Mallorca

Christmas Tip Pick and Mix

I asked my real and online friends what their tips would be for Christmas: to enjoy it, get through it, or get around it. Whichever way you look at it Christmas is a time of year when we can feel overwhelmed by our own expectations of the day or our fears of how it may be different from previous ones. Take a breath, make a cup of tea, or pour yourself a glass of cava and enjoy these tips from this selection of wise folk who have all been there, and done that in one way or another.

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Be proactive

Maria van Boxtel: As many people I always miss my family and friends this time of the year a bit more than any other period. So I decided to do something different this year and make an open invitation to everyone to celebrate Christmas together. I believe when you are celebrating together it makes it easier to handle the feeling of missing your loved ones. I’m looking forward to meet people who I have never met before and have fun instead of being at home feeling miserable.

Sandra Piddock: Focus on the good memories from previous years – celebrate them and talk about them, because that’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, even if you don’t feel like it. And invite someone who would otherwise be alone. But make it someone you like, so you have a good chance of enjoying the day. It works – I’ve done it several times, and never regretted it.

Julie Brogan:  If you’re alone try asking around your social group if anyone wants to join you for the day. I did it last year we had a great time: 14 of us in total so we had a very merry and fun time.

Remember the Christmas story

Anne Kay: Don’t give up on the original religious reason.

Don’t max out your credit card

Sandi Oakley: Don’t overspend…it’s the thought that counts! Just do your best, no more should be expected of you or others!

Sue Carmichael: Keep to budget…..never overspend or you’ll start New Year depressed ’cause of debt!

Mara RV: Don’t give so much importance to giving presents, we don’t need more things, we need more love.

Saskia Griffiths: Presence vs Presents.

Melody Fennell: B R E A T H E….and Love.

 Pick up the phone

Graham Wilding: For expats being remote from family is upsetting, especially for those without the ability to use today’s technology…messenger, SKYPE etc.

Sandi Oakley: If you can’t get to be with friends and family make sure you talk on the phone over the Christmas – especially to young grandchildren – it will cheer you up and the children will make you laugh!

Take control of your emotions

Patricia Hartland: Decide to be happy.

Keep it in perspective

Lesley Keith: I’d tell those who dread it that it’s just one day and will soon pass.

Rachel Nicholson:  I do think it’s good to remember it’s just one day, and before you know it it’ll be here and gone. It can be, and is, a very difficult time for a lot of people. I lost my Mum not long before Christmas 2014, my Mum Loved Christmas..the only way I know how to get through it is to try and enjoy it, that is what she would have wanted.

Philip Rogan:  It’s something really important that you are addressing because for many it really is the worst time of the year. I think that some people like some of the above make an effort to put people together and that makes a big difference. In your own head try not to give it all too much importance and know that the “festivities” will come to an end soon enough and that normality will return. Obviously, for some people, it’s simply the “best” time of the year and they love it. Avoid these people at all costs!! I do think that it’s an important issue that you are writing about, a tip, take it easy and focus on work or your regular hobbies as per normal as much as possible. Give or allow yourself one day to enjoy it, treat yourself and a friend to something nice.

Make contact

Cassian Edward: I think the most important tip you can add, if it hasn’t been suggested already, is some sort of helpline and/or communication avenue for those that find themselves on their own at this time of year, helping to put them in touch with others who understand their predicament and with whom they can talk to and enable spirits to be raised. There are so many out there that have no family; are on their own in some way; and for whom Christmas is a time of isolation. A means to allow people who are lonely at this time of year to communicate or be with others is something that can make life so much more liveable and bearable.

Michelle Whenman: Visit people you know who will be alone. Loneliness affects all ages.

Do something else

Laura Anne-Marie:  I would advise if you are feeling upset that you don’t put on a bunch of Christmas feel good movies, maybe get some fresh air and do some exercise or distract yourself with a project like sorting out your clothes, what you don’t wear you can donate to Allen Graham Charity.

Helen Comben: Remember it really is only another day in the year .. and the world will not fall apart if you opt out of all the trimmings or even work the day.

Glenda Stirling-Langan: If you are not up for crimbo for whatever reason and are not wanting to do the social thing, avoid all media, start a good Netflix series and, or book trilogy and get those rainy days jobs sorted. Achieve. If you are up for crimbo embrace it, avoid negative media, plan your Christmas to include seeing everyone you want to. Keep an eye on your spending. Overall remember, it only really lasts a couple o days.

Get out and about

Angie Wallace: Foster a dog.

 Alternatively, stay in

Caroline Trevill: Another thought for those on their own is to say embrace it! You can spend the day in your pjs, eat as many mince pies as you want without judgement and don’t have to put up with annoying family members.

Eva Marie Burns: Stay in bed.

Lilly Rose: Stay in bed ear plugs and sleep from 24th till 26th December.

Birgitta Nilsson: Going to bed and stay in bed 3 days . Just a normal weekend mode.

 Do what makes you happy

Belinda Shaw: Be with the people that you want to be with (if you can) and if that is yourself then whatever keeps you happy – I am one of those people who goes with the flow – but am as happy having a Marmite sandwich at home in front of the tv or an Xmas meal with friends – depends on how I am feeling. I have had people invite me to join them because they cannot imagine spending the holidays alone – but to me it is a day like any other day just with a few presents to open if I am lucky!!

