culture

Events in Mallorca – March

Firstly, there is a collection being done by Antonia Triguero for refugees who are currently arriving on the Greek island of Kos. She has managed to get a shipping company in Inca to pay for a 40 foot container to be sent over there, and she has until this Friday to fill it! She is looking for: donations of: tents, sleeping bags, blankets (but not heavy), baby carriers, strollers, wheelchairs, comfortable walking shoes, socks, underwear, travel bags, raincoats, nappies, women’s sanitary towels and tampons, soap and shampoo (small 200 ml bottles), toothbrushes and toothpaste, sweatpants, summer hats, spring jackets, baby wipes and powdered milk.  If you check on the TRE website later there will be a list of the collection points in and around Inca and across Mallorca.

jumble

 

This Thursday is St Patrick’s Day and at Sanddancers Bar in Cala Bona you can join in their Annual “ST PADDIES PARTY NIGHT!” which is always a lot of fun, laughter, and I guess a few Guinnesses as well. There will be Irish music and free Irish hats for everyone.

Happy St Patricks Day

sanddancers_logo
Or you can popover to Heroes Bar in Portals where Hugh Carville will be organising his last quiz of the winter season.    Heroes-Logo  Quiz

 

logo-emblem Mood

mood-beach-club food

 

At Mood Beach there will be the Supper Club with speakers talking about Traditional Chinese Medicine, plus dinner will be available for 19.95 for two courses on Thursday evening at 7pm. You need to book in advance by emailing info@moodbeach.com

Saskia Griffiths Yoga - Mood Beach

 

 

If you like Deep House and Yoga then why not try experiencing both at the same time on Friday evening when Saskia Griffiths presents a two hour session, she describes it like a “yoga party”· It’s from 20.30 until 22.30 at the Zunray Yoga Studio in Palma.

On Saturday March 19th you can take in the sights and sounds of the Santa Margalida Agricultural Fair which kicks off the Spring fair season. There’s normally something for everybody from farm animals to displays of classic cars.

Pigs

On Sunday March 20th you can enjoy a great St Patrick’s Day festival in Santa Ponsa where there will be more than a hundred market stalls and a parade through the streets in the afternoon.

St_Patricks_Day_

Also on Sunday 20 March there will be a fundraising event at SPAP in Palma in support of some of their animal loving colleagues who have been fined for protesting about an upcoming bullfight on the island. That will start at 11am and go on until 4pm. There will be talks about animal welfare, a raffle, a market, a quiz, live music and vegan food on sale.

Bull       spap.jpg

Then we are into the Easter celebrations which are always quite amazing in Mallorca. If you want to entertain, or even scare, the kids a little, then take them along to the Fira del Ram funfair in Son Fusteret close to the Son Castello industrial estate in Palma. The funfair is open every day until Sunday April 10th.

Fira-del-Ram. Fair.JPG

If you like eating then pop along to the Street Food festival in Port Adriano during the weekend of the 25th, 26th and 27th of March. It’s on every afternoon from 5pm to late, you can eat yourself around the world and check out some rather cool looking food trucks and other vehicles as well.

STREET-FOOD-PORT-ADRIANO-8042-1280x853.jpg

On the Saturday of the same weekend, if you like nature, hiking and adventure sports then nip up to Escorca in Lluc for a day discovering businesses and like minded souls at the Nature Esport exhibition.

nature_sport_fair_ecorca

The Corner Bar in Palma is having an anniversary bash on Saturday 26th March. They’re also hosting speed interviews for wannabe crew. Super yaThe Corner Bar Palma.pngcht professionals will be returning to the Corner Bar to help them celebrate their anniversary and welcome new crew to Palma, helping them to find their feet here, offering support and advice in job hunting, training, and CVs.

Hook a Job                  Hook a Job                        Hook a Job

 

 

Also on Saturday March 26th local artist Vivian Borsoni will be exhibiting at her studio on Calle Fabrica 13b in Santa Catalina in Palma. She will be joined by another artist, Birgit Dierker. They are both very popular artists, and it’s well worth a visit. The show will open at 18.00.

