I thought I would write to let you know how I feel about the island since arriving at the beginning of November last, to spend six months here.
We decided to follow our dreams and visit the places we thought were worthy of more than a week or two, Majorca being our first stop.
Naturally the weather is a major plus when you have spent endless winters in England, then there are the shops - what makes shopping here so much better than home is that all the shops are occupied, or the fact that everyone has to shop in Palma as there is no real alternative shopping centre on the island, or maybe it's because of the individuality of the shops, independent traders using their different styles and merchandise making it so much more varied and interesting.

It's only the big boys who can afford the prime sites in shopping centres at home, the rates and rents demanded price the smaller trader out.
When Christmas approached and we saw the effort and money spent on decorating the streets, the squares, and the paseo of Palma it beggarrs belief - when I think of the beautiful Georgian city of Bath where we live couldn't afford to pay for Christmas lights last year. The effort so many shops made with their Nativity Scenes reminding us again and again what Christmas is really all about. Then there was the traditional lunches, dinners 16 to 20 people around the table with family and friends celebrating in the traditional way. When January 6 arrived we thought the decorations would come down but no now we were going to celebrate St. Sebastian. This week the animal parade and the blessings, then Friday night which was wonderful (despite the fact it rained) walking in the squares listening to the music, seeing all the people and so many families - barbequeing their food all enjoying the evening and last night the grand finale - the fireworks never have I seen such a fantastic display in such beautiful surroundings, followed by yet another celebration with friends we've met at the animal sanctuary in Indioterio.

In England we traded Bank Holidays, we traded Sunday's, we traded all hours; some now opening 24 hours a day. We had our free enterprize. We thought “shop till u drop” was a wonderful idea and we lost all our family days, all our reunions, all the precious time when families and friends come together and we lost our Christmas lights and never did we have a firework display like I saw last night - the council would never have afforded anything like it. But! what did we replace it with - nothing.

So far the winter in Mallorca has been wonderful even though we have no mod. cons. and no TV in our rented accommodation. The beauty of your island with its traditional values, the Council prepared to spend “shop till u drop” syndrome cannot and never will replace these precious values in society, don't loose them. money on important celebrations which bring people and families together - “shop till u drop” syndrome cannot and never will replace these precious values in society, don't loose them.

Diane Oatley


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