Living In Mallorca

Relocating to Mallorca

Leave a comment

Missing Spain

Now that the drama of the past few years are over with I read with interest the posts left by an ex colleague who has relocated to Spain.

I don’t comment much because I can’t.

In honesty I miss Spain.  I miss the sun, I miss the laid back attitude, I miss all the things that drew me to it in the first place.

But I know that nothing would change if we returned.  Ok so my health problem has hopefully been resolved but the isolation that I felt in the four walls as my hubby was unable to venture out much would not correct itself.

I would still find myself as a foreigner and the willingness of fitting in would not happen unless I did it on my own.  Social butterflies we have never been and the disability my husband now has makes it even more so.

But I have to admit to myself that when I look at the photos or I go for a Google walk around then I know that part of myself still belongs there.

I believe I said once before that I felt split with one foot in each country.  Both countries in my heart and I know that whichever country I live in the other one will always tug at my heart strings.


Leave a comment

If I Could Go Back In Time

If I could go back in time would I still relocate to Spain?

Undoubtedly yes!

The thrill and excitement of making the pre-move arrangements. Searching online for the area that interests you. Looking online for estate agents or letting agents and working out your finances. Checking with international removal companies, storage firms, train, ferry or flight availability. Making, if possible, quick visits to set up your bank, accommodation and anything else that can be done in advance.

If you are anything like me then you will have spreadsheets and 'to do' lists everywhere!

But the most important part of relocating is the dream.

I had a dream and for a while I lived that dream. Perhaps you too have that dream?

While considering what to do with my blog now that I am in the U.K. I realised that it would be a shame to delete it or shelve it. Perhaps my experiences may be able to offer a little bit of help to anyone else that could be considering the big move. So I will attempt to organise this blog into pages to give further links and information that I found helpful. I hope they will be helpful to you.

Oh and if you like reading there are some of the books that I read and enjoyed before making my journey.

Finally, if there is anything that I don't cover which you want an answer to then just ask. If I can I will help and if I don't know the answer then I may well know a person who does!

Leave a comment

Why I Left The Island I love

The last post I made was in 2015 when I referred anyone interested to take a look at my original blog to see what had happened and why I returned to the UK.

I now feel up to writing here on my Living In Mallorca blog as to why I left the island that I love and the place that I had intended to call my forever home.  I felt it only fair to give an explanation here for if anyone had bothered to read my blog from start to finish they deserved to understand my change of heart.

In 2012, 2013 and about half of 2014 I loved my new life in Mallorca.  I had arranged everything to get us settled into the island we had loved since my first visit in 1987.  We had residencia, we had bought a house and everything else that goes along with relocating to another country.  Ok it hadn’t been easy arranging everything but it had finally been done and we were part and parcel of the island.  We had even given a home to a little Spanish rescue dog and after a brief visit to the UK in early 2013 I had returned happily to our island.

So what went wrong?

It has taken me all this time to try and understand why I had such an overwhelming need to return, as soon as I possibly could, to a country I had decided to leave.  In hindsight (such a wonderful thing) I can now finally understand.

Since leaving the island I had refused to face up to the reasoning as to why and told everyone that it was family that drew me back but that was only true up to a point.

Prior to leaving England in November 2012 I had all my usual health checks.  I was not too concerned as my final cervical smear test was clear as was breast screening.  I had gone through the menopause so didn’t think that there would be anything to concern me now.

While in Mallorca I had registered with a doctor and had (as my followers will know) needed to have a cataract operation.  The operation itself and the hospital and surgeon were brilliant.  However the dealings I had with my registered doctor to get the referral were not too good at all.

Now I admit it was up to me to speak Spanish and I had been learning it as much as I could but my vocabulary did not extend very well to hospital or medical terminology!

The doctor was not interested in even attempting to talk to me (luckily my neighbour came with me) and I have to admit that I would not have rushed back to see her in a hurry!  I felt that I was just an annoyance and another foreigner to her.

Now the reason for explaining that is because this overwhelming urgency fell upon me where I just ‘needed desperately’ to get back to the UK.  I didn’t understand it at all but just knew I had to get back.  I blamed everything for the reason but in reality I didn’t know why.

Anyway to cut this story short once back in the UK it was discovered that I had cancer cells in my womb which resulted in a total hysterectomy.  Luckily enough they were all contained within the womb and I now just have to go for six monthly hospital check ups.

