Creative Writing Holiday Ibiza 2012

Marina Botafoch & the lighthouse

Book before 31 May and save £50!

Creative Writing Ibiza’s Residential Retreats are Ibiza’s only creative writing holiday. Led by award-winning essayist, journalist, critic and fiction writer Cila Warncke, each retreat will help you develop your skill and confidence as a writer.

The retreat comprises guided writing practice, one-to-one workshops, inspirational readings, and plenty of free time and privacy for writing. You will also enjoy guided excursions to some of Ibiza’s most exquisite beaches and fascinating historic sites. In the evening you will have the option of dining out, taking a paseo through the old town, or simply unwinding and enjoying a glass or two of excellent Spanish wine.

Residential Retreats are designed so all you have to think about is writing!
The £350 course fee includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Workshops & one-to-one sessions
  • Course materials
  • Excursions
  • Home-made vegetarian meals featuring local produce
  • Water, wine, tea & coffee

Flights, travel insurance and optional evening meals & drinks are excluded.

The next Residential Retreat will take place 1-4 September 2012.

Book before 31 May and save £50!

To request an application email: Creative Writing Ibiza

Ibiza’s Best Road

View from the Sant Joan road

Portinatx to Sant Joan, Ibiza, Spain

Hotels cling to the cliffs at Portinatx like acrylic nails, a perfect backdrop to sunburnt kids and beery parents. A small brown sign points the way out: Sant Joan. Sharp right, down-shift. The road lifts you above the roofs of the holiday apartments and turns its back on the dive school. Flirt with third, settle for second. No need to rush along the ribbon of asphalt unwinding in a haze of pine boughs. You’re following a track carved out over centuries by peasant feet and donkey carts. Only the surface has changed. Above you, a jewel-bright sky. Pull over and inhale the silence. Beyond a shimmering basin of green, the Mediterranean gift-wraps the view with a band of silver.

Curiosity

Posted by Cila Warncke

As usual, I’ve been in Ibiza about five minutes and am already bored to the back teeth. Nothing and no-one, has changed. Walk into a bar and the same drunks are propping it up, the same coke-heads are rambling to anyone who will listen, the same high-pitched squeals are coming from nondescript women in too little clothing. When I bitched about this over dinner my friend pointed out that, by and large, the expat set isn’t overburdened with education or ready cash. Hence the tendency to sit in the same places, repeating themselves, like parrots on perches.

It’s a plausible theory, but wrong. Money is no no object when it comes to being interesting. I’ve spent some of my happiest hours drinking gut-rot wine in unheated houses, never caring that my friends and I were flat broke. Being penniless with the right people is a wonderful aid to conversation. Without the distraction of the things you can do with money, you make your own entertainment.

The notion that the well-educated are automatically delivered from dullness is equally nonsensical. Education can’t make anyone a jot more interesting than their nature dictates. Where education is telling is the lengths to which fascinating people will go to pursue it. The difference between stultifying and intriguing boils down to curiosity. People who are restless to learn, see, experience, discover, discuss and explore are never, ever boring.

Poor doesn’t matter, educated doesn’t matter, age doesn’t matter, location doesn’t matter. All a person needs to be endlessly, intoxicatingly interesting is to be full of questions, and always seeking answers.

Ibiza – Cheap Eats

Originally published in Mixmag, summer 2009

Ibiza’s 10 best budget restaurants/snack bars/soup kitchens

1. Comidas San Juan, Calle de Montgrí, 8 – Ibiza Tel.: 971 311 603
They don’t take reservations and there’s always a queue. That’s because you can get a hearty meal, with wine, for under €10. Croquettes or calamari are a good bet.

2. Bon Profit, Plaza del Parque Ibiza Town
Don’t let the chic bistro vibe fool you. Food here is ridiculously cheap. Huge hunks of lamb, fillets of fish and hearty paellas all for around €6 a plate.

3. Jamal’s Bistro, C/General Prim 16, San Antonio, 971340117
Just off the West End, Jamal’s has a winning combination of classy looks, great food and alluringly low prices. It’s been voted the worker’s favourite restaurant.

4. Croissant Playa, Pais Vasco, Figueretes
The best breakfast/lunch/take-out place in Figueretes with amazing pastries, vast bocadillos and delicious homemade quiche. Works equally well as a breakfast spot or a morning-after comedown hideaway.

5. Casa Ana, C/. Ginebra 8, Ses Païsses (San Antonio) 0034-971 80 36 13Cheap With homemade pizzas, bacon cheeseburgers for under €5, roast chicken and take-aways Casa Ana is just the place to soak up the booze after a night on the town – or line your stomach before you get started.
http://casa-ana.ibiza-restaurants.net/

6. Fisherman’s Kitchen, C/Madrid, San An10 971 34 57 72
All the stodge you need – but nicely made. Homemade pies, chilli, bangers and mash and lasagna will set you back around €7, a full English €5.50. Its sister bar down the road has wi-fi and TV sport. http://www.digitalibiza.com/fishermans/rest.html

7. Il Veccio Molina, C/Navarra, 12 Figuretes 34971305520
Gorgeous homemade pastas in huge quantities – €6 or 7 euros will fill you up quick plus cheap, decent house wine. It’s just up from the Figueretes taxi rank, making it easy to hop to your next destination.

