Month: June 2017

Mallorca Matters Meet Ups

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Hi there

I’m trying to help bring people together from around the island. I arrange casual, friendly, non threatening, non agenda meet ups for people to make new friends and contacts on the island.

You can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1532815660122689/

Or search “Mallorca Matters Meet Up” on Facebook.

The next Meet Up will be in Inca on June 27th. Join the Facebook group to find out more.

Vicki x

 

June events in Mallorca

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Selva hosts its Herb Fair this coming weekend, with a mixture of agricultural and traditional events taking place during the day and the evening. You can enjoy exhibitions, cooking demonstrations and tastings of all things herbal.
Also this weekend you can see Carmen at the Teatro Principal if you’re craving some opera.
The following weekend there is the street food festival at Port Adriano from June 16th to the 18th where you can try out various food trucks serving international junk food!

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The Women’s Tennis Association Mallorca Tennis Tournament will run from June 18th to June 25th at Santa Ponsa Tennis Club, it’s considered a warm up event for Wimbledon and this is the second year it has been held.
The Beach Boys will play on June 18th at Son Fusteret, plus don’t forget that we also have Tom Jones and George Benson playing in Port Adriano this summer, and Michael Bolton will visit the island on August 12th as well.
63958377June 21st is the International Yoga Day and it will be celebrated in style at the Cal Reiet hotel and retreat in Santanyi. They have several free activities on offer including yoga, a talk on nutrition, a guided meditation and a concert of Hawaiian mantras.
If you’re into big old boats then be sure to hang around in Palma for the Superyacht Cup from June 21st to June 24th. You may be lucky enough to get invited to some of the exclusive invite only events organised by the sponsors.
June 23 be ready to enjoy the Nit de Foc in Palma where all of the islands best Demonis get together for the night of fire!
The following day is the Sant Joan on June 24 where everyone dresses in white, has a picnic on the beach and goes into the sea at midnight to cleanse themselves of sin.
Marratxi hosts its annual fiesta during the last week of June. Something for everyone, with live music concerts, sports activities, and a comedy evening.
Finally for June the Atlantida Film Festival will run for a week from the 26th with free cinema screenings and concerts around Palma. The film festival will include 18 films, 4 conferences and 7 concerts, all free of charge to the general public. The star guest this year will be Vanessa Redgrave, who will present her first film as a director “Sea Sorrow”. The venues are CineCiutat, Bellver Castle, Ses Voltes (the area in front of the Cathedral) and the Museu de Mallorca.
And that’s your lot for June.

Majorca’s Wild Child

Christa Elmer photo credit Vicki McLeod-5760Imagine you’re a bit of a free spirit, growing up in quite a conservative place, Switzerland. Imagine that your dream is to be a singer, but your parents think it makes a nice hobby, but couldn’t ever be your profession. Imagine you’re sixteen years old. What do you think you’d do? Christa Elmer found herself in this situation, and she ran from it.

She tells me her story as we drink a cafe con leche together in our village, s’Arracó, “I was young, I thought I knew everything”, she tells me. She’d been soprano in a classical choir in her homeland, in fact all of her family have a talent for music, but she is the only professional musician. A wild child you could say, or a determined businesswoman, because you have to be both of those things to make it in the music business here in Majorca or indeed anywhere in the world. After running away from home as a teenager she then moved again to the island sixteen years ago “by accident”, and has raised two children on her own. Four years ago, once they had started to be grown up enough she is focused back on her other great passion, music.

photo credit Juan Formento

These days Christa is a familiar voice and face to me, I’ve seen her perform in many situations, always with great style, and flare. “I love to take people by surprise, for example I enjoy busking on the street in Palma from time to time, people don’t expect it, it’s spontaneous and that makes me, and them, happy.” Her eyes are shining as she explains to me how she loves to connect with her audience, “I enjoy the energy, I want to delight the people”. The problem is though that Majorca does not have many public places for live bands to regularly play. “The Shamrock, Saratoga and Jazz Voyeur, that’s it really. Sound limiters are limiting musicians and some places I would have played in before now there is no possibility.” Aside from playing piano and harmonica, Christa sings with two bands, The Monkey Swingers, and The Banditos. Both have different styles, and different audiences. “I decided that I wanted to work with real musicians rather than with backing tracks. Many bars expect you to just play covers, which obviously we do, but I choose which ones we do. I love jazz, soul, rock. I sing them all”. It was she admits a risk to be so clear about wanting to perform in a band rather than with a USB stick and a laptop, but “I decided I would do exactly what I wanted to do”.

