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.

Sylvia Baker de Perkal – Translator & Artist Living in Rural Mallorca

Sylvia Baker de Perkal and her Californian husband Adam moved from banking careers in  Madrid to live in the countryside near the Mallorcan village of Algaida. This was twenty-six years ago, and they still live in the same rural home they fell in love with when they came to look for a property on the island.  Sylvia and Adam each have their own successful businesses in Mallorca: Sylvia is a highly qualified translator, specialising in legal and financial translations; Adam runs his wine importing company. Sylvia also devotes time to her passion for creating art; four of her canvases hang in a smart new hotel in Lisbon. Sylvia talks about sharing their environment with animals (some of which you'll hear in the background), the changes they made to their home when they arrived, how she integrated into the local community, what it's like to start a business here, and some of the illusions people have about living in Mallorca. http://www.sylviabakerdeperkal.com Facebook: Sylvia Baker de Perkal- Artworkwww.mundidrinks.comFor animal adoptions:Dogs 4 U                               https://dogsforu.orgAsociación Animalista  https://gatosyperros.orgProject Love                        http://www.sinhogarmallorca.com PODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”COMPOSER: Jack WaldenmaierPUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI) Jan Edwards's novel 'Daughter of Deià' – set in Mallorca – is now available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.
  1. Sylvia Baker de Perkal – Translator & Artist
  2. Kate Brittan – Australian Expat, Foodie, and Fledgling Farmer
  3. Annie Verrinder – Wedding Planner, Celebrant … and More
  4. Marc Rieke – Wigmaker, Equestrian, Saddle Fitter
  5. Caroline Fuller – Gardening in Mallorca

Suzi Quatro – Lyricist, Poet, Autobiographer, Novelist Authors in Mallorca

Detroit-born Suzi Quatro made her distinctive mark on the glam rock scene in the '70s and has been in the music business ever since, as a singer, songwriter, and musician. She's also presented radio and TV shows and acted – playing  Leather Tuscadero in 'Happy Days', the lead role in 'Annie Get Your Gun' in London's West End, and parts in several British TV series including 'Midsomer Murders' and 'Absolutely Fabulous'. Her 58-year career – so far – continues with a European concert tour this year, kicking off in April at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Writing is a passion for Suzi and, as well as penning lyrics, she has also authored five published books: 'Unzipped' – autobiography (Hodder) 'Through My Eyes' – first of a series of illustrated coffee-table books (New Haven Publishing)'The Hurricane' – a novel (New Haven Publishing)'Through My Words' – 2nd in series of coffee-table books (New Haven Publishing)'Through My Thoughts' – 3rd in series (New Haven Publishing)During Suzi's recent visit to Mallorca (where she and her husband have a home), we met in Puerto Portals to chat about her writing life – and more.  We talk about the writers who have influenced her; her writing methods; the two books she's just finishing (a second novel and a collection of poetry); the effects of the Covid lockdown on her work and life, and more. For Suzi Quatro's website and 2022 tour dates, see here.  Click here for tickets for Suzi's April 2022 concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London.PODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”COMPOSER: Jack WaldenmaierPUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI)The novel ‘Daughter of Deià’ by podcast host Jan Edwards is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. 
  1. Suzi Quatro – Lyricist, Poet, Autobiographer, Novelist
  2. Simon Kenion Shears – The Fitness Author
  3. Christine Greenslade – Children's Author
  4. Lizzie Graham – Author (with Anna Deacon) of 'Wild Guide Balearic Islands'
  5. Dr Timothy Ashby – Historical Fiction & Non-Fiction Author

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

Damian Wilson, Digital Creator

Englishman and countryside lover, Damian Wilson, lives with his small menagerie of rescue animals in the rural heart of Mallorca.

He spent many years in the music business, and worked with artists including The Human League and Ace of Base; Damian was the A&R (artists and repertoire) executive for the latter’s Danish record company.

But Damian’s heart is in Mallorca and he talks about rural life, animals, and how he used his creativity at home during Spain’s tough spring 2020 lockdown. You’ll also hear about his production company Film Balear.

Episode 3 – Damian Wilson

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).