Every good and bad thing coming out of Soller this week has started with communication. This vastly underrated and unappreciated concept has been at the top of the list. No wonder people with money spend a huge amount getting the right story out there. The first of our communication misfits came with the announcements that 2 arriving visitors had been tested positive with the virus. The procedure took over and the next day a third was added to the list. Later in the week a policeman joined the group and 8 of his contacts had to go into house isolation for ten days. All under control with all the correct procedures and protocol but just horrid to be happening at all.
The Fergus Hotel in Puerto Soller opened under a month ago and then announced last Friday it is closing for the rest of this year. This news sent staff into a flat spin and rumours about every other hotel started to circulate. The visitor numbers in the Soller Valley at present are good but who knows if they are second home owners or staying in Villas. The hotels give little away so it is difficult to know their current occupancy.
Life is tough and gets tougher every day as the reality begins to bite. On the surface the restaurants have had a mega busy weekend. Live Music and Movies on the beach were part of the entertainment in the beautiful warm summer evenings. Children played on the beach and sunset sails went out and popped their corks as the sun went down. A normal August life in Puerto Soller was being played out against the hugely uncertain backdrop.
In a normal year we would be at the beginning of the St Bartholomew Fiesta. Dragons, demons and a fire run normally characterise this week in August. The Art Galleries and music nights go alongside vast gatherings of people who come home for their fiesta. This year, nothing so far, apart from an umbrella art installation in the square. The Town Hall have used this week to launch the 10-euro voucher scheme to boost business in town and port.
This all works by shopping in a shop partaking in the scheme and spending enough to be entitled to the voucher book. When it is in your hand you can use it against restaurant and café bills, not including alcohol. There is huge energy coming from Soller Town Hall to create a buzz and new ideas in a difficult situation.
As the week came to an end the plans are already being made for the start of the school terms. The children need to have two masks among their essential kit. What a new normal is awaiting them. Some sports teams are back for pre season training and there is a glimmer of normal on the horizon. Everyone is still very conscious of the fragility of plans and nothing is taken for granted anymore.
That fact that easyJet are allowing free cancellations and flight transfers up to 2 hours before a flight departure gives a new view into our world. We have friends due out at the end of August who are literally not going to make their decision to travel until the very last day. No-one could have ever predicted that would be the case.
Human beings are in free fall and few like that feeling. We get great enjoyment about planning and thinking of our travels and this has all gone for the time being. We laugh now at those who said that Lockdown and all its implications would be forgotten by the autumn and normal life would have resumed. They knew nothing and are embarrassed at the memory of their pontifications.
Communication was where we started this article and it’s what ends it too. To keep the dialogue going and trust your news sources is the lesson of the week. Most of us have papers and writers we trust and websites who earn our respect. Dialogue with friends can give a different perspective and we all need that. Even with all that we are susceptible to fake news as the writers are very skilful, especially those who grab our attention with the headlines. A little discernment is what we all need this week.