San Antonio celebration will continue into next week.

By Angie Guerreo

TO all friends and residents of Majorca, a truly important issue this week to begin my column.
On the 25 May 2014, you will  be able to exercise your right to vote, in the European Elections. Your vote will make a difference, BUT in order to be allowed to do so at the polling station, you need to ensure that you are registered on the Electoral Roll, ( CENSO ELECTORAL ) at your Town Hall  on or before  the 30 January.  
If you have voted in the European Elections in the past, don’t worry,  you need not register again, as you will already be included on the CENSO.
If you are unsure of your situation please check, with your relevant Town Hall Please bear in mind that the PADRON and the CENSO are two different things.
It is essential that you do not lose this vital opportunity to use your vote and have a voice.
The international community of these islands can be a force to be reckoned with.
We play a huge part in the way things are run here, BUT we have to make our opinion count!
The results of these elections will have an impact on many aspects of our lives here in Majorca and will affect us at National Government, Regional Government, and  Local Government levels.
All aspects of our day to day lives can be affected by this decision, issues such as the economy, tourism,  employment, the health service and education.
A large percentage of the laws and regulations under which we live, originate in Brussels, so whoever represents us there  has to be the right man or woman for the job!
If you are unsure of, your situation check, with your Town Hall.  If you are in Calviá and need further information, please do not hesitate to call Sally on 971 139184 or myself Angie on 617386797 and we will help. As you read this there are only 13 days left to register. PLEASE REGISTER this is our future!

AS I  walk around the municipality on my “get fit” regime, I am taking notice of lots of things that one tends to notice on foot but not whilst driving. Not the most pleasant of topics, but dog excrement on the pavements and walkways is getting worse. I often receive complaints about this issue. In fact one lady from Portals brought me a petition with hundreds of signatures.
In these cases the only action that I can, and do, take, is to inform Calviá 2000 (who do a great cleaning up job), and of course the Local Police who have the power to reiterate and enforce the local laws.
This, of course, is akin to bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted. What we need here is prevention and awareness raising.
Yes there are dogs wandering around with no owners which can not be taught good toilet manners, but there are many owners who simply allow their canine friends to do their business and just walk away.
It is so infuriating, why can’t dog owners (many are very good)  step up to the plate and take a plastic bag with them? It really is very simple.
We have asked the Local Police here to enforce fines and that can be very costly to negligent pet walkers, so this is a call for some changes. It is our environment, let’s keep it clean.
 Still on the subject of doggies. Whilst I am walking I am accompanied by my Dalmatian, Luna, which is loving all the extra exercise. She is always on a lead, as that too is the law, at least here in Calviá.
 The only time she is allowed off the lead is in my garden, but in the public domain NEVER.
So another thing that “gets my goat” (is that a Geordie saying ? ) is when people walk their dogs with no lead. The canines in question often bound over to Luna, which feels threatened as she is on a lead, and so she growls. Then the people have the audacity to say to me, your dog is growling!!  I have no wish to run into conflict with anyone, but please abide by the law and keep your pets on a lead.
I have lately seen people walking several dogs all at once, on a lead. I saw this in Palma and in Palmanova and in Son Ferrer. I was informed that they are professional dog walkers,  really? If they were truly professional they would abide by the local laws and walk the stipulated maximum amount of dogs (which I believe is three) at any one time. Surely walking six dogs at a time is irresponsible. What if something goes wrong and they all escape and get lost? What if the Police stop you, fine you and put the animals in the dog pound?  
As a nation of dog lovers we want to do what is right by our pets, and that involves not breaking the rules and  being irresponsible!
If indeed you use a dog walking service, please check with your walker that they have a maximum number to walk  and that they are covered by a public liability insurance. If they are genuine they will not mind you asking them that at all.
I attended a meeting this week at Calvia dog pound. Changes there are slow, but sure and we are working more closely with the SOS animal protection society in order to make things run more smoothly at the dog pound and make life more comfortable for the animals.
One of the fab things planned for this year in Calviá is designated pet areas. This is for people who do not have a garden or a place to let their pooch run loose, to be able to take them to a proper place and let them have a good run.
These areas will be fenced off from the public areas and have park benches, poo bag dispensers and bins.
I think this  is a wonderful initiative, especially given what I have just said above about keeping them on leads, this will provide a safe, and fit for purpose places for them to run free.
That said I hope that owners will abide by the rules and use the bags provided. We will get there in the end!
To finish off the canine section of today, I am going to list local rules and regulations as a reminder.

Provide food, water, shelter and care for your pet.
Have your pet microchipped so an easy identification is possible.
Indoor dogs must be walked and given fresh air very regularly.
Dogs found wandering the streets should be reported to the Local Police or the dog shelter.
Owners of potentially dangerous dogs must have the relevant licenses and the animal should wear a muzzle whilst walking in public areas.
Always pick up and dispose of your dog’s excrement.
Always walk your dog on a lead in public areas.

Do not leave your pet tied up.
Do not leave your dog all day in a place with no shelter or shade from the weather.
Don’t leave your dog outside all day.
Do not allow your pet to wander the streets alone.
Do not let your pet run in childrens’ parks or on the beach.
Do not abandon, inflict harm, or be cruel in any way to your pet.
Pets should not be subjected to physical or psychological abuse.

MOVING on from puppy love to people love. It is definitely in the air as I have been inundated with requests to marry people since the start of the year. I guess there were lots of lovely proposals over the Christmas period.
For your information I personally can only legally marry people in the municipality of Calviá although in certain cases I have done legal ceremonies here and then attended symbolic ceremonies in other areas. The requirement for a Calviá wedding are as follows :-
Both partners and their two witnesses must be in possession of a fully valid passport or identity card.
At least one of the couple must be registered in Calviá unless special permission is sought at the office of the justice of the peace.
Officially translated birth certificates and divorce from previous marriage papers are required (if the divorce thing is applicable).
Leave a MINIMUM period of 2-3 months for the paperwork to go through the right channels.
For further information Marta and Sally can help on 971 139184/5.
I love weddings!

SOME  of  you will already have held your local San Antonio celebrations in your close knit communities. Typical activities at San Antonio time are street parties, barbecues, fireworks and more. By the time you read this many local areas will have done theirs, but still pending are the following, over the weekend, and into next week.

Sunday 19 January
Es Capdella. Plaza sa Vinya at 7pm.
Calviá Beneides at 12 noon.
Capdella church at 7pm.

Monday 20 January
Es Capdella  procession after the church mass.

Wednesday 22 January
Calvia village Llar ( home for elderly ) at 5pm.

Friday 24 January
Galatzó Plaza Francisca Revert at 7pm.

FINALLY a word on Robert Burns the famous Scot. On 25 January, Scottish residents all over the island will be celebrating “Rabbie Burns suppers”. Now I am told that to be homage to “ The Baird” there needs to be a certain protocol carried out. Such as the addressing of the haggis, the toast to the laddies, the toast too to the lassies and many more speeches of honour in the name of Scotland’s famous son. A typical Burns Supper will be carried out at ARFURS BAR in Magalluf, on the Saturday 25th, which is actually Burns day. For 10€ you can look forward to a hearty Scottish supper of homemade soup, Haggis with neeps and tatties, and maybe a wee bit of Scottish tablet. I am honoured to be asked again to help officiate the ceremony. OK I am not a Scot, but I am a Geordie and that’s just over the border. So with the help of one of my Scottish pals, who has to help me stab the haggis, I will do my very best. The tartan wrap is already out of my wardrobe. See you at the BURNS SUPPER !

Have a good weekend all
Angie x