Dear Sir, I am a Mallorquin living in England for over 30 years and as such I know how the majority of people here feel about the tourist tax. I can tell you that every one is very unhappy about it and the rumours are that they will seek different destinations rather than have to pay up.

Favourite destinations are Cyprus and Turkey and bear in mind also that it is cheaper for English people to go to the United States or even Australia than Europe. You can get a return fare to Australia for around £400.00 or even less in most cases. I know for certain that for a family of two adults and one child in a hotel in Alcudia for a fornight costs £2490.00, half that much for a villa in Florida.

And the moral of the story is that if Spain goes ahead with the tourist tax it will be making a very big mistake indeed, there have already been two programs on the television about this subject and two debates and, as I said before, it very much looks like people are prepared to go elsewhere. As a Mallorquin hoping to come back to live in Mallorca I would hate to see the Island suffering a major recession and as we all know Mallorca needs the tourist like a fish needs water.


Antonio Font Vanrell, by e-mail

“From our dog to your dog on mothers day”

MY parents used to own a newspaper and stationery shop in Sheffield back in the UK. So Mothers Day was one of those times of the year when the greeting card industry was in its element. In some ways the whole thing has got totally out of hand. We now have cards with “To Daddy on Mothers Day” and “To my Husband on Mothers Day” and last but not least, and I swear it's true even though you might find it difficult to believe, “from our dog to your dog on Mothers Day!”

We've all got or had a “mum”. We might be very close to her or we might have drifted away. She might be dead or we might never have known her. We might have someone who is not our physical “mum” but someone who all the same is very much “our mum”!

Some have the awesome privilege and duty of being a mum and however they cope heaven only knows. It has to be one of the most difficult jobs on earth. But beware; don't be fooled by my romantic dialectic. Though you might not realise it from the florists spilling over with gladioli and lilies, and the glossy and slushy cards, not all mothers are of the variety we see on the TV adverts.

The geriatric wards of the hospitals on the island are homes to many mums whose bodies just no longer function as they should; sometimes presenting pictures less than loveable. There are psychiatric wards with mums who could not cope as mums and have had to opt out. In the Third World, the dehydrated breasts of Ethiopia witness powerfully to the sad eyes and the bulging stomachs, the tears and the burials that are motherhood.

The Church lays great stress on Motherhood and one of the traditions in the Anglican Church at its morning services, both at Palma and Puerto Pollensa, is to mark Mothering Sunday by distributing posies of flowers to the women in church. It's a way of saying “thank you” both for our mothers and to those who are mothers or show motherly qualities - sensitivity, protectiveness, warmth and sacrificial love.

One of the most moving poems I've ever read was amongst the possessions of an aged lady who died in the geriatric ward of a hospital. It's fairly well known now but it still packs a punch and hits a spot. It's called “Crabbit Old Woman.”

Father Robert Ellis is the Anglican Chaplain to Majorca