A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Six months on...


Our tapas bar, Casa del Mar is now 6 months old.
It has been an interesting learning curve for Adam, my son. Today, he admitted that, although the restaurant had been ticking over nicely, after three months he began panicking that it was not performing as well as he had hoped.
The World Cup came and killed the restaurant trade for a full month!
But as soon as Zidane kissed Matarezzi goodbye and the sun came out, it was as if the floodgates had opened!
Casa is now catering for more than 120 diners on week nights and more than 200 at weekends.
Alfresco lunches are also proving very popular.

I have lent a hand on a few occasions and really enjoyed it.

The best bit was when a party of Spanish diners asked whether the chef was Spanish...
Kevin, our young chef was so delighted, I could have changed his name to Pedro and he would not have mind!

The scorching weather (by our Northern standards, 28 degrees) has brought an added bonus to the operation with the 24 terrace seats being used all evening.

Last night, at 10pm I shared a glass of red wine with a couple of regulars who had arrived at 6pm, had a few tapas and downed 3 bottles of Chilean red!

Long may the good weather continue even if the price of vegetables is predicted to rise!


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Robin Hood on Wheels...

It is like a community of Robin Hoods out there, rising against excessive car parking charges...

I love giving people my unspent parking ticket! Such a warm feeling when you manage to find someone else to pass it on to.

The other day, I was in the local hospital for no more than 10 minutes. Two bloody pounds!!!

I saw a guy fumbling for change at the meter. I nearly pounced on him before he put his money into the slot...
I apologised for giving him a terrible fright but he calmed down as I told him not to waste his money buying a ticket. I had at least two and a half hours left on mine.

As he followed me to my car, a guy emerged from between two parked cars and offered him his ticket...
I felt utterly cheated!

My unspent ticket ended up in the bin...

This post was inspired by Brian.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Warrior of Light

Someone sent me this piece from Paulo Coelho's The Warrior of Light....

All the world’s roads lead to the heart of the warrior. He plunges unhesitatingly into the river of passions always flowing through his life. The warrior knows that he is free to choose his desires, and he makes these decisions with courage, detachment and –sometimes - with just a touch of madness!

He embraces his passions and enjoys them intensely. He knows that there is no need to renounce the pleasures of conquest, they are part of life and bring joy to all those who participate in them.

But he never loses sight of those things that last or of the strong bonds that are forged over time. A warrior can distinguish between the transient and the enduring.

Warriors of light always have a certain gleam in their eyes. They are of this world, they are part of the lives of other people and they set out on their journey with no saddlebags and no sandals.

They are often cowardly. They do not always make the right decisions. They suffer over the most trivial things, they have mean thoughts and sometimes believe they are incapable of growing. They frequently deem themselves unworthy of any blessing or miracle.

They are not always quite sure what they are doing here. They spend many sleepless nights, believing that their lives have no meaning. That is why they are warriors of light, because they make mistakes, because they ask themselves questions, because they are looking for a reason – and are sure to find it!

Sometimes the warrior feels as if he is living two lives at once. In one of them he is obliged to do all the things he does not want to do and to fight for ideas in which he does not believe.

But there is another life, and he discovers it in his dreams, in his reading and in his encounters with people who share his ideas. The warrior allows his two lives to draw near.

“There is a bridge that links what I do with what I would like to do,” he thinks. Slowly, his dreams take over his everyday life and then he realises that he is ready for the thing he always wanted. Then all that is needed is a little daring, and his two lives become one.

The warrior of light studies the two columns on either side of the door he is trying to open. One is called “Fear” and the other is called “Desire”.

The warrior looks at the column of Fear and on it is written: “You are entering a dangerous, unfamiliar world where everything you have learned up until now will prove useless”.

The warrior looks at the column of Desire and on it is written: “You are about to leave a familiar world wherein are stored all the things you ever wanted and for which you struggled long and hard.”

The warrior smiles because nothing frightens him and nothing holds him. With the confidence of one who knows what he wants, he opens the door


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lost the map...

Funny when you think your life has been mapped out for you...

You stop hoarding all those unfulfilled dreams...
Even those greying textbooks you've kept from your school years...They no longer mean anything... Or the broken watch you've always meant to get repaired...
And all that is worth hoarding are the memories going round and round your head... Some make you smile and others make you cry...
You wish you'd had more time for your departed mother, promise to spend longer with your ageing father...

