Archive for June, 2008

Majorcan Blog No 10:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

So we had to go into Palma to find the British Consulate.  Trying to find your way in a strange city is always tough, especially if you are driving but we had a great set of directions and our faithful satnav also helped, but it still was a real challenge.  The consulate was hidden on the fourth floor of an office building down a little alleyway.  The staff were helpful but what a palaver!  It costs around £65 just to get an emergency form and takes at least an hour once you get there.  I wouldn’t recommend it…

We then thought we would experience the big city and see what Palma had to offer, but frankly having allowed ourselves to slow down the way we had, we didn’t really enjoy the bustle.  We had the opposite experience from our fab time in Pollenca, the places we stopped to eat and drink lacked charm and taste.

We left just as the weather broke and struggled to find our way out of the city.  Back in Pollenca the weather was lovely again, found a great oriental restaurant for our final evening meal.  We lunched in this beautiful little cafe in a small square at the bottom of a long flight of stairs that leads up a chapel called Calvary.

The journey home went without further incident and now we are back to the building site we call home, trying to re-engage with all those little tasks that are required to get us back on track, including posting all these blogs!

Majorcan Blog No 9:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

One of the good things about a holiday is the chance to be aimless. One hears so much talk about the importance of goals and targets and focus, particularly in my line of work, one quite forgets the joy and value of surrendering and letting things just happen. Just floating round on a lilo in a pool is this perfect metaphor for this. One is supported, and drifting effortlessly. Sometimes it is good just to let the Universe blow you where it wills.

PS>>  This wonderful sign is a real one near us at Blackheath in Surrey, pure Alice in Wonderland isn’t it?

Majorcan Blog No 8:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Some of the trees in the garden are over grown with purple bindweed, or columbine. The colour is absolutely exquisiteite and it always draws my eye. I find it odd that something so fabulous could be considered a weed; I’d happily plant it at home if it would grow there.

It is odd, when you think of it, that we name some plants ‘weeds’ and others not. I guess ‘weed’ is just another label we use. Odder though, as my sister pointed out, that when we use it as an insult it implies weak, but in truth, weeds are strong and grow where they choose, not where they are planted. They are free spirits, rather than tethered and controlled. I think, on balance, I’d rather be a weed than a plant…

Majorcan Blog No 7:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

I thought I was going to be writing about the change in weather today; for the first time we have clouds blowing in over the mountains, and it didn’t seem to promise a good day for sun-bathing. Our new routine was going to have to be changed.

However, this minor meteorological event has been over taken by real drama! In order to understand the nature of this you first have to understand I am a very careful traveller, keeping all key documents and valuables very safe, and am, in the words of Baldrick, “As careful as a careful person”. Our passports have been literally strapped to my body every time we have left the villa, none-the-less, when I went to check on them today (and who does that kind of thing anyway?) my daughter’s was missing!!

Luckily, the tour operators had provided helpful information for just this contingency and with that and a mobile phone I was able to speak to them and the British Consulate and get the ‘low down’ on what needed doing. Trips to local agents, local police stations, then a trip to Palma at the other end of the island tomorrow to get an emergency passport to get us all home.

Thank God we found out today when we had time to sort all this out, apparently if you just turn up at the airport you don’t travel! If you were going to have this kind of thing happen then this is best variety of trauma to have…

I guess sometimes sh1t just happens and you have to roll with it and salvage what you can from the situation.

Majorcan Blog No 6:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

I was floating in the pool on a lilo and thinking what an insubstantial thing it was to keep me afloat, just a little bit of flimsy plastic and a puff of air, and yet it was all that I needed to feel safe and supported. Sometimes a little support goes mighty long way, and is all we need to move forward. Sadly most of us have relatively few sources of this in our lives.

However, with just a little bit of effort and sensitivity we are able to give away this precious gift to those we come into contact with and what a huge difference we can make by doing so. Just a kind word here, a little listening there, sometimes just a smile… that can be all it takes to change a life.

