Wednesday, 2 July 2014


Laden with a cargo of the county's finest, the plane left the tarmac late on a Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately for those on board, this was not a plane straining beneath the weight of their favourite tipple. As the seat belts unfastened, an announcement of 'brace, brace' would have caused less of a panic than the revelation that this flight was almost dry. Were it not for the quick thinking of one passenger, the cabin crew might have resorted to rationing. As it was, she hoovered up the meagre alcohol supply in one purchase, including a bottle of Chateau EasyJet's Premier Cru 2014. The remaining passengers sat in stunned silence, listening to their sobering brains begin to contemplate a two hour flight without any booze. Some sobbed, some shouted, and so many ground their teeth the captain double-checked the gear wasn't faulty. Had we a length of hose, the fuel tanks would have been sucked dry before we reached Paris. 

Ibiza is a picturesque Spanish island in the Mediterranean. Small square white houses dot a land broken only by olive groves, orange trees, and that most traditional of Spanish sights - the cement factory. Along the coast, sandy bays of heel melting sand disappear into a sea of the darkest blue. In the hills, large villas nestle in the woods, reached by a maze of seemingly endless gravel tracks, flanked by trees, wandering locals, and recently damaged walls. Our rented and recently dented Chinese made 'Frod Fucos' roared majestically along these pathways like an asthmatic mule with it's forelegs tied to an anvil, being whipped by a blind man facing in the wrong direction. Fortunately, local taxi drivers had no qualms about tackling both Tarmac and gravel with the recklessness of Colin McRae. Don't cut, ditch. Within half an hour we were whisked away from our poolside tranquility where beer cost one Euro a litre, to the hedonistic towns where bars serve rum by the pint and super clubs take only solid gold in return for a warm bottle of San Miguel.

This was a thirtieth trip. A last hurrah in our twenties before we descend the rapid slope of adulthood to brown shoes, tweed suits, moustaches, brandy, and cloudy memories of a war we never fought in. Of course, with a few of the party already on the wrong side of the hill, we needed ample room, comfortable beds, adequate reading light, shade, and wifi. Beer flowed, wine flowed, pints of rum and hideous hideous Aftershock flowed. So did water, at 8 Euro a bottle. Space, Amnesia, Cafe Del Mar, Delilah's Welsh Karaoke Bar, we hit THE stand out venues of Ibiza, and hit them hard, with one of the youngest in the group retching after his third aftershock, before two days recovering in a large automatic massage chair and German commentary of the football.

Ibiza isn't all partying though. The olives and oranges are testament to it's rich culinary tradition. Fresh seafood, paella, the finest hams, the finest cheeses, we avoided them all, instead placing the lives of stomaches in the hand's of Jaffie Oliver who rustled up plate after plate of delicious pasta and chorizo. Kudos to the guy, I could barely be prised from the sun lounger, let alone put down the fourth Game of Thrones book to stand in front a of an ant infested barbecue, squirting lighter fluid on a pile of cheap charcoal while surrounded by forest of dry tinder, using my own hands to weigh down the dilapidated grill. We ate like kings on salad, burgers, pitta bread, and sausages, a meal brought into stark contrast by the 10 Euro cardboard pizza served at the bar in Ibiza Town, which we ate while watching our team fail to beat a man with a taste for human flesh at a game we invented.

With Cameron demanding that we revel in our Britishness, he would surely have been disappointed by England's limp performance in the World Cup, and even more disappointed that having failed to win yet again, the patriotic meatheads, hooligans, and drunkards of our fine nation left that bar by the harbour still standing. Honestly, it's like Albufeira nev'r 'appened! The PM can take faith though from the performance of that one woman on EasyJet flight EZ1234 to Ibiza. Her selfish approach to ensuring her travelling party arrived in Ibiza suitably Britished should not only be applauded, but rewarded with some form of honour, presumably one she can drink out of.

The journey home was the polar opposite of that out. A calm flight, leaving Ibiza sparkling in the early hours of sunlight. With a scattering of empty seats, the plane was quiet, the only noise a light tapping emitted from the headphones of the great DJ Spoony, sitting across the aisle from me opining on the his companions latest single. Work harder on those chorus vocals young man, and next time you'll fly to Ibiza in alcohol fuelled business class.

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