Every week Frank Leavers our man with the dirty Mac and half empty glass of inexpensive vino is looking at what lies just below the sophisticated gloss of island life. Come on folks; tell our Frank what’s really happening in Mallorca.
On Saturday I drove to my home town of Southampton to meet up with my two brothers and brother-in-law to watch Southampton FC play West Ham United in a Premier League game. Suffice it to say that this sort of activity is not cheap anymore, costing a little under £50 to ‘stand’ high up in a distant corner of the St Mary’s stadium where sitting down is not an option as nobody does this anyway - as it seems that only wimps and old people do this sort of thing anymore. The game itself was such a dull 0-0 affair that my brothers and other fans around us decided to have a bit of a sing-song for most of the game.
The lyrics to these songs were somewhat repetitious given the context of the occasion, but seemed to concentrate on so-called “cockney w******” supporting the away team and their managers apparent illegitimacy. I must say that the match itself was the most disappointing part of our day and night football reunion. As you can imagine the froth was blown off a few beers before, during, and after the game and in truth I rather blotted my copybook when I protested that I was ‘completely beer’d out’ just after the match finished and went onto a glass or three of Sauvignon Blanc as my preferred tipple.
This caused much amusement amongst my siblings and I had to threaten them with implied violence if they didn’t stop taking the **** out of me. Anyway, as we made our way slowly home to my sisters house (where we were all staying for the night) after the game, we visited a number of pubs of all descriptions and even managed an extended pool session, before being told off for hogging the table.
Soon after our arrival, a huge Chinese takeaway was purchased and when it arrived we set about it with relish whilst arguing about who had paid for what and who hadn’t put his hand in his pocket for quite some time. Pretty typical of an all male day out I suppose. Anyway, surprise-surprise, what do you think was the most exiting part of our sporting day? After we had gorged ourselves on the takeaway, we all sat down to watch Emma Raducanu in the women’s final of the US Open Tennis Championship.
As our new sporting hero fought her way to a glorious victory, pandemonium broke out in her lounge and my sister was forced to threaten serious ramifications if our rowdiness continued. Unremarkably perhaps, the Saints tedious goalless draw was soon forgotten - as “Our Emma’s” fantastic triumph was toasted well into the night.
Breakfast the next morning was a rather quiet affair with much less exuberance in evidence as two brothers and my brother-in-law had lost their voices from shouting and bawling the day and night before - and my sister, as all women tend to do on these occasions - took great pleasure in staring at us and slowly shaking her head. “Shall we do this again around Christmas” said her husband rather boldly I thought, “You try and stop us” we all chorused!
Why not phone a friend? Okay, Maybe not!
As even my best friends could never describe me as being totally in tune with the 21st century, so I have to report a number of social media communication breakdowns. Basically, this means that my smart-phone is not as smart as it thinks it is and is no longer working properly. This sorry state of affairs started before I disappeared to Blighty in the middle of July and has still not been resolved.
In short - I am at the moment impossible to get hold of - unless, that is, if you wish to contact me on a landline. Before, anyone out there thinks that this state of affairs is a “bad thing” think again - it isn’t. Because I have recently had my smart phone in the menders and do not know how to re-configure the said phone-thingy, I am happily uncontactable.
Moreover, do you know that - the less you use it - the less that anyone cares if you are dead or alive. This, I believe to be almost a state of grace in this over-stimulated world in which we live. I recommend it - really I do.
With my Spanish mobile unresponsive at the moment and even if it wasn’t, the roaming charges (or the threat of them) are enough for me to ignore any incoming call, apart from those on WhatApp, I have become somewhat reclusive. Indeed, I have purchased what I understand young people call a ‘Burner’ phone for about ten quid.
Why Burner? Well, it seems that drug dealers and the like use them to contact their clients and are cheap and easily disposed of given any unwanted interest by the police. Well, I never did! Anyway - you will understand that I have no such use in mind, but find the phone charmingly old fashioned in its simplicity.
It’s only function is to phone someone, or text someone…Oh, and it has a light which you can switch on if needed and that’s it really. Much to the amusement of the younger members of my family, I have also ‘Selotaped’ its twelve digit number on the side so that I don’t have to remember it when I flip open its lid to ring somebody and become confused.
If you think I’m bad, you should talk to my slightly younger brother. He has never owned a mobile phone in his life and lives by the rather sensible mantra that if someone wants to get hold of him they can phone him at home, or - send him a letter…maybe pop around to his place and have a chat. I have a feeling that the world might be a better, less overwrought place, if we all heeded his example in this matter - don’t you?