Now I only tell you this because although I miss Mallorca terribly and at times wish I was back there living our dream I know that returning to the UK saved my life.

Since then I have met and heard of others that were not so fortunate as me and had lost their lives because it was not discovered early enough.  If I had been in Mallorca I would not have been having smear tests and I would not have mentioned anything to the doctor so although I did not know why at the time – it was necessary for me to get back to the UK.

I will always love Mallorca, and the people there, and many times I will feel homesick for the island I wanted to call home, but whatever lead me to dash back to the UK I can only say thank you for giving me the future I may not have had.

Living in Mallorca was my dream – was a reality for a short while – but could have ended in a nightmare.

Adios y hasta luego!





A while since I posted

An email message sent to me informing me of a comment made from someone enjoying my blog reminded me that it had been a long time since I last posted.

Was it really 7 months since I last gave an update!  Well I am not sure whether I can fit it all into one post so I will start now and perhaps add more later.

January drifted into February, March and April and before I knew it I started to see signs of life.  The hotels were having their grounds tended and pools were being cleaned and filled.

Slowly at first but then after Easter the bars and restaurants began to open.  Like a bulb breaking through the ground and growing until it bloomed likewise Mallorca was starting to bloom too.  The summer season was beginning.

After a winter of peace and tranquility with empty roads, houses and apartments, lights began to go on and cars began to appear on the streets.  Now it was not so easy to park at the port.  Now the road train began its route passing our garden several times a day.  Once in a while a horse drawn carriage cantered up the road.  Not long now before you wouldn’t be able to move without them all around.

It was exciting to see people begin to arrive and walk around the streets.  The holidaymakers were coming.  Whilst in the winter those you meet are friends or neighbours and you are acknowledged by anyone in the street as ‘living here’, now as the summer approaches and strangers begin to appear you tend to fade into the background and disappear.  After all most people walking around are on holiday and not known to you and never will be and they think of you likewise.  Or, while walking my dog, I hear people talking about him thinking I am Spanish and that I don’t understand!  Sometimes I speak to them, sometimes I don’t it all depends on how much of a hurry I am in.

April was still a bit fresh in the evenings but when the sun shone brightly I knew that summer was just around the corner.

But now was the time to get my first tax return done.  Eager to get this sorted we made an appointment with the gestor for early May.

Never has a tax return been completed so quickly!  Details taken input into the system in Madrid online and then direct debits set up for June and November and that’s it.  Mind you there is no paperwork given to you.  The money goes out of your bank account and that’s it!  If I want any paperwork they will supply it later (at a charge no doubt) but for now I am registered on the system and all I have to do is make sure that the money is available when the direct debits are due to be paid.

But at least I can relax now.

Anyway, now I have to continue with my work, so I will continue with this update later.





Leave a comment

You Can’t Have Everything

As I make my way in the dark to the fuse box to flip the electricity back on I realise you can’t have everything.

The scales for the pros and cons continue to wobble back and forwards today. First of all the power cut/surge that we had previously has mucked up the computer and Mick has spent all day working on it.

The new Ninja blender arrived but decided to emit smoke and you can’t pop down the road for spares, you have to order online and pay the excessive postage. Of course delivery depends on whether they can find your address (luckily most couriers now know). The confusion is that roads/postcodes/addresses tend to be hit and miss. For example our house was originally known as the road our garden backs onto but now is known by the road the pathway to our front door is on. Even the town hall asked us which road we wanted to use when we registered for the council tax!

Then while out walking an elderly woman riding up the road on her bicycle loaded with shopping just toppled over sideways. Immediately a car pulled up and a young man got out and rushed to her side to help her up. He picked up her shopping and gently told her that it was dangerous to ride the bike like that and once he knew she was ok he got back in her car saying goodbye and telling her to be careful. Respect for elders is still in existence here.

Also while out a car pulled up with a young lady and her daughter. She called to me and asked whether I had seen her small dog that had escaped from her house. I hadn’t but at least I know that there is not the excessive dog-napping over here and I hope she finds it soon.

Back indoors and cooking the dinner we were plunged into darkness – which brings us back to where I started. Oven on, hob on, computer on (as Mick is still working on it), TV on – oh crikey the heating is on! Bang went the electric! Too used to not worrying how many appliances are on.

But you can’t have everything and nowhere is perfect. All the time the good outweighs the bad then you are in the right place. When the scales tip too far in the other direction then it is necessary to rethink your situation but for now I will fumble in the dark, curse the electricity with its antiquated system but carry on regardless for at the moment the scales are still tipped in Mallorca’s favour.

Leave a comment

Christmas Eve/Nochebuena

Christmas Eve is here and while the Spanish have finished work and are spending this important evening with their families or friends eating, drinking or going to Mass we are sitting watching TV and trying to remind ourselves that it is Christmas.

This is our second Christmas living here but the first year living in our own home. Today has been bright, if not a little windy. A walk by the lake this morning I watched as about 80 ducks or geese (I must look them up) waterskied across the surface. Or that’s what it looked like. They are quite big black birds with a longish neck and they all flapped their wings in unison and skidded across with feet touching the water. First they all went in one direction and then they went back and did it in the other direction. Not too sure what it is all about but it may have something to do with herding the fish into one area before feasting.

We watched for a while and then continued with our walk.

Tonight I took Freddy to the green. I took his extendible lead again and he thoroughly enjoyed prancing around and almost ‘free’. He soon got the hang of how far he could go before reaching the end of the line and then he would turn round and run back again. All those different scents in the middle where he didn’t normally walk were now accessible to him. He was a happy little dog.

Call me silly but I wrapped up a bone for him today and also a new solid rubber ball. He will be the only one opening presents in the morning as after 31 years there are no more surprises to be had. Also there are no handy shops to wander around anyway.

The Christmas cards received are sitting on top of my units and they are the reminder of the time of year although a handful of houses or apartments nearby are displaying festive lights and an occasional Santa climbing over the balcony. As I look at them I wonder what nationality lives within for surely the Spanish would have the Three Kings.

Feliz Navidad is mostly replaced with Felices Fiestas to wish people happy holidays rather than happy Christmas. After all there are so many nationalities that not all faiths celebrate Christmas but they do celebrate holidays!

Families and friends are in our thoughts as we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays

December in Alcudia

Leave a comment


The good thing about winter in Mallorca is that you can take your dog for a walk on the beach.

On a sunny, mild, day there is nothing quite like a stroll by the sea and for Freddy it was his first experience of beach life.

Being a bit wary of letting him off the lead I played safe and attached an extendible lead.

The expression on his face when he realised he could run further was so funny and to start with he ran round and round me like a horse in a ring. He could canter and jump. It was fun!

Seaweed was another new experience and he sniffed and jumped in it. My experience was treading on some seaweed to find my foot disappear in a hole and my shoe fill with water!

Oh well it was fun!

Meeting new dogs was interesting too although Freddy hasn’t got very good dog etiquette and wanted them all to play with him when all they wanted to do was say hello.

It was a fun time and I would love to let him off the lead to run and play but his attention span is far too short at the moment and distractions far too many.

Maybe one day.

Leave a comment

November Weather

This year November has definitely been different. When we arrived last year the sun was shining and temperatures were around 20C.

This year, so far, we have had storms, torrential rain and gale force winds. The storms were loud but not problematic. The rain has flooded the roads for days on end and the waste ground has returned to marshland. Walking Freddy has been interesting to say the least! The natural area where dogs are allowed to do their business has been taken over by seagulls where they now swim on the mini lakes caused by the excess water. I guess it beats bobbing around on the sea!

I have always looked at the mountains behind us and wondered whether the winds would cascade over the top and gather speed as they rolled down toward our houses. Well they do, but even worse are the winds that blow horizontally from north to south. With the sea on one side of them and the mountains on the other they create a wind tunnel. Poor Freddy was blown off his feet this morning. I tried telling him it was too windy but he didn’t understand – he certainly changed his mind and we headed, rather quickly, for the warmth and shelter of our home.

When we purchased our house we were given the choice of a mid terrace or an end terrace and although we were used to living in a semi (which the end terrace would have matched) we chose the mid terrace. When we looked at the properties in February the mid just seemed to have a different more homely feel about it. I am glad we did. Our new neighbours and friends moved into the end terrace and now they are discovering what we intuitively realised. It gets cold when you don’t have a neighbour either side of you!

Cozily tucked between two other houses we only have a front and rear aspect that is open to the elements. The houses beside us act like a duvet in bed, they keep us warm and protected. Our neighbours have the wind and rain buffeting them on three sides and they are having problems keeping the house warm. Of course central heating does not exist and the electric heaters and radiators are all you have to keep you warm. Luckily the winter does not last long but it will be interesting to see how much the cost of keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer will total over the course of a whole year.

I have watched the arguments recently for and against the winter payments made from the UK to ex pat pensioners and notice that it almost seems to be a jealous outrage. Why should you get the payment? Well it does get cold here and in the summer you have to keep cool. But you chose to go and live there so you shouldn’t get it? Well I and others have worked and paid into the system all our lives (I continue to do so for I still pay it while working from home). So although I am powerless to do anything about it as the wind blows strongly outside and the rain floods our roads I know that the final cost will be as much – or even more – than living in the UK.


The Reality of Living Abroad

So now that the dust has settled just what is the reality of living abroad.  I can, of course, only speak for myself and my own experiences and emotions but I was surprised at the turmoil that you go through.

On the 26th November 2012 we could be found travelling toward Folkestone with our newly acquired left hand drive car packed with the necessities that were essential for our first few months of living and working from a rented apartment in Playa de Muro, Alcudia.  As we drove along we were elated.  The dream that we had been talking about for all those years was coming true.

No more getting up at 5.30 in the morning and commuting to London.  My work from now on would be from my own ‘office’ in my Mallorcan home.

The drive down through France was uneventful save for waking up and feeling rough (a cold virus that had been hiding in the background was about to emerge) and we arrived at Playa de Muro on the 28th November bright and early in the morning.

I suppose the ‘high’ lasted for a few weeks when it was more like being on holiday than living here and then the reality of trying to get everything organised hit home.

Emotions would fluctuate between frustration at not knowing where to go for anything and not being able to speak with enough fluency to make yourself sound like anything more than a child to downright depression when I would wake in the mornings and think ‘take me home’.

The enormity of all the departments you needed to contact and the forms that needed to be filled in while still trying to hold down a job seemed an obstacle that was just too high to get over.

But get over I did.  With the help of the company that I found (as mentioned on my relocation costs page) the pressure was lifted somewhat as I could leave all the documentation and form filling to them.

As the months went by I got used to not being able to pop down to such a such shop and I started to find my Spanish equivalent.  Whether it was a little boutique that I loved in the Port or certain sites online that deliver I managed to continue here almost the same as in the UK.

But one big problem was the isolation I felt and I never expected that.  I often joked that we would only be a couple of hours away and it is true.  However add to that the expense of flights, taxis or car park fees, getting someone to look after any animals and the lack of annual holiday entitlement it is not as easy at it sounded.

For a start I have a grandson that doesn’t know me as he was only a baby when we left and we have all the other grandchildren that we now never see.  My mother is not getting any younger and cannot manage the flight and our children do not have the money for the flights with all their children or are just plain scared of flying.

As far as we are concerned I am governed by my holiday allowance and our finances are basic pension plus one wage.  So we have to be careful too.  Add to that our little rescue dog Freddy who has severe separation anxiety and would need to visit with us which involves ferries, trains, travelling by road etc it means that we cannot visit at the drop of a hat.

But as I take Freddy for his walks I look at the scenery – the lakes, the mountains, the beaches, blue skies and the bars that allow you to bring your dog I think what my options would be.  Grey skies, narrow roads and loads of traffic and I am split.

For a peaceful, safer and warmer place to live then I pick Mallorca.  For family I would pick the UK.

Then I wonder about our health.  I have been having problems with my eye in recent months and I do know that eventually a cataract will need to be removed.  I hope my Spanish has improved enough to converse with doctors and hospitals by that time and of course the eventual outcome that one of us will be left on our own.  I do hope that we will not be entirely alone and that we will have made some friends.

As far as my work is concerned I am still a team member but I am also not.  I am not there to know the day to day goings on and the new accounts that come in.  I am not privy to plans and the future.  I am an employee but an absent one.  As new people are employed they do not know me.  Those that I trained are now advancing into managerial positions and have leapfrogged over me.  I am almost retired but not quite!  It is a strange situation to be in.

So to summarise I would say that there are moments of depression, isolation, not knowing where you are going or what you are doing.  Times of feeling relaxed and times of missing people.  Then there are times of contentment with your surroundings and the laid back easy way of life.

All in all there is no Nirvana or Xanadu, there is just life.  Life is an experience and that is what I am doing at the moment.  Experiencing it!