Wednesday, 22 July 2015


This incomplete story has been written by Joan Miralles.
I have add the illustration.

" In a very dark night Detlef Jefferson got up.”

Suddenly, he heard a noise downstairs. - Who's there? - he shouted - He tiptoed into the main door.

Detlef couldn' t believe it. The door had been forced and the handle was loose. The perpetrator had left visible traces... and fingerprints...

Oh no! There must be a burglar at home! Said Detlef. He was scared.

Jelling in panic, Detlef called the police. But the cops didn' t heed his call. - It's that middle aged man again - they said.

Detlef tried to calm down but he couldn' t help being nervous: something was moving behind the curtains. At that very moment he saw an arm. - Agggg! He screamed.

He had to do something immediately. His life was threaten. He took a baseboll bate that was hung on the wall... and he hit, and hit, and hit... - Noooooo! Shouted someone behind the curtains.


Saturday, 27 June 2015


Last week, an acquaintance of mine commented to a third person that the doctor would remove his cast in a few days.

Well, be prepared! –  Warned him the latter – Some years ago, my father has his arm immobilized, exactly the same as you. By the time his plaster was removed, his arm was grafted to his body and the doctor had to use a knife to get it off his trunk.

Such a reproductive capacity reminded me of “green fingers”, a terrifying story about a finger that my friend "Bettina Estévez" used to tell. The finger was cut and buried in a garden and, some days later, it was able to generate a hand.  

What a convenient method to modify one’s body! Imagine that you wake up half a meter higher only because you fell asleep wearing some high heeled shoes; or that someone puts a model’s photograph on their face and becomes absolutely beautiful... Or that someone gets the ability of running two hundred kilometers per hour sitting on the engine of a Ferrari... Or that one becomes a microscope-man by wearing double lenses for two hours. However, there is something which would be even more practical than all this: learning with the mere touch of a book. What a comfortable ability! Particularly for a generation which is used to make the least effort.

Back in the eighties, a friend of mine left me an article about a revolutionary idea: it sustained that learning through the contact with the skin was already possible. According to the author, the most effective way to learn was to read an issue paying real attention... and then lie down to sleep, putting what had been read on one’s forehead. My friend and I decided to test the effectivenes of the method and went to bed in the afternoon, after giving a good look to our biology lesson: “the muscular system”. I still remember that afternoon lesson quite well.

Of course, both my friend and I had to study the chapter by the traditional method when we woke up from the nap. In fact, no matter how many legends might people tell us, grafts are very usefull for apple trees, but not for human trunks.



I was brought up by an amazing mother who made us believe that we had a reasonable financial situation at home. As I was a very little child she even convinced us that a dry plant in the kitchen gave candies when we closed our eyes. Thus, during my childhood I always had the feeling of having everything one could desire.

Times have changed a lot since then. Today, children ask for iPods rather than play football. Back in the 2009, while I was having dinner with some friends, two of them stressed that being part of the middle class in Spain required an income of, at least, three to four thousand euros per month. That was the first time I heard a barrier in figures between two classes. Unfortunately, I had the feeling that the average was too high. But what has definitely persuaded me of being less wealthy than what I had initially though has been the prayer of the poor. In recent times, the poor cite specific figures when they pray. Gone are the glory days when they said “feed me”. Nowadays they ask you for five or twenty euros.

Today morning I went to the supermarket. There were two nuns at the entrance, one at each side of it, dressed in his usual gray habit. One of them gave me a piece of paper while the other asked me to collaborate with them.

Food campaign. We appreciate your generous contribution in steak, beef loin, various kinds of meat, frozen fish, ham, olive oil, coffe in natural grain”.

A quick glance at the flyer was enough to perveive my lack of belonging to the middle class. Beef loin, olive oil... Do you mean selected-grade lean beef? What about some mushrooms and a glass of Riojan wine? All this reminds me of a television programm conducted by “Anton Reixa”, where a skinny African, dressed in the typical Galician costume, claimed the fundamental right of every human being to eat seafood once a year.

I must confess my admiration for my mother, who was able to persuade us of the power of her lentils, beans and stews.


Saturday, 2 May 2015


A friend of mine met some colleagues after a long time. They were all trying to “solve” the problems of the world, as usually happens in such cases, when the group began to talk about next general elections. Two years ago, our man decided not to read any further newspaper (they were depressing, so he said). Thus, as his friends discussed, he could only watch them talking, as if he was the spectator of a ping-pong match.

