Grateful for small mercies

The view over to Dragonera

The view over to Dragonera

About a month ago my daughter, La Gidg and I went walking from Sant Elm up to the top of Sa Trapa and back down again. My husband was in Pollensa photographing a cycling team so we were one man down in Team Neilson McLeod, but that didn’t matter as we were out with a bunch of friends. There were about twenty of us when we set off from Es Moli on that sunny Sunday morning, plenty of grownups, kids and dogs. If you’ve ever done the walk you will know that there are some steep and demanding parts of it, but that it’s worth the “up” as the view at the top is quite amazing. You can see over to the island of Dragonera and back over the hilltops to Port Andratx and to s’Arracó.

We stopped at the peak and had a snack. Everything was very jolly and we were feeling quite pleased with ourselves that we had got out of the house and conquered that climb up. Then as we were making our descent towards the Sa Trapa buildings La Gidg slipped over. It was quite a heavy fall, and there were tears. I could see that there was some blood coming through her leggings but because they weren’t torn I assumed that it was a graze. She didn’t want me to look at it (she is quite strong headed, a bit like her parents) so I decided that the best thing was to get back down to the car as soon as possible and then get ourselves to a doctor if we decided we needed one. There then followed two excruciating hours of slow hobbling down. In hindsight I should have insisted that I looked at her injury, and if I had seen it, I would have been on the phone to the emergency mountain rescue.

When we made it back to the car we went straight to the local PAC in Andratx. When I finally saw what had happened to my little girl’s leg and appreciated the level of bravery that she had shown getting down from the very top of Sa Trapa back to Sant Elm, I have to say I was completely speechless. Her leg, despite no damage to her clothes, was cut from one side of her knee to the other, about 10 centimetres and about 4 centimetres wide. It was as if special effects makeup artist had been practicing on her.  “Go to Hospital Son Espases” was pretty much the decision, and once she had had a quick clean-up and a sterile bandage applied we went in to Palma where we were seen very quickly. We were spoken to in English by our doctor when it became clear to him that I was in too much of a state to really concentrate in Spanish and then La Gidg, with the help of two doctors, three nurses and a bottle of gas to relax her, had fifteen stitches put into her leg, and goodness knows how many more inside.

I know I moan about the cost of social security in Spain, and the unfairness of the system for autonomos and small businesses but I cannot fault the hospital system. It was very good, efficient, well equipped and there when we needed it. The after care has been great as well. Gidg just had her stitches out last week, and we are still some way from Hip Hop and Cross Fit classes, but her leg is still attached to the rest of her which makes us all grateful for small mercies.

You can see an article about survival in the Mallorcan countryside here: http://mallorcastories.com/2015/01/26/mountain-survival-mallorca/

One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising, Mariella Echeverri

Last year’s event

 

I met Mariella Echeverri this week. She is the co-ordinator responsible for the One Billion Rising event in Palma which has happened for the past two years, and this year’s is going to be even bigger she says. One Billion Rising is a campaign to raise awareness for the continuing worldwide issue of violence against women. It’s an opportunity for women and men to stand together and demand change. Here in Mallorca there will be a demonstration, gathering and public party on Saturday 14th February during the day in Palma de Mallorca. There will be representatives from women’s groups in Majorca, and Mariella hopes to have representatives from many of the official bodies as well.

We meet in a cafe, Mariella and I huddle over steaming hot coffees whilst Palma shivers. What do you want to achieve from this? I ask her. “I want people to come away from the event asking, how can I help locally? Can I help my sister, my cousin, my neighbour? The real problem is that it is very difficult to get to the women who are already at risk, they are so scared and caught up in their situation they don’t know how to get out of it”. I ask Mariella why she organises the event every year, “I do it for my daughter. She is five. I want her to know that there is another way.” We talk about how even young girls are being pressured and influenced through social media and text messages, you don’t even need to be in the same room. “Young men are controlling their girlfriends by making them give them their passwords for Facebook, they are saying ‘if you love me then you will let me know everything about you, let me take that photo of you, it’s just for me, and they’re going to show their friends and bully and harass their girlfriends that way”. And then of course there is the use of physical, and sexual violence against women to control and subjugate them around the globe.

