Peter Edgerton has lived in Málaga since 1995. His many and varied jobs during his time here have included musician, radio presenter, writer and pub owner. He currently combines these experiences, providing entertainment at his pub The Shakespeare in Malaga city centre.
Like most pop stars, Mick Jagger has said lots of risible stuff over the years, with "Anything worth doing is worth over-doing," being a prime example. That's a philosophy which might explain - though never excuse - his shoulder pads in the nineteen
The word 'celebrity' is an extremely odd one because it frequently applies to people that aren't really celebrated at all, rather gawped at by an incredulous public with nothing much better to do.
Here in Spain, the covers of gossip magazines are
Not surprisingly, Holy Week has proved a somewhat subdued affair here in Malaga this year. Processions have been prohibited for obvious reasons and the vast crowds that would normally gather to witness what must surely be one of the most impressive t
When scientists claimed this week that they may have discovered a new force of nature, I was hoping that they'd found some old footage of a live concert of mine. Alas, this was not to be; in reality, their excitement was provoked by the magnificently
Technology has improved our lives in many ways - of that that there can be little doubt. From washing machines to windscreen wipers; from fridges to flat screen televisions, a steady parade of new and beguiling goods has frequently sprinkled stardust
From time to time, it's great to have a good old clear out. Rifling through boxes that haven't been opened since about 1346 and throwing loads of superfluous stuff away is always eminently cathartic. If you're lucky, you might even work up a real hea
Very occasionally, I'll find myself bathing in a warm glow of smug, self-satisfaction. Sometimes it's because I've managed to get round to cleaning the bathroom; other times it's as a result of having convinced myself that I'll get round to cleaning
It happens like this: you hear some very welcome news related to events of the past, feel a shoot of joyous energy, dance a lovely little jig around the living room floor and then slump back onto the sofa, exhausted, in order to consider the implicat
Long ago, one balmy summer's evening in Malaga city centre, I was singing in the street to raise a bit of money for charity. About half an hour in, a man in his thirties with a young daughter walked to towards me, encouraging the girl to drop a coupl
Agood number of music studios around the world have a sign hanging in the control room which reads "What would Neil Young do?" It's a tribute to his much-admired, no-nonsense approach to recording. Significantly, the same sign is never seen in dressi
A certain degree of chaos undoubtedly makes life a bit more interesting and, if you're really lucky, may even inspire little bouts of creativity from time to time.
The trick is, of course, to get the balance right. Just as you don't want to be one
If you think TikTok is something to do with tiny mint sweets which are much more difficult to get out of their little plastic box than the adverts would have you believe, you can stop reading right here. This column is for the young and the hip; in o
"This should be entertaining," is, under normal circumstances, a phrase designed to delight the ears, offering a prelude to forthcoming fun, games and general shenanigans. It's somewhat less appealing, however, when the orator is your dentist and he'
These are times for rejoicing in the small pleasures of life: bacon sandwiches, making music, both of the Manchester teams losing, reading the paper while having a couple of pints. Oh, wait. That last one has been snatched from our disbelieving grasp
At the time of writing, there's a sudden chill in the air as the Andalusian weather takes a distinct turn and people feel obliged to enter rooms performing that ineffectual flappy arm rapid self-embrace thing, rubbing their hands together, blowing in
It's that glorious time of year when we make wild and wholly unfounded predictions for the coming twelve months. It is, of course, a totally pointless exercise but good fun, anyway. Here's my best shot.
First, in the world of music, another young m
Like most things this year, Christmas Day is going to be a bit weird. Still, we can nonetheless make an effort to ensure we enjoy the yuletide season to the maximum and, to that end, I'd like to do my bit and offer a few handy hints.
First, get a b
Do you want me to bring a car round to the back of the theatre in case you're mobbed at the stage door?"
I looked up at the fawning record company executive who was pacing the dressing room floor, wringing his hands like a character from Pickwick
Many's the time that Spanish friends of mine have looked on, aghast at my behaviour. One of my favourites was about fifteen years ago when, after some social occasion or other, I bade farewell to the assembled mob and left. A few days later I was wit
Thwack! It certainly makes for an inauspicious start to the day, when the first thing you see is your mobile phone smashing into the wall opposite and falling unceremoniously to the floor.
Well, I shouldn't say 'day' - it was in fact about 10pm -
The town of Torrijos, with a population of 13,466, lies about twenty minutes' drive to the north of the city of Toledo in Castilla-La Mancha.
Were you ever to pass by, you might be struck by its vivid urban art work or, indeed, the magnificent Pala
Shazam is an app that allows its users to discover the name of a song that's being played and who it's by. On a practical level (at least in The Shakespeare) this process usually involves somebody holding their phone ridiculously close to a speaker -
It's good to do ridiculous things sometimes. Perhaps not with the frequency and panache with which I seem to manage them, but good nonetheless. After all, laughing at the folly of our own existence can only be good for the soul in the long run.
