Behind The Times

Blimey, who turned up the thermostat and humidity in England while I was gone?
I spent a whole week without internet access, stuck in the middle of nowhere. It was so far from anywhere of any interest that I wouldn't have been surprised to trip over a blonde farm-boy with a lightsaber looking to get out of his humdrum existence. One internet café seen, if only in passing, very few English newspapers, and a TV whose only English channel was some 24 hour business channel. I managed to finish reading some books that I had been putting off for a quiet moment – and this holiday was one very long quiet moment.

It felt as if I had travelled back in time to the 1980's, there was pitiful mobile/GPRS coverage – so much so that I could only get a signal at sunset – and that was everywhere I went on the island. The music that was being piped out of shops and coaches was of the Phil Collins/Chris Rea/80's soft rock movement.

But the thing that made me think I was in the 80's was the design of the advertisements. Billboards with the faces of people who look rather uncannily like a (pre-capture) Saddam Hussein, pictures of bad drawings of buildings. Big red stars with whatever the Spanish equivalent of “Sale!” or “50%! Off! Now!”. It is a sad state of affairs when you start looking for more and more tacky advertisements for entertainment and for some form of cultural “zero-point”.

Some things that I did learn on holiday, taking a laptop is well worth its weight, especially when said laptop is loaded with films. Seeing a 'Marineland' show taught me that Dolphins and sea-lions are smarter than me, because I can't balance a ball on my nose, and that although being a dolphin trainer must be one of the best jobs in the world, they still have to rake the dolphin shit from the bottom of the pool.

Also after a trip to 'Green Planet' zoo, I've discovered that Raccoons are the cutest animals in existence – can we have some released into the wilds of England please…

To get vaguely on-topic, Spanish ambulances are tiny, I couldn't stand up in one…

I was exceptionally happy to fly back into England, catch the last train home and in a fit of rather sad geek-dom, post that I had returned. What can I say – I was itching to get my keyboard under my fingers. For the rest of today (after unpacking my bags) I shall be catching up on all those links on the left of the screen. Understand my journey – click on them all yourself and spread the love of a visit.

15 thoughts on “Behind The Times”

  1. We tend to have the same problem with cats in England – with the added bonus that they decimate bird and mammal populations.As for the human race not controlling everything – I guess that's why I love pigeons, foxes and rats. That and I get to see a lot of them as I cruise around East London at night and the early hours of the moring.

    And you've got to love any animal that can out-think a human inventor…Surely someone can come up with a racoon-proof rubbish bin?

    Still cute though.

  2. welcome back! By the way, raccoons are cute only in the abstract. There is not a trash receptacle on earth that they can't open. patricia in texas

  3. Yeah, nice to have you back. We missed ya! :)Although I think you need to do something about your holidays. You're supposed to not want to come back, bounce with joy at your return. I think you need holiday therapy – repeated holidaying until you are capable of enjoying them. 😉

    I may be biased, though – I've had a week's holiday in the last, er, 15 years.

  4. I told you to go north in the island, matey, as in Alcudia, Pollena… By your descriptions, I can bet you'd been in Manacor or something like that which is mostly… well, you write the word that fit better. Anyway, you must be the first english that didn't enjoyed your island. ;)Saludos,


  5. Well, I spent years also without a holiday, so I suppose I get a bit stuck. That and I enjoy home comforts a bit to much I suppose.

  6. I worry about people going down the bins around my area, so something cute a furry (and won't have rabies – 'cause we are British) would be much more pleasant than the scrotes we get around here.

  7. I was halfway between Alcudia and Picafort, spoilt as I am by London both places seemed very much like 'one horse towns'.I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it – just that I'm glad to be back.

    I would have enjoyed it more if the holiday village had wireless interent though…

  8. Well, that area should be alright… for anyone looking for a small creek to get bathed in sun, reading some books, but definitely, not for we the geeks :DNext month I'll spend a week at south of Spain, doing more or less what you described. i.e.: suppose to enjoy beach and weather, look for a decent internet connection and miss my wireless home network.



  9. Sorry if this is a personal question, but why actually WERE you in the back of a Spanish ambulance? Weren't you supposed to be on holiday?-PP

  10. I wasn't actually in the ambulance, I just took professional interest is all……it's not as if I've got some form of 'problem'.

    At least I don't think so…

  11. I am supposedly on holiday this week (only 3-4 calls from work per day). What is this thing they call relaxing…Regarding Racoons – please, please come to Toronto and take all you can fit on a plane back with you. We live on the edge of a large park and they are compeletly fearless and horrifcally smart & overfed. They are quite capable of unhooking the bungee cord I keep the garbage lid on the racoon-proof bin (ha!) with. We rescued a baby when I was a kid and it ate through everything in our house that wasn't nailed down.

  12. nutin changes; yer remind me of me olde granpa's brother; when he went to suthend on sea, tok one toothe brush and some gel, and 'ad 'is missess drag a case for the undee change; staid a week looking at the bleeding pier , 'ad daily 'is two prawns and aspick then back to Camden town, then complained about the living quarters, how can any one live on the beach for a week in 3ft by 3ft tent and no b***** windows. Those were the days no radio, tv, and no larger. And of course plenty of funny postcards for a penny and penny stamp. Well I'm glad ye enjoyed yerself. Dung Beetle

  13. glad ye are back good news at the independant:”..Unison, Britain's biggest union, which represents nurses and paramedics , said frontline NHS workers were not only suffering from violence but insults and intimidation from aggressive patients.

    “There is an awful lot of verbal abuse that can be very scary. We can be worn down by a constant barrage of abuse and verbal aggression. We need to ensure people's problems are dealt with quickly. This slow drip, drip effect undermines people's confidence and leads to ill health,” a Unison spokeswoman said…”

    dung beetle just in case ye have not experienced it.

  14. I had to jump in and comment on your request about raccoons: “can we have some released into the wilds of England please.” In reading the current comments, I am not surprised to see someone from Toronto demurring. That's where I live too. Trust us, you do not want raccoons in England.

    Raccoons are smart enough to move large rocks off the top of a composter to get inside. They are smart enough to get around any kind of protection on garbage cans or bins short of actually putting on a padlock: at my sister's townhouse complex they learned to open the bolts of the doors on the garbage collection area. In Toronto you cannot put your garbage out for collection the night before or a family of those cute little animals will have you out in your pajamas desperately picking your rotten vegetables off the sidewalk in time for the garbage truck. A raccoon was smart enough — I read this in a local newspaper that quoted a pest control specialist who actually saw this — it was smart enough to learn to operate a garage door opener to get inside the garage, where it was living. A city councillor in a discussion of garbage collection issues said “The raccoons in my neighborhood drive their own cars.”

    Raccoons chewed their way into my mother-in-law's attic not once but twice. Raccoons strip my cherry tree of all its cherries and then poop all over my porch. They climb up on my extension roof and investigate how to get into my bedroom through the window. They climb off trees onto apartment balconies and rummage through everything. They fight over garbage in the middle of the night. They set off car alarms.

    And if you think they are cute, well the young ones are. But you have never faced a surly growling beast “as big as a planet”, as my brother says, blocking your way up your own driveway when you arrive home in the dark.

    Nevertheless, we in Toronto sort of do love our raccoons. I think it's because they are evidence that the human race does not actually control everything.

  15. Jumping in rather late on this one, but racoons are only cute until they stalk you down a busy street at 2:30AM after a night of heavy drinking at the local bar./true

    //from Minnesota

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