Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Potential axe murderers

Being on your own somewhere is pretty interesting. I rather like my own company – but I like to choose when I have it, I don’t like it foisted on me. The knowledge that you’re going to continue being on your own unless you stick your neck out and speak to some random punter can fuck with your head. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but in this game you really have to pick your way between the turds.

The dilemma: if some random punter in the street started trying to make friends with you at home, you would immediately brand them a wierdo and tell them to sling their hook. But when you’re on your own, on the lookout for friends, every single person you meet suddenly holds infinate possibilities and a hand extended in friendship feels like a lifeline. Which is why I accepted the offer for a drink the other day from some seemingly harmless chap, who turned out to be Columbian. He lured me back to his apartment under false pretences where he tried to grope me. I split, feeling rather bitter and annoyed at my naivety.

Is everyone a potential axe murderer? Or rapist? And why is it you can be alone, craving company for several days without meeting anybody new and then as soon as you want your own company some wierdy cunt comes along and starts insinuating themselves on you.

Take the other evening. I meandered down to the quiet, moonlit beach with an icecream and thought, ‘This is nice. I shall just perch on this rock over here and watch the ferries coming and going, the light surfing on the waves…I really should appreciate this magical beach more often, of an evening – afterall it’s what I came here for….’
…. and within 30 seconds my private reveries were shattered by some freaky, hunch backed bastard holding an empty plastic bag, sidling up to me with a voice like a Spanish Hanibal Lectar …’Hola Clarice… que taaaaal?’

Shudder.

Never trust anyone with an empty plastic bag. They are scientifically guaranteed to be an axe murderor. The plastic bag is to put you severed head in as a trophy once they’ve dragged you off to a corner of the beach, stripped you and hacked you up into teeny tiny pieces with a spoon.

So I said: ‘Please Fuck Off!’ gathered together my belongings and flounced away up the beach with a huffy snort. Can’t I have five minutes to myself when I want it?!
Meeting new people feels like dating. You take numbers as if they are going out of fashion and make enthusiastic promises to meet for coffees that more often than not don’t materialise. For the last few days I felt like I was stalking this poor girl who works in the café where I sit with my laptop sometimes. I kept peering at her and I think she felt my looks. I don’t know what it was, I just had a feeling we were in the same boat. She seemed a bit out on a limb….

“So…what do you do when you’re not working?” I chimed in suddenly the other morning as she was delivering my capuccino to me.

I’m not sure who was more taken aback by this sudden outburst, she or I.

But she smiled, shrugged and looking a little embarrassed said, (insert Goldmember-esque accent): “….well, I don’t hev many friendsh here.’

“Great!” said I. “Me neither.”

So we swapped numbers.

The Dam, (as I shall call her, for that be where she is from) invited me for a few white wines in Sands beach bar a few days later. She looks terribly innocent but it turns out back home she works in advertisting and is an absolute booze hound, partying, glamour and men- mad filther. We have plenty in common. I’m hoping I’ve found a wingwoman. And so far I’m pretty sure she’s not an axe murderer. Though I’m always on the lookout for plastic bags.....



So I’m off home for Glastonbury ....when I come back will I be staying? The truth is it’s anyone’s guess – I can’t wait to go home... four days of frolicking in the charming English countryside with all my favourite people has the potential to just tip me over the edge.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Dear Shazzer....

I just wanted to write and let you know I'm ok. Although I miss you. And I forget why exactly I'm here.

I am finding ways to enjoy my own company. I’m finding pleasure in simple things, black coffee, fresh pastries, morning beach visits and icy dips before starting work, palm trees, ships on the empty ice-blue horizon, diamonds on the surface of the sea and the fact I’m now brown enough to use oil instead of spf - which makes me rather smug!

The drums never cease. I drove back from Space the other night (I had to write a review of the night so it was business, not pleasure) and tuned into the radio. So deep and dark and sexy were the tunes, that when I parked I couldn’t physically extract myself from my car and I sat there enjoying a Space-cadet’s party for one with the engine running, for a good 20 minutes. Then all of a sudden I had a moment of ‘what the fuck am I doing?’ clarity and hobbled home.

