A Happy Report from Magalluf

OK. The ‘Site Administrator’ is back. This is almost certain to be a short post since one is buggered. Last night, my last night, I intended to be a short visit to my favourite bar, a mug of coffee and one pint, and then to bed since I had to be up at 7 am. Well, I nearly got it right – I only had a coffee and a pint, but I got involved in a mighty game of chess with the electronic chess set. God! How I hate that machine! I’m sure that there is a devil inside it. On Friday night, it capitulated. I beat it four times on the trot, but, last night, just when I wanted an easy game, win or lose, it mixed me a bottle. It engineered as situation where I had Queen, Rook and Bishop against Rook, Rook and Knight. It should have been a easy win for me, but, somehow, it seemed to anticipate my every ploy and had me chasing it all over the board. It kept me chasing about for an hour – and then beat me! So it was 1 am before I got back to the hotel. Could I sleep? Of course not! The Devil in the machine even kept me saucer-eyed for about two hours. The result is that I am somewhat bog-eyed.

However, the trip was a great success. Every day but one was sunny, but there was a chilly breeze around – still sun visor, shorts and tee-shirt during the day, but trousers and jersey at night. But the success did not depend upon the weather, or the fact that I have saved about £1,000 by buying my stuff at less that half price. Sure, it cost me around £450 to achieve the saving, but it is wrong to regard that £450 as a cost, since it enabled, not only the fags, but also the week’s ‘rest and recuperation’. Regular readers will know that I have an invalid wife who needs a fair amount of attention. The attention is not hard; it does not hurt; it does not take a long time. But it does mean that there are things that MUST BE DONE. My overriding objective, when I go on one of my trips, is to do ONLY THAT WHICH I WISH TO DO. I hope that readers understand. Obviously, if I want breakfast, I have to get out of bed and present myself in the dining room between 8 am and 10.30 am; if I want dinner, I have to attend between 6.30 pm and 9.30 pm. The benefits of accepting those demands result in fourteen mini-banquets. Oh yes – that is a lesson that I have learnt. When dining in an hotel, all paid for in advance, every meal can become a mini-banquet. For example, dinner on my first evening consisted of:

Half a bowel of fish soup (consommé).

Half a bowel of chickpea soup (crème).

Pate, pilchards and a variety of coleslaw-type preparations.

Gammon grilled as you like it with a few chips, roast baby potatoes and other veg.

Melon and other mixed fruits.

Cheese and biscuits.

Half a bottle of Conde de Caralt red wine from Andalusia.

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So my day was: breakfast, back to bed, stroll, coffee and read of paper, stroll to Leo’s Bar, three pints and a good read, stroll to tobacco shop and collect order,  back to hotel, read a bit and then snooze, dinner, stroll to Leo’s, coffee and pint and chess, stroll to Chaplins, another couple of pints outside, fags and chess. Bed around 3 am. One night, at Chaplins (a disco bar), a guy asked me for a game of chess. We had two games – I won one and he won one. He turned out to be from Lithuania. Friendly, easy-going and a smoker. Small world. Oddly enough, the hunky young turks and scantily dressed vixens were easy, respectful and curious about my chess-playing sitting outside the disco-bar. Just one person, an example of ‘the great uncouth’, insisted on trying his best to spoil my pleasure by a continuous stream of nasty sarcastic comments. He came from Rotherham in Yorkshire. Perhaps ‘the great uncouth’ is the population which politicians depend upon to get re-elected – if it votes at all. I did not rise to the bait. After some verbal jousting, I gave up and just asked him, again and again, to leave me alone. Eventually, his ‘friends’ saw that he was making a fool of himself and dragged him away.

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The above does not sound particularly ‘happy’ as reports go (apart from the banquets).

So what is there to be happy about?

First, surprisingly, the cost of cigs in Mallorca is still €41 per 200. I expected the price to have increased since last October. In fact, I am pretty sure that that price has been constant for some considerable time – maybe two years. I cannot be sure. The euro has devalued against the pound in recent months from about €1.20/£1 to €1.36/£1. Thus, the cost has decreased. 30 x 200 cost me €1230. At €1.36/£1, the cost in Stirling was £904 approx. 30 sleeves in the UK would cost about £2100 (at £7 per 20 cigs). But the main thing is that there seems to be a reluctance in the Spanish Government to increase the price of fags. Has the ‘laffer curve’ already started to kick in? When we are lied to as a result of the Zealots and Charlatans saying that, “Border Force are winning the battle against tobacco smuggling”, we forget that the UK has a comparatively small coastline. Spain is huge, has less money to fund Border Forces and is wide-open to short runs from North Africa.  Further, stuff can move into Spain via Portugal, Italy, etc.

I wonder if our own politicians understand? The way that Silly Milly(band) was talking about a levy on tobacco company profits/revenue, you would think that he expected tobacco sales to increase as a result of PP. And who could blame him? For that seems to be the evidence coming from Australia.

So, the happy news is that there seems to be a reluctance to increase tobacco prices in Spain.