If you want to stand up and show support for women across the world, and demand the end of violence against women then please attend the event. It will happen on Valentine’s Day, Saturday 14th February. They will meet at 11.30am in Plaza Cort and then walk, dance, run, sashay and march to Parc de la Mar. Mariella’s hoping they will be accompanied by motorbikes to “Make some noise” then then once the group arrive at Parc de la Mar (in front of the Cathedral) there will be a huge Zumba event, speeches and chances to get information.

Will you be one of the Billion Rising? I hope I will see you there.

F-F-F-Frio

Family Neilson McLeod in full Dragon Onesie Glory

Family Neilson McLeod in full Dragon Onesie Glory

Isn’t it cold in the sunshine paradise that is Mallorca? Do you remember your first winter on the island? Were you as amazed as I was at how horribly cold it gets here? There were some moments during that first winter when my husband and I kicked ourselves for not doing our homework properly, how could we not have known how damp and downright nasty it can get here. We barricaded ourselves into the room where our log fire was and took turns cuddling the dog to keep warm. If we hadn’t been given an electric blanket as a Christmas present we wouldn’t have a daughter now, and that is an actual fact.

It wasn’t that we didn’t have heating in our house; it was that it was ineffective, and expensive to run. Now a decade down the line we live in a different house, and we don’t have a dog. The cats aren’t so willing to be long term hot water bottle replacements, and also not as good.  So my husband and I have to run heaters under our desks to keep warm whilst sitting still for hours on end writing witty prose and photoshopping pictures. The Mallorcans used to put a heater under the kitchen table and then tuck the tablecloth around their laps, so we’ve modernised it. Which I suppose is how we managed to get an electricity bill which is 150% more than our normal bill. A whopping €577 for two months. And that doesn’t include the really, really chilly month of January. When the electric bill hit the mat both my husband and I started acting like our dads, yelling grumpily at each other to “Turn that off, shut that door, don’t forget the LIGHTS!!!!” Getting such a big bill has not been conducive to a harmonious home. It’s January after all: post-Christmas, no fuzzy happiness, and we’re deep, deep into tax return misery. Any second now the Hacienda is going to ask us for money which we’ve already spent on our electricity bill and the ridiculously expensive autonomos bills. Have you seen that information this week about the comparison between the costs of National Insurance in the UK and here? Six months contributions in Spain are 1650€ and the same six months in the UK? 78€ Things have got to change: we’ve been watching the events in Greece this week and wondering what will happen to Spain in the upcoming national elections, which we won’t be able to vote in, even though we contribute 20% of our income in taxes. Another thing which has to change.

Time to get happy, so let’s reach for the wine, although no, of course, it’s January so we’ve eschewed alcohol, and chocolate, and bread. Then there’s that moment when you look at each other and think “What the **** have we done?” Which is when I remembered that we own “onesies”. We bought them for each other in a flash of ironic Christmas shopping excitement in 2013. So now, when I am at home this is my office outfit, it keeps me warm, it’s saving on the heating, and apart from the tail getting in the way now and again, it’s very comfortable. So if you call me and I answer the phone I will have to try to keep the amusement out of my voice, can you guess what I’m wearing?

Who cares, as long as I’m not freezing.

http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

 

 

