We are all well used to our work now the season is so established. The young people who have been doing summer jobs are now leaving their salaried life and returning to being students. The timing isn’t perfect because the season is in full swing for another two months. New employees to find for eight weeks before the end of 2019 in the tourist industry. A typical problem in our resort. So the change over of staff happens as the visitor profile brings us old friends who return at this time every year and sports people.
The news this week is that the takeover bid for the Soller Railway and its companies, has been rejected. The few weeks of questions about this has raised all sorts of issues and this genie is not about to go back in the bottle. The incoming company made lots of promises for the train and tram which local people have wanted for years. This challenge to the status quo might make existing board members consider the future in a new light. Then again, it maybe that more homework is done and another bid for the company comes before Christmas. It is said that the battle is won for now but the war is not over.
September slides us in to the return of many part time residents here. Always good to catch up with them and hear what they have been up to while we have been sweltering. The steps to the Town Hall are well trodden by this group as they catch up with their post and obey the demands for payment and information from the bureaucrats.
One story had all the English speakers wondering if they had stepped into a parallel universe. It concerned a house, divided into apartments, with two allegedly illegal balconies. This has been the subject of a court ruling and the owners have spent time and money resolving this. Just when they thought it was settled a notice appeared in the local paper saying the date on which the demolition was going to take place. The previous court ruling said that the balconies could stay because they had been in existence for 13 years. Consternation has broken out and meetings with solicitors called. Lots of people are getting very agitated about this and Estate Agents and the actions of the Town Hall are being called into question. Not a happy state of affairs for anyone.
The needs of residents and holidaymakers exist side by side for six months of the year but then there is a discernable shift. Residents who work in tourism speak all the languages they are required for their work. Come the end of season they just want to revert to type and speak ‘their’ language – whatever it is. They want to gather in groups with their friends and claim the area back for themselves. Good manners and helpfulness continue towards all the visitors but it is obvious many are getting ready to wind down for winter.
There are some here who have year round contracts and as they close the doors of visitors the renovations of the season start. Many of our builders and tradesman are now beginning their busiest time of the year with deadlines between November and March.
It is tradition for hotels to lay aside part of their income for the annual winter refurbishments.Some of our hotels will be completely reformed and emerge as new properties next season. Others will paint, mend and replace where they have to. It all depends on the money in the pot.
School starts this week and all from International to private to public schools will be at their desks. This is the real sign that residents are taking back their island again.
Busy parents of the summer now find time to support their children’s after school sports activities. Bed times for all change as the weather changes a little. It is a fact of life that by the end of the summer everyone, including children have bags under their eyes. Summer life means late, late bedtimes and little siesta time. Autumn starts with a need to catch up on some serious sleep for all.
Autumn and winter in Soller are just glorious and has a different vibe. We all welcome the days of mellow fruitfulness and catching up with friends.