Monday, May 28, 2018

Five Star Review Zorro's Last Stand

I appreciate feedback but it's special when you get a five-star review from one of your favourite authors
Karl Wiggins
5.0 out of 5 stars
If you only buy one book this year, make it this one
May, 2018
What a book! Mark Shearman has the ex-pat community in the Costa Blanca down to a T. I lived four years in the Algarve and it’s very true that you find yourself mixing with people you would never look twice at back home.
For my own part I recall The Munchkins (he went to jail for poisoning her), Timeshare Joe, Kevin the Murderer, and a whole host of the most unusual characters you could hope to meet. And Mark Shearman picks up on this theme with ease. They’re not so much real characters, just bizarre, offbeat people, yet surprisingly unnoteworthy.
The riff-raff and the hoi polio mix with ease. They meet in the same bar and sit on the same stools they’ve been sitting on for years. And without exception they are all liars. They all have their stories to tell, yet they never share the real one. Their clothes are now the same, their histories are different and, like all ex-pats the world over, they’re a melting pot of offbeat coarse comedy.
In Shearman’s book we meet the protagonist, Danny, who to put it bluntly, just ain’t right. And yet as the story progresses we soon get to realise that a) he fits in perfectly and despite the fact that he runs around debt-collecting in Zorro outfits, no one thinks him strange, and b) compared to everyone else he’s as sane as the Speaker in the House of Lords.
The characters just keep coming at you, and it’s a measure of Shearman’s genius and wit that they’re as divergent as it’s possible to be. We have the beautiful Charlotte with the sumptuous breasts and perennial suntan, who once represented her country at martial arts in the Olympics, and the English prostitute, Gena, playing Russian roulette with her body. Danny recalls better days for Gena when he spent time with her and her husband, Jack, bar-b-queuing, laughing and drinking.
I don’t want to throw any more spoilers in here, but I must say that if you only buy one book this year, make it this one. It’s well-written with a host of sub-plots and a cast of characters that are so true to the ex-pat community.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Make Up Your Mind

By Mark Shearman - first published in the Female Focus Costa Blanca

Are men becoming too effeminate for women and vice versa?

When I left school I was on a mission to pull the type of female - I wanted. Rather than what my peers viewed as a babe or what my mother had in mind. She tried to sell me on: 'A woman doesn't need to be good looking just honest and hard working' - really!? My criterion was specific: hair colour and length, body type, intellect level, which pointed to her being a compassionate Aphrodite with a Ph.D. My subconscious thinking I have set my expectations too high, after all, what did I have to offer. I set out to become a chick-whisperer in order to bag her.

My main role model was my mother because of my father, being a Steeplejack, worked away a lot - indentured servitude for me it was. Mum would work late so the house had better be clean before she came in from work, tired, irritable, and ashen-faced because of her bloke's absence.

Mr. Sheen and the Hoover were my biggest allies. I learned to cook by trial and error, thumbing through cook books, because my mother would guard her techniques of producing cooked-to-death mincemeat, two veg and watery gravy with no seasoning a secret – it was the seventies. She did teach me how to iron, cut bread so it wasn’t a door step and regular personal hygiene. Turns out she was helping me to be self-sufficient in the hope I leave home as soon as possible allowing her to start her plan to take over the world - giving me plausible deniability.

I can remember trying to be more sophisticated by drinking red wine and thinking this tastes like vinegar and over the weeks kept on drinking until it stopped being nasty and I could tell the difference to actual vinegar.

All this, I thought, to make me more appealing to the opposite sex: “wow he can cook French, wow he used the air-freshener in the bathroom or his shirt is ironed on both sides.” Yet none of this bagged me my dream girl. The fact that I was younger, in her eyes, handsome, muscular and a rugged looking Steeplejack at the time was the attraction. She was not interested in a passive effeminate male.

As for my cooking skills, even though up to par by basic bloke standards. Being a head chef she wasn’t interested in my amateur offerings so that was a waste of time. In the supermarket, the bottle of Côtes du Rhône in my hand would be changed for Châteauneuf-du-Pape or a Saint-Émilion. She was also slightly neurotic so I wasn't allowed near the Hoover. Cleaning, in general, was taken away from me because I would have done a shoddy job anyway. All my attempts to get in touch with my feminine side were scuppered, there was one thing where I did put my foot down and that was in the sack. I insisted I do all the driving – how naive - I missed out there....

All that goes out the window when you start pushing fifty, the missus, even though she doesn't comment for fear I'm fishing for recognition, like the fact I'm not shy to cook and serve her a meal, sweep up and take out the trash. She likes it when I make decisions as long as they are small ones.
She even lets me wash her car and change the brushes on the washing machine motor when it packs in, although I'm not allowed to use it and preferring I don't start messing around with her garden or touch the ironing because in the past I made a mess of things – now I'm learning - not so naive...!

It may not be a man's world anymore, but it's still a long way off from the widespread feminisation of western society. Some females are becoming more and more unapproachable. The only way to get a date is to be introduced by a priest or a premium dating service, have at least five thousand recommends on social media and be a perfect man - complete with a six-pack and porn-star genitalia. Then he'll have to live with the fact she is earning more, has a higher pain threshold, got a tougher, sharper jawline, more tattoos, prefers aggro posturing and will always stand by the phrase: 'A women convinced against her will is of the same opinion still'.

More and more men are giving up and waiting until the Pollyanna-optimistic views and expectations of the modern female have become more realistic. Usually around the age of thirty when they have started to lose their overall market value and take a decline in the looks department. Realised the two children she had with IVF because men shun marriage, are starting to show signs they need a father figure.

For those men who are confused as to what they should morph into. I say somewhere beyond
Feminine-masculinity and masculine-femininity there is a wilderness with caves covered in busty pin-up posters, loud cars, hunting and gathering and cold beer in cans - I'll meet you there.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 Flip Flop Flamenco follows the story of a man who chases his past to a drowsy Spanish fishing village. His search for the truth ends in a raucous gun battle between thirty ships, while the majority of the pueblo remains positioned on the beach, defending an ancient tradition. In the fray, a bunch of dysfunctional expats fight to keep their dreams of living in the sun alive.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Builders Costa Blanca

  Builders Costa Blanca

Arteriors Builders Costa Blanca are a full service building company equipped to provide and manage the necessary trades and services to take your entire project from concept to completion.

Eliminating the many frustrations, setbacks and costs associated with the traditional construction process, we can fully manage your project from start to finish resulting in an unrivaled level of service.

Our clients will testify that our quality, delivery, competitive pricing and overall service always leaves the customer satisfied. We are committed to health and safety risk assessment is apart of the estimation and scope of works.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Arteriors Builders La Nucia Costa Blanca

653 029 746

Building works on the Costa Blanca Painting and Roof works.
Gotelé cover up, Damp proofing and mould eradication.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Arteriors - Painting Contractors on the Costa Blanca
Arteriors Painting Contractors on the Costa Blanca 653 029 746

Traditional painting, decorating, specialist in Faux finishes, wall Murals on the Costa Blanca Spain.

Faux painting is a term used to describe a wide range of decorative painting techniques, replicating materials such as marble, silk, wood and a particular architectural detail with paint, encompassing many other decorative finishes for walls ceilings and furniture.
Faux painting takes the mood of a room one step further, creating a unique decorative Illusion and durable lasting finish. Transforming any interior surface into a work of art.
Attention to details and uncompromising quality makes Arteriors unique. We offer a wide variety of finishes and styles perfect for any décor or theme.

Arteriors offer free consultation/estimate visits.