The Small Treats in Life, Friendship and Love.

Yesterday it was my dear old friend’s 45th birthday and I called her to hear her voice again and to congratulate her with another fabulous year. I had to send her a Patsy and Eddie picture first. These two women are still so hilarious and some bothering negative feelings you might have, will melt as snow in the sun by even watching one picture of them.

My friend was having a beautiful and very hot day on a boat in the canals of Amsterdam with her family and parents. We don’t speak each other that often, but we still feel involved with each other’s lives which are very different, you could say total opposite. As dear friends we wish each other happiness and love, and the fact that our lives are so different, isn’t an obstacle for being such good friends.

No rainbows and kittens

I told her on the phone life on Mallorca isn’t always rainbows and kittens. I was complaining a bit about the scorching heat we’re having for weeks now and that I’m longing for our new place where we will have true privacy which is so important to me and that we’re lacking at home. Making progress though.

We have a lot to do, but with this super hot summer, every action I undertake, costs me lots of effort; it’s tiring. So I was telling her all this very honestly. You can’t be in a happy place with yourself constantly. There are ups and downs and I must say quite some downs in the past year. Last Saturday, for example, I had a bad day. I didn’t feel good physically, having some problems with my gut-system and digestion again (which can also make you feel depressed by the way) and I felt extremely tired. I spent most of the day in bed, sleeping, and didn’t even feel like reading a book, while books are my favourite things. On such days, I mostly have negative thoughts. I never realise it at the moment, but luckily it never takes very long, one or maybe two days, and it’s over again. 

Hours of cycling

When I called her, I wasn’t totally over it. Dorus and I decided to go to the beach. I told my friend that the beach is so far away (another complaint) as we have our bicycles that have to take us there, which is fully our choice though. The nearest beach is at least 1,5 hours cycling. So to have a cool, fresh, deeply desired dip in the sea on these hot summer days, we have to cycle at least three hours. It’s funny when you used to have the sea right in front of you and it used to be so easy to go for a swim on a hot afternoon.

Yet, I love cycling (not at midday in August..) and how exhausting it sometimes is, it’s also a kind of therapy for me. I’m moving, breathing fresh, rural air, sweating and healing from my negative feelings. After I called my friend it was already late in the afternoon, but Dorus and I decided to cycle and try another beach this time. First we would stop in Llucmajor, a small town half way, to have an Americano (a black coffee) with a scoop of icecream in it…our favourite treat lately. We do this constantly…telling each other “after we moved these stones, we’ll get ourselves a cold drink” or, “after building this piece of wall we are allowed to rest and have a coffee” or — even better — “we go to the motorbike restaurant in Algaida, Los Ultimos Mohicanos, to have patatas bravas and veggie burgers (the best)!” Things like that. We “need” it somehow, these hot months when we’re working on our home project. It keeps us motivated.

Don’t trust Google Maps

We never reached the beach. We cycled a long time, the route was taking us along animal farms and rural homes, but there wasn’t a quiet road that could take us to the beach. The sun was almost setting  and when Google Maps was taking us to a private home and area which was supposed to be on our route, we decided not to pass and to return. An old friendly farmer came and closed his gate, the path Google said we had to go. This is not my first time that Google Maps takes me to private areas on Mallorca which I’m supposed to pass, but obviously aren’t public routes at all. Maybe next time we need to take the busy car road to get to Sa Ràpita, the beach we wanted to go. 

Sure, I could be pissed off for not reaching the beach and to wash all the sweat and stickiness off of me in the sea, but instead we both smiled, ate a juicy apple and decided to go back. We returned to the cozy square of Llucmajor with its terraces and ate some patatas fritas we both fancied. These things make me happy. I had a delicious gazpacho Andaluz (Andalusian cold tomato soup) and olives too. I can’t get enough of these fruity, tasty tomatoes here. 

Miles away 

I was thinking of what I said to my friend on the phone earlier that day. The negativity, the doubts of what I’m doing here on Mallorca, it seemed already miles away. Yet, I know it will come back, it won’t end, and that’s okay. Meanwhile, I know what works for me to wash away these uncomfortable feelings this summer: cycling and stop for a coffee with a scoop of ice cream, a Spanish terrace at night, and the love from those around me (close and further away) and last, but not least, having a plan. And yes, a dip in the sea would be very much appreciated too.

Green Gorillas

In the meantime we’re working on our Green Gorillas project as well. In October, if the Coronavirus let us, we organise a Tiny House Build and Sustainable Living Course in France at Howard’s country home. Vanessa, our Green Gorilla friend, moved to our land some weeks ago and is living there temporarily in her tent. With these hot temperatures it’s probably the best place to be at night. She’s such a smart young woman, a great help, a talented illustrator, incredible movie-maker and sweet friend.

Watch here the video Vanessa made together with Dorus! 

https://youtu.be/kVGDVevZ8G4

Con Amor,

Eva

A No-Nonsense Island to Love.

These past weeks we are working on what will become our new home. Days consist of digging and shovelling rocks, but with many breaks, as the Mediterranean sun shines powerfully this time of year and it makes it all really, really sweaty. 

Although I don’t know the island well yet, Mallorca is a place to love. Exactly one year ago when we visited a friend, I could never imagine we would move from Ibiza to here, especially to the rural area where our piece of land is located and where we now build our home. It didn’t appeal to me. It felt in the middle of nowhere. Now, I know it’s less remote than I thought, but still it’s a very calm place, a pureness I have started to adore.

Authentic and old 

I know this is an island to love when I cycle and witness the stretched fields, flocks of sheep, terracotta or stone homes and mysterious mountains on the horizon. The villages are authentic and from another era and strangely you hardly see people on the streets. I always wonder where they are. The silence on the streets in the villages I pass, hasn’t anything to do with the Corona-virus though, before the lockdown it was exactly the same. Along the coast, life looks more modern, the architecture is different, colourful and new. 

