Sunday, 17 May 2009

Can You Smell My Charlie?

If like me you require to be informed of all the news you may be interested to hear that I have been holidaying in the Balearics? If not please sit quietly whilst the adults talk.

What can I say except what a fucking lovely place, what a vista Bonita. Truly I think Ibiza is up there with some of the most wonderful places I have ever visited - Capri, Rome, Teignmouth etc. As Adrian said when I told him 'Now you understand why I go to Spain so much!' yes i do. We stayed in a lovely area (I won't use the word resort if you don't mind - it has so many connotations, which I choose to avoid) called Santa Eulalia - on the Radio 4 side of the island. Our favourite hangout was a bar/restaurant right at the end of the strip and right on the shore. The view was so Shirley Valentine meets The Beach - truly wonderful. Our villa was also gorgeous, two suites, two pools, several terraces, gardens formal and less so, patios - the works - very 'Hello' or 'HOLA' as I think we say in Spain.

And what a great time to travel - we were the week or so before the season began so the place was quietish, although all restaurants etc were open, there was only a splattering of visitors. Most of these were to be avoided and slightly overweight.

We flew Easyjest which wasn't my first choice, but our only choice at that time of year, and it was actually a very good service. We payed the £10 each to be first on board which meant we got the legroom seats which made all the difference. Lovely friendly staff etc etc, and the panninis - couldn't be surpassed by anything you could have microwaved at home.

So as not to have to be dry on our first night, (I had no idea of what the shopping or restaurant possibilities would be on arrival) we up wined at the airport and arrived appropriately stocked. A lovely Marlborough for Justin and a nice Merlot for me. Trolling through duty free I decided upon the name of my autobiography having called out to Justin that I would be requiring 'Makeups and Cognacs!'

So we were all set. Our key stewardesses were lovely one was Mexican - very Gloria Estafan, and even though she did sneeze I didn't hold it against her (or importantly develop swine fever symptoms) the other was English and a bit simple. Her name was Jo so every time I called to the real Jo, she would look round. So when I called 'Jo - can you smell my Charlie?' you can imagine there was a some room for confusion, consternation, contemplation and sheer 'What?' I soon cleared up the fact that I wasn't talking to her and explained that my baby mother was also of the Monika. She got that. But then she wanted me to explain what 'can you smell my charlie?' meant. Well I started at a safe place - Victoria Wood - dinner ladies? Julie Walters, Thelma Barlow? No - she'd neither seen or heard of any of them. So I had to explain that Charlie was a cheap but popular perfume from the 80's - still nothing. I then had to, I'm even dreading the typing, try and explain the potential double entendre between a popular strong smelling parfum and a part of the body with comedial potential for being slightly unwashed and therefore of fragrance. Luckily it was all too much for her, she was completely bemused and tottered on with warming the pilot's baguette and giving the safety demonstration - Holy PHEW Batman!

Whilst I’ve got your attention I think it is only fair to share with you that I think I may be on the turn. And no I haven’t developed an insatiable desire to become a lady gardener or anything like that, not that I’m against heterosexuality – it does, after all, have some wondrous outcomes ‘ahem’, but it’s just not for me. But I am worried that I am losing some of my homo sensibilities. Firstly I thought I’d found the gay district of Santa Eulalia, but it turns out that Homologado means accredited not gay log cabin action. To make things worse there was a shop on the same strip called MAN – you can see how I got confused. It turned out it was the boat building district. Plenty of double entendres available I am sure – cheques to the usual address please. But no, the big hint to my ungayness happened last night. Whilst the gay men of Europe were gathering at each other’s houses with boas (feather not constrictor) cocktails, flags, glitter eye shadow and Terry Wogan RIP banners we were busily settling down to some course grain mustard mash and a wonderful sweet potato and goats cheese pie (Oh dear I think I have just exampled my way back to Gay). Our lifestyle Gaydar is just not working. We didn’t know it was the Eurovision Frigging Song Contest. Luckily I realised in good time - thank heavens for the BBC website being my home page. Like Graham himself we weren’t sure whether he was going to be able to replace Terry, but actually, and I don’t usually say nice things about Graham Norton, he did very well. A hard act to follow but I think he made it his own whilst maintaining some of the style and necessary feel/temperature etc required.

But what a great show, some really good songs. I went immediately for France (Chanson) Sweden (Classical cross over - lots of white) and Moldova (fantastic dancing I could only dream of being able to copy – it hasn’t stopped me trying) And UK was ok and we came 5th which is very good for us. Silly Norway won because the lead singer was apparently cute – looked like Harry Potter with a squashed face and a bit cross eyed, but lots of people go for that look I suppose. So well done dear Norway – they have had more nil points than most of their neighbours. So to Oslo we go next year. I will put it in my diary so I don’t forget, and make sure I have some glitter eye shadow in hand just to be on the safe side. The other thing I forgot was the Dulwich festival which is usually the fine purveyor of a range of middle class artistic adventures including an Open House. I have already emailed the organiser to ask for next year’s dates – But I can’t complain – the key reason for missing it was my sojourn a Balearics. Muy Bueno.

However, as Rolf does so does Justin - yes I am being a bit Queen like today after all in as much as I am having my portrait done. Justin has just sketched me and taken a number of photos of my features. I’m hoping he’ll knock a couple of pounds off and have me looking around 28. We shall see and of course I will share all in good time. So maybe not all is lost.

Getting back to Spain, and can I just add that as hard as I looked there was not a sombrero or wicker donkey to be found (much to my disappointment). Now I’m as Eurocentric as the next person, happily speaking louder and clearer for a second or third time if at first I don’t succeed in getting my point across. But surely there are no ‘directives’ outlawing the continual loop like singing of ‘Volver’ or at least the chorus (for chorus read shouting VOLVER at the top of my voice in a Brian Blessed Stylee). I saw it as a tribute to the majesty and grandeur of my Spanish environs, but the looks I got! However I digress.

In other news there is a lot of anger on the east dulwich forum regarding the removal of the clock at Sainsbury's 'Yes we wash everything by hand too'.

But as with real life this drivel must now come to an end.
All the best and keep warm.


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