April events for Mallorca

During the day tomorrow, Wednesday April 11th, there is an Open Day at Palma College for any young person interested in studying there. In the afternoon there will be a fundraising event organised by Inquisitive Crew at Galibos Bar in Astilleros de Mallorca. This event starts at 5.30pm. It is to raise money for cancer charities and is for women by women.  Finally for tomorrow in the evening there will be a Charity Jazz Night organised by the Rotary Club of Calvia starting with dinner at 8pm at the Hotel Saratoga and followed by live music. You can book by emailing info@kate.es

The Road Bike Festival also kicks off tomorrow  and continues for four days. It’s a festival is dedicated to road cycling. You will find it on the road linking Playa de Muro and Alcudia, and will feature parties, live music and stalls with the latest road cycling gear, workshops with experts, test rides, cycling races and lots more.

On Thu 12th Apr the Mallorca Walking Event starts in Peguera. Over four days hundreds of people will hike along paths and trails in Peguera. Different routes will take participants along nature paths through charming villages, and beautiful beaches taking in the Mallorcan coast and the impressive Tramuntana mountain range. There are routes of 30, 20 or 12.5 kilometres each day. You can register at http://www.mallorcawalkingevent.com

Over the coming weekend of April 13, 14 and 15th up in Alcudia you will get the chance you’ve been waiting for to try cuttlefish, it’s not just for your budgie! Alcudia will be hosting its annual cuttlefish fair and there will be an exhibition, a craft market, a boat show, children’s parties and a playground, and a food market.

On Saturday the 14th you can watch the final day of cycling racing of the Six Day Series.
Having competed in London, Berlin and Copenhagen the final is in Mallorca with a party like atmosphere on the Palma Arena track.  www.sixday.com/mallorca/ On Saturday April 14th there will be a Violin and Piano concert at the Teatro Municipal at 8pm. The duo will perform Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Paganini and Malte Kahler.

Also on the 14th the Lions Club of Palma will be present an evening of music at the Shamrock in Palma. You can book by emailing singen@lionsclubpalma.com the price is 40€ per person and includes a welcome drink, finger food and a donation to their charity.

Over the weekend of April 20th, 21st and 2nd there will be a comedy performed by the Anglican Church Drama Club, called Murdered to Death. I understand that is a very clever Agathat Christie / Miss Marple spoof. Tickets go really fast for these events so get your as soon as you can. Call 971 510 587, 634 200 242 or email rns@psi-mail.com

On Saturday April 21st there will be an open day at Fit Club in Son Caliu, they will have a DJ, a healthy food tasting including smoothies and the menu from Fitness Kitchen Mallorca. There will also be a competition to win a month’s training at the gym.  On Sunday April 22nd there will be a Wim Hof Method day held at Finca s’Almudaina. The WimHof method has been proved to strengthen your immune system, you learn a unique breathing technique during the day. It is also a fantastic challenge because at the end of the day you sit in a bath of ice! You can get more information on my site.

If you are an early bird then you can go to business networking events in Calvia on Wednesday mornings at 7.30am, for more information please visit http://www.mallorcamatters.com. You have to request an invitation and the email address is on my site. john@kavanaghconsulting.com

The Palma Boat Show starts on April 27th and goes through the weekend. At the same time, on the other side of the road the Palma Beer Festival will be doing its best to keep us all hydrated with 200 beer brands on offer.

On Saturday 28th April the roads of Mallorca will be filled (even more so than usual) with cyclists doing the 312 when they attempt to cycle around the island.

On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th there will be a dog training course organised by Heather Whitehouse featuring  John McGuigan, also known as “The Glasgow Dog Trainer”. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, John has been dedicated to behavioural modification for many years in an evolutionary way, constantly training and refining his knowledge. After many years combining his work with the police service he retired four years ago and is now focused on offering education.  His specialty is the “difficult” cases, many times being dogs that have already passed through several educators with wrong or ineffective ways.  He believes that when dogs do not do what we ask, there are simple explanations – They either do not understand  or they are not motivated to do it. For info and reservations: info @ forcefreedt.com

The International Day of Jazz is on April 30th, there will be several events and concerts on the Saturday the 28th and Monday the 30th to celebrate this. The organisers have not yet released details but look out for them on my website after April 19th.


