Well would ya believe it!

Santiago Stankovic Fotografia

One World Music Festival

What an exciting time I’m having!  Since being withdrawn from the teaching programme, I am enjoying being where I am and the gifts of abundance are dropping in my lap which makes it so much more exciting!  No sooner than I decided that the blessing in losing one job was to give me time, space and energy on keeping my own house in order, ie my own business, the rewards began to show.

Ceremonies, enquiries, bookings started to come my way and being open to my purpose shows me that the path I am on is the right one for me.  The last two formal ceremonies, one a wedding and one a funeral,  have seen me receive tips from the ones who booked me.  Last Sunday’s ceremony to open the second edition of the One World Music Festival, showed me that there is a place for me and my work in the not so usual settings.

I facilitated the most incredible meeting of a Death Café too and 25 interested, curious and open people showed up to share thoughts, reflections and moments in an enriching setting.  I came away humbled and excited that finally we are talking in an open manner, prepared to listen to others and sharing ourselves in such a positive way.  I am preparing meetings in Palma soon to carry on this very important work of talking about death in a natural manner, after all, it comes to us all eventually.

All in all, I am excited to see the day to day unfold as losing one income has opened me up to gaining so much more.  Watch this space!

Photo credit: Santiago Stankovic Photography

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To change or not to change….

determination, dedication, celebrant, mallorca, spain, binissalem, education, values, ceremonies

This week has been a week of looking within, going within and above all being happy with what I have found there!  It was a week of decision making, not easy and the doubts loomed large but faded gradually into the distance as I made up my mind.

I felt my father’s presence and whilst I am not sure if I got his blessing, I certainly got my mother’s stamp of approval and her good wishes for whatever I was going to decide.  It was a silly thing but also huge.  It was a moment of stubbornness which transformed into determination, although those it impacted on might not see it that way… yet.

I am no longer English language assistant at my local high school.  Why?  Because I refused to get one form and that was the deal breaker if I was to continue.  The one form was not necessary last year when I was employed on the same job.  I had the equivalent form through the Spanish authorities last year and that was deemed more than sufficient for them.  Had I been looking at doing a different job this year, this form might have made sense although it was a form required by the British authorities to whom I had mistakenly applied to continue in the same job.  Confused?  So was I until the end!!

You see, bureaucrats do things differently to sensible people.  They follow orders, don’t seem to question a lack of logic and they certainly aren’t going to look upon people as individuals, oh Lordy no!  If you are a bureaucrat reading this, please tell me how you treat people as individuals because your colleagues referred to me as Dear assistant when they wrote me – and no, I wasn’t their dear!

I could have forked out sixty quid and applied for the ICPC (International Child Protection Certificate) and I could have spent hours working out the addresses of where I had lived 25 years ago in the UK along with the jobs I had back in the late 80s and early 90s.  I could have then spent more on translating the document into Spanish and getting an official stamp.  I chose not to.  Not because of the cost although what I would be earning is not a fortune!  I chose not to because last year I was not required to.  Last year I worked with the same young people amongst the same colleagues in the same institution and I was deemed okay to work with children by a certificate that the Spanish authorities required.  I was stubborn and refused to take instructions and apply for the form when asked to by the British authorities.

Mind you, I thought I was home free when, after months of reminding me, telling me, cajoling me about the form – to which I always informed them that I would not be applying for it – they finally wrote me in September and told me where I would be working come October 1st!  Home free I thought!!  I returned to my local high school on October 2nd, having prepared a digital presentation for the new 1st year students and another digital summary of how I spent my summer for the returning students I had taught last year.

Whilst the first two weeks nearly killed my soul and spirit, I rallied round after hearing César Bona speak at an educational conference.  He was voted Spain’s best teacher and one of 50 best teachers in the world.  I was inspired by his message – make it different for the students.  I went back on the Monday morning fired up and I was off.  It was a great week, hard work but rewarding in a weird sort of way too.

