Mallorca blog

Rotary Walk Success

748A1522“Walking Works Wonders” was the theme of this year’s Charity Walk organised by the Rotary club of Calvia International and over 350 people turned out on Saturday 21 October to make sure that it does. There were over many schoolchildren from the eight International Schools taking part as well as adults, not overlooking a large contingent of canines who joined in too.

748A1553The walk was planned by the Rotary Club with very close collaboration from the Ajuntament of Calvia, the police and an army of volunteers from the Club and other associations on the island. There was a 10km walk for the older children and the fitter adults (and the more energetic dogs) from the Sports Centre in Magaluf to the Agora School in Portals and back. The less young and children and some dog walkers did the 2km walk from the same starting point went but went down through Magaluf and back. All of those walking enjoyed the warm sunshine weather and the social atmosphere.

748A1531The aim was to raise a substantial sum of money for three charities – RANA which focuses on help to prevent child abuse of any description, JoyRon, which raises money for children in the Balearic Islands and in this case, money will go to help meet the cost of constructing and fitting out a cinema in Son Espases for children who are undergoing palliative care. Last but by no means least, money raised will also go to Association Ondine which is trying to preserve the marine environment in the Balearics for the benefit of future generations. Three very worthwhile causes.

748A1527This year too, in association with Association Ondine the Rotary Club Calvia International sought to discourage the use of single use plastic bottles and promoted the use of reusable bottles by providing free water at the start/finish and mid-point of the walk: another positive step by the Club to help others and the environment.

748A1521The International Schools are the main contributors to the walk, not only from their participation on the day of the walk itself but through the young children in the infant schools of some of the schools walking in the grounds of the Schools. Money was raised not only by the Rotary Club charging a registration fee to enter the walk (the fee included some food and refreshments on completion) but a lot of the walkers were sponsored by parents, friends and colleagues.

748A1493After the walk, everyone enjoyed the refreshments and entertainment provided by Izzy Newman and children from BIC as well as a belly dancer. Some even joined in the performance! Casa Corazon a beautiful luxury property development in Son Gual sponsored the after walk refreshments  (www.casascorazon.es), Generali, the insurance company covered the walk’s public liability insurance as they do every year (www.generali.com), Spectrum IFA (www.spectrum-ifa.com) sponsored the water, and Nice Price donated chocolately treats (www.niceprice-mallorca.com).  The Town Hall in Calvia provided their full support for the event.

748A1470Club President thanked all participants for generously giving up their time and the various sponsors for their contribution. It will take time to determine how much money has been raised, currently they have received 5000€ but it is likely that the three charities which are to benefit will not be disappointed.

 

