Tomorrow evening, Tuesday the 13th March there will be a “Mad for Mutts” Palma Dog Quiz Fundraiser. It starts at 7pm at The Boathouse in Palma. There will be loads of prizes on offer and it’s a big support for animals which need rehoming. DETAILS HERE: Mad For Mutts

On Thursday March 15th there will be a book launch for Samantha Meade-Newman Whittington, her first book “Rosamunda y las Montanas del Norte” will be  Biblioteca Can Sales in Placa Porta de Santa Catalina from 7pm.  Also that same evening Club Ultima Hora has organised a conference with Chris Sharma, a famous climber from California who will talk about sports climbing in Mallorca. The event is free and starts at 8pm at the Trui Theatre. You have to pick up an invitation from the Palau de la Premsa in Palma beforehand. DETAILS HERE

On Friday March 16th at 8pm you can join the Mood Singers for The Rhythm of Life concert in aid of Cala Nova Cancer Care. The event will be at the Anglican Church in Son Armadans Palma. Tickets are 10€ per person including a drink and nibbles.

Also on Friday evening it’s the opening night of Stereo in Magaluf, marking the beginning of their season. DETAILS HERE

From the 16th to the 18th of March you can try out the island’s best craft beers and live music at the Bierkonig Centre in S’Arenal.

On Saturday 17th March there will be a mindfulness workshop. Designed as an entry level to mindful meditation you will practice meditation, mindful waking and eating and talk about the health benefits. DETAILS HERE

On Saturday evening at MariSol Yoga in Placa del Progreso in Palma there will be a women’s circle event from 8pm to 9pm. It’s an open event and all women are invited to join.  DETAILS HERE

Sunday the 18th of March will feature the St Patrick’s Festival in Santa Ponca, there’s plenty of market stalls, entertainments, and the Guinness will be flowing!

On Wednesday 21st March there will be the grand opening of a new handmade ice cream shop in Palma, called Bo Bom Gelato. They will be offering “true” Gelato, gelato cakes, Italian hot chocolate, Easter Eggs, and freshly made Italian Easter cakes called Colomba, and plenty of Prosecco as well!  DETAILS HERE

Also on Wednesday 21st March from 10am to 1pm there will be a Spring Equinox inspired session, the Sacred Chant Awakening the Divine Femine. It will be at Peopletree in Alaro and led by yoga teacher Jeanne Lurie. It will include a gong deep relaxation session.

On the evening of the 21st of March you can catch the Moscow Ballet at Palma Auditorium performing Swan Lake.

On the weekend of the 24th and 25th of March there will be the Sheep and Goat fair in Calvia village. There’s always loads going on, including plenty of animals to go and see, pony rides for children, market stalls and plenty of fun and games.

On Saturday March 24th there will be a  Car Boot Sale at the BIC school in Magaluf from 1.30 to 4.30pm. Anyone who wants a pitch should contact the school in advance.  Also on the same day you can catch the Fiesta de la Primavera at Port Adriano, El Toro where they promise to offer loads of family friendly activities.

Also over the weekend of the 24th and 25th there is a theatre event called Spring In The Magic Forest. It’s aimed at kids and will be performed at the Palma Auditorium. The show is in Spanish and English and the kids will be invited up on to stage so make sure they wear their animal costumes. DETAILS HERE

Also on Saturday March 24th there will be a March For Our Lives event held in Palma. This is a protest in support of the kids and families in America who are marching all over the country on this day in an attempt to change the gun laws. The march organisers are asking for everyone to come and join them in the peaceful protest to send a message from across the world to the US government.  Meet in Plaza La Lonja at 10am, wear a white shirt with red or blue, bring friends, family, neighbours and anyone who cherishes peace and life.     DETAILS HERE

28th March art exhibition opening at the Century 21 Palm Beach offices in Paseo de Mallorca. The artist Sebastian Bispo will be showing his most recent works.

On Saturday 31st March the next edition of the Vegan Day Out will be hosted at the Son Alegre Vinyard in Calogne. It starts at 1pm and will feature live music, yoga, meditation, cooking workshops, an organic wine bar and more. DETAILS HERE

If you like fun fairs then you have until the 15th of April to go along to the Fira del Ram. It’s down beside the Son Castello industrial estate in Palma and is open every day.

Looking into April, there will be an training event for entrepreneurs on the 13th to the 15th April called Woha.  DETAILS HERE

Son Bug

From my outsider’s perspective Son Bugadelles has always been an enigma: an industrial estate filled with curious businesses, a television station and the biggest police station I’ve ever seen. But I’ve learnt that it is an Aladdin’s Cave of opportunities and if you are searching for a certain service then you will almost certainly find it there: from air conditioning to welding, to sails to tyres to butchers and bakers, but no candlestick makers, at least not yet.