They talked about corruption and economy. Some even affirmed that the middle class had been paying for the high and low class costs. Given that our colleague was not taking part in the conversation, one of his friends asked him if this also happened in other countries.

Our friend told me later that the situation is quite similar everywhere in the world. He is convinced that politicians will never solve anything, for they are not the ones who are actually governing. He believes that the effective control is in the hands of that one percent of the population who holds 99% of global resources. This one percent is almost anonymous. They are very discreet people who would never make public their lives (unlike Belen Esteban, who is constantly punishing us with her plastic surgery operations). Their effective control is the reason why the situation is always the same, no matter what ideology the government has.

Do you mean that the middle class is financing our society? – said our mate – But, what is middle class? Do people who earn 1000 euros per month belong to middle class? Is it the same belonging to the middle class than having an average salary? And who are the poor? Do you really think that the poor are those who begg in the streets? Are those women with a foreign accent and a scarf over their heads part of that poor class? Are those women who are daily “unloaden” by a van in their begging positions the poors of our society?

We are numbed by our jobs and occupations and cradled by the television and the computer. If Karl Marx was to see the present situation he would probably say that Twitter is  people’s opium. Everywhere we go, there are “hookahs” which can distract our affliction.

My friend is convinced that current problems can only be solved by a revolution... but he confesses that he is too lazy to take part in one. He admits that the only revolution he feels like doing when he comes home is the one he does in the kitchen to imitate the famous cook “Carlos Arguiñano”.

What can we do about it? Teenagers used to be the rebellious of our society some years ago, but nowadays they no longer rebel. Except if you try to remove them their “Whatsapp”.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

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Thursday, 30 April 2015


A friend of mine, called Roberto, wanted a fine bookcase for his balcony.  He was so enthusiastic that he hired the services of the refinest artisan and did not scrimp in the budget. The carpenter took measures and placed a high price to his work. Our man immediately accepted it and paid a good cash advance to the artisan.

The cabinetmaker asked if he could start the major bulk of work at his own home and install it later in Roberto’s balcony. He argued that his residence was much better equipped and that the annoying, work noise and waste could be reduced to a minimum. No sooner had the client heard the argument that he accepted delighted.

Some days afterwards, the carpenter went to his client’s to install the shelves. Our friend eagerly gazed at the rack construction. Suddenly, the artisan said that the work was finished.

“That’s it.” – Said the carpenter – “What do you think?”

Horrified, Roberto contemplated something which was rather similar to a niche: straight and totally graceless boxes that had been stacked up without any adjustment to the wall. There was neither a glass nor a door or a latch. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the present that the artisan gave Roberto: a black frame with a photo of a chrysantemus that he placed at the base of the bookcase.

- “The Chrysanthemum has the color of Majorca” – said the carpenter.

Roberto, who is a very good man but somewhat insecure, did not dare to tell the carpenter what he really thought. Instead, he popped into a neighbor’s, whom we will call “Mario”, and asked him to come over and give him an opinion.

Mario left everything aside and went to Roberto’s as soon as possible. Of course he had his own opinion about that bookcase. But he did not want to sadden our friend. So he merely answered that it looked really interesting. More comforted, the client transferred the artisan the remainder of the purchase price.

In the afternoon, Roberto’s wife arrived home. And she spared no adjectives to express her opinion about the masterpiece. Outraged, my friend went quickly to Mario’s to tell him his wife’s reaction. And there he found the cabinetmaker, who had just installed a case which was almost identical to the one he had initially commissioned.

If you ever have any doubt, ask yourself, not your neighbor.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Some years ago, I had a teacher who used to skip the explanation of complicated lessons. As soon as she had to elaborate something in greater detail, she referred to a future explanation: “We will learn it in the next chapter”. Later on, when it was time, she referred to her previous dissertation: “We had already seen this part on chapter nine”.

The world is full of those “already-seen” people. I have a friend who is a mechanic and provides home delivery services, charging on an hourly basis. His work is paid once he has accomplished the work. Since December 2014 he has been spending Monday afternoon in some wealthy house where there is always plenty to do. One day, the family secretary told him that the manager had forgotten to get his money out from the box. So that Monday, for the first time since December, he just charged a promise to be paid the following week.

Seven years later, the operator arrived at his workplace ready to charge two wages together.  However the manager notified him that he would not receive any money that day, since he had been paid “two wages” the week before. Our friend then clarified that not only hadn’t he received that cash advance the previous week, but he had actually received nothing. After a brief but intense exchange of wiews, the administrator promised to pay him the following week.

