Mother of 2 boys, Glynis German, half Jamaican and half Welsh has been living in Binissalem since 1992. Glynis is a self-anointed hippy high priestess who uses values as the base from which to build on in all areas of her life. She is a wedding celebrant, a stand up comedienne and has her own radio show “The Happiness Café” on Mallorca Sunshine Radio 106.1FM.
You gave up a conventional job last summer to set up your business Mallorca Celebrations. What made you decide to do that?
I was already in my 50s, an exciting, new decade and one in which I needed and wanted to reassess the reason I had been put on this earth. Basically I needed to do more with my life than just go to work and earn money to pay my bills. I had enjoyed this last job of my conventional life and I was looking forward to doing something with a deeper meaning not only for myself but also to show my boys that life is much more than earning a living, it’s about being happy and doing what we are here to do!
What services do Mallorca Celebrations offer?
As a hippy high priestess I am available to celebrate those special moments in our lives and I am mainly called to act as a celebrant for people’s weddings in Mallorca. I have officiated at one funeral, a young woman I knew, and I would like to do more as I do think I would be very good. I have a healthy attitude about death and worked as a volunteer with one of the two palliative care units on the island so have seen the challenges to those left behind.
How do you see your business developing in the future?
Well more weddings, more funerals both here and on the mainland and anywhere in the world really! I would also like to see important milestones become celebrated as a matter of course. For example, I am developing a ceremony for motherhood and from that would offer fatherhood and parenthood ceremonies. In my own experience, when I became a mother 20 years ago, especially as we were without family here in Mallorca, I felt traumatized, lost and unsupported with this sudden new role I was expected to fulfil. I was lucky to have had a home birth and so was supported by the midwife and his team but I feel a ceremony of sorts would have put everything into perspective.
You obviously love working with people and sharing experiences with people – how did you become involved in stand-up comedy?
I have long enjoyed laughing and often see quite a weird view of a situation. About 4 years ago when I was working full time, I was dealing with higher income customers and Spain was in the middle of a serious economic crisis! On the one hand I had a job in which our customers could afford us but all around there were people suffering poverty and hunger and this was on an island as luxurious and wealthy as Mallorca! The irony was that so many people coming through my office door were unhappy, even with their fancy clothes, expensive cars and big homes! So much depression and sadness! I vowed to myself that I was going to use humour from then on to change my world! I found out about Logan Murray, a British stand-up comedy teacher who was scheduled to do a weekend course in Barcelona about 8 months down the road. I signed up for it, nearly forgot about it and then went to Barcelona to do it and that was it! I now bring Logan to Mallorca every year to do the course and this year, he will have come twice as he is booked to come back in September. I recommend the weekend course for anyone and everyone and not just for those who think they want to be a stand-up comic. At the end of the weekend course, participants show their work with a public performance!
What is the most unusual gig you have performed?
On a minibus from Inca to Sa Pobla for a dozen yachties who were on their way to a paint ball birthday party!
Tell us about your radio show “The Happiness Café”.
Ooh yes please! I am so blessed that Mallorca Sunshine Radio which is part of Insel Radio Group liked my proposal for a radio show. They have given me an hour every Monday at 10am and in this time I play great music, interview an inspiring person, consider a quality such as happiness or generosity and give information on what’s on in Mallorca for any self-development courses, workshops etc such as yoga, meditation, vegan or vegetarian cooking, permaculture, comedy etc. The idea is that the programme offers positive news and shows us ordinary people doing extraordinary things! I have had a yoga teacher sharing her tips on being happy - gratitude is her attitude! My friend Anna who has sold up in Mallorca, bought a catamaran and taken the kids out of school to go around the world for the next two years and all because her husband was diagnosed with cancer last year. I talked with the woman responsible for bringing the very first Meditation Festival to Mallorca recently and a musician just back from touring Kosovo as well as an African dancer/storyteller who works with Doctors in the World looking at being part of a solution to the north Africans risking their lives to get into Spain. Amazing people and I have just begun the programme so I really hope people like it and listen in. I have some inspiring people lined up such as conservationists, peace activists, educators, holistic health practitioners – the list is endless! Tune in please and listen to the Happiness Café every Monday morning at 10am on Mallorca Sunshine Radio 106.1FM and please tell your friends!