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THE s’Arraco Night of Art

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Did I see you on Thursday evening in my little village? In amongst the approximately 6000+ people who were stood outside of my front door? s’Arraco, which is between Andratx and St Elm down on the SW corner of Majorca, only has 2000 inhabitants, so for one crazy night every year our population trebles as we are inundated with visitors. There’s nowhere to park, you have to get a shuttle bus or a taxi from the nearby towns or walk, or cycle, or roller-skate, or hover board or do whatever you have to do to get there. Our village is full for that night and it’s so much fun that as soon as this year’s Night of Art is over we all start looking forward to the next one.
It started six years ago and has evolved into what Andratx, our local council, says is the most popular night of the year in the whole municipality. The organiser of the evening, Neale Sanders, told me that “Working with the council has been a joy, everything I need they provide, they fully support the event and give me all the help I could ask for. It doesn’t seem to matter which council it is , PP or PSOE, or any of the parties, they all think the Nit de l’Art is a great event. It’s really apolitical which is wonderful. I can’t thank them enough for what they do.”
Neale coordinates the more than 140 artists who exhibited on Thursday night, myself included, plus the musicians and other acts, and organises the programme and publicity. It’s probably quite a headache to do but he seems to always be in a good mood so I think he enjoys it, even the stress! But Neale’s and everyone’s hard work certainly paid off as it was a fantastic evening filled with energy, laughs, friends, and probably too many mojitos if my head was anything to go by on Friday. The event attracts artists from all over the island to participate and it is really fun to do. There really isn’t a spot in s’Arraco which doesn’t have some art in it on this evening. Sculptures fill the only town square, paintings are hung from many doorways and fences, gardens, shops and cafes are opened to artists to exhibit in, everywhere you turn there it is. And not just art work, but music as well. Ten bands played throughout the night on strategic street corners, acapella, jazz, Spanish, rock, swing, blues, world music and lots more. Plus street performers dancing with fire and walking on stilts, and performances in our little municipal theatre as well. There’s actually no way one person could possibly take it all in, but everyone tries and there’s a constant movement of people as they roam around the streets. As and when you’re in need of refreshment there’s food stalls run by local associations and our local restaurants. One of the restaurants, Es Raco de Puput said they’d served 1400 tapas!
To put into perspective how many people come to the Night of Art: walking from my house to the centre of the village normally takes five minutes, on Thursday evening it took thirty. It’s wonderful to realise so many people want to support art and culture and have a great night out in the middle of the week. Well done to everyone who exhibited and thank you to Neale for organising such a vibrant and fun party for our village. If you didn’t make it this year then there’s always 2018. Viva s’Aracco!

Mallorca Grapevine, 14 July 2017

THE WEDNESDAY GROUP

With the twiddlers and shawlsI popped past The Wednesday Group headquarters last week to take a couple of snaps of them before they broke up for the summer.

With the toysThis industrious bunch have been making toys for the Allen Graham Charity, knitted knockers for the Cancer Support Group to donate to people who need breast prostheses, and shawls for wheelchair users and twiddlers for people suffering from dementia for Age Concern to donate.

With the knockers

I’d never seen a twiddler before and I was quite fascinated by them. They are very pleasing to hold with chunky knit outside and a felt inside with plenty of different things attached to them to fiddle with.

A Twiddler, I'm very glad I don't need one, but I want one!Apparently they are used by people with dementia as a way to occupy their hands and it has a calming effect on anyone who is feeling distressed. I’ve got to say I’m glad that I don’t need one, but boy I would like one! The Wednesday Group will restart in September. Anyone who wants to join them is very welcome to go along and get stuck in. You can contact Kay Halley at the Universal Bookshop or call her on 971 676 116.

 

JIMMY CARR IS ON HIS WAY

Jimmy Carr is on his way!One of the most prolific joke-tellers of recent times, Jimmy Carr will be embarking on a mammoth world tour in 2017 and 2018. With an astonishingly vast repertoire and lightning-sharp delivery honed from fifteen years at the top, Jimmy is gathering a selection of his very best jokes along with brand new material for the ultimate comedy show, and he’s coming to Majorca in August to perform at the Auditorium on the 23rd!  Jimmy has been on the stand-up scene for a decade and a half. In that time he’s performed 9 sell-out tours, playing nearly 2,000 shows to over 2 million people across 4 continents. He’s won the British Comedy Award for ‘Best Live Stand-Up Tour’ and been nominated for the Perrier Award.

 

MICHAEL BOLTON PLAYS MALLORCA

Michael BoltonAnother gig I’m looking forward to is Michael Bolton who will be playing Son Fusteret on August 12th.  I recently wrote about Angel Flukes who will be supporting him and I’ve heard that tickets are selling well, so it’s probably time to get yours.

 

HEALTHY GOODIES AT A MA MAISON

Delicious carrot, orange and pumpkin soupIn my role as “person who overshares on Facebook about healthy food recipes and being kind to animals” I was invited along to A Ma Maison restaurant in Santa Catalina by the owner Saloua. She treated me to her new recipes that she is working on to offer to her clients who may want to eat more healthily, and plant based.

Beetroot tartareI was really impressed with her ideas, and particularly liked the beetroot tartare.

