Look who’s cooking . . .

The Boss has excelled himself this year with his BBQ cooking. He’s not particularly keen on conventional cooking in the kitchen – although he used to cook dinner for me on weekdays when I was working at the BBC. Back then I really appreciated coming home to a hot meal after battling Oxford’s terrible traffic on the way home. These days I do most of the cooking, but the warmer months bring me the chance to enjoy the results of The Boss’s labours over a hot BBQ.

This year we invested in a new Weber, after our more-than-12-year-old Outback BBQ burst into flames one evening late last summer, while my dad and uncle were staying with us. Using a Weber has been a totally different experience, which The Boss has embraced with enthusiasm. Living in rural Mallorca, we’ve had the weather most  evenings over the past five months to cook outside. Our versatile lidded Weber could even cope with cooking our Christmas turkey, but we probably won’t risk it (unless there’s an emergency pizza in the freezer).

Like many men, The Boss is a little bit territorial about his BBQ, but I’m not complaining. I get my dinner cooked for me – even if I have to do some of the kitchen prep. And if there’s any doubt about who’s the king of the coals (although, strictly speaking, there are none on our BBQ) this apron – a gift from our friends Duncan and Kristina when they visited in September – says it all!

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If you’d like to see a bit more of the camera-shy Boss, hop over to http://www.eatdrinksleepmallorca.com (my other blog – which is one year old today) or visit http://www.ponderosabeach.com. Yes, those feet in the sand are his . . .

Home . . .

untitled (1 of 1)-2 Home is where the heart is. And our hearts and home are firmly in rural Mallorca, at our finca. We cannot imagine going back to live in England, but quite a few of our friends and acquaintances have done just that. The recently published NatWest IPB Quality of Life Country Index* – based on a survey of 1,804 (strange number, eh?) British expats by the Centre for Future Studies – reported that 63 per cent of those living on the European continent had thought about moving “back home”. We’re firmly in the other 37 per cent: Mallorca is our home. Back to Blighty Last evening we met up in Palma with fun friends Karen and Ian, who are spending a week’s holiday on the island. Until two years ago they lived and worked here. They went back to the UK – not because they didn’t like living on the island but, rather, because it can be difficult to make a decent living here. They’re very happy back in England, but clearly also miss the island. We miss them – as we miss other friends who have left. Some have sadly regretted their move away from Mallorca. It’s easy to forget the negative aspects of your home country that probably influenced the decision to leave it in the first place. It’s also easy to adapt to the more relaxed pace of Mallorcan life, and forget how fast-paced life is back in ‘the old country’. Of course there are some things we miss about England, including our families and friends, rivers, the rolling Cotswold landscape, good bookshops, and Waitrose. But we enjoy having relatives and friends to stay with us here, and have found compensations for the other things. One day, if Euromillions surprises us with a substantial win, we may even find ourselves holidaying back in the homeland. For now though, this is home – for us and for our David Austin rose . . . a little piece of England on Mallorca.

The first rose of autumn for our David Austin 'Lady Hillingdon' rose.

The first rose of autumn for our David Austin ‘Lady Hillingdon’ rose.

*For information, Spain slipped to 11th position in the index. From 2008 until 2011 it had held 7th position. Portugal came in at 12th. Top of the list was Australia.