My first stop was Tip Top Toldos which has been on the estate for eight years. The owner, Neil McKendry, and his team supply and fit internal and external blinds, canopies, doors and windows all over the island. The showroom faces out of the industrial estate, looking towards Galatzo, with red flags marking the way. “I always tell customers we are up from the petrol station on the road towards Calvia,” he says. This time of year the demand for fitting PVC doors and windows is high, but by the Spring Tip Top are always to be seen fitting sun blinds for terraces. Before I dash off to my next stop Neil shows me some very clever internal blinds which are remote controlled which means there’s no wiring needed, and they operate completely silently, perfect for the  more modern looking house.

Behind Tip Top, across the road on Carrer Illes Balears, is Eurotex. It’s run by David Ramos, a professioDavid, ready for actionnal painter and decorator. David opened the paint store with his business partner seven and half years ago. “We have many British customers because we speak English and German as well. And we have a lot of wallpaper designs to choose from, you can see any of our books and have the rolls delivered from the mainland two days later.” Eurotex also sends out painting crews if you don’t want to Do It Yourself, but David is on hand to give the enthusiastic DIYer advice as well.

Keep travelling up Carrer Illes Balears and you will come across Brit Bites on the right hand side, run by Craig. He stocks a wide range of typically British foods frozen and cupboard staples as well as cards, wrapping paper and other domestic items. If you’re hankering after pearl barley, or want to buy a sack of teabags at a good price then Brit Bites has them both, and plenty more besides to choose from.

Vanessa on a Hastens bed

Turn around and head back down to the petrol station, and take a left at the roundabout and you will be on the road Carrer Son Thomas. On one side you see the gym Illes, and directly opposite it you will not be able to miss Hastens! Inside, chatting away in three languages, is Vanessa, who can tell you all about the different types of beds and mattresses they sell. “Hastens is a Swedish brand, and Vispring, which we also have, is British. They are both extremely natural products, and therefore very good for anyone with allergies. Hastens comes with a 25 year guarantee, and Vispring with a lifetime guarantee! You won’t find any better on the island.”

IMG_0098 (1)

Drive along from Hastens, and take a left up Carrer Valencia and you’ll find Yes We Bike. Run by Oliver Wienrich it’s the only large bike shop in the South West and stocks a staggeringly wide range of different bikes. From the new “E Bikes” to simple “Sit up and Beg” bicycles, and everything in between. “A bike these days can be as sophisticated as a car” Oliver tells me, and then goes on to say he works with the German brand Haibike and the WINORA Group. Oliver knows his business, and says E Bikes are becoming more and more popular. “E Bikes make you fly, and because you are not so worried about covering a distance you actually use them more.” He also offers repairs and maintenance.

Oliver outside of his business.jpg

Up the same road, on the left, you will find Knox Design. It’s run by Justine and Bruce Knox with a team of multilingual staff. Knox is a great design showroom for picking up beautiful things for your home, but it’s also the head quarters for a thriving interior design and house renovation business. It literally is a “one stop shop” if you want to fit a new bathroom or kitchen or completely reinvent your home. They work all over the island on projects, and have a team of their own trades people who they trust to work to the standards which they are famous for.

Come back down Carrer d’Alacant and you will find a business which many Bulletin readers will have used: Webbs International Removals have brought many expats to the island over the thirty years they have been in business. With their unrivalled weekly scheduled service with a 100% on time record for the past three years they know that reliability is paramount for their clients. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting some of their drivers and crews then you will find that they are friendly.  knowledgeable, helpful and courteous. Many of their staff have worked for Webbs for many years and are multi lingual. In fact, we could go as far as to say they are an institution on the island.

My last stop is at Classic Cars which is on the road behind the police station, Carrer Illes Canarias. Curiously at the other end of the road there is a herd of sheep grazing, but that’s Majorca for you! Up at the top end of the road, in the direction of Calvia, you will find some very fine Classic Cars for sale. If you have a hankering for something special then let them know, or maybe try out what they already have in stock.

Son Bugadelles is also famous for its Car Boot Sale every Saturday morning which does affect the opening hours of some of the businesses, so check in advance if you are planning to take a trip there at the weekend. Happy shopping!

Revolutionary Thoughts.