However, by the end of the week I was told I had been withdrawn from the programme for not complying with requirements of the ICPC.  Fair enough.  The Spanish local education authority were going to give me a second chance and if I applied for this form, they would keep me on.  I have not applied for the form.

Have I let the kids down?  Yes.  Have I let my colleagues down?  Yes.  Have I let myself down?  No.  It may appear to be a act of stubbornness or even pigheadedness – it certainly looked that way to me during the decision making process – but I am determined that I will do something worthwhile and not get side tracked by bureaucracy.

I am not a teacher is one thing I have learned.  The teachers who are great teachers actually impart their knowledge.  I entertain, I think I inspire a little bit and I generously share what I know.  I hope I get kids thinking when I’m with them, but I really don’t think I have anything to teach them.  I’ve been told the kids loved me and one colleague told me that “people like me are badly needed in the schools” whilst another told me “they won’t have your creativity and spontaneity and everything you transmit“.  Two students told their mother “I like her classes, tell her that she won’t be able to come to your yoga classes anymore if she leaves” and “tell her she can’t go, it’s thanks to her that English is so much fun“.  Those were moments when I doubted if what I was doing was the right thing and being swayed by my ego took all my strength not to back down.

On the day where I had to make my final decision, I had my last wedding of the season.  It was just the couple who had eloped from Canada.  I was more daring with these two than what I have normally been for a wedding and I chose not to give them the ceremony to approve prior to their big day – they agreed to this.  After the ceremony, they were so delighted and the groom was so amazed with my work that when I went to leave, he placed a tip in my hand.  To say I took this as a sign that I am doing the right thing is exactly what happened.  To say how much I appreciate his gesture means that words are not enough.  His generosity exceeded his showing me my worth with his act of kindness and for that I am truly grateful.

I made a decision at 16 years of age that I was not going to choose money over happiness and I am so glad I did so.  Whilst money is our right in order to live within the constraints put out by our society, it certainly is not going to have power over my choices for the trying to be the best I can be.  I am not at the school anymore but it doesn’t mean that I am not planning my next move.

Youngsters, you haven’t seen the last of me, but the classroom is not where I want it to happen – watch this space.

Mallorca Death Café

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Since last December, I have been hosting regular Death Cafés in the village of Binissalem where I live.  This summer I also hosted one in our capital Palma and last weekend another up in the beautiful mountains in the village of Deia.  To say I am happy I discovered the Death Café movement is an understatement – I am ecstatic!

As a bit of background first and taken from the Death Café website to make it clear:  “at a Death Café people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’ and is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes”.

Every meeting I have ever hosted has been unique but perhaps one regular occurrence is that whilst I may try to suggest topics of discussion, my wonderful DC members prefer to do it their way!  If I were to give our encounters a quality, I would say that respect pours out of everyone at every encounter.  Some people’s opinions on death can be very different but the atmosphere of respect makes every opinion count.  I have learned a lot about myself too and see that my opinions are constantly challenged in the setting of my head whilst I hear what other people have to say about subjects about which I may have previously been quite closed.

Everything about the Death Café movement has me excited!  From the name itself – after all saying the word death generates so many reactions,  from horrified facial expressions to curious bemusement!  In all cases it does get people talking!  The guidelines suggested for hosting a death café are also entrancing!  Setting a death café in a tea room or eco café, enjoying tea and cake, how could I not enjoy conversation about death in this type of setting.  For my village to boast an eco café serving the best in tea and cake makes every encounter that much sweeter (plus the kilos have been piling on)!

Whilst the guidelines do advise that a death cafe is not a bereavement support group, even that has been questioned in one of my events simply because Mallorca is not yet set up to offer the recently bereaved a setting for support as I recently discovered.  Seeing the compassion and love so freely shared in a recent event towards a grieving widow made me proud of my fellow sisters and brothers residing on planet earth and I saw how the death café can help.

