Friday 16 April 2010

First week in Mallorca

The first week (and what should really have been the only week) was characterised by a rather cool breeze across the back verandah which made it hard work to persuade Sean to get outside rather than sit inside and read and do word searches with Papa. On the Monday afternoon, Sharon and I drove along to the next town south-eastwards, Son Serra de Marina, with Rowan and Finn. It was deserted, like a modern day version of something from a spaghetti western, as we parked the car and took a brief stroll along the wind-strafed beach and back through the town. All that was missing was the tumbleweed. In the evening, Marie and I took the three big boys to a playpark in C'an Picafort. They had a great time having running races and challenges on the various climbing frames amongst the trees.

On Tuesday we drove up to Alcudia for the market. It was a busy scene. Sean got some Spanish pants, as we had failed to pack him any! Seeing the array of local fuit and vegetables and chorizos and hams was a highlight as ever, the massive, twisted red peppers a far cry from the uniform mid-tone capsicums that sit in our local Sainsburys. We had lunch then a stroll round the old walled town while Angus slept, enjoying a drink in a square before returning back to where the market had been, now miraculously cleared away. We drove the short distance to Port d'Alcudia where Sharon had spotted a playpark on the beach. Within minutes, calamity. Rowan slipped off a convex banana-shaped slide from about five feet up and landed face down in the hard packed sand. There was blood, snot and tears everywhere. A waiter brought some water over to Sharon and some napkins as she tried to stem the flow from his nose and cut lips. As the bruising spread across his upper nose and below each eyes, I was sure he'd broken his nose. It took a while to calm him down but not as long as it might and by evening time, despite looking like he'd gnoe ten rounds, he was back in the mix with his brothers.

Sharon and I drove to Pollensa on our own on Wednesday and, while the boys were pestering their grandparents for treats and ice-cream and havinbg fun on the beach, we parked in the town and enjoyed a lazy stroll about before sitting in a sunny courtyard and relaxing over a bottle of wine as part of a splendid and incredibly cheap lunch at Restaurant Macondo. Belatedly we discovered some of the older part of the town and had a coffee in the main square, with me dozing off the wine as Sharon went in search of something for her sinuses. We spotted a "fiera" advertised for the weekend and vowed to return with the whole family.

Having found little to entertain us in our home resort, and with the cool breeze dissuading us from spending time by the pool, on the Thursday we headed up to Port de Pollensa. I took the big lads on to the beach while Sharon walked with Angus and Marie and Michael took a turn by themselves. We all met up again and had a monster lunch of tapas and stuff, the ribs being a big hit. I've also found that the wine in Mallorca hasn't been causing me any asthma bother, so I've been enjoying that too. I found a little playpark and was entertaining the boys with some game that involved me having to speak in several different accents. Finn always likes it when I talk in different voices. That evening, big lunch notwithstanding, Sharon and I drove to the nearby Hotel Rural Casal Santa Eulalia, a very stylish restaurant in a converted farmhouse setting. We partook of the fine dining experience which was very pleasant, although perhaps the portions were a little on the light side compared to what we've been getting accustomed to! It was good to get away from it all and having a fine meal though. We sneaked a peak through some of the reception rooms too; it would have been nice to have been staying the night! On our return, Michael said he'd got a text from Edel saying we might find ourselves stuck on Mallorca as there was talk of flights being cancelled due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland! And so our vigil of the BBC World Service began!

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