Tomorrow evening, Tuesday the 13th March there will be a “Mad for Mutts” Palma Dog Quiz Fundraiser. It starts at 7pm at The Boathouse in Palma. There will be loads of prizes on offer and it’s a big support for animals which need rehoming. DETAILS HERE: Mad For Mutts

On Thursday March 15th there will be a book launch for Samantha Meade-Newman Whittington, her first book “Rosamunda y las Montanas del Norte” will be  Biblioteca Can Sales in Placa Porta de Santa Catalina from 7pm.  Also that same evening Club Ultima Hora has organised a conference with Chris Sharma, a famous climber from California who will talk about sports climbing in Mallorca. The event is free and starts at 8pm at the Trui Theatre. You have to pick up an invitation from the Palau de la Premsa in Palma beforehand. DETAILS HERE

On Friday March 16th at 8pm you can join the Mood Singers for The Rhythm of Life concert in aid of Cala Nova Cancer Care. The event will be at the Anglican Church in Son Armadans Palma. Tickets are 10€ per person including a drink and nibbles.

Also on Friday evening it’s the opening night of Stereo in Magaluf, marking the beginning of their season. DETAILS HERE

From the 16th to the 18th of March you can try out the island’s best craft beers and live music at the Bierkonig Centre in S’Arenal.

On Saturday 17th March there will be a mindfulness workshop. Designed as an entry level to mindful meditation you will practice meditation, mindful waking and eating and talk about the health benefits. DETAILS HERE

On Saturday evening at MariSol Yoga in Placa del Progreso in Palma there will be a women’s circle event from 8pm to 9pm. It’s an open event and all women are invited to join.  DETAILS HERE

Sunday the 18th of March will feature the St Patrick’s Festival in Santa Ponca, there’s plenty of market stalls, entertainments, and the Guinness will be flowing!

On Wednesday 21st March there will be the grand opening of a new handmade ice cream shop in Palma, called Bo Bom Gelato. They will be offering “true” Gelato, gelato cakes, Italian hot chocolate, Easter Eggs, and freshly made Italian Easter cakes called Colomba, and plenty of Prosecco as well!  DETAILS HERE

Also on Wednesday 21st March from 10am to 1pm there will be a Spring Equinox inspired session, the Sacred Chant Awakening the Divine Femine. It will be at Peopletree in Alaro and led by yoga teacher Jeanne Lurie. It will include a gong deep relaxation session.

On the evening of the 21st of March you can catch the Moscow Ballet at Palma Auditorium performing Swan Lake.

On the weekend of the 24th and 25th of March there will be the Sheep and Goat fair in Calvia village. There’s always loads going on, including plenty of animals to go and see, pony rides for children, market stalls and plenty of fun and games.

On Saturday March 24th there will be a  Car Boot Sale at the BIC school in Magaluf from 1.30 to 4.30pm. Anyone who wants a pitch should contact the school in advance.  Also on the same day you can catch the Fiesta de la Primavera at Port Adriano, El Toro where they promise to offer loads of family friendly activities.

Also over the weekend of the 24th and 25th there is a theatre event called Spring In The Magic Forest. It’s aimed at kids and will be performed at the Palma Auditorium. The show is in Spanish and English and the kids will be invited up on to stage so make sure they wear their animal costumes. DETAILS HERE

Also on Saturday March 24th there will be a March For Our Lives event held in Palma. This is a protest in support of the kids and families in America who are marching all over the country on this day in an attempt to change the gun laws. The march organisers are asking for everyone to come and join them in the peaceful protest to send a message from across the world to the US government.  Meet in Plaza La Lonja at 10am, wear a white shirt with red or blue, bring friends, family, neighbours and anyone who cherishes peace and life.     DETAILS HERE

28th March art exhibition opening at the Century 21 Palm Beach offices in Paseo de Mallorca. The artist Sebastian Bispo will be showing his most recent works.