We meet to talk about death and through that we talk about life, about hope, about different cultures and we break down the taboo around death.  We challenge ourselves and our opinions and beliefs always in an atmosphere of respect and interest.  Our conversations are our inner most thoughts and reflections, shared perhaps for the very first time.  In short, these encounters free us up to get on with life and living and I am so glad to have discovered the Death Café movement.

Find a Death Café near you          www.deathcafe.com

Enjoy tea & cake near me              L’Exquisit, C/Rectoria 2, Binissalem, 07350 Mallorca

Magic and the secret garden

Some of you may recall that I “won” the Euro Millions recently, a nice little amount of 15 million euros and that I spent it in a flash – this all happened in my head in a 30 minute drive from Palma to school pick up!  I bought a load of property, gifted it around, including my favourite building of all time which I turned into the Binissalem Peace Centre!  I also bought my lovely eco café people Javi and Elena a building and also my son’s eco school a building, amongst other things!

Today, I discovered that the building I had ear-marked for the Peace Centre is the new location for my son’s school! I am sitting writing this with the biggest smile on my face as I enjoy the wonder of magic and knowing that believing is seeing and even if I do see it slightly differently, it all works out!!  I shall have to relocate my Peace Centre but what a result with the win!

Just before I heard the news, I had parked my car and seen a sign saying “Euromillones – 63 millones” and what do you think I did!  I went and “won” it again!

I spent it in the 12 minutes it takes to drive from the school back home and you’ll be happy to know that the following got 10 million each – Mallorca based not for profits PermaMed, Ondine and Fundación Sa Llavor and London based Communities Empowerment Network.  They will be able to carry on doing what they do so brilliantly already and this money will help them take the pressure off, to get really stuck in and take what they already do so selflessly to a new level.  From promoting permaculture to a wider audience, to keeping our seas and oceans clean and also devloping new ways of holistically educating and caring for our next generations.

I also put aside 5 million to create old people communities including making sure that there is a healthy support for the dying and a million of that was donated to the awesome people at Capsula Mundi to help with their development of the burial pod.

Eight million euros was used island wide for culture and the arts and lots of projects, existing and new, got lucky by being gifted money to help promote culture and the arts.  First born is well happy with the new studio and jazz appreciation school!

I’ve got 10 million left over but I want to go abroad and go back to my roots, Jamaica and Wales, and see what I can do there with the money.  Watch this space.

I’m happy and content – 63 million euros well spent!

Special moments

 

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What a weekend!  I facilitated the monthly Death Café on Friday evening in my favourite eco café, L’Exquisit and we were nineteen, a record breaker and hardly any room left to move! Although I try to propose different ways of doing things, the group always seems to want to remain in the big circle and talk, one by one.  However, if numbers continue to rise, we’ll have to occupy the whole café and not just the back room!

This meeting was a little bit different as I was inspired to ask at the beginning, along with each person’s introduction, for everyone to share a quality that they believed people would use to describe them when they were no longer here!  That shook things up and some found it a little surprising to think that far ahead.  I went back to qualities at the end of the session by asking everyone what quality they would take with them until the next meeting, one that they would imbibe, include and inspire in their daily lives – mine was faith, oh and being present, I wanted two qualities!

The monthly meetings are always moments of insight with the wonderful experience of hearing from other people and enjoying their take on matters.  Each meeting attracts many new people and I love seeing the core members there, time and again.

As usual, it all too soon came to an end but the next Mallorca Death Café will be on Friday 17th June at 6.30pm – all welcome and although the meeting is conducted in Spanish, there is always translation available.

The weekend continued with a wedding on the beach at which I was invited to officiate the ceremony.  I had worked closely with the couple to get the ceremony just right and wow, didn’t we do well!  It helped that the couple – not a first love but definitely a match made in heaven – were two people enjoying a thoroughly “conscious relationship” as demonstrated by their thoughts and opinions on what marriage meant to them which was shared in the ceremony.

I was truly honoured to facilitate this moment in their lives and the groom spoke about conscious commitment whilst the bride added that freedom can be found in the commitment two people make.  Their relationship is at once a mature one and totally childlike in its innocence.  And to top it all, the some fifteen young people and children there were mesmerised by the more than half an hour we took for the ceremony.  Never have I seen such full and present attention and to see it from young people took my breath away.

