Lanzarote 2018: 5 Euro.

“Is the key in properly?”

“I’m pushing it but the handle won’t turn”.

“Has it locked again?”

“Hey guys, how many British people does it take to open a Canarian door?”

“Apparently about six”.

We had arrived in Plays Blanca, and now our holiday could begin; Providing we could get into the bloody Villa, that is.

Lanzarote had been a no brainer. We had picked up the flights and seven nights in a private Villa for a little over £250 each, and considering how much comparable hotels and destinations had been for the beginning of summer, we really had found a bargain. And once we had (finally) battled through the door and flicked on the lights, we were met with a spacious habitat complete with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a heated pool and a charcoal BBQ. I’ve paid a lot more for a lot, lot less.

However, being millennials, the first order of business was to try and sign into the Wi-Fi, because what good is seeing a sunny new location if you can’t go home and share the pictures instantly on Facebook? This revealed the only real issue with our accommodation, as we found a note on the wall, left by the providers, that may as well have read “the internet is bollocks, don’t bother”.

So we didn’t.

So, onto the next thing on the list of priorities. As much as I’d like to pretend that we were there for the culture specifically, a private Villa is the perfect location for a foreign booze up, and I’m happy to report that you don’t need a lot of Euros to make that happen. The supermarkets charged a pittance for local beers and lagers, and we discovered a caramel vodka for five euro that quickly became our lifeblood when more consumption of water wasn’t 100 percent necessary.

The villa, and the pool, became a true headquarters for our holiday, allowing us to relax on the sunbeds, play cards, and listen to music when we weren’t exploring our little portion of the island. We had some issues with the BBQ in a similar vein to the door fiasco when it came to lighting it, as it took all six of us, two boxes of matches, some firelighters and the magic ingredient of olive oil to get a flame going. But I do now feel more in touch with my inner Neanderthal after our delayed success, so every coal has a positive ember.

If I had to sum up the island itself, it was beautiful, but to be simplistic I would say that is made up of equal parts roundabouts and Irish Bars, the former of which everyone ignores and the latter of which they most certainly do not. Our favourite bar quickly became the Dubliner, an Irish bar near the Marina with a great atmosphere, holding live music every night and offering up cheap drinks to encourage you to sing along. This is a vicious combination, as I found out when singer Mick Garry (legend, by the way) coaxed a bizarre and utterly terrible mash up of “Lose Yourself” and “Come Together” out of me when I drew attention to myself by heckling. Something which became a theme for the week once I discovered another bar with karaoke.

One important thing that stood out about Lanzarote related to the food. We found that every menu inserted the word “special” onto the most basic of dishes, with the assumption that a dish became special just because it had a fried egg on top. Which was really just odd, and I’d hate to see what Canarian Special K tastes like. Also, most of the chicken we encountered was decidedly dry, but I did have one of the best kebab pizzas I’ve ever tasted from a takeaway, so swings and roundabouts, I suppose.

For me though, Lanzarote was also a painful experience, and I feel as though I left a vast percentage of my blood and skin along the waterfront; with only the majority of accidents being my fault. I am tempted to sue Lanzarote after I tripped over a sewage grate thats edges were turned up and faceplanted the concrete, but I checked my travel insurance and I’m not covered for “being a clumsy pillock with ridiculous clown feet” so I may just have to drop it. Like my friend accidentally dropped me from a fireman’s lift for a reason that none of us really remember. What didn’t help my case also was the number of bets I took that involved me doing stupid things for cash reimbursement , such as drinking Olive Oil and Vinegar, sitting on a cactus, trying to cross the pool without the cover falling in, and getting slapped right on fresh sunburn. In fact, the goading call of “Five Euro!” became so prevalent that I came back with more money left than I should have, and I made more of a living from injuring myself than Jonny Knoxville has done for a good decade.

But what was most enjoyable about our holiday was having a relaxing space to just chill out and enjoy the sun until we looked like Drumstick squashies, all for next to nothing. I’m flying back out to Fuertaventura in July, so I may have more of an opinion of the Canaries as a whole after that, with the added perspective of a tad more sobriety.