Not to detract from my general cheer today, and feeling of well-being, but I do have one complaint. The fucking Spanish and their bloody car horns. They love them. And particularly love sitting in their cars in the street just under my window leaning on the horn ...

‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep’ to make a point.


Alright you cunt, we get it! You are irked by something. Now shut up!

Indeed, to borrow the Scroogian cadences of Dickens: If I had my way every Spaniard who goes about beeping repeatedly on his horn would be run over with his own car and buried with one of these up his arse:

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Red lights all around me

Song for the day: All Saints - Black Coffee

So, I didn’t tell my Gran, but I do in fact live in a red light district. It’s not a particularly obvious one. I mean, there aren’t crack whores hanging off lampposts outside my front door or anything. But walking from here to there of an evening by oneself is a bit of a minefield of slime-tastic male lechery, wolf whistling gut-churning ‘Hey, guapa, preciosa…. You wan suck my cock?’ –type heckling.

"Yes dear. I really want your greasy, shriveled up little peanut-shaped excuse for a penis in my mouth. What a good thing I bumped into you on the street right at this moment. How fortuitous. Because I was beginning to worry I was going to miss the fucking opportunity and go home disappointed."

Anyhoo, particularly in light of recent events and the local ethos, and on the kind suggestion of Big Brother 2.1 and The Princess, I have decided to dub my falling-apart-at-the-seams but still cool red Alfa Romeo, Roxanne.

Roxanne, it turns out, behaves worse than me. I told her to stay away from white lines, but did she? Did she fuck. And the upshot was I had to prison-break, nay, bail her out of a down-town penitentiary for wayward vehicles last week.

It had been an interesting few days, involving much soul searching about whether or not I really wanted to be here, on this ghastly, yet fabulous island. There had been much falling in and out of clubs trying to bury the demons under a layer of chemically induced serotonin whilst simultaneously trying to hold down several free-lance work projects without looking like a total waster. Let’s be honest – my short term memory was as tatty as a pair of prostitute’s pants.

But still, I stepped out of my flat completely compos mentis one sunny Friday morning to go and get some bits and bobs from my car. And after traipsing up and down the street for twenty minutes or so, something started to smell a bit fishy. I don't get this, thought I.... I've NEVER lost my car like this. I've temporarily mislaid it a couple of times, it’s true, and found it after an exasperated and bemused walk up a couple of possible roads, but I have never lost it like this.

Where the fuck is my fucking car? I wondered. I bumped into the dude from reception at Es Vive - Dude. I said, in fact. Where’s my car?

I was convinced she’d been car-napped and her once polished steering wheel and glistening body work covered in the grubby paw prints of some low-life tea-leaf.

But no.

Towed. Towed by the rozzas for sticking her nose over a white line. There but for the grace of God...

Fortunately I bought her freedom for the princely sum of 150Euros and all is now well.

But seriously, it made me wonder....why didn’t nature make us all with just that squatch more serotonin floating around in our veins? We would approach such pot-holes as the above, and indeed everything in life with infinitely more patience, even temper and positivity, let alone disinterested logic if we were all off our faces on happy chemicals the whole time.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The DJ

The DJ moved in this week… and is, as many (with one or two important exceptions) of my acquaintance over the years have been:

1. Aggressively self centred (case in point: he hasn’t asked me a single question about myself since he arrived, but I know his life story)
2. Mildly self satisfied
3. A bit of a scab
4. Tight
5. Fond of dense, drunk leggy blondes and getting off his tits

Standard fare.

However to give the guy his due, he has good shoes, considerable talents when it comes to producing tech house, can squeeze himself into alarmingly tight jeans, is mostly kind and laid back and has a physics degree . He is also fucking clumsy and keeps breaking kitchenware.

SMASH!