From the wedding, it was onto see first born perform his gipsy jazz duo with him on guitar and singing accompanied by young Gavin on guitar.  He is a natural that boy (dare I say he takes after my side of the family!!) and his humble confidence on stage is a delight to see.  His voice is a gift from the gods and his hard work and dedication is plain to see.  The two young musicians worked hard to please us with their sound and my only complaint is that society has forgotten how to listen.  Luckily, there were some audience members who took no hostages and shushed for people to stop talking!

Special moments, they come and they go, and when they come,  so many at once, life is pure wonder!

 

L’Exquisit – eco café located in C/Rectoria 2, Binissalem

Djaume Reinhardt Jazz & Swing – available for weddings, concerts and private events, contact Noah on +34 630 590 262

Mallorca Death Cafe – monthly meetings in L’Exquisit or ask me about hosting your own

Wedding celebrant – http://www.glynisgermancelebrant.com

The Journey

Sometimes the signs are clear and it’s easy to know where to go, but often there’s confusion and a sense of trepidation too.  Since deciding that I would give up my safe and secure job with guaranteed income back in June 2013, life has been an interesting journey.

In all of it, I have had to really work my trust and faith in believing that everything would “turn out” just fine.  Interestingly of course, there is no end in sight to tick off “turn out” turned out just fine, as it is an ongoing process called living!  My life’s “car” can have the tyres pumped, tank filled, oil checked, water in the wipers and the GPS connected, but if I don’t put the key in the ignition and start the engine, I’m not going anywhere!  And when I do start the engine, what if there are road works and I get diverted?

Life is as simple or as complicated as we make it and there are times when I just want to turn off the engine and park for a while.  Then there are the times when the road is clear, it’s long and straight and I like to fly down the middle of it, hair flowing in the wind, a song on my lips and joy in my heart!

I keep moving though, slowly in heavy traffic or zippy and pumped when the road is clear to enjoy a sun shining kind of ride!  If I break down, what am I going to do?  Sit and cry?  Forever?  No, I find a solution, maybe I do sit and cry for a moment, but then I fix the problem and get going again.

I think I have realised that it is so day to day this thing called living.  Next year really doesn’t matter if I can’t appreciate today.  Tomorrow is always going to come, in its own way.  I have to keep my car ready but at times I may leave the doors open and things will fall out and get lost.  And some days I might just want to pull over, stop for a while and contemplate the horizon.

My life three years ago was busy, at times stressful, with no time to just be.  In the three years since, I have done so much that I’m proud of – The Happiness Café weekly radio show; providing meaningful ceremonies for weddings and funerals; facilitating a monthly Death Café in my village; volunteering at a local hospice ward; writing my blog; being at home with my boys and my animals; connecting with interesting people at home and abroad; even starting a Peace Centre for a while and all along, being me.  I may be financially poorer for now, but I am creatively and inspiringly richer.

I am happy I made the decision to search for something different as the difference has been clear – I have more time for me and more time to be, something I value greatly in this busy world

 

Mallorca’s Avalanche of Love

Santiago Stankovic Photography;

Generosity at its best

I have been blessed to meet some incredible people in my life and none other than this past week.  The powerhouse and inspiration behind Mallorca’s recent avalanche of love is none other than local councillor for Inca, Antonia Triguero.

At a recent gathering of Mallorca based group, Kreakolektiva, Antonia was asked by the hosts to speak about her visit to the island of Kos and why she had decided to collect for the refugees upon her return to Mallorca.  That she did shows the big heart she has and that evening, she inspired the hundred or so people gathered to get involved and none other than photographer, Santiago Stankovic, who immediately set about creating a Facebook event which spiralled out of wonderful control.

With these two souls putting their hearts out there for people to follow, the incredible result was almost overwhelming at times, with people coming from all over the island, donating thousands upon thousands of items to be sent to the refugees in Lesvos.

