Monday, 26 May 2008

I want it all over

Following on from my previous post about cooking pizza's, although this is more of a 'cooking in general' or 'Kitchen Rant.'

Why is it that some ovens, possible mostly electric, more work needs to be done in research, don't cook at the same temperature through the oven area.

Oven's really aren't that big. Not big enough to have huge differences in temperature. So why is it when I'm cooking anything over medium size, pizzas, aload of chips, lasagne, sasuages, everything, does the oven want to cook one side of the food much faster then the other.

What this means is that to get a good all round cooked tea is a rare feat in this house.
Alot of the times one side might be too uncooked or burnt. Obviously the way around this is to move the food around every few minutes...
...but I'm not a ratation device.

Although we don't have the instructions for the oven (which we could of done when the missus thought she had blew up he oven and stopped it work, when in fact she had just made the timer go off and hadn't reset it) I'm pretty sure it didn't say anything about a human rotisserie being needed!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Pizza pie

I love most Italian foods. When I say most, what I really mean is pizza and pasta.

There is one thing that does annoy me about fresh pizzas from the store and that is that all the time the toppings will be grouped together on the pizza base.
Instead of all being all evenly distributed, some sicko in the pizza making factory decides that all the extra cheese goes on one side and the ham goes on the other.

This of course means that I have to reorganise the whole pizza before sticking it in the oven.

The only thing more annoying then this, is uneven pizza topping distribution on frozen pizzas.
Those toppings aren't moving at all unless defrosted.

I did use to have a way around this. Unfortunately it invovled going to the local Asda store. Which is now not possible.
If you do have an Asda store near you, I highly recommend a 14" thin and crispy, regular crust with chicken, mushrooms pineapple and extra cheese on. Fantastic. I miss those pizzas so much.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

San Isidro Festival

San Isidro is the Patron Saint of Nerja and the San Isidro festival is the biggest in Nerja. It's the one that the whole town takes part in and there is a huge parade from the church to the Caves, where there is a big party.
It's the best time to see all the men and women dress in their best clothes and have a good time.
Although the missus had very sore feet she eventually caved in to my cries and we walked to the caves to see what was happening. Although we didn't stay too long.
But next year we are going to prepare for it and hopefully take my niece along so she can dress up like a señorita pequeño and walk along with the parade's.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite photographs.
Next time I roll like this

If you look closely the horses you might notice something

Having a relax

This kid was the most photographed person at the festival. Fact!

A small selection of the very colourful dresses that were on display

Let the dancing begin

The missus after a few hours of walking. Doesn't she look happy!

And here is the slideshow

PS Please check out the missus flickr site, she has many more glorious technicolour photos.

Next is the Festival of San Juan. The one I am most looking forward too. Midnight BBQ's on the beach. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Time out

I wanted to write about the San Isidro festival (which is now a week old), pizzas or my hair. Anything really as it's been a while since I wrote anything about my life. But everything is on hold.

Something more important is happening shortly.
In Russia.
In fact, you may of heard about the soccerball tournament that's going on over there?

Good luck Chelsea!

Normal sporadic service will return tomorrow.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Lizard Spot Update

Lizard spot has been pretty quiet of late. That's not to say that I haven't spotted lizards though.

On my way home I spotted quite a large lizard (for a small lizard he was large). He got quite frightened by my clippy cloppy shoes. He probably seen my massive winklepickers and thought
"This isn't how I role. See ya!"
Or something Spanish like. He was too quick for me to photograph though.

Then after walking the missus to work and heading home I seen another lizard, bigger then the first one, running about. He stopped and I thought I had time to photograph him, but he was also too fast.

And yesterday after a day at the beach, heading home, I spotted a tiny tiny lizard in some shrubs were I often see lizards just outside our home. This guy was far too small and disappeared in the shrubs pretty quick before I even had chance to think "CAMERA!"

I have spotted lizard, but they've all been too fast for me. And so lizard spot doesn't lose integrity, from now on I am only including lizards that I have photographical proof off. Although I am not conducting a retrospective review. All unphotographed lizards from previous blogs will stay in the count.

So lizard spot stays at 9, as from previous entry.