Saloua with her homegrown tomsSaloua grows a lot of her herbs and even some of her veggies out the back of her restaurant where she proudly showed me her kitchen garden.

 

THE NIT DEL ART, SARRACO

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I don’t care if you think this is biased, but my perfect little village, S’Arraco in Andratx will be holding its Night of Art on the evening of Thursday July 27th. Put the date in your diary. It really is worth the trip over for a great cultural night out. There will be lots of live music, wine, food, and art to gawp over.

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Parking can get a bit tricky in the village and there will be a shuttle bus running from Andratx so park there and the bus over from in front of the Eroski.

 

VEGAN DAY OUT A SUCCESS!

Scott, the organiser of the Vegan Day OutWell done to Scott Adams who managed to pull off something brand new for the island,  a vegan festival!  

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The location for the first event was at Son Amar in Palmanyola and featured workshops, stalls, cruelty free products, yoga, plenty of activities for children and some very interesting looking drinks! Apparently between 800 and 1000 people attended. Scott is already working on the next event which will be on August 23rd, location yet to be confirmed.

 

MALLORCA FASHION WEEK

slider-maria-barros-mallorca-fashion-weekComing up very soon from 26th to 28th July Palma will be inundated with models, designers, and I hope, plenty of air kissing. Yes it’s Mallorca Fashion Week, organised by the powerhouse which is Victoria de Vivero.  You can get your tickets for the shows online at www.mallorca-fashionweek.com

Growing up a writer

20049028_10154908909078507_1358458897_oIt’s a sweaty afternoon in Palma but Emily Benet arrives for our lunch meeting looking very cool and composed. She’s just got off the bus (rather than drive, she’s only just passed her test and Pierre the seven seater Citroen Picasso is a bit of a handful in Palma). We’re meeting to talk about her most recent novel, The Hen Party, set in Mallorca with the tag line ” A party of eight arrive on the island, but not everyone’s going home.”  The story features film director, Kate Miller, who is in serious trouble: the entire cast and crew of a reality TV show “The Hen Party”  have gone missing whilst filming. Kate thinks it’s all her fault, well she hasn’t exactly been following the guidelines, but if she is to blame, why are the hens arguing among themselves? And why is the groom-to-be calling her in tears…. ? Emily’s book is a fast, fun, summer read full of comedy and drama and having read it myself, I’m going to tell you to get it because a) you’ll enjoy it and b) Emily is a local author, living here on the island and we should support her.

But, back to the interview, once we’ve ordered our lunches we get down to it.  Aside from living on the island for the past couple of years Emily is an author, journalist and award winning blogger. But her story starts way, way back when she was eleven. “I always wanted to be a writer, I wrote a book, Dandelion Abbey, about talking animals. But it wasn’t until I was encouraged to enter a writing competition by my English teacher at my school in Barcelona that I really believed I could do it. I won first prize, 350€!”

The daughter of a Spanish dad and a Welsh mum Emily was thirteen when they all moved to Spain. “I was determined to pass my Selectividad (the Spanish University entrance exams) because this boy at my school had said he didn’t know why I was bothering. And I did it.” As it was she found herself studying back in the UK at the University of East Anglia, but she didn’t feel like she was getting anywhere, and she didn’t like her surroundings either. “Everything was burgundy, the place looked like a Swedish prison”.  Emily was quickly frustrated by the lack of time actually being taught, only six hours a week, and for a determined, ambitious, some might say workaholic, writer, this was just too much to bear. She dropped out.  An ultimatum was posed, either she studied in Barcelona or went to help in the family business, a chandelier shop in London. She chose the shop. “I decided, I’m going to take a year and help my mum in the shop whilst I write THE novel”.  One year rolled into more but she didn’t stop working on her goal, “I went to creative writing groups and classes, I read A LOT. I found myself inspired by the daily things in life, a single overheard sentence on the bus can spark a “What if… ” in my brain. Then one day she went to watch a football game, Germany vs Spain, with her dad and she met her future husband who was to have an impact not just on her, but on her writing career.”  He suggested to me that I start writing a blog. This was 2008 and not so many people were writing blogs then, I decided to write a blog about my life in the shop. I called it Shopgirl Blog. But I wasn’t really a shop girl, I was a writer, a writer trapped in the body of a shop girl working in a shop”. That’s when things really started moving and Emily started to get noticed. “I posted a link to my blog on the Salt Publishing Facebook page, and I got a response! They were interested in what I’d written and wanted to turn it into a book.” The blog also became a TV pilot (you can watch it on You Tube). Then mega publisher Harper Collins picked up her next books, The Temp and Please Retweet. But as she quickly discovered despite being on the roster of a publishing house that didn’t mean they would do much promotion of her work.  So this time around, with The Hen Party, she’s going it alone.

