Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Dazzling, musical night in Ca'n Reus

This week we saw the most successful concert of many that we have held in the entrada of Ca'n Reus over the last eleven years. Our great friend, pianist Philip Lange, who has now performed on twelve occasions at Ca'n Reus, was joined by the beautiful and talented flautist, Nadine Asin. Asin has played with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York and the New York Philharmonic and is recognised as one of the the most prominent flautists in the United States today.

Nadine and Philip rehearsing 

They played a programme of Bach, Schubert and Poulenc and the audience could not resist humming along to a perfect rendition of Danny Boy and a selection American musical favourites.

Sue (L), Phillip and Nadine (R) on the terrace after the performance

Artists and audience then spilled on to the terrace and, under a full moon, dined and chatted until midnight.

For the first time, we asked people to pay for the evening and we raised a fantastic 1600 euros for the orphanage in Romania of which Sue is a trustee
(friendsof childreninromania.org).

In all, a perfect evening.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

The Moors and the Christians

The valley is very quiet this morning - sleeping off hangovers and excitement from yesterday, the day of Es Firo, when the local people remember the day the Moors reached the town of Soller in 1561. The Moors were driven out of Spain, as every historian knows, by Ferdinand and Isabela in 1492.

But not so well known is the fact that they mounted dozens of attacks on the Balearic Islands for hundreds of years thereafter. They arrived at every port on the island - Plama, Alcudia, Pollensa, Andratx and all have similar festivities when they remember this historical affront.

But the best of them all is Es Firo in Soller - so put it in the diary for next year. It is always the second Monday in May. See you there!

Monday, 28 April 2014


You can be forgiven for asking yourself, "The Klu Klux Klan in Spain? Why?" Even though I have seen this spectacle several times since moving to Spain ten years ago, I still find it a chilling, scary sight. So, is there a connection? From research I carried out the morning after going down to Soller to watch the Easter Procession, I find there is apparently none.

The adoption of the long robes and the pointed hat in Spain, known as "capirote" goes back to mediaeval times and follows the costume adopted as a sign of penance in the "Nazareno" tradition, that is from Nazareth in the Holy Land. The masking, anonymising effect of the "capirote" is supposed to signify shame at sins committed in the past at a time when believers beg God’s forgiveness.

The Klu Klux Klan, on the other hand, dates  its origins back only to 1914. So why did the KKK founders adopt this strange garb? I can only speculate that one of them had witnessed this spectacle in Spain and thought, as I did, that it was scary - which is exactly the effect they wanted to portray as they sought to spread their  vile and racist message through the southern states of America and beyond.

So let's not confuse the two. I noted there were mothers and children as young as five taking part in the ceremony last night, hardly the types you associate with the KKK. The costume is bizarre, dramatic and seeped in the deeply religious traditions of Spain and nothing more.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Another successful Olive Weekend at Ca'n Reus 

We had a good turnout this year for our latest, the sixth Olive Weekend at Ca'n Reus.  Exactly 20 people came.

There were showers on Saturday but that did not put a dampner on the cookery class where we were shown how to perfect chocolate olive oil mousse (see the picture) by the Michelin star cooking team on the island.

Sunday was sunny for the annual St. Antonio Animal Festival in Fornalutx where horses galloped through the village and the priest blessed the animals who paused and stopped for his attention.

We walked to lunch at the Mirador, taking care to bless any animals we met on the way (see picture of Danny Woolf and her friends) and tucked in to magnificent Mallorquin fare - potato croquettes, suckling pig and almond cake.

Do book with us next time. The next Olive Weekend will be on October 31st. See you there!