Florist Joanna Walton

In England, Joanna Walton used to own a number of London flower shops. These days, home is a tucked-away country property, near the town of Artà, shared with her husband Anthony – who has a construction company on the island – and some much-loved dogs and cats.

Her Mallorca business, Joanna Walton Flowers, supplies floral arrangements and decorations for weddings and other celebrations, superyachts, and luxury villas.

Joanna talks about the changes she’s noticed in Mallorca since her first summer on the island some thirty years ago; the challenges of life here, and shares a tip for using those fallen pine cones often found in the Mallorcan countryside.

Find out more about Joanna Walton Flowers here.

The theme music for the Living in Rural Mallorca podcast is titled ‘Lifestyles’. Composer: Jack Waldenmaier. Publisher: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI). All copyrights, licensing, duplication, and distribution rights for this music are held exclusively by Music Bakery Publishing (BMI).

Curfew & Curtailment in Mallorca

Thank heavens for the period of fine weather we’re enjoying in Mallorca now. It’s known as the veranillo de las rosas otoñales. This ‘little summer of autumn roses’ – I love the name – is the equivalent of what’s called an ‘Indian summer’ in English.

My David Austin climbing rose – blooming in late October

Spain being a Catholic country, you won’t be surprised to read that these periods of lovely weather are said to be bordered by saints’ days: September 29th (Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael) and November 11th (St Martin). Fingers crossed then that we have another couple of weeks in which to enjoy the type of weather that can be a distraction from all-things Covid.

Curfew Everywhere in Spain

The pandemic in Spain rages mainly everywhere. So much so that a national curfew was introduced from last Sunday. The curfew period was set by the Spanish government from 11pm until 6am, with regional governments allowed to tinker with these times if they saw fit.

If you’re someone who likes to be tucked up in bed by eleven, and doesn’t contemplate stepping outside again until it’s at least daylight, this curfew is unlikely to have much impact on your daily life. But, for many Spaniards – particularly those in big cities – eleven at night is when they may not long have gone out to socialise or eat dinner.

Not Good for Night Owls

The first time The Boss and I visited Barcelona (probably twenty-plus years ago), we couldn’t find a restaurant open until nine in the evening. By the time we’d finished dinner – in an otherwise empty restaurant – locals were just arriving there to start their meal.

On another occasion, I was the anchorperson on a video that the hotel group I worked for was shooting in Madrid. I was supposed to do a piece to camera outside the hotel after dark but the noise of traffic was so loud that we delayed the shoot until after a late dinner. We eventually filmed the link at two in the morning and, even at that hour, cars were still whizzing past as we filmed.

Under pressure from Mallorca’s restaurants and bars, the curfew on the island has been amended and is now from midnight until six in the morning, with the threat that the start time will revert to eleven if Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Manacor in Lockdown

Manacor is our nearest town and it’s where we buy anything we need, recycle our rubbish, fill the car with diesel, etc. Yesterday Manacor was locked down for fifteen days.

Manacor is currently the area with the highest ratio of cases to local population in the Balearics, and it’s hoped that this latest measure will help reduce contagion.

It’s not the same as the national lockdown in spring. Businesses and schools remain open in the town and those who live within the set perimeters can go about their daily lives (including work) – although it’s recommended not to go out more than necessary.

Worst hit by this two-week lockdown are Manacor’s restaurants and bars. They can only serve customers on terraces (and with a maximum of 50 per cent of their normal capacity) and not indoors, and must close by 10pm. They are allowed to offer a take-away service; for restaurants such as the renowned Can March, which has no outdoor space, take-away is the only option.

Anyone who lives outside the borders of the locked-down area – which includes us – must stay away. Our heavy winter curtains will remain, for now, at the dry cleaners – another reason to hope this ‘little summer of autumn roses’ continues – and we shall have to wait to collect the picture to be framed that we took to a little business in Manacor.

Next Episode of Podcast Soon!

I had the most enjoyable of mornings yesterday talking to my next guest on the Living in Rural Mallorca podcast. You’ll be able to hear her soon. We sat outdoors to record the conversation, enjoying the natural beauty of the northeast corner of Mallorca. On the way home, I spotted these beautiful bucolic scenes.

