Autumn on Mallorca means preparing for the winter, when you live in the more-exposed areas of the countryside. In the past few days The Boss has climbed the ladder to swathe our two terrace canopies in bubble-wrap and tape, as protection from the worst of what winter may throw at us weather-wise. Walk around some of the island’s resorts and you’ll see the more vulnerable exterior fixtures and fittings of hotels that are closed for the winter similarly covered. Our terraces look a bit sad, as a result, but we had to spend a lot of money recovering the canopies this year, so it’s all about protecting our investment against the elements.
We do have one small terrace that catches the sun and is sheltered from the north winds, where we keep a table and chairs throughout the winter. Unless it’s raining or very cold, we often have our mid-morning coffee here and sometimes lunch too. Today, despite the gloomiest of skies, we fired up the BBQ one last time this year (before The Boss tucks it away for winter) and had a leisurely lunch al fresco.
Pip – Fit to Pop
Our outdoor cats are also aware of the changing seasons. They stay closer to home and, in the morning and early evening, are all waiting at the front door of our home waiting to be fed. In summer they are grazers, coming to the terrace to eat when they feel like it but, at this time of year, their habits change.
This summer grazing habit of six of our cats resulted in a bit of a barrel-belly problem for Pip – our youngest cat (an adorable calico). As she stays close to the house most of the time, any food left uneaten by her cat companions was clearly too much of a temptation. She was either being plain greedy or just ‘clearing up’ any leftovers to be helpful.
It’s hard to put a semi-feral cat on a diet – she could be eating things out in the wilderness that is our valley – but we’re doing our best. Pip is now having her meals separately from the other cats and, when they have finished eating, we’re removing their bowls. The cats have adjusted well to this – probably because eating for them at the moment is more about gaining winter weight for warmth, than grazing on a whim.
On the subject of food, many seasonal restaurants are now closed until around Easter next year. With fewer tourists and so many places shuttered up (or swathed in plastic), a sense of the impending winter is in the air – although it’s still officially autumn and the air itself has been pretty mild some days (in the low 20s Celsius some days). The Boss – in the best Boy Scout tradition – has prepared us for what may come. He’s stocked up on logs for the stove and red wine for the rack. Winter? I guess we’re almost ready for it …
Jan Edwards Copyright 2016
4 thoughts on “Preparations for Winter on Mallorca”
Always enjoy reading your posts from sunny Majorca. For those of us regular island visitors who aren’t lucky enough to be domiciled there (yet) it’s very interesting to make a direct comparison between the climate you’re still enjoying. …as opposed to what we’re suffering back in blighty!
Look forward to your next seasonal offering.
Thanks for your kind comments, Mark. For the past two days it’s been blowing a hoolie here and wet with it! Log burner now pressed into service …
I appreciate that you enjoy the blog.
Best wishes – and keep warm over there, Jan
We live in a rather narrow mountain valley so that today the sun went down behind the mountain around 4 pm. I was surprised when I looked at the clock and saw how “early” it was. So….I went to the calendar and counted how many days remain until the days start getting longer. Only 36 days! That’s always heartening. We are in what I guess I would call a bit of a drought. It is unusual that we have not had one snowflake yet. The nearby ski areas are getting nervous, too. The days have been pretty sunny with temps around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s warm for November. How cold will it get there and will it snow even a little? I hope that’s not a ridiculous question.
Good to hear from you – and to know there are not too many darker days left. Not my favourite time of year …
We have already had a dusting of snow on the Tramuntana mountains, although we don’t usually see snow up there very often. Snow outside the mountains is usually quite rare, but we’ve seen it at home about three times in 12 years. February is when things can get really chilly … frost occasionally at home.
Sounds unusually warm over there! But I am sure those snowflakes won’t be long in coming!