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Letter From Juan

As you may have known or perhaps have read in this paper the Irish were in town this week. Well to be more precise a group of walkers were visiting the island and were shown the sights, visited the Medieval Fair and went on several walks round the Island. I had the pleasure of meeting them on their first walk which was a four hour ramble round by Cala Codolar, Cala Comte and Cala Bassa before returning for light refreshment at Bar Stop. They were a charming group and I couldn’t help but smile when the local leader of the walk told them that the first part of the walk was on a tarmac road with several sharp bends and usually had a lot of traffic so could everyone please keep in single file. Well their interpretation of a single file is a lot different than ours as they strung out two, three and four abreast. However I am happy to report that they all negotiated that part safely. The other striking thing on that walk was that on the cliff top near between Codolar and Conte we came across the modern equivalent of Stonehenge! It was not there six months ago and how did these mammoth stone pillars get transported there? By Aliens? There certainly wasn’t any track leading to the area or any sign of trucks and hauling equipment having been there. Who put them there and why and surely they never got permission to put them there so near the coastline? Maybe I have missed the details of it all in the papers but it certainly came as a shock and I await to see if they are removed or whether they will remain. If anybody knows the story behind them please let me know as there are a group of Irish people that would really like to know what lies behind the appearance of the Stones. One thing is for sure they weren’t put there by any Leprechauns! The other bit of excitement was of course the Medieval Fair and I hope you went to see it. I particularly enjoyed the jousting in Park Reina Sofia it made a change from the Birds of Prey and there was some great horsemanship and Jousting skills on show. If you didn’t make it this year make a note in your 2015 diary or in your head to make the effort to go next year, you will not be disappointed. Finally a warning to all of you visiting the airport, the thieves are back and this year their favourite trick is to slash one of your tyres in the airport car park and when you are in a state of confusion they steal your precious possessions. So please be very careful if this happens to you, do not take assistance from complete strangers either stay in your car and phone for help or lock up your car and go for help. Also please don’t fall for the old story of a cat being under your car and get out to look for it. If there is a cat there as soon as you start up the engine it will run away. These incidents can also happen in supermarket car parks so just be careful if anything odd or unusual happens around your car and remember it only happens to a very small percentage of people. I think I have waffled on enough for one week so until next week, have a good one, yours Juan.

The Far East

Irish Walkers Visit

The walking group from County Louth, Southern Ireland arrived last Thursday to be met by representatives from Contra Cancer Ibiza and Formentera, Viva Cala Llonga and members of the various Ibiza based walking groups. A reception took place at the airport, very kindly provide by ARS, the airport catering company, during which they were welcomed and presented with gifts and information about the island. Following a short rest the group then attended a reception at Sta Eulalia Town Hall hosted by the Mayor Vicente Mari Torres who welcomed them to the borough. A video was played containing greetings message from Richard Culhane, the Mayor of Drogheda, along with scenes of the countryside of County Louth. Gifts were exchanged before it was time to move on for some very welcome refreshments at the new Cerveceria Quintana (80+ different beers on offer). On Friday they enjoyed a walk along the western coastal paths and countryside taking in the beautiful views of Cala Tarida, Cala Comte and Cala Bassa. In the evening a somewhat tired, but still very lively group, dined at Restaurant Samovar in Siesta, dancing to the Caribbean sounds of the Ibiza Calypso Steel Band. The highlight of Saturday was a trip to Ibiza Town’s Medieval Fair, which everyone thought was quite amazing and helped to dispel the image that the island has amongst many who haven’t visited us previously. On Sunday another excursion took them into the lanes and fields around Cala Llonga before returning to the beach for a BBQ hosted by the Viva Cala Llonga team. It wasn’t long before the music and songs from Frankie Riley had them all up on their feet, despite the heat and the mornings walk. Their itinerary continued with another walk in the hills around San Mateo on Tuesday, a visit the Es Canar Hippy Market, culminating in a Grand Dinner Dance at Restaurant La Casita on Wednesday before departing for “The Emerald Isle” on Thursday. This was the first of what is hoped to be a series of such visits by different groups of walking/cycling enthusiast during the quieter months of the season which will hopefully help to spread the word of just how diverse and beautiful Ibiza is. This trip has generated a good deal of publicity for Ibiza in the local Irish press and on TV which can only be good for the island. All of those involved have enjoyed entertaining our Irish visitors and we are looking forward to a reciprocal visit to Ireland next spring, although it seems we’ll have invest in some very different walking apparel.

