has been collected from the north of the island and fixed so that's brilliant even though i have the other bike i prefer the Virago.

Accountant on Monday, OH JOY!

The resort has gone from being busy to a ghost town. Never in the 11 years previous have i known it to drop off so quickly. I went from a full bar on the 10th of Oct to 8 people last night. Its not just me either. Many businesses have closed already and more close day by day. Last season i was still full around the 25th i think it was. Very strange end to season. Shops that would normally stay open till 10-11pm this time of season are shutting at 7-8pm. The season gets shorter every year what with flights starting later and finishing earlier. Never mind, still 10 days to go and lovely and cosy in bar at nights with heater on as its quite a bit chilly after 9pm.

7.15pm before 7.30pm opening time

9.30pm when the old road usually has people walking around it

And now Kevlars Kitchen. Today i unveil to you the Beetroot & Black pudding Quarter Pounder or for short the BBQ, see, I'm just a genius. Beetroot on the bottom, burger, then topped off with black pudding and tomato sauce. Mm, Mm, Mmmmmmmmm!

And that's about it, i'm just seeing out the final days doing nothing, weather is great and not doing much at all for bar since its gone so quiet. Ah well, same thing every year so no real surprise but i am looking forward to heading back to UK as this season has been a crazy manic roller coaster season unlike any other. I need the rest.

So until my final update next Saturday..........

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

Oh, Just one more thing (I love Columbo) the answer to the quiz.......

Which hotel is this?

Answer: Kalamaki Beach Hotel.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Dear Diary.....3rd October 2018

Dear Diary.....3rd October 2018

I was thinking about other lifeforms. Surely we can't be the only living thing in this galaxy. We'd be stupid to think we are the only living planet. Also another thing, if there are other beings that can space travel they must be way more advanced than us, we can't even come up with a electric car that can travel more than 50 miles without having to be re-charged, which brings me to this conclusion.....why the hell would they want to visit us and study us, in effect we are their past. We are their version of our stone age man. As for them anal probing what they going to find of interest up there?

Birthday has come and gone and i almost got away with not celebrating it but at midnight of the 28th with a full bar that certain song was sang at me thanks to my wonderful beautiful partner, "THANKS HONEY!" lol. Thank you to all my friends and customers who gave me cards and for all the drinks bought for me. I will as the season goes on get through all the drinks i promise.

So as threatened i did close for my birthday and we went to my landlords million euro villa. We travelled up very early and got there for 9am just as the clouds cleared. I had been there before but my partner was blown away by it.
My landlord Makis said we could stay as long as we liked but travelling 38km each way every day to the bar i think would take the shine off our stay.

Guess who decided to join us?

Kevin said he would keep watch in case we were invaded by Persians. He's so behind the times.

Kevin said he spotted a gorgon, unfortunately he had aimed the binoculars at the TV and clash of the titans was on. Idiot.

Time for a dip, sun is out, temp is just right, shame about the high winds but hey you can't have it all. I was told to go on down and get in and i would be joined shortly after.

Now i know why, i was spied on. At this point i must add even though my white pale body may be blinding you looking at this pic but not everything is as it seems. Seconds after me lazing on the edge of the infinity pool the temp was easily about 5 deg in that pool and i couldn't breath, in fact the water froze my shins. I promptly got out and ran to be hugged with a towel. My partner said i was being over dramatic. 2 steps down in to the pool she decided she had changed her mind about a swim and went back in to the villa. So it wasn't the fact the water was more suitable for penguins.

We lazed around the villa all day just enjoying the fact we could relax without thinking about work. Table was set at the local taverna for 7.30pm and all is good in the world.
Got to the taverna just before the rain came over.
The food was amazing Lahanodolmathes (Stuffed cabbage leaves in lemon sauce), fillet steak, black bean and beetroot hummus, stuffed grilled peppers and olive oil bread washed down with a bottle of rose wine, mmmmmmmmmm!
Forgot to take phone so couldn't get a pic of food, Bugger!

After we were fed, watered and stuffed it was time to head back to the villa. On arrival we noticed a faint blue light coming from the outdoor kitchen/dining area.
What a beautiful sight we saw when we got to the living room balcony. The outdoor dining area looked amazing all lit up from the staircase leading to it and all around the set seating area.
Looked like a 80's music video, so cool.

We cuddled up on sofa and just chilled for the rest of the evening in a cosy under floor heated living room with the rain falling outside.

I will say that i hate my birthdays, never enjoyed them but this was by far my best and most memorable thanks to my partner, friends, customers and last but not least my very generous landlord Makis for letting us have the villa and at no cost. It made our weekend.

"Weekend?" i hear you say, "but you said it was just Friday" i hear you cry. Yes diary it was meant to be just Friday but Saturday threw a few curve balls.
After a faultless birthday Friday it seems Saturday was set give me a few trials, like Odysseus and his trials as he was trying to make his way home to Ithaca after the Trojan war.
As it was the day to travel home it started with high winds and rain, which led to monsoon rain and gales. We waited and waited to see if the weather would ease, it didn't, i had to decide "Should i stay or should i go now" good title for a song. 2pm came and there was no let up so i made the call to stay. If i was alone i would have ridden down but i wasn't going to put my partner at risk. Couldn't think of a better place to be stranded though, in a luxury villa for free.
Next, we didn't have any food in as thought we were going home. I got on my bike and made my way down to St. Nicholas Port. 50m from the villa my drive went on my motorbike, brilliant! Pushed the bike back and parked it up. We needed food and milk. On foot the journey be.
From the house to the port the gradient is 30 deg straight down, that's bloody steep but there is a gravel track which winds back and forth across the hill so i decided to take that even though its longer. I ran the whole distance, i would say about 3km, how fit am i lol.
Got to the port and was soaked but boiling hot due to running so wasn't to bad.
Picked up the provisions for the night and then had to decide, do i go back the way i came or go the shorter route straight up? Straight up it is. Why did i decided that.

At the beginning it was a proper tarmac road and was feeling great but not to far along it turned to heavy loose gravel. This was not good. My calf's were screaming, my thighs were burning and my lungs were getting smaller and all this while i was getting wind swept and soaked. 
My head was getting brain freeze due to the expanding wasteland on top of my head. 
As i was getting to the half way point i noticed dog poop. Oh oh, are these wild dog poops? Are there a pack of strays roaming these them hills? That's all i needed, being attacked for my spinach and feta pies and i get left to rot half eaten because they prefer the taste of a yellow cheese pie than my sweet succulent skin.
As you can tell from this diary entry i survived, all be it out of breath and head feeling like it was going to explode.
Thankfully there was no more drama during the evening so it was back to chilling with the best company i could of wished for.

So to sum up, best weekend ever in my 18 years on this island.

Back to reality and back to a rant. Why are people so, so lazy over here?  I went to the supermarket the other day and a car had parked right in front of the doors where there are markings showing no parking but next to it are all empty parking spaces, ridiculous. This really does wind me up. To make it worse it wasn't a little old lady or someone disabled it was a woman of about 30 in active wear. ACTIVE WEAR! If she had parked any closer she would have been in the veg aisle.

Not sure why i took this pic but i think it was because when i saw the bike i thought "What the hell is that?". Looks like a bug.

So until my penultimate diary entry........

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

Monday, 10 September 2018

Dear Diary.....7th Sept 2018

Dear Diary.....7th Sept 2018

YAAAAAAHOOOOOOOO! July and August are gone, thank ..........

Diary its good to have September here.

Not sure what i got to tell you this entry as you know i don't do much in July and August as to hot but now its starting to cool down i can get back to the pool and out and about.

Well i can tell you the first 6 days of Sept have been crazy busy, 40 capacity and 10 emergency chairs out every night so far. 
Every customer this season have been so nice and returned at least once after first visit which is amazing. Never had that before in the past 11 years so thank you one and all for your custom, your all very kind to return.

Been looking for new beers and drinks for next season as you know i don't like to run the same old same old like the other bars, this year it was Levante Craft Beers. I have found one new lager, Motorhead lager called "Bastards". Now then, I'm not a lager drinker but it does taste very good but a bit too gassy for me. Unfortunately at cost price it's €3.40 so there is no way i can sell it in the bar as i like to sell most of my drinks at the €3-4 mark. Shame as there is also Iron Maiden Trooper beer and AC/DC cider but all to expensive at cost price.

Every Saturday all season i have closed the bar at 1am, last drinks at midnight. Customers say "Good for you, you deserve it". Well after all i do work 172 days straight through alone so i don't think its wrong of me to close a little earlier for just one night so i can go in to Zakynthos town for a couple of drinks just to chill out. I just go to my favourite bar, order 2 drinks and sit there relaxing and chatting to my partner via text, a sort of phone date night, her with a cup of tea at home in the UK me with a large Alpha Weiss and a Jack Daniels chaser. Just the 2 drinks, i have a bike to ride home don't forget.

Cheers to everyone on a Saturday night.

Diary, by day I'm a humble bystander, by night I'm a hard working bar owner but now in the early hours of the morning i become "The Enforcer". Just one slight problem there's never anyone around, they're all in bed. My super hero stint lasted just 2 minutes while i had this pic taken. Not worth my time riding around waiting for crime to happen using up my petrol, also i never had a childhood trauma which all superheros have had and why should i help people without getting credit for it. Mortal Super Heroes really are idiots. How did Bruce Wayne ever survive. He had a multi million pound industry to run during day, Crime fighting all night, when did he sleep? Not just that when did he poop? Never in a film did you see him walking in to a 24 hour Starbucks to use the bathroom. Waste of time.

Please explain to me why i have now been stopped 3 times by the police on my bike when i don't speed, i always wear my crash helmet, all my paperwork is correct and bike is taxed and insured.
Just look at this car and this isn't even close to the worst I've seen driving around. How is this car even allowed to go around without being stopped? This year at 11am going along the port road past the police station i saw a car with no front bumper, no front wings, no grill and no bonnet. How? How can someone think that its OK to drive a car like that and not get stopped? Then it was made clear to me. Its easier for the police to stop someone with everything correct and not have to write out paperwork than to stop someone which would need paperwork written out for. Utter utter madness.

The Internet, isn't it amazing. Everything is instant and up to date to the very second.
I was shown what you will see on Google street view if you look up Oceanic.

That is from 2011, Only 7 years out of date, also the whole resort is closed due to it being taken in the winter. If you were looking at Kalamaki on Google street view thinking of booking it you would honestly think it was a abandoned resort. Isn't modern up to the minute technology great lol.

My musical entry for this update is now a fav of mine this season. Please excuse the cheese-tastic american video, it really is awful but the song is very good i think.

Shinedown - Second Chance

And finally a couple who had last visited the resort in 1985 on their honeymoon showed me this season a picture of where they stayed in that year. Can you guess where it is? Answer on my next Diary entry.

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