There was a fascinating article in a British newspaper recently that suggested that 6 out of 10 people surveyed said that they were “rubbish” at recycling. In the UK it seems, this is more to do with the ever more complicated rules and regulations of recycling rather than a rejection of the concept of sorting out household waste properly. Naturally enough, as we are talking of Great Britain in this matter, I guess we would expect a local authority nose-poker would seek to make the whole process a little more complicated than it should be, because they would have a whole department with which to justify their existence. I wonder whether here in Majorca we could do with a little of this ‘jobsworth’ mentality, so as to encourage more of us to re-cycle? I am told that I have become a total bore when it comes to our household waste disposal. At the moment I’ve got six different bags of waste material on a weekly disposal loop; that includes everything such as - plastic, glass, tins, newspaper/paper, food waste and general garden material. If someone (she knows who she is!) should seek to place an empty tin of tuna in the ‘plastic’ receptacle stand by for trouble and a long lecture whereupon I accuse her of environmental vandalism. Unhappily, she repeats a long held fragment of negative propaganda, where it seems that here in Majorca no matter how much we recycling loons compartmentalise our waste, it all gets thrown together - because that’s what they do in Spain i.e. pretend to do one thing and then do the complete opposite. Will someone tell me that this isn’t true please? You know, it’s just an urban myth put about by those who seek to faze all of us who try our best to do our duty rubbish wise? By the way - when I was a lad, our family unit consisted of mum and dad plus four kids. Once a week on a Wednesday, a whistling bin-man would pick up a medium sized metal dustbin and that would be it for another week. Consider this; there are two of us at ‘ours’ and we generate as much rubbish in a day than a family of six would in a week - back in the day.

You may not realise it, but within the British ex-pat community here in Majorca, there are scores of older people living a life of genteel poverty. I say genteel poverty, because that’s what it amounts to as a widow/widower UK pension shrinks with the present exchange rate. The pension that for instance, an elderly ladies late husband secured through a lifetime of work, is evaporating before her very eyes. Naturally enough this problem isn’t merely about older women, but those who know about these things tell me that it is a real problem that is growing year on year. I have been told stories of British pensioners living on pitiable amounts of money, yet are from a generation who wouldn’t like to “make a fuss,” and so make themselves socially and economically invisible. As if to add poignancy to their plight, we all know of people of a certain age living on this island who were rather keen on Britain exiting the EU as quickly as possible for all sorts of reasons - sadly, the first consequence of their wish coming true, could well be their own financial discomfort.

Even when living here on this beautiful island, it doesn’t take long for most of us to slip into daily routine whether we are working flat out, busy with life or perhaps retired. As part of my one man ‘staycation’ campaign here in Majorca, why not at least try to break free of this mindset and seek to rediscover the island? This ‘arc of predictability’ can be banished very quickly if you have a mind to do it. For instance, why not on one day over the weekend drive to a place on the island that you’ve never visited before - or, back to a really nice small town you haven’t been to in ages? Come on let’s face it - you can only drive for approximately 90 minutes at most, before you’d fall off the island at some point, so we’re not talking of impossibly long journeys or treks into the unknown now are we? If you live on the north of the island, why not take a slow drive and then a bracing walk around a small town somewhere else you’ve never encountered before - and vice-versa? As the workload for many of us in employment drops away for obvious pandemic linked reasons, now might be the right time for a modest potter (wrong word perhaps!) doesn’t have to be merely a weekend jaunt, but on a nice day. Perhaps I should underline the fact that to undertake this re-evaluation of Majorca, you really don’t have to be like an old person mooching about the place, but just like me. You know; how do you say?… An er-er, ex-pat discoverer of interesting places to go and interesting things to do; even though a martyr to lower back pain Why not try it?

My pal Dave M made me laugh out loud the other day over a coffee when he told me that he is going to a wedding in Marbella next year if Covid-19 behaves itself. Anyway, he told me that anyone who is anyone apparently refers to Marbella as ‘Marbs’ in that throwaway fashion that is so poplar with Z list celebrities nowadays. This immediately reminded me of a conversation, that frankly, I wished I hadn’t overheard, whereupon our lovely island was labelled ‘Madge.’ For instance, in a half heard conversational fragment at Bristol airport last summer, I pricked my ears up over the following - “Yeah, I’m like - flying to Madge…we’er staying in Maga - it’s going to be Mega.”