‘Oh FUCK! Where did that come from?’....I keep hearing from the kitchen

Oddly, it turns out he’s one half of a quite well known double act. An attractive American friend of mine stopped by for coffee on Wednesday and they proceeded to chew each other’s ears off about life the universe and everything for several hours. The next day I received an impressed Facebook message from her:

‘I can’t believe you’re living with (insert name) from (insert name of DJ double act)!!…He’s so hot – lucky girl!’

Hmmmm. You may remember me saying I didn’t mind if this DJ chap was a fuckhead, as long as he didn’t try to fuck me. And I stand by that. He’s completely not my type. The colouring’s all wrong. And we’re talking Just For Men out of a bottle wrong here. A slightly paunchy, 38-year-old kidult with delusions of grandeur? Not really my style darling.

It’s true, my potential for getting free drinks and hanging around celeb-type DJ circles has just escalated by a good 50% over night ...as long as I’m up for scurrying around after him like a doe-eyed hanger on. Which I’m not sure I am.

So sadly, what would be revered by DJ whores the world over as a golden opportunity, is somewhat wasted on me, as I don’t shag DJs as a matter of principle.

Shame.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

How to execute the perfect chat-up-fuck-off

I have a dear friend – L– who loves a good rave. In fact we use to rave it up together quite a bit back in the day. And last week she popped out to visit me with her fella N and their beautiful daughter A.

L also just happens to be a bit of a looker, with legs up to here, flowing raven hair, dewy complexion and an unmistakable twinkle in her eye – which means she attracts quite a bit of attention wherever she goes.

In Pacha this comes in the form of many a gurning, wide-eyed, sweaty club-punter squawking in her ear trying to chat her up, constantly. And her having to explain, constantly, that she can’t hear them. And no. Shouting louder won’t do the trick. The inevitable and painfully obvious conversation then follows:

‘How can you be out clubbing if you’re deaf?‘

‘Well’ she has to tell them. ‘I can feel the vibrations. I can enjoy the general dancing, rhythmic and visual experience of getting off my tits in a club in the same way you can.’

...Which is all very fun the first time around. But it gets rather dull after about 10 years and hundreds of foamy-mouthed, ignorant twats who you wouldn’t in other circumstances give the time of day to, sidling up to you with the same question.

Unfortunately (for him) but hysterically (for us), at about 5.30am one particularly repellent wide-eyed punter (who I’d have probably crossed the street to avoid on a work day) bore the brunt of L’s ennui at having to constantly explain herself to complete strangers.

He sat down next to her and I on a sofa towards the end of the night, where we were happily tearing silent, sign-language chunks out of all the cheap, tacky sluts who were scuttling to and fro in front of us.

L: ‘Terrible shoes’

Me: ‘Fat arse’

L: ‘...ugh...just... disgusting...’

Me: ‘White denim. You should NEVER wear white denim...’

Punter: ‘ Ello laydies….(homing in on L) ello gorgeous… you English?’

At this point it is necessary to mention that L doesn’t speak out loud. She lip reads and quite justly expects you to offer her the same courtesy.

L: (shakes her head)

Punter: ‘Espanol??’

L: (shakes her head)

Punter: ‘Where you from then darlin?’

...A pause...

L: (turning to me)…..Tell him I’m from deaf land.

Me: (silently) Deaf Land? Really?

L: Yeah. (Dead-pan) Tell him I’m from Deaf Land.

Me: Erm...alright...(to Punter) ...she says to tell you she’s from Deaf Land

Punter: ‘Wha? Deaf Land? Where’s that then...never heard of it’

L: (to Punter)...do you know sign language?

Punter: Eh? What’s she saying?

Me: She wants to know if you know sign language?

Punter: oh...no...course I don’t!

L: (With a shrug and a wave of her perfectly manicured hand)...Well fuck off then...

Punter...what’d she say?

Me: Um...she says to fuck off...

Which he duly did. Looking very confused.

It was brilliant. Purely brilliant.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Things that brighten my day...

