Bye, David – it was a privilege to have been your friend

HAPPIER DAYS: David  with his wife, Scots-born Mallorca politician, Kate Mentink

HAPPIER DAYS: David with his wife, Scots-born Mallorca politician, Kate Mentink

A WEEK ago I lost one of my best buddies and life will never be quite the same without him.

David Hammond, who has died, aged 67, was one of Mallorca’s great characters, a Liverpudlian blessed with the impish streak of humour that’s a hallmark of folk from the great port city.

Highly articulate, warm-hearted and generous, to be in David’s company was a privilege and a pleasure.

Loyalty counted much in his reckoning and the man nicknamed ‘El Hammondo’ by his friends at Portals Press Club was always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need.

He was also driven by great passions, first and foremost in supporting his adored Scots-born wife, Kate Mentink, in her political career, which saw her serve two terms as a councillor – and assistant mayor – on Calvia Council.

David played no small part, either, in helping establish and develop the local expatriate group, Europeos por Espana, besides being a stalwart of local freemasonry.

A life-long motorbike aficionado and skilled rider, he dedicated the same fervour to his favourite sport, Moto GP racing.

But to those of us who knew him well, he’ll forever be remembered as that rare commodity – a thoroughly decent, principled man.

My deepest condolences to Kate and David’s family.

Advertisements

Vicars and tarts: The tables are turned and guess whose side God is on…

I’m indebted to my Portals Press Club colleague and web-trawler, Dave ‘Reports of my demise are slightly exaggerated’ Hammond, for the following, which came from I know not where (so apologies in advance for any plaigiarism, but I thought my blog fans would be amused by it as I am).

MT. VERNON, TEXAS … WHOREHOUSE SUES LOCAL CHURCH OVER LIGHTNING STRIKE!

Diamond D’s brothel began construction on an expansion of their building to increase their ever-growing business and, in response, the local Baptist church started a campaign to block the business from expanding – with morning, afternoon, and evening prayer sessions at their church.

Work on Diamond D’s progressed right up until the week before the grand re-opening when lightning struck the whorehouse and burned it to the ground.

After the cathouse was incinerated by the lightning strike, the church folks were rather smug in their outlook, bragging about ‘the power of prayer.’

But ‘Big Jugs’ Jill Diamond, the owner/madam, sued the church, the preacher and the entire congregation on the grounds that the church ‘was ultimately responsible for the demise of her building and her business – either through direct or indirect divine actions or means.’

In its reply to the court, the church vehemently and voraciously denied any and all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise.

The crusty old judge read through the plaintiff’s complaint and the defendant’s reply, before noting at the opening hearing, “I don’t know how the hell I’m going to decide this case, but it appears from the paperwork, that we now have a whorehouse owner who staunchly believes in the power of prayer and an entire church congregation that thinks it’s all bullshit.’

A salute to birthday boy Frank, one of Mallorca’s finest

We band of brothers, The Portals Press Club (PPC) of Mallorca, are nothing if not a generous, compassionate lot, so we came together, en masse, this morning to celebrate the forthcoming birthday (tomorrow) of our upstanding-when-sober member, Frank Leavers.

Money being no object, we pushed the proverbial boat out and bought him a candle to blow on in a croissant borrowed from a neighbouring table at Chameli’s, the legendary Portals Nous watering-hole that is the PPC’s spiritual home each Tuesday a.m. (guests welcome only by prior appointment).

Island-dwellers are familiar with Frank’s wit and wisdom from the weekly column he scribes for the Daily Bulletin and his commitment to his personal, journalistic dictum, ‘Never use 10 words when a thousand will do.’

‘Show me the space,’ he adds diligently, ‘and I’ll fill it.’

It should be noted this maxim has no connection whatsoever to Frank’s days at sea, when he took The Queen’s shilling and – according to malicious gossip – rose without trace from cabin-boy to stoker second class, before gaining entree to the wardroom at the captain’s port side.

Salt water courses through Frank’s veins, for he hails from Eastleigh, Hampshire, the village (sadly now reduced to a suburb of Southampton) where the wily locals are once said to have constructed a three-foot high, wattle-and-daub fence to keep the cuckoo in.

Other landmarks in Frank’s illustrious career are the sterling work he did in making the Liberal Democrats unelectable – he was a paid, party agent – before moving into PR and coining the immortal slogan: ‘Cardiff is the world’s most exciting waterfront.’

Understandably, denizens of Shanghai, Sydney, San Francisco and Hartlepool may cavil a tad at that boast.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Frank celebrates his birthday with a borrowed croissant – Photo: El Hammondo

Some untold number of years ago, Frank and his partner – the striking, raven-haired Julie – founded the highly-successful My Majorca Wedding; hence it’s not unreasonable to conclude he has assisted in arranging the nuptials of more brides than a serial bigamist.

And let us not forget his selfless efforts for Majorca Cricket Club, where, in one tight match, he heroically fielded a sweetly-driven off-drive with his teeth. Such are the wonders of modern dentistry, you can hardly see the join.

Still boyishly handsome, urbane and one of nature’s gentlemen, his brethren at the PPC fraternally salute Frank as he celebrates, by his calculation, the big Six-Oh (‘You know what liars journalists are!’ – Ed).

So, old friend, may you never flounder on the rocks of life and long may you regale us with your telling observations and gripping tales of….er?