At first Antonia had secured one 40ft container, but a week of Santi driving all over the island inspiring people out of their houses with donations meant that not just another, but up to six more containers were needed and with people power, they have nearly all been secured with the original plan to leave for Lesvos in the next week or so.  There is a bank account into which anyone can donate to help with the transport, see below, as each container cost 4,500€ to send.

Unfortunately the European Union have just signed a sad and sour deal with Turkey and in the last 24 hours the situation in Greece is unclear, with refugees being turned away from Lesvos as well as being being turfed out of the inhumane camps they have been held in.  What faces Antonia now is  where to send these next containers and as soon as NGOs and colleagues on the ground in Greece can tell her, we shall spread the news as to what is happening with everyone’s kind donations.

All this got me thinking about many things.  One is that this could easily be me or you.  From one day to the next, our brothers and sisters, who now find themselves as refugees, were living in their homes, with their jobs and daily tasks, with their loved ones and their pets.  In a heartbeat, they were on their way with just enough to fill a backpack on a journey where they had no map and who knows if they will get to where they don’t know they are going.  Especially now, with the new ruling, no-one knows what will happen to them.

What Mallorca’s good people have shown this week is that we, the ordinary and the extraordinary people everywhere, know what is good and what is right and that is where our energies have been spent this past week.  It is NOT right that we have a situation whereby thousands and thousands of our human family are fighting for their lives on a daily journey with no clear destination in sight.  It is NOT right that our elected officials sit in their fine offices and wine and dine on the misery of our human families affected by greed, violence and outrageous ego.  It is NOT right that we continue to elect these self-same officious men and women who deserve to come down from their ivory towers and ask themselves “what if that were me”?  It is NOT right that the refugees have no safe passage to escape war and misery.  It is especially NOT right the recent and atrocious deal made on our behalf to turn back the refugees that even dare to think of setting foot in Europe.

Antonia Triguero, Santiago Stankovic, people of Inca, women, men, young people and children of Mallorca you are a force to be reckoned with.  You are people with heart, with a conscience, with abundant love and compassion.  You are a people I take my hat off to and thank you for being who you are.

Visca Mallorca!

To donate to Proem-Aid to send the containers onwards, please use “Contenedor Mallorca” as reference and donate to this account: ES49 1491 0001 2021 7549 1022

 

Dying to get there

dime

I returned as a volunteer recently to the Mallorcan association, Dime Cuenta Con Nosotros, a group of dedicated volunteers who visit the two palliative care units on the island.  It has been some years since I have spent Tuesday mornings visiting patients and their families, but I am happy to be back for a number of reasons.

Death is a topic I am curious about, a curiosity that has been there for some time, years in fact.  I don’t know where this curiosity came from, but the subject of death has always been a healthy and matter of fact topic present in the background of my life.  My earliest memories of death was attending the funeral of my beloved nain, my father’s mother, up in North Wales on a windy day.  My younger sister and I spent the time of the graveside ceremony running amok through gravestones and having a rather fun time.

Some years later when I was about 13 years old, my mother picked up the newspaper one day and asked if I knew a girl named Sue.  The headlines explained how her father had shot her whilst she slept and then shot himself, apparently desperate with financial troubles.  My mother broke the news in a very natural way, and I remember that whilst I cried from shock, part of me felt that I didn’t have to cry.  Certainly my mother treated the subject naturally even though the setting was horrifying.

As I headed to my twenties, grandparents died at home, suddenly, not ill but just time for them to go.  Death was celebrated as a life well lived and a death well had, I was blessed, very blessed to have these experiences.  Not everyone is so lucky and death is a subject that brings with it fears, confusion, mystery and for perhaps a few a certain understanding.

