A general view of the Staffordshire Moorlands that has been covered in snow from Storm Arwen, in Leek. | CARL RECINE


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 Mallorca.

I have noticed in the past few weeks a tendency to competitively compare terrible weather both in Majorca and here in the United Kingdom. As with sunny and warm weather, it seems that those in each camp wish to ‘dis…’ each others claim that the weather in either is particularly bad.

Before I join the debate, may I point out that we in Blighty over the past weekend have had to endure Storm Arwen which ran amok in parts of the country delivering very high winds and snowfalls particularly ‘up ’t north’. Even here in Gloucestershire we awoke on Saturday morning to a light dusting of snow and if truth be told, like most other people I was thrilled to bits at its arrival. You see, it isn’t only little kids who become excited by snow, but the difference is that we grown-ups will never admit to that fact.

Indeed, I was sharply told off because I actually phoned up our three kids and was boasting that we had snow - but, sadly they didn’t. One daughter actually put a grandchild on the phone so that I could explain to him the level and texture of the snowfall.

Unfortunately, when I went to take a pic of the aforementioned white stuff to prove what had happened, it had completely disappeared - the snow that is! Did you get any snow in Mallorca (apart from on top of mountains!) during your recent stormy weather? I remember a few years ago when it snowed heavily in early March on the island and insisted on - once again, taking pics and sending them to relatives. Do you think that there is something wrong with me?

Your hotel - best not to complain perhaps!

My favourite story of the week? That would be the one about an American woman and her six-year-old granddaughter who were thrown out of a hotel in the middle of the night in their pyjamas after writing an unflattering three-star review. The lady in question wrote of the Baymont Inn in Georgia on their ‘feedback’ website - “Rundown. Pool is not open. Toilet doesn’t flush well.” Hardly earth shattering stuff I think you’ll agree, but it seems that in the great state of Georgia this is enough to get you thrown out of your hotel.

Indeed, not only chucked-out for voicing an opinion that was sought after by the hotel management - but, carried out by local police officers - yes really! It seems that the lady in question asked one of the officers - “Can they truly kick me out in the middle of the night from a hotel for giving a review of three out of five?” Well, it appears that they can, if the hotel has “cause”…whatever that means. This got me into thinking that I bet that many hotels in Mallorca (or in fact anywhere!) would love to have the same sort of power if their clientele should be less that enthusiastic in their online reviews. What larks!

Its doggy day-wear!

l Just as the weather starts to get colder here, I noticed yesterday a scene that perhaps typifies modern society. Just up the road from where we are staying a new shop has opened. It is a supposed ‘Dog Boutique’ where there is every type of ‘Doggy-wear’ on sale for your pampered pooch. I have noticed as I pass it on a daily basis that the shop always seems to be busy, as it sells expensive items for the owners of the discerning dog.

Nothing wrong with that I suppose, if a little weird in my estimation - but, so as to highlight the incongruity (in my view) of this modern day phenomenon, sat outside on the pavement is a homeless guy, head down, rattling a tin and begging for small change. Western society in a nutshell? Just saying…

Words that leave me speechless

In another column published here in the MDB a short time ago, I railed against the overuse of the word ‘banter’ that is supposed to describe teasing and joshing between pals, mates and friends, but in my opinion is nothing of the sort - just an excuse for crude verbal bullying. Naturally enough, I’ve had some emails on the subject that completely disagree with my view on the subject. Never mind! Well, here’s another word that manages to be annoying, crude and meaningless all at the same time.

Why is it that when certain people are disappointed with a particular outcome in life they are always “Absolutely GUTTED.” It seems to me that in modern parlance this word can be employed at any given time if the user is non too pleased at the way that ‘things’ may have turned out. For example, I notice that television presenter Richard Madeley, when hospitalised during the recent goings-on in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here - said he was “gutted” to have to leave the show.

How lovely! Then we have almost every professional footballer whose team loses a match is similarly “gutted” by the experience when interviewed after the match. Moreover, that ubiquitous television presenter, Rylan Clarke Neil (or whatever he’s called this week!) seems to go out of the way to pronounce on a regular basis that he is “Gut - iddd’ when yet another celebrity is voted of Strictly Come Dancing.

As I’m in the mood, readers might like to email me their least favourite modern sayings, or words - so that I can prove that I am not the only saddo who is concerned about this sort of thing in modern life. For starters - what about “It is what is” - or “Hey ho!” - or the use of the word ‘So’ at the beginning of every sentence?