Lesley Harris: Don’t force old traditions on your new lifestyle (expats) embrace your local restaurateurs, neighbours, co-workers, and those who are present at this time. If you’ve chosen to live differently, snag a few buddies here and do it differently!

Val Eyckmans Godbehear: I don’t live an expat lifestyle but we always celebrate Christmas in the typical British way and all the Spanish and other nationalities in the family love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t think it’s a matter of just taking on the Spanish way of living but of sharing our way with them too.

Sean Herdman-Low: Do what makes you happy- don’t feel pressured into attending events or things that you can’t face. It can be a busy time of year and it’s important to put it into perspective.

Be realistic

Roberta Longo: Manage your expectations against your reality.

Embrace gratitude

Joyce Checketts: Just be thankful you made it to Christmas 2017 as many we know didn’t – happy Christmas.

Nicola Jane Grieve: There’s always someone worse off than you!!!

Take a dip

Belinda Shaw: Come to El Toro Beach on Xmas morning and watch the mad dogs and Englishmen taking a dip… That is always fun and free. There’s usually mulled wine or some other beverage being shared as well as laughs.

Take the opportunity to disconnect

Humphrey Carter: Throw the TV out of the window and enjoy some quality time with friends and family.

Caroline Trevill: Focus less on perfect and more on fun. If you’re fortunate enough to have people you love to spend Christmas with, then don’t spend your energy worrying about whether your tree is wonky or whether you mince pies are from Waitrose. Plan some games and make some fun memories.

Take it easy on the turkey

Claire Jeffery: Don’t eat animals. Be lovely to people.

Do your prep beforehand

Laura Stadler: I find best to prepare as much as possible the day before, not to be too ambitious and warn everyone not to expect me to be a domestic goddess… I’m definitely NOT!!

Keep your sense of humour

Fiona Pitt-Kethley: I once said Xmas is a four-letter word in an article and the Telegraph altered it to Christmas, which isn´t…

Escape

Lucy Dundas: We have cut our expenditure on gifts in favour of a holiday together..the memories of those last much longer than the gifts nobody remembers a few days after. Time together and experiences are priceless.

Fiona Hanks: When I was running expeditions I often happened to be in non Christian countries in December … that makes Christmas pretty uneventful and easy!

Sharon Grange: Get on a plane and go on holiday, better than spending money on presents!

Daniella Melanie B: Go away on holiday!!! Somewhere far away and just ignore Christmas!

Keep calm

James B Rieley:  In times of stress or chaotic things all around, perhaps the best thing to do is follow the red-poster’s advice from the war….Keep Calm and Carry On.

Julie Waller: Use insight timer to find a meditation or two that you like. Be fully present and enjoy the season.

Take some time out alone

Heather Donahue: Solitude is solid food.

Be prepared for the Christmas hangover

Saskia Griffiths: Apple cider vinegar for hangovers!

Offer help to others

Rosemary Grainge: Yes….don’t just enjoy yourself… Get out and about and help others less fortunate… Volunteer.

Caroline Trevill: Instinctively it feels like the best cure for loneliness might be to help others somehow. Whether volunteering somewhere or reaching out to other people who might be on their own. I’d like to think other people would be aware of people on their own and invite them in, but I suspect that’s just wishful thinking.

Gem Alexander: If you know any single mums, volunteer to watch their kids for a few hours at some point during the festive season just so they can get their Xmas wrapping done.

Tracy Courtney-Wills: if you are lonely at Christmas, best thing you can do is volunteer with a charitable organization helping to feed the homeless or needy. You get to be part of a great team of people for the day, feel needed and part of something, realise there are people worse off than yourself, hopefully have a genuinely good time in the process and go home feeling a warm glow inside.

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So, with all of this in mind, good luck, I hope you have fun, stay true to how you want to celebrate or not, and I will see you on the other side. Merry Christmas, Vicki xxx

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.

January events in Mallorca

Mallorca dimonis, Vicki McLeod, photographer, Oliver Neilson

 

You may think that Christmas, and New Year AND Three Kings are over, and that therefore everything is back to normal in Mallorca, but you would be wrong as we still have two more fiestas to go this month, and we love them!
First up we have St Antoni this coming weekend. You will be able to join in at outdoor barbecues all over the island on Saturday evening. Some of the best ones are in my neck of the woods which is Andratx and S’Arraco, but you will also have places like Sa Pobla, Felanitx, Muro, Santanyi, Sencelles, Son Servera, Pollensa and Binissalem to check out as well. They are spread out over the weekend with some happening on Friday evening as well. The fiesta is split into two halves: you have the barbecue where everyone steals everyone elses’ sausages and gets drunk, followed by the Corre Foc, the fire run where recently inebriated people are invited to participate with people dressed up in really scary devil costumes and play with fireworks. What could possible go wrong?
Up in Sa Pobla on Saturday at about 5.30pm they will also have human towers which I have always wanted to see so I might make a dash to get up there, then at midnight in Sa Pobla will be their amazing fire spectacular with demons, dragons and drummers in Placa Major.
If that doesn’t get you going then there’s always something going on at the Auditorium and I understand that this weekend there is a performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral with the Victor Ullate Ballet on Saturday evening. More information can be found on the Auditorium Palma website.