Good luck lizards, now I mean business.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Games I'm (and the missus) playing this week 3

I may of already mentioned this game a few times on my blog, but recently I've mostly been trying to kick ass and take names on Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart Wii

I've been a massive fan off the Mario Kart series since I picked it up as a little nipper on the old SNES.
Since then there has been about half a dozen games in the series and I've played nearly all of them (with the exception of Double Dash. The whole twin character kart thing put me off)
Since I played my very first Mario Kart years ago there have been a few things I have missed from the series, like the missing feather item from the original game, also the coin factor from the original and GBA versions.
There are also annoying factors, apart from the noted above Double Dash game, the only thing I've hated about the games is the AI's way of making every shell hit you if your are first.
Oh and Blue Shells. I! Hate! These! Things! So! Much!

At times Mario Kart can be the most frustrating game ever created (take word from the missus who lets rip 5 consecutive parental guidance word expletives every 30 seconds or so playing the game. I'll have to video her playing the game one time for you all to hear.)

There have been some great things happen to the series though. For a start all the games have had great playability. And the Mission Levels in the DS version.
I was pleased to see that the Mission Levels are in the Wii version too. Only problem is rather then like the DS version where you had 80 or so to start off with, in the Wii version you have to download the Mission Levels when Nintendo released them, which is about one every two weeks. That's a lot of waiting around for new levels.
But the Silver Lining is I can post my top racing/mission times online and compete against friends and relatives around the World. And the missus of course who is now starting to tell me she is beating my Time Trial Scores.

Those, as Mario Kart fans will know, are fighting words.

Also one of the most fun elements of Mario Kart Wii is the Wii Wheel. Playing with the Wii Wheel lets you steer like a proper car. All those times I laughed at my parents years ago when they tried to "steer" the kart by moving their hands, I know find myself enjoying that.
Also to those 'Fanboys' that slated the Wii Wheel before h'actually playing the game and said they were too hardcore to use kiddy controls, you have no idea what you're missing. The Wii Wheel could be the most fun way of playing any Mario Kart game in the series.

If you have Mario Kart and would like to add me or the Missus to your Roster, here are our FCs
Mine 1719 3801 4792
The Missus 3351 4677 3312

My Wii FC is 4859 7530 9312 3844

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Things; They are a changin'

I'm starting to notice a few small changes around the house.
Not major ones.
They're slowly creeping in around everywhere.

A bit like that advice "if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out; but if you slowly heat up the water then it won't notice."
At least I think that was advice? I'm not sure who it is supposed to be advice for? Why anyone would want to boil a frog, apart from a mental teen of course, I don't know?

But the changes around the house are "starting to warm up," if you like.

What I've been noticing is I think the missus is turning in to a Jew.

I have no idea why she would want to be a Jew? I've got nothing against Jews. Infact I'm not a religious man.
But I can't figure out why the missus would, at this point in her life, want to change her religion?

H'actually I don't know her religion, she might already be a Jew. A closet Jew, but I think she is a Christian. Or a Jedi. One of the two.
So I have no reason why she would want to change her religion from Jedi to Jew? Maybe it's less letters? Or she is getting fed up of the Yoda framed photo beside her bed, but I've started to notice things.
Small things.
Things that only someone who has nothing to do in his spare time and gets excited about buying Pineapples and double socket Scart leads can notice.
She is saying "oye" alot. Especially when she is tired or doing something tiring. (Which is the one way I know she isn't turning Scottish as they say "aye" when agreeing.)

It's small, but to a intelligent frog in a slightly warmer pot then 5 minutes ago, I've noticed.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The cheese just ain't the same

I've started to find that I'm getting excited about really strange things.

When my mum was over visiting she bought me Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit. I've spent so much time on these two games (and before you ask 35. My damn Wii Fit age is 35. Stupid frickin balance board)
And it's not just me. The missus has been playing a lot more Wii and even beating me on some Mario Kart time trials.
I love these two games and they are great presents.
But I'm trying to get a point across here, bare with me.
The best present I got that week was not the games but in fact a block of cheese.

Cheese over here just isn't the same.

It's all expensive and I just want a decent block of English Mature Cheddar. But it's so hard to come by.
They do have a lot of sliced cheese or grated cheese. But just not a lot of choice on affordable blocks of cheese.
So I've not had a cheese and (Branston) pickle sandwich in weeks. I'm missing them.