A conversation with SbH who is obviously feeling a bit hard up at the moment:

Me: How much money would you lick a bit of sellotape covered in fluff for? A million?
He: For a mill? I'd lick most things. Apart from maybe depleted Uranium. Hell I'd lick from here to the train station. I'd lick my house. In fact. I'm going to go and stand on the street right now with a sign saying 'will lick stuff for money'. How much d'you reckon someone would pay for me to lick their lawn?

***************************

This week I have learned that sometimes its only when you're away from your friends you realise how many you have.

I've lost some important people in my life and sometimes it feels there's a hole there - a huge part of me that's missing. Un-fillable. You thumb through the contacts on your phone, wondering whose ear to piss your feelings into. And draw a blank.

The Boss went home on Tuesday last week and quiet days of abject comedown and loneliness ensued, when jumping on a plane straight home seemed the only option. But somehow in this magic age of modern communication, you're never really alone. Whenever I'm down, I call on you my friends.

Ibiza is just how I thought it would be. But I am not. This island is in your face. Strangely welcoming and strangely distant. Everyone wants a piece of you. But it's hard to focus on the new when you know there are people, or a person, that you'd infinitely prefer to be spending all your time with. This is not what I expected from myself all those weeks ago when I wanted to escape from home.

I have a confession. I love being winked at. Preferably by a complete stranger or very new acquaintance. There's something warmingly conspiratorial, personal, unexpectedly intimate about it. A moment shared only between winker and wink recipient. And it takes skill to execute the perfect wink. So it doesn't just look like you have a strange twitch. A slight inclination of the head is a good embellishment.

The waiter in the restaurant I'm using as my office does it every so often if I catch his eye. It makes me feel at home.

So if you happen to catch someone's eye today - give them a wink. You never know how much you might brighten their day...

Friday, 11 June 2010

Slumdog Seasonaire

It occurs to me that somewhere down the line in the last year I stopped placing any value on the things that used to make my little cup of job simply overflow. Glamour, comfort and personal hygiene, for example. Somewhere down the line I have reverted into the grubby footed, unwashed urchin of my younger country girl days.

Now I know there are those among you who would argue that I have always been an urchin. But some may care to remember that I used to live in a really rather nicely turned out house of my own, in a quite posh part of town. With furniture and shit. And art and curtains and cutlery, with a hoover and bathbombs and a fruit bowl. And a cat.

So why, when I find myself living in a lovely (well...clean, spacious and convenient) flat, on a sun-drenched holiday island and am sitting in a delightful beach-front restaurant staring out at a glittering ocean and cobalt sky... can I only think of how much I miss the crack den hovel of the ski resort?

I genuinely miss the ash-covered floor, scattered with raw potatoes and condoms. The stinky duvet and crispy socks. Getting into bed with crumbs on my feet.

All I dream of is the misty mountains. The biting cold.

I miss my pom pom hat. You really don't need them here in this heat. You'd look a right cunt.

Which is why I spend every spare minute applying for ski jobs. My heart belongs to the mountains.

Truly, as my ex declared on skype the other day....I have become a Slumdog Snob. Too posh to wash baby. Yeah.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Has beens and drama queens

Es Vive hotel will be my downfall. Mark my words. I live but two minutes' high-heel-clad sashay from the front door and it is swiftly becoming a kaleidoscopic wormhole of late night adventure. Arrive there alone at midnight and prop up the bar where you will be befriended by a variety of wronguns in various states of inebriation and undress. The other night a guy came in at about 1am and sat at the bar munching euphorically on his own face for about an hour, before spontaneously falling off his stool into a relaxed heap on the floor.

‘I’m fine’ he said to the barman. ‘I just fancied a lie down.’

In Es Vive (by the way, people, I checked, and you pronounce it Es Vivay....not Es Veev like so many saaarf londoners seem to think) my vodka and coke mysteriously never depletes (despite my advancing blind-drunkeness). I have a blister on my elbow from so many hours’ leaning on the bar. The barman is cute. He is flanked by two elfin and immaculate cocktail waitresses, the Spanish pixie, Josefine and the vaguely satirical, verbally economical, typically Slovak Jana.