Developing island networks in 2015

Glynis German, Happiness Cafe, Mallorca

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Glynis German this week on her show, The Happiness Café, for Sunshine Radio 106.1FM. It’s a bit strange to be interviewed when you are normally the interviewer so thankfully she asked me questions about subjects close to my heart: my family, Mallorca and blogging. As she was asking me why I had started my blog www.familymattersmallorca.com back in 2006 I realised it was because of my need to make sense of events that had happened to me since moving to the island. My husband, then boyfriend, and I moved here in 2004, we set up a business, he got reactive arthritis, we got married, we had a baby, I was run over by a car, the business went bust, and then we struggled with debts and then the crisis. Through it all I’ve written my blog and subsequently found a lot of kindred spirits and travelling companions through my favourite social media channels, Facebook and Twitter.  When you blog you enjoy the freedom of speech that not everyone around the world enjoys, so I think you should exercise your rights and sign up for a free blog at WordPress or Blogger or Tumblr. If you want some help organising your blog then there are courses online that you can do, or you can come to one of my courses, the next beginners’ course will be in February, or you can just learn as you go. Blogs aren’t just for sharing funny pictures of your cats, or writing about how your two year old loves to defy you (was one of my recurring themes when I first started) but you can also help to build your business up by writing articles about what you do. But we’ll examine those ideas a bit more in next week’s column.

It was when we set up our photography and P.R. business www.phoenixmediamallorca.com in 2008 that we really started to learn what it took to be successful in business in Mallorca: grit, determination, a sense of humour, flexibility, an understanding bank manager, a good gestor and a wide network of people.  This year I’m hoping to expand that network of people to include more and more residents (part and full time) of our lovely island, because really, together we are stronger. To facilitate this I’m going to start going to a new social and business networking group on the island. It isn’t just for women, or just for men, it’s not just at lunchtime or dinnertime or just drinks, or at 6 am in the morning when I am tucked up in bed. You don’t have to pay a grand a year to be a member, and you won’t be excluded because there’s already someone with the same profession as you in the group so you can’t join. It meets at places around the island at different times on different days so there’s a chance to meet new people you haven’t met before. Sounds really good doesn’t it? Well, at least I would like to go to that group if it existed. But as far as I can tell, it doesn’t. So, let’s form one ourselves. If you want to attend a new networking group then let me know by emailing me phoenixmediamallorca@gmail.com and judging on the responses we can take it from there.

Let’s get something off the ground that we can all benefit from!

What’s in a name?

Mallorca Tutoring Academy, Vicki McLeod

Back in September 2009 Julie Staley and Jay Hirons opened the doors to the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Son Quint Golf in Palma for the first time. It wasn’t long before I got to know and respect them for their professionalism, their standards and their ambitions. They set out to offer a very high standard in educational tutoring for children who either spoke English as their mother tongue and needed help maintaining a good level or children who were learning to speak English as a second language. I’m guessing that the first few years, just like for any new business, were challenging: it’s not easy to establish yourself on this little island, so many people come and go, and you have to keep working hard. But these gals certainly did that as they have just celebrated five years in business and rebranded themselves in the process. Just last week Kip McGrath renamed themselves Mallorca Tutoring Academy, with a fancy new logo and some big new ideas.

“We learnt so much about running a business here on the island”, said Julie. “Together with this knowledge and support from the franchise we have been able to develop the business you see today, and become a well-known part of the Mallorca educational community”.  The business formerly known as “Kip” manages to cater for a diverse range of clients from the age of four and up. Over the years of taking my daughter La Gidge to have educational support sessions there I’ve met kids who hail from all over the world that are now living in Mallorca and coping with its very particular language demands and educational peculiarities. The reason I take my girl to the centre is to get some help with her reading and writing in English, I didn’t want her growing up spelling things phonetically as that’s a difficult habit to get out of. If Gidg needs it in the future she can get help with her maths, her Catalan, Castellano, sciences, study skills, take her SATs and Cambridge language exams or study for “A” levels. MTA are now developing new services which include drama classes, a cinema club, and an expanded Senior Academy with a wide range of exams available for the students to take.  All of this as a support and supplement to normal school activities.

One of the things I really love about this service is that it means Gidge gets the benefits of being part of our local community as she goes to her fantastic local school where she’s taught in Catalan, Castellano and (to a lesser extent) English. She has Spanish mates as well as all the international kids who seem to have gathered in Port Andratx, we also have kids from all over the world studying at her primary school. But because of MTA she gets the benefits of 1:1 tutoring, a personalised approach to learning, and bags and bags of confidence.

