Thursday, 30 July 2009

Life's never Perfect

I had to give it up, the job in the kitchen that is, because, whilst the cooking is not a big problem for me, bringing multiple meals to completion for service together is. I don't have that particular skill. All is not lost though; The boss at that bar/restaurant said that he is going to consider calling me back in the winter when it is much quieter so that I can learn all that is necessary, under less pressure, to do the job to the point when he can leave me to it and have a day off. So, I must have made an impression on him somewhere along the line that was favourable! I want to learn, I told him that and it seems that he actually feels that I may be worth teaching, which has done wonders for my ego. What I did learn in my time with him I am continuing to practise here in the apartment as best I can bearing in mind that I do not have commercial equipment etc. but the end result is much the same using his commercial techniques. In the meantime I need another job!! And quickly.

Did I just say quickly? Wow!! News about my employment situation travels fast here in Torremolinos. Between the last paragragh and this one I received a phonecall to tell me that a bar up in town is looking for staff and I have highly respected names, courtesy of the call, to drop when I go to see the owner shortly ( it's 1400hrs here at the moment.)

Bill is now on a ward, and has been since Monday, which means that visiting times are now open so just as soon as I can cadge a lift with Ann I'm going to visit him. I think that she tried to arrange something for me last Tuesday but I was working and missed her attempt to call me. Erica has found me on Facebook and we have started communicating together, my first bit of news for her being about Harry having had a heart attack last week which put him in ICU in Málaga hospital.

Katia left Spain last Thursday and I have received a flurry of calls from Lary enquiring after my situation since, some prompted by her. She and I had started talking together on Skype, in Spanish, quite regularly and I'm looking forward to seeing her online again when she gets back to Omsk. I say that because I know that she is stopping off in Italy to visit friends there first and I'm not sure when she is actually going home. Of course, life online will be much easier when, and if, I can get the phone back on; having to go out looking for a temporary WiFi connection is a real pain. It's far better to be on 24/7 so that nothing is missed by way of emails and IM etc.

Right. It's 3pm and I'd better get ready and go and see about a job....... to go back at 7pm to see the owner who wasn't there.

While I'm waiting for the clock to go round I've put a chicken in the oven and last week's bones are ready for turning into some sort of soup. The other day I went to Fuengirola with David to look for some swede but we didn't find any because it's out of season. You probably know that but we didn't. That means that the Haggis that he has caged in his freezer will live another month or two. We had intended to treat ourselves to Haggis, neaps'n'tatties cooked by him but, instead, I got to cook and turned a couple of Kipper fillets into a creamy Kedgeree. They were bought at the Scottish Butcher in Fuengirola Market Hall where I also got a couple of Chump Pork Chops for myself which I had him cut an inch or so thick for me and one is on my menu for today! Can't wait! The trouble is that I have to. I'll get the interview over and done with first, then find a WiFi signal and get this posted and then settle down back here for the evening, get my plancha (griddle plate) out and try to produce a restaurant style (which is all, really, only about presentation) Pork Chop meal because I've had it drummed into me this last week or so that "La Plancha" is the ONLY way to cook. So my cast iron, domestic, griddle plate is being pressed into service for practise, the grill and frying pan being totally ignored.

Interview, such as it was, is done - they wanted waitresses for the terrace not barstaff so I've called into Teresa's and logged into her Internet Hotspot to get this uploaded before I go home, raise the drawbridge and cook an awesome chop. But first there is a wee vodka to finish.

Finally for this post, thanks to all, anonymous and otherwise, who have written to me lately.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

More Good News

Ann rang me this morning to tell that Bill's status has been lowered to "Stable but serious" from the previous "stable but critical." Good news indeed. She then followed that by telling me that a job opportunity had arisen in a bar near here for a Cook. I went along, unannounced, this afternoon for an impromptu talk with the boss and start tomorrow at 10am. Here's hoping that all goes well and I make the grade because the money is good and the hours sufficient to meet my needs with more in the offing once I settle in and get through the first week or so successfully.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

All hunky-dory

A lousy title but too many differing issues!!

