A local Majorcan friend has told me how he’s fed up with using online services and has reverted to using good old-fashioned face-to-face companies. For instance, he now books all his flights and holidays with a local Soller travel company and buys his insurance plans through an office that he trusts and where he can chat with the manager. It’s the same for banking and I am totally in agreement. Somehow it all seems much easier when you can just pop by your village branch and have a chat with friendly members of staff whose names you know.
Much as I book my easyJet flights for regular trips to London online, I now arrange anything more complicated with Nicky at Ticket in Portals Nous. Aside from having a good laugh with her when I pop by, she has an ability to rustle up flights, best schedules and prices that I could never find online for myself. Furthermore, even when I’ve given her ridiculously complex overseas trips to organise, she’s patiently ploughed through all the hurdles and come up trumps.
I do use Amazon to buy books but there’s still something special about popping by a real bookshop such as Universal in Portals Nous or Come In on Plaza España. One can browse titles and have enlightening discussions about new tomes on the block.
And finally, after kicking my existing large telecommunications provider into touch following terrible customer service, I have opted for the local Soller company. So far the service has been great for fibre optic internet and local mobile signal but the test will come when I try to use data roaming in London.
Staying local and enjoying personal service has so much going for it. For all the delights of the modern age, it’s hard to beat human interaction.
The Mallorca Files
I managed to catch the first episode of The Mallorca Files, the much-heralded new BBC daytime crime series set in Majorca. It certainly isn’t a spine-tingler but that would be a mistake when showing at 2pm in the UK. It was a good fun romp with a few loose ends and some entertaining and bizarre characters (the two female police chiefs in London and Majorca respectively are both barking) and the light-heartedness and sunny scenery of the programme will offer warmth on a cold winter’s day. I quite enjoyed the seventies clunky vibe with music that combined Hawaii Five O, Bond and Miami Vice. I kept expecting to see Don Johnson leap from his Ferrari Daytona Spyder but it wasn’t to be. All the same, it was warming and cheery stuff for a rainy afternoon.
Soon I shall be back in London for media interviews about my new novel, The Devil’s Horn. By sheer chance I will arrive during the week of the General Election and I have mixed feelings about it. On the big night I shall thankfully be attending the Child Bereavement UK Carol Concert but have been persuaded by a close chum – a former political editor of BBC Newsnight - to debunk to her home to pour over the election results as they emerge. Her partner is also a former political journalist and I imagine our group will be mostly media types so heaven knows how things will pan out. Apparently copious alcohol is likely to be on the agenda to steady the nerves but I’m planning on scarpering home before things get bleak and desperate. A minicab will be booked to arrive well before midnight: well that’s the plan!