Monday 19 April 2010

Ash Cloud

Suddenly the Eyjafjallajokull volcano is a big name, and not just in the Scrabble sense. As the weekend wore on and the text messages and BBC news built up, it became apparent that first Marie and Michael wouldn't be flying back to Dublin on the Sunday and then we wouldn't be returning to Newcastle on the Monday. On the Friday, Sharon, Marie, Rowan and I walked into C'an Picafort in search of the rather small market. Rowan was in fine fettle, chatting all the way there and back and seemingly well over his bad fall at Port d'Alcudia. He was funny at the Jamaican Bar, where he had to stand on a chair to get to the top of the straw on his strawberry drink. For once he was quiet, needing all his breath to suck up his juice! In the absence of other toys, the boys have been obsessing about the iPod, especially the "Boys Like Girls" playlist I compiled for them before we left. Rowan has been singing "Skater Boy," Finn "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker," and Sean anything that requires heartfelt rendering. Angus has been cruising about the furniture but is getting a bit fed up of being penned in the living space as we cannot allow him out to the hall because of the open nature of the staircase.

On Saturday we returned to Pollensa en masse in search of the Fiera de Abril de Pollensa, a local fiesta. We got into the Restaurant Macondo just as it opened and weren't disappointed on our return. The Argentinian girl running the place was surprised to see us back with four children in tow, claiming she thought we were like honeymooners when we had been in on Wednesday! We had been celebrating the tenth anniversary of our engagement that day. For a mere €44 we had another fine feast between the seven of us (Angus brought his own). Rowan and Finn put away big bowls of bolognaise while the rest of us tucked into cod and ribs. The boys explored a nearby playpark while Marie and Michael explored a local wine-tasting then, after a wander round the main square, we returned to the tented fair and accompanying amusements.

There was a free session on the car rides and Rowan exploited it to the full. By the time we left later in the evening, Rowan had been on ten of the eleven vehicles, making up for all those times we deny him the pleasure outside supermarkets! The only word to describe the look on his face was "glee," his dimples drilling holes in his cheeks as he sat behind the wheels or astride the motor bikes on the up and down circuit. Sean was bawling as he shared the first ride with Rowan, despite being the oldest child on there. He clamed down to have another few shots but Finn just didn't fancy it at all. Rowan even went on the mini big wheel, pure delight on his face as he was hoisted high above us all. The others went on the bouncy shark which had a moving mouth that "ate" the children and allowed them to slide down the gullet. Rowan was less enamoured with that one, mainly because he couldn't climb up and hang on as well as Sean and Finn. There was a local Mallorquin band playing in the tent and, judging by the look of the long bar laid out, it had the makings of a long and potentially messy evening if you were staying in Pollensa. We weren't and had children to mind so sadly had to pack up and head for home, Rowan howling at having to leave the amusements behind. I know how he felt!

Yesterday, Sharon and Michael headed to Alcudia in search of an Internet cafe and found free access at the library where they booked a flight to Shannon for Friday. Unfortunately, Sharon had a run-in with a foul-mouthed waiter that rather spoilt her day. I was at the house playing with the boys. We brought small balls with us and are having great fun playing "multi-ball" in the space in front of the garage: kicking the balls against the walls and each other and throwing them up on to the balcony to catch them when they roll back down.

With our flight confirmed as cancelled last night we didn't have to pack but Sharon and I headed up to Palma today anyway, to check things out at the airport and extend the car hire. There's talk of the British Navy sending ships to northern Spain but I don't fancy attempting a return by ferry and overland across Europe so we're staying put. There's no-one due in the house, we've negotiated a €100 per night extension and I was able to book a flight for eight days hence so we'll just have to sit it out and hope the cloud lifts and flights resume. I'm hoping that there will be spaces available on flights next weekend as there must be people who didn't get out this weekend who were due to fly back next weekend but aren't here. However, it'll take a few days for the booking systems to reflect this. Sharon and I did a shop in the Carrefour hypermarket before returning to C'an Picafort but resisted the temptation to buy a pig's head or ears!

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