Beautiful views over Puerto Soller | Shirley Roberts


I spend a lot of time biting my tongue. I have opinions which I hold and share with friends in conversations. I do not believe my views are the only answer to problems and situations. I watch in dark fascination at the political world and the influence that someone like Dominic Cummings is being allowed to have on UK politics. Then I think of the people in Majorca daily life that we allow to have power over our thoughts.

The English speaking world of Majorca is made up of the same groups who gathered together in the UK. The golf buddies, the church friends, the dance groups, the choirs, the pub life and sports enthusiasts. What they have in common is a shared interest and enthusiasm. Some of them like to hold the floor and give their opinions as if it were the only truth and others have a more balanced approach.

Sometimes into our midst comes a charismatic person with charm and intelligence on their side. Many are from a financial background and encourage us into savings schemes for our pension pot. We all have friends here who have lost money with these people. Some of them have been brought to justice and continue to serve prison sentences. The people affected often say nothing about their losses and the devastation it caused their lives. They do not want to be judged as gullible for believing the false promises.

The other people given guru status in our lives are those that create odd business schemes and encourage their followers to walk just on the edge of the law. Some people are so financially desperate they ignore the nagging doubt in their head and just plough on. Eventually they know they have been duped and their income stops. The brains behind the schemes end up in court with expensive defence lawyers.

What I am describing here is not unique to Majorca. Most island communities have similar stories of con people who tap in to financial and emotional vulnerabilities. The Guru comes in many guises and tells a tale that almost always asks for a small investment from the listener. There is an advert circulating on the internet at the moment which asks for one pound to register on an employment site. The jobs are non-existent and millions gave their bank details for the pound to be deducted. The data base of all the bank accounts is then sold on to to other criminals who will work the next part of the plan.

Every year a new group of people come to the island and settle. Most are looking for a good life and are willing to legally work hard for it. Then there are those who are here for a season until their schemes catch up with them. Money laundering, people trafficking, drug deals and more are amongst the stuff that goes on here. A coastline full of boats in the summer mean that people and things can be moved easily. There has been a huge increase in checks on arriving boats and small crafts by the authorities this year. The police authorities are not sitting on their hands, they know what they are looking for.

Majorca recreates itself every year and most new arrivals have much to offer. The Majorcan people all know one another and their family history stretching back generations. They are not impressed with the extravagant tales from incomers. They wait and see and make decisions on who to trust after an apprenticeship. Time is the key, and working out if what someone says, is matched by their deeds is at the heart of this.

This has to be a lesson to all of us who do not have generations of family living here. Take time to get to know people and watch to see if their actions speak louder than words. If everything is ‘all talk’ be amused by them but do not part with a euro.

This year, it is said, many people are looking for a new bolthole. The UK or the USA does not seem the place for them anymore and so they are on the move. Some will come here with their ideas and schemes looking to involve as many of us as they can. I think I will become Majorcan in my dealings and make them serve their friendship apprenticeship first.