Until next time, stay safe wherever you are, and give thanks for whatever’s good in your life.

Jan Edwards – Copyright – 2020

Storm Strikes Again at our Finca

Autumn arrived with a bang this year. Quite a few bangs, actually. Although this time of the year is when we expect thunderstorms, there seem to have been more than usual recently. Why should I expect something ‘normal’ in a year like 2020?

August 29th was the first big storm that sticks in our mind; this is probably because we’ve only just received and paid the eye-popping bill for the repair of the lightning-damaged inverter that keeps our solar-power electricity system going.

The latest storm a couple of nights ago appears to have affected our generator. It simply won’t start. This hulking (and noisy) beast usually kicks in automatically when the solar batteries are a little low in power – which happens when the sun hasn’t been on duty for a while or we use certain power-guzzling appliances.

Our recent top-up delivery of diesel for the generator.

Today we have sunshine, which means the solar panels are maxing out on sunbathing and our system can happily run without the generator – assuming modest use of power. But using the washing machine or the iron, for example, kicks off the generator however much sun is available.

Rugs at the Ready

Until the generator can be fixed, doing the laundry at home is off limits. Oh, and so are the air-conditioning units that do heating duty in the evenings at this time of year – when it’s not quite cold enough for a log fire (The Boss would disagree with that) but a little warmth is appreciated. It’s a cosy rug over the legs on the sofa for us for the foreseeable.

The big positive about all the rain we’ve had is that rural Mallorca has lost the veil of dust it’s been wearing over the dry months. Everything looks sparkling clean . . . except the contents of the laundry basket.

The stream at the bottom of our valley should be full of water by now, but I won’t have to resort to kneeling on its muddy banks to do the laundry. Thank heavens for gas-powered water heaters and a good-sized kitchen sink. Now, pass the Marigolds . . .

Jan Edwards Copyright 2020

Norbert Amthor of Finca Hotel Can Estades

Norbert Amthor is originally from Germany and lives and works on a beautiful finca in the southwest of Mallorca. He and his wife Christiane are the welcoming hosts of the rural Finca Hotel Can Estades, located in the countryside near the village of Calvià.

Norbert talks about the challenges of the first finca he bought on the island, explains how he came to be running a rural hotel, and has some advice for anyone wanting to move to Mallorca. You’ll also hear him reveal how he met his wife, what they enjoy about the island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca, and the pastime he loves that he took up only at the age of 59.

Find out more about Norbert and Christiane’s B&B hotel here.

The theme music for the Living in Rural Mallorca podcast is titled ‘Lifestyles’. Composer: Jack Waldenmaier. Publisher: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI). All copyrights, licensing, duplication, and distribution rights for this music are held exclusively by Music Bakery Publishing (BMI).

Living in Rural Mallorca Podcast – Next!

October already! It’s when we start to think about taking long walks again – the heat of summer being over. It’s also the month I’m finally launching my Living in Rural Mallorca podcast, in which you can hear the experiences of other expats who have chosen to live in the Mallorcan countryside, as we have.

Mallorca woods walk
Walking season has arrived

I planned to start this podcast early in 2020. Then a couple of things happened: my beautiful Auntie Joan passed away and I returned to the UK for her funeral; then, just a few days after my return, Spain went into lockdown.

Thwarted by Weak WiFi

Several famous people started podcasts during the lockdown, using online facilities such as Zoom and Skype to record remote guests. Sadly, our WiFi was too feeble and we couldn’t even watch Netflix, YouTube, or join online family meet-ups on Houseparty.

But I was otherwise ready, having bought myself a new digital recorder (Zoom H2n, if you’re interested), sourced some theme music, and created my podcast label. The final piece in the podcast puzzle was finding a new Internet service, which has made many more online things possible for us. Oh, and a first guest.

Expat Interviews

My plan is to invite expats to join me on future episodes of this podcast to share their experiences of living in the Mallorcan countryside. These guests won’t be only from the UK, as my Living in Rural Mallorca blog has readers and followers from all around the world.

In my next post, you can hear the first episode of the Living in Rural Mallorca podcast. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about the experiences of Norbert Amthor, who lives and works in the southwest of Mallorca.