They’re called the days of La Calma, those astonishing January days in Mallorca when it feels like summer or at least spring has arrived. This week the island has seen some especially beautiful weather, with clear blue skies and temperatures, according to one friend of mine, as high as 24 degrees.
I’ve always been amused by the Facebook posts that accompany those balmy La Calma days. Someone on the island will post a photo of the landscape around Deia, themselves on an otherwise empty beach or basking outside a bar, let’s say. This will be followed by a flurry of responses from friends all over northern Europe complaining that it’s snowing, hailing golf balls or raining cats and dogs where they are.
At times like these, I usually remember – with a degree of smugness – a quote from the great Scottish comedian Billy Connor. He says ‘I hate all those weathermen, too, who tell you that rain is bad weather. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing’.
Resisting the ‘gloatagraph’
I call those kind of photos ‘gloatagraphs’ because, whether it’s subconscious or not, the poster is really saying ‘look at this, isn’t my life wonderful’. I read recently that people who use Facebook are something like 26% unhappier than people who don’t because they’re convinced everyone’s having a better time than them. Though how the survey figured that out, I can’t imagine. I thought of this when I watched my Deia friend Daniel Alzamora-Dickin, AKA the Bliss Mystic, live in one of those new Facebook film things.
Daniel was outside with his shirt off playing some sort of drum in a lush green garden bordered by trees. Behind him the sun shone in a sky of the purest blue. At that moment, he really did look like the Bliss Mystic. It was 24 January and I was sitting in an apartment in Hungary writing – or trying to – watching big fat snowflakes float down outside the window.
At that moment, I’d have said that Daniel’s level of sheer happiness was several thousand percent higher than mine.
Right then, it didn’t matter that I know those lazy, hazy days of La Calma don’t last. It also didn’t matter that I like being off the island in winter, in apartments designed for cold weather, eating food packed with fat, salt or sugar to keep me warm. I like the fact that the weather is never a distraction, unless there’s a freak flood or something.
I missed Mallorca terribly. My longing to be on the island was compounded by the fact that Llewelyn Graves has started up his wonderful Wake Up Dance sessions in Deia on Saturday mornings. Llewelyn told me that, as far as he knows, Wake Up Dance will continue every Saturday for the foreseeable future, which is great news for those of us who’ve come to love kickstarting our weekend by leaping around. So far, this year’s Wake Up Dance sessions have attracted exactly 50 people each – the perfect number for dancing.
This year, Llewelyn and his friends are inviting dancers to go on a communal hike at the end of the dancing. ‘It’s about tightening bonds,’ he says. ‘We go to a beautiful place and form a circle where we share whatever’s on our minds and talk about what the community needs.’
Apart from this welcome addition, the formula will be the one we all know and love. Llewelyn will play an eclectic mix of hot, steamy sounds from Brazil, the Caribbean and New Orleans mixed in with reggae, disco, dance and whatever he feels like.
If you’ve been to Wake Up Dance before, you’ll know how madly fantastic it is. If you haven’t, go! You won’t be disappointed.
Wake Up Dance is at Sa Tanca on the main street in Deia, just up from Sa Fonda, and starts at 11.30. Although it will happen every Saturday, next week is the exception but Llewelyn is DJing at Manifestació a Deia at 11.30 on Sunday 4 February in Deia amphitheatre.