Just when you think you've seen it all, you find yourself witnessing something so outlandishly baffling that you're obliged to do a cartoon comedy double take, rub your eyes in disbelief and then smack yourself about the head for half an hour just to
Sometimes I fantasise about bringing together all the professionals I know who take a pride in their work and who are, consequently, quite excellent at it, and forming a crack team in order to plan something quite absurd... like an expedition to Timb
On the outskirts of Valladolid, a medieval Spanish city up in the north west of the country there's a street called - rather magnificently - Calle Me Falta Un Tornillo ('I'm Missing A Screw Street'). What makes this funny is the fact that it's where
Zikes! It's that time again. It happens once every couple of years and brings me out in a cold sweat at the very thought but it can, I'm afraid, be put off no longer. I need to buy some new clothes. Things came to a head this week as I rifled through
Tidy people are losers. Everybody knows this, including - indeed, maybe especially - tidy people. Putting everything in order when you could be doing other, much more interesting things like, for example, being untidy, is surely the road to perdition
A frozen wind whips in off the wild Atlantic and cuts through the historic granite streets of Aberdeen, and one thirty-five-year-old resident of the town decides that this would be the perfect time to pop a light jacket on and head down to her local
An Austin 1300 and a white Nissan Sunny are the only two cars I've ever owned. I remember the former had a permanent oil leak reminiscent of the Angel Falls and that the latter was simply indestructible. When they eventually came to take it away for
Everton 1 Salford City 0, 32 mins - this was very bad news indeed. Not because the rivals of my childhood football favourites - Liverpool - were winning, and not because - that rarest of beasts these days - a giant-killing FA cup result now looked ev
Years ago, when people didn't take themselves as seriously as we do now, Dave would go to the pub with his friends on a Friday night. As the evening wore on and various pints were duly quaffed, Dave would say something risibly absurd.
'The fence at
That's the weird thing about Ramones T-shirts - every time I see somebody wearing one, I feel this powerful impulse to stride up to the person concerned and ask them which are their five favourite songs by the band. I never do of course because it wo
Once upon a time, you dressed so fine...' (My concerts always began with Like A Rolling Stone in those days).
I looked out into the audience to get a feel of the place and immediately spotted a man at the table nearest the stage reading a newspaper
You nearly didn't get to read this (it's rude to give people retrospectively false hopes - ed.) since I've just been on one of those 'suggested link' odysseys on YouTube which begins with looking for help with how to paint a skirting board and ends u
It might be prudent, I think, if we all began to adopt the gestures of one of those golden Chinese waving cats as we toddle around town - simply flapping our arm up and down and sporting a vaguely sinister rictus grin. As things stand, I can see no o
Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought, in spite of having one of the most clumsy titles in the history of literature, is an extraordinarily significant book. Not because o
If someone had told me forty years ago that one day I'd be standing in my house in Malaga with a digital camera in my mouth I would have taken a long, slow sip of my pint of mild, popped another pork scratching in my mouth and questioned their sanity
It's one of those many things that everyone should be able to do equally well but that, in reality, some do much better than others. No, I don't mean the art of talking sense, but rather one of the oldest tasks known to man - cleaning.
In the same
There's a vague whiff of general madness in the air, wouldn't you say? Whether its cause is to be found in the three months we spent contemplating our own belly buttons, the exaggerated uncertainty of what comes next or Lady Gaga releasing another al
Back in the dim and distant days when children used to actually play together, there was a lad at our school who would bring a ball in every day to be booted about the yard at dinner time. Games were improvised and unwieldy, involving up to twenty pl
Things being as uncertain as they are in the hostelry trade these days, I've taken drastic measures to steady the ship - I've got a job. Well, not a job exactly but I have started giving guitar and musical composition classes which is, as our America
Amid the unveiling of Dexamethasone as a life-saving drug and the bizarrely dramatic scenes involving historical statues and the corresponding antics of their attackers/defenders, each utterly convinced of the veracity of their opposing arguments, yo
Walking around Malaga this week, I looked on, agog, at the wide and varied attitudes to compulsory mask-wearing. You can learn a lot about people from their mask habits, let me tell you.