Vivian Borsani - Artist - Calle Fabrica  Vivian Borsani - Artist - Canvas               birgitdierker  Birgit-Dierker-Diverses-Abstraktes

On Sunday March 20th there will be a Asociacion Ondine beach clean up at Playa Es Trenc from 11.30 until 15.00.  It’s organised with a Facebook group for Palma Yacht Crew, but everyone is encouraged to join in. In February 120 enthusiastic and environmentally responsible beach cleaners cleaned up the Eastern half of Playa de Es Trenc and collected more than 500 kilos of rubbish. It was a beautiful day out on the beach for everyone. So with the hugely positive experience freshly in mind, they will now attack the Western end of the beach this time leaving it completely free of plastics ! They will be meeting in Ses Covetes on the Western end of Playa d’Es Trenc at 11.30 hrs.

Asociacion Ondine beach clean up at Playa Es Trenc.jpgOne Table Four Conversations  ISLA Theatre Project

After finishing with the clean up, delicious baguettes with different toppings will be available for 5 Euros a piece as well as beers, sodas and water straight from the ice cooler. All proceeds will go to Asociacion Ondine. Don’t forget to bring with you heavy duty plastic bags, gloves, snacks, water and some money for lunch – and if you are brave; a swimsuit !

There are now two more dates for “One Table Four Conversations” which is the most recent ISLA Theatre Project that sold out on its first run. You can see the show on either March 24th or March 31st (both Thursdays) at 19h30 and 21h30 at Cafe
l’antiquari, just off Via Roma in Palma. The reservation hotline number is: 679518293

 

Turn and face the strange

David Bowie

My week long “digital detox” from Facebook and Twitter ended on Monday, just in time for me to read of the news of the death of one of my heroes, David Bowie. David Bowie wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he certainly influenced my youth, my taste in music and my view of originality. He showed me that it was fine to stand out, to be different, to say challenging things, and because the way that he delivered ideas was always in a non threatening way, he managed to get his point across in a way that seemed to really work. David Bowie didn’t make angry music, instead he wrote thoughtful songs about emotions and life situations. These past two days, because of my return to Facebook and its never ending feed of information and posts,  I’ve been on a long, and occasionally tearful, jog down memory lane back to my childhood when Ashes to Ashes and Let’s Dance were hits. I was too young to enjoy the Aladdin Sane and Thin White Duke eras first time around, but I lapped up the albums as my interest in Bowie grew. I liked his style and I liked his groove. I respected him as an poet, a style icon and a performer: even when he did that awful song “Dancing in the Streets” with Mick Jagger he got away with it.

As the world started to react to the news of David Bowie’s passing so it also listened closely to the lyrics of this songs: the most recent single, Lazarus, released only last week on his 69th birthday opens with the line “Look up here, I’m in heaven”. Even in his death David Bowie was expressing himself as elegantly and originally as he had done in his lifetime. He seems to have faced and considered his own demise with clarity and thoughtfulness, measuring out exactly what he wanted to say about it, delivering it perfectly.

But now he’s gone, who do we have breaking the mould, standing up and being themselves, not being afraid to express themselves profoundly? We must take inspiration from this amazing man’s life and be proud of our individuality and of our thoughts, there is nothing wrong with being well educated, of reading, of having deep and intense conversations. Having spent a week away from social media I’ve realised that recently I’ve been too busy trying to collect information and not busy enough trying to understand it. That should be our mission for now, to try to absorb and understand more, to reflect out, to be more Bowie, and less X Factor.

RIP David Bowie. 1947 – 2016

The Nit de l’Art

Nit de L'Art, S'Arraco

It’s not possible to see everything at the  Just like my most favourite of festivals, Glastonbury, you have to mentally prepare yourself for that fact beforehand. It’s not like visiting a gallery where the works of art are neatly lined up in rows for you to inspect. No. This one night only event emerges out of the bricks and mortar of our village: art is pinned onto walls and fences that you might have previously ignored, the villagers allow artists to hang work from their “persianas” (shutters”) and some take great pride in having art that blends beautifully with the colour of the walls of their home. What was once an empty building becomes a gallery, nooks and crannies are discovered, trees suddenly become easels.

The day dawned last week and with it came the inevitable concerns about the weather. Anxiously looking at the sky and then at your work, often printed on to things which go rather soggy when wet, and then back at the sky, wondering about whether it’s worth running to get a tarpaulin, or can you risk it is a normal state of affairs for anyone showing their art. I hung up my stuff up on the fence, my husband put up some lights for me, we hunted down Mateo who had the village hammer and roll of gaffer tape to stick down any electric cables, then we put my business card next to them and then went off to explore.

