WOW! Is it time for me to go back? This winter went so quick, well............i was in the medical research for 6 weeks, been stuck in this house for almost the rest of the time due to crap weather and going back 3 weeks early as i have so much to do this season before i open. Its a major overhaul of the bar but i think you my lovely friends and customers deserve it. If it was just for me I'd keep my money in my pocket, tight Welshman you see LOL. As the saying goes "A rolling stone gathers no moss" which in business terms means if you run a business in to the ground without spending out money and just being greedy your going to end up with an empty business. As i have stated before its only the decor that's changing to a higher standard, the concept stays the same. Also i have made another major decision on the bar. I think that at some point in time i need to be in the UK full time. I don't want to be a Brit abroad in my later years scraping a living just to feed myself and pay my bills which i have seen many many times over the years in all the resorts i have worked and the people have never been happy. Its not just about that but all the people i love and hold dear to me are in the UK and every season i miss them more which makes it harder and harder to go back, so it is with heavy heart when i tell you all that i will be keeping Oceanic open for another 3 season until its 10th Anniversary and then that will be my last season, so 2016 will be my last year. I know it may seem a long way away yet but in fact its not and i came to the decision yesterday and needed an end date for focus. I know what some may be saying "ah we'll see" but no that is definitely going to be my last year 2016 and no going back. I may put it up for sale for that year, may keep it on and have someone run it for me or i may just sell everything out of it but i will not be just walking away from it for someone to walk in to, I'd prefer to have a big bonfire than do that, well its my stuff LOL.
So that's bar stuff out the way lets get on with my fun packed weeks and my observations i have made during that time.
1/ Why do people talking in public on speaker phone think other members of the public want to hear their conversation?
2/ Why if your on a path with 2 lanes (one for bikes, one for pedestrians) do bikes still ride in the pedestrian lane when there are lots of white floor paintings along the lanes stating which is which?
3/ Why is it when your in a rush and walking fast behind a person do they then start to move towards your path of walking as you get closer when up until that point they've been walking in a straight line?
4/ Where is my suitcase?
Now we haven't got a huge house so haven't got servants who may have stolen it. I've asked Higginbottom my butler if he's seen it but he hasn't. I've looked in the left and right wing of the house, in the pantry, in the games keepers cabin and the attic but still no suitcase. I had it after coming out of simbec medical centre and then came straight back to the house but its nowhere. BUGGER!
Once a week i always take the local coach to Swansea to visit my mum. This Wednesday it was a glorious day so before i caught the coach i sat outside a little coffee shop and had a latte in the sun. It was so nice but the view ain't exactly Zakynthos town port.
Me having my morning coffee, its the sun, remember what that looks and feels like, I'm amazed.
After my coffee i made my way to the coach stop. Now this coach is very popular with the more mature and students. What a great combination. It goes from Aberystwyth to Cardiff and comes through where we live along the way. You can book tickets for it and many do but this day i didn't have time so just decided to hop on. Unfortunately all the seats were booked up, so me being the cheeky me asked if the tour rep seat was in those seats that were booked and the driver said no. That was my in, i asked if i could use that seat as i really needed to be in Swansea by 11. The driver agreed, WOOHOO!
Now i was thinking of being the tour guide for the duration of the trip but there was no mic available and i hate Cliff Richards "Summer Holiday" which seems to always get sung on a coach with a tour guide, well, when i used to holiday it did but then again that was years ago. To be honest there isn't much to point out of any interest. sheep to the left of me, sheep to the right, and here i am stuck in the reps seat with you.
My view from the elite tour rep seat.
If you look to your left you can see Sheep.
OH, quickly folks, over there to the right, SHEEP!
After a quick visit to my mum for a cuppa and to make sure she's OK i headed back in to Swansea town centre to have a look around. Its a strange thing being in Swansea town centre, it seems to drive me to drink. So i popped in to a local pub. This is the pub that i took the photo of the cocktail menu in my last update, its definitely not a cocktail style bar. Its sticky carpets, toothless men sat alone, dogs laid at feet of tables, empty pint glasses left on tables for the 45 Min's i was in there and people just gazing in to space. After just reading that back I've described myself in there, i have 4 teeth missing, was sat alone and was gazing out the window people watching. I can see my future but its happening now LOL.
I stood at the bar to order my beer and there were 4 other people at the bar before me, 3 guys all together waiting to order separately and a woman, behind thew bar were 1 staff member and the arrogant manager. The woman was paying for a wine and a pint........ by credit card, the first guy bought a pint and crisps........by credit card, the second guy bought a meal and pint................by credit card. While all this stupid time wasting was going on another 2 guys came to the bar. The manager then finished with the woman and asked "Who's next?" to which the guy who had just approached the bar ordered and he served. WHAT? Hang on, i was next or at least the last guy of the 3. What type of manager has to ask "who's next? He should know who's next, its not as if it was ram packed at the bar, any good barman would know that let alone a manager, it makes me so angry GGGGGGRRRRRRRRRR! And while we're at it, doesn't anyone carry a few pound on them anymore? These people must have known they may need a few quid if going out and are paying for just a pint with a credit card. GOD, watching the woman pay for her 2 drinks was like watching Joey Essex trying to figure out Sir Isaac Newtons Law of Gravitation. She didn't have her glasses so couldn't see the screen, then she had to remember her number and after all that had to be talked through how to use machine, it took forever, GET CASH OUT!