They’re celebrating their rebranding this Saturday 17th January from 2pm at their centre when you can meet the MTA team, and loads of other educational specialists from around the island who will be available for free advice and assessments.

YOU CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH THEM HERE:

Mallorca Tutoring Academy

Golf Son Quint

Cami de son Vida 38

Palma de Mallorca

07013

Telephone: +34 971 79 14 10

E-mail: info@mallorcatutoringacademy.com

Web: http://www.mallorcatutoringacademy.com

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.

www.familymattersmallorca.com

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

Winter Wonderland

Christmas lights, Palma, Vicki McLeod

We went skating last weekend at the ice rink in Palma. I say “we” what I really mean is that Gidg ice-walked around the rink whilst my husband and I looked on, grateful that she was over the age limit to go on without a responsible adult. Neither my husband or I can skate with any style at all, and we really don’t want to learn either. Bless her, she tried. Her mates were all better than her, including the ones who were younger than her, but she still gave it a serious go, and wants to go back again for another stab at it. There was quite a big group of us, ten adults and seven kids, and after we’d been at the rink we decided we wanted to go for lunch. In Palma. On a Sunday. Wow, that’s a tougher ask than you realise. I’d love to know where you, dear reader, would recommend for a biggish group to go on a Sunday in Palma for a reasonably priced (no Michelin stars or fancy pants required, just good decent nosh please). You can get in touch with me at http://www.familymattersmallorca.com. As it was we ended up in a pizza place (nothing says Sunday more than a pizza … to be honest I felt a bit hard done by as my brain expects to see either a roast dinner, a BBQ or a paella on a Sunday) which was okay, I guess. The company more than made up for the rather dull lunch. It was a typical Mallorca winter Sunday full of friends, kids and laughs. And it was lovely to walk in the crisp air and look at the lights (and scoff a couple of churros with Chocolate de la Taza).

The electric blankets are now on the beds, and the wood burning stove has received its seasonal wipe down and fire up. Yes, the advent calendar (which I moaned about at length last week) is now in full swing, and I have attended three Christmas fairs already. Coming up tonight at Mood Beach (Thursday December 11th) there will be the “In the Mood” choir performing Christmas Carols in the bar, call 971 676 456 or email info@moodbeach.com for times and more info. Then at the weekend you have the Binissalem Christmas Fair which is not to be missed, it’s great. If you like handmade and unique items then you have to go there for a mooch around. Of course there is also the traditional Christmas fair at Palma Nova (used to be Portals, then it was Santa Ponca, now it’s Palma Nova, but it’s still the one organised by Calvia Council) which will be on over the weekend. And then the one in my neck of the woods in Andratx: this Saturday sees the Plaza being reopened after its facelift and we will all be in there to see what, if any, improvements have been made. See you in Ses Rosses at about 8pm on Saturday night!

http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

Vicki McLeod©2014

Meeting the neighbours.

Can Rei in the sunshine

I told someone recently that I didn’t really feel as if I lived in Spain because Majorca has such a strong identity for me. But you would think, having lived in Majorca for a decade, that perhaps we would have got round to at least visiting the other of the Balearic Islands, wouldn’t you? It smacks of a lack of curiosity, but in reality it was a lack of time, money and opportunity that had prevented me from visiting Ibiza and Formentera until very recently when I was invited to take my husband and daughter to stay in a (rather lovely) house in Ibiza for a couple of days. This was our first ever trip together where we have not been going to visit another member of our family somewhere in the UK or France, but it was also the trip that almost didn’t happen due to a huge workload and schedules. However, we did eventually make it on to a ferry with our car laden with food, clothes and (unfortunately) laptops so we could keep working during the time away.

We’d been told that Ibiza would be “totally dead” by the time we got there, the clubs would have had their end of season parties, and that would be that. “Sounds perfect” was our response as peace and quiet is what we were after, and it is exactly what we got. The house, Can Rei, (from http://www.ibizasummervillas.com) was about five minutes’ drive from Ibiza Town (so not too far from civilisation and supplies) and down a winding country track. It’s set in its own private garden with a big pool which my daughter was in immediately, despite the autumnal temperatures. Really, we could have stayed at the house for the whole time we were there and been perfectly happy, but with a nine year old climbing up the walls to do something we had to get out and about and have some adventures.