From Daily Tech

I had another of those conversations about running a business in Spain this week. It was with a good friend who runs a very successful photography business in Mallorca. When she started to live here she had a meeting with a gestor who told her the minimum amounts of money she would have to earn to make it profitable to be legal, and she said she almost didn’t bother trying. She’s a gifted photographer who speaks fluent Spanish and English and she is delivering a top notch service, you’d think that this would make it easy to make money. No, gestor fees, the taxes and the autonomos charges cripple a small business, it’s exhausting to have to keep your head above all of this and stay in front of your declarations, and that’s on top of your actual business and whatever that requires.

Now this week in Spain there has been a change in several laws. Firstly you may have heard about the Google News shutdown for Spain because the Government decided, (in a spectacular show of how little they understand the internet or promotion) that Google should pay to use any news clippings that they pull from newspaper websites. Then there is the new gagging laws whereby if I or you decide to peacefully protest, about what…? Ooh, let’s see perhaps we would like to protest about the ridiculous cost of running a small business in Spain or the corruptness of politicians… Well you can’t do that now, you can receive a fine of (are you sitting down?) 600,000€

It’s as if they are deliberately trying to disable us and make us more reliant upon the state, as if we’re all idiots who can’t think for ourselves. Or perhaps I am being too “conspiracy theory” about this, perhaps, actually it’s the Government are the idiots and really have absolutely no clue of how to get the country out of recession. Because we are still in a recession. There are 700,000 households in this country (how many actual people is that? 2 million people? Perhaps) who have no access to any income at all. AT ALL. They have dropped off the benefits radar and have nothing at all coming in because they have remained out of work for longer than they are entitled to benefits. How about incentivising these people to start businesses or work for themselves in a legal way? Wouldn’t THAT not only give everyone encouragement to start but get the economy moving again? Currently they are planning to give a very small new benefit to some of these households starting in January, but it’s not enough, more people need to be picked up, dusted off and presented with opportunities that they can legally take. We need a business revolution, and it needs to be more than just a discounted autonomo fee which is currently on offer, that’s not going to solve it.

There’s a general election next year: just around the corner. A change could be made to push Spain out of its malaise and backward facing policies, and into the 21st century like the rest of Europe. If you have the right to vote in that election make sure you look at the policies of the parties, and please, please register to vote at your local council offices, there is a deadline for registration so do it now.

First published in the Euro Weekly News on Thursday 18th December 2014

The Universal Bookshop in Portals Nous celebrates a milestone.

Universal Bookshop, Portals Nous, Mallorca, Kay Halley

Kay Halley

The Universal Bookshop in Portals Nous has been there for about 40 years. It is a lifeline to many residents and tourists who are avid readers. When it changed hands two years ago none of the locals could have been prepared for the incredible warmth and friendliness of the new owner, Kay Halley. Universal Bookshop, Portals Nous, Mallorca, Kay Halley It’s a testament to Kay’s determination and passion that her little bookshop has been going from strength to strength ever since. Kay’s two year business plan has come to fruition through a lot of hard work and support from her contact with local authors, businesses and friends. It has to be said that you have to work hard and be innovative in the current economic climate  so Kay has increased the stock of study books and children´s fiction and also stocks the latest best sellers. She can guarantee delivery of books by tracking her orders from a major UK supplier; if you are buying a present then you can get it gift wrapped for free and she also now offers cash back through the Lyoness scheme. Universal Bookshop, Portals Nous, Mallorca, Kay Halley Kay has gone to great efforts to reach out into the local community and offer her shop as a place for people to get together. Not only does the bookshop sell books but it also  stocks yarns and knitting equipment which has enable Kay to teach school children how to knit. Kay also encourages local volunteers to get busy with their needles and make blankets for Mediterranea NGO. She is always ready to offer advice and help to get you started if you are feeling crafty. Plus the lending library has developed to include books in German, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch and Danish with a small number in other languages. Children can also borrow books. And she has kept the prices competitive making the cost of borrowing a book around €2.50. Universal Bookshop, Portals Nous, Mallorca, Kay Halley Kay however is not resting on her laurels and plans to expand her work in the community, and add one or two more products to her stock. She recently ran a book fair (at their invitation) in a school in Palma and they have made her a ´Friend´ of the school, which will enable her to work more closely with them and offer a substantial commission which is something she is able to do with organisations. Universal Bookshop, Portals Nous, Mallorca, Kay HalleyA nice gathering of well-wishers joined Kay to celebrate her two year anniversary recently with a lovely reception and a delicious cake.  Kay who really is passionate about passing on skills and knowledge and spreading the love of reading said “Thank you for the amazing support that I have been given since coming here, it means so much to me that it moves me to tears”.  Good luck Kay, and The Universal Bookshop, and here’s to many more celebrations!   You can read about the blanket project here:

It was a man’s world . . .

