Alive and Kicking

boa Manacor Mallorca

Blogging is a strange and sometimes funny business.

I have been blogging about Mallorca, and a few other topics, more or less regularly since 2005. After a number of initial blog ventures, I started The Mallorca Photo Blog as a daily blogging exercise on June 10th, 2007, and kept it up rigorously until September 14th, 2012, when I was rushed to hospital for a major heart scare. After my recovery, I decided to take things, and blogging, more leisurely. I started the not-so-daily Mallorca Observed but for some reason, this new venture did not click the way I had expected, neither with my audience nor with my own self. In a parallel way, I was already busy with some other Mallorca-related blog activities, such as Postcards From Felanitx, Postcards From SantanyíPostcards From The Real Mallorca and Plantarum Maioricarum. Earlier this year, I started two new blogs, A Year in Mallorca and True Mallorca. Oh yes, and there is Son Alegre Ecològic a blog about a wine making venture that I am involved in.

Amongst all these blogs and over the last five weeks, I seem to have composed 36 new blog entries, almost one per day, and I seem to be back to where I was before disaster struck. I’m not sure that I want history to repeat itself. My wife thinks that I am mad. I think she’s right and I accept that I have to get my priorities right, one way or other. One thing is for sure: I am rather madly in love with this wonderful island. I’ve been living here full-time since 1987 and we wouldn’t stay here if we weren’t loving it. I am also sure that I want to continue blogging; it seems that this is an activity where I appear to have something to offer.

The alternatives seem to be that I either reactivate this very blog, The Mallorca Photo Blog, or that I concentrate on one or two blogs, like the two new ventures started in 2015, A Year in Mallorca and True Mallorca, plus perhaps the wine one. I shall be thinking about it a bit more, sleeping on it and making a decision; I shall let you know what that will be.

In the meantime, why don’t you let me know what you think about it all?

Alive and Kicking

Blessing of the Animals

Sant Antoni animal blessings Santanyi

Mallorca’s annual Sant Antoni celebrations include a ritual called Beneïdes (blessing of the animals). The origins of this tradition are probably pagan when in the countryside one suffered the weather and the elements for one’s survival. The role of farm animals was significant and help was begged from the deities for the creatures’ protection.

Nowadays, only rural Mallorca still depends on farming and agriculture, even though the dependence is much reduced these days. Still, Beneïdes is an important date in the calendar of the rural community. During the celebration, farm and domestic animals are paraded to the local parish church to benefit from the Sant Antoni blessing. The saint is the patron saint of animals. Dogs and horses, sheep and geese, rabbits and cats, birds and donkeys, sometimes even rats or snakes make an appearance in the act of these celebrations.

The photo was taken in Santanyí, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 17th, 2013. The time was 15:54:52.

Blessing of the Animals

A Grand New Biblioteca in Pollença

Can Llobera Pollensa 1

You may not live in Pollença and even if you do, you may not be inclined to consult the vast archive of the Municipal Library there. But wait, I may give you a good reason for a visit next time you’re in Pollença. Expect to be pleasantly surprised.

The Biblioteca de Pollença has recently moved to new premisses. I should rather say, old premisses, because the new home of the library is now in Can Llobera, a grand town house in Plaça Vella, right next to the parochial church of Nostra Senyora dels Àngels (Our Lady of the Angels). Can Llobera used to be the home of one of the wealthiest and most influential families of Northern Mallorca; amongst many other possessions they were the land owners of the entire Formentor Peninsula, in those days when non-agrarian land in Mallorca was not a very valuable latifundium. One of their descendents was Miquel Costa i Llobera (1852-1908), poet, priest and Hijo Ilustre de Pollença (Illustrious Son) as well as Hijo Predilecto de Mallorca (Favourite Son of Mallorca). Costa i Llobera is considered one of the leading representatives of Catalan poetry, ever.

For the simple act of asking, one is allowed to visit the non library areas of the premisses, including the old kitchen, the pantry, the patio as well as the Planta Noble (first floor), including still furnished drawing rooms, the master bedroom, the reading room and the reception room. Entrance admission is free of charge; you don’t even have to be consulting the library.

Can Llobera_02

If you should be looking for accommodation in the rural area of Pollença, albeit just a tad less grand, there is plenty of accommodation for rent, such as can be found at Pollensa villas. You might use your holiday stay to visit the old town of Pollença and admire the way the rich lived in the old days. I bet you will be envious.

A Grand New Biblioteca in Pollença

This Blog Has Moved

Mall_Observed

The Mallorca Daily Photo Blog is no more. After nearly six years of daily blogging I experienced some rather serious health problems, albeit unrelated to my blogging activities, and had to spend some time in hospital. When I came back home and back to Mallorca I realized that things had to change in my life, and I had to reduce my stress level. So I decided to let go of my daily blogging adventure. I wanted to continue blogging and continue to focus on Mallorca, the island that I have called my home for the last 26 years. I have started a new blog,  Mallorca Observed. Have a look and see what you think. The new blog is not done on a daily basis; that would be too much self-inflicted pressure, again. Blog entries in the new blog will be published if and when I feel like it, perhaps four or five times per months, perhaps more often, depending on news and events. So far I have published 33 stories on my new blog, and I have a few more stories up my sleeves. The archive of all the old stories will remain on air for the time being at this old blog, the MPB.

