From Helltel To Haven

September 6, 2017 11:56am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 28 Comments

Jules Smith in Menorca

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

I’m back! Did you miss me? I dare you to say no…

The Mediterranean

There’s a warm, iron based, vanilla essence that lingers in the air. Each breath tastes slightly sour in the back of your throat from the salt of the ocean. Sea and summer wind harmonise together in sound and movement like forever partnered dancers. The hot rays of the sun laser into your tired bones and are only lessened by the feathery fingers of the breeze as it flirts along your back and shoulders. If you listen hard enough you can hear old world spirits whispering healing chants in the wind and palm trees creaking as they flick their fronds confidently against the sky like Mardi Gras starlets.

But It Didn’t Frikkin’ Well Start Out Like That, Did It

Oh no. This is a Jules holiday so woe betide that it dare go smoothly and without drama.

I couldn’t quite remember why it had been many years since I’d booked a package holiday through a travel agent, but as soon as I disembarked from the ‘ship ‘em all off peasant wagon’ and arrived at my hotel, it all came flooding back to me.

Was it the mass of brightly coloured towels sporting various football club emblems hanging from balconies and making the place as appealing as an ill dressed tart at a black tie affair that first set alarm bells ringing? Maybe. But people have to dry their towels.

Was it the noise spilling from the back of the building that was reminiscent of downtown Swindon on a Saturday night that helped further my unease? Possibly.

I had a chat with my inner snobby bitch as I entered the foyer but she refused to be silenced and came back spitting in my face when dripping with pool water guests wandered past me carrying plastic glasses full of lager at 10 am. Classy.

I took a deep breath which I fully regretted when the smell of soiled nappies and macaroni cheese threatened to take the enamel off my teeth. I bared them to the male receptionist in what I could only hope looked vaguely like a smile. I’m not very good at hiding how I feel and he didn’t smile back. However, had I been in his shoes I would never have smiled again and the fact he endured this haven on a daily basis without mental illness was a testament to his character.

A Room With A View

After being branded with a ‘shake your wrist if you wanna get pissed’ all inclusive bracelet, I entered the prehistoric-open the door to it yourself-only room for one despite having more guests than the state of Texas, lift. Maybe it wasn’t really an elevator at all but a portal to another dimension, possibly purgatory, who knows, because when I got out I wondered if I’d fallen down a rabbit hole.

The corridor sported weird, faded bubble paintings: kind of like a Disney resort but on a major budget reduction. I found myself empathising with guests who started drinking at breakfast. Perhaps they wisely never stopped. My pale blue (I think Farrow and Ball might name it pigeon shit grey) walls had evidence of mould and dark smudges just above pillow height. I like to think that this was some sort of artistic shadow painting by design rather than the great unwashed shampoo shortage. Out on the balcony, my view ( that I paid extra for- Oh how I laughed) looked out over a giant oil tank followed by the pool. The pool where I planned to get some lengths in of a morning. Hahahahaha… No. Imagine, if you would, vegetable and minestrone soup coming to life. That should give you an idea.

A Word

I thought I’d have a chat with the powers that be. I remembered a sign in Texas Cowboy Church that said P.U.S.H ( Pray Until Something Happens) I decided to give it a shot.

“God. It’s me, Jules, your favourite waste of time. Now look, I know I’m not the best behaved of people but let’s be honest, I’m kind, generous and my heart’s in the right place. Whilst I’m not big on ‘appropriate’ and haven’t quite mastered the art of humility, I don’t deserve this. Ain’t happening, Boss and I need you to get me out of here pronto. If you don’t, I’m gonna kick off and either end up in jail or found drowned in my own despair clinging to a half inflated, blow up pink flamingo.”

I went downstairs.

“Get Thomas Cook head office on the phone,” I said in my best non-Spanish.

It went like this:

“So you’re saying you’re not happy with your booking. Can I ask why?”

“Well, despite feeling like herded cattle on the worst school trip ever, this is so far beyond what I asked for that I’m wondering if it’s a sick joke.”

“What did you ask for?”

“Peace, quiet, nice pool, beachfront and so forth. Not Costa Hell Butlitz.”

H/O had to go away and investigate so I took myself off to the dining area having not eaten all day.

I’ve Found The Best Diet Plan Ever – Call Hollywood

I don’t even know where to start when it comes to describing the mass buffet of food available but if I tell you that I had broccoli and tomatoes for my dinner I think that speaks volumes. In all my years and of all the stupid things I’ve put in my mouth, that’s a first. I went to get some fresh orange juice to wash it down with and marvelled at its radioactive colour. I can only describe said beverage as likely being akin to drinking morning bitch piss and were you to have a penchant for such a thing, this is the place for you. Now my mouth was suitably bleached and my taste buds erased I figured giving pudding a try couldn’t do me any further harm. They could have Spotted Dick on the menu. They did, but not on display and fortunately covered by a week’s worth of unwashed swimming trunks bearing the scars of too many spillings – and yes, I mean all of them.

