Santa and all of his elves at The Olive Tree | Vicki McLeod

Operation Papa Noel

The team at SOS Calvia continues to impress me with their kindness, dynamism and good cheer. Just last week they organised a pre-Christmas party for families that they help in Calvia with the generous support of The Olive Tree and Origin in Palma Nova and Europ Foods.

Father Christmas was at the party to hand out presents to the children, but not just any old random present. These kids had written their notes to him, and their wishes were granted by generous members of the public who pledged to buy the individual gifts such as a Barbie or a basketball.

The SOS Calvia team with some of the happy families at The Olive Tree.

“We had more people who wanted to buy presents than we had children!” I was told by one of the volunteers at the party. “The people of Calvia have been very generous and we are very happy that we can help others who are struggling to make ends meet this winter.”

SOS Calvia is a citizen’s initiative which was set up as a response to the economic crisis that we have faced since the C-19 pandemic first began. They support people with food and other donations as they need. If you are in need then contact them and they will do their best to help you as well. Visit for more information.

The end of an era

Ten years ago Kay Halley looked online for a little business that she could take on in Mallorca and her eye fell upon the Universal Bookshop. “I instantly knew that I would buy it” she told me when I visited her in the shop last week to pick up some presents for Christmas. Kay brought a ray of sunshine to the Bookshop when she took it over, pouring her imagination and personal style into the business, making it a fun place for people to go to pick up the latest novel or just pop in for a chat.

The shelves are emptying and the bookshop is closing

Through the bookshop Kay has been a huge supporter of local artists and creators: whether writers, painters, card makers or knitters, Kay has used her shop as a platform for these people to get their work to the public.

Plus she has also contributed enormously to local schools through her assistance in creating libraries for them, and in running her own lending library for children to encourage them to read. Another of Kay’s achievements has been the founding of The Wednesday Club which is a craft group dedicated to knitting and crocheting items for charity. She also penned a weekly column in this very paper about the latest books to be released.

But now, after ten years serving the local people of Portals Nous, Kay has closed her doors for the last time as she closed finally on Christmas Eve. True to her nature Kay has been supporting the Lions Club of Calvia by donating hundreds of books to them and helping them organise their second hand book department at their shop in Palma Nova, so you will still be able to get your hands on books in English. Plus I did hear about a bookshop opening up in Santa Catalina…

Kay came from a background of working for community groups. She can turn her hand to so many things, from carpentry to stained glass windows. Now, when she moves back to her home town of Bristol she will set up another business, this time making bespoke garden accessories such as bird tables.

Best of luck my friend, Portals will not be the same. Many people living in Majorca benefitted from your cheerful and positive energy, your fun personality and your caring nature. You will be very missed.

Rocky postponed

After the sad postponement of my white collar boxing match, I needed something else to keep me on the straight and narrow with my training. I had heard of a terrifying competition called the Hyrox which includes eight kilometres of running, interspersed with eight separate movements: pushing and pulling a heavy object, skiing, rowing, burpees, wall balls, lunges and carrying a heavy object.

Some of the CrossFit Mallorca Hyrox team

Quite a few of the people that I train with at CrossFit Mallorca had announced that they were going to do the event in Madrid, so I thought to myself “Okay then, I will sign up for that.” There then followed many dedicated sessions to work on my fitness, and some very pleasing weight loss (yay! Although I have to say it does help if you give up drinking, which I did).

I teamed up with my friend and colleague Silke Hulser who is a hairdresser at Cap Hair in Port Andratx and we did the event as a team. I’m so grateful for her as without her I would not have finished it. The event in Madrid was very well organised, intensely challenging and ultimately very satisfying. It was also great fun to travel with a group of friends and support each other doing daft things like running.

If you are looking for a fitness challenge for 2022 then I can recommend it. Talk to the guys at about getting ready for the next events which are in Germany, the UK, Austria, and the Netherlands, with the final in Vegas Baby in May. Meanwhile, if you would like to be part of a white collar boxing match then get in touch with me at the paper and let’s make it happen!

Happy New Year everyone, enjoy yourselves and relax a little. January 1st it all begins again! Vicki x