To be fair, most citizens are sporting the uncomfortable app
One of the many joys that phase two of the confinement deescalation process has brought is the permission to potter aimlessly about once again. I'm sure it's not expressed in precisely those terms in the official government guidelines but, nonetheles
Sharks have been sighted off the coast of the provinces of Malaga and Granada during the past couple of weeks, presumably using their keen sense of smell or taste or hearing or something in order to detect from afar a distinct lack of the detritus no
You're sitting in the centre circle of a football pitch in a stadium filled with 70,000 people. There are giant screens all around the ground. In front of you is a table with 25 Rubik cubes on it. To your right, a bumptious, bald little man with a co
Oscar opened the door sporting the broadest of smiles and clutching a cup of coffee and sandwich in his free hand. It was Spanish lunchtime and, not having been in Malaga very long, I still hadn't got the hang of the eating at three o'clock in the af
To use the word 'run' would be over-egging the pudding somewhat. So, let's be a little more transparent: last Sunday evening I hobbled gamely along the Paseo Marítimo, accompanied by 98.7 per cent of the population of Malaga, or so it seemed, what wi
Sometimes, in order to avoid listening to the constant barrage of coronavirus related information on the radio - most of which, if we're honest, doesn't seem to be tripping from the lips of anyone who has a clue what they're talking about - I'll cast
As the old - and somewhat lame joke - goes, nostalgia's a thing of the past. It's never really been something that has stirred my passions, truth be told. All those radio stations playing 'golden oldies' give me the shivers, quite frankly - Kenny Log
These are, without doubt, extraordinary times and there is perhaps no greater illustration of this than that strange, nagging discomfort anybody with any vestige of empathy is currently feeling, albeit in spite of themselves. It's because we sort of
Scrambled eggs, cornflakes, uncomfortable silences and creaky stairs. That's about the sum total of my childhood recollections of bed and breakfast establishments in the UK in the 1970s. Unless you count a very odd man in Kent who owned one of these
Having spent the last gazillion days indoors, I now feel fully qualified to be able to offer a handy cut-out-and-keep lockdown survival guide thingy. For anyone who hasn't quite got the knack yet, this invaluable source of wisdom should ease you effo
It's quite common for people who are looking for a bit of peace and quiet to move to the countryside in pursuit of their goal. What could be more tranquil than a house in the country? The early evening breeze tickling the delicate autumn leaves; the
We are, of course, so lucky to have the technology available to allow us to maintain contact with family and friends during these seemingly endless days of isolation. Nonetheless, there are only so many conversations you can have with your best frien
A light year is, we were told ad nauseum at school, the distance that light can travel in one earth year. This is approximately 5.88 trillion normal miles which, let's be honest, is a really difficult concept to grasp. Well, until you remember that t
The declining population of rural villages has long been a worry for Spain. One of the most striking images I encountered walking the Camino de Santiago a few years ago was the vast number of disused football pitches, characterised by waist-high gras
From a fag-smoking workman in a hard hat, holding his palm outstretched towards you as you tootle along the pavement, in order that his mate might back a big van out through a gate, to a surly doctor's receptionist asking you what the details of your
Tired? Fed up? Aching in the places that you used to play? (To paraphrase Leonard Cohen). Could readily strangle your mother-in-law with the horrible socks she got you for Christmas? Congratulations - you're living a proper life.
Sitting by a swimm
Is it my overly fertile imagination or are we presently being ruled by a bunch of overgrown schoolchildren? This week's risible political antics in the United States are only the latest in a litany of petulant displays by people who, one would have h
The Six Nations rugby tournament begins this weekend and, if past years are anything to go by, we can expect a good few customers down at the pub to watch it. Actually, over the last five years, we've noticed our numbers gently decreasing for footbal
A swivel-eyed chap sporting a rictus grin propped himself up against the nightclub bar and began to stammer.
"I... I... I'm too old for this," he managed to whisper to nobody in particular before slumping defeated to the floor semi conscious, much
A huge lorry inched noisily past the cafe window yesterday, just as I was burning my tongue for the second time on what used to be known a white coffee but no doubt has a faux exotic moniker these days. Anyway, said vehicle happened to be transportin
Tomorrow afternoon I'll be taking part in an audition for the role of a football manager in a crisp advertisement for television. Yes, you did read that sentence correctly and, yes, my ludicrous life really is that absurd.
Now that the pub is toot
You nearly weren't able to read this. "That's a pity, it would have been blessing!" I hear you cry. No such luck, I'm afraid - it's all worked out swimmingly and this week's witterings have once again found their way onto the hallowed pages of SUR in
2020. Whodathunkit? It doesn't seem that long ago that the year 2000 was a wildly futuristic concept and now, here we are, on the threshold of the third decade of the twenty-first century. It's utterly mind-boggling. What delights, then, will the com
The two middle-aged men were engaged in a dance which, while employing elements of a passable tango, was largely a sort of grunting push-me-pull-you routine; not the kind of activity we're looking for down at The Shakespeare. It would have to be brou
On 26 June 1974, at Marsh's supermarket in Troy Ohio, Clyde Dawson and Sharon Buchanan participated in a humble interaction which would prove to have enormous significance in the history of technology. Clyde as customer and Sharon as check-out girl w
All those school sports days that became de rigueur in the nineteen eighties and nineties where nobody ever won and nobody ever lost and everyone got a prize just for turning up did not, you'll be glad to hear, go to waste.
The annual absurdityfest
This evening Antonio Banderas will bash a big red button with an oversized comedy mallet and the Malaga city centre Christmas lights extravaganza will be under way. Actually, the mallet bit was just my imagination running away with me - he'll probabl
Thwack! The old woman's umbrella hit the rain-sodden pavement with a light splash and immediately cast me onto the horns of a dilemma.
The scene unfolded thus: a strikingly tall lady about eighty years old was walking towards me on an otherwise emp
You will almost certainly be reading this article in an igloo. According to all meteorological forecasts, at the time of writing, Malaga province is about to be hit by a bout of cold weather so unmerciful that even people from Newcastle might have to
One of the many misguided conclusions we've come to concerning modern life is that faster is better when, oftentimes, the complete opposite is true.