“Ola, Miss sin-yaw-eeta!”

“Fuck off.”

A cake resembling meringue sat on offer and I gave it a poke with a fork just to see if it bit me. Seemed OK so I picked it up and took it back to my table, seventeen miles east of the family in leopard skin Lycra.
I put a piece of the flaccid cake in my mouth and promptly spat it back out again. Meringue?
Mer – Wrong.

It All Comes Out In The Wash – Unless You Stay In This Hotel

When H/O rang me back with options I didn’t hang about in making my move. Even though I had to pay a little extra to relocate, I would have sold my soul and I ended up exactly where I should have been in the first place:  a beautiful, serene, adults only, low key classy joint with spa and real orange juice.
And even though they weren’t going to pay the 80 euros to transport me to the other side of the island, we had a bit of a chat about me being a scathing and prolific wordsmith when irked and they came good. I even got a tour of the area. What could have ended disastrously turned out to be just the thing I needed.


Slowly, I began to unwind…

Anyway, thanks for letting me get that off my chest and in the meantime, here’s a video of the sweeter side. I’m telling ya now, you gotta crank up the volume because I love this song to the point of insanity. As an ex-salsa dancer, this tune turns me into a dark and twisted version of Shakira and entices me to be utterly atrocious. I don’t know why but it does. If you ever happen to come across me in a bar, do not play this song to me or it will end in tears, bail money and bitter shame.



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I’m still laughing at how far from the buffet bar to your table was….loved it very comical….think you need to change direction and perhaps try writing a comedy series xx

Nice to see you here, Dee! You’ll fit in well here – it’s for sassy chicks only, ya know what I mean 😉

Dee, you can go back 8 years on this blog and most of it is a comedy – it’s just my life works! But, I think a comedy series would be good – I wouldn’t even have to make it up! Trust me, that buffet bar was miles from my table. I’m surprised I found my way back. xx

That was an extremely powerful whimsy. Leopard print lycra, 10 am Lager (plastic “slivas”?), art, terrifying MBP OJ, Downtown Swindon (always a winner) and Balearic Beats. Ten out of ten, welcome back!

And that, LSP, isn’t all of it! Dear God…

Thank you for my high score, I am most flattered. You may thank Thomas Cook too. And thank you! I feel very welcomed. 🙂

you got some juicy gams, babe! this is becoming a chicken leg/Luis Suarez situation…

the Trivago guy called me from his shower phone to tell me to tell you he doesn’t do soiled nappies. just to let you know.


Bite me!

My sweet, the man from Trivago had better not be lying. Can you ask him to check the scores on his shower phone? *)

Bitter shame is the best kind of shame, of course. It’s more cleansing.

What a bang-up success! You got the adventure out of the way first and then struck gold (sand). Well done, Jules. So happy you got some quality relaxing in. And fortunate that you didn’t accidentally get marooned on my nearby island (MonteCristo), not far from the Balearics. It’s still in the grip of a nasty rat infestation, so it makes your first stop look pretty tolerable. I keep sending extermination crews, but they never come back. Weird.

Our low-key, endless sand destination goal is currently Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands near Puerto Rico, but they are currently being blown into the stone age by Hurricane Irma, so we will have to wait a little longer to try that out.

Bitter shame is the only real shame, Grunt – if you’re gonna do something, do it properly. Life’s too short for half measured guilt.

You should have said. I’ll happily go to your island and sort it out with my cunning and crossbow. All I ask in return is the west wing of the monastery, stocked with a lifetime supply of Bardolino and Barolo and to be given the rule of the Iron throne as the mother of wine, breaker of grapes and so on..make it up as you wish but I want to take over from The Count.

Now Puerto Rico – that’s on my bucket list. 🙂

Well it could have been worse, Jules. Some grinning yokel with a missing tooth might have pinched your bottom and made bullmastiff noises. Next time ask for a resort where all the high-class Latino gigolos go. 😉

Hmmm. Well, Mr Gorilla Bananas, I met a few grinning locals at deer hunt camp that were pretty much as you describe. Obviously, I didn’t say that out loud (which is a miracle given my lack of subtlety) because I recognised that such a man combined with moonshine and weapons galore may cause me issue. On the extreme, I have met millionaires at Monarch Beach, California which my Fairy Godmother can vouch for. She kindly went to pay one of their bar bills until she realised that he’d been drinking Macallan whisky at $125 a shot all night. I have met and partied with the likes of both and still come out on top (not in the way you’re thinking) A Latin gigolo would be far too pouty and divaesque for me to deal with. 🙂

Jules, I can barely breathe from laughing. I’ve experienced similar holidays in the past but you have such a comical way of expressing disaster! I’m happy it all turned out well in the end, the video of the place looked lovely. Menorca is well known for its simplistic beauty.

