Happy New Year from Chilly Mallorca

How were your New Year’s Eve celebrations? I don’t think anyone was sorry to see the end of 2020 but, wherever you were, I hope you had a chance to reflect on any positive aspects of what was a really crap year for everyone.

Part of the traditional nativity display in Palma’s El Corte Ingles department store

Like so many around the world, we’ve lost people this year who were dear to us. My extended family said goodbye to two much-loved senior members, and two friends were lost to cancer.

I begin each year by making a list of highlights of the previous 12 months: fiestas attended, restaurants enjoyed, new experiences, friends and family who’ve visited, etc. I’m always surprised at how much has happened and been achieved, and this strengthens my sense of gratitude.

Will I make a list for 2020? It’d be short. But even amidst the gloom and bad news of the pandemic year, I have found things for which to be grateful.

Reasons to be Positive

In the spring, the eldest of my two brothers was diagnosed with prostate cancer – even before he had any symptoms. He’d been to his GP about an unrelated problem and, while there, the doctor suggested an overdue PSA test. Long story short, my brother had a major operation – at a time when some hospitals had postponed most non-Covid-related procedures. I thank the NHS that he made a good recovery, without needing further treatment. If you’re male, please take this as a reminder to ask your doctor for a PSA test if you haven’t had one for a while.

I finished writing the first draft of my debut novel. This was back in spring, and I put the manuscript aside for a few months, as is recommended, before I started editing and revising. In 2021 I intend to see it published by whatever means possible. Just the small matter of finishing the revisions first.

We found a new Internet provider (ConectaBalear) – albeit too late to enjoy all the exciting online activities available during the strict three-month Spanish lockdown. As a result, we had a Christmas Day Zoom with my dad (whom I haven’t seen since a family funeral in the UK just before lockdown), and my two brothers and their families.

I also launched two podcasts, after my Mallorca Sunshine Radio show was put on hold. The weekly show was all about hospitality and gastronomy, and we all know what’s happened to those sectors – particularly in places depending on tourism. Living in Rural Mallorca podcast is about other expats’ experiences of life in the countryside here; Authors in Mallorca speaks for itself, I think. I hope you’ll have a listen and even subscribe to future episodes.

Marc Rieke – Wigmaker, Equestrian, Saddle Fitter Living in Rural Mallorca

In this episode of Living in Rural Mallorca, hear Marc Rieke — a professional wigmaker and an equestrian  from Berlin — who now lives in the Mallorcan countryside with his dog and horses. Marc  talks about his reasons for moving to the island, meeting actress Helen Mirren, and his work with horses — both as a riding instructor and saddle fitter.Marc's website is currently in German only but is in the process of being translated into English and Spanish.www.mrforhorses.com PODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”COMPOSER: Jack WaldenmaierPUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI)
  1. Marc Rieke – Wigmaker, Equestrian, Saddle Fitter
  2. Caroline Fuller – Gardening in Mallorca
  3. Ep 4 Karl & Vikki Grant – Creative Photographers
  4. Damian Wilson – Digital Creator
  5. Florist Joanna Walton

Louise Davis – Memoirist Authors in Mallorca

English writer Louise Davis wrote her debut memoir after retiring from her successful career as public relations manager for one of Mallorca’s best-known 5-star hotels. The beautiful La Residencia, in the mountain village of Deià, is today owned by the Belmond hospitality and leisure company but went through a few changes of ownership and management during Louise’s twenty-two years at the hotel. She drew on her memories to write ‘Hideaway Hotel – Secrets of a Mediterranean Celebrity Retreat’. Among other things, Louise talks about the challenges of writing memoir; editing after feedback; the positive experience with her chosen publisher, and a couple of memoirs she’s recently enjoyed reading.  My thanks to Belmond La Residencia for allowing us into the hotel to record the interview, even though it's not yet open  for the 2021 season. On the day we visited, maintenance staff and contractors were busy making sure everything will be ready for this season's discerning guests.‘Hideaway Hotel – Secrets of a Mediterranean Celebrity Retreat’ (pub Ant Press) is available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon. https://www.belmond.com/hotels/europe/mallorca/deia/belmond-la-residencia/www.antpress.orgIn Mallorca, you can buy Louise’s book at Kay Halley’s Universal Bookshop in Portals Nous. PODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”COMPOSER: Jack WaldenmaierPUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI)
  1. Louise Davis – Memoirist
  2. Pete Davies – Debut Novelist (Crime Thriller)
  3. Dr James Rieley – Multi-Genre Author
  4. Dawne Archer — Memoirist
  5. Linda Ledwidge – Holistic Wellness Expert

Ooh, the Lucky Grapes!

New Year’s Eve in 2020 was low key in our house. TV reception was almost non-existent because of bad weather, so we read. The Boss opened a bottle of cava to toast in the New Year, but we almost forgot about the ‘lucky grapes’. This Spanish tradition, dating back to the early 20th century, calls for one grape to be eaten with each of the twelve clock chimes at midnight. It’s harder than it sounds and seedless grapes are recommended (as is peeling them in advance; note to self for next time).

I rushed to the fridge to fetch the two portions of grapes and, although we started a few seconds late, we managed to swallow them all before 2021 arrived.

The lucky part was that we didn’t choke trying to do so! Gotta find the positives where you can…

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Be safe.

Jan Edwards Copyright 2021

8 thoughts on “Happy New Year from Chilly Mallorca

    • Thank you. We do have to be positive – although it’s pretty tough at times. I hope you’ll be happy, safe, and healthy in 2021 – and that you can plan whatever new adventures may be brewing. By the way, not sure I can be sane!!

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