Returning to Dime is an honour for me.  There I meet professionals working in the health sector, dealing with death in a dignified and respectful manner.  From the nurses to the doctors, from the psychologists and social workers and to the volunteers, all are learning from their experiences and learning all the time.  Training is given on a regular basis to the volunteers and Dime is fortunate to receive the support of some amazing individuals on this island.  Thanks to charities like Cala Nova Cancer Care Charity Shop, their fund raising and generous donations allow Dime to do what they do which is sending volunteers like me in to visit the many patients facing perhaps one of their biggest challenges ever.

What do I do?  I enter a patient’s room and politely ask if they would like a visit.  In a hospice setting this adds to the quality of care received by the patient.  Why?  We provide support to those inspiring individuals who work in the day-to-day care and treatment of those with cancer and perhaps other life changing illnesses.  We are incognito, we come and we go.  We listen and hold hands and if we need to, we can cry with a family member.  We can try to take them away from their own day-to-day, just for a moment.  Or perhaps we’ll be blessed to help them face what’s ahead.  We can hear what is not said if we are silent, and we can give and spread love for a while, as much as we can.

It is an honour to be part of the team at Dime and it is a privilege to spend time with people facing challenges I cannot imagine.  I can’t change the world, but I can change my attitude about life and perhaps I can, just for a moment, provide a listening ear to someone.

 

Dime Cuenta Con Nosotros relies on donations and are always grateful for support.  If you would like to be a volunteer and have languages, Spanish necessary, then please contact them directly – http://www.cuentaconnosotros.es

Justice, at a price

What a week it was!  Great for me, not so great perhaps for Esperanza Aguirre, President of the Partido Popular Madrid branch, who resigned amidst yet another corruption scandal in the party!  Oh well, good news for some it definitely was!

I also had my first ever visit to the inside of a Spanish courtroom and I went through many emotions whilst there – disbelief and disappointment amongst them.  I was there to support my friend whose son was up on charges for resisting arrest (I really don’t blame him) and I was impressed by his maturity, honesty and handling of the matter in the courtroom.

However, I was more than a little surprised and occasionally stunned by the other participants in this drama!  At one point, one of the lawyers for the prosecution told my friend’s son to kindly address her and use the formal you, the same as she was using to address him.  I’m sorry – what did she just say?!

As a speaker of Spanish and having grown up without a formal you in English, I have long had my own issue with the usted, the formal you.  I waiver between feeling insulted when it is used to address me, especially with those who are younger than me, as well as feeling quite uncomfortable.

It’s one of those situations that has me constantly on my guard – do I use it, dare I not use it?  As a consequence, I have made many mistakes in my 24 years of living in Mallorca, sometimes not using it and receiving very clear messages that that is not acceptable and occasionally being given the freedom to throw it to one side.

The moment the youngish lawyer said that to my younger friend, I realised just how great the gulf is between people.  At no point had the young man lost his respect to this individual; at no point was he rude to this person or any of the others – six more esteemed colleagues including the judge were in the courtroom.  I felt it was entirely unnecessary for her to stop him mid-flow and point this out to him especially as he had not really addressed her with the informal you.  It seemed a clear case of “mind your place” and “I am so much more than you” and it was a shame, especially as the qualities demonstrated by this young man on this particular day were those that make the world a much better place – honesty, respect, humility, repentance, a willingness to move on and above all, a better wisdom and understanding about himself and life in general.

The soap opera continued with the testimonies of the other three young men implicated in the case, and again they were consistent with the story, as well as honest, open and respectful.  I could not say the same for two of the five police officers I managed to hear.  What a situation!  Their stories differed and at times made no sense, indeed the lawyers for the defence were as puzzled as the rest of us.  At one point, when the same lawyer for the prosecution, read out – once again – the list of insults my young friend had apparently hurled at the police office, the policeman actually said he was used to such insults but couldn’t explain therefore why such a physical altercation ensued.

Obviously I don’t work in law enforcement and can’t comment on the training received, but I can comment that what I saw that day were two officers disillusioned with their jobs, burnt out with the absurdity of it all, but more worryingly, buying into stereotypes as to the type of people who surround them.  I can more than imagine that on a regular basis they have to put up with aggression, bad manners, physical threats, rudeness, insults and more, but I can also see that they “see” certain people in ways that are not real.

