It is a new year already. It seems like the years are going whizzing past at breakneck speed lately, and I suppose that is okay. Since I wrote last, quite a bit has been happening here, and because I haven’t written in a while, I thought I had better get my fingers clicking away.
I thought that whilst I was waiting to rent out La Antigua, I would spend a few days there, then a few days at Sol y Mar. It hasn’t worked out that way. I have been out to La Antigua every couple of days, but usually only to check the post, sweep the courtyard, and make sure that the house is okay. Then it has been back to Sol y Mar.
Part of the gravitation to Sol y Mar has been the fact that it feels so good to be near the sea again, but part of it is also due to the fact that I do love projects, and getting Sol y Mar into shape has been just that – one massive project. In between my proper client work, the Sol y Mar project has occupied all the rest of my time.
I must admit, being next to the sea again has been very good for me. To wake up each morning and hear the sound of the water lapping (or pounding, as it does some days) on the rocks below Sol y Mar is perhaps the best sound in the world. Okay okay, so this is the perspective of someone who does love the sea and who lived onboard boats for quite a few years. It might be different for you, but it certainly has been working for me. Then there is the additional benefit of the weather itself. I had been told that Sol y Mar is located in its own little micro-climate, and often, when it is overcast at La Antigua (or even in Palma), it can be sunny and warm here. This bit of information has proven to be true. Each morning, I am able to sit out on the terrace and enjoy my tea, whlst being basked in the warmth of the sun. This does one of two things: it either gets me so energised to be highly productive, or it tends to make me so calm that I would be content to just sit and enjoy the view. I think I do a little of each actually.
Part of my big project of getting Sol y Mar put together in a way that is comfortable for me has involved putting something on the walls. I had thought that I would be able to take some of the paintings I had done at La Antigua and bring them here, but instead, I decided to just paint new pictures. Which I have done. With a passion. I do find it interesting that my painting does seem to work in themes. When I came out of hospital four years ago, I did a series of big watercolours of plants. This probably had some subliminal connection to having another chance to be alive and well again. Then I dabbled with acrylics, doing some portraits and landscapes; and then I returned to watercolours and produced a series of paintings stimulated by the fact that La Antigua is near the foot of Galatxo (the tallest mountain on the island). But when I brought my watercolours to Sol y Mar, I found myself working with bright transparent colours and loopy-looking patterns. They seem to suit the environment of Sol y Mar, so most of them will stay on the walls here. I say most because I have made more paintings since moving here than I have wall space for. Oooops. The rest of my ‘getting the new house sorted’ project has involved painting walls, building lamps and tables and other miscellany that would be pretty boring to list completely. The end result is that Sol y Mar is now home…and it feels so good. (Blimey, it is 2 January and I am writing this with my doors open and the sun pouring in)
Rafa and Kim (my friends who arranged for me to be able to rent Sol y Mar) had their woodsman friend Tomeo appear one day recently and Tomeo and Rafa climbed up several trees and whacked away at some branches that were obstructing my view of the sea a bit. Luckily, neither of them fell out of the trees, although at times, it did look a bit touch and go. Obviously, vertigo is not in their vocabulary.
My holiday was spent in America. I know, flying all the way to America is not exactly high on my list of fun things to do, but it was important for me to be there and to spend time with my family and friends, some of which I haven’t seen in a very long a time.
So now things are back to (my version of) normal and routine. I have been able to avoid sweeping the courtyard daily, but have replaced that little task with cleaning the ashes out of the fireplace each morning and working on client projects. I would write more today, but I think I need to ring the estate agents that are supposed to be working on renting out La Antigua…I really don’t think I need two homes on the same island.
a (distant) view of Sol y Mar
it feels so good to be here
SyM 1 - a bit of colour
One-half of the tree cutting duo
where I spent Christmas
why I came home
copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, James B. Rieley