MY toothless, lonely, gazing in to space pint..........but it was good.
After my lovely cool refreshing pint i got back on the pensioner/student trolley and headed back home but before i left Swansea i took a selfie on the bus. Well it seems all the rage these days even though the selfie is in fact years old from when the camera was first invented.
My selfie and proud of it LOL.
I had to go back to Simbec for a follow up to sign some papers so the pharmaceutical company can continue to use my blood samples and i noticed something. As i stood on the platform at Pentre-Bach waiting for my train home i noticed that the platform is one of the longest I've ever seen for just a little village station. The trains that pull up to this station are only ever 2 carriages long and don't need a huge platform. This platform could accommodate the Orient Express its that long. Why the hell did they make it that long and to add to it there isn't even a shop on it. With all that room you could fit a retail park on it.
Is there any real need for such a long platform? I think not
On my walks around Swansea i saw a local pub that was being taken over. The couple had put a sign outside so everyone would know. In fact they were so proud they even displayed what they had achieved. "Chef of the year 91 & 92". So Anton was chef of the year for 2 years. Where? Voted by who? What area, UK, Wales, Glamorgan, Swansea, their living room? I'm chef of the year every year in my kitchen and i don't need anyone to vote either. Also looking at that, this was 22 years ago. I think i would prefer to be in the place where Chef of the year 2013 is cause this means Anton hasn't been any good since 1992 LOL.
Think i would just welcome people and leave the self proclaimed honours off it.
Also there was a world food fair in the city centre and from among the little stalls came a bright golden warm glow..........A Greek Gyros stall. OH MY GOD! I was so excited i thought to myself I'm going to buy the largest Gyros they sell. As i walked towards the stall from under the covers it was raining heavy and i got soaked. I decided against the purchase, it just doesn't seem the same eating a watter logged gyros under grey skies.
Sunday for some unknown crazy reason i woke up wanting ice cream. Strange i know as most people want a Sunday roast. Helen agreed to my cravings and took me to an Italian Restaurant near Swansea on The Mumbles (this is a seaside resort not a stroppy teenager) called Verdi. Jamie Oliver did one of his programmes from here, that fact did put me off a bit. The place was packed at 11am, i mean not one single seat inside so we had to wait for a table. I could have ordered the whole menu of Starters, Mains and desserts but i wanted ice cream. I had Vanilla & Toffee ice cream with toffee shards, hot toffee sauce and whipped cream. Helen ordered a strawberry, cream and kiwi cake. They were so rich, sweet and sticky, loaded with calories, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm nom nom nom.
If your ever around the Swansea area go to The Mumbles, its lovely, even better when the suns out.
Verdi's, packed out on a Sunday at 11am.
Verdi's outdoor seating, Do you think its to cold?
My beautiful ice cream, I LOVE YOU. LOL
Talking of high quality food its been years since I've had a filled vol au vent. When you and all your friends were 18 to 21 you were always going to parties where the buffet always had vol au vents. So you were having them at least once a month but as you get older the parties die off and weddings these days always have to above and beyond what the couple can afford so the bride can have her "Special day". Hello? There is a groom as well you know. I've been to a few weddings and the buffets in the evening have always been over the top fancy pants crap. Wheres the cocktail sausages on sticks? Wheres the mini pork pies and wheres my vol au vents?
I've looked in a few supermarkets to find vol au vent cases and couldn't find any. I asked my good old mum to look for some. Whatever i can't find my mum always does. She's a great shopper LOL.
She found me the Holy Grail, 36 Jus Rol large vol au vent cases. AMAZING!
I got them, took them home and cooked off 16. Got my fillings ready, egg mayo, coronation chicken, barbecue shrimp and coleslaw. I got them all prep'd up and scoffed the lot apart from one which Helen stole, never forgive her for that LOl. I was in 1980's heaven. Soooooooooooo good.
I'm available every winter for catering parties LOL.
Its amazing, thats another 2 1/2 hours just to write this update, maybe i should hire a ghost writer like the great authors David Beckham, Justin Bieber and Katie Price.
Well my dear friends and customers, thats it from the UK but i will now update from Zakynthos as soon as i got my wifi back on. I will give you all the true goings on from the island and a picture update of whats changed in every resort.
So Sunday its up, up and away.
Serve All, Love all, Peace All, Kevlar Out.