Vicki McLeod

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.

Illustrated Christmas Plants Twitter Post

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

Grapevine #66

Crazy Days

Vicki McLeod, photographer

It’s been a mad week for me. I’ve met more reality TV show personalities this summer than ever before. This week I had three! All from Big Brother. Between you and me I could have walked past them in the street and not known who they were but I was asked to go along and take their photos and I thought you might enjoy seeing these two of Charlie Doherty. We spent some quality time together on Tuesday and Wednesday at the BH Mallorca pool, at the beach and at the foam party at BCM. I can’t say my life isn’t varied as a photographer, that’s for sure.

Vicki McLeod, photographer, Mallorca

The Nit de Caball

On Sunday night in my lovely village of S’Arraco we were treated to a fantastic display of horses. About a dozen gorgeous black Menorcan horses galloped down our main road (which was covered in a good layer of sand). It was less crazy than and more organised last year as the police took a keen interest in preventing people from crossing the road in front of the horses. Well done to all!

 

Pet Project

At Dogs for U Cornelia rescues mainly German Shepherds: the larger dogs that most people seem to overlook . She tries to find them their forever family. At Dogs for U they would never put a healthy dog down, and those that aren’t so healthy she will do everything in her power to nurse them back to health. Some of the dogs have been at shelter for over four years, so it’s time to spread the word and get them out. Thanks to Angie Cain for her collaboration with Pet Project to get this information out and about.

coyo

Coyo
Coyo is 6 years old. He’s a small German Shepherd and has been in the shelter now for four whole years. Poor boy! As usual he had a very bad start to his life. But he has come through it remarkably well. He was found all alone on a finca with no other animals or people, and had been terribly neglected. Cornelia rescued him from and took him to her shelter.  He is a little shy at first but when he gets to know you he is very affectionate, loves cuddles and is very playful. He is great with other dogs and excellent at walking on the lead. He has shown absolutely no signs of aggression, and so would be okay to be homed in a family with children. He needs to live inside the family home. He is castrated, chipped, all vaccines are up to date, flea protected, wormed, has a passport and comes with a DFU contract.

lobo

Lobo
Lobo is a 2 year old German Shepherd. He’s a very loving boy who loves nothing more than climbing up beside you for big cuddles and is a perfect companion. Lobo was found on the street. He was rescued by Dogs For U. Lobo is finding it stressful at the centre: he really needs to get out. Lobo is quite a large strong dog loves running, playing and hasn’t shown any complications. He is obedient, walks excellently on the lead and shows great intelligence. Because of his size and strength it’s recommended he is homed with slightly older children, as he could accidently knock little ones over. He is a great dog, a fit, healthy young boy, with no known medical problems, he’s been neutered, chipped, all vaccines are up to date, flea protected , wormed, has a passport and comes with a Dogs for U contract.
Please if you can give either of these stunning dogs a loving home contact Cornelia Ks on 637242228 by WhatsApp or go to the Dogs for U facebook page and send a message there.

 

Knitting group, Mallorca

Get Crafty!

The Wednesday Group has now launched! It meets from 10am to noon every Wednesday.  You can learn to knit, crochet, and sew, or work on improving your skills, or help others to learn, be creative and make friends. You can meet up with other people and at the same time support local charities as the projects can be made for local charities to use or sell. Contact Kay on 971 676 116 for more information. The group meets at the Assocuacio Veinats 3, Carrer de la Lluna, Bendinat, Calvia every Wednesday and absolutely everyone is welcome to join.