Majorcan Blog No 5:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Isn’t strange how we go on holiday to get away from the old rhythms and routines, and within a matter of days we have built up a whole new set? Family is no exception and the days have begun to acquire familiar pattern of what and where we eat, when we rise and what we do then.

These routines are of course valuable, time-saving devices that guide us through our daily lives but they are silken cords that limit our choices and possibilities too. Perhaps today is a good day for you to give yourself a mini-holiday and allow something new in, something you would normally tell yourself there was no time for. It will give you many of the benefits of a real holiday without the check-in hassles!

Majorcan Blog No 4:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Somehow the light is different here and the colours seem not just more exotic but brighter too. We have the most incredible purple Morning Glory in the garden and the lemons that just seem so lemony. It is odd to be seeing not just new sights but also seeing things differently too.

Often our ability to change begins with us being able to see either something new or seeing the same things in a new way. It can sometimes be triggered by an outside stimulus like reading something or a comment from someone, or a travelling somewhere and being in a different place.

Every person has a different and unique perspective on things, by staying open and talking about issues and ideas we are able to gain insights that can unlock things for us. The trouble is too often we get hung up on being ‘right’, rather than just discussing different but equally valid ways of seeing and thinking about things.

Majorcan Blog No 3: Abuse before Breakfast:

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Families are wondrous and complex structures: where else could you be abused three times before breakfast and not be mortally offended? As humans we all have a distorted self image of ourselves, we are both better than and less than the pictures we carry in our heads. Families see this all and help redress the balance a little. 

We spend a great deal of time and energy trying to present an acceptable image of ourselves to the world, to ensure that we get on and are accepted. However, hopefully, our families accept us more or less as we are; they mock us, tease us, appreciate us and love us.

It is really one of the key measures of maturity to begin to see oneself a little more as they see us and to forgive ourselves our fragilities and failures without feeling the need to deny them.

Majorcan Blog No 2

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

We wandered into the town today and discovered that the centre had become one huge market, full of all sorts of lovely trinkets. We found the square heaving with people but wandered off into the back streets and found a lovely little local style bar and sat in the shade drinking cold beer and eating tapas. The sky was blue, the heat was dry, a perfect day. Just opening oneself up to something new like eating snails allows in so much more than the odd mollusc! 

It seems to me that we are a little like pearls and as we go through Life we acquire a series of coatings that add to our essential core. The more we expose ourselves to, the richer and deeper this becomes. I think we spend too much time fighting off things and people, perhaps a little less struggle and a bit more openness would enrich us all…

Majorcan Blog No 1

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

So Family Cooke has decamped to Majorca for a week. We had never been here before, and had heard tales of what appeared to two different places. There was the tacky nasty MaJawKa, that was full of drunken tourists screwing and dancing themselves silly and this green and beautiful Mediterranean refuge. Happily we are firmly ensconced in the latter.

This is as a Spanish place as one could hope to find. Lemon and Avocado trees in the garden, palms and blue, blue skies, hot dry weather, spiky grass and tiles everywhere. It is still strange to me how one can, in matter of a few hours, reek such change in one’s life, at 6am we were in a cold, gray Surrey and two hours latter all of this!

My first major challenge was getting to grips with a new car, manual not auto, whilst driving on the other side of the road and trying to navigate in a place that is utterly unknown to me. This is Change with a capital C. Not good, not bad, just different (as change is really).

That night we wandered into Pollenca; it is a lovely old Spanish town.  We wandered down little allies, stumbled into a magnificent church, painted and decorated in the the most sumptuous manner, and then out into an open square teaming with people, sounds and Life.

We found a lovely little cafe in a quieter area and settled down to a very Spanish meal washed down with sangria. Then back to the square in time to hear a medieval band progress through the square playing bagpipes and drums. A perfect evening in a perfect place.

Sometimes change is just opening yourself to something new, and we are embracing it!