Tuesday, 13 June 2017

On the move .... again

It should be easier this time, having moved my entire belongings, plus 2 cats and 2 kids, only a year ago. Except this time I seem to have acquired 2 horses and all their equipment as well. We are moving from the beautiful 'finca in Inca' to somewhere nearer the children's school. The 4 hour daily journeys, up and down the motorway amongst accidents and hire cars was impossible. Everyone said it would be, but I guess I had to work it out for myself.

So we bought a house. It was a stressful, traumatic, worrying, confusing, expensive and heart-in-the-mouth experience. Brexit had better work out OK, because it looks like we are staying.

We have the keys now and are just waiting to move. The lists, the jobs, the goodbyes to neighbours and the cleaning - although not as intense as the move from the UK - needs to be done and logistically thought out.

The cats skirt their travel cages not wanting to believe they are on the move again. This will be the last time catties, I promise. Because I am not going anywhere for a very long time.


A new house for the foreseeable future

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Sports day

Great whispers and shocked chatter started the school sports day this morning, over coffees and behind Gucci sunglasses.

"Did you hear? About the lady who fell, she had 6 stitches and knocked out her teeth! She sprained both wrists and her child was hysterical at the sight of his mum..."

Sharp intakes of breath ensued, this was obviously a dangerous subject. The mothers race on sports day.

Oh how I giggled and remembered my spectacular crash in front of the whole school a few years ago in Sussex. The adrenaline that coursed my veins as I thought I was going to win, the feeling of flying and impressed my body could still run so fast made a hilarious story. And it seems there were plenty of stories to share, everyone had a calamity to report; of vicious competitiveness, of weeks of training for the event, of boobs flying and torn muscles.

I looked down at my shoes and wandered if I could do it.

Nooooooooo, my kids shouted. Pleeeeeeeeease don't do it, they chorused, not wanting the mother with a smashed up face.

So I settled for cheering on my daughters' efforts in the egg and spoon race - which she won of course.

Competitive? Us?


Sports day in Mallorca - the same all over the world!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Summer happened

Summer happened, just like that, a couple of weeks ago now. Where everything that was once green, has turned brown overnight. The spring flowers have withered leaving grass seed pods and allium skeletons, petrified and roasting.

The horses routine has turned upside down, inside in the day and out all night. The cat has turned into her Magaluf - party style cat, hunting and vomiting by night and comatose in the day.

Ice lollies are mandatory, bikinis live at the front of my drawers, swimming lessons have started in school, the air con is permanently on in the car, I am dirty brown, the duvet has disappeared from the bed, the mosquito repellent is on, BBQ's every weekend, siestas imperative and luke-warm showers save our electricity bills.

Summer has happened. I can hardly believe we have another 9 degrees to go.


Spot cools down in the sprayers and mud


The other one is a bit mental and sunbathes at lunctime


Psycho cat

Thursday, 11 May 2017

La Gordita

Podgey. Porky. Rounded. Full. Well-conditioned. Chunky. Plump. Heavy. Big-boned. Over-weight. Large. Solid.

There is no getting round it, my mare is FAT.

I am not entirely sure when it happened. Some time between this:



and this:


Fat happened.

It always takes someone else to point it out and I felt as bad as taking a child to the dentist with tooth decay. It is my fault she is large and I can no longer feel her ribs.

The diet started today and she was not amused. She probably lives in fear that she will look and feel like this again:


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Multas #2-7, (and very nearly #8)

I seem to be very good at getting multas (fines). In fact I might crown myself the multa queen, or Queen Multa - which sounds a little more formal.

Multa number 1 as you may remember was a little misdemeanour - just a wee bit of parking on a wee bit of grass. Easily done, not easy to pay.

Multas numbers 2 to 7, that's six more fines, were found by looking for them on a website, roughly translated to lookforyourdrivingfines.com. Some kind soul had told me that you can look up your fines and I had just a sneaky suspicion that I may have driven down some roads in Palma that I perhaps shouldn't have. Turns out I have done it six times.

