Soller

Just empty as if the ‘Child Catcher’ had come and spirited the children away.

17-03-2020Shirley Roberts

For the last few days we have begun to feel the effects of ‘lock down’ Majorca. I live in a small place with around 13,000 inhabitants. They have all been swept off the streets as if a big digger just gathered them up and dumped them somewhere. There is no-one around and its just plain scary. Soller City centre is the see and be seen place of our area. The first thing I saw when I popped to the chemist was the lack of prams and lovely babies to admire. The whole of Soller loves babies and new mums cannot possibly get down the main street without being stopped by the oohs and aahs of grannies.

Then our Placa in front of the Town Hall. Our gathering place for so much and an evening football pitch for the after school children. Just empty as if the ‘Child Catcher’ had come and spirited the children away. Not a coffee to be had anywhere with a total lockdown in place. All that is left open in the main square of Soller Town Centre is the Pharmacy and the Newsagent. Then of course as a resident you are expected to buy your bread or visit the chemist and then head straight home. No chats or passing the time of day with anyone. The highlight of the day is going out for the bread and making the walk last. The police are of course wise to this and ask you why you are not taking the quickest route home. What you want to say is ‘come on officer, now I am out I just want to walk for exercise before returning to lock down’. You don’t say it of course because a fine might be his response.

The hotels are all closed now and visitors gone back to the airport to join those trying to get back home. As there were no restaurants open in the past few days all hotel guests had to eat in their hotels whether the staff were geared up for it or not. Everyday new rules for a group of workers. Life is much easier to manage now that the visitors have gone. Bad timing for the last group of holidaymakers. I hope they come back again soon to see what Majorca really has to offer.

The flight cancellations have been coming in thick and fast giving indications when the airline think this problem will be over. My Easter flights to go the UK were cancelled by easyJet yesterday. The airline obviously thinks we will still be having problems at Easter. The news of the closing the airport to all but three flights a day for local people is big news. For my family we would love to get my granddaughter back from University for the Easter holidays. At present I can’t see how that is going to happen. Many families here have the same worries about their student children in the UK. We thought we might have a gap to get her back this weekend but that door appears to be closed.

The human spirit is very resilient and the Soller Music School have been entertaining us with children playing instruments on their balconies and roof gardens. Hallelujah on the saxophone was todays pleasure. Then we follow the afternoons of music with the 8 pm claps for the people who are frontline carers for the virus. Radio One Majorca have helpfully provided an 20.00 rendition of La Balanguera to be the backdrop of the claps. Then at 21.00 the candles, and lights from mobile phone are shined upwards in the night sky to think of those who are in hospital right now and those who have sadly died from the virus.

This is only week one I am sure we will be having virtual Shakespeare productions on the balconies by next week. The human spirit is very strong and as long as we can continue to keep the children busy we will all be fine. In the meantime, the Humans of Majorca say hello from our isolation and will keep you updated on our progress. Will we have made that new recipe or read that book before I write again? All remains to be seen…

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