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Time Capsule

Polarising,

Pieces left of a lost prerogative,

Under negative admission

That I’m plagued by the positive,

Like pollinating plants ground trodden

With imprints to be left forgotten,

Yet not one to be woe begotten

I sit and hope they grow.

 

And little do I know these stems

Are not the kind to make amends.

And little do I know these stems.

Are not that kind at all.

 

Soon the cracks, canyons become,

Pushed apart by every one,

Their seeds will breed a meaner crop,

Bleed their sap and then you’re gone.

And all the thoughts until you drop,

Ensnare you like so many vines,

For all the times you cared enough

Not to leave their plants behind.

 

Soon, you’ll come to know these stems,

Are not the kind to be your friends.

Soon, you’ll come to know these stems,

Are not that kind at all.

A Few Facebook Likes and some Media Attention, 2018

I feared the guns pointed at me,

when I nearly met the devil in 2015,

an ego of death,

mettle tested

under duress finding PTSD.

 

But I loved the guns pointed at them:

strict laws didn’t save us from

an “inside job” outcome.

 

I’m sorry for the above.

 

But keep the guns pointed at me.

Did you know I survived back in 2015?

you abusers of the dead

who denigrate the memory

accusers in their marches

who carve their way towards

false effigies

of the victims:

Pupils pathetic in Parkland.

 

I’m sorry for the above.

 

Please keep the guns pointed at me.

Waiting for chances

to discuss 2015.

Another platform,

No permission,

this should always be about the victims.

 

Advice on being shot, 2018

A bullet creates a wound that

typically lasts seven days.

 

It enters through the front page

and stays,

obliterating soft news tissue,

an issue of hyperbolic shock;

 

Fragmenting and spreading,

a shrapnel heading in every direction,

 

The bleeding is immediate,

and severe.

 

It travels from here

through the headlines

to the features:

the teacher who claimed they did

“all that they could”:

the Preacher reminding

the world of the good

despite the pain.

 

It ploughs through the columns,

the solemn debates,

severed opinions,

held dear and half baked,

where the most prevalent word

is “why”.

 

If you’re lucky it will miss

anything vital,

the exit wound stitched

with promises,

final,

until you’re left

with nothing,

but a death-toll scar.

 

A bullet creates a wound that

tragically lasts seven days.

 

For that, at least,

be grateful.

 

Cider and Biscuits, 2006

 

There’s something about November:

A different kind of Armistice,

past-Century contemporaries

whose colours now were purposeless.

who knew that it would come to this?

 

Surely not the world outside,

that breathed their names as enemies,

Weary, and worn out.

 

Weapons drawn,

to raise the stakes,

Alsatian bakes put up against

a draught of Somerset’s finest.

A truce both ignorant and accepting.

Little Gods, 2002

We hold ourselves untouchable

responsible,

and our morals are

Away on leave

our message,

so for our mistakes we beg your
silence

forgiveness.

We were unaware of the number

Reassigned

in total,

And we hope to reach a settlement

an understanding

and ensure you that his punishment will be

[redacted]

We hope this doesn’t make you feel

Sick,

They were just sick

Like your faith has been misplaced,

By the grace of God

By the million dollar

will earthly sin

be erased.

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we spend most of our time stumbling around the dark. Suddenly, a light gets turned on and there’s a fair share of blame to go around”

  • Spotlight, 2015.

The Hypocrite, 1964

Curtains once more for the

Two-rope encore.

Before they ever came up on

the horrors of the Moor.

Before Yorkshire reflected Whitechapel,

and we dabbled in the Act

of letting the wicked dogs lie.

 

The Hypocrite requested

his loss reinforced

as long as the languishers die.

 

Still, fifty years mean nothing if

you step across the pond,

where Midazolam is the word for his

Justice.

 

Eight within Eleven days,

reduced to four evading fate,

so the jury of the public wait for

the conveyor to carry on.

Wood from Gallows built the wagon,

A whole state jumped upon.