MANY apologies to anybody who missed this column's all important advice on the byways of rural life last Sunday.
The fault lay entirely with this earthy not comprehending the ways of aliens in the form of computers.
How should one know that the latter are so fond of typescript that they swallow it irretrievably.
All it left was this last paragraph: South Harting (West Sussex) is older than Mancor del Valle, but still as both are unspoiled it is lovely to be in. This weekend is Harvest Festival. The inside of the Norman/Saxon Church looks wonderful and the village is celebrating not only a good harvest but the installation of a new Rector. There was standing room only in the children's corner or out in the rain.
Glory be the moon shone bright after the installation, which was followed by an immense spread in the village hall prepared by the ladies. Back in Majorca next week. For now that is all. The splendid free computer service in the Petersfield library only allows one hour. How nice it will be to get back out of the rain. How little did one know that a distinctly parched look confronted the returned-men in shorts (?) everyone eating happily and noisily outside the bars. What, no rain for a fortnight?
All one could do was to turn on the automatic watering again and hope for the swift recovery of plants in pots. If only humans were as easy to treat as plants, how nice just to pour cold water on patients and watch.
The slightly global warming weather this October would have been all to report during one's absence.
However, we were swiftly informed of a spectacular event which had transpired in the finca next to our house which belongs to our daughter.
An articulated lorry full of gravel had managed to come down the hill, overturn its trailer, and shed its cargo. In doing this, it had managed to knock down a lamp post, demolish forty metres of wall, spread gravel far and wide and overturn the trailer. Mancor del Valle tries hard to keep in the eye of existence, but with no policeman etc, such events hardly make the newspapers. If anything like this should happen to a reader (heaven forbid), this column will let you know of what to do.
Those who enjoy country life will not have let last Monday pass without giving a thought to St Francis of Assisi.
This Saint is particularly important to this island. The order of friars named after him included Fra Junipero Serra, a native of the village of Petra, and whose missionary work did a lot to found the State of California. St Francis is of course remembered for his love of wild creatures, especially birds, and he is the patron Saint of ecologists. He has many monuments in the island. Should you be interested you would be overawed by the amazing Porciuncula in the Franciscan Friary at the top end of the Maravillas, Playa de Palma. Here is a depiction of the creation and St Francis in stained glass which are all the walls of this large and breathtaking modern church.
At this time of year usually there are great disturbances in the sky, and storms. Fishermen have an explanation for this to account for the stormy seas and bad fishing weather. It appears that the Devil, being fed up with the piety of St Francis, never let a moment pass without trying to tempt him. Naturally, St Francis got tired of this pestering. He took the Devil to an island where they saw a large castle. St Francis told him that in the castle were lots of sin-loving souls. However, the keys had been lost and the Devil would have to look for them. St Francis then left him.
The Devil was furious and St Francis never came back. For that reason there are always disturbances in the sky on the anniversary.
These storms do not seem to have materialised (perhaps the Devil has found a way in) and it looks as if rural life has to pause. It is the time to plough and scatter, but the ground is too hard. We will just have to go on enjoying eating outside, postponing the ordering of firewood and leaving the excavation of winter clothes till later.