Lots of people with beards and tattoos munching on hummus wraps all day down at Netflix are the la
It may have been the tardy autumnal chill in the air, or it may have been the early evening dusk descending stealthily over the urban landscape. Actually, it may also have been the fact that I was in a kebab shop ordering a doner with all the trimmin
Long ago, in the days before mobile phones, ordinary people could often be seen pottering about aimlessly or simply sitting and staring blankly into space. This rather quaint pastime was known as daydreaming and, to this day, I like to indulge as oft
They came into The Shakespeare in two separate gangs over the course of the evening. The first, all hipster beards and colourful clothing, sixties glasses and dapper shoes. The second, more earthy, the odd Hawaiian shirt notwithstanding - pints of be
Occasionally, someone who's thinking of starting a business will ask me for advice. This is awkward because I'm really not very good at it but that clearly isn't a satisfactory answer for anybody hungry for inside knowledge.
All I can do, then, is
A paedatrician going by the rather marvellous name of Gonzalo Pin claims that bucketloads of Spanish children are in a permanent state of jet lag. This, asserts Señor Pin, is because the little tykes are obliged to start their school day at 8am and d
The autumnal Andalusian breeze once again dares to kiss the humid evening air, while summer slinks back to her unholy headquarters in order to plan next year's sledgehammer assault on our senses. This time of year, ladies and gentleman, is marvellous
You really have to feel quite sorry for the poor Spanish chap who, unwittingly, caused the cancellation of one hundred and thirty flights at Munich airport the other day. Details are sketchy but it appears the young man in question became disorientat
It's not too often that a man finds himself on his his knees in the toiletries aisle of his local supermarket but that, ladies and gentlemen, was my fate one day last week. No, I wasn't imploring the manager to remove the looped Kenny G cd from the s
It's not entirely clear to me how our economy works these days. Recorded music is, to all intents and purposes, free to listen to and, similarly, series and films can be watched for such a paltry sum that the cost is barely noticeable to most people.
Bumpety bump, bumpety bump, bumpety bump. Wherever you go in the world, trains sound more or less the same. Well, except for Japan, probably, where they almost certainly make a swooshing noise before delivering you to your destination half an hour be
Practical people never cease to amaze me. There they all go, with their logical minds, bustling about the place, fixing things. How on earth do they do it? Broken door frame? Hammer, hammer, measure, measure, bish bash bosh. All fixed. Faulty cistern
This year, the Malaga fair begins with the traditional midnight fireworks on Wednesday 14 August and goes on until about 2026. Well, ok, until Saturday 24 August but the psychological effect will be about the same for any locals living in the city ce
One of the most hilarious facets of professional football is when a substitution is about to be made and the manager/trainer stands next to the player about to come on, leans right into him and gesticulates wildly and incomprehensibly while shouting
It's still sitting there somewhere, completely and utterly ignored. Copied and pasted onto a document I actually named myself but now can't recall the name of.
If ever there was a symbol of modern-day media saturation, it must be this - the link I
As the sun hammers down without mercy upon our poor benighted bonces, the thoughts of balding ginger people turn inevitably to how they might protect themselves from the pitiless beast without losing too much dignity. It's mighty difficult.
If you want to become expert at something, ten thousand hours' practice will do the trick. Or so they say, anyway. This is one of those affirmations that somebody makes in a book or on TV one day and if they're wearing a white coat or glasses or both
There he was then, our friend Hans, pinging his car merrily down a German street in the western town of Viersen, happy as a sand boy but unfortunately breaking the old geschwindkeitsbeschränkung (the fantastic German word for 'speed limit' that I lea
The travel guide Lonely Planet has named Madrid the second best place to visit in the whole of Europe, slotting it in just behind High Tatras in Slovakia (me neither, I think they're just showing off). Leaving aside the fact that they've obviously ne
'Merciless caterwauling' would probably be an apt description. We've had many excellent performances down at the Shakespeare on open mic nights but this certainly wasn't one of them.
Robin (not his real name) had told me he used to be an actor in
It won't have escaped many people's notice that Liverpool made a remarkable comeback against an over confident Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final this week. It's universally agreed that it was a stunning performance and wholly-deserved vict
At the time of writing there's a forty-million-dollar yacht called The Gene Machine moored up in Malaga's swanky, if rather generic, port. Apparently it belongs to a scientist chap who named it after one of his most important fields of work - machine
The Cultural Centre in Malaga used to put on regular free concerts in their small but rather charming theatre quite a few years ago. The trouble was that, especially if it was cold, groups of older people from the area used to attend just to be able
The Bloomberg Health Index declared Spain the healthiest country in the whole wide world a few weeks back and it came as little surprise to those of us lucky enough to live here.
The study takes into account a variety of factors such as life expect
Imagine you live in a posh house with movement-sensor-operated lights in the bathroom. You've been tootling along nicely for three or four years, swishing in and out for teeth cleaning purposes, etc. without ever needing to flick even the merest of s
"Dad, have you seen my pen drive anywhere?" "No, son, but I could swear I saw your stapler catch the bus last week."