Bill continues to improve, now all the tubes, and many of the connections, to medical gizmos at his bedside have been removed and he has been able to speak to Ann and his eldest daughter, Kathy, just arrived from Georgia USA. He still has "a long way to go" (Ann's words) though, with further surgery no doubt required to finally clear the problem with his Gall Bladder. Did I say speak? Actually, despite the stresses of life in a hospital ICU it seems that he has not lost his sensa yuma (grin, Cilla Black can translate!) telling Ann to make sure that the pair of them enjoy a night or two out and, specifically, to make sure that Kathy, who has not been to Spain before, is taken on one of our infamous "Tapa Runs." You can bet that I'll save my last cent to be able to go on that should it come to pass pretty soon.

I'm sat in Teresa's bar waiting to collect the key so that I can work tomorrow for her, thereby giving her a long overdue day off, and taking advantage of her WiFi hotspot. Having walked past an empty Ana's Bar, and many others, on the way here I'm pleased to see (and this is "live") that she continues to do better than many others locally. She has just told me that a few days ago she broke her all-time record for a day's take and the following day did next to nothing. Normal in this trade, one day good, the next bad which means that you cannot budget the business easily. Been there, done that and taken the tee-shirt off as they say, which is why I'm now happier trying to earn a living rather than make a living in this particular business but even that is proving difficult in these hard times.

OK. you wished that you could enjoy the meal with us! Erm, I doubt that! The menu was very fish orientated. Larisa excelled alone in the kitchen, leaving me and Katia to talk together, lounging on a sunbed each, on the terrace. Having poo-pooed any offer of help she presented at the table a Gazpacho with a cucumber garnish followed by Octopus fried with hot paprika in a kind of pil-pil fashion, then a seafood paella preceded the main course of baked Whole Mackeral. I was offered "seconds" of this which I gladly accepted because it was deliciously simply done with just a couple of lemon slices shoved into the belly cavity and presented with a communal half-a-lemon to squeeze over it. Perfectly cooked, the fillets just fell away from the bones! I love fish and seafood and she knows that but "tea" a couple of hours later was a different kettle of fish - a fruit tea was , unknowingly to me, brewed. Together with a peach tartlet and chocolate biscuits the table looked fabulous but upon tasting the tea my enjoyment was somewhat dampened. Black or green, I don't particularly care, but "tea" is "tea" and only comes from high altitudes and a certain plant. Having said that, it wasn't bad, spoilt probably by my ignorant addition of milk but I would never buy it for myself! This, of course, was all preceded by a trip to the local beach where I grabbed my snap. I found the water too cold and we all found the beach (and sun) too hot so we cut short our stay there, ending up in the relative cool of the grass surrounding the heated pool below the apartment.

Katia has an insatiable desire to visit London so I have promised her that, should I return home, she is invited to come and stay with us, when she can and that we will show her the sights that she wants to see while, all the while, improving her English (which is the main reason why she wants to come.)

Bugger it! I've got the camera with me but the necessary cable is not where I thought it was, in the computer case so I'll upload my snap tomorrow during a lull in serving behind this bar. Sorry 'bout that - Sod's Law again! Bye

Friday, 17 July 2009


Just a qwicky because the battery is running out. The future for me is beginning to look a little rosier but more on that at a later date. Bill (Erica's Dad) is in hospital with problems centred around his Gall bladder and the latest is "stable, but critical." Needless to say that the whole of El Bajondillo is gathering around Ann through these trying times.

I missed a phonecall today from Larisa because I forgot to take my phone out with me but all that has been put right tonight and I am now expecting to go to Calahonda on Sunday or Monday. Katy has arrived for a weeks holiday and despite the economic situation that, it seems, has affected Lary as much as me I'm not being allowed to miss her nieces visit.

Got to go, seconds left on battery power, but don't give up, when I can connect, and when there is news I will pop up here. Oh, BTW, we are forecast for 36C later today! Kinda warm!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

End of a Short Story

32º? Yes that's hot for England but here we are going up towards 40º and beginning to really swelter. Last night was, to all intents and purposes, my last night at Teresa's - we've been talking together about the state of trade for some days now and yesterday jointly decided that we had to "call it a day" with regard to my position as a barman. It's a shame because she runs the place with a passion that is appreciated by all who patronize it but there just aren't enough visitors coming these days to support a second person behind the bar, and, looking forward, July and August are normally quiet anyway which won't help things. So, back to the drawing board and, as things are here with me, probably a flight home. I bet that it won't stay at 32º for long!