Now Christa has taken this several steps further with writing her own songs and producing (with Carlos Lambertini) an album and performing them alongside the more familiar covers. “If you’re a songwriter than you have music coming out of you at strange times. Sometimes the lyrics just come to me and flow out of me, sometimes it’s much more difficult.” Writing and producing her album has been a lot of like giving birth, quite a lot of hard work, some screaming and crying and a beautiful baby at the end of it. I ask her if she feels vulnerable about having her songs in public ready for scrutiny. “Yes! I was a bit worried about how people would feel about it. But I like as well to see how they respond to the different songs. I can tell you exactly how I felt when I wrote each of the songs on the album, and there are strong emotions in all of them. But song writing helps me to make sense of things, and they are a glimpse in of intimate moments.” How has she grown since releasing the album I ask her, “I’ve found that yes, I do need approval, and I wish that I didn’t so much! We shouldn’t need this, but we all do”. It’s not just the music though, there’s the art work for the album, the way it is laid out, the production of the product, the cost of it. “Quality is very important”. It has been hard to get the attention of radio stations and potential avenues to promote her work further. “I hoped that the local radio stations here would support local artists in Majorca, but it’s not as easy as that. I’m not giving up though, I will keep trying to get my music played on the radio.” She’s already available to download and play on iTunes and Spotify after an epic amount of administration “So much paperwork! WOW!” and you can buy her CD in bars in our village, and wherever she is performing.

What about touring to the mainland, or to music festivals? Without a hesitation she smiles, puts down her coffee cup and looks me straight in the eye, “Yep, that’s my next goal.” Watch out Europe, Christa’s on her way.
You can see more about Christa at http://www.christaelmer.com

Grapevine 6th June 2017

Fighting Fit

Sean Pendry-4707Sean Pendry made his UK professional welterweight boxing debut last weekend at Bowlers in Trafford Park, Manchester. Before he left for his fight I went along to see him….

Sean had been living and working in Majorca for several years before he started to box, but once he had put on his gloves he didn’t want to take them off. “I’ve always been interested in the sport,” he told me, “and my granddad Paddy McGrath boxed so maybe it’s in the blood”. We were sat in the Shambala gym in Santa Ponsa. Around us were personal training and boxing classes going on. It was busy and Sean was quite preoccupied with making sure his medical checks reached the British Boxing Federation, if they didn’t receive them then hw wasn’t boxing. “What do you have to send them?” I asked. He replied, ”Brain scan, eye test…” “Oh, so you actually do get your head examined before fighting?” I asked with a twinkle in my eye. He didn’t get the joke.

Anyway, it’s a serious business. Four rounds of three minutes fighting comes at the end of months of preparation. Training twice a day with boxing practice every night with ex world Muay Thai champion Paul Hamilton as his coach.The last time I’d seen Sean fight was last autumn when he fought at the Pirates’ theatre in Magaluf. How had he developed since then I wondered. “I’m boxing now rather than fighting. Before I would have got in a bit of a scrap but now I’m boxing clean”.

Sean Pendry and Youssef Al Hamidi in the ring last weekend Photo credit Karen Priestley

Sean Pendry and Youssef Al Hamidi in the ring last weekend Photo credit Karen Priestley

It certainly paid off as on the Saturday night he fought Youssouf Al Hamidi and won! He Sean told me afterwards, “I had loads of support from family and friends and loads of messages from Majorca. I was quite taken aback by the amount of support I received”. What are his personal goals? “To keep consistent, to get more professional fights, to continue to be entertaining in the ring.”