Look, Jane, I’m not going to be held responsible for your suffocation, OK? 😉

You have to find the funny side to things. Well, I do otherwise I would be broken and shattered by the stress of it all. I think I’m secretly a superhero from another dimension and all this malarkey is strengthening my chi so I can go and kick somebody’s arse when the big disaster happens. 🙂

But how was the water? A bit of swimming would have been my treat.
Nice place for a bit of wandrin.

Water was beautiful, Goatman. I love the ocean. And wandering – both mentally and actually. 🙂

Welcome home: you ain’t missed much.
It may have started as the holiday from hell, but don’t deny that – like any good blogger – you were thinking “I can get 1200 words out of this!”

Actually, Masher, I was thinking more along the lines of, ” I can get 1200 quid out of Thomas Cook for this”
But, you’re right, it’s very rare I have to think about writing any whimsy as it just falls into my lap like a de trop offering. 🙂

I’m remembering a time when our upstairs neighbour in Loret de Mar proudly hung an Aston Villa flag from his balcony blocking any sunlight we may have had & the highlight of the evening ‘meal’ was you ecstatically shouting down the ‘eat all you can fill your boots’ scrummage was, ” HAZEL IT”S CHIPS!” …
Great fun as teens 😉
But no, I wouldn’t want it now ! X

Hahahaha! I’m trying not to laugh, mate as I’ve thrown my back out and even breathing hurts! We’ve had some cracking holidays. On the one night I stayed in Helltel Butlitz, I watched from the balcony as the crowd danced in pink afro wigs to Le Freak and thought to myself, “Now, if Hazel was here….”

Remember the seat and “‘Ave you been knobbing the locals?”
I think we owe it to Benidorm to do one last swan song and return as a Freda double act, naturally sporting the same t shirts we had made in the first place!

Oh yes we must! And at least this time you won’t be axed from your Grandad’s will!

Hahahaha! I forgot about that! I can’t believe some of the things my famalam did to me! Bless him. Protective, navy warrior Grandad! 🙂

Not forgetting my Mum’s bemused face and her saying I think I’ve just seen our Julie and Hazel walking past wearing their bed sheets!!! And my Dad wanting to bandage Hazel ‘a sprained ankle with a surgical spirit soaked feminine protector Ah cheap holiday memories!!

And you thought she’d gone mad until you realised we had actually torn up the bed sheets and made them into dresses. Frankly, you should have realised our true genius then rather than telling me off. Nobody else had this kind of foresight 😉

It was amazing how quickly grandad could run up two flights of stairs when he wanted to!

Cheap holiday memories are the best. 🙂

Hard to imagine a seasoned pro like you calling a travel agent. What got over you? Hope you learned your lesson again. Do you travel with your mum anymore? Do you have friends in Houston? If so, hope they’re okay.

I know, right? The thing is, it was an impulsive decision and the travel agent was right there… Plus, If I’d sorted it out myself I would have ended up in Tibet on an adventure or back in Merrica again shooting, fishing, boat rowing, line dancing , ‘oss riding and I’ve got all that to contend with in October. I might nip over and see your Falcons so get your wallet ready – I’ll be needing a stiff one. DRINK! Tch!
I do have many friends in my second home of Houston and I’m going back there to rescue them with some Jules hugs n’ humour. 🙂

So, they DO have MOTEL 6’s in Menorca. Who knew ? It actually sounds like the type of establishment I would have searched for in days past. And with a buffet no less! (I wouldn’t even have been upset over the lack of spotted dick. There are better means of acquiring it in joints like that.) But then I’m a rednecked Bubba, not a proper English bird.

Anyhoo, glad it all turned nice for you in the end, and WELCOME BACK ! We’ve missed ya.
btw…I really enjoyed the song vid, but it’s lack of English sub-titles necessitated my search for a translated version. This is what I ended up with. THANKS A HEAP !

‘Ello, Puddin’ 😉
Oh, do they. Terry, Motel 6’s and 8’s are like paradisical affairs by comparison. Having said that, like you, I would have been drawn to such debauchery at one time.
Ugh… thanks for that, I just nearly vomited on my cornflakes. Justin Bieber, what a precious little diva. Comes along and totally ruins an original, seductive Spanish track with his whiny voice and is too much of a pussy to sing the salacious chorus in English. You wouldn’t get a rednecked bubba doing that now would ya?!
Go away, ‘Just-In’ – nobody cares.

That would be like having “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother” being sung by Barry Manilow !

Hahaha! At first I thought, ‘This is a typical Terry wind-up’ there surely isn’t a song called “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother” and yet, there it is was in all its glory on YouTube. I like it! How is it, that in all the nights I’ve spent in Texan Honky Tonks, I have never heard this track? Seems you could teach me a lot, Sir. Who’d have thought?

Whilst Bazza the man would look ridiculous in his spandex jumpsuit singing this I have a better visual for you, if I may: How about Bruce Caitlyn ‘woman of the year’ Jenner singing it live for the opening of the NFL season, eh? That’d fetch. Nice.

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