As well as being a celebrant, a stand-up comedienne, radio presenter and all round interesting person, you are also a Mum. How do you manage to juggle your time?
I make time! I gave up my job last year and I have never been happier! I car share the school run and I am here for my second born son. I see myself in the future being phoned by my kids asking “mum, which country did you say you were in?”! But right now I am home.
Your youngest son has been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. Can you tell us something about that?
I had always suspected that he was different and in the early years of his infant and primary schooling, I didn’t bother with any diagnosis as I knew what he needed and I chose his schooling accordingly, ie always alternative and small environments. Then I wondered what would happen in secondary school so I decided to confirm something I had suspected since he was about 18months old - aspergers. It took over a year to be seen and then a few months after one-on-one sessions (his) to receive the diagnosis. Opening the report and reading the words was a most horrendous experience I wouldn’t wish on any parent. The language used was impersonal, cold, and clinical and did not describe my son. I realized at this point that I was blessed with a child who was different and that I had luckily chosen a path for him that suited him and that as long as I kept on with my belief in him as a person, he would be fine. I am blessed that he is only on the spectrum unlike some parents who can be severely challenged with autism in the family. I have seen an incredible growth in him in the last year since I changed school and quite honestly I think rather than autistic spectrum disorder, I would say he is just more sensitive, quieter, more in his own world and he needs to be treated accordingly.
What school does your son go to?
He goes to the eco school SA LLAVOR in the small village of Mancor de la Vall which is about 10mins drive up the mountain from where I live, in the Serra de Tramuntana which has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Why did you choose this school and are you happy with your choice?
He had originally gone to this school when it opened in 2007. He went to another 2 schools between 2009 and last year when he returned here as he had finished primary and was moving up to secondary. I wanted an educational environment that looked at the child as an individual rather than part of a group. The education here is values based with reverence for life as it is a vegetarian school. It has an holistic approach and incorporates creativity, language, movement and nature into the curriculum. I am very impressed with the community the school has created and I love to see the maturity of the children and the equality between them and the adults, it is really refreshing to witness that. It is small and my son has blossomed in just one year and although he missed his friends from the other school, he is very settled here and the calmness and tranquility of the setting has certainly helped him in this. If he had stayed where he was, the pressure for academic “success” would have been detrimental to his development and blossoming into teen years.
Are there any services, activities for kids, family-friendly restaurants or kids’ shops in the area where you live you’d like to recommend?
I live in a small town which is just how I grew up in the outskirts of London ie if I leave my door open no-one comes in! Kids can wander round the village without any problems or violence or even threat of it. There are a lot of activities on offer in our village such as scouts, youth club, youth theatre, sports facilities, library, music school. My son plays football outside of school and we don’t do any extra-curricular activity right now. I recommend living in our village as it is the best in Mallorca, Spain and the world!
Is there anything you think would improve children’s lives where you live?
I imagine that for my younger son coming into adolescence I am going to start thinking of that a lot more than I do right now. An alternative type of youth club incorporating yoga, tai chi, pay it forward schemes, alternative economies for the common good, music and dj classes etc would be a start!
What could you live without in Mallorca?
Opening on Sundays and festive days. It killed Britain and I talk with foreigners wishing to come and live the “good life” here in Mallorca yet they are bringing something that is not the good life! Shopping on a Sunday?! Someone has to work and most often it will be a mother who won’t be getting paid good money to leave her kids behind! I used to tell my customers, Sundays is for family not for shopping.
What couldn’t you live without in Mallorca?
What is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
Through facebook – Mallorca Celebrations or my web page www.glynisgerman.com!