You think you've reached the point of no-return and start getting ready for the downhill slope...

Then, one day you wake up, the old record screeches to a halt... And you discover that you have much more life left in you than you truly imagined...

You find yourself giggling like a teenager about the stupidest things... Drinking more wine than you really should... Prancing around naked sharing fancy cheese at 3 am...
You even begin to enjoy food shopping! And you discover how tasty cold pizza can be!
You add bloody melon to a salad dressed in honey and mustard and still enjoy it...

Most of all you discover that love hasn't died after all...
You may wheeze a little but still find the strength to whisper words you thought you would never hear yourself say in front of a laydeee...

Mapped out? I've shredded the flipping map?



Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Glorious Estivation....

This blog has decided to estivate for a while!
Could be hibernate cos up here it is not so hot!

Nearly a year has gone by since I started it and a lot of water has flowed under troubled bridges, lots of great blogfriends, lots of fun, reflections, rantings...

I have loved just about every minute of it.
Totally addictive, I am sure you will all agree!

Very often I neglected my real work in favour of looking for the right YouTube video...

I need to get my business head back on to remain on track because bread and butter don't grow on trees unless they are bread-and-butter trees!

I often imagined the restaurants running themselves while I sat sipping rosé with my friends.
But the reality is that you can only pour yourself so many glasses before the cup overflows and the camel breaks the last drinking straw...

Remain loyal my blogfriends because I estimate my estivation will not last very long!




Monday, July 10, 2006

I saw red...

While I do not condone his actions I'd love to find out what Marco Materazzi said to Zizou to make him react the way he did!

It is a shame that his career ended on such a low point. Fiery Algerian!
I hope he will be remembered more for his great skills than the stupid headbutting incident.

The World Cup has ended. I have seen enough football to last me four years... South Africa 2010!

Photo courtesy of the Beeb.


Friday, July 07, 2006

TGIF 3...

Only laugh if you are old enough to read this!

A man walks into a night club one night.
He goes up to the bar and asks for a beer.

"Certainly, Sir, that'll be one cent."
"One Cent?" exclaimed the man.
So the man glances over at the menu and asks:
"Could I have a nice juicy T.bone steak, with chips, peas and a fried egg?"

"Certainly Sir," Replies the barman, "but that comes to real money."
"How much money?" inquires the man.
"Four cents," the bartender replied.
"Four Cents?"exclaimed the man.

"Where's the guy who owns this place?" The bartender replied,
"Upstairs, with my wife."
The man says, "What's he doing upstairs with your wife?"

The bartender replied, "The same thing as I'm doing to his business."

Fancy a BEER?



Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Open sesame...

Language, Timothy!

Yesterday I met David from Barcelona, my Spanish "tutor"...
That was the fourth time we met. Both his English and my Spanish are definitely improving.
We have a good laugh trying to think of the right words.

Last week, as I entered Casa, Adam pointed to an elderly foreign couple having a drink after their meal.
I said: "Hello."
The gentleman answered: "Xhello"
I asked if he was Greek and he was quite pleased that I recognised his accent.
I fired a Greek salvo...
"I can't remember much...I worked on a Greek ship during my student days..."
I got stuck quite often but he answered in a mix of Greek, English and Spanish...
He was a retired sea-captain who had spent a part of his life trawling South America and that is where he learnt his Spanish...
His wife spoke only Greek but she enjoyed our exchange.
They left Athens two months ago and have travelled through Europe on their way to Scotland then Ireland and Spain...
I really enjoyed meeting them briefly and they were pleased to hear a few Greek words in this part of the world.

I have always been fortunate to be able to pick up languages very easily and I feel that they do open doors to a world that would otherwise remain undiscovered.

My meeting with David was fun. We had a pizza for lunch, chatted with the Italian waiter in a mix of Italian, Catalan and English. All the while we were both learning new words, verbs and phrases.

When I said: "El camarero esta buen!" (The waiter is good) David warned me that, in colloquial Spanish that meant that I fancied him!!

Argh... I must watch my p's and q's...

Have you ever had funny experiences with a foreign language???


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Eye spy with my little eye...

Tat asked her regular blogging friends to provide a self-portrait...
This is the nearest thing I got to one. Tat, I hope you don't mind.

I have been told that I have smiley eyes... I need reading glasses nowadays!
My moustache is getting greyer by the day...I have had it since June 1974...Student protest!
The laughter lines are growing in number and depth... What the hell!!!


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