Now then, that's a dad joke if ever there was one and as you can probably tell by how rubbish it is, I made it up myself.
Sadly, internet fraud is becoming ever more prevalent and, at the same time, ever more sophisticated. Only last year I very nearly clicked on a link in an extraordinarily clever email which used the correct name and contact details of someone who wor
Frayed collar, worn out cuffs and a mysterious and rather ugly paint stain. It was no good, I really would have to buy a new jacket after having put it off for the last couple of years. But when exactly and, for that matter, how?
I certainly wasn't
The annual Oscar ceremony took place the other night and, inexplicably, millions of people watched agog from their sofas while they might have been more gainfully employed slow-boiling a tin of baked beans in the kitchen or something.
As far as I
In the twenty-one years that I've been presenting pub quizzes in Malaga, I've picked up a few interesting facts. Only last night we learned that an adult male horse typically has forty teeth. Knowing this gem may not mean that you're suddenly invited
It's such a rare pleasure to deal with professionals in any capacity. Unfortunately, of the scores of working people we've come across over the last three and a half years while running the pub, I'd say that only about ten per cent have managed a top
I bought a house alarm the other day, albeit completely unbeknownst to me. Apparently, the mere mention of such a possibility down at the bank was enough to guarantee the whipping out of just under two thousand euros from my account. I called immedia
What's a medical emergency? Having your ears full of wax certainly isn't one by any stretch of the imagination and yet, I'm embarrassed to say, on more than one occasion I've turned up at a Spanish (and English, actually) A & E department to seek hel
And then I caught a glimpse of it. A hunched, gesticulating figure, looking somewhat desperate and needy and, I have to say, quite sad, actually. It was a seminal moment - I'd finally let happen something I swore I never would.
The image I'd seen r
So, what about Brexit, then? Only kidding, we're not really going to take a look at that whole unholy mess - I just wanted to imagine the reaction of regular readers of this column and the look on both of their faces when they read the opening line.
FIFA 19, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 are all video games. Anyone with teenage children will already have known that as will lots of middle-aged blokes who should know better. Let's presume the FIFA one is about football; that l
Anyone who happens to be wandering around a major town or city over the festive period surely can't help but be taken aback by the maelstrom of manic activity taking place at an extraordinarily breakneck speed. Cars hurtle and honk their way through
Well, 2018 certainly pinged by like the clappers, didn't it? It doesn't seem a minute since I was proudly and steadfastly ignoring the January sales, which actually seemed to go on until sometime in April.
So, what's in store for 2019? Here are a f
Having devoted his life to astonishing levels of skulduggery, King Sisyphus came to believe he was more clever than even Zeus, the greatest of all Greek gods. Sadly for him, he most certainly wasn't and his punishment for indulging in such hubris, wa
It's possible that I may have had some about fifty years ago but I really can't be sure. Certainly, as an adult, I've never been able to countenance the idea. Maybe it's the memory of various uncles slumped in armchairs watching Saturday afternoon wr
We're looking for a new barmaid down at The Shakespeare, an endeavour which is a lot more difficult than might first be imagined.
In the first place, we don't get many CVs handed at the bar which, I like to think, is because we're located down a bi
There was a power cut in the centre of Malaga on 13 September at about six in the evening. It only lasted about thirty seconds but, alas, its repercussions are still being felt down at The Shakespeare.
The thing is, when the electric supply return
The phone rang yesterday and to my delight it was one of those people who always calls with some piece of good news or other.
"Hi Peter. I was just at a meeting for next year's film festival in Malaga and - although it's not a hundred per cent cert
There's no better way of clearing the old noggin than a brisk six-mile walk down to the sea from the village where I have a little house. The return journey is somewhat less brisk, more of a desperate melange of unseemly gasping and panting before th
At the Oscar ceremony in the year 2000, Penélope Cruz famously shrieked 'Pedroooooo!' for what seemed like a fortnight, causing international eardrum damage as well as no little embarrassment to the Spanish nation, or at least to the members of it th
Here comes Hallowe'en and in the spirit (see what I did there?) of the occasion, I thought a compilation of some of the scariest things that have ever happened to me wouldn't go amiss.
The first time I can recall being really petrified was aged ab
At the time of writing, a rabid thunderstorm is raging over Malaga, shaking windows and rattling walls but the times they aren't particularly a-changing; this has happened every year since I've lived here, heralding the arrival of winter and, with an
The Taj Mahal is something I feel I should know a lot about but, actually, don't. It would be easy, of course, just to look it up on Wikipedia but I think I'll simply write what I imagine I know and you can check the facts later yourselves to see how
Demis Roussos came up in conversation down at The Shakespeare the other day so we put his biggest hit Forever And Ever on the jukebox (oh, alright, the computer) and I was immediately transported back to halcyon days of my childhood - Toast Toppers (
Sometimes, when Roberto or one of his colleagues is rolling barrel after barrel of beer through the door of The Shakespeare on delivery day, I wonder what it's all about. It's an existential crisis of sorts, I suppose. There he goes, humping vast qua
The aroma of frying onions is one of the greatest pleasures known to man. Even if you've just feasted on a banquet fit for kings, the merest whiff of a sizzling onion will make your mouth water to such an extent that your cheeks will explode in the m
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan, a country that once formed part of the Soviet Union but has been independent since 1991. It has a population of approximately 33 million people and shares a border with five countries all ending in 'stan' and be
It's a well known fact that fussy people should all be cast adrift on a distant island somewhere to indulge in their favourite hobby ad nauseum among like-minded fuss pots.