First up was a trip around and about to see some of the places that we’d heard about. Think Ibiza, and you probably either think of the big clubs or hippies. So we went for the latter and wandered around the “Hippy Market” in Punta Arabi at Es Cana. It reminded Oliver and I of a warmer version of Camden Market. It’s certainly got a lot of interesting stalls with handmade and imported goods, mixed in of course with a bit of tat, but that’s always to be expected in markets. I liked the atmosphere there, but I can imagine it would be quite packed and difficult to get round in the season. It sounds obvious but as we were driving around the island in our trusty little Wagon R we realised that Ibiza had quite a different attitude to retail and visitors in general. Now and again along the road you could come across a rather interesting looking shop selling interior decoration, or eccentric garden items, and on the beaches it seemed that the regulations about how much you could build on a beach or run a business on a beach were much more relaxed than they are here in Majorca.

 

Elements, Benirrás Beach, Ibiza

We went to Benirrás Beach, which you get to by driving down through beautiful hills and valleys. This is not only a beautiful spot to while away a day, but also a great place to be for sundown when drummers gather to ‘drum down the sunset’. We found ourselves in a beach bar called Elements, which was very relaxed and informal, and proudly displaying on their signage that they were going to be open until December. Looking inside in their boutique we had a quick glimpse of the luxury end of the Ibizan dream, with astronomical prices for artwork and designer clothes, as you can imagine we didn’t hang around too long in there with a nine year who’d just had a Berry Smoothie and was covered in sticky juice.

Ollie and Gigi off on their adventures

We also went to Formentera for the day. If you’re thinking of doing that and you’re a Balearic resident then take some ID with you to get the discount: 26.80€ adult return. After a thirty minute crossing you’re on the island and the first thing to do is to get your hands on either a bike, a car, a mini moke or a scooter. I had originally suggested scooters when we were talking about going, but stood there in the rental office signing up I started to regret the idea, and desperately said maybe we might get a mini moke instead? But my daughter was having none of it and we hired two scooters for the day. I haven’t been on a scooter since my teens when I was the proud owner of one those that you actually can pedal as well as have a scoot around on, so in theory I knew what I was supposed to be doing. In reality it took quite a lot of wobbling around roundabouts at a snail’s pace before I started to feel okay. Meanwhile my husband and child were off like a shot. My feeble efforts, and my “own personal traffic jam” were made fun of for the rest of the day. Ho hum.

Platja Mitjorn, Formentera

Formentera was absolutely gorgeous as well, and the beaches which have the legendary reputation of being Caribbean-like in their quality were exactly that. I can report that the sand is as close to demerara sugar as it can get, and the water is crystal clear and turquoise: absolutely exquisite.  We went to Platja Mitjorn and stumbled across a hippy beach bar called Piratabus which has been going for thirty years in the same position on the top of some sand dunes overlooking a wide expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. I was quite saddle sore and stressed out from my own personal battle with staying atop of a scooter and very much needed a sit down and a little something: sitting with an ice cold “clara” watching some old boys playing draughts whilst the sun warmed my back, listening to some very good acoustic guitar being played somewhere in the background will remain with me as a highlight of my Formentera day out. Asking my daughter what her highlights were of our trip she lists the Can Rei pool, and the amazing beaches.

I’d often read and heard about the different personalities of the islands of Ibiza and Formentera. And conversations since our trip with friends who are more au fait with the history and style of the islands support our own experiences. So, after a decade of living next door, we’ve finally shook hands with the neighbours, and we loved meeting them. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another decade to go back round to borrow a cup of sugar, Demerara of course.

 

Normal service will be resumed

The medical form....

The medical form….