The problem is, it’s open all morning, 8am, 9am, 10am.... So whatever club I go to it’s a pit stop on the way home. It would be rude not to just pop in.

And better still, if you befriend whoever’s staying there (I’m thinking pick a different group every week) and plead loneliness (‘I’ve just arrived in Ibiza, I’m on my own’ ...yada yada yada) and flash your cleavage a bit you get invited to sit round the pool and bought lunch the following day by some Dolce & Gabbana’d up socialite. And my my do you meet some interesting types.

Like Sid Shanti – (saggy round the edges one-time 90's Manumission DJ reborn as Chef to Ibiza-type celebrities including P-to-the-Diddy, Jamie Oliver and half the England football team) -who tried to snog me, told me you reap what you sow and invited me to lunch. In that order.

Then there was Fat Tony. A painfully thin, painfully tanned, theatrically camp 40-something DJ with ‘God Help Me’ tattoo’d down one arm and ‘Surrender’ tattoo’d down the other ....and a fabulous set of pearly whites. Fat Tony told me he had been clean for 3 years. He had to get clean because he’d boshed so much gack up his nasal cavity in the years preceding that eventually his friends found him in a darkened room, rocking back and forth, having pulled out every one of his own teeth. Talk about all gone Pete Tong. Must have looked like a fertility celebration at Dracula’s castle.
Apparently his face collapsed and his cheeks got so thin he had to have collagen implants and a whole set of new dentures.

‘You reap what you sow man, you reap what you sow’, said Sid.

Well, indeed. And by all accounts Tony sows ‘em pretty thin. He spent the afternoon entertaining those congregated around the pool with his new favourite iPhone application – Grindr. For the uninitiated, Grindr is a service to which (if one is so inclined) one logs in to find out how far away the nearest man in need of a quick, dirty, incognito one up the bum is. Truly the iPhone is a magical phenomenon. It has given birth to a whole new way to spread venereal disease. Anyway. The previous night, bored and alone in his room at 4am, Tony had logged onto Grindr and found to his delight the nearest available candidate was in the very same hotel. He sent a message and minutes later came a knock on the door.

He opened it to find a member of the hotel staff – a waiter - gurning at him.

FT: ‘....fuck do you want?’
Latino waiter: ‘Sssh ....don’t thay a worrrd’
FT: ‘old on a minute...didn’t you serve me my lunch?....what’s your name?’
Latino waiter: ‘Ith no important’
FT; ‘Oh f.....just get in ‘ere for fuck’s sake’
Latino waiter: ‘Ok....but we mutht never thpeak of dis ’

...Shame, cos Tony did quite a lot of speaking about it. In fact he pointed him out to us when he was serving drinks around the pool.

According to Grindr, in Ibiza you’re never more than 10 yards from an enthusiastic cock.


....on another note...I have discovered that the Catholic paedophile axe murderer who lives in this flat off season is also a Flamenco aficionado. Surprised? Well, Hitler was a vegetarian painter with a Wagner fetish, so you shouldn’t be. Think Hannibal Lecter. Found his stash of warbly latino clap clap clap trap in a dusty cupboard and am getting quite into it...ole!

Monday, 7 June 2010

A Spanish flea

Watching the boy go home was hideous. I stood and peered through the glass barrier as he wondered off through airport security, with his usual scruffy hair and laid back gait and suddenly felt very alone.

He was a little bit broken. The day before my bag got tealeafed with his treasured wallet inside. I've never seen him so stricken. The only solution was to get annihilated and go to Space. Which we duly did. And then spent a very long, hot day lying in a sweaty, sandy puddle of goo on the bed trying to recover. Saying goodbye to a lover in an advanced state of comedown fear is a genuinely bad plan. Take it from me.

So off he went and here I was. Trying to man the fuck up and not be pathetic, but temporarily penniless and feeling alone. Suddenly I desperately needed a cigarette. Affliction of the smoker: even in times of destitution, when one has only 20 quid to one's name, cobbled together out of a bag of small change donated by one's Dad, one will still spend 3.50 of that on a packet of Malborough's finest cancer sticks. Good plan.