A week later the accumulation of tasks forced the manager to require our friend’s services in the morning and afternoon. The technician went then to work as happy as Larry, believing that he would charge a fortune. But, to his surprise, he was given no more than the amount of an ordinary Monday.

-          Where’s the rest? – he asked.

The accountant explained him that, in fact, two weeks ago he had been paid the difference, since he had been anticipated a big sume. His lamentation could not do anything for him, for the accountant was not allowed access to the box.

-          Only the manager is – said the accountant.

Irritated, he got in touch with the owners of the farm, who promised to pay him all in seven days. But unfortunately, neither his cries nor his threats helped him. He was paid just a single wage.

My friend has decided not to provide any further services to the family. In return, he has refused to give any information about the place where the keys of the family’s Masserati are. “Actually, those keys are in the same place than my cash advance”.

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

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Thursday, 23 April 2015


I have a friend who is working as a temporary English teacher in a secondary higher school. Every day she has a funny, new anecdote to tell. My friend is a very direct person and does not mince her words when she answers back.

Some days ago, the schoolchildren welcome her with the flavour – and scent – of victory: they bought a few stink bombs in a small corner shop. As soon as the teacher entered the classroom she noticed the smell of something rotten in the air.

She then decided to provide the young with the best lesson. Pointing to the windows, she asked them to shut de blinds. The students, rather surprised by their teacher’s reaction, mentioned how badly it smelled.

-          Yes – she said – I also have pituitary glands.

The teacher called the janitor and asked him to lock the classroom door. So he did. But, before that, he allowed the teacher to leave the lecture room while the students stayed in.  She leaned on the external door side, enjoying the nausea of their students, whose complaints could be heard from outside. And she happily enjoyed a flavour of victory which was very different to the scent her students had planned.

Fifteen minutes later, after having laught hard, the teacher asked the janitor to open the door... and took the students to an improvised lesson in the courtyard.

I guess these lads will no longer play with fragances.

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015


I’ve just registered my book in the intellectual property registry. “El Color de Mallorca”.




Monday, 2 March 2015


A friend of mine has asked me to accompany him to a local celebration in a village nearby. About a year and a half ago he was working for a language school in that place. He was delighted with the job, but it was a bit unstable. Thus, as soon as he found a full-time one, he resigned at the school.
Since then, my friend has never gone back to the village. This is just the result of modern life: we are always pressed for the time. But winter sales produced a miracle: some former pupils came to Palma for a shopping spree. And thus, a couple of weeks ago he met a former student who, visibly worried, asked him about his health.
Some days afterwards, he coincided with another former student. He also asked him how his “illness” was going on. This time however, my friend received further explanations. Apparently, as he resigned at the school, the headmaster told all his students that the teacher had left his job due to a mental disease which forced him to go back homeland to receive maternal care.
World history is full of lies and unsubstantiated rumors. Famous are more exposed to slander, but the humblest may eventually be its victims too. Who does not remember the famous “crime of Cuenca”. At that time, Gregorio Valero and León Sánchez were wrongly accused (and jailed) for the murder of a shepherd. The truth would finally come to light in early 1926, when the “victim” (which was alive and “kicking”) sent a letter to the priest, requesting a certificate of baptism to get married.
My friend has decided to visit the next local celebration dressed in his best clothes and accompanied by his wittiest friends. 


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

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Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón


Last Wednesday a little pupil of mine asked me if I had children. “Not even a boyfriend? Nor a puppy? Do you live completely alone? Don’t you feel rather lonely?”

In fact, I had neved felt more accompanied than in the four walls of this flat. Living with the freedom of doing, writing, reading, painting and talking to everyone via Skype or phone. Without the restriction of having to offer any explanation about every single “strange” detail. Such as having a cup of tea at any time or having an Spanish omelette for breakfast. Leaving my bedroom door open while I sleep; wacking up at daybreak without the bleep of an alarm clock. Painting doodles. Wrapp in a blanket when I get out of bed. Enjoying a warm shower. Studying or writing late. Welcome some friends at home; reading a book together and talking until late. Tie the bike at the front door. Laughing like a teenager. Talking with someone on the phone without having to pay attention to other people that may find it inconvenient. It is amazing the warmth of that company made of pencils, books, computer, tea and heating.

