Saturday, 29 March 2008


All I can say is thank-you for your responses to the news about Ann's death. There are too many for me to answer individually and, of course, it's not really my place to do so, more Davids, but I know that his thanks are given without a second thought, and please rest assured that I will pass on the names of those who have passed on condolences via this blog. Ann is to be taken back to Ireland on Tuesday, after a Service of Memorial at the Benalmádena Cementerio Internacional Chapel on Sunday at 11am.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Ann, David's partner, passed away at about 1615hrs today. Quite peacefully after having waited for the arrival of her son Richard from Eire to join the other family members at her bedside.


Last night (Wednesday) I cooked for David, his daughter Heather and his friend Norrie but that is inmaterial now; a priest has been in attendance at Ann's bedside, she now has a tumour on the brain (discovered Sunday) and well, what can I say, we wait, we hope.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Some Sad News

A member of the local community died today; Gert, from Malmo in Sweden aged about 76. He was taken ill in a bar in town and pronounced dead in the ambulance on the way to hospital. The cause of death is not yet known but he was in the company of friends and just "went to sleep" after finishing his drink. We will miss him.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Bad Weather Blues

Today, this morning, there has been a thunderstorm with attendant heavy rain which has now finished and the sun is out, but of course the bad weather drove me into the kitchen to potter. As always there has been a roasted chicken available in the fridge although now the bones are in the stockpot and the last vestiges of meat are in a foil covered bowl awaiting an idea for use. One such idea was gleaned off the TV earlier except that the recipe featured on the programme was nothing to do with chicken; the presenter worked with "Arbroath Smokies" to produce a very interesting dish but I have modified it to use Chicken and having just produced it for my lunch I'm going to feature it here, so here goes.................

Savoury Chicken Pancake A lunch for one
1 Medium egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of salt

Portion of carved, cooked, chicken
3 or 4 mushrooms
The white of a small leek
2 cloves of garlic
Double cream
3 drops Lemon Juice (Jif squeezy for convenience)

Whisk the egg, milk, flour and salt together to make a batter.
Slice the mushrooms and leek.
Mince or very finely chop the garlic.
Break the meat into bite size pieces if necessary.

Melt some butter in a frypan and gently sweat until softened the mushrooms and leek, adding the garlic towards the end of the fry. Pour enough cream into a 6inch saucepan to well cover the bottom, add a good pinch of Paprika (I used Spanish Smoked Paprika) and a small knob of butter and put on a gentle heat. Add the sofrito (the fried veg), the Chicken meat, Lemon Juice and heat through. Meanwhile in a hot omelette pan add a smear of butter or oil and pour in half of the batter to cover the bottom, cook until the underside is browned, flip and cook until browned and then turn out onto a warm plate. Repeat for a second pancake to use all the batter mix and turn out on top of the first. Place the chicken mixture on one half of the pancakes and fold the other half over. Enjoy.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Well, what can I say?

"All done and dusted" sounds about right!! Everything is fixed. I did as I was bid and went to the bar at 5pm to let the "plumber" back in. Beryl had come down and was casting an eye over the state of things trying to weigh up whether Favio's conviction that the bar would be open for 9pm would actually come to fruition. We both were doubtful. I took the opportunity to tell her about the recovered false teeth and bearing in mind that they cost their owner €600 she is going to try and contact him back in the UK to pass on the good news!! Still a funny episode though, their loss down the toilet a few days ago, which has caused many a good giggle in the bar since. "Can anybody get a drink in this place??" heralded Randy's arrival down from the apartment to join me and Beryl who a little later returned to the apartment leaving him and me to wait for the plumber's return. Plumber? No. More an oddjob man (minus the bowler of course) but he knew what to do. News travels fast in Torre and Helen dropped by to see the works for herself after having read this blog yesterday, as did Ann & Bill. The plumber and Favio arrived at about 5-30 and I left them to it, adjourning to the Bar down the road (The Ship) where I joined Ann & Bill watching the world go by. A buckshee evening off.

I'd left a chicken roasting in the oven and got back to it at about 8pm to find it nicely browned off and rested. An early dinner ? No. My phone rang. David was down at the Irish bar (Sheerin's) and would I join him? On the way by Ana's I noticed through the open doors Favio and Ana-Mary feverously cleaning up after the trauma of having the floor dug up. Ana-Mary saw me and collared me saying that A) David was round the corner waiting for me and B) they had pulled out of the pipes all manner of stuff, including clothes! Clothes? Down a toilet? It takes all sorts or as Ann S put it "there's nought as queer as folk".

Here, again, I must tell you that I haven't been reporting some aspects of life lately but the reason for David's request for company is because his Ann is seriously ill in hospital. She was readmitted 3 or 4 days ago and is diagnosed as now suffering from Encephalopathy. I've just looked this up and I'm going to quote what I found pertinent to Ann's condition -- "Hypoxic Encephalopathy - Permanent or transitory encephalopathy arising from severely reduced oxygen delivery to the brain". She is very ill.