She admits it hasn’t been easy, switching from being with a publisher to self publishing, but she realises now that she might have been better off doing it her way right from the start as sales for The Hen Party are already surpassing her previous novels. She attributes her success to make this switch to someone she’s never met, Joanna Penn, the host of a podcast The Creative Penn which interviews successful author entrepreneurs.  As Emily tells me, “The word entrepreneur has a lot of positive connotations. An entrepreneur sounds like someone who is driven, creative, has get-up and go. Unfortunately self-publishing entrepreneurs aren’t always met with the same admiration in the writing world. Self-publishing still has a lot of stigma – and I get why. People want the credibility of a big publisher. They assume if a big publisher didn’t print it, then it can’t be good. In reality, a traditional publisher might like the book but may not have space for it on their list. They may well have a similar author writing in the same genre. I didn’t wait until the very end to find out if a publisher wanted my book. It takes months and months for replies and the first so-called ‘rave rejections’ that I received convinced me the novel was good enough for public consumption. The book took me over a year with two massive edits so I wasn’t going to just discard it because three people liked it but weren’t sure they’d be able to sell it. I didn’t just hit publish once I’d made up my mind. It was important to me that it would be produced with the same care as a traditionally published book. Next, it went through a professional editor. After that, a proof reader. For me, it’s about being proactive about your career, treating it like a business and taking the wishful thinking out of it.  It’s about taking creative control of your project, getting fair royalties and being able to adjust prices and book covers if at first it doesn’t succeed.”  We talk at great length about book covers and she shows me the most recent version of The Hen Party, she’s not quite happy with it. I tell her to stop worrying about it, but then if it were my book I think I would be just as fussy. After all it represents more than a year’s work, and who can say that about anything they’ve done?

When our date is over we find it hard to say goodbye, and wander around the streets of Palma together for a while, until finally Emily decides she’d better go find her bus. As I head off I wonder how many new ideas for stories she’ll come up with on the ride home and pledge to take the bus a bit more often myself.

                                                                                                                                                                   

You can get Emily Benet’s books online at Amazon or at the Universal Bookshop in Portals.

Visit http://www.emilybenet.com for more.

Rain starts play

Tea and CDs

I often work at strange times of the night. It’s quieter then and I can get a lot done in a short period of time, and let’s face it, there’s more fun stuff to be done than working when other people are awake! I’m either an evil genius or very lucky that my job allows me to do this. I can schedule myself to produce the things I need to do when I want to do them. I’m normally accompanied at my desk by at least one cat, a cup of tea and, playing in the background, whatever TV series I am binge watching on Netflix at the moment. (You can get it in Spain now, but for quite a long time I have been using it via a VPN which can mask my whereabouts to seem as if I am in the USA or the UK or indeed anywhere around the world, handy for watching telly mainly although the company who runs the VPN would insist it’s much more for your own personal security than for enabling me to watch every season of Mad Men back to back).

When we get some funny weather (storms, high winds, heavy rain) it can affect our internet connection in our village as it is done via some kind of clever wireless system.  Then I find myself with many more cats as they are not keen on the rain, the same amount of tea, but no internet. I can still work, as it’s mainly my brain and my notes which I need to produce the articles, but boy is it lonely! Then I have to turn to old fashioned things such as CDs for company. Yes, we still have them, about a thousand of them, all collecting dust downstairs in our living room. We just had a major clear out upstairs last week and soon it will be the turn of the ground floor. Can I cast out my CDs? Is that as bad as getting rid of books, which for me are easier to hoard than shoes might be for another woman. Decades of my life are chronicled through my CDs, my choices of bands, the songs that meant something to me at the time. I may not listen to them that often anymore but they’re still important, right? I will occasionally listen again to songs on Spotify which remind me of other times, some happy and some very sad memories. My husband likes to talk about that episode of Tomorrow’s World where the presenters demonstrated the apparent indestructibility of the CD, do you remember it? They poured substances all over the disc and scratched it up, but it still played, a nice metaphor for our lives as well.  But some of my CDs have been treated with love and still refuse to work. Much like the internet this morning as I write this column. We live in a valley in the countryside after all. Despite my connectivity to the world I am still, gratefully, joyfully, living in a small village on a Mediterranean island exposed to the elements year round. It’s times like this, as I tap out these words, surrounded by furry friends and listening to some Joni Mitchell, as the rain beats on the window and I am cosy inside in my office, that I get to remember that life really is rather great.

Find your dream

 

Follow your dreams

Back in the day, my first ever career out of school (funny isn’t it how we all used to think we would have one career and have to stick to it for the rest of our lives) was in the theatre. I was a stage and company manager, working my way up from the humble position of Assistant Stage Manager (tea maker, stage sweeper, lunch fetcher, prop maker, et al) through many different short term contracts with a wide variety of styles of theatre and companies. You would get the job, work the job and then at the end of the contract you might be asked to do another show, or you would go and look in the back of The Stage newspaper and see what was happening, or perhaps you would hear about something on the grapevine, or better yet, you would receive a phone call from a production manager or director who had heard about you and wanted to meet you. I started from nothing at my local theatre doing work experience, they in turn (and this was my first encouragement to keep going) asked me to return to work on a show the following year as a part of the stage crew, then one thing led to another and I joined the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain as part of their Stage Management Team (returning a few years later to actually work for them is one of the proudest moments of my life). I worked in the West End, and toured nationally and internationally, all without ever having stepped inside of a drama school or university to train.

Now, I know that you can’t apply this method to some types of profession, the obvious one being doctor and you can’t just show up and learn on the job as a dentist either I would suggest. Sometimes you might even feel that you are not qualified or able to perform a task because you weren’t taught it in a classroom and then sat an exam on the subject, but really there’s a vast choice of jobs that you absolutely should learn from the bottom up that do not require three years in college. More importantly is the individual aptitude and personality: are you enthusiastic, ready to work and eager to improve? I think these qualifications are all you need. But the crunch comes when you may be desperate to do something new in your working life, but simply have no idea what. That’s something I have never suffered from and I think it’s because I’ve always kept an open mind about what I can and can’t do, and what interests me or not. Why do people get so stuck in jobs that they don’t like when the reality is that if you want to change your job, you can. Look around and find something that interests you, research it, go and introduce yourself to the people who can help you, and be enthusiastic, determined, and ready to learn. I’m living proof that it works.

Coffee time!

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It happens every year: August is a burn out, in more ways than one, and then BOOM! The weather changes and we’re straight back on the Mallorca merry go round of charity events and get togethers. I’ve got to admit, I do love our island for that. This Friday I am helping to organise “Mallorca’s Biggest Coffee Morning” which will be at Mood Beach in Costa D’en Blanes and in aid of the cancer organisations on the island. It’s only 5€ per person which gives you a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, and a nice warm glow. You can bring friends, or make some when you get there as it’s normally quite busy. Doors open at 11am and then at 1pm there will be a menu special offer (call Mood for info as you have to book by Thursday afternoon, 971 676 456). Izzy Newman will be singing and being her lovely self, there will be cake competitions (thankfully for my waistline I am not a judge) which you can enter if you would like to. The categories will be Best: chocolate, sponge, fruit, cupcake or decorated, and you need to bring your creation to the venue between 10 and 10.30am on the day.

We’ve also got an fine offering of prizes for the best cakes, and some excellent raffle prizes as well. I have all of these in my hot little hands, I’m trying to figure out which ones I am going to “lose” and keep for myself, heh heh heh! So, if you are at the event on Friday you might win:  a painting by Vivian Borsani , a voucher for a pair of TopAs shoes, a 25€ voucher for Gaia Bathtime in Palma, a voucher from Salon Bling for a Shellac manicure, a voucher for a photography session with Aimee K Photography, a voucher for a facial from Bodhana Wellness in Portals, a voucher for a massage from Bodhana Wellness in Portals, four sessions with the Mallorca Tutoring Academy, a session of yoga with Saskia Griffiths, a makeup session with Laura Gisbert, a crystal ball from Angela Pryce, a book voucher from Kay Halley at Universal Bookshop, a voucher from Clare Jury at Nice Price, a voucher for a Jessica Geleration – gel polish treatment  from Lauren Watson at Studio 1, a voucher for a nutritional consultation from Suzanne Garaty, a voucher for a microdermabrasion facial from the HSJ Clinic and Doctor Huw Jones, and handmade jewellery from Confetti and Julia Ball. Not a bad list eh? And there’s more! So please make sure you come along on Friday and support the event.

Climb every mountain

Sa Foradada

“I’m not going. I’m NOT!” My daughter, La Gidg, has determinedly set out her stall over the last weeks  after we announced our plan to go for a walk en famille to the “hole in the rock restaurant” at Sa Foradada in Deia. Completely understandable really: last time she went on a big walk involving a steep hill climb and descent (January 2015, Sa Trapa) she slipped and fell, slicing her leg open. We ended up in hospital having her knee stitched up to the tune of fifteen external and god knows how many (official statistics were hard to come by) internal stitches. This incident was then followed by several weeks of outpatient appointments to the paediatric department and a as yet pending plastic surgery operation for this winter coming. She could get away with saying that a shark attacked her the scar is that big and scary. Accompanying the scar came a fear of repeating the incident and hurting herself again. She was extraordinarily brave when we made our way down after she fell, keeping going through extreme pain and in very difficult circumstances, but her courage seemed to have given way to what some might say was a sensible approach, but my husband and I thought was overly cautious to the point of avoidance. We’re not the most “outward bound” type of family, although we do try, so her new approach to going for a walk on a Sunday didn’t really go down that well. We tried a variety of arguments to get her to change her mind: rationalising that it was a fluke accident that was unlikely to repeat, playing it cool and waiting for her to change her mind through the sheer amount of time that had passed, and most recently, blackmail. That good old fashioned parenting tool which has to be got out of the box now and again. Really we needed to get her “back on the horse” and back on the trail as we knew that the fear could be overcome, and we knew that the fear had to be overcome. So, last Sunday, following a couple of quite difficult ultimatums, we finally got on the track. My husband went ahead of us and we were left to make our way down on our own, just as we had when we descended from Sa Trapa in January. Walking slowly down to the sea, and to lunch, my daughter and I had the time of our lives. We gossiped about boys, we talked about funny things that she had done when she was a baby, and we spoke about the future. We looked after each other going down the steep path, and then back up it again, and don’t be mistaken, it’s a tough hot, breathless climb back up. But that’s to be expected isn’t it, and facing your fears, whatever they are, has to be done, whatever age you are.  www.familymattersmallorca.com

Stand up for James.

James, ready to rock

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t find myself amazed and grateful for the life I am living. One of the great things I get to do is to meet interesting people doing unique things, and so this week I met 18 year old James Fitzsimmons. James has been living in Mallorca since he was a toddler. He lives in Andratx with his mum Sharon. One day, when James was eleven his friend rang him up and asked him if he wanted to go kayaking, James said yes, and literally the rest is history. He found a sport which suited him and he it, and very soon he was out on the water as often as he possibly could be. He started to compete and rose through the ranks of his peers to start winning Open Water Kayak races as a junior. And now as an adult, in the Under 23 category he is already winning competitions against older and more experienced “paddlers”.

James now has the opportunity to go to Tahiti and compete in the World Championships (or “World Champs” as he endearingly calls it). His training schedule is relentless and his dedication is impressive, but when you hear that he is doing it with very little organised or formal coaching or support then you begin to be really, really impressed with him. Since turning eighteen and becoming legally an adult, he doesn’t get the same sort of help as he would have done when he was seventeen and younger. Which is an incredible shame. So James’s mum Sharon is fighting to raise the funds to get her son to the South Pacific to compete. If you want to show your support you can join in at Sa Vinya in Es Capdella, Calvia on Sunday September 20th from 16.00 to 20.00 where there will be a fun fundraising event for James (they are planning to put his kayaks in the swimming pool and invite people to try to get into them, it’s much harder than it looks, so there could be a few splashes!). Sponsors for logos on his boat are also being sought to help him raise the 4000€ he needs to get to the competition. When you look around and see so many disillusioned young people it’s wonderful to see one so driven and quietly determined to succeed. Please support or sponsor James and wish him luck in his big World Champ. You can do this by contacting Sharon Grange (jamessurfski@gmail.com 639385874) or Izzy Newman (639693922) or by visiting the Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/Surfski18

Winter Wonderland

Christmas lights, Palma, Vicki McLeod

We went skating last weekend at the ice rink in Palma. I say “we” what I really mean is that Gidg ice-walked around the rink whilst my husband and I looked on, grateful that she was over the age limit to go on without a responsible adult. Neither my husband or I can skate with any style at all, and we really don’t want to learn either. Bless her, she tried. Her mates were all better than her, including the ones who were younger than her, but she still gave it a serious go, and wants to go back again for another stab at it. There was quite a big group of us, ten adults and seven kids, and after we’d been at the rink we decided we wanted to go for lunch. In Palma. On a Sunday. Wow, that’s a tougher ask than you realise. I’d love to know where you, dear reader, would recommend for a biggish group to go on a Sunday in Palma for a reasonably priced (no Michelin stars or fancy pants required, just good decent nosh please). You can get in touch with me at http://www.familymattersmallorca.com. As it was we ended up in a pizza place (nothing says Sunday more than a pizza … to be honest I felt a bit hard done by as my brain expects to see either a roast dinner, a BBQ or a paella on a Sunday) which was okay, I guess. The company more than made up for the rather dull lunch. It was a typical Mallorca winter Sunday full of friends, kids and laughs. And it was lovely to walk in the crisp air and look at the lights (and scoff a couple of churros with Chocolate de la Taza).

The electric blankets are now on the beds, and the wood burning stove has received its seasonal wipe down and fire up. Yes, the advent calendar (which I moaned about at length last week) is now in full swing, and I have attended three Christmas fairs already. Coming up tonight at Mood Beach (Thursday December 11th) there will be the “In the Mood” choir performing Christmas Carols in the bar, call 971 676 456 or email info@moodbeach.com for times and more info. Then at the weekend you have the Binissalem Christmas Fair which is not to be missed, it’s great. If you like handmade and unique items then you have to go there for a mooch around. Of course there is also the traditional Christmas fair at Palma Nova (used to be Portals, then it was Santa Ponca, now it’s Palma Nova, but it’s still the one organised by Calvia Council) which will be on over the weekend. And then the one in my neck of the woods in Andratx: this Saturday sees the Plaza being reopened after its facelift and we will all be in there to see what, if any, improvements have been made. See you in Ses Rosses at about 8pm on Saturday night!

http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

Vicki McLeod©2014