"Look! Look, everybody! A ship! We're saved! We're saved!"
"That's one of
Many moons ago, when I first started to perform original songs in folk and acoustic music clubs in the North West of England, the deal was that you went along to play a tune or two at these fine places in order to get some stage experience and to dev
You can feel the joy as soon as you step through the door. It shines brightly from the shelves amid the organised chaos that is the workshop of my good friend Enrique, luthier extraordinaire.
We've known each other for more than twenty years, Enriq
In the distant heady days of yore when people believed that there might actually exist something greater than themselves - like God, for example - they were generally fairly petrified of doing wrong lest they spend the whole of eternity wallowing in
A man walking backwards bumped into me yesterday. I don't know why he was walking backwards - he wasn't taking a photo or looking at a pretty girl (if that's still allowed) or anything - but it's certainly what he was doing and at some considerable s
There I was in the supermarket going about my mundane business and there he was, face contorted with concentration, arm outstretched , staring intently at the fruit he was holding as it hovered agonizingly close to the required position. He looked fo
This is the time of year when I unintentionally offend vast swathes of people and I don't mean over-sensitive vegetarians or jazz fans or - heaven forbid - vegetarian jazz fans.
No, the root of the specific problem I'm referring to here is, in fac
Jazz music is a mightily broad church. From Ella Fitzgerald to Weather Report, the definition of what constitutes jazz seems like a pretty moveable feast to say the least. The first time I remember doing a cartoon double take at the radio was when so
Playing the guitar to a reasonable standard isn't very difficult. It's like most things, a bit of dedication and self-discipline and it works out fine. Same goes for singing - as long as you haven't got an ear like a foot and are in possession of a l
What have the following got in common? Beards, cupcakes, pet dogs, hamburgers, tattoos and gin? That's right, they're just a few of the many fads and fashions to have breezed into town (and, often, out again pretty sharpish) over the last few years.
Here we go, etc. - the World Cup's off to a flier, then. Not a ball had yet been kicked when Spain unceremoniously sacked their manager for announcing that he would be Real Madrid's new coach next season only days before his team's tasty tournament o
Crumbs, it's all been happening in Spanish politics this week. I'm sure that it won't have escaped your attention that Mariano Rajoy has been ousted from his position as prime minister of the country after the list of corruption cases associated with
You've about as much chance of seeing a dodo waddling down your local high street as spotting a child with bloody knees these days. Such is our paranoia and zealous over-protection of the little tykes, that they've become like latter day porcelain do
Since starting up a business three years ago, the contents of my pockets has changed radically. Until 2015, those selfsame pockets contained just two or three keys plus a few bank notes and a smattering of coins. That was it. No mobile phone and cert
Great news everybody - problems don't exist any more. Well, ok, technically they do but you might be forgiven for thinking they don't because you never hear the word itself these days. The reason for this is that problems are now called "challenges"
Modern Life Is Rubbish. The wildly overrated pop group Blur proffered this truism as an album title back in the mid nineties, so heaven knows what they'd need to come up with these days to encapsulate even half of the lunacy we're currently witness t
Many moons ago, while visiting San Francisco and feeling a little peckish, I made the fatal mistake of ordering a club sandwich from a downtown takeaway place, just to tide me over until tea time. The chap behind the counter, smiled knowingly at the
There are various categories which musicians fall into: the brilliant arrogant ones, the brilliant humble ones, the half-decent arrogant ones, the half-decent humble ones, the rubbish arrogant ones (usually found singing in bars unable to comprehend
Playing mini golf in the rain was as near as I could get to a UK seaside day out experience this time around. Actually, we played in a park in London but it still counts, I think. The raindrops creeping slowly down the back of my neck during the game
Going on holiday is one of life's greatest pleasures. Or at least it should be. The trouble is that by the time you've tied up all the loose ends before your departure you're almost too whacked to be bothered at all. The worst of all the chores to be
'Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon/I hope my legs don't break, walking on the moon.' Thus went the none-too-inspirational opening lines of The Police's not-very-good 1979 song Walking On The Moon. Rumours that Leonard Cohen co-wrote
It's exhausting. All that choice that's on offer for everything we ever do. Even the simplest of pleasures is converted into a labyrinth of decision-making by the sheer volume and variety of everything around us.
