Month: August 2008

the dog with no name – update

Since the late night email I sent out yesterday and the radio appeals on Luna and Radio One Marratxi, we’ve so far had pledges of donations for about €350! But please don’t forget to make the transfers !

The smallest, but most touching donation came from a little girl, called Holly; she emptied her piggybank and gave all of her ‘good money’ (ie not the play money) which came to a grand total of €3 to help the dog, and the biggest donation so far has been from the Euro Weekly Newspaper who pledged €150.

I’ve checked in with Riccardo and the dog is making good progress – the dog was actually hungry this morning which is a great sign. The dog was weighed today, he is 40k, but should be twice that….. he’s got a long way to go before he’s healthy again.

Thanks also for the fantastic emails and advice. I think Riccardo and his wife and their team are feeling very supported now which is important as they are giving their time and efforts for nothing.

If you can make a donation towards the care of the dog then please do so.

You can pay it into

La Caixa 2100 4379 64 02 00053059 El Toro. Urbanizacion El Toro. Gran Via 21, Calvia, Spain.

I am the administrator of the account and it’s in my name (Victoria McLeod), and the account nickname is ‘the dog with no name’.

Or you can go directly to the Vet surgery in Peguera to make your donation there – which six people have already done this morning! For the address of the surgery visit:

Thanks and have a great weekend!

the dog with no name

I was contacted yesterday morning by Riccardo who is the vet at Clinica Veterinaria Peguera. He is faced with a dilemma. On Tuesday a man called him to go to see his sick dog which was in a finca in Calvia. Riccardo went along and found this poor dog in a terrible condition – dramatically underweight, unable to walk, riddled with parasites, ticks, worms, you name it, and with his throat and legs shredded to pieces by repeated attacks on the dog from rats – he was too weak and confined to fight them off. The dog’s front left leg has no skin on it from the rat attacks, and you can see the rat tooth marks in the dog’s throat and shoulders. He is missing fur all over the front of his body, and is so thin that it’s a real shock to see a dog in this condition.

Riccardo told the dog’s owner – I think we should put the dog down now to put him out of his misery, but the owner insisted that he would do whatever it would take to get the dog back to a healthy condition. So Riccardo took the dog to his surgery in Peguera and started to nurse him. Three days on, the dog is starting to turn the corner, he’s holding his head up, drinking water and eating without assistance. Riccardo and his wife told me that they have never taken so many ticks off of an animal before, ever. Three days on, and after repeated grooming, they are still finding more. The dog is currently fighting off blood poisioning from the rat bites, and is being pumped full of vitamins, antibiotics, saline….. (I’m saying, ‘the dog’ instead of giving him a name as I don’t think he even knows his name….. he’s never been cared for, or fed properly, he’s lived in this outhouse in a finca all of his life – Riccardo thinks he is about 1 ½ yrs old. He needs a name, but firstly he needs to get better. . . ).

Then yesterday, the dog owner called Riccardo and told him that he had changed his mind, didn’t want to pay for any treatment, and wanted the dog to be put down . . . Riccardo took a decision and told the (now ex) owner that he wouldn’t be putting the dog down as he believes he will recover if he can continue to receive treatment.

That’s when Riccardo called me to ask if I could help to make an appeal: he has asked for help to meet the costs of the medications, and special diets that the dog will need to get well, the dog will also need to have an operation on his leg when he is stronger: to graft skin back onto his leg where the rats (I’m not kidding, RATS) chewed away at his leg. Riccardo (who is a fantastic vet) is offering his services and time and facilities for free. He has asked me to keep the accounts for him so that there will be no misunderstandings and that everything is above board.

I went to see the poor thing this afternoon, and it’s so awful to see him. The guys at the vets are taking really good care of him, and they have a lot of respect for his ability to pull back from what really was the brink of death.

Let’s not go into the type of person who would let an animal get into this state. It’s incredibly cruel to have neglected him to the extent that he was literally starving to death and being eaten alive.

When you think of what type of dog this is, it gets even sadder – he’s a St Bernard, the breed which heroically saves walkers and skiers in the mountains, and has such a good tempered and gentle character.

