Thursday, 29 August 2013

Fantasy Football... What's the appeal?

Somewhat of your stereotypical girly girl I've never really held any interest in the beautiful game... until now.

My on-going love affair with football has been that of a rocky one. Even though I possess absolutely no enthusiasm where 22 sweaty men running up and down a pitch are concerned (okay, maybe a little if one of those men is Joe Hart), I still seem to find myself embroiled into the sometimes, in my opinion anyway, rather extreme passion for kicking a ball around a field.
Reformed: picking this weeks team

With a father and brother who are keen Notts County Football Club supporters and now boyfriend and family that are also fans, there lies little hope in me escaping from Saturdays meaning one thing and one thing only, and the fate of my life forever more hanging in the balance of whether or not Enoch Showunmi scores.

So, when my boyfriend told me he'd set up his own fantasy football team, who may I add enjoys taking the mick out of my minimal football knowledge on a regular basis, I decided to set up my own team... all in the name of research of course...

I signed up on the Premier League website ( which is completely free to use and allows you to compete against friends and family in your own private leagues. 

Rather daunted at first with the prospect of having to pick my own team of 11 players plus four subs from the Premiership, I decided to tackle the most important (in my eyes) part first... designing my own kit and team name and joining a team full of my boyfriends, also football orientated, friends. 

After enjoying that rather a little too much I set out on the intimidating task of picking out my players. With £100 million to spend on whoever you so wish ( max three players from each team) the only way I could see to best tackle the problem was to pick players by looks... don't have me down for being shallow though, reputation did play a small role, otherwise I'd have never ended up with someone like Nemanja Vidic!

Truth be told I did lose some interest after I'd made the team.... until Saturday came around and I suddenly became strangely excited- an emotion that I never thought I'd be putting in the same sentence as something football related. Gareth Bale was moving to Madrid, and my uneducated self had put him in my team! I had to transfer (a word that wasn't even in my vocabulary up until last week) and quick. 

Ok, so I'm bottom of the league (for now) but starting a week late, and considering my football knowledge can only be described as dreadful I don't think I'm doing too bad. I've learnt which teams are in the Premiership, I know which teams are playing which on a weekly basis, and after revamping my team this week I have high hopes for the rest of the season. Wow... if you close your eyes I sound a little bit like Alex Ferguson giving his comments on the latest Manchester United match... little past it I know but do I look like the sort of person who knows who manages which football clubs!? I'm not quite at that standard yet.

Monday, 19 August 2013

An Alternative Ibiza

At 19 years old I will merely be one in a good few thousand teenage girls visiting the famous party island this summer. However, instead of a party holiday with my girlfriends this is my twelfth visit to the white isle with both my middle aged parents (sorry mum!) and now sixteen year old (not so) little brother.

Why there I hear you ask? Truth is I'm not entirely sure to the answer of that question. My dad has always had a love for house and electronica music for which the island is famous for, but from our first visit we’d all fallen head over heels in love with the beautiful beaches, quaint towns ( yes they do exist), and the general loving atmosphere about the place.

One of my first memories of being in Ibiza is on one of our first visits: I must have been around seven years old and my Dad took us to Bora Bora Beach Club in Playa Den Bossa (one of the more party orientated areas of the island). For those of you who are unaware, Bora Bora Beach Club is a go to bar in the district with resident DJs in a prime position on the beach. Yes, my parents started me young- I blame them for my party animalistic traits! We asked a youngish bloke who was dancing around the bar at the time to take a photo of us all and he replied with “wow... you’re the coolest family on the island!”... I guess we probably were.

It’s no secret that alongside being a popular (and expensive!) destination for party holidays, Ibiza has also captured the hearts of families with many hotel complexes around areas such as Santa Eularia... a world away from the infamous San An!

Each to their own, but what’s the fun in visiting an island famous for its music scene and clubs and not giving them a go!?

When my brother and I were a little older we stopped going to hotels as such and decided to let our adventurous sides out, staying in a Dutch couple’s apartment we had found advertised on Facebook. The rest is history... We return every year, and think of them as our extended family. I can’t imagine going anywhere else.
Joe, Mum, Dad, Me, Peter and Eelco

So how do we experience the best of both worlds while we’re there? By doing a bit of everything.

A trip to Ibiza, for me, would not be complete with our several visits thrown into the mix- along with a lot of sunbathing and some dodgy Lidl Mojito of course! So without further ado here are my musts!

Ses Salines: My whole family will be in agreement with this one. Celebrity spotting can often be a past time here, with crystal clear blue seas and white soft sand bordered by pine woods and three great (some more expensive that others) bars it has everything you could want from a trip to the beach... the best on the Island (in my opinion anyway.)

Los Pasajeros: The best kept Ibizan secret if ever there was one, this tiny first floor restaurant located in Evissa offers not only the best mash potato I've ever tasted in my life but an explosive atmosphere with comforting home cooked food at an extremely reasonable price. We've been going every year since we first discovered the place which speaks for itself!

Cafe Del Mar
Sunset Strip, Cafe Del Mar, San An: Out the way of the usual you’d expect from the typically British seafront of San Antonio the sunset strip is a spectrum of people. With several bars looking out on rocky bay famous for its beautiful sunsets you have the option of spending £50 on a round at one of them... or nipping to the local beer off and sitting in front of them, still listening to the chilled out tunes for
more than half the price.

Cala Bassa Beach Club
Cala Bassa: Just outside of San Antonio this beach is a rival to Ses Salines in the best beaches of Ibiza. A slightly shorter strip with one long bar playing out tunes perfect to chill and similarly clear blue waters with soft white sand it is a must!