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.
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.
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!