Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Today we are in Mallorca or Majorca depending on how you want to spell it, an island off the coast of Spain. Although it belongs to Spain, and the language is Spanish, the locals tend to think of themselves as Majorcans first, then Spaniards. The island is famous for pearls (hubbie brought me back a set from a long ago Navy cruise), oranges, mountains, and the hot beautiful seaside settings. I can certainly understand where Peter Kerr got the title of this delightful little book I read last week while I was packing. Actually, I listened to the audio (packing takes two hands) and was instantly transported to the land of manana. (wish I could figure out how to get the tilde over that n!). Any way...the sunshine here is bright, and the air does smell like oranges, and one has the instant desire to kick back, find a beach chair, smear on sun-screen, and doze off until manana. In addition to the setting, I found the story a fascinating follow-on to my reading last week of Pollan's In Defense of Food, where Pollan advocates as much as possible going back to old ways of growing, farming, etc. Peter Kerr's story of a couple from Scotland who purchase a rundown orange orchard on Mallorca, and uproot themselves and two teenage sons is amusing, and at the same time, rather inspiring. I admire someone who has the courage in mid-life to decide to give up a big riding deisel tractor, and revert to plowing behind a push-tractor. The advise from the local tree pruners, and donkey dung collectors, while probably excellent horticulturally, is related in Kerr's normal hilarious, tongue-in-cheek style. There are the usual stories that one finds in any book about ex-pats living in a foreign land- the language gaffes, the strange foods, the different customs, dealings with police etc. I got a good flavor of the Mediterranean. Now I'm off to sample the real thing.