Oh my.  No tengo palabras describir este (I don’t have the words to describe this).  In my barrio (neighbourhood, although where I live could hardly be called a ‘neighbourhood’), there are quite a few building restrictions.  I can almost understand most of them, after all, Sol y Mar is a ‘front-line’ sea home and gladly, the local authorities do put restrictions on what can be built in the area so the flavour of the coast is not destroyed by abysmal looking properties.  Sol y Mar itself is quite an old house, built in a traditional Spanish style.  I always thought that the building restrictions applied to the houses on the other side of the street as well, but for the past year or so, my beliefs have been put to the test. 

Down the street, there was quite a large home that looked in disrepair.  Last spring, it appeared that someone had decided to tear the house down, as crews of people appeared and began to dismantle it.  I say ‘dismantle, as it wasn’t as if a wrecking ball suddenly began to blast the house into piles of rock, but instead, the windows were removed, the walls disappeared, and we were all left with an empty shell to look at as we drove past.  And without missing a beat, the house began to re-assemble itself.  Sort of.  What rose from the pile of rubble on the site looked as if it was the same house, but on sterroids.  As I didn’t pay that much attention to the old house and what was coming together, I can’t be sure but I would be willing to wager that the new house is a good 50% larger than the old one.  Okay, fair enough.  Quite obviously, the owners (new owners?) had some serious money and were spending it faster than a government could bail out a bank. 

The completed construction is sort of a fusion of classical architecture and Le Corbusier on heroin.  Extensive use of fenestration, combined with huge marble-y looking walls.  And then the oddities began to appear.  First, it won’t be that difficult to find out who the owners are, as they have had their initials carved into a section of one front wall facing the street.  Even that wouldn’t be all that odd, except the initials are about 2 metres high.  Then, as the workmen were installing the Spanish version of a cobblestone drive, it was evident that they were putting in water tubing…you know, the type you would use for under-floor heating.  This is Mallorca, and unless the ongoing climate changes that we are all experiencing bode poorly for my part of the island; this seemed a bit ridiculous.  And then it was done…or so we all thought.  Next to the extremely large pool, a equally large rattan elephant appeared one day.  And then, the ultimate in “What is Wrong with This Picture?” appeared.  Workmen delivered a truckload of wood poles, like the kind that are used to support telephone lines.  And the very next day, just between the dry-stone wall fence and the pool, there was a log cabin.  Yes.  This massive new and trendy property has a little log-cabin in the front yard.  What is that all about?

Moving on, (other) things are pretty good here.  This weekend was the annual Hublot Maxi-sailboat regatta and even though this really played havoc with my ability to park near Amélie at the yacht club, it has been wonderful to see.  For hours today, sailboats were skipping past Sol y Mar desperately looking for favourable winds so they could whiz back to Palma and collect the big prize (which, because the race is the Hublot Regatta, is probably a big watch or something). 

And then there is my little scarf project.  I decided that if I was going to see if this project makes sense, I needed to really go for it, so I authorised the production of another of my designs by the Italian screenprinters.  This week, I will probably authorise the production of two more designs.  And then I began to look for packaging options.  This was like searching for the Holy Grail, but not finding diddly-squat.  What I wanted was something that would be elegant, smart, simple, and yet of a quality that would match the quality that I am putting into the scarves themselves.  Finally, after what seemed to be looking at all 32-ka-zillion options that came up on Google, I decided to just get on with it and design the packaging myself.  Which I did.  And then, just to make sure that the design would work, I made up about 50 of them.  So now it is just a matter of time to find out if all this has been a good investment of time and money, or just a fun project.


scarf design 9738



my (sort of) new neighbours little house


...with the extremely out of place log cabin





yesterdays view from the terrace

the packaging for the scarves

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