Doesn’t time just fly when we’re having fun here in Ibiza? Another year has flown by and Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. Love Day, V.Day, Saint Val’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, Singles Appreciation Day, The Hallmark Holiday – whatever you call it (personally I have always thought of it as my mother’s birthday!), the day is approaching when couples all over the world feel compelled (or perhaps pressured) into publicly displaying their love for one another, through flowers, gifts, dinners, trips, proposals – you know the drill. And so, today, like many other bloggers around the world, I find myself in the position of needing to write some obligatory V-Day waffle… Mmmm, waffles.
Have I ever told you how much I love waffles? They weren’t really a breakfast staple where I grew up, so when I first travelled to the USA, I became a HUGE fan of waffles, especially when they were part of a high-end hotel’s breakfast buffet. You could say it was love at first bite (sorry!). That crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside batter, those perfectly shaped hollow squares just waiting to soak up gloops of silky sweet maple syrup (interestingly, another condiment I had never tried in my home country – thank you good ole US of A for that one too!). Sure, you can put some strawberries on top to make them look beautiful, maybe a dollop of cream or some powdered sugar, but waffles in their most basic form are indeed a beautiful thing.
Perhaps a heart-shaped waffle would make the ideal Valentine’s Day breakfast? In the absence of The Giri Café (whose wonderful waffles are pictured above, but don’t open until March, I wonder if I put a special request in to my dear friend Lana Love (I mean really – LOVE is in her name, how can she say no?), the creator of Ibiza’s legendary Passion Cafes, for a heart shaped brunch waffle, if she could have her chefs whip it up for me? Now that – that would be love. After all, people can show love to those who aren’t their significant other. In fact, we do it all the time – it’s just not given a name or a special date to celebrate it on. Whether it’s kindness to another human being, showing compassion when someone else needs it, paying attention to how your friends are REALLY feeling (not just how they appear on social media), taking a homeless pooch for a walk, helping someone out when they need it – in my humble opinion, these things also fall under the love umbrella.
So today, as V-Day approaches, I think we should all focus more on the everyday kinds of love that takes place in our lives. Not the kind that involves dating, or diamond rings, or decadent dinners, or even a partner. But the kind that happens just while life is passing you by. It could be the love you feel when you get out of your car and realise you park in one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites every day (OK, maybe that’s just me and a handful of others, but I’m trying to paint a picture here). Or the love you feel when a stray cat lets you stop and stroke it (is that one just me too?). Maybe’s it’s the love you feel when you take that first bite of Vegemite toast in the morning (you can replace it with Marmite if you’re one of THOSE people) and feel like you are eating a slice of heaven.
I feel love all around me in Ibiza, no matter where I might be. Sometimes it’s in the local SPAR (supermarket) when the lovely ladies always greet me with ‘hola nena’ or ‘hola cariño’ (basically babe and darling, but not in a condescending way); other times it’s how certain bartenders in certain bars (you know who you are!) always fill your wine glass up when you’re not looking, but never charge you for another glass. It can be the way the lady who waxes my eyebrow apologises SO profusely and sweetly for making my face red (it’s not her fault, I asked for it, paid for it, and I just have sensitive skin, which she knows after ten years but continues to apologise for) every time she shapes them. It might be how my corner shop owner always asks how my cats are, because he’s my go-to-guy for kitty litter.
I feel it when I listen to my friend Miss S’s 12-minute WhatsApp voice messages (I call them her podcasts) because she KNOWS I don’t like talking on the phone, but she likes to talk, so she invented the perfect compromise. LOVE! I feel it in nature too. I feel absolutely filled with love when I see the almond blossoms in full bloom (now people! Get out there!), and I feel almost overflowing with love every time I see the blazing sunset skies over Dalt Vila. Music too, fills me with love and it could be anything from a random Bon Jovi song from the 80s coming on the Rock FM airwaves, to streaming Taylor Swift’s Lover on repeat for six hours, to singing along with Disney songs while watching movies (I generally alternate between The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast and Frozen) to getting lost in the plinky plonky dreamy soundscapes of Ricardo Villalobos on Instastories (watch this space for a full report on that in the future). My love for music knows no bounds (well, except Michael Jackson – was never a fan) and so as long as there’s music on, I’m feeling love.
That cheesy Wet Wet Wet song (that you now won’t be able to get out of your head after reading this) really had it right: Love is all around us. We don’t NEED Valentine’s Day, Love Day, V.Day, Saint Val’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, Singles Appreciation Day or The Hallmark Holiday to know this. We just have to be a little more aware in our day to day lives to FEEL it. We don’t need to hold onto this overblown idea of finding an epic, all-consuming love. Perhaps, all the little tiny daily doses of love we receive add up to be more than enough love to last more than a lifetime anyway. So to wrap up my love waffle for 2020, I’d just like to send everyone who has read this far lots and lots of love, today, tomorrow and beyond…