Walking around the village, peeking into gardens and houses, we saw hundreds of creative works in a variety of different modalities: photographs, paintings and sculptures all exhibited outdoors on the streets of the town, houses, patios, facilities and interior galleries, the town square town and even the church. There was live music everywhere you turned, with jazz, blues, rock and even a late night impromptu punk performance down the back of one of the streets.

Like the old British street parties, everyone was on the street, happy faces, enjoying themselves, kids running around like wild things having fun, and the weather? Totally perfect. At the end of the evening when it was time to go, we took down my photos, put them in a bag, and walked back up the hill. Overnight the street cleaners were out, washing the pavements and removing litter. When the sun rose on Friday morning it was as if it had never happened. Another magical, beautiful night in Majorca. Thank you Nit de l’Art.    www.mallorcamatters.com

Take it easy

If you’ve ever been to our little village of S’Arracó then you must really have wanted to go. It’s the sort of place which you drive through and if you blink, you’ve missed it. I’m not saying that we’re a one horse town, as there are quite a variety of things going on here, and we even have shops which are open on a Sunday, but when I tell people where I live they look at me strangely, head cocked to one side. Where did you say? ‘It’s near to Port Andratx, if you’re on the way to Sant Elm, then you might drive through it’. Ahhh… they reply, still not entirely sure where it is. Which is quite nice really, isn’t it? We’re off the grid a bit.

As a quiet and friendly little village we have lots of families with young children and more than our fair share of cars speeding on the main street, and that’s where the Slow Down S’Arracó campaign comes in. It’s that time of year when the cars start coming through on a country drive from Andratx on their way to seafront paella in Sant Elm, and these cars don’t seem to notice that they aren’t on a winding country road anymore when they blast down our high street.

We live on the main road, and I don’t even let the cats out of the front door (especially not the old blind one we’ve just adopted, who is doing very well thank you for asking), we’ve had one casualty, a kitten who was run over last year, the driver didn’t stop. So failing dressing up as the Cadbury’s Caramel bunny and insisting that everyone ‘Take it easy’ we’re hoping that a few practical measures will mean the kids and the animals in S’Arracó will be able to cross the road.

So far we’ve had our moment of glory on the local telly, which was exciting, and now we’re preparing a petition to take to the council. What we’re after (and coming from London I have so shake myself to believe I am actually supporting this as they’re the bane of the motorist’s life in the big smoke) is sleeping policemen in the road, or chicanes built in the pavement. Anything in fact that will make the convertibles with their happy holiday making and ‘out in the country for Sunday’ drivers just cut down on their speed.

So, please, if you would visit this site http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/reduiumlm-la-velocitat-s39arracoacute—slow-down-s39arracoacute/# and sign the petition that would be most greatly appreciated. When there are enough signatures we’re off to the council for a chat. Well to be more accurate, Tomas, who speaks Catalan, is off to the council for a chat. Any progress will be reported back. Thanks for your support!

http://www.facebook.com/vicki.mcleod

Our favourite free (or nearly free) family fun places in Mallorca

Our favourite free (or nearly free) family fun places in Mallorca

(as suggested by my Facebook friends today, in no particular order)

Cooler weather

  • ‘Walking to the top of the mountain where the Castillo of Alaro and end up in the restaurant munching lamb 🙂 Kids love it, we love it!’  (Benedicte Enbom Crofts)

Alaro Castle, is on top of the mountain of the same name. It is an ancient fort which has been in existence since the Muslim era. Alaro Castle was famously the only place in Mallorca not to fall to the invasion of the Moors when they invaded in the thirteenth century. These days it is a very popular walk. You reach the mountain, drive to Alaro and, towards the town of Orient, take the road leading signposted to Es Verger, where there is a restaurant and a parking area, There is an hostel at the top of the mountain where it is possible to stay the night if you want to have an adventure! More information and bookings on 971 182 112 Alternatively you can descend back to the car park and Es Verger which is famous for its lamb. www.mallorcaweb.com/reportajes/castillos-y-torres/castillo-de-alaro

  • ‘The fabulous playground by the cemetery in Palma (Puigpunyent exit) – the one which looks like a massive castle. Hours of fun….’ (BEC) (We think it’s called Ses Estaciones, but we might be wrong. See the map).
  • ‘Walking from Caimari to Lluch. Those that don’t want to walk, drive up with the paella pan and contents. Nothing better than arriving at the BBQ spot and finding hot food!’(Kay Newton http://www.SensiblySelfish.com)
  • Roller blading on the many paths we are so lucky to have here (BEC)
  • Giants, fireworks, dimonis – lots associated with fiesta, especially in smaller towns and villages, where families rule. Select according to age of kids. (Mike Goggin, www.mymallorcainfo.com)

Warmer weather ideas

  • Es Capdella swimming pool. Free to use, and has a great playground as well. Excellent and cheap menu del dia place as well – check it out at lunchtime during the week for the best deals. (Vicki McLeod)

  • Portals Vells beach – excellent for kids and nice beach restaurant (BEC)
  • Watching the boys surf at Son Serra de Marina from the bar terrace! (KN)
  • Camping at Lluc. (Nicky Tennant Brown)
  • Snorkeling in the dark at St Elm beach with under water torches! Fab! (NTB) (I’m really into this idea! Can’t wait for the summer to do it!)
  • The monastry in Valledemossa (Gaynor Riopedre)
  • Scuba diving at El Toro and the Malgrats (GB)

‘I don’t think I have ever lived in a place that offers so many fun things to do for families – both free and paying. The nature is fabulous and a good thing to get kids to enjoy from an early age and there are some great paying activities because of the tourist industry as well. How lucky we are!’ Benedicte, thanks for that!

Thanks to my Facebook friends for their suggestions! If you have a suggestion please leave a comment for everyone to see.
You can find me on fb at www.facebook.com/vicki.mcleod

Summer music in Mallorca

It’s the busiest time of year for many of the hotel singers, dinner entertainers and tribute acts on Mallorca: competently replicating Aretha Franklin or Robbie Williams, for example, pays the rent for many musicians living here, and despite the decibel levels row in Calvia, there is still a demand for live music. But what to do, as a member of the audience, or as the performer, if your taste for live music also extends to live, and original music? Especially if you are known for your expert renditions of Diana Ross, but want to be known for your own compositions; how do you change your audience’s perception of you, and indeed get any attention from a record company? Being taken seriously by the music industry seems to involve either being a) drop dead gorgeous, b) at least slightly madder than a box of frogs, or c) have a dad who happens to own a record company. Being prodigiously talented doesn’t always have much to do with it, and being based on Mallorca where it’s definately ‘big fish, small pond’ territory, can also limit you from getting ahead, unless you can make the right connections.

One such prodigiously talented musician is the delightful BiBi. A.K.A Bilonda, for her Motown and soul sets around the island (particularly popular at Mood Beach where she performs in their lunchtime Sunday Best sessions), she is also the composer of several tracks of her own, and subsequently leads a double life: one night she is Bilonda, getting the crowd up and rocking to classic songs, and on another night she is BiBi, performing her own works, with a 4 piece band backing her up. I caught BiBi at the new Harlem Café in Es Molinar (www.harlemcafe.es)last week. The Harlem Café has hit the music scene in Mallorca with a small bang, it’s early days yet to see if the venue can sustain its aims to have live music and entertainment six days of the week – bar prices and audience numbers will surely determine that, along with a varied programme to choose from.

It can be a leap of faith, to go from singing well known classics to your own songs, but performing to an audience of about 100, BiBi seemed to be completely at home with her own sounds of R&B, funk and soul. She cites artists such as Jill Scott and Erykah Badu as favourites of hers. Wearing a Jazz chica uniform of tight black dress and red beret, BiBi entertained her audience with her new tunes, which flowed seamlessly through the evening. A promising start for this brilliant singer. You can find more information at http://www.myspace.com/bilonda Look out for my favourites Growing Old and Whistleblower.

 

BiBi aka Bilonda, at Mood Beach

BiBi aka Bilonda, at Mood Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you remember Billy Bragg from your youth, then where were you on Saturday night? He performed at Bellver Castle to a largely Spanish audience. They say music is an international language, but I did wonder if the majority of the audience really understood him as his spoken English has a heavy Estuary twang, and his music is hardly what you would call melodic. However, it was a treat to watch the boy from Barking, small beer belly beginning to show now that he is in his fifties, rocking out and still as passionate about his beliefs as ever. Bragg was clearly impressed by his surroundings, and made several references throughout the gig to the Castle’s history. In fact, I have to shamefully admit to never having been inside of Bellver before this evening, and at the end of a week of the Perseid meteor shower, it was very pleasant to sit in the ancient castle gazing up at the night sky, occasionally catching one of the glimmering trails of light as Bragg sang about love and politics.

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg

Bragg spoke between songs about his life, and about events which had influenced him, inspiring the audience to begin to shout out requests, in particular for the song She’s got a new spell which was covered by Mallorcan band La Granja back in 1989 and won him his only award for songwriting. Other old favourites such as Levi Stubbs Tears and The Saturday Boy were interspersed with Woody Guthrie songs that Bragg was invited to write music for after Guthrie’s death. It’s impressive to remember (unlike other musicians and comedians from his generation) that this singer songwriter has collaborated not only with many other artists and managed to stay firm to his personal beliefs. Talking about being a young man, when he was working in a very racist culture, he felt that he couldn’t challenge what was being said until he went to a festival called ‘Rock against Racism’ where he realised as a nineteen year old that he wasn’t alone and could speak out. Still speaking out about injustices around the world he electrified the balmy air when he said, ‘I’ve learnt that I can’t change the world; singer songwriters can’t change the world, but their audiences can.’ He will be performing in Madrid and Barcelona in October. http://www.billybragg.co.uk

Upcoming highlights:

Gin Club
A stomping four piece band from Brighton with a sound that harks back to Muddy Waters and early Rolling Stones. Early rhythm and blues with a pop sensibility and a country twist.
Thur 20 Aug @ midnight, Shamrock, Paseo Maritimo, Palma
Fri 21 Aug @ 21.00, Sa Taronja Cultural Centre, Andratx

Nit de L’Art

Thursday 17th September – galleries across Palma participate in this annual art event. Expect thousands of culture vultures to hit the streets to participate.

Aaron Lordson

Incredible soul singer, familiar busker on the streets of Palma, will be performing his own songs. http://www.myspace.com/aaronlordson. Entrance free. http://www.aaronlordson.com

Sat 19th Sept 21.30h, Mood Beach Club, Costa D’en Blanes.

Vicki McLeod presents the Saturday Breakfast Show with Oliver Neilson on Luna Radio 100.3fm http://www.lunaradio.fm If you want to suggest a featured artist for the week please email phoenixmediamallorcaputtheswirlyatsignheregmail.com

Saturday December 13th – Dynamics

We went to the local Christmas fair this morning, an ideal place for picking up little knick knacks and bumping into people we haven’t seen in a while. In fact I managed to bump into someone I don’t remember how I even know, but she definately knew me. I kept the conversation going (in Spanish I’ll have you know) whilst trying to figure out a) what her name was, b) how she knew me or indeed c) any tiny clue at all which would mean I could personalise the conversation beyond the mildly interested, ‘And how is your family?’ style of questioning.

I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t manage to identify her, but we wished each other a very merry Navidad and my daughter, Bobo and I walked on our way.

Living in such a small community, after living in London, came as quite a shock to me when I first moved here – I couldn’t get used to people knowing my business, or thinking that it was okay that they knew my business. And sometimes you get too close to someone that you subsequently regret doing it, and occasionally you know that if you bump into certain individuals that there will be words ‘said’. So it was with an anxious heart that I came face to face with a couple who have been avoiding me for a few weeks now: actually, ignoring me would be more accurate. We drop our kids at school, I frantically wave at them and they pretend as if they haven’t seen me as they drive away in their car. Well this time, there was no escape, they had a stall at the fair, and I bluntly, but politely, stood there in front of them until they had to say hello. It went okay, whatever thing it is that they are cross with me about, wasn’t mentioned. I bought something from their stall, gave them an idea for another place they could go to sell their stuff, and left…. feeling rather proud of myself. Have bridges been mended, is it all good now? Who knows, in this little village it can be all smily happy people to your face, whilst behind your back it’s et tu brute and the knife sharpener.

But what else to do except be nice? I don’t know why they have been avoiding me, I don’t know even if it’s just my imagination; perhaps coincidentally they both need visits to the opticians, or is it that I am finally beginning to get close enough to the local village people to be treated as one of them in some cases?

The Mallorquins have an odd personality trait: (which has been confirmed by other Mallorquin friends of mine), even if you know them really well they will not say hello to you first in the street, in the fear that you might snub them or not recognise them. That they will be humiliated by the fact that you did not return the greeting. Interesting that such a tough, resiliant race of people should also be so sensitive.