8. Chill Cafe, Ibiza Town Via Punica, 49, Ibiza Town
Chill Café has internet, printers and a fax machine, making this the perfect spot to sort yourself out if you’re looking for work or want to catch up with folks at home. Great coffee, homemade baked goods, vast bocadillos, quiche and salads.

9. JDs, Playa d’en Bossa promenade, 971 307 062
Run by English expats Jo & Darren this popular beach-front hangout does everything from bacon butties to Sunday roasts to cheese & Branston pickle sarnies. It has wi-fi and a shelf of English newspapers and magazines to pass the time.

10. Can Joan, Playa d’en Bossa C/Murtra, 10, 971 30 66 93
Proper belly-filling fare but a cut above the plastic-chair-and-tablecloth competition. Homemade pizzas and pasta, paellas, grilled meat, and plenty of hearty breakfast options.
http://www.ibiza-hotels.com/restaurants/canjoan/

Free Thinking – Fighting Capitalism from Within

Posted by Cila Warncke

I just finished Peter Chapman’s excellent expose Jungle Capitalists about ruthless banana baron United Fruit Corporation which ran Central America as its private fiefdom for most of a century – casually killing off unruly workers, uncooperative heads of state, uncharted jungle and anything else that got in its way. It got me thinking about the antidote to brute free market economics. Given that we live in an anxiety-riddled, security obsessed, paranoid late-capitalist society there are limited alternatives. You can’t drop out and live off the land anymore unless you’re rich enough to buy the land in the first place, and our high-tech culture makes it difficult to live a private life. It isn’t easy to shape your own existence, given the physical, legal and ideological constraints on personal freedom. There are people, however, who take on the challenge and look for creative ways to address the ever-present imperative to pay the rent while doing something that is personally meaningful and socially beneficial. These unsung freedom fighters fuck with the system by surviving within it while doing what they want to do – and by using their skills in constructive, cooperative ways. In a perfect world, it’s what everyone would do.

This is the first instalment of what I hope will become a long series of blogs profiling individuals and businesses that operate outside the prevailing paradigm. First up, Algo Mas – a 100% Fair Trade shop in Ibiza.

Thursday evening in the tiny village of Sant Miquel and the plaza below the Iglesia is full of children, music and the scent of home baking. On the corner, door and sky-blue shutters flung open, sits Algo Mas. This small Fair Trade shop has just celebrated its second anniversary and judging by the stream of locals who stop to say hello, it is firmly cemented in the community. Italian expats Valeria Cova and Aurietta Sala run the shop, along with Blanca Llosent. Aurietta and Valeria are Italian, but have each lived in Ibiza for more than 30 years and have fond memories of the days when visiting friends meant half a day’s walk through the countryside and dinner by candlelight. They are not hippie dilettantes, however, or airy fairy idealists. Algo Mas is the product of hard work, common sense and a firm commitment to the principles of Fair Trade. Click here to continue reading

Running to Stand Still

Posted by Cila Warncke

Blogging is like exercise: addictive, once you get the hang of it but dangerously easy to leave aside when life gets hectic. There is little to say about my several weeks’ hiatus apart from: stuff happened. Mexico. London. Ibiza. Plans made and then unmade for journeys to Ireland, the States, Mexico again. There were patches where I was seriously considering going to the nearest airport and buying a one-way ticket on the first flight to someplace I’d never been before. I got a little caught up in the idea of someplace new. A succession of adventures, coincidences, gin & tonics and long conversations with friends nudged me into the realisation that the ‘someplace new’ I need to explore is Ibiza – and my own motivations.

Home to Ibiza

Home to Ibiza

Jumping on planes is A) more fun than jumping off them and B) only very occasionally an antidote to chronic discontent. I tried it with Mexico and couldn’t, at the end of 14 weeks, figure out why the hell I hadn’t learned anything there. Why I had come back as bored and irritable as I’d left. A few weeks rattling around in the Mediterranean sun, making fantastic new friends who kickstarted my brain from its tropic slothfulness into frisky, if somewhat tentative life, suggests that my problem wasn’t where I was but how I was thinking. Somewhere between Ibiza, E17 and Merida, I completely lost my bottle. Not that you’d have noticed, necessarily. I was still walking around spouting opinions, still capable of summoning enough bravado to actually get from E17 to Merida, but there was something missing. The best lack all conviction.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, how I wanted to live or who I wanted to be. I was stumped. Then I got the following advice from a smartarse filmmaker:

Whatever you decide, feel good about it. Feel amazing about it. Feel as if you couldn’t have made any other possible decision. As long as you do that, everything will work out exactly as it should.

When I started to think like that suddenly the stubbornly wedged pieces began to fall into place. The decisions I fight the hardest are usually, in retrospect, as easy as falling over. It’s like standing at the top of a high dive. Turning, fretting, pawing at the board to buy time. Praying for a heavenly waterslide to appear. It never does. So I jumped. And my fear-hazed, pinched-in little world bloomed. There is much to be determined, questions to be posed and answered, work to be done, but it’s okay because life is exciting again.