A Season in the Sun
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May
05

This post is the true no-holds bar story of one man’s quest to find the truth amongst the lies, the peace amongst the uproar and above all the Beer, women and sun in the Greek Islands.

Featuring a cast of thousands, and a budget of millions of Dracma, this diary takes readers through the every day drama of life on Kos, showing just what goes on behind the screen.  Read in awe about the cocktails, the Beer Bottle Price Wars and the mysteries of the disappearing ashtrays.

Never before has such as story been written.  It traces life through the humble beginnings in the holiday flats right through to the luxury of the Stelios apartment, and details of the never before revealed ill-fated return to the UK.  Women are seduced, big money is gambled, contracts are neogtiated and countless beers are drunk.

So who am I?  What and I doing here? and what is my mission?

After a bitter and acrimonious split from my fiance I decided that the humdrum in a 9 to 5 banking role was not what life was all about.   And at 23 years old living with my parents was becoming an issue – they could not get their head around the different names that they were supposed to remember at breakfast – I did try and co-ordinate the names with the days – Monday was Mandy, Tuesday was Toni and so on but that never worked – I even tried putting a post it on the kitchen door when I came in but that also went horribly wrong when it fell off one day and my Mum got it horribly wrong with a Sarah on a Thursday.

So with West Ham launguishing outside the 1st ever Premiership, a bank account that was empty and a need to get some sun, I decided to head of with the man know as Shark, Killer, Mr Bean or simply Man Whore to the little party of Island of Kos…..This is the story of the fateful summer of 1993 – a summer that changed my life.

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May
04

“The most important things are the hardest things to say.  They are the things you get ashamed of, becasue words diminish them – words shrink things that seem limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.  The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away.  And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it.  That’s the worst, I think when the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.”

 

Jun
09

Didn’t wake up until 12o’clock – Good job too!  Raining again.  Sal stayed out all night – Bob was furious!!!  Fi started work at 8am and we thought we would go and be her first customers.  Oh how wrong we were – the tourist population in the resort has doubled overnight – oh how ironic that this is the first day of crap weather!!!!  The upside was that Woodpecker and Moonshine were rammed as they were one of the only places open during the day with cover.

Posted letters home to Miki and Helen – what a good boy I am!  Started on one to Mum and Dad – do you think they have now realised that I am not coming home yet?  Also wrote one to Nan & Grandad – I am sure they are more interested in my adventures.  Started my 2500Dracma a day budget – which gives me 14 more days before I need to earn any money.  Graham (thinks he’s Amanda’s boyfriend) worked a 12 hour shift last night at Billy’s for 3000Dracma – does that count as slave labour.  Saw Curry Jo (called Jo and works in the Indian) who wasn’t even paid for last nigt due to the fact they had one customer. 

The evening descended into farce when another storm caused a power outage for the whole resort.  What made it more amusing was that Raylene had arrived from England and couldn’t find us, our apartment, her boyfriend Savas (he was with us at our apartment) or anyone who was prepared to help!!!  And right in the middle Dad phoned the bar – which of course was no good for me as I was tucked away in our hillside compound.

Things to Remember
Sunshine
Being able to finish the Sun crossword – have my mental powers gone already!
Fever – Peggy Lee

May
12

“Maybe I didn’t treat you quite as good as I should’ve done” Elvis Presley – Always on my Mind
In Vietnam we were’nt fighting the enemy itself, but the enemy within ourselves” – Platoon

Back to the Hospital for more tests with Amanda, and her flatmate Jo who works at the Indian (hmm could I face that everynight?? food I meant)…We had the funniest incident of the trip so far…Amanda needed to have her blood taken – she then fainted when she sat in the chair…The Doctor said “Does she do this everytime she is expecting a prick”….It was then time for Bob and me to get our results…..Mine was fine but with a grave face she turned to Bob and said “And for you Mr Bourne, we have a problem”….Hep C – Negative, Syphallis Negative but Salmonella was positive!!!  So that would explain the “issues” he had after the KFC debacle in Bayswater at Easter.  At first I couldn’t stop laughing but then it dawned on me that if it was me I would have the perfect excuse not to work at the Italian!!!  So with this bit down, we now need to come back on Fiday, and get the certficates stamped and signed by the Police. 