Happy Birthday.

The villagers of Cala Llonga would like wish a very happy 65th Birthday today (Thursday 15th May) to Pepe from Bar Madison in Cala Llonga. Anyone who has visited the village will have probably met Pepe, one of Cala Llonga’s personalities, especially if they’ve wanted to watch live football.

View from the Pew

These past two weeks have been a pleasant mixture of work and pleasure, but mainly pleasure as all the work here is pleasurable! Visiting people, taking services, seeing some beauty spots, playing cricket and beating Menorca again, has been a pleasant interlude from our new life in the UK.

Speaking of cricket, during this match we had some interesting philosophical and theological points to ponder! One of our players – I will call him Honest Joe – made a good catch right on the boundary. We were all very happy and the batsman began to trudge off. But Honest Joe shouted from the far long-off boundary “I stepped on the rope!” It was therefore a six, and not out, and the batsman was brought back. I think I said to somebody something like “That was the right thing to do, something good will come of it.”

Well, five minutes later Honest Joe took the most amazing catch that any of us in the Ibiza team had seen! Later in the day he then went on to play a match-winning innings! Philosophical and theological question: was it his “reward” for being good or was it just cause and effect – it created a good feeling in him which made him perform better? When he made the first catch and looked down at his foot on the boundary rope, did he look up and think “The only person who could have seen that was God!”? I don’t know, but you could ask him – either Honest Joe, or God, whichever you come across first.

Another philosophical and theological point to ponder: If it was Honest Joe’s reward, what did he do wrong between Friday and Sunday because Ibiza lost the next match to Mallorca? Or was it because God was no longer on Ibiza’s side because I wasn’t playing? Or would it have been even worse if I had been playing rather than being back in Church in Ibiza taking the service there? A point to ponder!

Last year at the Balearic Cricket Cup our ex-president repeatedly encouraged us with the words “There are no freebies, boys!” A good reminder in cricket that you have got to fight all the way if you want to win and it never comes easily. So another philosophical point to ponder – does that principle apply to everything in life? Well, from our Christian perspective, Easter is all about the biggest Freebie on offer! An offer of New Life for the old because of what Jesus did on Good Friday which was vindicated by his resurrection on Easter Day. That freebie includes forgiveness of all the bad stuff and evil (sin) that any of us has ever done and will do. We don’t have to do anything apart from say “sorry” for what we’ve done and He will then help us turn our lives around! But like any freebie, you have got to receive it. It is called God’s Grace.

And don’t forget the common grace that we all at times receive in our lives from God. The sun shines on both the just and the unjust – after all Mallorca even beat Ibiza this year! A theological point to ponder!

See you in Mid-June. Bob the Ex-Vicar.

Services: Sunday May 18th – 10:30am. Choral Communion in San Rafael Church. 10:30am. Holy Communion in the Capilla in Es Canar. 5:45pm. Sacred Space/Songs of Praise in Hotel Panorama, Es Canar.

It’s Good to Talk

Dear Kate

We have lived in Ibiza for some time now and have always been very generous with family and friends when it comes to them needing a place to stay. We generally give them a key and the spare room and leave them to it. Obviously we spend time with them and often eat together etc but make it clear that especially in the summer months we need to work in order to earn our money for the winter. Traditionally this has always gone well and more often then not guests are very generous when it comes to buying food and drinks and usually take us out for a thank you meal during their stay.

Anyway to cut a long story short our first guest came to stay last week and it was a total disaster, he didn’t do a thing, didn’t lift a finger, didn’t hire a car (so was dependant on us) didn’t contribute with food or for that matter much conversation either! Anyway it got to a point where I was about to ask him to leave but my partner asked me to ride it out for the few days he had remaining which I did.