Loneliness is meeting people you have nothing in common with. It is sitting in the company of those who consider each of our decisions a symptom of insanity. It is meeting with that friend of ours who advises us to go to a psychiatrist because we have changed our job once again. He, who has had more than thirty different jobs during his labour life. He, who was once married, then divorced his first partner and then got married again. He, who does not visit the children of his first marriage and insist on adopting children with his second wife.

Solitude is been a victim of discrimination on grounds of race, origin or social position. It is that silly joke about people who were born in a particular place. It is that boyfriend who once tells you that, actually, he is still in love with a teenager whom he never dared to declare to thirty years ago. It is that colleague who casts doubt on our ability at work; it is that boss who takes advantage of their position to revenge against his miserable childhood. It is that dog which decides to urinate right on your shoe.
But at home, in our own four walls, with a cup that smells of raspberry, our feet in slippers, a piece of paper and a box of colors on the table; on my chair, listening to my favourite music and reading my books, there is no solitude at all, but a mere sense of belonging.

I add my photo for the “throw back Thursday”. Palma, July 2006


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

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Friday, 16 January 2015


Yesterday was a day of challenges. Probably the greatest one was to witness some colleagues of the language school bullying another workmate. The main aggressor (a woman in her late fifties, with gray hair and a clumsy body) approached her victim with crooked head, telling her again and again:

-         Hello! Bye-bye!... Hello! Bye-bye!... Hello! Bye-bye!... Hello! Bye-bye!...

The support group, consisting of two adult women, said out loud:  “Speak more, nice ladyyyyyyyy...”

I found quite interesting to see such an adolescent behavior in three middle aged women. I wonder if regular contact with teenagers has influenced their attitude. Maybe the nice ladies thought that a teen performance would make them look younger, as if they had had a natural face lift. Unfortunately, if you want to stave off wrinkles from an old face you´ll have to be willing to pay an expensive hyaluronic acid treatment. Then to the disgrace of feminine vanity, an adolescent conduct does neither erase wrinkles nor give hair volume and shine. And the lack of mental maturity doesn’t clean cholesterol and fatty acids of the walls of arteries either.

I called up a Colombian friend who has an extremely good sense of pace... and of humor, and we invited the unaccepted colleague to come with us to have a drink. There was a football match on the TV and cafes and bars were crowded. We laughed and talked about everything and about nothing in particular. And, of course, we did not mention the lovely workmates. As we were going back home, my friend gave me back an easel and a canvas with a cabbage picture that I had left at her home on my last tour to Hamburg. It’s great to have friends who make us forget the presence of lonely, frustrated people.

As a classic writer said: “Long live the gossip, who make us more and more famous.”

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

Monday, 12 January 2015


On Thursday I had a real shock. In the adult class, my laptop-screen got black. I could log in as usual but immediately after there was absolutely nothing on the screen. Only the cursor hovering over it. Oh no! A computer failure in hard January! I switched it off and prayed to all the saints and in all languages.

A part of me believed in Divine Providence. The other bought a pack of two bars of chocolate in the supermarket and scoff it all down while I rode my bicycle towards the technician’s. Keep calm: everything will go well. In the meantime, my teeth were grinding and clenching the sweet flavour of cocoa butter. I even got off the bike and pushed it for a while to open a can of Coke. Addicts know how great that choco-cola mix can happen to be.

Relax – I told to myself - there must be a solution. My laptop was on my back and I had to get the rucksack off once and again, each time I wanted to eat a couple of chocolate ounces. I stopped and leant the bike against a traffic signal each time. Finally, I took the rest of the chocolate bar and kept it in my hand to continue eating without any interruption. But, as I had not got hands enough, I put the can of Coke into one of my pockets. Soon, the pocket was awashed with Coke.

And this is how I went into the computer shop: with the serenity that gives believing in God’s care... and with my bike aside, my laptop on my back, a bar of chocolate in my hand, my whole mouth full of chocolate, my overcoat spotted with Coke and the face expression of a sugarholic.

- My compggutermm doesn’t wogggrkmm – I said to the technician, still with full mouth.

Fortunately, the technician had a magic wand. It took him about twenty minutes to repair it. What is even better than that: the computer was still under warranty and the update was covered.

In the afternoon, I had to put my laptop on my back again: I had to go to work and needed those pictures and recordings. It was a great lesson for motivated girls about the most beloved knight of all: Mr. Money.

And, while going back home, humming the song that had introduced the lesson, something reminded me of chocolate. Divine Providence... and so does indigestion.

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón