I thought that things were returning to normal after the long Christmas/New Year/Three Kings break in Majorca. But no. Now we have San Sebastian, patron saint of the city, and as a result banks and even some shops have decided to reduce their opening hours. This week, I am told, most banks are only open to midday. I don't want to be a kill-joy but surely enough is enough. How much holiday do these people need? The Balearics, unlike the rest of Spain, already celebrates Boxing Day and a number of other “days” which are not nationwide holidays. Banks are still just returning to normal after Christmas, and I am sure that many British pensioners living here will be concerned and checking their statements to make sure that their December pension has finally been paid in after the problems experienced at the Pension HQ in the UK. Unfortunately, because of the long festive break much bank mail is still in the post or hasn't even been sent yet. Now it could be argued that most everyday banking can be done at the cash-machine but this is not the point. We are back to square one again with businesses opening and closing when they want and dictacting to us as the consumer. I read a survey which suggested that Europeans these days are having to work longer hours because of the economic slowdown. This is the case for many businesses but there are some notable exceptions. These “notable exceptions” are making our lives more difficult when they should be trying to make things easier. Shopping and going to the bank shouldn't have to be conducted like a military operation, it should be stress free and easy. Jason Moore