There have been so many celebrations during lockdown: Mothers’ Day, Easter, wedding anniversaries, and of course birthdays, many, many of those. One very special girl will be celebrating her birthday today on May 13th and I wanted to wish her a very happy one.
This is Alexandra Clarke, her mum Anna is a member of the Facebook group Majorca Mallorca, At Home Together (www.facebook.com/groups/MajorcaMallorca) which is now at about 2,400 members! About a month ago, in deepest lockdown, I received a message one day from Anna Clarke asking if I thought it would be okay if her daughter Alexandra went live and read stories for children. Oh course I said yes! What a great idea, and what a nice thought. It was extremely difficult for kids during the total lockdown when they were not allowed outside at all so the idea that she would want to connect with other children via social media, but in a safe and controlled way via her mother, seemed to me to be a great idea.
Alexandra started to read “Live on Facebook”, something which a lot of grown ups have struggled to do, every couple of days. She hops into the group at about 5pm and reads a story, often from the Ballerina Stories, or sometimes a title for children who are younger. She always tells her story very considerately, stopping to show the camera the drawings on each page of her book. I find her charming and I’m sure her parents Anna and David from Crocodile Estates in Santa Ponsa, must be extremely proud of her. Then I heard a rumour that this sweetie was going to be having a lockdown birthday so I called her up and interviewed her and today this page is dedicated to her.
Alexandra goes to the French school in Palma. There are 28 other children in her class and she really misses them at the moment. “I do get to see them online everyday, but it is really fun when we are all together,” she tells me. Having been born in Switzerland and then moving to Majorca when she was seven Alexandra speaks four languages, French and English fluently, and Spanish and Catalan. What does she like about Majorca? The weather, and the waterparks (especially Katmandu in Magalluf), and Pirates Adventure.
Alexandra, along with the majority of kids on the island are being homeschooled currently which leaves a lot of time for other things. “I have been doing arts and crafts with my sister, Isabella who is 4.
She is really fun and always wants to play! I video call my cousin and play with her. I play Monopoly with my sister and my mum and dad and I like to read.” What do you enjoy reading? I ask her, “The School for Good and Evil” she tells me. (I look it up afterwards, It is a fantasy fairytale series by Soman Chainani which is set in a fictional location known as the Endless Woods.it follows the adventures of best friends Sophie and Agatha at the school where children are trained to become fairytale heroes or villains, respectively. Apparently there is ALWAYS a happy ending, as there should be!).
Why did you want to start reading to the other kids? “I wanted to do something and my mum said I could do it in the group. I chose the Ballerina Stories because I really liked it when my mum and dad got it for me when I was younger.” How do you feel when you read? “Happy”, she says simply. I ask her about her birthday, what were your plans? “Originally I was going to be going to Pirates Adventure to watch the show and have fun with my grandparents. But the show is cancelled because of the virus and my grandparents Jimmy and Carol are in England”. So what will you do instead? “I will do my schoolwork, and maybe we will go out in the afternoon to a cafe my mum said.” Quite a letdown I feel especially for someone like Alexandra who counts down the days to her birthday. Anna, her mum, tells me that they will have a raclette.
“It is her favourite thing to eat, it is melted fondue served with potatoes, pickles and cold meats, she loves it”. I wonder to myself if there is anything else I, the Majorca Daily Bulletin, Pirates Adventure or Katmandu can do to help cheer up this lovely girl… But, in the meantime, any last message from Alexandra? “Not really, just that I am missing everyone, my friends and family, and I hope to see them really soon!”: Happy birthday Alexandra Clarke, you lockdown legend.