Another great thing that I've bought and I'm happy about is a pineapple. I'm so pleased I've bought a pineapple.
I've never bought a whole pineapple before. I've bought half of one or tinned rings, but never a whole pineapple.
I feel like my life has moved on a lot now.

But the greatest thing I have bought in the last few days, in fact for some time, was a double socket scart adapter.
A simple adapter for the TV that lets me plug in my Wii and my DVD in to the TV at the same time. The TV only has one scart plug/AV channel. This causes some unnecessary time wasting.
Before yesterday if I wanted to play some Mario Kart I'd have to turn the TV around, check what scart was plugged in the TV and swap them around if needed.
If after playing some Mario Kart and then wanting to watch some Seinfeld I still have no clue what they are saying on Spanish TV so I don't watch that) then I have to turn the TV around. Unplug the Wii. Plug in the DVD and then turn the TV back round the right way.
And vice verse if swapping from the DVD to the Wii.
But now, thanks to the special magical properties of a little black box I now have both the Wii and DVD plugged in to the TV and to use one all I have to do is switch it on. I don't even need to turn the channel.

And I wouldn't give up my Mario Kart Wii or Wii Fit for any amount of blocks of cheese.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

In's and out's

Well here is what I have been up to in the last few days.

Work has been pretty slow. We've not really been having people come to the sales deck so I've not had the chance to earn any cash. I've been told that more effort is being made to get people on to the sales deck this week, so hopefully I should start to be earnig some money soon. Working for €20 a day isn't great.

Life has been pretty much quite since the family left. The missus has been busy loking for a job and after work I have been trying to get some stuff sorted out that has needed to be done for a while, mainly tidying, getting a new bed and sorting out some home movies. And playing lots of Mario Kart and Wii Fit.
If you would like to see our movies then check out or look at the rss feed on the side of my blog.
Here is the video of our first day. Take in to account that we had been up since 3, been stuck out shopping for a few hours, rained on and very hungry.

Apologies about the screen size. I think the camera records in widescreen and the ratio has been messed around somewhere, not sure where.

My feet, having spoke about them in teh previous post, are fine now. I think in another week or two I might try and climb one of the large hills/small mountains outback. Or at least see how far up I can get. Although Spain does not have maps anything like Ordnance Survey maps, so I might have to take a pad and pencil and draw my own. Hopefully I'll come back with plenty of pictures though (although not sure on the quality as I won't have my regular camera.)

The weather also hasn't been great this last week. And it isn't forecast to get much better over the next week but I believe the UK has been seeing some great weather the last few days though. Lucky.....
But today will be spent in the pub. The missus has found a bar that will be showing both the Chelse and Man United games so I'll be down there in a few hours watching the last 90 minutes of the season with my fingers crossed that Chelsea pip United at the post.

Anyways, that's what I have been up to lately.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Crazy Spanish Days

There are some parts of Spanish culture that I am still trying to get used to, eating after tea after 10pm being the one that stands out the most.

Another one was Spanish cartoons. I enjoy watching Spanish childrens TV as I'm hoping it will help with my Spanish. But the other week while watching one cartoon there was a cartoon naked boy running along the screen.
Now that doesn't seem too out of place, but the artist hadn't given the cartoon boy the same shape as Ken or Action Man but had in fact given him 'bits'. This I couldn't belive.

This isn't normal, right?

Also I'd like to point out, no this isn't a cartoon of me. And secondly I can see there is a lizard on the screen and after thinking about it for some time I decided NOT to put it in Lizard Spot.

And one more photo for you today. Remember a few weeks ago I jumped off a wall and damaged my heels. Here is a photo of how the bruise looked a few days later. I don't know why it taken me so long to post this, but....

Monday, 5 May 2008

Lizard Spot 05.05

Well after a little absence lizard spot has jumped right up.

Lizard 7 was spotted while at work. It was crawling on the wall behind where some colleagues were eating.
I had to quickly describe to them my fascination with lizards and how I needed to take a photo. Next minute I'm trying to stick my hands down the back of the bench to photo this lizard.
Although I think this is a gecko not a lizard.
Lizard spot 7a
Photo 2

Lizard numero 8 was spotted just yesterday. On the way home from the beach with the missus parents. This one was tiny and took a while for me to point out to everyone. In fact I had to scare it a bit to make it move so people could spot it.
This one was so small that it made me wonder how I manage to be able to spot such small reptiles.
Can you spot it?
Lizard spot 8
Photo 2 might be easier?