On an afternoon a few weeks ago, we finally went to the beach. We cycled to Playa Es Trenc on the south coast and back, it was quite far, 72 km. Mallorca (3620.42 square km) has six times the size of Ibiza (571.04  square km), so the distances here by bicycle are way longer and sometimes there seems no end in sight. We always try to take the back roads if possible, where you see remote stone homes and small farms and sheer rural life. 

The beach, Es Trenc, is stunning and its white sand and crystal clear blue water reminded me of Formentera. Those who have been to this wonderful Balearic Island know what I mean. I could stay here forever.

Break from tourism

Yesterday Spain opened its borders again. I suppose we won’t notice much of holiday makers as our area isn’t quite of a touristic place. Simply because there isn’t much to do here for a tourist. Whereas Ibiza suffers from tourism and the caring people try hard to keep her authenticity alive, Mallorca attracts another kind of people and tourism maybe has a different impact here, not per se less damaging, but different. I suppose Mallorca is more known for its beautiful nature than Ibiza is. Friends who visited us on Ibiza over the years were often surprised by its beauty, somehow they didn’t expect to see so much natural beauty on ‘party-island’ Ibiza.

Obviously, these past months, when both islands were closed from travellers, must have been heaven to its residents and nature, as it could recover from tourism’s harmful environmental impact. Also sea-life got a welcoming break without having boats around the coasts and had a bit of restoration time.

Satisfaction

Mallorca feels very rural to me. When I cycle to go somewhere, I always see plenty of animals: sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, birds, cows, horses, dogs… Actually for this reason alone, this is my place. As much as I love this slow campo life (country-life), I wish to visit the sea more often. It’s more effort to go everywhere by bicycle and sometimes I really have to push myself, especially on hot summer days. But when I arrive home in the evening after some time of exploration, I feel so much satisfaction, because going from A to B by bicycle is an independent, healthy, free and total harmless act. During the bike-ride though I don’t always see these advantages, but that makes it even more satisfying when I come home, relax and make a cup of tea and something to eat (long distances make you hungry)!.

Serious cyclists

Spanish people aren’t used to cyclists who use their bikes as a way of transport, they only use it for sports. So, also on Mallorca, we are — again — crazy people, crazy Dutchies. There are lots of sportive male cyclists here — women, where are you? — in tight lycra outfits, flying on the roads with bikes so extremely light and innovative, it seems almost an effortless exercise. One day I would love to have a bicycle like that. 

For these guys, who mostly cycle in groups, cycling is a serious business as they always look so serious in their shiny outfits, speedy helmets and fast sunglasses. Sometimes I receive a nice smile or friendly nod as a recognition (sort of, not really) “you are one of us” (you know, like boat people do), but mostly these guys don’t see me at all, too busy having their eyes on the road and how fast they go. One time, before the Corona-virus took over the world, one cyclist amidst of a group raised his hand and blew me a kiss when he passed by. I loved this spontaneous gesture.

Whereas Ibiza has a strong feminine, floaty, vibrant and mysterious energy, Mallorca feels grounded and earthy and spacious. 

Could it be that Mallorca is a man, a no-nonsense kind of guy?

Con Amor,

Eva

Image by @lifestyle_mallorca on Instagram.

Yoga, my Companion on my Journey.

”The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” ~ Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

I have fully embraced yoga since I discovered its power and healing energy.

Flow, movement, effort and grace result in rejuvenation, gratefulness, calm and relaxation. When I’m on my mat, at times feeling uncomfortable, I know I will leave it with peace of mind.

Grateful for her, my wonderful teacher, and this practise I step into the world. I cycle home after dark in the soft autumn air, riding the country roads of Ibiza to the tunes of crickets, barking dogs and singing night birds off in the distance. There’s a kind of magic in these moments after yoga. With faithful starry heavens looking upon me I return home, light, unafraid and a heart filled with love. I am a mystical being. I feel like I am the stars I look at, I am the dark sky and the moon. Trivial and loud conversations in my head are muted, no longer determined to be heard.

All flies and all goes. There’s a stillness in and around me. No longer am I a worry woman, but a warrior woman. I know what’s worth fighting for, what really matters to me, yoga gives me that clearity.

Mornings started with yoga feel better than mornings without yoga. Then why do I still skip my practice some days? Yoga is discipline. If I want to grow further, I need to practise everyday. I am on my way. I am travelling. Yoga is my companion on my journey.

I have chosen this path to walk on, sometimes rocky and slippery, but worthwhile for the views on this path are magnificent. It isn’t the main path, the path which modern life expects me to travel. I decided to take a turn which is close to my beliefs. Once I step over the stones, these hurdles trying to brake me, there’s another one wanting me to change my course, not respecting my path, making me doubt, trying to make me fall and lose my balance. But this is my path, the road less travelled, where the treasures that wait for me on the horizon aren’t material wealth and success, but freedom and simplicity. Awareness and compassion. Patience. In fact, the journey, the path, is all this. And yoga is my comrade that keeps me balanced in travelling this path.

With both feet I always return gracefully to the ground after I float away on the waves of my breath. Yoga lets me drift away and escape from the noise which is all around. With yoga as my companion I follow my heart’s desires. I am aware and present. Held on to by old spirits and souls in heaven I pick myself up and continue my steps. Held on to by love’s power I walk on. Let’s come together where we can sweat in peace rather than to bleed in war. Let’s practise. Let’s walk here till there’s only love and unity left.

 

Con Amor,

Eva

 

 

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