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Secondly, my hotel seems to be bucking the trend. I said last October that it had an ashtray on the table on the balcony, but that it also had an ashtray on the occasional table inside the room. Further, there was also a small ashtray in the bathroom! Is that not something of a give-away? Does that not have implications? Does it not shout: “SMOKERS ARE WELCOME”? I mean that. It does not seem to me to be some sort of oversight. It seems to me to be deliberate. “SMOKERS ARE WELCOME”, it shouts. Compare that the the hotel in Benidorm that I stayed at some months ago. Does anyone remember this?:

2013-02-22 20.40.08

It would be easy to say: “On the wall, above the bed, there was a HUGE “No Smoking” sign. Erm, sadly, that would be a fib. What you are seeing is a picture of the mirror on the wall. There is reflection of the bed (what is the brown thing on the left bottom side? Beats me), but the “No Smoking” sign is a sticker on the mirror. But it might as well have been a huge sign on the wall. Even though it was a comparatively small sticker on the mirror, it had the same effect. It said, “FUCK OFF OUT OF HERE YOU VILE,  DISGUSTING, FILTHY, STINKING  SUB-HUMAN SCUM”. It is terribly sad, because I really liked the style of the hotel. It was very Spanish and mostly occupied by Spaniards, mostly old. They enjoyed their Spanish shows – lots of flamenco and weird singing noises. It was fun. But, best of all, was the free bottle of red/white wine on the dinner table each evening. Sad because “NEVER AGAIN” are the appropriate words.

It is interesting that this particular hotel welcomes smokers.

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Thirdly, the exuberance of the Young People is a joy to behold. Quack Professors and Quack Doctors in universities mean nothing to them. That is the most important thing. But to make sense of what we see, we must take control of the definitions. For too long words like ‘child’ have been sloppily defined. Tobacco Control Zealots have taken full advantage of it. So, bearing in mind that there are ‘transitions’, let’s decide that ‘a child’ is one up to and including twelve years old. Let us decide that ‘a youth’ is one, male or female, who is between the ages of thirteen and seventeen inclusive. Let us decide that a person of eighteen year and above is ‘an adult’. The phrase ‘a young person’ has not sufficient clarity to be useful, since, depending upon the context, it could mean any age at all.

With these definitions, we can surmise, correctly for the most part, that ‘children’ have no interest at all in tobacco. Thus, any anti-tobacco campaign by the Zealots (in schools, for example) means nothing to such ‘children’, any more than ‘the evils of vodka’ would mean to them.

‘Youths’, however, are very different. Massive changes occur in each individual between 13 and 17. These changes are physical and mental (puberty) and are progressive. There is nothing that the Zealots can do. ‘Youth’ does not do “Yes Miss. As you say Miss” when it gets to 17.

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My observations in Magalluf this week were pretty well exactly the same as I have seen over several years. I do not know if any of the ‘young people’ cavorting about at 2 am were less than 18. I doubt it. Thus, apart from any oddities, ALL the ‘young people’ were adults.

And a fair percentage of these adults were enjoying tobacco.

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No one smoked inside a ‘public’ building. Hardly anyone spent any time inside these ‘public’ buildings. They nipped in and out.

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Sooner or later, the real battle will commence. Sooner or later, when the lack of reduced ‘smoking related’ costs becomes apparent, questions will be asked.

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All is not lost. There WILL be defiance. Not amongst out chicken-livered UK political aspirants, but by the The People.

More about this tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “A Happy Report from Magalluf”

  1. Smoking Lamp Says:

    I am glad you had a great holiday and am glad that you see the potential for defiance! When you were away the battle surged once again in NOLA. Welcome back!

  2. Samuel Says:

    You are right in noting the flexible nature of definitions. People are “children” or “adults” depending on how the political class and their favored few intend to profit. Obviously these definitions mean nothing in real life. They are useful tools for the rulers to harass and plunder the ruled. What age someone’s child is is no business of anyone at all except that child (or adult) and his or her parents (and other family) just as it is no business of anyone at all except the priciple person whether that person drinks or smokes or drives a car or does anything because none of these things harms anyone else or deprives anyone else of their property. Boys and girls are children until they cease to be and that means the day they can provide for themselves they are adults and that moment is different for everyone. I’ve noted several instances reported in the (what passes for) news media where “adult” and “child” are interchangeable for the convenience of political motives. Under age criminals become “adults” for punishment, Under age girls (some younger than ten) become “women” when defined by others who want to “allow” these “women” to claim their “right” to an abortion.

  3. garyk30 Says:

    Welcome back, glad you had a pleasant time. 🙂

  4. junican Says:

    Thanks for the comments.
    Regarding NOLA, it is good to see that the matter is not yet dead. It really is up to the bar owners to up the anti. If they allow half a dozen anti-smoker Zealots, who have captured the health committee, to ride roughshod over their business and human interests, they deserve what they get. In the UK, there was a big problem concerned with the connivance of the PUbcos in the making of the smoking ban law. They knew very well that the ban would damage businesses, but they were happy (provided that there were no exceptions) because they also knew that they were in a much better financial position to ride out the initial loss of business and expected to pick up business from smaller pub closures. It hasn’t worked. Pubco share values are at rock bottom.

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    Re ‘children’: in the USA, the word being misused seems to be ‘kids’, as in ‘tobacco free kids’. I have three kids – three female kids, aka daughters. All of them are in their forties, but they are still ‘my kids’. How are they getting away with it? I suspect that it is because no one has an interest in taking the emotion away, especially politicians and newspapers.

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