It was a man’s world.

Thatcher-Cabinet_2530702bI don’t know about you, but some of my opinions on life are exactly the same now as they were twenty years ago. Opinions can be swayed, and formed, over a period of years, and altered in the blink of an eye as well. So I think perhaps what I am thinking about isn’t as much an opinion as a value: a deeply held belief. A belief in myself.

Being a teenager in the Eighties, when Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister it never occurred to me that it was strange or anything unusual that she should be a woman leading a country in a man’s world. And have no doubt, it really was a man’s world even then. My own mother was a working woman as well, but back in the day being a woman who went out and had a career outside of her traditional duties as wife and mother was not the norm. I was part of the first generation of young women growing up without the expectation that we would leave school at sixteen, get engaged, get married, and then get pregnant (not always in that order). We weren’t expected to have tea on the table at 6pm for our husbands when they got in from work, we weren’t expected to be the living breathing embodiment of the perfect housewife.

I know that the death of Baroness Thatcher has stirred up some strong feelings, bitter memories and resentments over the injustices that she and theConservative government inflicted on sectors of British society. I myself am not sure about how I feel about some of the things that she did, but as a woman she played an extremely important role in my understanding of what was possible in my life. She was a hated figure, she was admired, revered, she was ridiculed, she was feted. She stuck to her guns and lead from the front, she believed in herself, and she believed in the country that she was leading. She didn’t compromise, and she made it okay to be a strong leader. She smashed through the glass ceiling. One of the things I liked about her was the fact that she expected to be treated as an equal to a man, and she didn’t lean on feminist principles to drive a point home.  She was a leader; it was irrelevant as to which sex she was.

As an impressionable teenager I loathed Mrs Thatcher and all that the Conservative party stood for and what they did. As an adult with the benefit of hindsight I can see the influence she had on me, my peers and my country. Some of it was disastrous, but her influence on young women and girls cannot be denied. Without her would we have so many women in positions of power in business now? It’s not possible to say, but she certainly beat down a path that many thousands of women gladly followed. So thank you Mrs Thatcher for my belief that I can do whatever I want to do without needing to ask for permission, without needing to worry about what people might think, and the knowledge that it is entirely within my grasp to achieve whatever I set out to. And thank you on behalf of my little girl too.


Shop Local

The Shop Local Pledge

The Shop Local Pledge

Wow, how did it get to be December? That snuck up on me! This is the season of Christmas markets in Mallorca and we´ve got some nice ones coming up. Already last Sunday La Gidg spent the afternoon helping out on the cake stall run by her Synchronised Swimming team at the Andratx Christmas Market. She loved it, well what´s not to love really? It´s cake and it´s playing shop. A perfect combination. There was a time when I used to have a little salon and I loved playing shop too, I loved arranging the products and talking to my customers. It was a very innocent period in my life, looking back. Things were very much simpler then, there was a purity about it. You want this thing that I have? You pay me, you can have this thing. Easy peasy.

There is a dangerous side to fairs though. You always run the risk of buying something that you love at the time, but then regret instantly afterwards, but you can´t take it back can you? NO. You can´t, it’s far too embarrassing. And we must make sure that we support our local businesses and craftspeople especially at Christmas. Please don´t buy online, get down the high street and buy something from an actual real life person and not some automated computer. Keep the money moving in your local economy and look after the people in your community, it´s vital.

I imagine that selling on a market could be a hard way to make your living, but I bet it´s fun. I could see myself as a chirpy cockney type selling discount ladies underwear, or perhaps I could be a mysterious Arab with fine spices and exotic silks. As it is, I am writing this from bed, It is too cold in my house to be anywhere else but here. If I am such a wuss that I can´t deal with a bit of cold in my own home how do we think I would manage rising at 5am and setting up a market stall? Yep, disaster.  Which is why the “Last Minute Handmade Christmas Market” which I am organising at Mood Beach for December 22 and 23 will start at 11am and finish at 4pm, a healthy time during the day. If you want to have a stall then please get in touch at

Also coming up there is the Calvia Christmas fair which is not in Portals anymore, but has moved to Santa Ponsa, that is on December 9th and will feature the choir in their debut performance! (They´re also going to perform on the 22nd at Mood). Then there is one at Santa Ponsa Country Club the next weekend on the 15th and 16th of December, and the same weekend sees the return of the Alaro Christmas Market as well.

In the meantime I am planning my takeover of the world from under the duvet, at least for today.