I joined David where he showed me a little piece of paper with the Spanish and English words for Ann's condition written down by the Doctor. Favio's prediction that the Bar would be open by 9pm came true. I'd seen that he was almost ready on my way by so I told David it was open and he and I left Sheerins after "one" and were back in Ana's by 8-40. Ana-Mary had gone to work by then leaving Favio on his own and I mucked in with a little dusting of the bar and stools while listening to David tell of today's events at the Hospital etc. Later on I popped over to El Bajondillo to catch Ana-Mary on stage where I gave her a huge smile with a double thumbs-up on extended arms causing her to nearly lose her place in her final number! All good stuff. I'm so pleased that the job is finally done and can start looking forward to going to work again.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Mr Fixit

I've not been reporting the ongoing situation with the toilets because it would have got boring to read but suffice to say that most evenings for the last 3 or 4 months have not been very pleasant with regard to air quality etc. and not for any lack of comment to Favio from Beryl, me and many of the regulars but I've just had a phonecall from Favio.......the bar is not to be opened at 5pm for business because the problem with the sewer is being dealt with. I've quickly nipped down to see what's going on only to find a couple of holes inside and out, a broken pipe laid bare and a set of teeth that have been recovered. It's time to eat now for the workers and I've been asked to go down at 5pm to let them all back in again (actually I think that there is only one) which was the actual reason for the call. Favio seems quite confident that all will be well by 9pm for Beryl to open and he has assured me that the problem has been, or will have been, sorted. Hooray.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Happy Chappies

Beryl's Husband Randy arrives today for a longish stay. Despite the storm battering the Western Approaches have taken over the last 24hrs or so it seems that his flight landed at Malaga just 54mins late. I said storm but with wind speeds in excess of 80 mph it was actually a Hurricane according to the Beaufort windscale but this side of the Atlantic they seem reluctant to use that word. Perhaps a legacy from the famous blunder on the Weather Forecast prior to the storm that devastated the south of England back in the 80s.

The other night Phil and Denise came in to see me but unfortunately I had already finished and gone home. They are the couple who's bar I ran for a few weeks last year while they visited Ireland. Having missed their visit to Ana's I rang them yesterday evening only to find that their news was that they had officially retired and that the bar was up for sale. Some folk have all the luck!! Actually I was half expecting them to either visit or call because the other week a couple came into the bar to tell me that they'd been to a bar "in La Carihuela" and my name had cropped up in conversation. Soy muy famoso me parece!

Tomorrow, on my day off, I've been invited out to dinner in Montemar by a customer in the bar. Joanna is a Dutch lady who lost her Husband last February. She is a very sociable person and it will be an honour to escort her tomorrow evening, but if Lary calls tomorrow I will have to cancel the "date" in her favour.

Saturday, 8 March 2008


Or, as Larisa put it, "Spasibo mister derek!" in a 3 word reply. Multilingual as well! Russian and English! Anyway it seems that my acknowledgment of the day has been appreciated.

St Patrick's Day looms which presents another opportunity to "do a little something" in the bar. The favourite option seems to be an Irish Stew although I won't be able to get Mutton. Lamb is out of the question because it's too expensive, soooooo....I'm planning a Beef Stew with Guinness, Red Wine and Pearl Barley (Tina has offered to find some for me on her travels.) Beryl mentioned last night that perhaps we should change days off that week so that I can do the deed on the proper night which is Monday 17th.

Friday, 7 March 2008


Tomorrow, Saturday 8th March is International Women's Day which, in Russia at least, is a very important National Holiday. The celebration is such that it combines St Valentines Day and Mother's Day into one whereby Wives, Girlfriends, Mothers, Grandmothers, Teachers, Sisters, Daughters in fact all women in any man's life, are traditionally sent Yellow flowers (Mimosa) and chocolate whilst being "congratulated". Of course the day goes beyond the traditional ideal with all kinds of flowers and gifts being showered on women on what they consider to be the most special day of their year. To ignore this tradition is to take a perilous course apparantly so I'm glad that, albeit after 3 years of friendship, I've actually found out about the day and this year can do something about it. I'm not sure about whether I can take flowers and chocolate to Calahonda but I can certainly send a message and score at least half a Brownie Point.

Talking of yellow flowers I said that I would show you more of my display on the terrace. I've left it a little too late because the blooms are fading and dropping now but here's a shot taken today showing the colour in all it's real glory. I'm still not sure what this flower is called despite asking Tina yesterday (she passed the plants on to me when she and Barry left the Red Lion) but I didn't write her answer down and now I've forgotten what she told me. I do know now, though, that the big white bloom I photographed a post or three ago is an Arum Lily.