Then on Sunday 15 January you have to make your way to the church with your pet cat, dog, sheep, goat, hamster, whatever you have you should take along to be blessed. There are blessings in Biniali, Cala D’Or, Santanyi, Soller, and Andratx.
On the Monday the St Antoni fiestas continue in Alaro with a parade, bonfires and a correfoc in the evening. You can also go along to Deya, Maria de la Salut, Muro, Sa Coma, Santa Maria del Cami, Soller, Son Carrio and more action in Sa Pobla.
Then all attention is focused on Palma for the big San Sebastian parties. The Fiesta Sant Sebastia is one of the biggest festivals in Mallorca and celebrates the Patron Saint of the capital.
The big nights are around the 18th, 19th and 20th (the day of Saint Sebastian), with the main parties and concerts being held on the 19th. Other entertainments such as the Castellers de Mallorca and the fire runs (Correfoc – wear long sleeves!) are on the 20th January.
There will be exhibitions, music and parades for the duration of the festival and you’ll find all the details in the Official Programme (available about a week before the event).
This Thursday at Santosha Restaurant in Palma in their Sala Cinco they will have movie nights on Thursdays. This week it’s “Once” 12.1, and next week it’s “Forest Gump” 19.1 ( you should reserve though). And on Saturday nights they have live music during dinner.

This Friday there will be a live music movement meditation at Zunray in Palma from 20h30-22h30. It’s going to be a monthly event, but get in there quick as this is a great way to start off the year. There is also a weekly 5 Rhythms class at Ling Tai which is every Sunday from 6.30pm
You’ve also got the Palma Dogs fundraiser coming up. They’ve called it the “Beat the Meh, find your Woof!” Pub Quiz Fundraiser. It will be on Tuesday, January 17th at 7.30 at Atlanticos in the Old Town in Palma. You can have a team of up to 4, €2 each to enter. And there will also be a raffle at €2 per ticket. All proceeds going towards the various associations and individuals who work tirelessly to get owner less dogs out of pounds and into foster or forever homes. That’s organised by Caroline Stapley who regularly takes people up to the dog homes in Mallorca and takes the dogs out on walks.
On Saturday 21st Jan Tony from Bar Rosita’s, Calvia Village will be having his annual birthday bash, free live music Tony Paris, free buffet and lots of fun.
Of course, if you’re after a new year’s resolution and you want to get yourself fitter, healthier and take charge of your lifestyle then I can recommend you do the Whole Life Challenge. This is an eight week programme which starts on Saturday January 21st at CrossFit Mallorca. It incorporates diet, exercise and lifestyle enhancements such as beginning to meditate or taking time to spend with friends rather than your phone, small things which add up to a much greater deal. You can get more info by contacting on Facebook, just look for their page CrossFit Mallorca.
There will also be two detox workshops in January run by Ziva To Go, a vegan business which now has three locations on the island. Ziva’s founder, Petra Wigermo will lead the detox workshops. You can choose from one in Santa Ponsa on Thursday 26th and one in Santa Catalina on Saturday 28th. In both workshops you will be helped to plan your own detox and make decisions about how you want to approach it, learn about why it is good for you to do these things and also try out some different juice recipes which may be helpful for you. You can get more info and book up for that at any of the Ziva locations on the island, or find them on Facebook.
And if you want to get stuck in to some good works this year then you could either join up to The Wednesday Group which meets every, you’ve guessed it, Wednesday, in Bendinat. They are dedicated to making craft and knitted items which can be donated or sold on behalf of charities on the island and it’s also a fun and sociable way to learn new skills and make new friends. You can get more details from Kay at The Universal Bookshop in Portals Nous. OR you can go along to a meeting at The Boathouse in Palma on February 10th which is being organised by the Cancer Support Group as they are looking for people who can volunteer and help them with their ongoing work. You can get more information about that event on my website http://www.mallorcamatters.com along with all the rest of this info and more.

Pet Pioneer

Dogs, Vicki McLeod. Photographer. Mallorca,

I’m in a field with about twenty dogs, and my friend who is a dog walker and thankfully in charge of them. It’s a bit crazy, there are big dogs and little dogs and in between dogs. There’s pedigrees and mixtures, and licky dogs and barky dogs. They are very excited because I’m new to them, and they all want to say hello. I’m here because I want to take some photos of a pioneer, Christina Kastin. The pack of dogs all love her, when she sits down on the bench to pose for a photo they all obediently gaze at her, they love her and she clearly loves them back.

You may not of heard of Christina yet, but she’s about to do something quite special for dogs and their owners in Europe. Christina has been quietly championing the rights of dogs on the island since 2007 when she first decided to convince every single council in Majorca to make some green spaces accessible to dogs. From this nugget of a big idea has come a much, much bigger idea: this November she intends to fly dogs and their owners from Sweden, Germany, France and the UK to visit Majorca on dog friendly holidays, and not only that, she intends to have as many dogs as possible travelling in the cabins of the aircrafts with their owners. When she pulls it off it will make history, spark a debate about pet travel, and revolutionise the tourism industry. But let her tell you in her own words….

Christina Kastin, Photorgrapher, Mallorca. Vicki McLeod, Majorca

“My name is Christina Kastin and I’m the founder of Harmony Travels. I was born and raised in Gothenburg in Sweden. I have lived in Spain since 1989 and for the last 15 years I have lived in Majorca.  I was the owner and partner of several businesses. but in 2006 I came to a turning point in my life so I took six months off to find out what I really wanted to do and that’s how my mission and my business Harmony Travels came about.

