Miss W’s blog: Never too old
The second weekend in May is always my favourite time of year in my neighbourhood of Dalt Vila. The entire fortress and surrounding parts of the lower town are transformed with colourful flags, markets and food stalls for the annual Eivissa Medieval festival. The event is a tribute to Dalt Vila’s UNESCO World Heritage List status, and for four whole days it feels like stepping back in time. To the days when things were simpler…
When I think about it, those days weren’t actually that long ago. I clearly didn’t live in medieval times (if I did, my skin looks amazing), but I definitely had an active imagination as a kid and those were the times when all one had to worry about was slaying dragons, rescuing fairy princesses, avoiding goblins and dancing in the streets (in my mind I was always more of a superhero than a damsel in distress). And it occurred to me, as I was strolling the cobbled streets, with a flower crown in my hair, eating a big bag of colourful jelly sweets – why should things change, just because I’ve gotten taller and earned a whole lot more responsibility?
After all, you should never be too old to indulge in some good old fashioned fun – especially in Ibiza! With that in mind, I hit the medieval fair this year with the mindset that age is just a number. When I saw a magic wand, complete with streamers and glitter – I bought it. When I saw toffee apples on display in the sweet stands, they had to be mine (and just like when I was little, I took two bites then got bored with the awkwardness of such a treat). When a man asked me if I wanted a name embossed on a pretty little cartoon plaque for the bedroom door, I thought why not? He probably thought the name was for my unseen child… nope. Just me!
It might be worth pointing out at this point, the one amazing thing about being a (semi) responsible adult at a fair like this was not having to ask my mum to buy me everything and constantly be told no! I wanted it, I bought it! Pretty little ceramic fairies that dangle from the roof. Teensy bunches of rainbow coloured wooden flowers scented with rose oil. A bag full of bright, colourful jellies that later made me a bit queasy. A medieval soldiers helmet and wooden sword – OK, I drew the line at that one. After all, when you’re slaying imaginary dragons, surely condoning violence is not necessary – though they were super cute!
On top of my little burst of retail therapy, there were also the many animals to gawk at. I know, I know. I can hear so many of you Ibiza animal lovers already thinking, keeping animals in captivity for entertainment is cruel. Maybe. But send your mind back to the age of about seven, and remember just how amazing it was to be allowed to hold a real live owl on your wrist. To see giant eagles and sleek falcons at an arm’s length away from your face. Not to mention seeing geese and donkeys being herded through the streets at regular intervals, or the equestrian games outside the fortress walls. My phone is full of hundreds of photos I’ll probably never look at again!
While you can never be too old for the Medieval Festival, there are actually some things you can be too young for, so again I was grateful for my grown-up status when faced with the copious amounts of beer and wine on offer, complemented by very grown-up plates of meat, glorious meat. Roast legs of ham (with crackling!), spicy chorizo, charcoal cooked chicken, succulent ribs, hearty steaks… I don’t remember enjoying these foods as a child, but I certainly do now! It still didn’t stop me from ordering a ration of the kid’s favourite crispy hand cut potato crisps every night however.
The only thing I couldn’t do at the Medieval Festival, sadly, was the pony ride. In that case, while age might not have been an issue, I think the poor pony would have been crippled under my weight and height!