Living In Mallorca

Relocating to Mallorca

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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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Six Months On

Six months have now gone by, unbelievable! So where are we now?

Well I have to admit that it hasn’t been the easiest six months and many times I would wake in the morning and wonder if we had done the right thing. The continual battle with paperwork, adjusting to leaving everyone behind and wondering how I fitted into this new and strange life often left me feeling confused and unsure. The confidence that I had felt prior to moving here had evaporated shortly after the struggle to continue working while getting legalised began!

Gradually things have come together. We now have our residencia, we have our house and we are just waiting for our new Spanish plates to arrive. There are still hurdles to jump as we get the final bits and pieces together but I feel we have come a long way.

My lack of confidence with speaking the language has faded as I find more and more people are beginning to understand my attempts at speaking their language and likewise their attempts to either speak my language or to find another way of saying something so that I understand them has been the boost that I needed.

My real turning point has been watching the UK news which served one morning to be the jolt that I needed. With all the struggles I had forgotten my reasons for wanting to live on this beautiful island and I once again looked at where I was with fresh eyes.

Ok so the dream had given me a bit of a reality check. After all I was not on holiday I was living here with all the bills, problems and annoyances that you get wherever you live. But the news items reminded me once again of all the good things that I love about Spain and I turned the corner.

Sure I miss my family and friends and my grandchildren are growing up without me being close by. But they are little people with their own lives to live and their own dreams to come true and they will do that without me being around. Perhaps by knowing their grandmother has succeeded in her dream will encourage them to make their dreams come true.

After five weeks in our house it is slowly becoming a home. I always say that a house does not become a home until you have memories in it. Slowly those memories are happening. Sure the memories of our old house can never be recreated as we have got older and our lives and situations are different but new memories will create their own home.

Already two friends have visited and two others have been to stay for a few days. Bookings have been made for August by another and her child and we have got the house repaired and how we like it and the garden has started to bloom with the new flowers we have bought.

My next challenge, and one that is putting down roots, is the opening of our home and hearts to a little rescue dog. A dog ‘sin hogar’ without a home. What his background is no one knows but for a youngster of about 18 months we can offer the stability, love and training that will hopefully make his life happy. It will also give me the much needed exercise that I need.

So here after six months we have turned the corner and moved on and we live in a beautiful country with friendly people and on the whole good weather.

Life is interesting, different but good.

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Thomas Cook Ironman 70.3 Mallorca

On May 11, 2013, the Thomas Cook Ironman 70.3 Mallorca will take place on the island of Mallorca. To be exact it is taking place within minutes of where I live!

Mallorca is a training paradise to many cyclists and triathletes with its flat land, mountainous areas and beautiful beaches.

Tomorrow starts the warm ups and the walk rounds with more on Friday. I believe the first swimming event starts off the day on Saturday at about 8 am.

It has no doubt brought much needed tourists to this area and the local bars are busy already.

But anyone wanting to go anywhere on Saturday should leave early in the morning and not expect to get anywhere near the beach until after 18:00

At one point the weather was showing a risk of light rain but that seems to have disappeared now.

Good luck to all.

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Our feathered neighbours

While taking my lunch break from my online job I like to sit on the terrace and watch the birds swooping over our garden catching all the bugs.

At first I thought they were Swifts but on closer examination I believe they are House Martins.

Nests on building opposite


House Martin

Then to top it all I looked at the waste ground behind us and we had some new visitors.

Thinks our waste ground is a pond!

Thinks our waste ground is a pond!

He even bought his mate with him.

He even bought his mate with him.

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Toads Mating Call

Today began with an unidentified sound and has continued all day long. While I write I can hear them still!

The toads are calling for a mate.

It is the first time I have had the pleasure of hearing them. I say them because there are two different calls. One slightly higher pitched than the other.

At the back of our house (really its the front but our house is one of those back to front houses with the garden leading on to a road, whereas the front has a walkway) we have a piece of fenced off waste ground. Now this area is a bit marshy and where it has rained for the past couple of days there are lovely big puddles with reeds and plants surrounding them.

Well from these makeshift ‘ponds’ the song of the toad can be heard. I know they are toads because I checked my suspicions by searching on You Tube!

I have to admit that my love of the book A Lizard in My Luggage helped to remind me what was going on. The author, Anna Nicholas, who lives in Mallorca had gone on a fair bit about her toads so it gave me an inkling of what was happening.

Well to some it may be annoying but I think it’s great and although they remain hidden from my sight I know I have my own little wildlife centre just a few feet from my front door 🙂