Once again, near impossible to pay these buggering fines. And if you don't pay, they accrue interest. And when they have accrued the maximum interest they (not sure who they are) whip it out of your bank account without telling you - which kind of figures, as they never tell you about the fines anyway.

It's an insane system. Beautiful Spanish bureaucracy. Thank goodness for bilingual friends who have held my hand throughout this process and dried my tears over the 600 euros lost. I now have one (legal) way into Palma and one way out, without incurring crazy costs.

Spain enjoys a good fine. They fine you for washing your car in the street, for playing music too loud, for not wearing a shirt, for not carrying poo bags for your dog - and if your horse craps on the road. I was told politely about the 120 euro fine for my horse pooping in the street, since then I have diligently kicked it into the hedge and remounted or driven back to pick it up after the ride.

After a beautiful ride on the horse I look after, waving to all the farmers and greeting the cyclists with a grin, we met the Ajuntament of Calvia. Basically the town council were out in force. As I nodded a polite 'Hola' the horse I was riding proceeded to do a big, fat steaming, squishy pile of poo - all the way up the road, I look round and there stood two burly Spanish men with reflecting aviators - I leapt off my surprised horse and kicked the offending caca into a sort-of hedge. Dredging up all the Spanish I knew, I grovelled apologising for the timing of the horses poo, that I was cleaning the roads, although my nice new leather boots were now covered in brown digested grass.

Sorry I said.

Que guapo! They replied, referring to my horse. Guapisimo!

I grinned, they cooed over the horse's beauty and multa number 8 was swiftly avoided.


The great poo-er himself (the horse not me)


Sunday, 23 April 2017

No news is good news

Crikey, a month has passed since I have written a post. That is certainly not due to the lack of stories. Or Mallorcan adventures. Just a moment to write in between the craziness that is settling into a new country, would be lovely.

We don't sit by the pool drinking Pina Coladas all day y'know.

This month has been a whirlwind of guests.
Of school tests, exams and choir concerts.
Of work, dragging litres of water to thirsty ponies in fields and riding through villages so quaint they make your heart weak.
Of red tape and admin so frustrating and confusing.
Of driving over 1000 km a week, up and down a motorway at hair-raising speeds.
Of chatting to my neighbours and bumbling through in Spanish.
Of making friendships so fun and deep.
Of swapping ideas, making connections and trading skills.
Of cleaning, cooking, washing and demanding homework gets done.
Of feeding. Everyone and everything. And clearing up the mess afterwards.
Of weeding and watering.

And lots of appreciating.
Lots of being grateful.
Huge amounts of wonder at the beauty.
Many a tear at the mountains.
A lump in the throat over the wild gladioli and alliums.
I almost burst every morning as the horses whicker hello.
The glimpse of the Mediterranean never fails to make us squeal.

Thank you Mallorca and all we have met thus far.

I promise to write of it more.




Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Kira

A nice 12 year old gelding is what I had in mind. One that was perhaps a little weary of life, looking for semi-retirement and fatness, one who neither batted an eyelid at rumbling lorries or a plastic bag. A horse who did not see demons.

But I chose Kira.

A 5 year old mare who had had a bad start to life.

She did not look at me with 'save-me' eyes when we met, more of 'f@@k you and everyone else around me - I need no one' . A feisty little creature you could say.

She was wonky and skinny with more pent up energy than I wanted. She was pushy and bargey. She looked like she wanted to fight me, most of the time. She was not the sleepy boy-horse I had imagined and many an anxious, sweaty night was had over her - wondering if I had done the right thing.

As the famous Chinese quote reminds me that 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step', I finally have time to sit and reflect how far we have come.

Now - a mare with flesh over her bones, a softness to her eye, a playful attitude to life and the beginnings of learning her job without fear.

Who stands to be groomed.

Who can walk past barking dogs.

Who lies down in her stable after tea every night.

Who allows a saddle on her back without trying to bite.

Who trots round on the end of a lunge without galloping.

Who can lift her feet to be picked out without falling over.

Who walks in a straight line down our road.


Sometimes.

Success is a journey not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.