Riccardo has estimated that the cost of medication alone will be in the region of €1500 to get this guy well. If every person who I have emailed donated just €10 then we could cover it. I think it’s worth it. Right now he is staying in the vet’s surgery and has a foster home with a very good carer in Calvia over the weekend when the surgery is closed. I know it’s just one more case of animal cruelty in Mallorca, but this is one which is right in front of me asking me to help, and now it’s right in front of you too, so please if you can help, then do…..

If you can make a donation towards his care then please do so. You can pay it into La Caixa 2100 4379 64 02 00053059 Accounts information will be available and open to anyone who wants to see it.

If there are other things you think you could help with then please call or email me……….

After such an awful start in life, let’s give this gentle giant the chance of finding out how nice humans can be…… Imagine seeing the photos of him healthy, happy and rehomed with new owners, think how great you’ll feel that you helped him on his way.

I’ll keep you updated on his progress – just mail me back to tell me that you want to know how his story pans out….

Please pass this onto anyone you think might be able to help…

Have a lovely weekend.

Vicki x


I’ve been trying to cobble together some people who wanted to speak about Catalan and its importance to the Mallorcan culture, but miserably failed to get much together…. I’ll keep trying on this one. But here is some information from Jackie Evans at Calvia Council about lessons.

Hi Vicki
I have just been down to the IMEB office here in the Town Hall . The catalan courses are run by the ESCUELA DE ADULTOS in Magalluf .

The information below has been taken from the calvia website” Click on the “Union Jack” for English and click on IMEB on the tool bar and you get the following text :

The School for Adults office is closed until the 1st September so I cant get any more info . I do know that is is subsidised by the “Conselleria de Edución ” and Calvia Town Hall ……its very reasonably priced.

School for Adults
This educational centre’s aim is to provide permanant education to adults of the municipality. Access is available to all citizens over 18 years of age.

Educational Offers:

Initial teaching to correct illiteracy and learning to read and write in the Spanish language.
Compulsory secondary education: classroom teaching and individualized.
Preparation for the exams for the access to the Univerisity and access to Professional Formation.
Languages: Catalan, English and German.
Specific Professional Formation : specialities of Assistant treatments Nurse and Commerce Manager.
Other services
a) Información desk, enrolment and preparation for the Catalan exams of the Balearic Islands Government.
b) Service and academic orientation information
c) Excursions and cultural outings.

Manager responsable for the service: Miguel Mas
Headmistress of the School for Adults (by agreement with the Ministry of Education and Culture): Francisca Muńoz
Address: Camí de Sa Porrasa, 6, Magaluf
Telephone: 971.13.13.50
Hours of attention to the public: Monday to Fridays from 9.30 a 13.30 h and from 16 a 19.30h. From 15 July to 31 August closed.

Having a Baby in Mallorca

There’s a lot to write up – but bear with me.

If there’s anything in particular you want to know about then send me an email. Vmc



Excellent (but pretty full on) natural birthing book is The Gentle Birth Method by Gowri Motha. Be prepared for a more eastern approach – very much on the natural earthy end of the scale. Very optimistic and positive

Excellent website is For pre-conception, pregnancy and parenting advice.

Pre-natal yoga and meditation
Karen and John – Yoga to be
Private classes near Alaro – 610 331 879
Or email

Homeopathic stuff
In Spain for all Homeopathic remedies ask for granulos (larger pills), apart from the pre-natal Caulophylum and Pulsatilla – ask for those in globulos (eeny weeny pills)
Don’t let the pills touch your hands – take them from the lid
You can order these from many pharmacies or have a homeopathic pharmacist make them up for you. In Mallorca the only place I know of is one of the two pharmacies on Caller Balanguera – Salvat Pharmacy – 24hour.