Rotary

The Rotary Club of Calvia International are busy finalising their plans for the annual walk in aid of local charities – all focussing on young people – on Saturday October 8th. The 10KM walk is from Katmandu in Magaluf to Mood Beach in Portals (and back!). A 2KM will also take place. Marshalled and supervised, the main participants will be youngsters from the International schools who will shortly be receiving the details and sponsorship forms for those taking part. So be prepared to be asked for sponsorship money. The major sponsors are Katmandu, Mood Beach and Minkners as well as the Ajuntament at Calvia. But there are still opportunities for more sponsors. Just get in touch with the Rotary Club International Walk Coordinator,  Geoff Moore, his e-mail geoffmoorecaracol@gmail.com

Fundraiser for Ondine

Next week on Thursday September 15th there will be a fundraising evening for Association Ondine. Organised by Real Estates United. It will be held at the OD Hotel in Portals in the Sky Bar. Their aim is to raise as much as they can for Ondine which promotes awareness about the marine environment around the Balearics. Tickets cost 45€ per person and all profits will go to the Association. The evening will start at 7pm with drinks and canapes, there will be a raffle prize draw, DJs, and live entertainment. Alternatively you can attend the event from 9pm and make a donation on the door, but you should contact them to be put on the guest list. So get in touch with Donna@realestatesunited.com

Any good at darts?

Up in Alcudia at the bar called Legends they are looking for some keen darts players who would like to take on a Ex World Darts Champion. They will be raising money for charity. If you feel like having a go then get in touch with Stuart Leslie via the Legends Facebook Page.

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?

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.

Happy anniversary Mallorca

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Ten years ago last weekend I drove a mini metro through France to Barcelona, got lost, couldn’t find the ferry port, almost had a nervous breakdown, found the ferry port with 2 minutes to go, and arrived finally in Mallorca with two cats and a car full of equipment for my new business to join my then boyfriend, now husband, who had moved a couple of months earlier when he’d been offered a job. I can look back on that day, and still remember every single event in it: including the egg sandwich my mum sent me off with at 6am from her house in France, and the hyperventilating cats that didn’t stop complaining for the whole 48 hour journey from London to Palma.

Ten years on, and what has changed? Well, the signposts for the ferry off the Barcelona ring road haven’t improved by all accounts, my spoken Spanish still leaves something to be desired, and I have yet to actually lie down on a beach for long enough to get a real tan (it’s all tanning fakery if you ever see me any other colour except “pale blue with freckles”). Mallorca is still as beautiful as it was when I first fell in love with the place, and I am still friends with some of the people that I first met when I arrived. Some have fallen by the wayside, moved on or away, but this leaves room for new friends and new experiences: this something I had to learn to cope with, the transience of island life.

It’s not always easy to live in Mallorca, but I still love it. I love living here and watching our daughter grow up in a beautiful, natural way, speaking three languages, playing in the sunshine and in the sea, getting a great education in a nice setting with her school in Port Andratx and the fabulous people at Kip McGrath. Our daughter is developing into a young person with her own ideas and opinions, something which makes me very proud. My husband and I have been through business success, and failure, and success again, and we’ve become part of our community here on the island, trying to contribute in the best ways that we can. Sometimes we’ve thought about going back to the UK ourselves. We left behind good jobs with great prospects to move to an island where we’ve had to fight for everything we have, nothing has been easy to get. What about the future, where will we be in another ten years’ time? I haven’t a clue, but wherever we are I hope we will be living our lives to their fullest capacity and enjoying ourselves, challenging and pushing ourselves to do more things. When you see what you can do in difficult circumstances it certainly gives you the courage to keep trying to do more.

Does that mean we’re proud of what we have achieved? You bet your life it does.

Shop Local

The Shop Local Pledge

The Shop Local Pledge

Wow, how did it get to be December? That snuck up on me! This is the season of Christmas markets in Mallorca and we´ve got some nice ones coming up. Already last Sunday La Gidg spent the afternoon helping out on the cake stall run by her Synchronised Swimming team at the Andratx Christmas Market. She loved it, well what´s not to love really? It´s cake and it´s playing shop. A perfect combination. There was a time when I used to have a little salon and I loved playing shop too, I loved arranging the products and talking to my customers. It was a very innocent period in my life, looking back. Things were very much simpler then, there was a purity about it. You want this thing that I have? You pay me, you can have this thing. Easy peasy.

