Social History writers chronicle change and raise our antennae to developments. So it was in the lockdown days of the pandemic. All writers wrote regularly without knowing how it was all going to end. The act of writing and recording was a world of its own. The ‘all in it together’ plus, the time to read the offerings, have contributed to today’s world and stories.

As one of the writers who wrote daily in the pandemic I continue to make my own personal observations of the changes unfolding in the Soller Valley.

I believe the introspection of that time has not left us. Most people I know are very personally invested. Lockdown gave them a unique opportunity to concentrate on ‘self’. For some this meant making big changes to their relationships. Some marriages strengthened or began the slide into separation. Serious diets were undertaken and weight loss was a way of managing the time. After lockdown some weight loss success stories became fitness enthusiasts and the ‘body’ and ‘self’ were intertwined.

To pick up life and relationships as time reverts to how it used to be has been a hard call for some. They are finding they are just not as interested in other people anymore. The investment in ‘self’ has become all-consuming and there is little brain time left over.

We now have the choice again as to whether to engage with people, the community and the wider world. Some still prefer to remain behind their mask or their front door. Depression is the buzz word of conversations and we are only just beginning to understand the effects this has had on young people and children.

In the Soller Valley world the trend had already started for some new arrivals to build a big wall around their properties. They chose not to engage much with what went on outside their compound. Security guards and home deliveries meant that some never walked the walk to the village or town centres. This, as a trend, is now having a knock on effect to those who hate this idea.

Some are moving from the villages into Soller centre because they want ‘real life’ daily action. This in turn is making the buzz of Soller and the Port even more attractive to those in search of connection and interaction. They want to live in a working town where people leave their houses to go to work. The children fill the streets on their way to school and coffee time chatter between people who barely know one another is the norm. They respect the work ethic of the people and the traditions which give form to the year.

As a Social History observation I am well aware that this can change overnight. The pandemic taught us that much and our progress is tentative. The financial implications of the cost of living crisis will change all the base lines again and rethinking and rebooting of ‘self’ will be inevitable.

We have begun the 2022 development which will change us all again and make us rethink our direction. We all came out into the light at the beginning of this year. Full employment in the hospitality sector and our streets and beaches full of visitors. Europe and the USA were on the move and many of them found the Soller Valley with their pent up travel desires and their cash.

We are now told that we are in for a bit of a shock when all these people return home and find how the cost of living issues have affected them. Will they be travelling to our world in the same numbers next year? Government interventions and the roll of the dice will determine that. There are no guarantees that life as we have known it this summer will continue into next year.

We live in paradise island, when it was empty as the pandemic receded, we all had a glorious experience. There are many who are predicting this will be our experience for the winter and into the spring of next year too.

We have to eat, house and clothe our families and continue with life. We may be leaving the steak dinners and opting for cheaper food but we should still be able to get out and enjoy the beauty and life on our own doorstep. Local events and people really matter when there is no money for petrol. Stay close and look after your neighbours is a Soller mantra.

I am no crystal ball gazer and no-one has given me insider information but I believe the future is pretty plain for all to see. This one life we have, has to be lived the best way possible, whatever the future holds.

Let’s have this conversation again in six months’ time…