Blog & Photo Journal Archive

April 2021


May Day!

May 1st

“Hooray hooray the First of May, outdoor swimming starts today” – except that it’s raining, and there are giant purple medusas with massively long tentacles in the sea at my favorite swimming hole (and elsewhere), so it ain’t happening…damn…

April was a busy month around here… Major obras: digging up the patio on the west side of the house (sis’s territory), which had been turned into the Himalayas by the roots of the 60 ft tall pine trees back there – really dangerous for her… so we took up all the old Monte Toro flagstones and Sebastian cut out masses off giant roots – literally masses, the size of trees, some of them –  I surely hope we haven’t killed the trees, they provide our only shade in the summer, which is why it is so necessary that the patio be functional… in the process of digging it all up, the main water pipe from the well to the cisterna (old metal pipe, a mere 45 years old) sprung a giant leak, so we had. to run a new hose (rubber, really thick) mostly overground, except for the edge of the main patio which had to be dug up… etc etc…. concrete was poured a week or so ago, earth was brought in to level around it (the patio is a little higher than before). Tiles or mares was going to cost us another 1000 euros, so we’ve opted for colored cement – going to do some color experimentation tomorrow, depending on the weather – they are threatening rain but I don’t believe it, it never materializes, it is SO dry… poc a poc… just as long as it is done before we need it for sanctuary from the heat…

Meanwhile two days ago Sebastian, Mariona (his daughter) and I did the Big Burn (just before the cut-off – no burning from May 1 to Oct 1). We had the perfect day for it, absolutely no wind all morning (the first time in weeks), and we got all 3 bonfires done – the two normal ones, plus the massive pile in the “way back” where I have been tree sculpting. That one we had to do piece by piece, since there wasn’t that much space and it was a HUGE pile, but it’s all gone and the place looks great. The wind got up while we were doing the last bonfire, the main one, but it wasn’t drastically big this year and the wind was from the south so the pines were safe (poor neighbours tho!).

And then Rob came over and helped me plant the huerto – hero of the hour… We got most of it done in one evening, only the onions left for the 2nd evening (all 108 of them!). Don’t know what I would have done without him… I think this might be my last big huerto – next year a quarter of the size, and a raised bed??

Sis has had her first vaccination, I’m still waiting for mine… I just need to get it in time for being clear to travel July 1st… please….

The bad news is a dear friend here is being operated on next Tuesday in Palma –  having a lump removed from her neck where they found metastasized cancer cells. All fingers and toes crossed…

May 2nd Update –  vaccine #1 scheduled for May 8th – Moderna, not Pfizer, but hey, at least it’s not AZ… the 2nd one is scheduled for June 5th, so I should be good to go… more fingers and toes crossed….

May 3rd Update – Hooray hooray the 3rd of May, outdoor pleasuring starts today…  blue sky, hot sun, cold dip – yay!

 


April 5th

Well,  I really shouldn’t eat or drink again for quite some time… Two birthday lunches,  one on Saturday here with J&R, one on Sunday with Chita and Len, and then a wonderful zoom session with my mostly NY homies (plus Joan in CA, Dino in Arizona?) – sooo much fun to see everyone – I feel very well celebrated!   Can’t wrap my mind around the actual milestone –  it truly doesn’t compute… But there it is… Starting another chapter…

I must say that the very thought of planting the huerto this year makes me feel tired, which is not a good sign, and afternoon bike rides are not as tantalising… Perhaps it’s just the end of a long and hard winter – not weather wise, just the constant state of being The Responsible One – responsible for everything… I would so dearly love a vacation, where someone looked after me for a change and I could just sleep for a week and not think about “things that need to be done”… in another life…

Sis is trying very hard to help however she can, which is heartening – every little bit helps.  She is getting dressed every day now – not constantly seeing her in her nightie and dressing gown is a big improvement. And we actually had an early birthday meal at Txoko the week before – her first outing, other than hospital and/or physio, in over a year. And I got her down to the sea on her birthday – all good forward motion…

