The Soller Valley is beautiful after the rain and snow. Our world has had a huge bath, and everything is bursting into growth as the sun shines again and dries everything up. The yellow sorrel in the fields and the beautiful blossom makes our drives round the island a pleasure and delight. Visitors are happy and they can’t wait to get amongst it. This is either by walking or cycling the land and mountains or just walking the shore and letting the waves do their work.
There are parts of Mallorca which were built as tourism arrived. Purpose built resorts combining tourism and residential living. To develop a new town is much easier than trying to convert an old one. These are the issues facing Soller this week. The majority agree we need a theatre /auditorium, and it would be much easier to build one from scratch and be able to fill it with the structures and developments of 2023. Not so for us, we have a theatre of old, undergoing costly and controversial redevelopment. Stop, start happens for political and financial reasons. When it is completed, it will be charming but will still have the downside of an old-fashioned space.
The old slaughterhouse in Soller is being converted into a day centre for the elderly. The strength of feeling on this one has gone on for years. The conversion will be as good as it gets but, oh how much easier it would have been, to build it from the start in a better location. This week we have the news that the site of the Nun’s School of many years ago, in the centre of town, is up for a full refurbishment. This includes wiring, electrics and all manner of building work to make it fit for purpose. When it is all done it will house the library, music school, third age centre and a community hall. Make do and mend is the philosophy and there are those who are perfectly happy with that.
Equally there are those who long for a new build, in a field, with convenient parking thrown in.
You can’t please everyone, and many will be vocal when their suggestions are voted against. Who would be a politician in a small town? The nearest we have got to a group of new buildings being erected is in the Industrial Estate of Soller. This area is scarcely 20 years old and is a cluster of buildings housing Fet a Soller, boat storage, plumbing supplies, granite, sand and cement works and a re cycling centre. The Sports centre of Soller is also located here and hasn’t reached its 20th anniversary yet. So, what did our town do when confronted with an empty space and the ability to design, in our lifetime? Is it a work of contemporary art or is it a piecemeal group of random buildings? I leave you to make up your own minds on that one.
Nothing stands still and this does not please those who want the Soller Valley to be as it was in the past. Some hate all change and long for the simpler days when life was slower, and expectations were different. History tells us that the Soller Valley always was innovative and forward thinking and responded to evolution well. After all the upsets caused by the pandemic, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis I get the impression that some would like a ‘stop and ponder’ time where life didn’t have to be quite so complicated. This maybe what is driving the ‘slow down you move too fast’ feelings of 2023.
Coming out of a winter which will not be forgotten in a hurry to the ‘spring is in the air feeling’ is the cusp of change.
The best we can hope for is that individually we can take the time out for our own personal refocus. Collectively we have jobs to do, a living to be earned and a contribution to our world in 2023 to be made. The Soller Valley is wonderful place to do all that in…
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