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All of this takes effort, dedication and plenty of support from his sponsors (NautiParts, Heroes, Balearic Sea School, Innovention 3, Sports Bar 90, Radio One Mallorca, Zing Vodka, One Agency and Rob Boynes] who have all helped with paying for flights, medical checks, training, kit and clothing. Does he have any doubts? “No. Paul and Nestor my manager keep me very grounded. They keep me focused”. And the future, after he hangs up his gloves, will he stay in boxing? “Definitely. I’d like to do a lot of things, but I definitely want to coach and bring other people on like I have been. Boxing has already done a lot for.me I have to give back for sure.”

Twelve long years

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My husband Oliver and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last week with a couple of special days. On the actual day (the 25th of May, so many people get married in May, I had no idea!) we more or less took the day off and spent it together. We went to the Hammam in Palma which we have been promising ourselves we would go and try out for a while, it was lovely. Not as big as I imagined but a nice experience anyway. And then we went for lunch at Patron Lunares in Santa Catalina. I’ve always wanted to eat there but not had the opportunity before and we really enjoyed it. The place was reasonably quiet given it was a Thursday lunchtime, and we had great service. The waiter really excelled himself when he brought our starter of “Rocket Squid” to the table without once sniggering or making any sort of joke. Take a peek at the photo and tell me what you think it looked like…. Anyway, after lunch Ollie and I went on a romantic date to Brico Mart to buy tiles, yes romance can be found wherever you look! Then on the weekend we cashed in a hotel voucher I had won in a charity auction and went up to Alcudia for the night. We don’t go north much for anything apart from work so it was nice to spend some time up there just relaxing. We ended up eating at quite a fancy place called La Terraza in Alcanada, and we can recommend the food there, it was gorgeous.

Radiothon

JpegWhilst Ollie and I were being love’s young dream our friends Richie Prior and Ayesha Wood were hard at it raising money for charity with the Radio One Mallorca Radiothon. A 24 hour challenge full of fun and a fair bit of emotion as well. This was their third year doing it and it was a great effort from the whole radio team as well with Bianca and Jo busy in the background keeping bids and donations organised and making sure people were putting their money where their mouths were. Phoenix Media Mallorca (aka Ollie and I) donated a family portrait session and that went for 200€ so we were really pleased with that. At the last count they’d raised just over 20,000€ so well done everyone who donated and helped out raising money for charities here on the island.

Gringos Bingo

Gringo Bingo -6716I went along to quite possibly the maddest event I have ever had the fortune to photograph on Sunday evening. Gringos Bingo is a new experience for the island as it’s a Bingo game with real prizes (such as an iPad and a Nintendo DS) and some quite crazy prizes (a life size cardboard cutout of Bruce Forsyth for example).

 

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The audience were really excited about it, with some of them dressing up as a pack of “Grannies” which was hilarious. Add in lots of dancing, a gang of fun loving bingo callers and entertainers, and possibly a sangria or two and you have a fun and different night out. The shows are every Monday night at the Pirates Theatre in Magaluf and you can get more information on http://www.gringosbingo.com

Meet Ups

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So, I started a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1532815660122689/ Search for Mallorca Matters Meet Up) to help with coordination of information. So far we’ve had one official meet up in Palma. There will be a walk on Sunday June 4th at 10.30 around the back of Cala Fornells (meet behind the Petit Cala Fornell Hotel). It’s an easy, dog friendly walk for everyone to do, should be fun. Then there will be a Meet Up in Inca on June 27th, time to be decided. Join the group to stay informed.

Michael Bolton is coming to town

Michael Bolton Performs At St David's Hall In Cardiff

Michael Bolton is preparing for an unforgettable live concert at Son Fusteret when he will deliver hit after hit in his trademark soulful style in front of a packed audience. Grammy award winning artist Michael Bolton will be performing on the island on Saturday August 12th when he can be seen at Son Fusteret in Palma. The American singer and actor is visiting Mallorca as part of his Greatest Hits World Tour and he promises it will be a night out that his fans will never forget.
Michael’s achievements include selling more than 75 million records, recording eight top 10 albums and two number-one singles on the Billboard charts, as well as winning multiple American Music Awards and Grammy Awards. I am rather proud to say I will be taking the photos that night, swit swoo!

That’s all for now, check out http://www.mallorcamatters.com for previous columns or my Facebook page if you want to send a message.