Month: February 2012

There’s gotta be something better than this

6am. The alarm goes. It’s still dark outside. I know it is cold because the tip of my nose tells me so. The reason the alarm is set this early is because it is the only time I can find where I can be uninterrupted and do the things that I want to do: writing, thinking, sitting quietly and drinking a cup of tea. I say I am supposed to be getting up and having ‘me time’, but you could argue (as I do) that there is as much benefit in having ‘me time’ where you are sleeping in a warm bed than freezing in a stone built finca, hopping from one foot to the other on a ice cold tiled floor in the kitchen whilst waiting for the kettle to come to the boil.

It’s come to something hasn’t it when the only time in the day which you can find where there are no  other demands on you is at 6am and you have to force yourself to do it. There have been some disappointing events recently: my birthday: no balloons or clowns, just sensible stuff like vouchers for new socks, although my friends did surprise me with a meal at a local curry house the actual owners of the restaurant couldn’t even be bothered to put on the lights and make a fuss of us: have a word with yourselves please restaurateurs! And Valentine’s Day, which passed in a haze of emails, hurried meals and stress, zero on the romance front despite having a very nice husband, we were officially ‘too busy’ to celebrate.

Something has to change, and I guess it’d down to me to get it done.

Everybody I know seems to be suffering with stress and anxiety, how are we going to cope with the economic crisis, so and so is moving back to the UK, this business is going under, that person’s had their house repossessed. How can we take back control of our lives when it all feels as if it is running away from us? When I start thinking about this I get the tune  ‘There’s gotta be something better than this’ from the musical Sweet Charity running through my head, check it out on You Tube, it’s very catchy.

Which is why this weekend coming I am off to spend a day with Maria Mateo who is running a course entitled ‘Awaken the Goddess within’. It’s designed to ‘ignite my womanly powers’ which I am totally up for. ‘Life is too short to stand in shadows, so step into your powers now and shine’. Check.

I have met Maria so this should be an interesting day, she certainly knows how to get you thinking and she’s a very warm and witty woman.  It’s time for us chicas to get back in touch with our powerful side rather than spend all of our days being downtrodden by stress and work. You can get more information at mmateo54@telefonica.net or visit my website and I will point you in the right direction. Us Goddesses in the making have got to stick together you know.

www.familymattersmallorca.com

More details about the event here:   https://www.facebook.com/events/202973289801004/

Click here for the flier: Awaken the Goddess within 18 FEB

The day it snowed

Please see below for a gallery of photos of a snowy Mallorca courtesy of some of my Facebook friends. 

It’s Saturday morning, it’s not a school day, so it’s not the alarm that wakes us up. There’s a weird feeling in our house, as if it is being cuddled. We pad around the house sleepily, rubbing our eyes and wondering about making a cup of tea or getting a glass of juice. It’s nice, this no-rush early morning, it might turn into a good day.  It feels like a firework has exploded in the living room when La Gidg opens a shutter, gazes out of the window and shrieks ‘IT’S SNOWING!’

Our neighbour, Carlos, is on the street, smoking a roll up because he doesn’t smoke in the house anymore since the baby came. He says that his wife’s mother says there hasn’t been snow like this since 1956. The snow is falling steadily from a dark sky. It’s fascinating to watch it appear in the beam of a street light as if it has come from nowhere. Magic. The snow is about 20 centimetres deep. I want to hug it. Carlos says the Spanish television says it is going to snow all day. How can Mallorca possibly be prepared for this sort of thing? Does the council even own a gritter or a snow plough? Why would they need one? The snow is so deep that it looks like we aren’t going anywhere today anyway, unless it’s by foot or by sledge. The snow has made everything feel so peaceful and cosy, it’s like being wrapped in a muffler. We’ve got a lot to do today, and none of it is going to happen. How liberating to say ‘we can’t come today, we have to reschedule’. And how easy.

La Gidg has never seen snow like this before, she’s six, she’s lived in Mallorca all of her short life. She is glittering with joy. What a treat for all of us. We pull on wellington boots and put coats on over our pyjamas and walk down the hill to our local cafe. There is a particular sound that snow makes when you walk on it; it’s a combination of a crunch and a squeak. A creak? A squnch? Other people are on the street too, they are smiling and saying hello to us. Everyone seems to be smiling, normally reticent and shy Mallorcans are actually saying hello to us without being prompted. Gidg is confused by snowflakes, ‘I thought they were like little stars’.

The snow has given our village a makeover. Even the street signs and power cables look graceful with their new icing sugar overcoats. There are more people stood outside of the cafe, they are all facing the road staring at the snowflakes falling as if they are watching a parade, some of them are trying to look nonchalant but you can tell they are all just as excited as Gidg. I see flashes of cheeky anticipatory grins from the man who runs the garage, and another one who is the local vet. Snowballs are soon flying from one side of the road to the other.

Gidg wants to eat the snow, we tell her to watch out for the yellow variety.  We fling snowballs at the trees to make the snow fall down in clumps. She makes a snowman and snow angels. It’s the perfect snow day, although it’s only really going to be a few hours. But she’s going to remember the day it snowed forever. When I was about her age I remember being inspired to draw a picture of my family home with snow on the roof and on the trees. I put the picture beside my bed and went to sleep. Overnight snow wrapped itself around our garden and our house, and when I woke I thought I had conjured up this miraculous weather with my drawing. For one amazing day I believed I had magical powers. My brothers and I played all day in the snow. That night I drew another picture to bring more snow. But by the morning, it had started to thaw. My career as a child sorceress was disappointingly short lived.

Inside the cafe there is water on the floor from snowy boots; every table is busy, even this early on a Saturday morning. We are here in time for the freshly baked croissants which are still crisply warm and buttery. Gidg has hot chocolate, we have strong and bitter coffee with warm milk.More people come in behind us, one man is carrying a little dog in his arms it’s a dachshund: it needs a carry today.

On the way back up the hill to our house, the snow is already turning from crispy white to slushy grey. Not everyone has boots on: one lady navigates her way across the road in a pair of fluffy mules. She doesn’t seem to mind her feet getting wet.

When we get back home Gidg puts her last snowball in the freezer to save it. The big melt has already started, there is water running down the hill where a few hours before there had been squnch. At the end of the day, after she’s gone to bed, snuggled down under two duvets and wearing extra socks, I make Gluwein and gaze out of the living room window, hoping for more snow, and wonder about drawing a picture.

©Vicki McLeod 2012

It snowed today at sea level in Mallorca… for the first time in over fifty years…. we all got a bit excited… thank you to my Facebook friends for sending me their photos! You can hook up with me here www.facebook.com/vicki.mcleod