Lizard number 9 was spotted today as we headed to work. I seen a little rustling about in the scrub beside the path. I grabbed hold of the missus and quickly said "don't move."
As she had no clue, she freaked out and shook thinking something vicious and scary was about to eat her, possibly a t-rex.
I explained it was a different kind of lizard and tried to get a photo of it, but it was to quick and ran away.
Sorry no photo. :(

Lizard Spot: 9

It's not just lizard's that I have spotted.
While heading the beach the other day the missus spotted this guy throwing himself off a wall (a bit similar to what I did a few weeks back)
Cricket spot c
Photo 2 Photo 3

Also while on the way home late one evening I spotted a big train of ants walking about. Now these were massive ants. Really big. About the length of a finger nail.
This one stood out the most to me, it was trying to carry the biggest sun flower seed I have ever seen.
I recommend you check out the larger photo.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Back to reality

Well the parents have gone. I'm back at the house. Hear is what has been happening.

Last Friday mine and the missus parents landed in Spain to see how our new life is coming along.
We went to the villa they were staying at to surprise them. We were only suppose to stay the weekend, but were asked and offered lifts to work all week if we did stay. Of course how could we say no?
So the last week I have been away from Home.

In that time work has been very hectic and strange. Sunday night I had a phone call to say not to go in Monday. On Tuesday I found out that the company I work for were changing their franchise from one holiday club company to another. The rest of the week there have been some changes and some extra training starts on Monday. I've not really had chance to do any proper work yet so I haven't earned any money and have only been picking up very basic wage.
I'm kind of hoping things settle down this week so I can start earning money to play out.
Although once I get my N.I.E card this week I'll hand my CV in to a few bars for extra work.
I've also found out that I can't have any holidays at work but we get the whole of August off. Unpaid. So I need something to cover me for those weeks.
Plus I have just had a text saying to go in at 1230 tomorrow rather then 10. In a company were things are changing all the time I hope I'm not going in to be told "go home, you're not needed!"

Also my camera has broke. It just stopped working one day. Well half of it doesn't work. I can see photos that I have taken, but when I try to go in to shoot mode the screen goes black. Plus the lens cover wont close properly. We've sent it home with the parents to be sent to a repair shop and sent back when the next visitors come over. So my photos might not be as many for the next few weeks.

I've also picked up Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii this week so I'll be playing a lot of them. But more about them later.
For those with Mario Kart Wii my FC is 1719-3801-4792.
Also my Wii FC is 4859-7530-9312-3844

The weather is getting much better here. Far better then the first week we were here. It's nothing but sun. I know you don't want to hear that back in the UK, but there is a point to this. I hope the damn pool gets filled up soon.
I'm waiting to have a nice splash around, but the pool is still empty. And it's pretty hard to swim without water. As you may of guessed.
But the other point is that with the pool being empty, the pool area which has a lot of space for sunbathing and chilling out is closed. As we have no balcony there isn't many places for us to go at the moment if we want to sit outside, except the car park.
But I still haven't got that much of a tan. I'm taking my time with that.

Lizard Spot tally is going up. But more on that soon.

Also the missus has been shopping for the house. We have throws for the couches, new colourful plastic cups. A candle in the shape of a giant crab shell and the house furniture has been moved around and all looks much much better and homely.

The main portion of this week has been spending time with the parents. It was really great to see them and to show them that all is going well here (apart from my foot injury at the beginning). We ate out a lot and drank a lot of alcohol, so all this week I'm drinking nothing but water - except for tomorrow when the Chelsea Newcastle game is on - and learning how to use that big block thing in the kitchen that shoots our flames.
There were a one or two things that I didn't get to show my parents, like Tutti Frutti - the local night spot - but that can be done another time. It was nice just to see them and spend time with them.
The parents have already said that they will be revisiting soon. I hope my dad can make it out soon as there are plenty of mountains here for him to climb and not a lot of maps. Any maps that are out there aren't very detailed. A walk in the park without a map is a favourite method of my dad's hill walking.

Anyway it's getting late. I have about 160+ feeds to go through, so I'll try and catch up soon.