What a wonderful time we had in Menorca!

The weather could not have been more perfect plus all the arrangements Lorraine had made for us. So I am giving you a rundown on the week’s events so you will see what you missed if not able to go!!!!

Monday 1 June when most of us arrived found us gathering at Lorraine’s lovely house overlooking the harbour of Mahon for the start of many very social, boozy (did I say that word!!!) meals. We then walked down to the pretty bay of Cales Fonts where many restaurants can be found, Lorraine organising a very good meal of various tastings washed down by the usual vino. After which Mike and I went to our hotel with Rory and Jean, Malcolm, Jane and Stan, Maggie, Freda, Jan and Violet driving to their apartments at Punta Prima. Tuesday was looking around day before proceeding to Punta Prima for drinks and nibbles (lovely they were too) on the huge, huge balcony of Maggie/Freda/Jan/Violet’s apartment before moving along to have a super meal in one of the local restaurants. Wednesday we all made our way to the old capital of Cuitadella at the other end of the island, which was a lovely place, full of character with Lorraine giving Mike and I and Alison a guided tour. We then all met up at a local restaurant down by the harbour for yet another super meal and drinkies. Along the way either there or on the way back, we visited the highest point on the island together with other points of interest. Thursday saw the arrival of Stuart and Brent who were taken out to dinner with friends of Lorraine’s while the rest of us did our own thing, Mike and myself went to look around Mahon, had a dip in the pool before dinner in the hotel. Friday saw us returning to the restaurant in Cales Fonts which was an easy walk from the hotel. Saturday was the “official” POMS reunion luncheon held at the Alcaufar Vell Hotel Rural, an old Menorcan hotel where we had drinks before having our luncheon under sun umbrellas in the courtyard, a very hot day but with excellent food, enjoyed by all. A large, colourful bouquet of flowers was presented to Lorraine in gratitude for all her efforts to make the week such a success. The Punta Primas’ went off in their transport about 5pm ish while the rest of us had taxis back to Lorraine’s for further drinkies!!!

Sunday saw the highlight of the week when we took the boat over to the Isla del Rey located on Mahon harbour to visit the first naval hospital built by the British in 1711 under Admiral John Jennings, the then Commander of the Mediterranean where many military and indigenous patients were treated over its history. This is now being renovated by British and Spanish volunteers who have already made great strides in its repair. Lorraine is an official guide and expertly took us round introducing us to various volunteers including her Menorcan doctor friend who took delight in trying out a hand held piece of equipment used to massage on my shoulder which, although gave some instant delight, soon turned to pain – so glad I wasn’t around then!! Sure he only chose me because I was close to his height!!! There is a marvellous array of redundant medical equipment used for every procedure possible arranged in various rooms including a post mortem room, operating rooms, pharmacy etc. The operating table in one room looked liked a thing of torture to me but obviously had its use. They are happy to receive any redundant medical equipment so I handed over an item which my mother used while she was a medical assistant many years ago. A beautifully renovated Anglican chapel was next on our list where a volunteer organist played and another colleague talked to us about its history. There is also a catholic chapel, both were used for the many funerals which took place, the latter often used as coffins could be taken in and out with discretion, thus not upsetting the other hospital patients. Finally, we were treated to a drink and large buffet for all the visitors to the island that morning with speeches by the Menorcan General under whose enthusiastic support the renovations are taking place, with Stuart saying a few words on behalf of the P&O Medical Society.

Following our return to the mainland, some of us went back to Es Castell to the main square to enjoy the celebration of Armed Forces Day along with local dignatories and military. The Spanish flag was hoisted after which the troops marched past along with their band around the square. Then there was time for a quick freshen up before taxis took us to the Hotel Xuroy where we all met up for a farewell meal of paella, all washed down by numerous glasses…..! During the week, there were numerous sore heads, no more so than this last get together, without giving away too much of what went on but I am sure you all get the drift!! Various items were either lost, mislaid or left behind, all by men but I am happy to say all were reunited with their owners!! As one friend said, who could not attend, oh to be a fly on the wall but am sure that fly would have heard and seen far too much to repeat!! And Lorraine would like us to do all this again in say a couple of years hence so gird up ones loins and make a mental note!!

Cyndy, Honorary Secretary

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