Thursday, 24 May 2018

Captains Log - "19 days since opening, All's well"

Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, for the thousands in attendance and the millions reading around the world...................................


How are we my dear dear blog followers? I hope your all well and starting to pack those suitcases ready for the off, some have already packed and been but there are many more to follow.

So my season is 19 days old and already I'm having mornings of the last customers leaving 3-4 am.
I better get some energy drinks in LOL.

Couldn't have asked for a better start, last season was through the roof and this season isn't to far behind it and i have had my 1st and 2nd best nights in May since i opened 12 years ago.
This May i have also had a few returning customers come in that haven't been in for a couple of years so its always great to see familiar faces when they arrive.

A majority of Mays customers so far have been new and every single one of them have returned which i thank them for and glad they enjoyed the visits.

The resort seems to be very quiet. The earliest i have closed was 1.30 am about a week ago and as i hit the main strip i thought there had been a power cut as everywhere was closed apart from Drunk Corner and Venue and every night after that when I've closed maybe between 2-4 am  its been the same, Tazies hasn't even been open and that's amazing as Tazies is always open usually till at least 3 am. Never have i known the main strip to close so early.

This May two things have happened that have never happened before in my 18 years on the island.

Firstly it has been the most cloudy May i have ever known, we've had about the usually amount of rain but cloudy days, wow, we had almost a full week of it, never seen that before.

Secondly Tax Inspectors. They have been in Kalamaki 4 times in 12 days. Its absolute nuts. I've had 2 visits but all good with me as all drinks are tilled and everyone has their receipt.

I do have a problem with the Tax Inspectors though. Some are corrupt.
Last Oct on my last but one day of opening i had a visit. All was above board, all drinks were tilled, all receipts were out and could be time checked but because i took 2 drinks out to a table with a receipt while the inspectors were in they fined me 250€, i got fined for being honest and putting everything through the till. This is where you then actually feel like why should i be honest if i get a fine for doing nothing wrong, they just wanted money. Could i have gone to court and won a appeal for it to be overturned, yes i could but they know that would cost me 400€ so of course the fine is cheaper. Your in a no win situation and there's nothing you can do about it.
In this incident it doesn't encourage you to be honest but of course if you are honest and get honest tax inspectors like i have had this year everything is OK, Hoorah!

This season i have also had some customers who haven't been back to the island since 2007-2008 but were customers of mine. They were amazed to see that i was still here and when i talk to them it is quite amazing, you think, I have never had entertainment to drag people in, never done drinks offers, never given anything away free, never advertised my prices, never had WIFI, never had TVs, never advertised anywhere within resort, in papers or on radio, I've never done deals with hotels or restaurants of the "You scratch my back, i'll scratch yours" type but twelve years on I'm still here and me being on the island for 18 years has all been a random act, none of what i have done on this island was planned, it was all by accident, how mad is that.

People are asking who is this "We" you keep mentioning on your blog. My dear Friends, I don't think i need to go in to detail and put my whole life out there for the world to see on the net so i will keep it as "We", that's all you need to know really folks don't you think? But what i will tell you is that "We" are extremely happy together.

Biscuit is getting a bit of a star status in the bar already, if i could get a goat sidecar for the bike i would bring him in but i don't think he would keep a crash helmet on and a sidecar just reminds me of Olive off "On the Buses" (anyone younger than 40 you'll have to google it).

I already have my my songs of the season, yeah i know early isn't it, these are songs that give me a bit of surge of energy when i start to flag, here they are:-

Foo Fighters - "Sky is a neighbourhood"

Hugh Jackman - "The Greatest Show"

Justin Timberlake - "Say Something"

and one for my cool down time

Depeche Mode - Cover Me

I bet you never thought you would see Hugh Jackman and Justin Timberlake in my play list did you, ahhhh see, i have a wide range of listening but it doesn't mean i like everything.

So that's a quick update for now folks just as sense of how the seasons going so far, so until the next time....................

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

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Biscuit - The Pygmy Goat Dog

Hello one and all, season update coming soon but until then........people who are coming in to bar are asking about Biscuit, does he really live in my garden? Is he really a Pygmy Goat? Have i trained him to be a Goat Dog?
Well here's the answers to all Biscuit related questions.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Ready to open and all bright and shiny.

First night open last night and all went smoothly.
Well, nothing else could have gone wrong really after everything that went wrong during set up, 2 speakers were knackered, fridge blew up, glass wash machine had power but didn't want to wash, water pump didn't pump and rechargeable candles have given up the ghost. To be fair the candles have lasted 10 years without any charge during winter and used every night for 6 months so i think i got my moneys worth.

Anywhooo all good now, fingers crossed.

So here is the bar all freshened up and bright.

I'm not sure if its to bright but everyone so far who had been in last night loved the look, ah well, we'll see but i'm done for now, may add little bits as the season rolls on.

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

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Been around the island and i, i, i, i can't find German Barracks

Its almost time to open folks but before i do, how you all doing out there? You all well and looking forward to whatever holidays you've got booked? 
I'm almost ready to open and thought it looked pretty straight forward this season but as i was getting things ready extra costs cropped up with things not working or breaking and extras needed which i didn't account for, DOH! These things happen.  But needs must and had to replace or fix so that's what I've done, after all if these things weren't done i couldn't open and we couldn't have that could we, bills to pay etc etc.

Before i head in to 6 months of running around like an loon i have done my usual island tour. Unfortunately i forgot to take Kevin but i left him in charge of security at the bar.

107 km covered in 3 hours 45 Min's, that was just the main coastal road without Keri and Vasilikos. You may think "That's a long time for such a short journey" Well i did stop for a coffee, stopped to take pics and stopped just to chill out and give my numb bum a rest after being on the bike for quite a while..

Let the tour begin. We travel from South east and around.

So here we see Alykes/Alykanas and the salt flats from the highest peak with a view south as we travel north.

Here are some caves. A cave is a cave after all and Zakynthos has many.

As you can see the little tavernas along the way to Skinari are all starting to clean up ready for the onslaught of holidaymaker tours.

Coffee Time! St. Nicholas Port has to be one of my favourite places to stop off. I wouldn't even mind a holiday here, not really in to resort holidays. All i need is a small beach, a taverna, a little shop and a bar, oh and a room to shower, change and sleep in, what more do you need.

St Nicholas Port from above as you make your way to Skinari and the windmills.

This is the original windmill at Skinari, the traditional picture postcard we all know of Greece.

Here is the modern windmill built in 2005 and i was the first to stay in it on May 5th 2005, great place to stay for that ideal experience, quiet, tranquil, relaxing and just amazing. May stay again in the future but for a holiday not just for a night.

This was me trying to be professional with the camera. Don't think its that difficult to be a photographer if I'm being honest, hmmmm maybe my next career move.

Here we have a view down the valley as you leave Skinari. The island you see is one i have put an offer in for but my 1€ offer was turned down, can't understand why.

Now this is a puzzler. Is it:-
1/ A flying saucer landing pad
2/ One man and his dog - Zakynthos filming location (Whats happened to that programme?)
3/ A Farmers Gladiator arena
4/ A Crufts Goat arena (Biscuit would win)

This cove i have visited before and its a beautiful place but the problem is the sun doesn't stay there for long, there is nowhere for people to park and if there was a convoy of cars it would be pretty scary having to reverse back up as there is nowhere really to turn around apart from on the rocky cove itself.

A few people have questioned if i actually visit these places and that i rip the pictures from the Internet. No i don't and here is my bike to prove it.

What? your still sceptical? OK so here is me chilling in deep reflective thought, that takes me just 3 seconds, my thoughts aren't that deep.

I went on a hunt for the German Barracks again. I have hunted high and low at the location they are meant to be but this time the sign has been taken away. There is not one bit of evidence to show where they were, not even a foundation line of building stones.
Coming back from where the barracks were meant to be i found a small patch of poppies. These were the flowers associated with WW1. They were the first flowers to grow in the freshly dug earth of soldiers burial sight in Flanders fields. Made me shiver seeing it after what i had been looking for.

Fires at some point have spread through the North West of the island. Huge amounts of land have been stripped bare, quite spooky to see.

You can see here a view that reaches from Tsilivi to Laganas. When your at the East side of the island you wouldn't think there was that much land in the middle as all you can see are the hills on the West coast.

Another view from same view point.

A Monastery where at one point i was thinking of joining but i could only drink wine there, YUK! No thanks.

And we finish off at my old stomping ground Bochali where i waited 20 Min's just for a bottle of beer.

But it was worth the wait, free crisps, YAY!

So its all downhill from here, work, work, work to put biscuits on the table for Biscuit.
What will the season bring? Who knows but not going to stress it, life's to short so we have to enjoy it while we're here not worry, what's the point in doing that.

I shall post a very short update with pictures once I've completed the bar and ready to open which is Thursday. The season's here folks. Yamas!

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