Every week Frank Leavers our man with the dirty Mac and half empty glass of inexpensive vino is looking at what lies just below the sophisticated gloss of island life.Come on folks; tell our Frank what’s really happening in Majorca.

If everything goes to plan we should be on our way home to Majorca tomorrow. It has been nine weeks since we arrived here on a flying visit to the United Kingdom to attend amongst other things - my nephews wedding.

However, I don’t want to get to ahead of myself, because, as they say - ‘There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip’ and believe me I should know. Indeed, I am tempted to take you through every tiny detail of our four (yes 4!) cancelled flights home, but that would be just masochistic and to be totally truthful, it’s Julie who does all the hard yards on the phone and online to various airlines trying to nail down another flight - as the last one, yet again, has just been summarily pulled. Before you say to yourself (if a woman) “typical man” can I just point out that while Julie was online trying to get another flight, I paced up-and-down in a very sympathetic manner saying supportive things such as - “What’s happening - haven’t you done it yet?” or “You’ve been an awfully long time on the phone love, why don’t you call them back later.”

She in turn threatens to do something really terrible to my favourite organ - and so I gather up what’s left of my dignity and pour my first glass of the day at a minute past four in the afternoon. Earlier in this pandemic, it was seen to be very poor form indeed to hurl a drink down ones neck before 6pm or just after the conclusion of the daily coronavirus press conference i.e. whatever arrives first. Not anymore!

I”VE SHRUNK!

I’d like to be able to tell you that during this lockdown I have spend time keeping myself ‘Up together’ but alas, it’s not really me I’m afraid. I did try a couple of times to follow various keep fit Gods online, but - I got the stitch so gave up. Once or twice I joined island based dance and keep-fit workshops, but my heart really wasn’t in it. And the one I did like, was fronted by a very nice young lady wearing not very much…very tightly; however I was admonished for being “A bit of a perv” which wasn’t very nice at all if you think about it, now was it? Unfortunately, it has been pointed out to me that I look like I have put-on a few kilos these past weeks, but in truth, I think this has more to do with the fact that I have become much shorter in that time.

At my age a man does shrink somewhat and this shrinkage can manifest itself by making a chap look slightly chubbier, so I believe this to be just a visual aberration and not the real thing at all.

STAND BACK, I’M COMING THROUGH

One of the most annoying effects of social distancing is the over-reaction of some people to the two metre social distancing rule. Let me explain. As a good citizen and my households designated shopper, I like to think that I am both assiduous and well mannered in this regard. However, I have noticed that some people have become quite ridiculous in the way that they keep their distance from others. Most people will walk along a public pavement and subtly make way for other pedestrians by easing to one side or by standing back a little to let someone pass. For some people however, you will get the full ‘backs against the wall’ treatment, whereupon the person you are passing at a safe distance prostrate’s themselves as if they were a lowly serf in a Hammer Horror movie.

For instance, my small local supermarket has a rather sensible one-way system where shoppers follow a set route so as to stop too many traffic-jams and the clogging of aisles around the booze shelves and fridges. Nevertheless, some people can’t help themselves when they seek to pass you by the cornflakes and shout things like “I’m coming through,” or on occasions “Stand back will you?” I suppose that they are just a little nervous, or if I were being particularly vindictive, maybe they want you to notice that they have on the full PPE garb and think that the rest of us are set on killing them. God knows what they will do when this lockdown ends.

A GOOD READ

So far during my stay here in middle England I have read eight books cover-to-cover and another four that I gave up on before reaching the statutory page 30 watershed. Come on reader, at what stage do you abandon a book because it is - a) unreadable - b) pretentious - c) just not your cup-of-tea - or d) not what you expected, but not in a good way? It’s a tricky one this - because, if you only read books that you know that you will enjoy, this will restrict you and limit what you might also really enjoy given the opportunity. As an avid reader, I like most men, tend towards non-fiction, but have now forced myself to read novels and am enjoying the experience.

Similarly, a female person I know who is equally keen on reading has started to forsake the novel and has begun to pick up biography’s and autobiographies. I have to say that one of the few positives of this lockdown has been the time that I can use up, without guilt - reading a good book. I suspect that I am not alone in this either.

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