Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Return to Palma, Mallorca

One thing I didn't expect on my first night was a huge fireworks display to greet me, but that is what I got!  I was lucky enough to have a room overlooking the harbour at the Hotel Costa Azul. 
 Of course the fabulous display wasn't really for me.  It was to celebrate Palma's patron saint - St. Sebastian.
 During the 1970s I worked in Mallorca for Cosmos as a Hotel Rep - sometimes called a courier.  The best bit of the job for me was guiding.  My first summer I was based in Alcudia in the north of the island where, due to a lack of official guides, we also guided the day trips so I got to know the island very well.  For the whole of my stay in Mallorca I guided the evening tours which made for very long hours.  No, I never again want to eat barbecued chicken!
 Strolling around Palma brought back to many memories.  The 'coach park' - a tract of land near the Cathedral in those days - is now paved over and is a part of the park in front  of the Cathedral which is mirrored in a vast lake.
 I wandered along to Plaza Gomila which was once the centre of night life with loads of restaurants and the entrance to Tito's Night Club.  That is where I saw some truly historic  performers - Bertice Redding who made me cry with her rendition of 'When a Man Loves a Woman' and that heroine of the French Resistance, Josephine Baker.  Even at the great age she then was the performance was spine tingling.
 Then of course there was that night during my first season when I lost the coach.  We came out of Tito's with all of the other coach parties, but no amount of searching produced our coach.  Eventually we were the only people left.  Obviously drastic action was needed.  I found taxis to take us back to Alcudia.  The coach driver's excuse?  He had a cousin in Palma and went to dinner with her family.  Yes, well, if you believe that.....
 In later years I was based just outside Palma in San Agustin and worked at a hotel called the Jumbo Park - the name was changed in the 1980s.  My favourite night off was to go into Palma for dinner at a Chinese restaurant (made a change from 2* hotel food), then to Rikki's Bar, followed by a drink and chat in the nightclub owned by Los Valldemossa (they who first recorded Viva Espana!).  From there it was down to Paseo Maritimo to a disco at the Palas Atenea.  Not so much to dance but to drink and chat to a friend (honestly, that's all he was) who worked at the bar.
 No, I'm not a kiss and tell kind of woman but I did kiss a lot of Spaniards - among others.
 Yes, I did enjoy the 1970s in Mallorca even if they did end with the years of the Lager Louts.  Which, of course, is why I left to go and work on a cruise ship in the Caribbean and have been addicted ever since to cruises, but that's another story.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Books, books and Books

At the moment my life seems to be full of books.  And I'm not just talking about the half-a-dozen or so that I get each week from the library.  (My reading matter is mostly crime with a few historical ones thrown in for good measure.)

I recently finished writing another crime novel which has turned into a police procedural so there is a lot more work to be done on that.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get some help from my local police.

In the meantime I am reading through the manuscript of another of my books so that I can prepare it for electronic publishing on AMAZON.  This is also a crime novel but with a large dose of nostalgia as it is set in 1958 - a time I remember well as I was still in my teens.

As if that isn't enough, I have begun writing another book. This is especially for 'Cleo' fans as it features the colourful heroine of "Homicide in Hampshire".

So far as the two e-published books are concerned (Homicide in Hampshire and Writing Can Be Murder), the December sales figures are now in and both sold well.  Many thanks to all of you who bought them.  And, of course, I hope you enjoyed them.

Do remember that you can also download these books onto your computer, I-Pad (Apple), Kobo (W.H.Smith), Nook (Barnes & Noble), Sony e-Book or Diesel eBook, via Smashwords.


Monday, 9 January 2012

Easter - already?

On checking the figures for www.thetravleditor.com I see that people are beginning to read my Easter-related articles.  Which has got me thinking about the seasons and shopping.  Have you seen that Easter Eggs are already on sale?

In the UK we are still in midwinter, but spring clothes are appearing in the shops, in spring it will be summer clothes and so on.  With our unpredictable weather we don't want to buy new clothes pre-season.  Which is probably why most clothes end up 'on sale'.  I suspect that the 'sale' prices are what should be the 'right' prices.  If you get my drift.

What always amused me when I lived in Florida was that Buyers - especially for the large companies - never took the temperatures into consideration.  Imagine temps in the 80s (26c) and 90s (32c) and shops trying to sell winter woollies and fun fur coats.  I expect people living in the northern States shiver even more in the winter when summer clothes go on sale.


The Easter articles I mentioned?  One is about a Spring Festival in Slovenia, another is only loosely connected to Easter - it is about the Samba Schools of Rio (great pictures of samba dancers).  The third is an Easter one and tells of the Parades through Florence on Easter Sunday which is on April 8th.

In a couple of week's time I will be in Palma, Mallorca - where I lived for many years.  It will be interesting to see the changes.   

To read these three articles log to www.thetraveleditor.com/authors/6261/Barbara_Bothwell/