So now I’m left with this quite irrational fear that all our friends that have said they are going to come and stay will do the same and I am dreading the summer – I have no reason to think this at all, most of them have come before and behaved fantastically so why do I feel that I am going to be used all summer to allow everybody to have a cheep holiday whilst we are slogging our selves to near death in the soaring temperatures to keep ourselves stocked with wood for the winter!

Any idea on how to get rid of this stupid reaction to one rude person who obviously doesn’t represent the rest of the world would be much appreciated.

Yours, AR

Dear AR

Thank you for your letter and I am sorry you had such a disastrous visit from your first guest.

I wonder though if its not so much an irrational fear about how your guests will behave but more a feeling that you don’t seem to be reaping the benefits of living on this beautiful island. When you mention “slogging our selves to near death in the soaring temperatures to keep ourselves stocked with wood for the winter!” It makes me think that you maybe have an imbalance with your work / quality of life. I know that most of people have to work very hard in the summer to last the winter but if the winter simply represents wood i.e. the cold, then I wonder if it might be an idea to reflect on why you came here, what you love about being here and how you might be able to structure things slightly differently so that you can enjoy some of the summer time, and see the winter season in a more positive light.

Your friend that came to stay seems like quite an exceptional example and not a typical guest, it’s always a risk inviting friends and family to stay and from what you have said that risk has always paid off in the past so that is why I feel it has less to do with the guests but more to do with how you view your time here and what you feel you might be missing out on.

I wish you a wonderful summer and hope that you are able to find that balance that you need to enjoy it as you would like.

Warm regards, Kate Stillman – Counsellor See advert for contact info.


This week saw a momentous occasion in our household as we heralded the arrival of Ela’s first tooth. She’d been displaying ‘teething signs’ for almost two months, so it was with much elation that I welcomed that teeny pearly gnasher.

Let’s talk teething signs a moment. There are umpteen websites out there, giving what appear to be comprehensive teething lists of signs and we’ve recently ticked them all. Conversation in our house has increasingly gone rather like this: ‘Oooh she’s got swollen gums. Teething.’ ‘Mike, have you noticed she’s pulling her ears more? That’s usually her ‘tired’ signal but she’s just woken up. Definitely teething.’ ‘Oh look at her little red cheeks, that first tooth must be coming through soon’ ‘She’s dribbling more than a drunk on his twelfth pint. When’s that tooth coming?’ And so on. However, there was one teething sign that very few websites mentioned and my usually brilliant paediatrician neglected to warn me about: radioactive pooh. Experienced parents will now be nodding sagely. The uninitiated may want to stop reading.

Surely the fact that your baby’s nappy will contain a greenish, sticky, stinking substance capable of wilting flowers and leaking through even the most securely fastened of undergarment should be mentioned? The first time I encountered it, I immediately believed my daughter had come into contact with some sort of radioactive waste and had visions of her developing into a mutant. Alarmed, I phoned my husband. “Look in the Haynes baby manual,’ he suggested, “There’s a photo guide to poo in there. And do you really need to phone me to discuss poo? It’s bad enough that you report on it when I get in.” On consulting the manual (yep, such a thing actually exists…I bought it for him as a joke anniversary present whilst pregnant, but it’s actually proven very useful), I discovered that green poo is actually normal. The other ‘sign’ I was not expecting was the change in sleep pattern. Until recently, we’d proudly told of our angelic child who, since just six weeks old, had only awoken once during the night for a feed and will fall asleep anywhere, even with music playing loudly and people chattering around her. Not at the moment. In the past couple of weeks she’s woken up crying, grizzling and moaning several times a night and puts up a fight Rocky would be proud of before succumbing to sleep. Thankfully, she’s still sleeping with us. Some call this ‘attachment parenting’. I call it ‘too lazy to get out of bed when she feeds from me anyway parenting’. Either way, it’s meant that I can instantly soothe her with a cuddle, breast or one of the collection of teethers or dummies perpetually on my bedside table (how times have changed) and not lose too much sleep myself. It may not work for everyone, but it’s definitely making life easier for us.

Meanwhile, I’m rubbing gel into her gums, giving her the odd drop of baby ibuprofen, supplying her with many and varied toys to chew, allowing her to cuddle and feed as much as I can and hoping that the rest of her teeth erupt with minimal pain. One down, nineteen to go.