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

Ex Nicotine

Apologies to all loyal MDPB readers, but due to some medical problems of a rather serious character, there will be a temporary period of no daily blog entries. Even though I had given up smoking 31 years ago, it seems that the heart remembers the sins of a young person. I am abroad at the moment, far away from Mallorca, and far away from computers or anything digital other than hospital equipment, and I do not know at this moment when I will be back and able to once again entertain you. I promise to keep you up-to-date as soon as I possibly can. Molts d’anys.

P.S.

Just a quick update to let you know that Klaus had his operation a week ago today (28.09). Everything went well and he is recovering well and is in good spirits. He misses his blog and he misses you all. Thanks for your wonderful well-wishes. Thank you.

Ex Nicotine

Cool in the Pool

You may be surprised when I tell you that we do not possess a swimming pool. We had guests staying with us the other day, for a week or so. Friends of theirs, who were here on holiday, were aghast to hear they stayed with us in a house without a piscina. The truth is that I would quite like to have a cooling-off swim basin but my wife is not in favour of my idea. You may also be shocked to hear that we don’t have air-conditioning in our house, either. I am totally against the environmental insanity and the harmful effect of air-conditioning, health-wise. Luckily my wife agrees with me on that one. Okay, it is hot out there right now, I grant you that. But temperatures will drop within a week or two; so, what’s the big deal? We keep our shutters shut all day long, and there is always a slight breeze and sufficient circulation of air in the house.

As for swimming: there is a large municipal piscina less than a mile down the road from our house with two large pools, a jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna. And even better, there is the sea less than twenty minutes from here, by car, with two dozen bays and coves and beaches within half an hour’s drive, and some 250 beaches in Mallorca, all told. Would you rather swim in the pool or would you rather float in the Mediterranean Sea? That’s an easy answer, I would have thought.

The photo was taken near s’Alquería Blanca, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 22nd, 2012. The time was 22:40:14.

Cool in the Pool

Till Death Us Do Part

Death comes to all, but now, at a price.

The recently announced hike in the rate of Spanish IVA (Value Added Tax) will affect some more than others. School books in Spain, for instance, were taxed, and continue to be, at a low rate of IVA of 4 % (superreducida). School material such as papers, rulers, pencils, crayons, erasers and so on continue to be levied at the reduced rate of IVA, but suffering an increase from 8 % to now 10 %.

It’s worse if you have a death in your family. Funerary expenses in Spain also used to be taxed at 8 % and the cost of funerals should have now gone up to 10 %, being so far a matter within the band of the reduced tax rate. But no. The band of reduced tax rates no longer applies to funerals or cremations as of September 1st, here in Spain. Dying now will be a matter affordable only to the affluent. Funeral expenses will now be charged at the full rate of 21 %, whereas this week and until the end of this month, they are still levied at 8 %. The new regulation will make Spain the most expensive country in Europe for the family of the deceased from next week, tax-wise, with the possible exception of Sweden.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 12th, 2012. The time was 18:26:09.

Till Death Us Do Part

A Screech, a Bang And a Spin

Last night, having just finished a latish supper, our son was waiting for a friend to arrive. They were ready to go to some verbenas in Montuïri, a pueblo half an hour’s down the road from Felanitx. Suddenly we heard a screeching noise and a bang. Our daughter wondered if it was a fire cracker. Then the phone rang. It was our son’s friend, saying that he had just been involved in a car accident. We went out immediately, because the accident scene appeared to have been just down the road from our house judging by the bang that we had heard.

As accidents go, this luckily seems to have been a minor one. Even though there was considerable damage to both cars – one of them spun out of control and came to a halt only inches from a shop front – there was no serious personal injury as there might have easily been. Yes, our son’s friend was shocked and appeared bewildered by the force of the impact; he had also suffered bruises to his shoulder from the seat belt. The municipal police arrived at the scene within minutes, and a few moments later, the Tráfico (Traffic Police). Measurements were taken of skid marks and distances to stop signs, and alcohol tests were administered with breathalyzers; both drivers’ samples proved negative. Our son’s friend was then taken to the medical centre for further tests of a possible whiplash injury. No verbenas for him tonight. We hope he’ll be alright.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 18th, 2012. The time was 22:51:53.

A Screech, a Bang And a Spin

Fifty Grades of Shade

We have recently been sent a heavy humid heat wave from the African land expanse. The Agencia Estatal de Meteorología has seen itself prompted to issue a Yellow Alert warning of high temperatures for today and tomorrow.

You may agree with my findings that the heat is more bearable when under the protective shield of some natural shade. The Mallorcan natives have always considered shade an important ally in combating the unforgiving aggression of the Summer sun. Main roads between major villages used to be lined with tall and handsome Aleppo Pine Trees (Pinus halepensis) affording a canopy of shade for those traversing the island. The same in Palma, where streets such as Carrer de Blanquerna were tree-lined, in this case with Lledoners (Celtis australis), offering the animals some shade on their way to the slaughterhouse at s’Escorxador. When I sit sipping my morning coffee, I do so under the shade of the Felanitx palm trees (Phoenix canariensis) and when I go to the beach I seek comfort under the pine trees. If there are no trees, I do not go to the beach during the hot July and August temperatures. I am not mad enough to get roasted like a suckling pig just for the sake of a swim in the Med.

The photo was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 7th, 2012. The time was 14:54:20.

Fifty Grades of Shade

Mountain Olympics at the Barranc de Biniaraix

Whilst the couch potatoes amongst us, including yours truly, were busy watching the London 2012 Olympics on the telly last Sunday, a few hundred Mallorcan men and women (and children and dogs) participated in a kind of Mountain Olympics at the Barranc de Biniaraix, near Sóller. The competition was organised by the Secció de Muntanya del Círculo Sollerense and was held for the eleventh year. The contest was held in two categories, one against the clock and the other one just for the excitement of participating. The course had a length of 4.8 kilometres of cobbled Cami de Pedra en Sec.

Young Pere Rullan Estarelles was the overall winner in the male category with a time of 00:28:15, whilst María Eugenia Gallastegui Alemany was the fastest female with a time of 00:38:50.

If you haven’t been to the Barranc de Biniaraix you should make that one of your walks and hikes to do when the Olympics are over and done with. You will find one of the best scenic routes on the island, I promise, and you won’t have to run.

The photo was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of flickr.com, C.C.D.S. and the photographer, Joan Vicens i Vidal.

Thank you very much, and

moltes gràcies.

Mountain Olympics at the Barranc de Biniaraix