EVERYONE has got used to the new world we inhabit in the Soller Valley. They are all anxious for it to change and revert back to a business model which sustains its people. In the mean-time they are loving the space and ability to have it all to themselves.
They even get sniffy when the droves of local walkers turn up to try some our peaks and walks. We turn up and park where we want to with little of the driving round in circles looking for a meter. We all know this is a time in our lives which is unique. We also know that you can’t eat beauty and fresh air and that the money making days must soon return.
Sollerweb has a daily dialogue with those who are anxious to get back to their second homes here. They are just not used to spending all their time in their UK houses. They are seeing UK seasons they haven’t seen for years.
Our friends from Canada are spending more snow filled months than they normally do. They like many of the American snowbirds fly off to warmer climes when the winter really arrives. In the Soller Valley we are usually lucky to have many of them here, but not this year.
The reality of who is actually here will not be known until the cafes open today. Then we will see who is really around. The life of the Soller Valley will go on in all its beauty as Spring is the most glorious season here.
The Town council has got workers out all over the place. Tree pruning and fence building in the Port and Biniaraix. Mass ITV testing of motorbikes in the Son Angelats car park. 400 of Soller’s finest turned up for their annual inspection. Pruning of hedgerows and roadside verges is all over the place.
I was amused by the yellow sorrel growing on the roundabout at the exit to the Sa Mola tunnel in the Port. The grass is fake and AstroTurf, but the flowers still grow through it. Nature will take back all its bounty if we don’t look after it seems to be the message here.
The spring cleaning gathers pace as we get towards the expectations of Easter. We already know that none of the parades will happen in real time. Virtual penitence is being planned but this is the second Easter with no celebrations or parades. In fact, Easter last year saw us in full lockdown with the children not allowed out at all and the rest of us for essential tasks only.
The memory has not got stuck at that point because we do not want to remember the awfulness of that time or the long term damage it did to our young people.
The Spanish have always been good lunch eaters unlike most of the UK people.
My local friends still eat three courses at lunch time and bread and cheese for supper. The changes to restaurant times really suits them as they are happy to have their gatherings over a long lunch, especially on Sundays. The rest of us sandwich lunch and dinner at 8 pm are not so happy but we will adapt and become more local.
This weekend has seen Balearic Day which we have enjoyed. On March 1 each year, there is a public holiday `Balearic Islands´ Day which commemorates the granting of autonomous government status to the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) in 1983.
The schools are on holiday and family gatherings are the norm but not this year. Some families, including ours, had a ‘Take Away’ in the garden for the Bank Holiday. We celebrated as best we could until the start of the gradual unwinding of restrictions starting today!
The Town Hall here is rolling out its big plans for car parking, against a very loud lobby against the state of Soller’s roads. Many local drivers describe the majority of our side roads as ‘third world’. This is particularly dangerous for increase in cycling that the pandemic has brought. No money for petrol so get the bike out is the thinking of many.
The potholes have caused accidents and the compensation claims are finding their way to the powers that be. Maybe the next big project will be the roads, we can live in hope.