Archive | February, 2011

Finally! A title.

7 Feb

It was staring us in the face all along. As my many thousands of fans know, my book rejoiced in the title One Way To Paradise. But, I was never truly comfortable with it. And when I told a mate what the book was called he said it sounded like something only a terrorist would buy.

So, David my ghostwriter and I decided to come up with something else. Assisted by Debbie Cameron, a friend who’s helping me, we came up with Majorca’s Gold, which we all liked. Then someone said that sounded like a paint colour or, even worse, a type of Bob Hope (dope).

A couple of weekends ago, David was out walking in the mountains around Alaro in Mallorca. Tracey, the friend he was hiking with had told him the walk was about four hours. It turned out she’d read the map wrong and it was four hours one way! Somewhere along the route of this epic hike, Tracey asked David how my book was getting on. ‘We’ve got a title,’ he said, ‘Majorca’s Gold’.

‘Hm,’ Tracey said. After a few minutes of silence, broken only by their panting and the distant sounds of sheep bells and German hikers, she said ‘I thought you were going to call it Hasta La Flip-Flops?’

‘We weren’t,’ David said, ‘but we should.’

As you all know, ‘Hasta La Flip-Flops!’ has been my catchphrase for years. So it’s the perfect title for the book. I love it and so does everyone else I’ve tried it out on.

Hasta La Flip-Flops! The Rise and Fall of Louie The Lip. You read it here first.

So let’s work this out #2: Mallorca Magic strikes again

1 Feb

I decide to get the train into London as I’ve got a meet with David my ghost writer set up for 5.00 pm outside MacDonalds at the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street. So I park up near the station and head for the capital. I figure I’ve got a full day ahead of me so I’ll get my hair cut in Fulham, where I used to live.

When I arrive at Fenchurch Street Station, a very strange chain of event starts to unfold. First off, the District Line underground is closed due to weekend works. Three bus rides later I finally make the barbers and get me barnet trimmed. It takes two buses and two tube rides to get to Piccadilly and I’ve got a couple of hours to kill before I hook up with David. So what am I going to do?

CASINO, CASINO, CASINO! The answer’s right in front of me in flashing neon lights. In I go.

I worm my way into a gap at one of the roulette tables between two old Chinese ladies who look like they’ve been playing for days. One has her eyes closed and only wakes up when the white ball started its spin round the old Devil’s Wheel.

My system’s not working and I’m down  £200. After about half an hour, it kicks in and I’m £200 up. I check my watch and decide to do the off.

A short walk later I’m weaving my way in between 5,000 student protesters to Mac Dees where David’s waiting. He suggests we eat Chinese food at the Jade Garden, his favourite in Wardour Street, Chinatown. Turns out he had a girlfriend who worked in China and, being the methodical sort, decided she’d find the best one among the hundreds in Chinatown – the Jade Garden. There are plenty of Chinese people munching away inside, always a good sign.

We’re deciding what to order when a well-spoken lady with a young lad sits down at the table next to ours. She asks him if he’d like fried seaweed and I can’t resist the one liner. I cut in with ‘sorry love, the tide was out’. We all laugh. David and I start talking about the book and I hear the lady say something that has the words ‘book’ and ‘Mallorca’ in it.

David and I look at each other and he turns to the lady and says ‘sorry but did you just say something about books and Mallorca?’

Looking startled, she says she did. We explain what we’re doing with Hasta La Flip-Flops! and she introduces herself as Anna Nicholas, a writer who lives in Soller, Mallorca. Anna writes for the ex-pat section of the Daily Telegraph and has a regular column in the Mallorca Daily Bulletin. She’s also written books about her life in Mallorca including Donkey On My Doorstep. Anna’s just started work on a crime novel set on the island.

Anna is lovely. Really friendly. She said she’d love it if we kept in touch and offered to help us any way she could. After nearly an hour of nattering, we said our goodbyes and left Anna and Oliver, her little boy tucking into their sweet and sour chicken.

At one point Anna said that our sitting down next to each other in one of who knows how many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown was kind of ‘cosmic’ before apologising if this sounded a little hippy.

I don’t know if it’s cosmic or not but our meeting is too unlikely to be coincidence. I mean, what are the odds? For David and me, it’s another example of the incredible connections I’ve made in Mallorca and with people who know and love the island. I really do believe there’s something magical about my old Rock.

And meeting Anna was definitely meant to be. Just another day in London? I don’t think so.

Now, where’s my fortune cookie?