There is a dangerous side to fairs though. You always run the risk of buying something that you love at the time, but then regret instantly afterwards, but you can´t take it back can you? NO. You can´t, it’s far too embarrassing. And we must make sure that we support our local businesses and craftspeople especially at Christmas. Please don´t buy online, get down the high street and buy something from an actual real life person and not some automated computer. Keep the money moving in your local economy and look after the people in your community, it´s vital.

I imagine that selling on a market could be a hard way to make your living, but I bet it´s fun. I could see myself as a chirpy cockney type selling discount ladies underwear, or perhaps I could be a mysterious Arab with fine spices and exotic silks. As it is, I am writing this from bed, It is too cold in my house to be anywhere else but here. If I am such a wuss that I can´t deal with a bit of cold in my own home how do we think I would manage rising at 5am and setting up a market stall? Yep, disaster.  Which is why the “Last Minute Handmade Christmas Market” which I am organising at Mood Beach for December 22 and 23 will start at 11am and finish at 4pm, a healthy time during the day. If you want to have a stall then please get in touch at Vicki@moodbeach.com.

Also coming up there is the Calvia Christmas fair which is not in Portals anymore, but has moved to Santa Ponsa, that is on December 9th and will feature the choir in their debut performance! (They´re also going to perform on the 22nd at Mood). Then there is one at Santa Ponsa Country Club the next weekend on the 15th and 16th of December, and the same weekend sees the return of the Alaro Christmas Market as well.

In the meantime I am planning my takeover of the world from under the duvet, at least for today. http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

Life means life

by guest blogger, Oliver Neilson (thank you for doing my homework). 

A ‘bag for life’ is a pretty bold statement on the longevity of their bags by the supermarkets, or a pretty gloomy outlook on the longevity of their customers by the same.

A quick audit of the Mcleod household haul tallys at: 4 Eroski, 3 Carrefour, 2 Cidon, 2 Ikea, 6 assorted, 4 Mueller and 10 Lidl. Twenty nine in total. This isn’t because we are enormous fans of bags for life, we just keep forgetting to take them with us to the supermarket and then can’t bear to buy a normal plastic bag and end up with yet another ugly reusable one which will outlive us!
Psalm 90 in the good book states. ‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten’, …do a little simple maths, and by my reckoning we have enough bags to last for the next two thousand and thirty years…or put another way, the bag  I picked up yesterday will be, possibly my only bequest, to my great, great, great (great times 27) grandchild. Clearly I’m not doing this right.

The modern disposable plastic carrier is a nasty piece of work. Spewed out of a production line in nano seconds, it will take a millennium to breakdown. In the process it will contribute noxious chemicals into the soil and the atmosphere, utilise significant chunks or the World’s dwindling resource of petrochemicals and kill approximately 100,000 turtles, per year. There are not a great many of these most cutesy of marine reptiles around. We have a few left in Mallorca, but a bag that may have held your packed lunch for a few seconds, even carefully discarded may make its way into the sea, where, to the poor uneducated turtle it looks a lot like a jellyfish, which to a turtle looks a lot like lunch. I guess I don’t need to tell you where this ends.

But it need not be so complex. To my Granny it was a no brainer to take your own bag to the shop, or to reuse a milk bottle. Lemonade bottles could be returned to the shops for a 5p discount on the next purchase. What did we forget?, Why do we find it so hard to replicate what was so routine only a few decades ago?.

We kid ourselves that the pace of modern life doesn´t allow us time to consider such frivolities as recycling, we are far too busy to remember our bags for life. Too busy to recycle our Marmite jars, but just pause for a second. My Granny lived in a time of austerity in the rationing during, and just after WWII, and she managed just fine. As we seem to be heading into austere times once more, a time where shaving a few pennies or cents here and there has increasing importance we can make a difference to our purses, the environment, and perhaps a turtle or two by one simple action.

Take your bag out of the car and into the supermarket…that’s it.

It´s so simple, my Granny could do it. I’m working on it.