The day comes alive with the occasional dog walker and the shop owners opening their windows and doors. Then they wait for the people to come and buy. Few shops can have more than four people in the shop at a time and eventually a queue starts to form in the street. People walk by, take one look at the queue and just walk on. This is the shopping experience of Soller and most other small towns on the island.
The new businesses, whose work is going on behind closed doors, are up with the lark. They have much to do in the new restaurants coming our way in Soller and the Port. A clean for some and a full refurbishment for others. The largest of them all will eventually employ 10 staff, he is being very circumspect about a potential opening day. Others are starting as soon as next week with ‘take away’ coffee and snacks. The new businesses are just busy; they are saying nothing about when they think the visitors will be allowed back to Mallorca.
A gentle air of optimism that vaccines will make a difference and that life will be good by September 2021.
The ’moral’ curfew of 8 pm means that most are off the streets and back home. This gives the road workman clear streets and, under strong lights, they paint the roads. New pedestrian crossings have emerged and signs telling to to watch out for the Tram. The Tram meanwhile has been replaced by a small bus as the tracks get their annual overhaul. Nothing much is working here at the moment, no tram, no train but we do have plenty of new buses. This weekend should have seen us celebrate St Anthony with devils, fire and barbecues. An old tradition which starts the January celebrations and leads into St Sebastian in Palma. All cancelled and the music has died for this year. All fiestas have been cancelled down our way till June 2021 and then will be reviewed. Soller is a very different place without its monthly celebrations of life.
At the weekend, life returns to our mountains, as families can still head for the hills and walk. Quiet, sleepy Soller becomes a thriving exercise hub at the weekends. No business can benefit as all the restaurants and cafes are closed. Bring your own picnic and flask is the order of the day.
The stats are pouring in on many subjects in the first month of the year. This week we learnt that 2020 was the warmest year since records began. The AEMET has confirmed that the year 2020 was the warmest in Spain, Europe and the World since reliable testing started in 1961. Then that was followed by a most peculiar cold January 2021 with snow on the mountain tops for 10 consecutive days.
2020 will be remembered for so much, a landmark year to compare other years with. Where were you when Kennedy was shot? Where were you when John Lennon met his end? Where were you on 9\11 or when America went rogue? 2020 will be one of those years when we remember exactly where we were when the world twisted a different way on its axis and introduced us to coronavirus.
Back in Soller the builders are building houses and having supply issues. The storm that lingered over the sea stopped the ships coming in causing some empty shelves. Just one more irritation for the workers who just want to get their work done.
Last Friday the Covid Vaccine reached the PAC in Soller, for its staff. They were the first health professionals to receive the vaccine in Mallorca. Our team are now ready to inject the rest of us when the vaccines arrive. We are all being divided up into priority groups and, after the people in the care home, the roll out will begin. The flu vaccines we received at the end of last year haven’t been tested. The mask wearing and precautions we are all taking for Covid mean that Flu this winter has not been allowed to take hold. We learn so much from this experience and I wonder if mask wearing in future winters will be choice rather than rules.