“Just like many dog owners I love being by and in the sea and in natural environments, and walking in the woods. However in Majorca this is a problem as we only have a few green areas in the local community which we can “legally” access. So my “mission” started in 2007 to increase access for dogs to green areas in Majorca. Basically you were not allowed to take your dog anywhere and where you were allowed they would always have to be on the lead. They authorities had forbidden dogs to be in any green zones, but they did not want them on the street either, so where should they be? The laws are contradictory because on one hand they say we must take care of our animals, and not make them anti social, but on the other hand they are not allowed to be anywhere, so how will they then learn how to be sociable with other dogs and people? Dogs were not allowed on the beaches either, even though they love the sand and water and suffer during the intense summer heat as we do.

Vicki McLeod, Photographer, Mallorca, Majorca“I decided that I was not going to let “them” ignore us, dog owners, any more:  something needed to be done and I was going to do something about it. I decided I was going to see the local politicians. As I started writing down my ideas in preparation for meeting my local mayor of the time, Sr. Carlos Delgado, I realised that my idea would be perfect to promote the winter tourism season here. As I kept on writing my ideas were flowing and suddenly I had a whole project on my hands. I wanted to create a place where people could come and relax in and bring their dogs if they wished. I decided I wanted to promote an awareness so that tourists and their dogs could come to this island and enjoy it all and connect with us residents and our dogs in a perfect harmony. The end  result would be a better understanding between people and animals and respect for the land. I first presented my ideas on June 5th 2007, which I later found out was “Environmental Day”, a good omen I hoped!

“I wanted to make a difference to the island I live on: for me, for the residents and our pets, for the tourists that come here, and above all protect the land from being exploited.”

And so began several years of campaigning and meeting with local councils, promoting the idea and changing minds for the good of dogs and their owners here in Majorca. All of it unpaid work which Christina undertook with great enthusiasm.

“It hasn’t been easy but my motto is, if you want something, go for it and let nothing (or no one) stop you!  So here we are, nine years later: many, and more are due, municipalities have made great changes; dogs can now access several beach areas during the whole winter, we have five all year round areas for them to go and swim in and in Palma we have seven buses admitting dogs. There are also more dog parks and more positive changes on the way. So dear dog owners the future is looking bright!” You can find details of all of the accessible areas by visiting her website http://www.guide4dogs.com and clicking on VILLAGES.

Vicki McLeod, photographer, Mallorca, Majorca

But now dear reader, and I hope keen dog lover, Christina’s new big idea needs your backing and support. She is planning four separate trips from Germany, France, Sweden and the UK in late October and November all arriving in Majorca and staying in a pet friendly hotel and taking part in excursions and activities which will include dogs and people. She is looking for sponsors and for people who would like to take part in her first ever weeklong event. After so many years of working for the dog owners she’s hoping that now she will be able to find support from them.

” I now need their help. With all the work done so far I feel the time has come to promote our amazingly beautiful island as a dog friendly destination, during our winter season, which is not very wintery at all but more like a great, and mostly, sunny spring”.

Personally I can see many ways a business could get involved with this project as well as individuals with their pets as I can imagine there will be an enormous amount of press coverage from international media. Christina’s vision, passion and determination have so far resulted in many changes on the island, and this next step is a big one but certainly one that she can do. She’s already met with airlines, and secured a pet friendly hotel in the Arta area and developed a lovely weeklong itinerary for the holiday.

 

So let’s see if YOU are the one who can help me by answering the below questions:

  • Do you live in Sweden, France, Germany or England?
  • Is your dog calm and good with other dogs?
  • Do you want to travel, during November, to Majorca (in the cabin) with your dog (up to 30kg)?
  • Do you want to be make history?
  • Do you want to help to make changes for yourself and other pet owners?

If you answered “Yes” to the questions above you  might end up being one of the very first pet owners to fly with its pet in a chartered plane only for dog owners and their pets, the first one in the world! There are obviously a limited numbers of dogs and people on the plane so it will be a first come first served system, if you are interested and want to find out more information about this trip please send her an e-mail to: christina@guide4dogs.com

You can visit http://www.guide4dogs.com for more information.

Grapevine #65

The Sunbird team

30 Years in Puerto Portals

Eric Martin, owner of Sunbird was the first to open an office in Puerto Portals in 1986. Having been in the UK yacht sales business for 14 years, the time felt right to expand in to different waters. Sailing in the Mediterranean felt like an exciting progression. Sunshine was, of course, a huge draw to the Mediterranean and having heard about a new and prestigious marina being completed in Mallorca, 7km west of Palma town the expansion felt right. “When we saw the site we knew it was the perfect opportunity to open Sunbird S.A.” Puerto Portals combined an incredible location with clear ambitions to become a luxury destination. Eric had met Simon Crutchley, a fluent Spanish speaker whose local knowledge, great contacts and yachting experience made him the ideal candidate to manage the new operation. The potential was huge and it felt right to get in from the start. And so Sunbird Mallorca opened its doors in August 1986 – one week after the launch of the iconic Wellies, as they’d been storing their tables and chairs for them!

There is no doubt Puerto Portals is firmly established as one of the best and most beautiful marinas in the Mediterranean, with a fantastic future ahead. Thirty years after Sunbird opened its doors, Portals’ original marina resident could not be prouder to have been here since day one. www.sunbirdyachts.eu.