But pimp my ride if a few days later, having looked up a few tenuous friends of friends of friends I didn't find the fun.

First stop, Sirocco's. As per invitation from a fabulous artsy craftsy type chap named M. Bespangled, bronzed 40-something lovelies dining by candlelight under chiffon drapes on a sunset beach. Marijuana drifted languidly around. Later the ladies swayed nonchalantly on to what hed kandi album covers refer to as 'blissed out Belaeric beats' accompanied by a bongo drummer with hair like Keith Prodigy's, while their slick-haired husbands looked on, money oozing from every pore.

The evening was only mildly marred by a Spanish mama and mother of ten, draped in a black and gold caftan with copius long black hair who, clearly irked by my youth and Englishness, took a disliking to me at the bar. My very British lack of multilingual ability apparently offended her and she started wafting her champagne in my face and asking me intense questions in Italian to demonstrate her superiority. 'Capishe? Capishe?' she kept demanding, sloshing Dom Pérignon down my top.

'Look luv. Non capishe I don't speak fucking Italian. And are you really trying to do me down by speaking a language that's ninety percent the same as your mother tongue? Jog on. You'd have to be a fucking retard NOT to speak Italian. Now take your baggy old sack of leather ten-children vagina and shove it some other cunt's face. Capishe?'

I wish that's what I'd said. But I just smiled and wondered off.

The next evening finds me in u s h u a ï a beach bar trying to keep control of my face and prevent myself from being groped by the usual under-developed, over-tanned rich Italian boy-man.

HE: ' I really love Engleeeeesh women'
Me: 'I bet you do dear. But this one's keeping her knicknacks on so Bugger off.'

By dint of a well connected mutual friend (thanks Mrs Widget) I then managed to completely out-do The Boss by getting us into Pacha free. He had spectacularly failed to get the boy and I on the Space guestlist a few days before, and so looked a little rueful as we were wafted in via the VIP area without so much as a double take. 'That was pretty smooth' he conceded. Yeah mate. You're fucking right it was. Watch and learn.

Inside, rhinestone encrusted Victorian giantesses on a rotating bed above the dance floor surveyed their minions...flinging things into the crowd....my brain is melting....I'm pretty much off my tits.... I have found God. His name is Luciano....

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Tosspots

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the clubbing, entertainment and hospitality industries are chock full of...nay, up to the bollocks in, tosspots. Tosspots of all shapes, sizes and cunt-i-ness.

Egotists. Shisters. Bullshitters. Downright arseholes. People in general who wouldn't piss on you if you were aflame in a ditch somewhere screaming. I've got the T-shirt to prove it.

This is why I approach with extreme caution any punters peddling themselves under this variety of headings. It is also why I wasn't all that perturbed to find The Boss unconscious, dribbling and sweaty in a grotty hotel room when SbH and I rocked up on the island at 9am Tuesday morning. He was, after all, on the tail end of an 18-man strong stag do to rival The Hangover. Why on earth would I expect him to be compus mentus to greet me after an 18 hour drive?

After some grunting and mooching around he regained the power of speech, crooned 'Heeeey partner! Welcome to Ibiza!' at me and enveloped both SbH and I in a sweaty hug. We were then regaled with a story about a girl he'd met the previous evening who claimed to have once shagged an entire stag do. Including the groom. 'Bet shagging her was like trying to drive a sausage up the M1' he drawled before keeling over and passing out again.

By my calculation, however, and in relative terms to some of the clubland twats I've come across during my time this dude is quite a solid chap. By midday our apartment was all sorted out and he was off into town selling tickets to his boat party scheduled for that very same evening, to which we were cordially invited. So it all turned out nice again, as they say.