Speaking of weather, the island is bone dry, the earth cracked already – so little rain has fallen this winter, it’s really scary.  It looks like late May, not early April.  I fear that there will be a fair amount of attrition in the garden this year – time to let things go if they can’t survive on their own, or at least with only minimal help…

Still no sign of the vaccine, but now I’m in the next group up, perhaps it will come soon. I just need to be good to go July 1st… please…

March 17th, 2021, Menorca

March 17th, 2021, Menorca

Happy anniversary. Exactly a year ago today I stepped off the last plane into Menorca to begin quarantine and lockdown on the island… A whole year… In my whole life, I don’t think I have ever, ever spent a whole year in one place… mind you, if you’re going to have to stay put for a year, I can’t think of a better place to do it. I’ve alsways said I wanted to spend a whole year here… not exactly the circumstances I would have chosen (Covid, sis) but in fact, without Covid I’m sure I would have up stakes and left at some point, and inspite of all the drawbacks inherent in living with my sister, without her I would have been very lonely at times… And the benison of the land, the sea, the beautiful old house and gardens (tho’ SO much work), fresh air, nature in general, and of course, most important, the cat – what’s to complain about?  I can’t call myself a musician anymore, I don’t think, or a composer, I spend so little time doing either – I am a caretaker (giver?), housekeeper, gardener, farmer – or as the song goes, “Maid, cook, gardener, poolboy and nurse, Painter, cleaner, tour guide, nanny and worse, Shopper and chauffeur, translator, oh for a flash back to days of yore, with Servants.”  I do have a little help. Twice a week a lady from Social Services comes for an hour –  she gets sis dressed (so I can take her to her rehab/physio at the hospital). and also does some vaccuming and cleaning in the time left, bless her.  And once a week a wonderful girl comes to give sis a shower, change her bedding etc – S.S’s. would do it, but sis loves Sandra, it’s worth paying for…. so 3 days a week I have a little help, which is wonderful.  And actually sis is definitely getting better, slowly – today we went mattress hunting and actually bought her one, so next week when it arrives we can get rid of the hospital-style articulated single bed and she will be back in a regular double bed – with a fabulous new mattress. Very expensive, but half what it would have been had it not been on sale.  She deserves a good bed – she spends so much time in it! And we had lubina for lunch in celebration.

Chris and Catherine are in residence in my apartment in Westbeth –  he transferred his job to NYC (so lucky he could do  that),  and she works from home at the moment, so it’s a chance to have a few months with their own home together, and for him to save his pennies so he can come back out here again at some point and take care of his mom so I can finally go back for a bit… we video chat and it is so weird seeing my apartment…. great for the place to have some TLC – the piano has been tuned, all the mail finally gone through, and Catherine has done a deep clean on both kitchen and bathroom, which was much needed, I’m sure. What AM I going to do about it all??? Living day by day at the moment, the only way possible at present, but it. cannot continue indefinitely…

It’s been a pretty gentle winter, overall, apart from a couple of really cold snaps – dire shortage of rain, tho’… we’re headed into another cold spell this week – march, the crazy month – the sun is actually really hot already, but the air is still cold  – I love it, but it drives sis crazy. I’ve gone down to the sea a couple of afternoons and napped by the water –  once at the rocks (with my yoga mat!). and once at Binidali.  Sweet…

We are facing another major repair, that of sis’s patio, which has been completely destroyed by pine roots – it’s like the Himalayas back there and extremely dangerous for sis, so it’s going to have be dug up, the roots cut out (sure hope we don’t lose the trees) and the stones re-layed.  How we pay for it heaven knows, but like the bathroom renovation, it. has to be done, so we will just find a way.   It is  also the only cool place in the hottest part of the summer, so important for all…

And then there’s the fact that I’m about to turn 70. Jesus me beads… I think my body has definitely taken the idea on board –  gippy left hip and knee, right shoulder, aches and pains all over, creaking like an old sailing ship, and seem to be tired all the time –  less interested in biking etc in the. afternoon, would. rather take a nap – let’s hope it’s just the end of winter… roll on spring…

And then there’s the Aztra Zeneca scare – still no vaccine for me here… just play it one day at a time, Gina…

Jan-Feb. 2021