Things you don’t expect to see in a Mallorcan country lane

We have been busy at our finca in rural Mallorca lately. The Boss cleaned our terraces with his new  Kärcher pressure washer, and they’ve never looked so clean. As with many tasks done around the finca, there’s a consequence job: the powerful machine blasted away not only a load of winter grime, but also some of the grouting between the tiles. Ho hum.

When I haven’t been working on writing jobs, I’ve also been outdoors doing jobs – including painting one of the small walls blasted clean (of its former paint!) by the mean machine. Most of my time outside though has been spent on the relentless Battle of the Weeds. It was while doing a spot of weeding yesterday morning that I saw something very unusual in the lane that runs alongside our property.

There have been other strange sightings here over the years. We once saw two donkeys walking down the lane like a couple of people out for a country stroll. That experience turned into an inadvertent case of donkey-napping – and one of the early posts on this blog.

And a little faster . . .

On another occasion – while our dear friends Duncan and Kristina were visiting from the UK – we saw something even more unusual: a team of speed skaters, dressed in tight bright Lycra, speed skating up the lane – having been driven to the bottom of the valley in the team’s minibus. We were exhausted watching them whizz up the hill. They appeared to take it all in their glide.

And even racier . . .

Yesterday, Good Friday, I saw something else memorable in the lane, while out in the battlefield (garden). To be honest, seeing three walkers isn’t unusual, as people do drive out to our valley to walk along the peaceful lanes. I could hear that they were German: two young men and a woman – probably in their late 20s or early 30s. The guys were dressed in the sort of clothes you’d wear for a walk in the country; the woman wore . . . a white bikini (and presumably shoes, although I couldn’t see her feet).

I’m far from a prude, but somehow a bikini didn’t seem like the most appropriate apparel for someone miles from the sea or a public swimming pool – and walking around countryside that’s largely inhabited by Mallorcan farmers (some of them on the elderly side and likely to have crashed their tractors at the shock of seeing so much flesh exposed in public).

We were once reprimanded by one of our Mallorcan neighbours for working in the garden on a Sunday – God’s day. Goodness knows what they would have thought of Miss White Bikini on a Good Friday!

If you were hoping to see a photo of her, I’m afraid I didn’t take one. I’m sure the woman felt embarrassed enough when she realized that the outing her friends had planned was a walk in the country – and not a trip to the beach . . .

 

 

 

 

The Boss is beaming

The sun is out for the first time in more than a week in our part of Mallorca – a very good reason to smile but, in fact, The Boss isn’t grinning from ear to ear, but up a ladder and painting beams. Now that’s what I call beaming.

After our finca was re-roofed last October we decided to start the long-term project of filling in the gaps between the terracotta tiles that make up our ceilings. So far, the kitchen and dining room have been completed. But, having done this, it was necessary to paint over the filler. Unfortunately, the paint we’d used originally was a slightly different shade to the new paint we bought to complete the job (due to a computer problem with the paint-mixing machine in our local decorating shop) so the whole ceiling has had to be done again.

Stepping up to the job

The weather’s been so bad for the past week that outside jobs have been impossible. On Sunday, we decided to tackle the ceiling job, which also included painting the beams. We had lovely wooden beams in our old cottage in Oxfordshire, but the ones here are cast concrete – not in the same league looks-wise, but they do keep the ceiling and roof above our heads! Wooden ones are more authentic, of course, but are at risk from woodworm and the dreaded formiga blanca – the white ant which, if it finds its way in, will eat away at wooden beams from the inside out.

When we moved here we didn’t like the appearance of the concrete beams, so we painted them brown. At a quick glance – or after a few of The Boss’s renowned G&Ts – any visitors who didn’t know otherwise, might just think they were made from wood. But rainwater and mould-cleaning products – as a result of the former leaky roof – had taken their toll on the paintwork.

Taking a break from the ladder . . .

Taking a break from the ladder . . .

Decorating is a team job in this house. Usually I paint the walls and The Boss paints the bits I can’t reach from our wobbly ladder – and that includes most of the sloping ceilings and beams. So, while I’m writing this, and working on some articles for the next issue of the magazine for which I write, The Boss is reaching new heights . . . and beaming.