Mallorca Solutions Opening Party August 5 2016 Photo Credit Vicki McLeod Phoenix Media -0227

Mallorca Solutions Party

I popped in to wish Becky Bellafont Evans and her team good luck at their new office which is between the Post Office (Correos) and the British Surgery at C/Germans Pinzons 5, Local 2 in Palma Nova. Many, many familiar faces were there, along with new ones as Becky and her gang specialise in looking after people who move to the island: organising their paperwork and helping them get settled in to their new lives. A personal highlight was getting to try some of Stephanie Prather’s delicious vegan canapés (I had to be dragged away from them before I truly embarrassed myself by eating them all).

Sophie Butterfield and Comet Air Photo Credit Vicki McLeod Phoenix Media -7715

Congratulations Sophies!

My little girl, Gidg, is now fully horse obsessed. For the last three weeks she has been accompanying her mentor and teacher Sophie Cordoba Mitchell (owner of Club Caballisto Son Malero in Calvia where she rides), and stable mates Sophie Butterfield and Angelina Schlak on very, very late night expeditions. Sophie B has been competing on her horse Comet Air in three high level events culminating last week in a three night marathon. Because of the heat the competition is run at night, with most of the classes being from 8pm to 2am. (A sensible person might suggest they do the competition in winter, but hey). Gidg’s role is gopher, and video maker. Sophie managed to finish fourth (out of forty experienced riders) in the “Infanta” which is a very prestigious event, so well done Sophie and her team, Gidg included!

The Wednesday Group

In September Kay Halley from the Universal Bookshop in Portals will launch a new community group which she is going to call The Wednesday Group. Its aim is to produce knitted, sewn and crocheted items for sale by the various community groups on the island (particularly Age Concern and the Cancer Support Group). The group is being launched also as a remembrance for a lady which Kay was very close to, Cynthia, who was a demon knitter and quilter in her time and produced many blankets, hats, scarves etc for various groups. The group will be open for anyone who can knit, sew, crochet, or wants to learn. The idea is that they will produce the item and they can decide which charity benefits from it. It will also be a brilliant way to make new friends and enrich your social circle.The group will launch on 7th September.  Assocuacio Veinats 3, Carrer de la Lluna in Bendinat. You can get more information by calling 971 676 116

Snowgun

Pet Project: Dog of the week

Snowgun is a beautiful 18 month old German Shepherd mix, possibly mixed with either a white German Shepherd or a Husky. She is a very good, fit, healthy young girl. She is leishmaniosis negative and has no known health problems. Snowgun is very obedient, and comes when her name is called . She walks beautifully on the lead . As like most GSD she is very intelligent. She is looking ideally for a sporty family to adopt her as she is lots of fun with loads of energy,  playful but does know when to stop. Snowgun was found on the street, living as a stray before Dogs For U took her in. She is very good with other dogs and lives with 8 other dogs in the main pack at DFU. She is a perfect fun loving dog. As with all dogs from DFU. She comes spayed, fully vaccinated, wormed, chipped, flea protected, has a passport. And comes with a DFU contract.  She is a perfect girl and will enhance anyone’s life. What more could you ask for. Call Cornelia on 637 242 228.

Emma and Daniel in the wave pool

Emma-Jane Woodham

My husband and I both had the pleasure of photographing this beauty recently at BH Mallorca, Mood Beach and other locations around the island. She’s made herself infamous by doing something rather naughty on the Love Island TV show, but in reality she is a darling. Very sweet, very polite, fun and gorgeous to boot.

The Orchestra 6 August 2016 Port Adriano Photo Credit Vicki McLeod Phoenix Media -0216

NOT ELO

I wasn’t going to refer to the absence of Jeff Lynne at the press conference for The Orchestra last week, but Richie Prior (Radio One Mallorca and columnist for the MDB) didn’t get hung up on such niceties. I watched in admiration as he politely referred to the elephant in the room in a way which meant the musicians couldn’t skip around the question “Do you think you will ever perform again with Jeff?”. The answer was quite revealing. “Jeff’s more of a studio guy. We’re more band guys. He collaborates with one guy and we like to tour”.  I only saw the first three songs of the gig itself, but I was told by friends of mine that it was really good. Well done to the team at Port Adriano for putting on some top quality acts this summer.

Simply Red

Speaking of top quality acts…. The gig of the year is almost upon us. One more week to go. Some tickets are still available I understand, mostly standing. See you there?

A brush with class

It’s Thursday evening. I’m at the Varadero Restaurant beside the STP Boatyard. I’m surrounded by paparazzi and we’re all waiting for the celebs to arrive on the red carpet. I say “we”,  I mean “they” because most of the celebrities attending I won’t recognise because they are German. This is German Real Estate sensation Marcel Remus’s summer party, and if your name isn’t on the list then there is no way you’re getting in. I’ve been invited because there is one celebrity attending who he thinks I will like to meet, the American actress Marcia Cross. She’s famous for her roles in Desperate Houswives and Desperate Houswives. Because she’s the best known face on the guest list she will also be the last to arrive, she’s the finale to a reasonably long line of German TV stars, fashion designers, performers and business people. Why are they all here? Because Marcel is a celeb in his own right. He’s not yet thirty but Marcel Remus has been building his own real estate empire since 2008.  He has an office here in Majorca, and another one in Germany, but that’s not how he’s become so successful. His clever use of networking at high level parties in Hollywood and his involvement in the German version of “A Place In The Sun” where he takes prospective German home buyers around spectacular Majorcan villas, fincas and apartments have meant he’s become “Mister Majorca” as far as the German public are concerned. And he’s doing very well, thank you very much for asking.