On Saturday 31st March the next edition of the Vegan Day Out will be hosted at the Son Alegre Vinyard in Calogne. It starts at 1pm and will feature live music, yoga, meditation, cooking workshops, an organic wine bar and more. DETAILS HERE

If you like fun fairs then you have until the 15th of April to go along to the Fira del Ram. It’s down beside the Son Castello industrial estate in Palma and is open every day.

Looking into April, there will be an training event for entrepreneurs on the 13th to the 15th April called Woha.  DETAILS HERE

The law of the jungle


You’ve probably heard by now, but Cecil the lion was murdered. Don’t lie to me and say that you knew who that was before this week, I didn’t for sure. Another person I’d never heard of either, an American dentist called Walter Palmer, allegedly killed Cecil. This happened at the beginning of July, but this week the news exploded on the internet. Twitter and Facebook, and all of the news sites, were swamped with information, so if you want to you can look the now extremely famous Cecil and Walter up.  Walter, a keen hunter who has bagged several different species of wild animal went to Zimbabwe expressly to shoot a lion. He paid (allegedly knowingly bribed) $50,000 to kill one of Africa’s most famous and iconic lions: Cecil was one of the main attractions at the Hwange national park. When he was found he had been decapitated and skinned. Cecil had been lured outside of the safety of the national park using bait, and then shot with a bow and arrow. A group of hunters then tracked him for forty hours before killing him with a rifle. The hunters are claiming they did not realise that Cecil was an important creature. But they certainly did not miss the GPS tag around his neck (Cecil was part of a significant scientific project run by Oxford University) and tried to destroy the tag. Now that Cecil, who was the head of the pride, is dead there will be a leadership struggle between the other male lions to see who should take over, part of that process will be when the remaining male lions kill the six lion cubs that Cecil had recently fathered in order for the bloodline to change.

When I first read this story this week it made me feel disgusted, and I know I’m not alone. But, here’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter if Cecil was a well known lion or not, that part is irrevelant. What is relevant is the ignorance, arrogance and brutality that these acts display. Hunting lions is legal in several countries in southern Africa, but groups must obtain a valid permit from authorities. The money raised from selling permits helps the conservation efforts of the species. About a century ago there were 200,000 lions but that figure has dropped to less than 30,000. The reality is that shooting lions is like shooting fish in a barrel. Lions are big lazy cats, and are not the maneaters that the movies portray them as. You’re more likely to be hurt by a frustrated lion in a zoo than be in any danger in the wild. The plain fact is that even I, if I wanted to, could take a gun and kill a lion, it doesn’t take any skill or bravery.

What does take effort, and intelligence is the development of a resistant conservation programme for lions and the other wild and endangered species across the world to be enabled to breed and live in their own natural environments without humans wanting to kill them for entertainment. Walter is not the first person to be outed for slaughtering an endangered animal, I can think of a few Spanish people who have been in the news, the previous King Juan Carlos for example. And consider this: is there any real difference between killing a lion and a cow? Perhaps we should remember to be as outraged at the factory farming industry as we are at the death of Cecil.

It is possible that Walter Palmer will be extradited to face charges of bribery, (not for killing an endangered animal) and two other people involved in the hunt have already been arrested and face lengthy jail sentences. What did this man think he was going to get out of his hunt? I haven’t read anywhere about Walter enjoying a bowl of lion soup. No, he’s got his trophy skin, and lot more than he bargained for as well. But that my friend is the law of the jungle, and perhaps this is the turning of that particular tide.

