We decided, as a family, that we weren’t spending enough time together or indeed enough time enjoying Mallorca. So, this summer we are going to go somewhere new every week and report back on it. First up is somewhere very easy to get to, Cala Cap Falco beach. It’s around the back of Magaluf on the way to the casino. Have you ever been there?
I have a tune in my head: ‘Bobbing along, bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea’…. I have been singing it to myself for the past few days in an attempt to cool down. Mallorca seems to have skipped July and gone straight for the crazy heat of August. Que calor!
The best place to cool down is the local pool, and we’re blessed to have the municipal one just down the road from us. It’s a bargain too, for the whole year, for a family to use the indoor and outdoor pools in the borough of Andratx it costs an incredible 100€. La Gidg likes the responsibility of looking after her own membership card, and we like the fact that it costs less than 30c a day to go swimming.
This does throw up the issue of what to wear. La Gidg has got 6 different sets of costumes and kiddie bikinis, Ollie has two pairs of shorts (neither of them the hilarious budgie smuggler speedos that you see on some more of the optimistic male swimmers), and I have an elderly swimming costume which I guess I should replace. But what with? Looking in women’s magazines you can choose from many different cossies which apparently will ‘flatter your shape’. But they all come down to the same thing: 2 millimetres of lycra and a smile. It’s a fallacy surely, how can anything like that actually work? If you haul it in in one area, it has to poke out somewhere else. What I find works for me is shouting and pointing at something imaginary in the far distance and whilst everyone is distracted doing a runner to the pool. I have also become one of those women who doesn’t like to get her hair wet, so I don’t leap into the pool, but hurriedly scuttle down the steps tout suite.
But then, heaven. Like a herd of hippos having a mud bath, we stay submerged until everything goes wrinkly. Thankfully there is a bar which sells a mean G & T, and ice cream. If we would move in if we could.
That is not a possibility though, and work will insist on raising its persistent head. Strategically booking appointments in air conditioned offices with water coolers is the only way forward when out and about. Failing that there is always the option of sitting directly in front of a fan, but that doesn’t work so well if you have to answer the phone, ‘Where are you? You sound like you’re in a wind tunnel’.
In the end it’s all about mind over matter, so why not join me in a rousing chorus, ‘Bobbing along, bobbing along….’
It’s hot here now, and with that generally comes either buckets of sunscreen or aching sunburn. If you don’t fancy either then we’ll see you in October.
It’s a serious problem in Mallorca. A local dermatologist has seen 10 cases of melanoma in the past month. But is anyone taking it seriously yet?
It’s pretty simple stuff really to protect yourself from the sun. Buy some sunblock, apply. Continue to apply. Put on some more. Repeat.
How do you know when to apply though? Firstly, put it on before you leave the house, about 20 to 30 mins before you’re off out. And then once you’ve been in the sun for about 30 mins, put the block on again. Then you need to go by the SPF factor on the bottle. SPF means Sun Protection Factor – the World Health Organisation, and other similar organisations, say that the maximum amount of time we can spend outside in the sun without protection is 10 minutes. The SPF means that you can stay in the sun for 10 minutes times the SPF level – so if you’ve got SPF 15 that means you can stay in the sun for 10 x 15 = 150 mins, or 2 1/2 hours. Then you need to bung more of the goo on, or go indoors. Honest it’s as simple as that.
Make sure you take particular care on your face, your chest, and your hands as these areas are all vulnerable to the sun and are age quickly. Also, don’t spray perfume onto your chest as it acts as a magnifying glass for the sun and can mean you burn there even more – spray perfume onto an area which is not necessarily exposed to the sun, like your tummy for example if you’re going to be wearing a top for the day.
Keeping on top of your kids’ sun protection is vital – a serious sun burn before the age of 18 can increase the risks of skin cancer by 50%. That’s pretty serious. We slather our daughter (who is blond, blue eyed and very fair) in very high factor sunblock – 60SPF when she goes to nursery school as we can’t expect the staff to remember to reapply it in the morning so she has 600 minutes of protection with that factor (that’s 10 hours as long as she doesn’t go swimming). When she’s at the beach we use a lower factor and keep reapplying as she is in and out of the water. We are also running a ‘hats are cool’ campaign in our house to try to encourage her to cover her head and face more. Not an easy call with a 2 1/2 year old I can tell you.
The dermatologist, Dr Cordula Ahnhudt, recommends that we all go for yearly skin checks as this way you can keep an eye on the development of any moles.