Marcel and Marcia PHOTO CREDIT OLIVER NEILSON PHOENIX MEDIA  (8)

It’s the first time I’ve been on a red carpet, it’s quite fun as I’m not taking the photos, I’m just watching. A tribe of GoGo dancers arrive, the girls are dressed as “sexy robots” and the boys are shirtless with complicated leather jewellery covering their chests. They are there to pose if need be so I get a photo with them for the hell of it. I wander around the party snaffling some special “Skin Gin” which is minty and tasty. Between the prawns on sticks, croquettes, mini calamaris in paper wraps, ice cream, and veggie wraps the flying buffet keeps me busy as well. I bump into some other English people I know and have a chat. Eventually it’s time to keep an eye on the entrance. When Marcia arrives the paps go crazy, a very determined female photographer (go girl!) leads the charge, in fact she’s at the front every time giving directions to the celebs “Everyone look at me, hey! HEY! LOOK AT ME!” She gets what she wants, it’s an interesting lesson as having the best photos is the way to get hired again.  Marcia is surrounded with TV cameras, there’s a lot of posing for photos, interviews, then posing for photos with the interviewers. She’s smiling all the way, composed, calm. Getting up close to her I can see her skin is polished smooth, wrinkle free, taut. I wonder naively if that means she’s had “work” done. I guess at some point every single actress in Hollywood has had a facial surgery, it seems inevitable to stay in the game. But then Marcia’s not bothered about the game right now, she’s got nine year old twin girls who she gave birth to when she was 45 via IVF. I eavesdrop on the various German TV crews interviewing her in English.  She repeatedly talks about her daughters and how much she is missing them despite having only arrived in Majorca less than 24 hours earlier.

The scrum PHOTO CREDIT OLIVER NEILSON PHOENIX MEDIA  (10)

I bob around the scrum, wondering how I might get my chance to ask her some questions. Then I realise I have no idea what to ask her, all the good questions have already been asked. I’ve heard all the Germans do them, and I don’t want to bore her. Maybe I think I should just not bother and use the answers I’ve heard already and give up get some more gin and relax. No Vicki, be determined, how many times do you get the chance to interview someone like this. I stick to Marcia and her minder like glue, finally I get my opportunity to request a chat. Come back in ten minutes I’m told, she needs a break.  Okay. Ten minutes to think of what to ask. I’m suddenly a bit nervous.

PHOTO CREDIT OLIVER NEILSON PHOENIX MEDIA  (7)

When I find her in the VIP area ten minutes later I have typed some questions on my phone. I am prepped and ready. I’m invited to sit down next to her, and I turn to smile at her. She smiles back. This is going to go okay I think. “Hi! How are you?” she asks me, great, I reply, you? “I’m the only English person here”, I joke. She laughs and asks me where I’m from, and why I’m in Majorca. “We’re talking about me?” I ask. “Why not?” she looks at me smiling, her eyes bright. We chat about my life on the island, I point out my husband who’s at the party shooting photos for Marcel, I tell her about our daughter. “We live in s’Arraco, it’s just down the road from a place most of these people will be very familiar with, Port Andratx. This time of year it’s wall to wall rich Germans in Porsches!” I joke. “If you don’t have a flash car then you won’t fit in”. “Oh then that’s not for me,” she says and we grin at each other conspiratorially. What a classy lady, she’s managed to make me feel relaxed, and we’re ready for some actual questions.

She’s here for the party she tells me, and to have a break. It’s her first time in Spain, but actually Majorca feels very international. It’s a magnet for Northern Europeans I tell her, we come here for the weather and the lifestyle. What are her plans for the rest of her trip? She’s going on a boat tomorrow she thinks, but she doesn’t  know where they’re going. Do go to Port Andratx I tell her, it’s a beautiful place. What is she working on at the moment? Mainly being a good parent although there are a couple of things in the pipeline she’s been involved in. I wonder what roles she would like to play which she hasn’t done yet, on the stage perhaps? She replies instantly, maybe in ten years or so she’d like to be play the character Madame Lyubov Andreievna Ranevskaya in Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard. That was the first play I ever did I exclaim, back when I was a stage manager. It’s getting really noisy in the party and we bring our heads together to hear each other. We studied it at drama school she tells me. Where did you go? Juliard. Wow, that’s a tough school to get into I reply. She nods and looks at me. I realise I’m asking more interesting questions than the Germans, I’m doing okay.

What does she think about gender equality in the arts? When I was working in theatre you could either be a stage manager, a wardrobe mistress or an ingenue, if you wanted to do something like direct or be in charge of something exciting like the explosives then you’d better be a guy. Did she think that things had changed? No, not really. She tells me about fellow actress Geena Davis who launched an institute into Gender in Media to work on increasing the presence of female characters in media and to reduce the stereotyping of female characters in the industry. But things are changing quicker now: we agree that we consume TV in a different way now. We’re both fans of Netflix. What am I watching at the moment she asks me. I’ve just devoured “Stranger Things” I tell her. “Winona Ryder plays the mum! It’s like she’s come out the other side, she was brilliant, it’s as if Winona’s finally got herself back together. You have to watch it!”. She nods and tells me that she’s just started watching The Night Manager. I tell her then that she has to get the boat to Cala Deia or go up to Pollensa to see the locations.  You can get to both of them by water.