I hope to be able to welcome some of you at the new Mallorca Observed site.

This Blog Has Moved

Sad News For Music Lovers

paco de lucia 1

Paco de Lucía, one of the greatest guitarists of all times, died yesterday in Cancún (Mexico). Born in Algeciras in Andalucía in 1947, the musician made his home in Mallorca in 2003 when he bought a place in the countryside between Campos and Es Trenc where he planted olive trees and pressed his own olive oil. Later he moved to the outskirts of Palma to enable his younger children to go to school at the Liceo Francés in Palma. In Spain, Paco de Lucía had been bestowed with the Premio Nacional de Guitarra de Arte Flamenco, the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes, a Distinción Honorífica de los Premios de la Música and the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Artes. He was honoured with a Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad de Cádiz and another one by the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). He was given two Latin Grammy awards for best flamenco recording, in 2012 and 2004.

The photo was taken by Montserrat T. Diez and borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of Flickr. Thank you and muchas gracias.

Sad News For Music Lovers

Play it Again, Sam

S'Escorxador2

I am rather pleased that the old Renoir cinema in the Escorxador area of Palma managed to be rescued by the very able and enthusiastic XarxaCinema people, a citizens’ initiative. Two months after the old Renoir closed down for good, the old premises opened up again under a new management and the new name of CineCiutat. Some 1,800 people like you and me have signed up as voluntary co-owners of the new venture. Let’s hope enough people will attend the screenings to make the project a viable one, able to survive the dire straits of economic realities, including IVA (VAT) at 21 % and distribution royalties. The new cinema was opened in July 2012 with 4 screens, partially newly equipped with digital screening facilities.

Today, a new venture will be launched at CineCiutat, a film club under the name of CinèFilms. This film club will have two screenings every Thursday, of either Classic films, European films, films of the 70s and 80s or film screenings grouped by themes. The film club starts tonight with the screening of The Maltese Falcon and will continue next week with Manhattan (Woody Allen), À Bout de Souffle (Jean-Luc Godard) the week after, and Days of Wine and Roses (Blake Edwards), on February 14th. All films will be screened in their original version, with Spanish subtitles. We finally have a cinémathèque in Mallorca, all going well. Come and support the citizens’ cinema, CineCiutat.

S'Escorxador3

On a different subject matter, I promised to let you know about my new blog adventure, Mallorca Observed. I am happy to tell you that the new blog is up and running now. You can either click on the link given above or else, the link in the blog roll in the column to the right. Once at the new site you can bookmark, subscribe or whatever, as you might see fit. I hope to be able to welcome some of you at the new site.

The old MDPB blog will not be continued after today. However, I shall leave the blog archive with some 1,900 entries on air, so to speak, for the time being, at least until October 2013 when the current domain lease expires. We shall see what happens after that; one can never be too sure what life has up its sleeve for us, or can we?

The photos were taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 22nd, 2013. The time was 16:24:18 and 16:22:13.

Play it Again, Sam

Good-Bye to All That

Sa Feixena

It’s time to say good-bye.

After 1,928 daily blog entries between June 10th, 2007, and September 18th, 2012, a serious heart condition caught me unawares whilst on a short trip abroad. I underwent a heart operation and had a quadruple bypass. My unplanned hospital stay rendered me unable to keep the Mallorca Daily Photo Blog running without interruptions. When I got back to Mallorca six weeks later I somehow had lost my sense of purpose, my sense of direction and – without wanting to sound too dramatic – a focus in my life, my attitude, my aspirations, the centre of my self. My organs had been healed and restored but my mental self was all over the place.

It became clear that I did not want to continue as before. I simply could not go on as if nothing had happened. I had to reevaluate myself, my situation and my sense of purpose, including my various blog adventures and, of course, my work load, my stress level and my sense of duty. Things had to slow down; I had to slow down.

I decided, albeit grudgingly, that my main blog, the daily Mallorca adventure and its endless photo sessions resulting in thousands of images had to undergo severe changes if not, had to cease altogether. And that is what it finally boils down to. I have decided to let go of this MDPB blog. I will be embarking on a new Mallorca blog which will not be a daily one (Mallorca Observed) in the near future and I shall let you know as soon as I possibly can where you will be able to find it.

In the meantime let me say a million thanks to you, my valued readers and my loyal subscribers. I appreciated your company, your comments and your numerous recent well-wishes. I shall miss you all. I hope you will join me in my new blog adventure. I would certainly value your continued affiliation.

Let me wish you a Happy New Year. Molts d’anys. See you soon.

The photo was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 4th, 2012. The time was 14:58:35.

Good-Bye to All That