It happens to everyone.  Another year passes on the calendar, and we are another year older.  It happened to me this week, and it was very nice.  The whole birthday thing is something that we either enjoy or dread.  I tend to think of them in terms of just the way things are.  I suppose I could fall into the ‘dread’ category, as the older you are, the more aches and pains we tend to discover.  But the aches and pains are just something that happens, and we have little control over them.  So it doesn’t make much sense to get all frustrated about them.  Shoot, this is why we have Ibuprofen, isn’t it?  I had planned to have a nice quiet day at home, but just after noon, I heard the doorbell ring.  When I opened it, expecting a neighbour who was going to stop over, I found a dozen friends all standing outside with pressies and singing Happy Birthday in English and Spanish.  Quite the wonderful surprise.  After some bubbly and snacks, we all went out for a late lunch together at a local restaurant that I tend to frequent.  All in all, a very special day for me. 

Let’s see…what else is new here?  Right.  Groundhogs.  No, not the actual animals (I don’t even know if we have groundhogs here on the island).   I mean groundhogs as in Groundhog day.  Like the movie, where you think that you keep re-living the same thing over and over again.  Well, this seems to happen to me each year.  Remember when I first moved to Sol y Mar?  After a short period of time, I built this rather large sculpture for the front terrace. All in all, it was a very fun project to build.  That winter, there were a few storms that blew across Mallorca, and one of them relegated the sculpture to a pile of PVC tubes.  My magnificent Estephan Tenia Razon had been reduced to a pile of scrap plastic tubing. 

Not one to let the weather beat me, I rebuilt it in Spring 2009.  Of course, because of the type of sculpture it was, the second version did appear to look a bit different.  That was okay with me; a little variation on a theme can be a good thing.  But then this winter the same thing happened again – big winds led to a pile of tubing.  So I, completely undaunted by those nasty bugger winds that don’t seem to like PVC tubing sculptures, rebuilt it once again.  And once again, it is the same basic sculpture, but it clearly does look different.  I suppose I could have numbered the various pieces and recorded them all so it would make re-building easier, but I guess that is part of the whole project experience.  This time, I did devise a new way to keep the tubes together, and with some luck…well, will let you know next winter.

Also on the art front, I have completed putting together a new website for the Cuadros Doblados series of pictures.  These are the pictures that I have done to get ready for the exhibition later this year.  I have shown you a few of them, so I won’t waste any more webpage space on them, but you can see them all (along with a trendy little video that, after it finishes loading, will better explain how they look) at http://designlaantigua.com

And if all that isn’t enough, I have also been getting ready to move Amélie back to Andratx.  The term “I have been getting ready” means that Rafa has come over to the yacht club where Amélie has spent the winter and done all sorts of fun (for him) things that needed to be done.  Amongst the list of ‘fun things’ are changing all the engine filters, changing the oil, changing the fuel filters (not a good thing to have dirty diesel you know), and finally, installing new engine anodes.  We will go back this weekend to finish some other routine maintenance tasks and then all I need to do is count the days until the middle of March so I can fire up the engines and go back to the harbour on the southwest side of the island. 

Right…almost forgot to update you on the scarf project.  I have received six samples of my designs from a supplier I have been talking to, and whilst they are nice, I have also been toying with making some other designs.  The latest designs are more conducive to being screen-printed and form a grouping that would be comprised of the same patterns, but with multiple colour combinations.  So with the new designs, I have been in contact with the previous sample supplier, as well as two more potential suppliers of high-quality silk scarves.  All this has been going pretty much as I had assumed it would, with the minor exception that the delay between figuring out the design and the time it takes to have a sample of it in my hands is way too long for my liking.  I was tempted to have the screens made here and then actually do the screen-printing myself, but I really don’t have the space here to set up to do it.  So for now, I think I will have to just rely on (or contend with) external sources for the samples.

There is something else.  I recently saw something online the other day that stuck in my mind. You may now be reflecting on how our world has changed quite a bit and so much of what we see is from some online source.   Crazy.   What I saw was a quote from St. Augustine.  “A man may lose the good things of this life against his will; but if he loses the eternal blessings, he does so with his own consent.”  This was especially personal, as the day after my ‘big day,’ my sons lost their mother to a long illness.  We will all miss her.


big day boy over time


the original version of Esteban Tenia Razon


the second version


the latest configuration



design number 9726


design number 9730

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, James B. Rieley