There is a captivating quality to the light in Mallorca – it’s similar throughout the Mediterranean. The particular blue of the sky and sea, the pale biscuit colour of the mountains, the trees (pine, palm, olive, citrus, poplar, oak), the flowers (bougainvillea, hibiscus, jasmine, oleander), the buildings (white, ochre or terracotta). It switches something in my brain from alert, slightly tense and fractious to calm, laid-back and easy going. Sitting outside a cafe in the main square of Pollensa on the first day we were here, I felt a rising bubble inside and had to suppress a laugh of pure joy in case my family thought I’d lost the plot. I grinned instead. They didn’t ask why I was smiling – they were smiling, too.
It’s seven years since we last visited Mallorca. In the intervening years, we’ve moved house, renovated a house, changed jobs, all three children have become teenagers and one of them is now an adult. I am happy that, although they’re still embarrassed by us and roll their eyes and walk at a discreet distance, they still wanted to come on holiday with us.
Surprising things about holidaying with teenagers:
1. They lift and carry suitcases happily and with ease.
2. They are undemanding on the plane (as long as their devices are fully charged).
3. They sleep in late which means you get a couple of hours of total peace and quiet in the mornings, listening to the birds, and you have the pool to yourself.
4. Sleeping in late means staying up late, so we go out and eat later which is more in keeping with the locals.
5. There’s a lot less bickering in the pool and a lot more lying in the sun. Quietly.
6. I don’t have to spend an hour trying to slather sunscreen onto wriggling bodies.
7. One of them cooked dinner the other evening.
When they were small, a holiday wasn’t a holiday – it was a similar routine but in a different place, albeit with better weather. Now they are teenagers, yes, there are still clothes on the floor (although the possibility of insects discourages this) and wet towels on beds but I don’t care! I am properly on holiday and making the most of it.
I hope all is well with you. Adios mis amigos.