Just got back from a 2-week tramp from antibes to Palma majorca, via corsica, and then 240 miles crossing to menorca, and following day to palma on newish leopard sport 23. Finally in palma, club de mar, few days spare getting boat fixed, ready to leave it there for 3 weeks on charter, and then we bring it back to france via barcelona late august.

Swmbo bombed off shopping on a Goped (see goped.com) and reports that a v friendly chap remarked at the gopeds, almsot as if he already knew us. She pointed him out. I didn't know him ( i think) but he was there at the bar so I said hi. No, we don't know each other, but I'm matt, and he's bruce, and he bort us a drink. And yak yak with rest of the load of people, he seems to know loads of people, almost everyone who turns up, v popoular chap it seems.

One of them has a Princess 48 but it has problems so they are just staying in it. Another has a sailing bioat, as does bruce, who westely sealord is in Conway. And we have a leopard 23. "Nice boat" says bruce, but not sure he knows about it, but no matter, we chat on with massive group bout maybe bringing down a 40' sailyboat to the med or maybe not. And those duff elbows on the princess.

So we all ordered some more drinks, and I proterst that I shd pay for this round for chrissakes. But he wdn't have it, so seeing as how he is boatless and I have to go now, I sed praps he cd come round the boat sometime? Okay, maybe. There's plenty of room, no prob, I said, but he 's doubtful. It's 75 feet long, so he says cripes blimming heck ey oop you sed 23? It's 23 metres. Bloomin nora says Bruce.

Next day he came round quite late, and blimminek etc. etc at the boat. My son looks at Bruce and says he's seen this guy on the telly. Humm, don't think so, i think he's in transport, cos the others all are. But anyway, we get along fine with Bruce, so praps he wd like to come along tomorro for a little spin? Can his little gang come along too, he asks? Of course.

The following day he turns up with his wife and the others, who know a bit about boats. So I say look Bruce, my lad says you are on telly? That's right says bruce. What a load of crap, I thought you were a hydraulics experts on trucks! No, says smiley Bruce, I play Les Battersby on Coronation Street. And his wife confirms the same, as do all the others. Hmm. Who the eff is Les Battersby?

The wind is from the west so we go a few miles up the coast and hide in a bay, which turns out to be Palma Nova, next door to (ugh) Magaluf. But the bays are nice. We have lunch on board, and bruce and gang all very jaw-droppy bout the boat. So he must be massively lying bout being on the telly as we all know they are rich as hell. But he seems not quite as tecky as I first thought. So maybe he is v specialist bout the hydraulics and just knows about Leyland Daf, and nothing else maybe?

After lunch we go ashore in the dinghy to find a bar. I admit that this was my suggestion, cos after all if he is famious then loads of people would know him, right? Hah. We walked along the front, past loads of "british" bars. It's a bit naff. Well, it's very naff indeed. Loads of holidaymakers leap out the bars and mob Bruce. Others say "eyup Les!". My wife apologises for suggesting coming ashore, but he seems fine about it. I half-heartledly imagine that he must be a really very fabulous truck fitter in the north west, praps like Red Adair?

Soon, my kids jeered at me for still sticking to the hydrualics fitter theory. Bruce signs loads of autographs and has his picture taken. Even the spanish waiter gets all 10 of us a nice table, and says what a fan he is in broken english. We order drinks, and more drinks, and lot of people come up and get a pic with bruce, and some even buy us all some more drinks. His friends said it's actualy quite fun meeting out-of touch types like me who haven't the faintest clue about les battersby, and we all had a fab day, eventually playing rackety disco music on the foredeck on the way back to Palma. The kids kept me away from the cd player and played all new stuff: Elvis Presley and Kylie Minogue. Who?