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Sober Life
by Sinclair Newton



Sober Life

There are recent rumours that Julie Andrews did a concert and sang a favourite little tune from the Sound of Music. You know the one; it’s called something like “These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things”.

There were a few changes to the words and as Julie and I get a little older, I thought you might sympathise and cope with this rendition even if you are thinking of spending the next week on the Sunset Strip in Sant Antoni.

Sunset from Café del Mar
Picture © Gary Hardy (1990)

I’ve been reading about this in The Mini Rough Guide To Ibiza & Formentera and it sounds like it’s worth making the journey just to see the sunset again, even if we have to go by land and sea because my friend won’t fly.

Apparently this strip thing is where Café del Mar used to be all on its own, and I remember when they had to bring sand to make a beach out of the rocks at the front each year. I’m sure I’ve told you, but they once charged me for a large one I’d had the year before.

Actually I once met someone who was famous for about six hours when he appeared in a rock band on TV and earned enough to buy one of the apartments above the café and it is apparently decorated in the same way, like a Roman amphitheatre turned upside down. He wouldn’t rent it to me though and I was upset about that. You look out of the window when you get up and all you can see are coast to skyline bare-breasted Scandinavians and Germans.

And now there are apparently loads of bars all in a row where you won’t hear anyone singing anything like this:

Linament and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fitting,
Bundles of magazines tied up with string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Walking sticks, cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Mrs Whip’s false teeth and no one makes passes,
Pacemakers, golf carts and back yards with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the legs go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Sweet tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or omelettes with onions,
Bathrobes and heat pads and my meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pains, confused brains and no fear of sinning
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinning
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Why then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel… so bad.

I hope you don’t feel like that - though I do - and you are doing wonderful things in Ibiza because I’m on my way again and now Rick says he’s bought six short-sleeved shirts. I hope they don’t say David Beckham on the back.


Ps I mended the keyboard after last week’s debacle by buying a new one. But it was too late to stop the somewhat abbreviated vignette of a column. Then I got this E-mail from a reader called Michael who shall remain nameless:

“Hi Sinclair,

I've heard of some lame excuses but what a good one that was. Should it happen again, type your document in Word but beforehand alter the tab settings (under Format) to 0.3cm from 1.27cm. After each word all you will have to do is hit the tab key to get a fairly 'get-away-with-it' spacing thingy.

The road to...Ibiza. I shall sit back and watch this turn into some sort of Bob Hope/Bing Crosby escapade.”

Sinclair Newton