Midwives – for anti natal and post natal visits and for home births

Recommended therapists (Mallorca)
Cranio sacral therapy For pre and post natal
Maria (Deia and Mondays in Palma) 679 860 401
Lakshmi (Biniamar and some days in Palma) 649 067487
Howard (Alaro and mobile service) 686 504 867

Vicki (Andratx) 649 090 886

Sue (Near Binissalem) 600 680 333
Joyce (Palma, may-sept only) 619 830 666

Gudrun (Bunyola/Palmanola) 690 294 058

Lakshmi (Biniamar and Palma) as above

Pregnancy massages
Vicki (Andratx) as above
John and Karen (Alaro) as above
Howard (Alaro, Santa Ponsa and mobile) as above

Fitness in Mallorca

After some rather unkind comments about how fat I was getting, I decided to do theme of the week on Fitness a couple of weeks ago.

Here are the contact details for the people who I spoke to:

Katie Handyside
Personal Trainer and Nutritionist
Tel: (+34) 636 322 959

She told me that the best thing to do was get moving doing something that I really enjoyed…. just bung on the ipod and get out and about. Any small changes contribute towards a bigger change. She recomended finding motivational music and getting out early in the day so that the exercise was completed before the rest of the day kicked off.

Alexandra Swindells
Clinical Hypnotherapist
Tel: (+34) 620 266 212

Alex told us about the benefits that hypnotherapy can have in helping with motivation to get out and get moving. She also gave us an interesting insight into what it feels like to be under hypnosis.

Anne Mawson
Pickles Ballroom
Tel (+34) 685 593 150

Anne and her partner Ian run Pickles Ballroom in Magalluf. They host Latin In Line classes which individuals can go along to without a partner and enjoy dancing to latin music. She said that it’s often easier to exercise in groups. The Latin in Line classes are pòpular for the benefits you get from dancing – not just fitness, but also increased alertness, and a mood lifter.

Dr Michael Stoma
Tel (+34) 971 676 334

I initially spoke to Dr Stoma about the basic health checks you might like to do before you embark on any particular exercise programme – blood pressure in particular is important, But we then went on to talk about his impending trip to Ghana with physiotherapist Jayne Coombs – they’re off to initiate the set up of a physiotherapy centre in the Dagme Hospital….. So when they return for their travels I hope to speak to them on the air.

If you would like to donate any supplies such as bandages or orthopadic supports please contact Jayne Coombs at 667732992 or to make a donation to the Physiotherapy Clinic Project, East Dagme Hospital through


WHERE exactly have the last three weeks gone?

I am under a fog of incomprehension. Perhaps it is August in Mallorca, the heat, the craziness, the general work like a slave cause the tourists are here mentality that we all have to pick up on in the height of the summer, whatever it is, I need to figure it out.

I know, from bitter experience, that the month of August is bliss for anyone on holiday in Mallorca, and absolute living hell for anyone trying to make a living on this island. (I almost put the word ‘paradise’ in there in italics and inverted commas, but decided that no, that would be too cynical and would put people off living here…!). Imagine, trying to keep everything together in a non airconditioned environment, everyone around you wants to be treated, wants to be pampered, and all you want to to is go to sleep and stop thinking. Add on a young child, no money, mortgage worries, general crazy politics and you have a recipe for disaster.


I have also noticed that I am going blind and have to wear bloody glasses to read small print.

Usual service will resume… at some point.

Back to business

Just to finish my update of last week’s theme which was the economy….. On Wednesday I spoke to Kate Mentink who is the Deputy Mayor of Calvia (one of the richest local authorities in Spain – because of its links to the tourism industry). She told me that she had been on a tour of the local hotels and found that they were all doing okay, although there were hotels in the North of the island which weren’t doing so well.

Blog ettiquette

In the words of my chum, Diane Foden ( , I’m new here, so….

To all of the nice people who have added me to their blog listings. thank you. There is no particular order – it’s all a bit haphazard here as you may now have noticed (one day I’ll sit down and properly explain what the bejeezus has been going on for the past few months) but here goes:

Carloz at Spain: The Blog

Andrew at AlcudiaPollensa

Diane at Two Crumblies and a Cat

Jan at a finca life

Laura at Move to Portugal

Thank you for the nice comments from Rachael at Miles Away in France

Thank you to all of the people who have mailed me to say they like what I am writing, it’s very encouraging.

