Festas Sant Antoni – Out of the fire…

Visit of the demons

Visit of the demons

It’s that time of year and just when we thought we couldn’t celebrate any more festivities, St Anthony and St Sebastian were with us again!  As with most villages and towns across Mallorca, Binissalem celebrated Sant Antoni with bonfires and demonis on Saturday night and my street was no exception!  This year the council delivered the earth pile in front of my door the day before, obviously over-time pay for the council workers has been cut!  We then enjoyed the game of “hide the traffic cones and watch people drive into our street only to back out again” all weekend!   Then it was up to us to organise firewood, friends and fun – which my neighbour and I did with gusto!

The significance behind this saint’s day is principally the blessing of domestic animals.  Now this is great if you don’t mind hysterical dogs and cats being dragged against their will to wait for the priest to come out of the church and throw holy water over them.  Personally my animals have always been nervous around bangers and fireworks so we stay home for that part of the fiestas!

My favourite bit is the bonfire and as this symbolises purification and renewal of life, triumph of good over bad I can totally relate to it with all that is going on for me this year!  I am certainly in full swing of life changes and as is par for the course the temptations to do nothing at the same time is very strong in me!  In this sense then, the visit of the demonis to our street was a welcome reminder to resist the temptation to do nothing with my life, so here I go, one step at a time.   It was a trifle disappointing however to see how the crisis and the cuts meant that their visit lasted much less than last year and I do believe only one banger was let off and just one mouthful of petrol taken to show off their dragon skills!

However, the message of this celebration is clear to me – we are still up for partying, crisis or no crisis and Sant Antoni has to be the best one of them!  What could be better – organise a bonfire, invite your friends, get them to bring their own supper (I’m a vegetarian!) and offer dessert – ginger cake and strawberry cake this time!  My only mistake was to leave my front door open and as it rained this weekend too, my house now looks like the demonis stayed for the weekend!  Oh well, off to clean!

Enjoy your year everyone!  Take time to make changes where necessary, find the enjoyment in all that you do including the rain and the mud and try to share of yourself – family and friends are more important than a clean house!  See you all at mine next year!

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Letter from the heart

The volunteers who came to stay, give a hand and leave their mark

The volunteers who came to stay, give a hand and leave their mark

Happy new year!  I hope you have started 2014 in a manner that brings out the best of you with any resolutions, ideas and plans to keep you positive and energetic in all that you do!

I had some surprising news just before Christmas that gave me an opportunity to look within and take a lesson.  The news was that the owner of the property in which the Binissalem Peace Centre is situated wished to come back and live there once again.  She did give me the option to keep the Peace Centre in a small part of the house but given the nature of the project and all that it entailed I have decided not to.  I am therefore relocating the project and shall leave there at the end of this month.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have started something new and I have learned a great deal in the last 4 months.  I believe that the essence of the project is transferrable and actually see that it would be even better to be always flexible and not at the mercy of people or of buildings.  The way forward I believe is to provide the possibility of transformation through learning anywhere and at any time!  I have some new ideas as to how this could be done but first I am going to take a step back and see what Glynis needs first.  I will take some time now to process all that I learned, which believe me has been plenty!

I am grateful to you all for your support and special mention goes to my mentor in this, Betty Steinhauer.  She has been fun, uplifting and positive throughout.  To the volunteers who gave their time and energy to cleaning up, fixing things, always being on hand to throw their hand to anything especially Catalina Pons, Claire Bryan and Mark Barton who were there from the start and who generously left their mark on the Peace Centre – your support and hard work is treasured.  There were many more volunteers including Eva Sepulveda, Ruth Lavan and Judit Cabello who believed and supported too.  To my dear friend Sylvia Baker for her translations of everything into Spanish.  To Horacio Camperi for his donation of the web page design and creation that we are now having to readjust and to Marc Masmiquel for the beautiful logo.  To Kimberly Hunn, another of my mentors for being there for me and believing in me.  To lawyer Juana Jimenez for her services with the contract and to BK Ramon Ribalta also for his input.  To my cousin Rod Bell for his generosity and support from afar.  To all too many of you to name here – your support, your encouragement, your enthusiasm with me and especially your belief in the project – transformation through learning –  I say thank you.

I also hereby acknowledge the generous donations in cash, in furniture, in items (bedding, books, etc), in time and in services and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.  Please know that anything that was donated ie furniture, bedding, etc is being sold off to go towards the next venue.  Thank you again to those of you who supported every event, every class, every workshop that we held there – Cara, Ruth, Carolina were just some of the teachers there.  And to the regulars – it was always great to see your face and share a cup of tea!

And last but not least to my family.  To my dad Gerry German who surely from the heavens is listening to me and granting me my wishes.  To my firmest and fairest supporter of all – my mother BK Patricia German, the wisest woman I know.  To my siblings and siblings in-law Sian, Roger, Bryn, Bo, Deuan and Lisa, to my nieces and nephews and finally my beautiful sons Noah Angel and Pau Indigo plus their father Rob Orchard – for putting up with me at home during the whole process!

Again thank you.

Watch this space – I have lots planned for 2014 not least comedy, weddings, celebrations and constant learning!