Regular readers of this column will have noticed that I have been anything but regular recently with my column, and for that I apologise. I’ve been getting to know the Spanish health system. Now it’s nothing to worry about, I’m not about to announce a terminal disease or a pregnancy but I have been coping with a new and unexpected development. I’ve become one of those people who has back problems, despite my indignant denial of the situation.

Which is how I found myself in Son Espases Hospital at 9.30am a couple of Sundays ago waiting for an MRI. There is a little known skill that a Britisher has to develop once they have moved to Spain: the ability to recognise their surname when a Spanish person pronounces it in a waiting room. You don’t want to jump up and cry “Ese soy yo!” and then be embarrassed to realise that they have in fact just called Senora Mendoza, crivens no, that wouldn’t do at all to draw attention to one’s self would it? On top of that there is the immense translation task which is the medical questionnaire, in Catalan. Back in 2004 when my husband and I moved to Mallorca we very quickly had to use what was then Son Dureta Hospital for a mystery illness (which turned out to be a very nasty bout of reactive arthritis) I had to cart around an enormous Spanish English dictionary with me in order to be understand, much to the amusement of the nurses. At least now I can use the Google Translate App on my phone, (if you haven’t got it, get it, it’s free and very handy for tricky vocabulary. I didn’t know the Catalan word “imant” meant “magnet” for example).

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have an MRI. Although I’d seen plenty of them on Casualty, I still turned to my Facebook mates in the group “I have a question” to find out what advice they had for me. “You have to stay still but don’t panic”, “make sure you go for a big wee beforehand”, “it’s quite noisy but it’s okay they give you earplugs”, and “I played an alphabet game in my head to distract me” were the four most key pieces of advice that played through my head (wishing I’d remembered the advice about the wee), as I lay down on the trolley and slowly slid into the tube. I fought off the temptation to have a panic attack when I realised that I was in an expensive coffin-like structure and started to write this column in my head.  My friends were right, it is noisy, but the sounds themselves are very much like what you would expect to hear coming from a teenager’s bedroom: a repetitive twanging guitar sound, one note only, a stuck record (vinyl, remember them, even older than my massive dictionary) and a jack hammer. Well, depends on the type of teenagers you know I suppose.

I’ll be back next week. (See what I did there?).

http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

Vicki McLeod 2014

From boys to men

Charlie and Orlando

Charlie and Orlando

I was never a brownie, or a guide, (I know, looking back that surprises me as well). But when I was a kid I just didn’t “get it”. I certainly didn’t want to dress up in an outfit that took its colour inspirations from the results of a bad curry and incredibly I didn’t want to join in. At all. Ever. What I wanted to do was be a cub, or a scout. But it wasn’t allowed, girls were not allowed to join. Which outraged my nine year old self. Now, as a grown up I can see the benefits of putting kids into single sex environments: I went to an all girls’ school which had the results of making me: a) totally useless around boys, which I suppose from a parents’ point of view is a bonus, and b) very good at spelling, with excellent exam results. The single sex environment worked up to the point where I finally DID discover boys, smoking, truancy and the fact that I could get into the centre of London on a tube pass and no one would notice as long as I was back in time for dinner. But that was thirty million years ago and times have changed. Now it seems to that it’s the boys who need help and encouragement to develop their skills and confidence. The problem being that there doesn’t seem to be a regular club or group which addresses these needs in a fun and suitable way for these boys who are growing into young men.

Sam Hyer wants to start a club for boys in the 10 -14 year age range on Saturdays in Mallorca. She is looking for someone who can act as a male mentor and who is available from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays. Sam also wants to get in touch with mums and dads, who are interested in getting involved and helping their boys become well rounded men, learn new skills, and would benefit from and enjoy having a male role model to look up to. “We will be inviting men to come and impart their skills to the future men of the world, such as carpentry, building dens, archery, etc. So, anyone that has a skill or anyone that would like to get involved or participate please get in contact!” There will be payment for the mentor which will be raised from donations from the mums and dads of the boys that attend. It is a non-profit project. You can contact Sam on 627 262 210

http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

Vicki McLeod 2014