The apartment is but 60 seconds walk from the beach so no complaints there. Although clearly it is inhabited by a paedophile, catholic axe murderer off-season judging by the person-sized and totally un-necessary freezer in the kitchen, creepy jesus icons above the beds and miniature china figurines littered around the place, which have been duly relegated to the cupboards.

In fact, the only major fly in the ointment is the noise. Ibiza knows no silence, I'm aware of that. But there's noise and then there's Japanese water torture nosie....

Evidently two very fat, ugly and consequently angry Spanish ladies live in the flats behind mine as they are always hurling abuse at each other across the courtyard. One of them also owns a canary.

Now, I'm not generally a violent person, particularly with animals. But if I ever catch that tweety little fucker I will take heightened pleasure in ripping it's feathers out one by one and stuffing it with petrol soaked newspaper. I will then set it on fire and use it as an ornithological Molotov cocktail straight through fat Spanish bint's front window!

hasta mañana

Friday, 4 June 2010

Road Trip

'Agua please!' Sbh yells to the barman in Space before being handed the minuscule container of precious fluid - about enough to shove in your eye, or quench the thirst of a very well-watered flea.

'Seven Euros' smiles the barman, palm outstretched.

'SEVEN??!!'

'Yes. Seven. Welcome to Ibiza, my friend.'

We've been dancing for 6 hours, and the tap water in Space is salted.

* * * * * *


Distance traveled: 1.137 miles - Belle's Hometown to Ibiza
Number of hours at wheel: 18
Rollups smoked: Many thousands
Wrong turns: Several. Barcelona via Bordeaux. Interesting detour.
Cash rinsed: Intense amounts
MGBs of emergency iphone sat nav use downloaded at extortionate roaming charges: Don't even want to know.
Years added to life in stress: 3 or 4
Minutes to spare before departure of Barcelona - Ibiza ferry: About 15

Amusing place names spotted: Angergville (population me!), Lardy....and Pussay.

So we made it to Ibiza by road in my dodgy red Alfa Romeo, which is now falling apart at the seams. And I have learnt several important things about the French, having been sucked down a dual carriageway wormhole of despair around Paris way. As well as being unable to grasp the concepts of the words 'The' and 'It' the French have not cottoned onto the idea of roundabouts. Judases.

The journey was eventful to say the least. I even got spot breathalised for absolutely no good reason, around Monnerville, our halfway point, by a policeman wearing what was suspiciously reminiscent of a Thunderbirds uniform.

'Ello Madame. Ave you been drinking alcool today?'
'Non monsieur.Pas de tout. But there's an eighth of weed in my coffee pot in the back there if you're interested?'

After a feast of pasta cooked over a tiny camp stove in the oddest campsite in the world (lots of Dutch people and miniature gardens), a bottle or two of red procured from an obliging lady and few too many joints we slept. It was a chilly night huddled in SbH's at best basic, at worst cobbled together tent. Next day 11 hours of driving stretched ahead of me like a death sentence. Feeling drowsy I made a decision. Modafanil. Yes. Loved by narcoleptics the world over. Let's experiment with prescription medication and drive at very high speeds on the continent! Super idea.

...But hold on....I don't remember these side effects.... Soon it was sweaty palms. Slurred speech.Short term memory loss. Slight foaming at the mouth and a state of tea-strained brain vegetation which rendered me unable to concentrate on anything but the road tumbling ahead of me. Fear and loathing. But at least I was awake. We did the maths. In order to make it in time our speed must not drop below 95 mph.

By the time France's autoroutes melted into Spain's orange skies, black mountains, Popplars and creamy cloud formations I was able to engage in conversation again. We limped into Barcelona, close to tears and into yet another wormhole of one-way streets. We made the overnight ferry just in time.

A beer and a plate of chicken and chips has never tasted so sweet. The wooden floor in a dark corner of a ferry has never been so cosy. The perfectly formed bicep of a sexy man has never made such a comforting pillow.

...and take it from me...the best way to arrive in Ibiza by far is by boat. Hand in hand with a treasured friend, as the dawn floats up from behind the hills into a yellow sky and the purple sea lays like a silk sheet all around.