It was World Book Day this week.


For some of us it is just that Groundhog Day feeling, but for a lot of children today is going to feel a bit like Christmas Eve because tomorrow on Sunday April 26 they will finally be allowed outside for a walk, a run and a play. I have a strong feeling that even if it is raining the proverbial cats and dogs that every single kid will be chomping on the bit to get out!

In the Facebook group we’ve been trying our best to share ideas to keep kids and adults busy and entertained, allow them to feel part of a community and to feel like they are not on their own. I’m very pleased with how the group has developed and we are certainly making a difference to how people in Majorca, and internationally, have been coping. If you use Facebook then please do join us, and don’t forget to follow the Majorca Daily Bulletin page as well to stay up to date with news when you can’t get to a paper.

This week it was St George’s Day, Shakespeare’s Birthday and World Book Day all on the same day so we had a fun time in the group discussing and recommending books to each other. I suggested that we could read a passage from a book we liked live in the group, and, yes I did do it, I read the opening pages of “A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy” by Douglas Adams which is one of my all time favourites. Hopefully more people will follow suit, I know some of the group members are now practising their best Jackanory voices and asking their phones if they are sitting comfortably so I have high hopes of some more internet readings to come.

Another thing which we have been sharing is recipes, and I intend to cover this in more detail next week as we have had some very talented home bakers and professional chefs alike sharing their tips and tricks. There haven’t been many topics that have not been touched on in the group over the past weeks, although no one has yet offered to teach me how to trim a fringe or complete that “smokey eye” makeup look that if I attempt I just end up looking like a panda. Never mind, we have found our way, and I hope the group will continue long after the lockdown is over because there is a genuine feeling of camaraderie and support from each other that I believe we have all enjoyed, as well as mind bending quizzes!

This weekend we are having a dance competition online, and a big Saturday night quiz as well, so get involved if you think you would enjoy this kind of silliness. Next week I am thinking of starting an Elevenses Zoom chat everyday so that we can all just have a cup of tea together and a slice of something nice.

A mind bending quizA mind bending quiz. Photo: Vicki McLeod

I am finding as well that the same camaraderie is spilling out into the streets around me. This morning we had a complete power cut and everyone leaned out of their windows at the same time and yelled “Que pasa? Tienes electricidad?” What’s up, do you have electricity? Nope, we all shook our heads, and for some reason because we were all in it together, it was okay to sit and twiddle your thumbs and wait for the lecky to be switched back on. Will we continue to be as friendly to each other when we go back to our everyday lives? I wonder if we will ever return to our “everyday lives” as the social distancing and rules around what we can and cannot do seem to be stretching into the future.

Rumours abound about when the airports will allow national and international flights again, whilst some small businesses will certainly not reopen once the lockdown is over. So now is the time to address and find what we really do want to keep out of this mess. One of the things I think I will introduce into the group over the coming weeks are some easy workshops for businesses to learn to market themselves better, sponsoring competitions in the group for example has brought a lot of attention to these small local businesses, plus of course the generous mentions in the Majorca Daily Bulletin have raised their profiles considerably.

I want to share with you a recipe that Judith, my mother in law, left me before she and my father in law did a runner back to the UK two days after we got locked down. They had been on holiday and ended up being flown out on an “emergency flight” and are now safely at home in Newent. She wrote it on a piece of cardboard which I have kept on our kitchen blackboard, and it is an extremely easy and satisfying recipe to make.

Judith’s Tea Loaf

A tad burnt, but still deliciousA tad burnt, but still delicious. Photo: Vicki McLeod

  • 10oz mixed fruit
  • 7 oz dark brown sugar
  • ½ pint cold black tea
  • 1 egg
  • 10 oz self raising flour
  • 1 lined and oiled loaf tin

Combine the fruit (use raisins, sultanas, whatever dried fruit you have) with the sugar (again, if you don’t have the nice brown sugar, use whatever you have) and add the cold tea into a bowl. (I also add a teaspoon of cinnamon which is not in her original recipe). Leave this concoction to sit overnight. The next day, or the day after it doesn’t matter too much although you may find the fruit has absorbed all of the tea and you may have to add a little water, turn on the oven to 160°C to preheat it. Mix the self raising flour, (if you don’t have SR flour then use the same weight in plain flour and add 4 teaspoons of baking powder) and the egg into the fruit/sugar/tea mixture until all the flour is covered. Pour it into the loaf tin and put it in the oven for about an hour, ish. I left mine too long so it’s a tad burnt on top, but it was still delicious with a bit of butter on it. Simple and yummy. Perfect with a cup of tea and a Zoom chat. Enjoy.