We fancied a singalong fright night in the village and headed down to a local beachfront steakhouse. Popular with the hardy resident emigreys, it’s owned by bubbly, brassy bottle-blond Berni Belfast and her Turkish husband, Deniz, who cooks the best steak on the peninsula. Berni lays on the usual winter fare of fixed price menus, quiz nights and karaoke to coax the emigreys out from under their duvets. I like unpretentious Berni. She is the real deal, calls a spade a shovel and is a bracing breath of fresh air on a brisk night.
Proletarian Berni has a high-octave accent delivered like a sub-machine gun. As my Mother is from that part of the world I can catch the conversation. Alas, poor Liam understands hardly a word and just nods and smiles politely like the Queen at a Commonwealth jamboree.
Berni regaled us with tales of the bar wars. Allegedly, following months of clandestine subterfuge, her former front of house left without warning to launch his own restaurant taking with him their head chef and photocopies of their menus. I sense industrial espionage is rife in the catering trade here but to set up a new establishment dishing up identical fare for the same audience only a few hundred metres along the pretty promenade does seem a touch provocative. The bilious bad blood bubbles just beneath the surface.
Blackpool Bobbi was our camp karaoke compere for the evening’s random entertainment. Unforgettable veteran resident Bobbi fosters a unique, instantly recognisable look. Uncompromisingly clad top to tail in Persil whiteness from his back-combed highlights to his shiny patent leather loafers, he belts out a passable interpretation of ‘My Way’ between the vodka shots. I admire his pluck. Truly, Bobbi is the only gay in the village.