This is our fiesta fortnight in Soller and every day something is happening in our world to celebrate. The planners have had to tidy the programme to make sure people sit and watch events rather than dance and participate. Booking a seat for everything is boring, some to the extent, they just don’t turn up.
This is a sad state of affairs and there is no answer to it. The hordes, from out of town have arrived, and families have their annual get togethers coinciding with the Assumption Bank holiday and our local Fiesta. This year is better than last but nowhere near normal. Just being together is still very special for most and they put off the party till next year.
Congratulations are in order
Local headlines congratulate the Soller Valley on being so busy. They are predicting a quick recovery for our neck of the woods as long as people can get here. This logic makes no sense to me. When every seat is taken in a restaurant or a venue that limits the amount of takings you have. The fact that the season was not underway until 4 weeks ago means that half a year’s takings are not in the bank. The future might look good but the arithmetic for this year is never going to save it.
As we congratulate ourselves TUI has started cancelling some flights again until October. This few weeks hiatus maybe as good as it actually gets. In the meantime we are going to enjoy it as much as possible ready to miss our friends again as things change. Everyone I know has a ticket for some future date after many cancellations. My next one is in December. I wonder if I will actually get to the UK then.
Soller politics are engaging us this week and it’s all about the car park. A new one is being planned in Calle Cetre which will involve a two-story building and elimination of the main bus stop, children’s playground and a petanque court. The voting hangs by a thread and we have a kingmaker. One, unaffiliated political councillor, holds the key in his voting hand as to whether this project continues or falls. This is wonderful copy for the dog days of August. Three main parties with all their views and manifestos and it all comes down to one man. I am sure he is being invited all over the place for discussions and dinners!
There is a wonderful story doing the rounds now about the recognition of ‘outdoor chats’ as a cultural treasure. The town of Algar in Andalusia have a summer tradition of taking their chairs into the street and chatting the evening away as the sun goes down. They open their front and back door of their houses to allow the breeze to cool their very hot homes. They consider this such an important part of Spanish life that they want it recognised by Unesco.
This way of life is alive and well and lives in various part of Soller and in the Santa Catalina end of the port. My L’ horta neighbours have been known to bring their sofa out in the street for cool down evenings. The chats are sometimes loud and invariably go on until midnight. Visitors walking home from the port often come across clusters of ‘outdoor chats’ and wonder what is going on. Street life is a hugely important way of living here and many locals just do not understand incomers who lock their doors and stay inside.
The summer wars are going on in the beach areas against those who drop cigarette ends. The beach cleaning by the company who looks after the sunbeds is often criticised as it does not compare to the old days. Benito had his patch on the Repic and the sand was combed every morning. He was one of a number with responsibility for their own stretch of beach. There was a different attitude in those days which has got lost in the corporate world of todays beach care.
Local people are sick of the cigarette butt fiends. Even when they are offered ashtrays, they do not use them. The call is now for all beaches to ban smoking on them completely. More rules and considerations for the month of August.
Such is life, in the summer, in our world.