Recently, with the very slow start of spring in Scotland (when I began typing this it was pouring with rain and about 10ºC), my thoughts have been straying towards happy memories of warm sunshine.
I used to have a terrible problem with itchy feet (I refer to wanderlust, as opposed to athlete’s foot-type afflictions which I have thankfully never suffered from).
All through my 20s and early 30s, I had daily dreams about dashing off hither and thither. Every now and then my dreams translated into reality, but before long I’d be back home again cogitating where to go next. I got so used to this state of affairs that I doubted I would ever grow out of it.
Then, when I started working offshore and was miraculously paid to go abroad, I thought my itchy feet problem had been cured. When I was at work I was usually on a boat bobbing about at sea, which satisfied my need for adventure, and when I wasn’t at work I was relaxing at home and perfectly happy not to be popping off anywhere else.
However, it’s now about 18 months since I more or less decided to stop working offshore, and just lately I’ve been aware of an irritation in the soles of my feet. It’s very slight, barely perceptible most of the time, but it’s on the edge of my consciousness.
And so, to the point of this post, which is to relive sunny days of travels past.
Mallorca (aka Majorca) is one of the places I have some sunny pictures of and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the small Spanish island twice, first with my friend Sheila, and then with my dear mama.
On both visits I stayed in the lovely seaside resort of Puerto Pollensa:
Me at the end of the pier looking into the lovely, clear (and surprisingly cold) water at Puerto Pollensa
Finding shade is my usual habit when faced with glorious sunshine, even when I’ve gone somewhere deliberately to soak up the rays.
I stayed in the same hotel both times, too; it was pleasantly situated close to the beach with a quiet road and some hills at the back.
As always, food was of the utmost importance, and I ate well in Mallorca. The salads were particularly welcome in the hot weather.
My delightful assistant with a massive plate of tomato and mozzarella salad with olives
Even in the heat, however, one doesn’t want to forego the option of sweet treats.
My delightful assistant’s highly understandable choice of chocolate cake for pudding
I couldn’t get enough of the hot chocolate that was on offer at a cafe near the hotel; it was thick, silky and intensely chocolatey:
If I was able to leave it for long enough (extremely difficult), a little skin formed on top, which pleased me more than I can say.
Just look at the way it coated this little biscuit:
This chocolate was so good that a version of it appears in my novel. I wanted to let my main character experience it, because I know how much she likes her little treats.
In addition to delicious food there were some beautiful buildings, particularly in the old town of Pollensa, a short bus journey inland from the port.
A hot slog up a long flight of steps in the old town was worth it for the view from the top.
Only 365 steps till you reach the top…
Why isn’t there a tearoom up here?
There were houses all the way up the sides of the steps, many of which had nicely tiled roofs and flourishing pot plants:
One of the things that makes Puerto Pollensa such an attractive spot is the line of pine trees bowing out over the water:
My delightful assistant alone with her thoughts, gazing out over the blue sea.
In Scotland, evenings on which one can stroll outside without a jacket or cardigan are few and far between. In fact, even on the warmest of summer evenings in this fair country I can’t imagine ever leaving the house to go for a walk without a sleeved covering of some sort.
Balmy summer evenings are one of the things we Brits prize when holidaying abroad in warmer climes.
As the sun sets over Puerto Pollensa the warmth of the air is sufficient to allow pleasant cardigan-less wandering along the beach. A treat for all the Brits on their hols.
As I finish this post, I am delighted to report that not only is the sun shining but the forecast for the weekend isn’t too bad at all.
Perhaps this is indeed the proper start of spring, from which we will move seamlessly into summer.
If this jolly weather keeps up, I can possibly even shelve any thoughts of absconding and content myself with the delights of living in this lovely country.
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