We’re getting on so well now, Marcia is my new bff. I was going to ask you really sappy questions I tell her, like what’s your fitness routine, but I’m guessing it’s basically drink water and don’t eat anything right? I joke. She laughs at me and shakes her head, I just do what I can, she replies. We stand for a photo together, a kiss, a final “So nice to meet you” and with that I’m done. My first brush with Hollywood class, but hopefully not my last.

My new BFF PHOTO CREDIT OLIVER NEILSON PHOENIX MEDIA  (1)

Around us the music is pumping, the place is packed with happy people having a nice time. We stick around for a final gin and then hit the road. As we leave we’re handed not one, two, three but FOUR different goody bags stuffed with complimentary cosmetics, creams, oils and what not. My husband’s not had a party bag since he was six he tells me. Thanks Marcel for the invitation, I could get used to this.

Ticket to Ride

 

road-car-tire-medium

I’m stood by the side of the road. Waiting for a Guardia Civil man to issue me with a fine for having a British driving license because he says Britain is no longer in the European Union and I should have got a Spanish driving license……what?! I look at him incredulously and say “Britain is still part of the European Union”, and show him the EU flag on my driving license. He shrugs, and changes tack. “You are a resident here, you have to have a Spanish driving license.” But we’re in the European Union mate, I argue. (In hindsight, probably saying “Mate” to the Guardia wasn’t the smartest thing to do). He looks at me, I can’t tell what his eyes are doing as he’s got those scary mirrored shades on, tells me he’s going to fine me and stalks off to his jeep.

EUropean Driving Licence

He returns. By this time I’ve already posted on Facebook and started to receive messages telling me that I should have changed my license back in January of this year. But wait! Hang on I think, didn’t we already check if we needed to do it. We have EU/UK driving licenses issued in 2013 which don’t need to be renewed for another seven years. I want to be within the law. I start to feel indignant, and try my best to argue with the mirrored one who clearly isn’t interested in hearing my bleats. No, NO says my Facebook collective, you are a resident, if you have been a resident for more than two years in Spain you have to have a Spanish driving license. But we’re in the EU I argue, again, pathetically beating my metaphorical head against the wall. Okay I surrender, I will get the Spanish driving license organised asap. But still I’m issued with a fine for 100€. Then my friend Andy posted his story about going to Trafico.

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“I was told I had to replace my licence with a Spanish one. This meant getting a medical. Forty five minutes, and 60€ later, armed with a piece of paper that basically said I was able to fog a mirror, I returned to trafico. A further twenty minutes a different guy finally agreed to look at my licence again. His exact words when he did were, in English, “This is a European licence, it has an end date, you don’t have to do anything. Go home, drive your car, be happy, Bye bye.

“Even by Spanish bureaucracy standards this was shocking. A few rounds of, “I have just paid 60€ for a medical that you now say I don’t need, “*Shrug*” If I don’t need this, why was I told I did?” “Shrug*” Eventually the woman who had told me I needed it came over; they walked away and started arguing. Then a third person joined in the arguing. After five minutes of heated conversation and pointing at my original licence, he came back and started filling in forms. He was obviously angry; no-one needs to use rubber stamps that forcefully! 🙂 10 minutes and another €23.00 later it was done.”

I can’t wait. My driving license appointment is in two weeks. Another column awaits.

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Lost in Translation

V - Espanol

I’m two weeks in to my intermediate Spanish course. So far I have been on time for each lesson, so well done me, it’s after I arrive that it goes downhill.  We’ve been spending a lot of our lessons talking about things that we did in the past to learn how to use the past tense in verbs. That’s all good if there were only one past tense to choose from, but there are two I can describe and another two that I am not sure of yet. That makes FOUR!! Don’t you think that’s just greedy?

I had to get this explanation from the internet (thanks to http://www.spanish.about.com) as I don’t want to give you the wrong information and lead you down the same rabbit hole I’m in.

“What’s past is past, but in Spanish what’s past may be either preterite or imperfect. Unlike English, Spanish has two simple past tenses, known as the preterite (often called the preterit) and the imperfect indicative. (As in English, they are known as simple tenses to distinguish them from verb forms that use an auxiliary verb, such as “has left” in English and ha salido in Spanish.)

Although the English simple past in a sentence such as “he ate” can be conveyed in Spanish using either the preterite (comió) or the imperfect indicative (comía), the two tenses are not interchangeable.”

I know this is true because of the amount of times I’ve managed to get it wrong in class and everyone else has sniggered at me. There are some very smart people in my group, which is not intimidating at all, no, no, really. No.

I’m also fairly certain now that even though the famous languages teacher, Michel Tomas, who up to now has been a bit of a hero in my house, is great for starting to speak a language you shouldn’t rely on him for. He teaches that you make sentences together by translating directly from one language to another, this just isn’t possible.

V Espanol Book

In Spanish, verb tenses are formed by changing the endings of verbs, a process known as conjugation. Present tense, imperfect, preterite, future, conditional, the present perfect, the pluperfect, the past perfect, the preterite perfect, future perfect and the conditional perfect conjugation. So, we should have that all under control by next week.

