Tuesday, October 25, 2005

El Portal Del Mare

Just back from Menorca and have added a new pub to my all time favourites list. It may actually, along with Groggans Bar in Dublin, the Diggers in Edinburgh and the Plovdiv Pub in, well, Plovdiv, make the top four. El Portal Del Mar is in Cuitedella, just before the Plaza de Colon in the old town. It has the most amazing oval bar which straddles three different heights of the floor. There are chairs of three separate sizes all the way round the bar so everyone is at the same height at drink level. Brilliant. Has a poignant kind of decayed feel about it essential to the most promising pubs. I could have stayed there all day. In fact I did.

The pebbles in the pavement swim,
palms sway like seaweed,
the little streets wash away
and as we turn to water,
we're faceted everywhere,
skewed in the sun,
reflected fat and thin and ruddy
then gossamer grey
in table tops and puddles.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Poets don't drive, you know

They don't. Show me a poet who can drive and I'll show you a bad poet. This is my response to my wife who is trying to get me, at my advanced age, to take driving lessons on the basis that, since we live in Misty Hollow Brigadoonshire, it would make the quality of our life inestimably better for us and our small children if both of us could drive. She puts forward a good argument but luckily I have Martin Amis on my side who wrote an essay on the subject. The only exception to the 'good poets don't drive' rule is Philip Larkin, but Amis implies Larkin's creativity began to dry as soon as he got behind a steering wheel.