BY Vicki McLeod



Blowing bubbles

Brad Robertson, Ondine Escape, Vicki McLeod, Family Matters Mallorca When I was a teenager I was a passionate supporter of Greenpeace, I was a strident opponent of certain political systems, and I refused to walk past butchers’ shops. And then I got older and these things, although I still cared about them, didn’t take up or couldn’t take up as much space in my mind as they had done. I am now beginning to realise that the things that we hold dear and important to us when we are children are really the things that truly mean something to us and shouldn’t be shrugged off as “teenage whimsy”.

This doesn’t explain why two years ago I accepted the opportunity to learn to dive with Brad Robertson from Ondine Escape an adventure sports company with a strong environmental focus based in Mallorca: I hate cold water and after some bad experiences in trying to learn to dive when I was younger I wasn’t so keen. However the whole experience was amazing and the finale when I was asked to get into the shark tank at the Palma Aquarium was incredible.

You can read about the whole experience on my blog

here: http://familymattersmallorca.com/2011/06/01/a-secret-mission/,

here: http://familymattersmallorca.com/2011/06/01/dive-school/

and here: http://familymattersmallorca.com/2011/06/01/just-your-average-sunday/

My little girl, La Gidg, went through the whole thing with me, watching enviously from the waterside, and waving back at me when I was in the shark tank. “You can learn when you are eight”, Brad told her. She didn’t forget that, and would occasionally raise the topic of whether or not her dad and I remembered that when she turned eight she would legally be allowed to dive.

Gidg turned eight this week. Incredibly she seemed to have forgotten amongst all the other birthday shizzle that she now could dive with Brad if she so wished. But Brad and I had not, and colluded to arrange a surprise meeting on the beach during her birthday picnic. Surprise, surprise he had some diving gear with him, so would Gidg like to go and blow some bubbles? Of course she did!

There aren’t that many people that I would trust with my daughter’s safety: as an eight year old she can participate in a dive up to 2 metres deep with a qualified diving instructor, but I was very happy to hand her over to Brad who had looked after me and treated me with such patience and understanding when I had learnt to dive.  I watched with a great deal of pride as she was briefed and then loaded up with gear and walked into the sea. They were gone for what felt like hours, but was probably not quite as long. When they re-emerged from the water the rest of the people on the beach got the shock of their life when some banshee started cheering and yelling at the top of her voice (sorry about that Cala Bendinat).

And so a new passion has been formed: a passion for adventure, for the environment, for challenge, and for fun.

Happy birthday chickadee, and thank you Brad for the best present we could ever have given her.

It’s not all rubbish

EPORE outing to Son Reus You know there is such a thing as a “Bucket List”? It’s a list of things to do before you die. Well, I should try to keep a record of my own personal Bucket List as I fulfilled a great ambition this week: I went to the Son Reus rubbish dump just north of Palma. I know, call me a nerd, or a weirdo, but I’ve always wondered where my rubbish goes. We live in S’Arracó where all of the villagers are compelled to separate and sort their rubbish. We have door to door collections of organic waste, plastics, paper, glass and “mixed” (that’s when we get rid of the cat litter, wine corks, and things that don’t fit in with the easier categories). I have obsessed about this topic before on my blog: click here. 

I’ve been diligently putting things in the right containers for more than two years: tearing the cellophane windows out of envelopes, washing out yoghurt pots and, this is when I really feel like a hero, even washing out the cat food tins and (horrors) touching the strange jelly stuff that clings to the inside of the can.

