THE WORDS AND SENTIMENTS OF DAVID HEELEY - BROADCASTER | FOOD CRITIC | TRAVEL WRITER
Love thy neighbour

The Building Obsession

Love thy neighbour

 Who’d live in a house? Or, more accurately, who’d live in a house made of stone? Or, more accurately still, a house made of stone – in Mallorca? Well, the answer is a fool and as I happen to have answered in the affirmative to all of the above, you know what that makes me. Given that most of us live in some sort of domicile and that that, in itself, isn’t unduly foolish, what is it about stone and Mallorca, I hear you ask, that so qualifies one as a cretin? Answer: Expense. Take this most recent example.  Alchemy, [Read More]

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Life across the grassy knoll

The Building Obsession Travel Writer

Life across the grassy knoll

Cooking paella is to many an art form, whilst to others it’s a way of life and the search for its perfection is their sole raison d’etra. So, how is it then that my neighbour at Alchemy – an ex derivatives trader, hotel and restaurant owner and now Mallorca’s premier landscape garden designer – created on Sunday unquestionably the greatest example of this exalted dish – and he’s English! He has become in recent months, my very own Capability Brown but in the process has consigned me to live in a perpetual miasma of dust and dirt as JCB drivers mold, [Read More]

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Modernist masterpiece/folly now open for business

The Building Obsession

Modernist masterpiece/folly now open for business

The modernist masterpiece/folly is up and running, can you believe it?  After a mere four years of finding, designing, planning and now building our homage to contemporary architecture, we’ve at last spent our first night in our new Mallorcian house. We’ve christened it – somewhat pretentiously, Alchemy because, unlike that medieval pseudo science, we’ve succeeded in transforming worthless base materials such as stone and cement into something magical.  I warned you about the pretention. After a year of continuous building our first night was a watershed and even though for most of that time we have resembled latter day Miss [Read More]

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Rub a dub, dub where is my tub?

The Building Obsession

Rub a dub, dub where is my tub?

The ongoing travails of my construction of a modernist Mallorcian masterpiece/folly continue. Regular followers will know that several years ago now I embarked upon an ambitious project to build a shrine to modern architecture, in the rural idyll that is the hinterland of the stunningly attractive island of Mallorca. Several episodes have already unfolded and all of these and many more will eventually be published in book form under the title of “The Building Obsession”. This latest debarcle came about as a consequence of me sourcing my bathroom equipment from UK suppliers due to the current weakness of the pound [Read More]

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Caveat Emptor

The Building Obsession

Caveat Emptor

Never blessed with much patience at the best of times, 20 odd years of running what had become the UK’s number one dining club had seen me grow evermore desperate to get out from behind the Chairman’s desk. Each foreign trip or holiday – of which thankfully there were many – saw me scouring an ever wider geographical area of countries from France, Italy, Corsica and Sardinia to slightly more exotic Barbados, Australia, Brazil and St Barts, in search of either a dream house on which I could put my own inimitable stamp or, more preferably, a Shangri-La like plot [Read More]

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