Fi has a job at last and so my wicked plan of rent repayment will not be needed any more.  She is going to work at Speedies – the slowest Fast food restaurant in town.  In her interview she was asked what she thought Speedie’s stood for – her answer was honest at least “Fast food for the mass market” – I am sure that this will start appearing as their marketing slogan soon!

Did a bottle of wine whilst watching the Greek Cup final.  Decided to support Olympiakos from now on as their fans seem to be a bit mental.  This was followed by the European Cup Winners Cup Final from Wembley.  Went home for a early night although Sal didn’t turn up!

Things To Remember
What does C in E = MC2 is?
Chicken in White Wine Sauce
Jammin – Bob Marley

May
11

Aint’ no sunshine when yo’re gone” – Bill Withers

Thank you Sal!  At 9.30am I am awoken by the mad banshee telling us to get up and have breakfast all together for the 1st moring in our new home.  That’s all very well and good but the 3/4th of the bottle of rum didnt like to smell of the veggie sausages being cooked in our bedroom so I went and slept in the bath.  Sal being Sal then forgot that sausages when left unattended tend to firstly sizzle, then burn and finally catch fire.  She is of the cooking school that believes that just putting them in teh pan and then leaving them whilst she unpacks is a new method of cooking.  I then was given the 3rd degree about what I’d done to Amanda “She’s very vulnerable at the moment”, “She misses her Parents” – err her parents money actually, and finally “I hope that you wont take advantage of her good nature”….last one may come back to bite me n my white arse I think! 

Rode down to the beach and fell asleep for my Siesta.  Saw a couple of old faces – Paul and Jayne – the camper van twins.  They have driven their VW camper all the way from UK for 2nd year running.  How he manages to stay sane with her chatting abour crap all the time is a miracle.  Sal managed to find her bike from last year – still in our old apartment block. 

Was enjoying a top pizza from Marios’s at 8pm when it hit me that I am going to be expected to cook similar in less than 14 days – decided to go to La Luna tomorrow and see if they will teach me to cook.  Went back to room to find Fi all on her own so we did a bottle of cheap wine and talked about Ex’s…The Amanda thing came up again – Fi thinks she has a crush on me.  Met Bob at Da Bruno’s for a 2am grub down – amazing place close to our apartment that does fantastic Chicken soup for all teh clubbers going home.  Must be good as Kostas in there most nights.

Things To Remember

“More than words” – Extreme
Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate
Work! 

May
10

“And I saw the dead, great and small standing before the throne.  The Sea rose up and fire came down from the heavens.”  Judgement Day – Revelations 20: 11.16

“You’re eating Ice Cream!” – Days of Thunder

Had to be up for 8.30am to catch the bus to Kos Town.  Now, the public transport infrastructure in Kos is similar to rural England 2000 years ago..There is a daily bus to Kos Town.  It goes at 10am – but in practice this actually means it goes when a) its full, b)the driver gets too hot sitting waiting, c) when someone gives him a bribe.  Firstly we went and completed the contracts with our solicitor (well Kostas to ensure we weren’t being ripped off) for the new apartment and handed over what seemed like a lifetimes savings…But it’s worth it.  Set on the hillside looking down to the town centre, it is a 2 minute stumble out of Starlight, but complicated to navigate through the trees that we should not have any stray ladies turn up wanting any replays.  Two bedrooms – one for the boys and one for the girls, a living room and a kitchen – which happens to be in our room. 

Fast forward two hours and we were in Kos Town Hospital.  Now Kos was actually the birthplace of Hippocrates – the man widely believed to be the father of medicine.  Oh how he must be proud of the hospital in his home town.  I will never slag off the NHS again.  First things first was our chest X-rays, then off to a private clinic down th eroad for the blood tests – looking for Syphallis, Salmonella and Hep C apparently.  Results due next week.

So for the rest of the day it was unpacking and DIY.  Decided to go out later in the evening, and was a good boy and wrote to big Bruv and phoned home to let them know I wont be coming home on Wednesday.  At around 1am I found myself a job at last!  I am now the head chef at the new Italian restaurant that is being built by the roundabout…The restaurant that is teh most eagerly awaited opening in the whole resort…and I can’t cook!!!!  I’ve got two weeks to a)find a replacement for her and say that I have Salmonella, b) Leave the resort, c) Learn to cook….Finished the evening in a compromising position with Amanda after a bottle of rum.  She was depressed and so I said I’d take her mind off it and then she jumped on me.  I am too much of a gentleman to have said no to a woman in such a mental state!  I know I’ll regret it in the morning (the rum not Amanda).

Things to Remember

Why I hate Needles
“Oh Jungeland” – Simple Minds
Pain Au Chocolat

May
09

“The first Casulaty of war is innocence” – Platoon

“Stand Up and be counted for what you are about to receive” – AC/DC For those about to rock

For those about to rock, we salute you sang AC/DC…In Kos it was more like for those about to shock…If our favourite News of the World would have been here they would have had enough content to fill a whole month’s worth of editions.  Last night Bob and I went to Moonshine and enjoyed a few too many free drinks thanks to Savas’s hospitality, before heading up to Tropicana to see what today’s flights had brought in.  A good evening was being had by all – whilst you can never say that Norfolk has produced the brainiest women, it certainly makes up for it with the breasts.  What is it with girls when they go on holiday.  Granted they may only work in the COleman’s Mustard packing factory but do they really think that one day in teh sun turns them into Pamela Anderson!  Still, a flash of our workers (fake) ID cards, and a secret handshake with Stevie behind the bar and they were applying themselves to us faster than the Ambre Solaire…And then it all went wrong…In came Amanda.  Now I’m stil not sure what to make of Amanda.  Pretty blonde totty is all very well, but does she really think she can live her life in Kos as she does in Belgravia?  For some reason she decided that Bob needed cheering up – “Get over Sal, she’s not interested” she kept saying, despite him having his hand up Dijon-girl’s top…”Find a nice tourist instead” completely oblivious to his fumblings…There is only so much of the Chelsea handbag you can take so we removed our digits from various pieces of underwear and went on our merry way – of course after telling Amanda that the girl in the corner was her spitting image (a mirror – but it didn’t stop her going to have a closer look).  Bob wanted some peace and quiet, so he headed back to Moonshine, wher of course Sal was working. 

Queue 10 minutes of madness when Amanda comes marching in, and then accused Sal of ignoring Bob – Sal then accuses Bob of sleeping with Amanda, and Amanda accuses me of telling Sal that her and Bob have in fact slept with each other.  It ends up with tears all round as Sal hits Bob, Bob shouts at Amanda and I fall of my bar stool laughing.

Roll forward 12 hours and we are awoken by a mad banshee screaming at our door.  Sal has had time to sleep on the issues at hand and decided to come to our room and reasonably demand to know what is going on.  I point out to Bob that our return flight goes on Wednesday and it is looking more tempting by the day…that would be of course if it wasnt for Sal tearing mine up in anger yesterday (she thought it was Bob’s). 

BY 2pm we were all friends again.  Amanda confessed that she had never slept with Bob (much to his disappointment as he had counted her in his growing bedpost tally after the house party in April in Bayswater – so who was it then???) and we went down to the beach to at least work on a tan.  We are moving to our new apartment tomorrow – 800,000Dracma for the season – and as I’ve agreed to fund Fiona’s part (I have my reasons!!!  Let’s just say it gets round teh issue of prostitution being illegal out here), I really need to find some work. 

Highpoint of the day was having a long conversation with teh Aussie Pizza woman – Kelli.  Now I am not saying I am shallow, but if you are to have a girlfriend in the resort, chose one who works in a restaurant and can thus feed you at the end of each evening – after all they get free drinks from the bars!  Anyway, she is coming out later.

Off to the hospital tomorrow for our medicals – Bob can’t wait as he hates needles – I can’t understand why – he’s been used to having a small prick the whole of his life!!!

Things to Remember
Sweet Child of Mine – Guns ‘N’ Roses
Energy & Appetite
Friends who don’t try and a)knick your money, b)knick your girlfriend c)knick your underwear

May
08

Baby I’ve been searching like everybody else, can’t say nothing different ’bout myself,
Sometimes I’m an angel, Sometimes I’m cruel,
And when it comes to love, I’m just your average fool.
Yet I’ll climb the highest mountain, I’ll swim the strongest sea,
There ain’t no act of God girl, that’ll keep you away from me”
  True Companion – Marc Cohen

Nice start to the day – more torrential rain.  Sal kept hitting me in the night – she said I was snoring, but judging by the noise from next door, Brinks and Matt had found a couple of pigs in the town last night and brought them back – that was my excuse at least..

Eventually surfaced at 11am only to realise that after 4 days here I had actually put my watch forward an hour to far – that is how important time is out here – and would explain why some of the clubs have been so quiet at 10pm!  Went and saw Costas at midday (post watch change) about the apartment – but they had already been let.  Despite the weather, shorts and t-shirts were the order of the day – in fact it is irrelevant what the weather is as that is all I have brought!  Bob has got his job back behind the bar at the Woodpecker – so much for helping me out by working next door at Tony’s.  At least it means my beer intake for the remainder of the summer is taken care of.  Fi also has a job working with Mandy not so Handy at the Italian restaurant – so that means food is taken care of too – to have two of the three most important needs taken care of in one night is brilliant – all I need to find now is an apartment run by the local madame then I’lll be as happy as Barry….Aparently there is a brothel here somewhere – can you believe that people spend all this money to come somewhere where morals are left at the airport and then have to pay for it?  Have to find out from Costas where it is!

Word on the street is that lots of potential workers have already gone home – frustrated by the lack of accomodation and the need to get work permits.  We have found a decent apartment – a 3 minute ride away – close to Starlight but hard enough to find to stop any repeat visits from any invited guests…Bloke wanted 500,000DM’s for the season and wont let us pay monthly – which means around £400 each within the next 5 weeks – a big ask at the moment. 

In the big game back home West Ham beat Cambridge 2-0 to secure a place in the Premiership on goals scored from Portsmouth – must be time for a celebration – and as it’s Bob’s last night before starting work we decided to see how many bars we could have 1 drink in….Lost count after 17 and fell asleep on the bench in the main square….Awoken at 3am by local Police asking to see my papers – showed him a letter from Helen and ran home….

Things to Remember
West Ham actually winning something
London and Kos were the only places not basking in sunshine today
Nightswimming – REM

May
07

If there was no sunshine I could learn to live with the rain,
Darling if I had to I could trade pleasure for pain,
I could live without food or money, wouldn’t be so hard to do,
And if the stars fell dwon from the sky I’d make it through,
But in a world with you where would I be?” World Without You – Belinda Carlisle

The girls were still snoring loudly in our bed at 11.15am – so much for Bob’s idea of a nice romantic night in with them.  Two things you have to bear in mind about “transient” Australian females…1) They can drink more than you, 2) they snore louder than you….nice, classy girls these!  The first dodgy day of the trip so far in terms of the weather.  Temperatures were quite high making it one of those typical sticky humid days….In fact it was so cloudy that the island of Niserous actually disappeared – based on the fact it is equal distant between Turkey and Greece, do you think it would be possible for the Turks to invade under the cover of cloud and nobody actually notice?  What about actually removing the whole island and moving around the corner?  Anyway I digress….Had to start on the process of the work permits today – photos were 2500DM – a rip off, considering it was another worker charging us – just wait until they want a beer, fag or even a girl – shoe will be on other foot then!!  We have to go to Kos Town tomorrow for our blood tests!  Once this first month is out of the way then it is party city!!!!

 Went for a relaxing walk along the beach, after a mid-morning fry up at Karda Beach.  As the weather was shitty we went back to the room and played shit-face (a sophisticated Australian card game involving shouting out the card value, falling on the floor and laughing before downing a shot of some random crap) – as I said – very classy girls these two. 

After asking my cousin to steal me a bike to order back in the UK, and then paying to fly it over, it was only fare that we actually took it out for a ride.  Went all the way down to Narida Beach to the posh hotel – good to see they have installed a nice new pool for us to sneak into later in the season.

At 5pm the weather really changed and the sea started to get really rough…45minutes later rain – but not just a short sharp shower, but stair rods…Waves starting breaking over the sea wall – taking away the option of a table by the waters edge…Decided to be the dutiful sun and write a letter home – what can I say?  Weather shit, already started having meaningless random sex?  I will try and write to someone different every day – how long this great intention will last for is another matter!

Talk about a storm….Waves were hitting the bar windows by 8pm.  An early night – well 2am was in order…

Things to Remember
Temptation – Heaven 17
Sunshine
Phillius Fogg Tortilla Chips

May
06

When I look back now the summer seemed to last forever.  And if I had the change, Yeah I’d always wanna be there.  Those are the best days of my life.”  Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

Today was accomodation seeking day.  Everywhere is for tourists though.  Aal may have got us an apartment but we wont know until the weekend.  It would be really good if we can get the same one as where we are now – its big and spacious and the view to the beach is quite nice (for the obvious reasons).  Speedie’s is now a very clean looking bar – stopped by for lunch and enquired about a job – no such luck.  Spent the afternoon sunbathing on the balcony  – if we are going to go home in a few days then at least I want a tan!

Still no clue on where I will be working – I quite fancy being a chef – free food, and avoid the tourist scum, whilst still being free every night by 11pm to dance the night away.  Most bars are not opening for a few weeks so we are now on a tight budget.  Bumped into Vasilis (Costa’s nephew) – good to see him and he said to give him a shout if I want any driving work.

Hopefully tonight wont be as heavy as last night – as tomorrow is a designated beach day.  No sign of Brinks and Matt for the past 24 hours – perhaps they have been detained as crown evidence.  No sign of any totty yet although we did run into a cute Aussie at the Davos block.  Wrote home to Helen.  I hope we have some gossip soon – this diary will be very dull otherwise.

The evening dragged – apparently all workers this year need Health & Safety permits to work out here.  This means making a visit to a private health clinic for blood tests, as well as a trip to the Police station to confirm that we are not Albanian refugees.

Things to Remember
Wind beneath my wings – Bette Midler
Have Mum and Dad put the house up for sale yet?

May
05

No cloud a sleepy calm, sunabked earth that’s cooled by a gentle breeze and trees with rustling leaves, only endless days without a care.  What more can I say” Heathaze – Genesis

You’re the cutist thing I ever did see” – The Joker – Steve Miller Band

Well, the day has come.  D-Dya.  Mum just went to work without saying goodbye.  Managed to put luggage straight on the phone.  However, due to an Air Traffic Strike we didn’t take off until 12pm.  Planes, Trains and Automobiles syndrome strikes at once with two of the ugliest girls I’ve seen – If you ever wondered where the Brinks Matt gold went then one look at these two would have sent the Flying Squad into a frenzy.  They had obviously never considered that dying their hair bleach blonde will lead at some point to dark roots, nor the fact that rings through their nose only really looked good on Cows.  It was inevitable that we would be sitting next to them on the squashed airplane, and on the bus to the resort, and finally in the same apartment bloke – the relief came when they at least had a different apartment key……Small mercies in life only last a few minutes when we discovered a shared balcony…..

The resort hadn’t changed much – a few more bars but that was about it.  The Woodpecker still looked the same – a new DJ booth had been installed in the corner and a few canaries.  We were at least met with some familar faces – Vasar looked as masculine as every – her beard had came on nicely over the winter, and Sal & Fi were all over us from the first minute.  Much to Bob’s annoyance, Mal was back with Tom Cruise lookalike David.

As Sal was working, Bob, Fi and myself went down to see Kaylene at Moonshine.  Advantage number one of working here – you never have to pay for beer!  13 pints later and we stumbled out into the sunshine still.  Problem number 1 – what do we do for work – we have 7 days to find something and somewhere to live before our package holiday flight returns home.  Bob has been offered a job in Tony’s and head barman.  The issue though is very few bars have opened up yet and so finding a job may be a challenge.  The upside is that posh totty Amanda is here – you can almost ignore the fact that she is so dumb if you put your walkman on.    The evening ended with another Sal and Bob rowing over “commitment”…Day One and the fun has only just started.

Things to Remember
Pens that work
Style’s Bacon Rolls from Strutten Ground
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison