Living In Mallorca

Relocating to Mallorca


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Almost a year

I really cannot believe it is November.  In just 3 weeks time we will have been living here for a whole year.  It has gone by so fast and so much has happened.  So many emotions have needed to be dealt with – all totally unexpected – that I feel I should do a recap for others to ponder on if they are thinking of making the big move.

For those that don’t know the details – about 14 months ago I was given the opportunity to work from home in whatever country I lived in.  My other half had reached retirement age and everything was pointing us in the direction of fulfilling a 25 year old dream.  A dream of living on Mallorca.  The island where we first went on our honeymoon, where we holidayed each year and where we had made friends.  An island full of sun, sea, mountains and fabulous memories.

Having worked in London the lure of peace, tranquility, blue skies and warm weather beckoned to me.  The grey skies, rain, cold and overcrowded City had served its purpose but now seemed alien to me.  Our lives in the UK were full of work as were that of our family.  Everyone was busy with barely time to breath let alone spend time together.

Like Greek mythology and the Sirens, Mallorca was calling us….

Our house that we had lived in since 1982 now seemed too small and with the deaths of my 2 cats in as many years I felt there was nothing left there for us.  We put it on the market and sold it within 2 days!

Everyone seemed happy for us, all encouraged us to follow our dream.  My son was the only one that voiced a word of caution – “what if it didn’t work out, how would we return, and why didn’t we just rent our house first”.  Blinded by the dream and the fact that we could not afford the move without the sale we proceeded.

So here we are.  I have recorded the ups and downs of buying a house, getting residencia and the myriad of bureacratic bits and pieces that you have to do to be a legal resident.  These of course are ongoing but the worst is over.

We are here, we have our home, we are citizens of the European Union, legally resident in Spain.

It is November, the sun is shining, it is 22 c but in some ways it is still surreal.

In my next post I continue with the emotional side of the adventure….


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Season is grinding to a halt

It’s a strange time of the year as the season slows down ready to close for the winter months.

For anyone used to living in seaside towns then the end of the season will be a familiar time for them. But for me it is a new experience.

When we arrived here in November last year we relished in the peace and quiet. To walk along practically deserted roads after working in London it was bliss. Then came the cyclists training for the Tour De France. Chaos on the roads as you tried to avoid the groups of cyclists clad in Lycra!

As the cyclists diminished then came the tourists – slowly at first – as they marched scantily clad in the first signs of sunshine. It was lovely to see Mallorca awakening as if from sleep and life began to emerge from the closed shops and bars.

Fast forward into the midst of summer when you dodged the hoards of people and children as they soaked up the sun and enjoyed their break away from work and school. The beaches were now packed and the heat so intense that I kept indoors with the air con on at peak times. Air con was essential to sleep at night and thoughts of the electricity bill was brushed aside while I coped with my first July and August in my new home.

Finding somewhere to park was now difficult as the rental cars flooded the towns and at times we wished for the quieter winter period to return.

But now, as it approaches, there is something slightly sad about the end of the season. Slowly bars and hotels are closing or getting ready to close. Tourists are still here but in lower numbers. As the temperatures still remain in the mid 20’s I notice the deciduous trees losing their leaves and it seems strange.

The groups of cleaners that would be around cleaning the apartments while I took my morning walk with Freddy are disappearing and some of the swimming pools are being closed.

It reminds me of how life is a cycle – life and death – the same as the seasons and I know that it will all come around again but even so I feel a slight sadness as I watch life slowly winding down ready for the sleep before once again we have the rebirth of Spring.


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Mallorca through fresh eyes

Today we are feeling sad as family have now left and flown back to the UK.  However they have left us with photos that they have taken of their visit and it is nice to see Mallorca through fresh eyes.

 

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I am so pleased that their first visit to Mallorca was a happy one and that they found it to be more fascinating and beautiful than they thought it would be.


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Endearing Yet Frustrating

Something that I found endearing about Mallorca is equally frustrating at times.

This time it is the Internet, websites and opticians!

Since moving here the time has come around when I need to have an eye test. I know my right eye has changed because my glasses that I use for computer work are no longer correcting my eyesight and in fact I am better off not wearing them.

So the search went on for an optician close by. Upon the advice of a friend I intend to go and visit an optician tomorrow in Alcudia. But being one who likes to be prepared I thought I would read up about them a bit or see what they were like by looking at their website before I go.

Wrong! As usual hardly any businesses on the island have websites and opticians certainly don’t! (Apart from a new Specsavers that has opened in Santa Ponsa and that is too far away)

Now I am used to researching companies, shops, doctors, dentists, opticians – in fact just about anything – when living in the UK. But here they don’t seem to feel the need for promoting their businesses online. In fact estate agents are the only ones that feel the necessity of good websites to reach the masses.

So endearing/frustrating? Well I guess along with the technological advancement in the UK comes the cyber crimes, impatience, arrogance, violence and stresses that I left the UK to get away from but it is still frustrating at times that something that I took for granted is not considered even vaguely necessary here on the island.

For a relatively techno savvy person it is like going back in time 🙂


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Ever Felt Silly

If you have ever felt silly then you will know what I mean.

After suffering for days in the excessive heat with no air con in our lounge or bedroom we phoned the air con company again.  “Hello Mick how are you?”, they said.  “Hot!” said Mick.  “Sorry we will come out today” they said.

Sure enough this time they turned up.  I think we gave the engineer a laugh.  Two minutes is all it took.  He showed us where we ‘reset’ the air con unit.  “Like a computer” he said in Spanish pointing at my computer.

So for about a week we have been sweltering in the heat and all we had to do was flick a switch off in the fuse box; leave it a few minutes and then flick it back on!

Oh well he probably went away thinking ‘crazy English’.  What he has to remember is we come from a colder climate where air con is only used in offices and big buildings and rarely at home…. we won’t forget how to do that in a hurry 🙂


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Padron and other stuff

We are now registered on the Padron.

The lovely Tamara came up from Magaluf to help us and thank goodness she did. We started off at the official Town Hall in Alcudia and were told that they didn’t deal with it and were directed elsewhere. After trying what looked like another official building we were directed on to another building that looked nothing like an official place 😉

Then of course the forms that they had filled in for us were no good and we were handed the new style forms! Anyway Tamara controlled the situation and soon we were fully fledged residents of Alcudia!

Leaving Tamara outside she was off to find the Health Centre in the Port of Alcudia to get us registered there as now we have the official document showing we are residents we can now be allocated a doctor.

When that all gets done we will eventually have all our ‘official’ documents given to us. That is our residencia cards, health cards, certificate of registration on the Padron and anything else I have forgotten!

Oh the easy part was my OH driving licence medical. Go to the authorised medical centre, see the doctor, take the tests, pay the 57 Euros and you’re done. Also as an added extra my OH ‘saved’ the nurse from a cockroach! Now all we have to do is wait for the licence to arrive in the post.

So it has only taken 8 months so far 😉


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Medicals, Padron and all that stuff

It has taken nearly 8 months so far and we are still not completely there.

Left on the ‘to do’ list is registering on the Padron (which originally we were told that we would have assistance) and a medical.

The company that has been aiding us with the change over into complete residential status has lacked a bit now that the summer season is here and it is the busiest time for them.

We were told originally that one of them would come up to Alcudia from Magaluf and come along to register us on the Padron. No mention of that recently!

Also we were told that they would help us to find a doctor. Again, no assistance there.

Oh and the medical? Well Mick’s driving licence expires in 2017 and trafico want him to undergo a medical before they give him a Spanish driving licence. I said we don’t have a doctor yet and was told that any medical centre accepted by trafico would do it – for a fee of course. Recommended medical centres they suggested were in Palma or Palma Nova!

That doesn’t help very much as it is about 50 minutes from here. There has to be something closer.

Also on the to do list:

1. Find a dentist
2. Find a vet

So on we go with do it yourself because helping wee bit lacking during busy times…


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Visiting the UK

A lot has happened since my last post and it is now time to update since we are in the UK at the moment.

Without going into detail we have returned on a visit to the UK on family matters. We had intended to visit toward the end of the year but circumstances brought our plans suddenly forward.

However with the help of our family we have accommodation to stay in and a car to drive.

Prior to leaving Mallorca I had been through a month of intense and stressful work. Coupled to that I had a new dog that decided he was the boss and an Internet connection that had been off at times up to 5 hours! I was in no mood for any more hiccups. During the month I had done my fair share of moaning and threatening to move back to UK!

The flights were booked and parking at Palma airport was both very reasonable and simple to do. Flying for the first time for about 7 years was certainly an eye opener (we had previously driven down each year).

The flight itself was quick but the palaver at airports (mainly Gatwick) was annoying and literally a pain for my husband with his bad back!

So here we are, back in the UK.

Within a very short space of time (literally minutes – actually at the airport) I could see with fresh eyes and remember all the reasons I had originally dreamed of living in Mallorca.

We are only here for 7 days and we return home on Monday. ‘Home’ now that is a word I had not used before because I was still not settled. But now I realise that I have changed over the past 7 months. Without realising it I had been settling into the Spanish way of life.

Sure I miss my family but this has proved that we are not too far away and it is possible to return at short notice. It is lovely to see everyone in the flesh and to have a hug but we all have our own lives to lead.

Within a short space of time I started finding myself comparing my life in Mallorca with the life I would lead here. Mallorca came out on top.

I still have a long way to go to integrate fully, to learn the language better, to make new friends and to learn to be ‘tranquilo’ but I will get there and hopefully as time moves on then family and friends will also be able to come and visit us and see why we love the island.

So, although it was a sad reason to return, it has hopefully settled me down a little and I can appreciate just what I have.

To my little dog, Freddy, I say hang on in there, I will be home soon – and I’m the pack leader 🙂


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Freddy the rescue dog

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As we are now feeling more settled it was a decision that we would take in a rescue dog. One reason was I need the exercise!

I had been watching the rescue centre websites since before we left England however their 20 page questionnaire taxed my best efforts at reading and writing in Spanish.

Searching on Google I found Dogs4U a local voluntary rescue organisation ran by English or English speaking people.

Well to cut a long story short our home check was carried out and upon the arrival of a little dog at the Lloseta pound we went to see him. He seemed perfect. Good natured, happy, friendly and loves everyone and everything. A week later with all paperwork completed Freddy (as we now call him) joined our family.

Five days later he has settled in – perhaps a little too well 🙂

His main problem appears to be separation anxiety but we are working on that. Another is the terror he has of going in a crate. Not the ideal situation as he tends to sneak upstairs and sleep beside our bed. But this is a work in progress and we have ordered a stair gate in the hope that we can persuade him to stay downstairs at night.

Early signs show he is incredibly intelligent and learns new words with relative ease. However the dog turned out to be a 9 month pup (he looks older) so his attention span of course is very short.

I will keep you updated with how we progress.

Oh and we now have our Spanish number plates 😉