It is time we looked beyond the make-up, beyond the stereotype and that goes for both sides in this case.  The policeman could look beyond the young, male skater and my friend could look beyond the uniform.  Perhaps if two years ago they could have been given the opportunity to truly hear the other’s story, we could have avoided this sorry spectacle of waste: energy, time, money and spirit.  Perhaps the police officer could have heard a young man’s passion for his sport, needing to practise it every day, living a life that is creative, disciplined, supportive and adventurous.  Perhaps my young friend could have heard of a man’s dreams that led him into the force and perhaps how those dreams were not all he imagined.

We have to go back to court in one month to hear what the sentence will be.  The prosecution changed her mind and now wants three years instead of two.  I hope it gets thrown out where it belongs and I hope my young friend does not have his life ruined from one mistake.  Sadly, that’s all it takes nowadays, one mistake.  However, if you’re a politician or a member of the royal family in Spain, you can be let off for planning a longterm systematic theft of public funds!  There’s still time though, watch out people, justice might just catch up with you.

Midsummer birthday

birthday; celebrations; mallorca; binissalem; lions club; baldea mallorca; samira dance; dj hernan

Birthday boy & hostess with the mostess

You can tell I don’t go out much if I’m going to write my blog about it!  But I went out at the weekend to a really fabulous party!  It was to celebrate my friend’s husband’s birthday and they were putting on an evening’s gathering for a few friends.  She had me make three cakes for the party and I spent the day chilling and baking before popping them round and then going back for the party later.

I have to say that my friend managed to put on a most amazing evening!  Everything about it was perfect!  The food was to die for and yes, I had seconds.  There was so much of it that I didn’t get to sample the vegetarian couscous that was served up later but I enjoyed salad, quiche, hummus and the most amazing courgettes topped with sour cream – I have asked for the recipe!

There was a DJ playing in the garden along with didgeridoos, steel drum, pipes and a set that lasted most of the evening.  It was the perfect backdrop to chatting with lovely people as sunset came.  I caught up with a couple, neighbours that I’ve known since first born and their middle child were best friends in primary, what fun we had.  I met another woman who became a bff almost immediately and I was gutted to learn that she doesn’t live in Mallorca but she promised to visit when she’s back in September.  I chatted with one of the mums from school and infact all conversations during the evening were fun, relaxed, meaningful and interesting – what a privilege!

Then the very attractive and exotic Samira arrived, dressed to dance her belly dance and how absolutely intriguing was she!  She danced a couple of numbers for us and I couldn’t take my eyes off her, neither could most of the men and I heard one ask his wife if she wanted to learn how to dance like that!  After this, the floor opened and the birthday boy who loves to dance, got up and off they went.

It was at this point I went to find second-born who had been out and about in the village and I really appreciated having been to such a cool party only a few doors away from my home!  On the way out of my friend’s house, I stopped by the gift table and my happiness was complete at knowing some of the most generous people.  She had put out a collection box to collect for two worthwhile charities here in Mallorca.  The first, Baldea, the animal protection association that Petra is part of and who do a great job on the island with a spaying programme of stray cats amongst other things.  Then there was the collection for the Lions Club Palma who have an admirable programme called “Food for All” – feeding the homeless and those living on the poverty line.  On top of the amazing food she cooked and the drinks she served up, the DJ and an exotic dancer who entertained us, she still had more to give!  No gifts required for hubby, instead a super collection was going to those in need and can you believe that each association received 235€ from this awesome party!

Thank you Petra and Rainer for a truly special evening – it was truly a memorable experience and I can’t wait for next year!

DJ Hernán Livolsi                       www.hernanlivolsi.com

Oriental dancer Samira              www.samiramallorca.com

Animal protection Mallorca       http://www.baldea.org

Lions Club                                     http://www.lionsclubpalma.com

Delicious homemade cakes       ME!!