The coin pictured below is a 25 peseta coin – it was known as cinco duros – here is its’ significance in my up and down World.
Once again my life changed dramatically in 1985. If you read Life is just a lovely journey! in this section you may begin to understand the madness of it all.
Firstly I realised without doubt that I was not going to get settled down and have children like all my older siblings. I had known from an early age but it was buried very deep within my psyche and in my 25th year I finally accepted the simple truth. Up to that point I had been living a lie and it was only the freedom of being away from my rural background that lifted the veil of deceit that clouded my senses. I had bowed to peer pressure and been out with women someone of them whom I adored but as one of them once said “I only know 99% of you” the truth struck a chord deep within my soul. The missing 1% was my secret so I vowed from then on not to live a lie – I had also fallen head over heels in love fully for the time in my life.
He was older than me by some 19 years but very charming and charismatic – and I fell hook, line and sinker. I was introduced to him by a customer from the restaurant named Angela who being kind thought I needed to meet more people – maybe she knew my proclivities, I don’t know – so we went out for a drink to the small hotel the man owned. I was completely captivated and two nights later I went there on my own and the rest is just history. An affair had begun!
For the first time in my life I felt totally alive. It was as if the removal of the burden I had carried for all those years released a wild and uncontrollable beast that had been festering inside me for as long as I could remember. I was impetuous, random, emotional, vibrant, naive, raw and on reflection I know I made mistakes and hurt people during that time but not once was it deliberate or intentional – I have never hurt anyone deliberately in my life – quite simply I was out of control as if the past needed redemption. Some I have been told still harbour resentment towards me and I understand why but not one of them knew what I was going through at that time. Nothing during the last couple of years in Mallorca was intentional and I feel sorry that folk hold on to such bitterness for so long – no-one is perfect and we all make mistakes. I am unapologetic about this time in my life as I knew not who I was or what my World really meant.
I was so enamoured with my new ‘beau’ that I left my managers job to go and work for him at his hotel. It proved to be a mistake but life’s lessons are always more meaningful in retrospect. I think I was seven months into the ‘affair d’amour’ when his business partner returned from the UK where he had been looking after his elderly, failing Mother. I soon found out that he was not just a business partner but in fact his life partner of 25 years. Too entrenched to do anything I remained there for a number of months, even joining them on a cruise to South Africa. However the whole ‘menage a trois’ was doomed to fail and so it did in early 1986.
I am not sure what prompted the argument that ended the sorry state of affairs but eventually I lost my temper which is a rare and purifying thing – all my angst is released, vented without inhibition. The last conversation I had with the older partner went thus – he said “If you walk out now you will have nothing.” To which I replied ” Yes I will, but I will having something you will never have – and that is called integrity!”
Duly, I collected my meager belongings and walked out – and he was right, I had nothing apart from my pride and integrity. Literally all I had was a 100 peseta coin that had a hole in it and was on a chain around my neck along with a St Christopher pendant.
I had nowhere to go and nowhere to live but such is fate, such is life – everything changed. I went to a small local bar run by a Mother and Son partnership. I had helped them out previously translating some Spanish stuff so I ordered a drink and took the 100 peseta coin off the chain from around my neck. I asked David, the son, if he would change it up for four 25 peseta coins additionally asking him for his Mothers’ phone number. I used one cinco duro, 25 pesetas – to call her.
His mum Mickie answered and I just asked if she could help me out – I was living illegally in Spain as my paperwork was not correct so would she help me get it all sorted? Her reply was an emphatic “Yes, as long as you come and work for me!” Bingo, not only had I got a job but I would be legally living in Spain. Buoyed by this tiny success I put the last 3 cinco duros into the slot machine that stood next to the phone – and yup, when your luck is in, I dropped the jackpot of 1,000 pesetas. Such are the vagaries of my time here on Earth. This good fortune allowed me to rent a room and live until I received my first wage packet. Angela, bless her, spoke to her husband Jaime who promptly offered me a job in his Piano Bar from 10pm to 2am and I was back in the ascendancy. It was a tough time working two jobs but they eventually got me back on my feet.
Fast forward to 2018 and I am celebrating my 60th year. I have always promised JP that I would take him to Mallorca as Palma is such a beautiful destination. As chance would have it our adopted daughter (although she decided to adopt us) won a raffle prize worth 500 euros to be spent in Mallorca so we booked flights for a short break and Alison booked a hotel – Fabi another mutual friend also tagged along. The pictures below detail part of our adventure there particularly the train journey from the centre of Palma to the Port of Soller – we had an absolute blast!
Now the weird is here. A week before we were due to depart JP and I were working in a small cafe/bistro. The owners had decided to move to another unit close by and were having renovations completed. As the builders took out an old air conditioning unit a coin fell onto the terrace below. Thinking I had dropped lucky and found a 2 euro coin, I was astonished on cleaning the the coin that in fact it was a 25 peseta coin – cinco duros. I keep it on my desk to this day as a talisman to the crazy World I live in – and there it is….at the top of the page!
Fabi and Ali with JP and I sat behind – on the train from Palma to Soller.
The amazing Seu Cathedral overlooking the bay of Palma
The stunning view as you arrive in the Port of Soller.