Yes, it is almost here once again…the end of yet another year.  I can remember when I was younger, I would always marvel at how ‘older’ people would comment on how fast time flies as they aged a bit.  Well, I am here to agree with them.  The past couple of months (since I wrote last) have been ‘interesting.’  My client work has kept me far busier than I had planned on, but that is a good thing.  Actually, work is a good thing.  Even when it means that I haven’t been able to spend as much time on the island as I would like to.  Having said that, I do enjoy being in different cities occasionally.  It is just the ‘travel’ part of getting to those cities that isn’t all that fun.  Luckily, it is almost winter and the airport in Palma isn’t all that bad now that the throngs of holiday-makers that seem to pollute my island all summer aren’t here.  Certainly, the economy has contributed to this drop-off in tourists coming from northern Europe, but it doesn’t make any difference to me…it is almost as easy to get through the airport here as it used to be years ago.

My work hasn’t solely been focused on clients.  I have been writing (well, not too many of these chapters I guess) and doing artwork as well.  I have wanted to have another party at Sol y Mar since the one I put on last year, and the idea that kept floating through my mind was to have a bowl party.  Yes, a bowl party.  The thought process I went through included my belief that it would be fun to have a party in which every food-type thing would be served and eaten in bowls.  So after having my idea trashed by friends several times – “you want everyone to eat out of bowls?” – I ventured ahead and made up some invitations and sent them out.  My reasoning was that if I actually sent out the invitations, I would have to sort out the food and serving logistics.  The food sorted itself out (with culinary expertise assistance, of course), and for the serving issue, I decided to make my own bowls. So a while ago I cranked out 26 new bowls, all with the same pattern on them.  So with the new 26 bowls, and the ones I had made for Amélie and for Sol y Mar, I now had 42 bowls of the same size.  My plan is to have my neighbour Pacha help by washing bowls as soon as they are used so the guests can always have a clean bowl for their next taste-treat-delight (none of which I am actually making).

I have also tried to get over to see Amélie as much as humanly possible.  Having her moored in Palma for the winter has made things easier, but the other day I did run into a minor problem.  (note: I am using the term ‘minor’ very sarcastically).  It was basura day.  For me, basura day is any day I have more than one bag of sorted garbage or recyclables.  That day there were five I think.  After loading everything into Miranda and dumping the appropriate bags into the colour-coded appropriate containers, we went to fill up the car with petrol, then to the alterations shop where I had some over-sized jeans being made to fit and then into Palma to see my printer.  It was then I realized that I was missing my house keys.  

Ever since moving to Sol y Mar, I have kept two sets of keys – keys to the house, and keys to the car.  And I have always been pretty good about making sure that I put the key rings in my back pocket, but that day, I had apparently dropped my house keys into one of the designated basura bags.  I went crazy.  Not so much because the keys were now lost, but because I had managed to lose them.  Buggers.  I wasn’t all that worried about the house keys as I knew that I could get another set from Rafa and Kim.  But on my house key ring I also had my key to Amélie.  Okay, I did have a spare key but…you will love this…I keep the spare key on the boat.  So let’s recap a little bit.  I have lost my key to get into the boat, where I keep my spare key.  How daft is that?  Rafa did help me get into the boat eventually, and I now have revised my key handling procedures.  On my car key rings (I do have one for Amelia and one for Miranda) I also have the house key and the boat key.  So now, as long as I don’t lose my car keys, I will be able to go home or to the boat.  Fingers crossed on this new plan.



an aloe plant in bloom on the terrace


some of the delights at Oliver Market


veg galore at the market



the new bowl design I made for the party



the view from Amélie yesterday in Palma

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, James B. Rieley