My mum told me that she found a rather worrying living thing in her garden. She thought that it might be a small reptile because it was wiggling and woggling amongst the grass (very well camouflaged) and it also stayed under water for a time long enough to drown any warm blooded creature. After few thoughts and family discussions about the vague visibility of the animal, they came to a conclusion that it might be a baby alligator. To confirm their educated guess, my mum started poking around and the bottom of the pond with a long stick, which brought back venturesome memories about her father (my grandfather) when he took us on a day out at the zoo.
Almost two decades ago, both my cousin and I were taken to the zoo by my grandfather. Peering over a cement waist-high barrier, we watched the crocodiles in enduring time. They were lazing in their given habitat, very still with their mouths wide open, only too proud to show their well crooked rows of teeth. They were so still that they would not even move when you threw pebbles at them (which you are not supposed to do, and it says so on the sign). Deliberately ignoring the warning, my grandfather took his umbrella and started poking into the crocodiles widely open mouth. Immediately, it snapped and started a tug-of-war with my grandfather on the other end. He was determined not to lose his umbrella. In fact, the crocodile was the smarter of the two to realise that the umbrella was not food and knew that it involved too much work to capture it’s own dinner when it is spoon fed at meal times. Therefore, it very quickly gave up and ignored us. My grandfather was very proud that he won and went home with his pride, an impressive story and a torn umbrella. My cousin and I thought that my grandfather was the bravest men and applauded his action, unaware about any possible dangers that might have occurred. We were just relieved that there were no zoo keepers or security people patrolling. They would have told us off and we would have to pay a hefty fine or be banned from the zoo for eternity!
My mum was very worried after I told her this incident (even after numerous times after I repeated this story) and began permutating deadly scenarios that could have happened in the crocodile tug-of-war. She had a go at me for firstly, something that had happened more than a decade and secondly, held me responsible for something that I did not do. After two decades, here she is repeating the same action and even more dangerously because she did not even know what the speculated animal might be.
Back in Mallorca. It has been a short winter for us in Sóller. I hope the wintery season is gone and spring takes over apace. The sudden influx of tourists at the end of February indicates that the island is geared towards work. On the other hand, the abundance of lemons in every garden is a more appealing sight. Take a look at the size of the lemon from our garden. To give you a better idea of it’s size, I have taken the toothpick as a yardstick (stuck to a pumpkin seed for support), only because the toothpick seem to be pretty much an international size. The lemon is the largest that I have ever seen.
As much as Sóller is well known for it’s oranges, the quality of lemons in Mallorca (at least speaking on behalf of my garden) is unsurpassable. Most of which it is known to be widely used in cooking. Little did I know that these citrus fruit are equally as good (or even better) as any expensive beauty products in the market.
The citrus trait of the lemon plays a useful detox agent, helps cleansing and supports weight loss. A common remedy that I have heard of is drinking a glass of warm water in the morning with a squeeze of lemon juice helps to discard water retention in cells and flushes the toxin from one’s system that accumulates when the body has been asleep for long hours. The cleansing does not only happen in the gut but also, act as a stimulant to the liver and gallbladder again flushing out unwanted toxins, stimulates blood circulation, reduces arterial pressure, and activates bile and intestinal secretion.
Knowing that it does wonders to our internal system, externally, it is also thought to have benefits on us:-
Skin – The high antioxidant properties stimulates collagen production and exfoliates dead cells on the skin. It helps reduce wrinkles and treat blemishes, giving your skin a rejuvenated look! This treatment is enhanced by following the application of olive oil (even easier in Mallorca). Therefore fades freckles and age spots while brighten and soften skin on knees and elbows.
A word or warning!!! Do not expose yourself to the sun after applying the treatment, otherwise, you are prone to bleaching effect from the sunlight. And on another note, if you have sensitive skin, dilute the lemon juice with water to reduce the citric intensity.
Hair – Massaging your hair with lemon juice helps for dry hair as it regulates the sebaceous gland which produces oil and understandably makes the hair shine. This cleanses the hair scalp which can help for treating dandruff. For oily hair, the lemon juice is used for hair rinse.
Nails – Acting as an antiseptic agent helps cleaning the nails without any stress on them. Rub your nails with a slice of lemon. By doing this, it aids in strengthening the nails and makes them look agleam!
As this is all about food and before I get too obsessed with anymore googling about lemons, or reptiles in the garden, let us indulge in this lemon melting moments (Food Lover’s Journey). It is a lemon icing filling sandwiched in a lemon flavoured shortbread. Hmm… my detox can start with these little cookies! Omit the icing if you do not like it. The biscuit itself is scrumptious.
p/s: Further notes about the strange reptile: It lay still beneath the pond when being poked. It felt hard and has a hump apparently…