If you want to spend the evening w
The much-maligned Málaga Metro (how's that for alliteration?) is going to come in handy over the next few weeks. After a hiatus of many months, I'm finally going to start rehearsing some new songs with a view to recording them. The studio where we'll
They're digging up the street outside the The Shakespeare. Right outside - inches away, in fact and it's a big operation. They'll be replacing pipes and drains and Lord knows what else before laying down some brand new and - we hope - really beautifu
Normally, I'd find myself being immediately repelled by anyone using their middle initial in their name, but I'll most certainly make an exception in the case of the magnificent Judge Michael W Fitzgerald. A couple of days ago, this fine chap deftly
I ordered something online a couple of weeks ago and it's just arrived today. I have to say the service has been impeccable from start to finish and I'm delighted to be able to give fulsome praise where it's due.
Sadly, this is far from the norm.
TripAdvisor is very useful if you own a business. I've lost count of the number of customers, especially tourists, who have visited The Shakespeare after having read our online reviews and we're very grateful for that.
For those readers unaware of
There was quite a kerfuffle when I was a lad when it was decreed, seemingly out of the blue, that hamburgers, which had always been called hamburgers, couldn't be called hamburgers any more because, well, they weren't made out of ham. People proteste
It's bitterly cold as I write. Actually, after a few years of mild winters, these temperatures are reminiscent of those I recall prevailing at this time of year when I first arrived in Malaga in the nineteen nineties. Big scarves and woolly hats were
You can feel it in the air. The kind of guilt-fuelled manic activity that only this time of year can bring. Lots of people doing lots of stuff, although not necessarily with much focus or staying power. By the middle of February most of us will have
At the moment of writing, there are still a couple of days left of the Christmas period. By the time the three kings have paraded proudly through the streets, chucking vast quantities of sweets at - sorry, to - infinite crowds of children (some of wh
Two thousand and eighteen has a nice ring to it; let's hope it's a good sign and the new year brings us all joy and wonder in equal measure. As is the custom at this time, I thought I'd offer some predictions for the next twelve months.
In the worl
Apiece of a bus fell on my head last week. I realise that that's probably not a sentence you expected to read when you got out of bed this morning but it is, nonetheless, entirely true.
There we were, five passengers and a driver tootling merrily
Crypto kittens are selling for one hundred thousand dollars a pop, apparently. Crypto kittens - in case you didn't know - are virtual cartoon cats related in some way to Bitcoin, while Bitcoin itself is a virtual currency related in some way to total
It'll be my birthday on the 27th of this month. I'm loathe to mention it, really, principally because of the myriad problems it'll inevitably cause the poor receptionist at the SUR in English offices. Let's face it, nobody likes to be on the receivin
So much wasted time. These were, purportedly, the last words of 1970's singer and erstwhile heartthrob David Cassidy who died last week. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought "Blimey, that would be a pretty fitting epitaph for me too when my num
There's a fun game you can play if you ever get bored in Malaga city centre these days - it's called 'Spot The Malagueño.' A gentle stroll along the main streets and thoroughfares of this wonderful town will bring you into contact with a veritable un
We try our very best not to judge others but, let's face it, we all do. It's human nature, I suppose, part of the evolutionary tool kit man has developed to ensure his survival over thousands of years.
Sitting in a parked car in London with my bro
There's a public town square quite close to where the pub is located and I'll often pass through on my way to run some errand or other. With the best of intentions the council has installed a children's playground of sorts, although the lack of avail
If you don't like watching films, social events can become a bit awkward sometimes, especially if the topic of conversation turns to what is generally considered to be a classic and it's simply understood that everyone present has seen it. Star Wars
Children's ludicrous antics can be quite hilarious. For example, when they do something wrong but immediately look around for someone else to blame, pointing randomly in any direction except their own. The trouble is, it's quite funny when someone's
The name Antonio Ibáñez de Alba is one you may have read in the news over the last couple of weeks because he's the splendid inventor of what's become known as water that it's impossible to drown in. Just that phrase alone - "water that it's impossib
When things go wrong for people on big occasions, you inevitably feel sorry for them unless you've got a heart made of reinforced tungsten, in which case you'll snigger to yourself like Muttley in The Wacky Races. This empathy we experience applies t
Although I was never a boy scout, I'll always have a soft spot for the organisation largely because of its being the proud owner of the best motto the world has ever seen: "Be Prepared." That's just magnificent, isn't it? Simple, universally applicab
Wahaaay!! Here we go - the most wonderful time of the year is upon us once again. The month of September ushers in a marvellous period offering everything that's good about living in Malaga: cool breezes, darker evenings drawing in, the odd rainstorm
Blimey, England's quiet isn't it? Having just got back to Malaga after a flying visit, I'm still readjusting to the hullaballoo that the city offers even in a supposedly tranquil period such as this just after the city fair. The contrast in decibel l
There's an old adage in show business that says that when it comes to making a set list of songs for a gig, you should open with tons of energy and close with a crowd pleaser. It's much more prosaic than that in its original form, but that's about th
Flicking through the pages of the Spanish press some days, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the entire country was filled to the brim with armies of corrupt buffoons cheating, swindling, and diddling their way through life, living high on the hog,
The city of Malaga's exponential growth as a tourist destination continues unabated. The number of wheelie suitcases being trundled around town at any given moment is quite astonishing, although not nearly as astonishing as the minuscule size of some
There's been much ado lately about an odd advertising campaign which was launched a couple of weeks ago by a leading Spanish beer company. Actually, it was pretty tame stuff but because so many people are constantly poised to be offended or outraged
Here comes summer, then, crashing in as usual, like a local middle-aged drunk at the annual student party - totally expected but really annoying anyway. The temperate beauty and modesty of spring is simply barged out of the way by an unforgiving heat
The story goes that, at the height of The Beatles' fame, when asked by a wide-eyed reporter if Ringo Starr was the best drummer in the world, John Lennon replied that he wasn't even the best drummer in The Beatles. Whether it was Lennon who actually
Being a pop star must be a discombobulating experience. One minute you're miming into a hair brush in front of your bedroom mirror and, next thing you know, you're miming into a microphone on national television.
What comes next is the worrying bi
A few years back, the water was cut off for four days in the flat I was living in - a quite miserable experience, compounded by the fact that none of it was in any way my fault. Well, blow me down, if same thing didn't happen yesterday, but this time
This year, St Patrick's day came and went, awash in pints of Irish stout and huge comedy hats, as is the custom. Laughably, though, the marketing boffins thought it would be a good idea to try to dupe the public into extending the whole shebang into
Not long ago, I scribbled something on these hallowed pages about how, far from being a romantic gesture, asking your girlfriend to marry you in public, is actually a heavy-handed emotional manipulation.
Well, guess what happened to me last night?
Man, they're annoying. Just when you think you've seen the last of them, they appear again from nowhere, imposing themselves on our lives with a pompous arrogance rarely seen outside the world of professional football. No, I'm not talking about polit
They're at it again. Our hipster chums in Silicon Valley are predicting the future for us. Apparently, sooner than we think, smart phones will become obsolete and we'll all be sporting augmented reality headsets.
Hang on a minute. Haven't we been h
One of our regular customers down at the pub pays his bills at the end of each evening with his mobile phone. In a rather disconcerting digital coupling, phone and credit card machine screens are brought together for a fleetingly chaste kiss and Bing
Translating a technical manual is fairly straightforward but deadly boring. I worked on one once and nothing could persuade me to do it ever again - it felt like somebody was sucking all life force from my body with a rusty syringe. Very slowly.
Many moons ago, I worked at a major airport in the UK. The job was a mundane but necessary one - making sure that baggage trolleys were correctly distributed throughout the complex at all times.
This meant that vast teams of trolley blokes would w
"I've done you a Mickey Mouse."
"Here, I'll draw it for you. See - big Mickey Mouse ears that lock into the previous filling. That should stop it breaking off and avoid having to put a crown in. Crown's are really expensive."
In a desperate race to the bottom, we appear to be hell bent these days, on trying do outdo each other as to who among us has the most to complain about. It's a kind of Top Trumps for victims.
"My father was a cold authoritarian figure, who only ev
There can be no doubt that we live in a complex world. Well, that's what you'd think everyone would believe but, no, apparently not. It would seem from social media feeds and, in fact from just talking to people, that everything is much more black an
We eat too much. The media is riddled with self-proclaimed experts, wringing their hands, shaking their incredulous heads and talking earnestly about obesity as if it were inflicted upon us by some malevolent outside agency. I can't remember the exac
It's not fashionable to be prejudiced these days, but I'm afraid I am. Against tidy people. Let's be honest, tidy people are a blight on our happiness, milling about as they do, sighing heavily and putting things in order for no discernible reason. T
Davey plonks a couple pints down on the table. "Cheers, Mike! Hey, how did you get on on Saturday?"
"Cheers, Davey! Oh my God - we lost on penalties. Couldn't believe it. Some of the players were actually crying and everything. It's all over YouTub
For some reason, we keep getting exhorted to "live in the moment". Social media, daily newspapers and quite a few radio programmes appear to be filled with people telling us that this would be a wise and productive thing to do. Self-appointed gurus g
Chuck and TJ are lying back on a pair of hay bales, taking a break from working the land, somewhere deep in Nebraska. An unforgiving sun beats down on their craggy, lined faces but, that's alright, they're quite used to the weather; they've doing thi
It all came as a bit of a beautiful shock when snow fell on the Costa del Sol this week. Ok, I'm sure Captain Oates wouldn't have been too discombobulated at the intensity of the falling flakes but it it was quite a moment nonetheless.
Snow is pe
January is renowned for being a melancholy month, as hordes of people try to come to terms with their post-Christmas blues and going back to work while at the same time sixth-sensing the unstoppable approach of a credit card bill of a size not dissim
Yes, our colleague was at your address this morning, sir, to collect the apparatus, as arranged."
"I'm sorry, he definitely wasn't. I know because I didn't leave the house. In fact, I changed my plans just to wait in for him."
"It's written here
I never bought any George Michael records, although I did quite like Different Corner, Faith and his moving version of I Can't Make You Love Me. Wham!, like so many eighties pop groups, haunted my youth, blasting out from speakers in nightclubs and p