What I am learning from learning Spanish is how little I understand the English language. I must have missed out on the grammar lessons at my (don’t laugh) Grammar School because I don’t understand the terms, I am literally starting from scratch.

Anyone who has studied Spanish is aware of the troublesome relationship between the pretérito and imperfecto. The imperfecto (yo hablaba) translates to the English imperfect (I was talking) while the pretérito (yo hablé) literally translates to the English simple past (I talked) but can also be translated as the English present perfect (I have talked) or the emphatic past (I did talk). And when a person asks you in Spanish what you did before they will ask you using the present tense. (Example: “Desde cuando vives aqui ?” translates to “From when you live here?”) Confuso? Si. Thanks for asking.  

Of course I have been searching the internet for “easy ways to remember the different Spanish verb tenses”.  That brings up almost a million and a half results, so I guess there’s still some work to be done there. Hang on in there McLeod.

Have Lifepack, will travel.

Lifepack-founder-adrian-solgaard

What inspires an invention?  They say necessity is the mother of all invention. For Adrian Solgaard the tipping point for the creation of his new invention, a solar powered back pack, came when his friend was the victim of a crime. We met over Skype for a quick chat.

Vicki McLeod: How did this come to be? You’ve developed a solar powered, lockable back pack which can fit all of your day to day mobile office and work needs. That’s pretty amazing!

You can lock your bag up when you're out and about (1)

Adrian Solgaard: I first had the idea in 2005 when I was 18, I was travelling on a train and I needed to sleep. I was irritated by the idea that I had to wrap my luggage around me to prevent it from being stolen by thieves. But it wasn’t until 2015 when I was sitting with a friend having a drink, our bags where on the floor between our chairs and my friend’s bag was stolen, that it tipped me over the edge! I started to source and prototype ideas, contacted factories and worked on getting the product exactly right. When I had finished the prototype I started on “Real World Testing” and got a tonne of consumer feedback. Now we’re in the middle of our Kickstarter campaign.

VMC: Why a Kickstarter campaign? What is it?

AS: It’s a way to get pre-orders for the bag, it’s enabled us to gauge the reaction of the general public, and raise funds. It means that we will be in production this year with the bag as we have reached our initial goals.

VMC: Wow, that’s so exciting! So when can customers expect to have the bag in their hands?

AS: If you have pledged money on the Kickstarter campaign then you will have the bag in October.

VCM: How is the Kickstarter campaign going?

AS: Really well, we’ve met our targets, now we are doing what’s called “Stretch Goals” which means that we can unlock more options on the bag, by offering more colours for example. You can still order one.

VMC: What’s so special about the bag?

AS: We’re saying that we´ve reinvented the mobile office.

VMC: Big claim!

AS: Well, it’s got a solar power bank which can keep your phone alive via a USB charger, everyone’s phones run out of charge just at the crucial moment, but with this bag you won’t be stranded. You don’t have to worry about your smartphone battery dying, you can have it on charge in the bag. You can get up to 12 charges for an iPhone 6, but it’s compatible with any USB charging device.

You can charge your phone using the solar panels in the bag

It’s also got an integrated lock which means you can keep the bag locked up and keeps your stuff secure. The separate compartments inside the bag are for your work and life, so you can separate your work life from your underwear, nobody wants to get their socks out at a meeting do they?!

Lifepack, Cafe shot.

Then when you’re out at the beach you can use the Bluetooth speakers to play your music. The lock also has a bottle opener on it, which is helpful when you’re having a beer at the beach as well! The bag is weather resistant, and drop resistant (there are internal protective air cells to keep your laptop safe), and super organised. We’ve also designed it to have four hidden compartments so when you are travelling you can keep your important documents close to you and not worry about them being lost or stolen. The bag’s zippers are also lockable. And another feature is the RFID protected pockets which keeps your credit cards and passport safe from identity theft.

VMC: How much can you stuff in there then? I know I have to have at least three bags wherever I go! One for the gym, one for work and a handbag.

AS: Well I can pack two shirts, two pairs of underpants, two pairs of socks, a tie, a belt, shampoo and lotion, toothpaste, deodorant, cologne, a passport, sunglasses, swim shorts, goggles, the solar bank and speakers in the back, and a 15″ laptop, charger, mouse, two notebooks, three pens, headphones, my smart phone, glasses case, keys, wallet, loose change, USB charger and cables, loos papers, receipts, business cards and a banana in the front!

VMC: That more or less covers it! What about the kitchen sink? This isn’t the first time you’ve invented something useful is it?

AS: No, I’m also responsible for the Interlock which won four international design awards and has been distributed to twenty eight countries.  That experience has meant that I’ve been able to get the Lifepack to this stage much more efficiently. There are two other people in the team with me who are crucial as well, Ashley and Chris, so between the three of us we’ve done well.

VMC: What’s your connection to Majorca?

AS: I’ve lived on the island, right now I am travelling around a lot to get the Lifepack into production, but I hope I will be back soon. A lot of my friends who live in Majorca feature in the product promotional photos and we used Majorca as the location for the shoot.  Majorca’s the perfect place for a Lifepack, so many people blend work with life and are on the move, it makes perfect sense.

The bag has been designed to be part of an active, modern lifestyle

You can read more about Adrian and his invention at: sweetbackpackbro.com

To read more articles about Majorca visit http://www.mallorcamatters.com