I have also added the thrilling Live Feed so I can see that real people are reading my blog, not just my mum! So I have to explain that the blog is partly about my life, and partly a blog to update listeners to Luna Radio and Radio One Marratxi on the themes of the week…. so that hopefully explains the haphazardness of the whole deal.

The idiot's guide to the economy by Oliver Neilson

Economic rule number one applies to more or less everything not just money and oil.

Supply and demand, if a market (sugar, oil, money, cars, anything) has loads of supply but not many buyers, the sellers drop their prices.(buyers market). If a market has low supply, and high demand, prices rise as buyers effectively bid up the price (think ´Playstations just before Christmas)


The World economy is driven mainly by banks having cash reserves and lending it to each other and their customers, this is called LIQUIDITY

Over the past decade mainly US banks lent massive (100%+) mortgages to customers with low credit ratings, these are called SUB PRIME MORTGAGES.

Dealers for the banks sold these debts to other banks in the form of mortgage backed bonds this process is called DEBT REPACKAGING. They were bought by banks and investment funds and pensions all over the world (including UK and Spanish banks) who did not sufficiently understand the risks.

When large amounts of the sub-prime mortgage customers began to default on their mortgages the house prices fell meaning that the banks did not have enough money when the repossessed houses were sold.

The losses have amounted to trillions of dollars world wide. As a result the banks did not have enough money to lend to their customers or to other banks (they lacked LIQUIDITY), as a result, banks that rely on market liquidity (like Northern Rock) found their supply cut off. (e.g. you are a green grocer, you buy veg wholesale and sell it retail and keep the difference, if the veg wholesalers have no veg, you are in trouble). This lack of liquidity is called the CREDIT CRUNCH….So banks can´t lend morgages, people can´t buy houses, so sellers have to drop their prices if they want/have to sell QED house prices fall.


Oil is limited and running out, all the easy (cheap) to extract oil has been dug up and sold years ago. New oil reserves are harder (more expensive) to get to, so the suppliers factor this into the cost.

There is plenty of oil left to drill world wide but it is increasingly expensive to get at (under ice sheets etc) and at today’s prices, it is too expensive to make a profit out of, as prices go up, it then becomes economic for the oil companies to get at.

However the biggest factor pushing up oil prices are is the development of India, China and other developing countries. They are basically going through their own Industrial Revolution with people leaving the fields and heading for the towns in their 10´s of millions every year. An urban dweller uses 3.5 times as much oil as an urban dweller.

So with demand and supply rules in mind, there is a limited supply of oil, and loads more people want it, so up go the prices, and give or take, they will keep doing it, THIS IS NOT A TEMPORARY EFFECT. (until we can find alternative energy sources, solar, wind hydrogen or whatever). The price of everything (I mean that) in the world is affected by the price of oil, (example, of a factory making anything you like. factories run on electricity which is going up because its mainly made with oil, their employees probably drive to work and will want a pay rise as petrol is getting more expensive, all of their components will be trucked in, all their products will be trucked out to a distributor and retailer, who use electricity, and employees drive to work…..etc)

All of these increases in a company’s costs get passed on in the prices they charge to their customers. Rising prices are called INFLATION (this type of inflation is called COST PUSH INFLATION.


More prosperous people in the third world eat more food, and so increase demand, and push prices up. Food producers are also subject to COST PUSH INFLATION as above, this also pushes up prices, as does the fact that large areas of prime agricultural land are now being turned over to growing biofuel, thus reducing the land available for food production (reducing supply as demand is increasing, see rule number one)

Keeping up?, good, last bit for now.

Finance ministers (Chancellors) and central banks (Bank of England and European Central Bank) can raise or lower interest rates to speed up or slow down an economy.

Interest rates up: Loans and Mortgages get more expensive and savings get higher interest so people spend less, if they spend less, demand reduces and prices come down, (rule #1). PRO Inflation reduces, CONS people feeling skint suddenly see their mortgage go up, and the electorate think you are a mismanaging the economy.

Interest rates down: Cheap to borrow money, no point putting it in a bank as you don´t get any interest, PRO, people feel a bit better off, CON fuels inflation setting up economic stress for the future.

Result, Dammed if you do, dammed if you don´t .

Questions, just call.