The system works thus: you collect your varied rubbish and then on set days of the week you hang the appropriate bag of separated rubbish outside of your house to be collected by the waste collection gang from the council. It’s certainly brought my local community together more: hanging out the weekly bag for glass recycling is an opportunity to rate each other on alcoholic intake. But once the bag is collected, what happens to it next? Does my attention to detail matter, or was it all going into the same hole in the ground anyhow? It had played on my mind that’s for sure, and I often wondered if I could go to see. Well, thanks to EPORE (Europeos Por Espana www.epore.org) I did. They organised a trip this week and I jumped at the chance to go thinking I was going to some secret place where no one was allowed to visit. Far from it: we met at the beautiful Visitors’ Centre and watched a very well made video in English, and then took in the Education Centre and went on a monorail train around the site to see how rubbish was recycled. I found out about how the recycling centre is one of the best in the world, that surprised me, I also found out about how the incineration of rubbish (which is about  50% of the waste created here on the island, the rest is processed and then recycled) creates energy for 60´000 homes. It was absolutely fascinating, and anyone can do it. The information is on their website www.tirme.com where you can see everything in English including instructions on how to visit the centre.

Better still I had some pressing questions answered by Montse, our guide, who put my mind at rest. No, I am not a nerd for separating the cellophane from the paper envelope; thank you for washing out your tins, but you don’t have to (you cannot believe how happy this made me, no more washing up cat food tins!); it doesn’t really matter if you use glass bottles or plastic bottles, they both have to be recycled; plastics includes all plastic, plus it also includes tins and metals, and the things which are called “briks” i.e. cartons to you and I. There was always the doubt in my mind that although I was doing my bit for the environment that it didn’t really matter, well I learnt this week, that it does.  Thanks to EPORE for a great opportunity. Where are we going next?

What’s left . . .

forest fire, Mallorca, Andratx, photo by Oliver Neilson This week’s Family Matters isn’t written by me, it’s written by my husband Oliver Neilson who went up the Estellencs road on Saturday afternoon (the first day it has been open to the public since the fire). He is very familiar with this area having walked it on countless occasions with our dog, and also guided walkers through it as well. He first published this on his personal Facebook account on Saturday night, so far it has been shared a staggering 193 times. This is his account.

“I took a drive up into the mountains today to check out how much the Andratx fire had taken of the Tramuntana. I drove up the coast road from the Andratx townhall, pretty much to the seat of the fire, at about 20 kmph all the way with my chin on my chest. Around me were my fellow gawkers, some on four wheels, and some on two. All struck dumb by what we saw. The devastation is endless; it stretches from horizon to horizon. From both sides of the road, from the valley bottoms, to the mountain tops. The tarmac and the road signs are charred. Boulders dislodged from the ancient earthworks have rolled onto the road, charcoal blackened on one side. If you have lived in Mallorca for more than a year or two then you will probably have seen a fire, and some not so far from you. The helicopters or the cool yellow planes arrive and in an hour or so all that is left is steaming undergrowth and we can all get back to what we were doing.
“This one is of a different magnitude all together.
“We all felt our hearts swell with appreciation as we saw the planes dip down between the pedalos for another belly full of anti-fire ammunition and kidded ourselves that they had it under control, but a drive up the coast today put the enormity of their achievement into very sharp focus. Its charred embers look like hell today, so to have been there when it was ablaze must have been unimaginable.
“There are isolated houses and casitas that sit as tiny islands of green, in an ocean of grey ash and burnt ochre foliage. No doubt spared by a very timely dousing from a Canadair full of Portals bay, or a helicopter’s bucket full of Andratx municipal pool.

“Go take a look if you get a moment, remind yourself how beautiful this place is, and how lucky you are to be here, how very, very lucky we are that the pilots and fire fighters are….well….cool.

“…and get involved in the many operations to restore this unique place for ourselves and our kids. Ajuntament D’Andratx and GOB Mallorca are worth checking out as they are already looking for volunteers. We have lost a beautiful chunk of nature in this fire, perhaps we can gain a wider community if we all pull together in putting it back”.

Beautifully written, I think. Well done O.

Ollie is looking for bilingual Catalan/English speakers who want to get involved with GOB and help to liaise with the British (non Catalan speaking) residents who want to help. If you can help please get in touch with us, or leave a comment. Thanks!