In this Spanish village where I live, it wasn’t toilet paper that people were stacking away during lockdown, as people did in the Netherlands, my native country. No, it was flour. Flour to bake bread, cakes and pizza. As we all had to stay in our houses and my only weekly visit was to the local supermarket, I felt suddenly there was an abundance of time. So, “let’s cook”, many fellow villagers must have thought (me included).
Like in all South-European countries, food is more than just food. It’s more than just adding fuel to our bodies. It’s a social act, an occasion to come together and spend hours eating, drinking and chatting. Not a quick cheese sandwich for lunch, but a warm home cooked meal, preferably served with a chilled glass of wine.
People here are taking the time to eat.
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Words as “new beginnings” have this openness to new possibilities and chances that may cross our path and give us purpose. They carry hope. Who doesn’t love to be in this kind of state when the world looks so incredibly messy and hopeless?
Especially these last days of December which tend to be nostalgic and introspective. I believe we all deserve a second chance and an opportunity to do it better. And to start anew is the best we can do or sometimes the most courageous act in our lives as often we need to let go of that which gives us certainty, comfort and clarity. Sometimes we need to let go of the things that usually aren’t bad for us, but neither do they bring us a step closer to the lives we wish for ourselves.
“New beginnings” are going to school again as we’re never too old to learn.
“New beginnings” are becoming a mother.
“New beginnings” are to change jobs as the work no longer serves us.
“New beginnings” are ending an unsustainable relationship.
“New beginnings” are buying a house as we want to invest in a place to live and so we can.
“New beginnings” are moving to another country where nobody knows us.
“New beginnings” are changing our bad habits.
During our lifetime we all live multiple lives and each life asks us different things and presents us different values.
The “new beginnings” on Mallorca ask me to embrace uncertainties and change. My landing on this new island has gone well so far, together with my man and two cats, and it’s all still very new.
This is our new place:
This cozy “shed” is located right next to the house of the Argentinian landlords, who have a little daughter, a Golden Retriever and a Persian cat. The family lives consciously with water and their solar panels are very limited so we constantly need to be aware of this. However, the generator is there to help when there isn’t enough electricity available.
This morning I had a really cold shower as the water sometimes doesn’t warm up. We don’t have a bathroom, but we use the bathroom in the family’s house. It isn’t ideal, but it deserves time to adjust. Our Eco tiny home on Ibiza used to be comfortable and we never experienced a lack of electricity and warm water. So this is new for us.
Christmas Day we spent in the upper north east of the island. It was a long and beautiful bike-ride. Our good friend, who wasn’t there, gave us the key of his house. We sooo appreciated the warm showers we had and the electrical heater in the bedroom! These things we always take for granted are actually quite special. Because honestly, isn’t it a miracle that there’s always water running from our western taps?
It’s good to realize that these normal things that seem to have become a luxury, actually aren’t so normal. I don’t know how long I can do this though, but I feel there are far more worse things to live with, and despite those inconveniences I already have started to love this basic, tiny home on the gorgeous countryside, 4 km outside the closest village called Algaida.
Algaida has the looks of an ancient village with its brown stone houses, hand crafted wooden doors and classic yellow street lights at night. The old village has a square, a church, a couple of cafes and small supermarkets, an ecological wine farm and a postoffice.
The other day a Mallorcan friend ~ with whom we collaborate to start a small, sustainable community ~ was so kind to invite us to have lunch in a nice restaurant here that serves traditional Mallorcan dishes. On this sunny Monday the restaurant was packed with locals having lunch and drinking red wine, talking in a language I don’t understand a word of: Mallorquin. Our friend who was born and raised on Mallorca, passionately explained the Mallorcan food culture to us. I wondered if I could do this in the same way when it’s about the Dutch kitchen.
Most of the Mallorcan dishes are made of animal products, but I was able to choose the day menu which had vegetarian options! The Mallorcan Tumbet, a stew of gently fried aubergines in extra virgin olive oil with a tasty tomato sauce on top and a fried egg was rich and nutritious and warmed up my belly nicely (great food for cyclists too!).
It’s good to mention that Tumbet, without the fried egg, is a vegan dish. We drank a bottle of supple red wine from the local ecological wine farm. I find so much pleasure in finding local ingredients these days, so this local ecological wine farm needs our support! The day menu in Hostal Algaida was also economically very attractive. We will come back.
Talking about food…right before we went to the restaurant that afternoon, I watched a video that was spot on and thought provoking. It completely confirmed my motives to eat plant-based. Although it’s a very serious topic, you can’t suppress a good laugh at some moments. It’s satire and this Dutch guy, Arjen Lubach, is good at it.
The video is in Dutch, so for the Dutchies amongst us, I share this video. I’m not a fan of the words “must-see” or “must-read,” but this video I would call a “must-see”.
Here it is:
Perhaps for you this could be a “new beginning” too.
I would love to help you in any way I can. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.