Prince Andrew has been stripped of his Royal and military titles and cast into the wilderness. | JULIEN WARNAND

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Ever had a news embargo? Well, now is probably the time. For the last week I have refused to read, listen or watch any morning news and instead got up early and danced and sung to my favourite sixties to current disco beats.

I get on my sports gear, run to the port or the hills and come back for a twenty to thirty minutes of fast dance workout of my own making in the orchard. Naturally, unless you live in a rural dwelling this could upset your neighbours. Trust me, my cats, hens and ducks are pretty affronted but I’ve told them all to get a life.

Why the change of heart? During the Covid-19 hysteria and incarceration period, I did a modest workout around the garden, hesitantly took to the streets when allowed, mask firmly over face, and scrupulously lathered my hands in that vile sanitiser stuff that marks just about every shop and supermarket doorway.

When life became a little brighter, I slackened the routine and dared to run to the port a few times and failed to lather my hands at every shop door. A dermatologist chum in London told me this was good thinking. Did I know how harmful these awful sanitising gels were for the microbiome of the skin? Er no. Did I know how much poison I was voluntarily allowing to seep into my system? I stopped immediately.

Then came the day I spoke with a tabloid journalist in the UK. He told me that Covid-19 was ‘the gift that keeps on giving’. The clickbait and money made by newspapers and online news sites was phenomenal, he told me. People were such cretins that they’d believe everything the press wrote.

All the mainstream media had to do was create a fake headline with the words ‘Covid and ‘could/might..’ and people would be drawn in. He thought it was hilarious that readers or ‘suckers’ as he called them were lapping it all up.

Years ago while a rookie at the Guinness Book of Records, I was given the uncomfortable late-night task of deciding whether Sir Richard Branson should be granted a world record or not with his transatlantic hot air balloon extravaganza. His balloon had sailed from Maine but crashed off the coast of Ireland before juddering on to Scotland.

The French aeronautical society believed he and his world record partner, Per Lindstrand, should not achieve the record because it believed the balloon had inadvertently landed if but for a few seconds before reaching its final goal, and so should be disqualified. I remember speaking with a tabloid newspaper contact.

‘I hope he dies,’ he said cheerily. ‘We’ll sell far more newspapers than if the sucker lives! Either way, we’ll do our best to knock him off his perch.’ That did it for me. I decided whatever the weather that I would back Branson’s corner and also resolved never to believe another tabloid ever again. By the way, Branson did get the record!

So, now, I’m ignoring the mainstream press and frankly believe very little of what any of them write. I strongly feel that most are touting political narratives and others are sadly coerced by their editors to bow to the powerful funders of their channels. Only the other day – okay, I took a peek on Twitter – the Danish government apologised to its people for leading them astray with the Covid-biased news dished out by their mainstream tabloid press over the last 18 months. Ironically, they didn’t admit culpability but blamed the very media that they had instructed.

That’s why I dance and sing. Let’s ignore the negative news, the lies and false agendas, the reekingly biased narratives, and celebrate life and community. Let’s take the narrative back and make it our own.

Outcast Randy Andy

In the ghastly fallout of the ongoing Epstein affair, Prince Andrew has been stripped of his Royal and military titles and cast into the wilderness. His initial buffoonish BBC interview justifying relations with the paedophile Epstein didn’t help his case, but his denial of even knowing his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, did him no favours at all. The American whistle blower is piling up the cash as she and her legal team sweep the board, rattling the US courts and pointing the finger at those who defiled her and her young, vulnerable associates caught up in Epstein’s erstwhile steamy, nasty web of sexual depravity.

Everyone’s a loser except those who can shout ‘He did it!’ and Prince Andrew has no alibis. In fact, he’s a target and has no choice but to play the game. His options are running out. Best plan for old Randy Andy would be to settle with Giuffre out of court – should her lawyer capitulate - and to simply disappear. If he needs a place to hide out, there’s a couple in Los Angeles in a huge mansion who might take him in out of pity. The husband has red hair and the wife has an axe to grind with the Royal family. I’m sure they’d all get along like a house on fire.

Bookends

This week, it was sad to say goodbye to my good friend, Kay Halley, owner of Universal Bookshop in Portals Nous, who has done so much to promote my books set in Majorca, over the years. We celebrated with a fun lunch in Palma and talked about the good times and the adventures and book launches we’d done together.

I know countless others will miss lovely Kay, not least locals, tourists and many school children who spent hours poring over books in her wonderfully welcoming and warm emporium. We will keep in touch but it’s the end of an era. I, for one, will miss this one-woman dynamo more than words can say.

Anna Nicholas’s nine Mallorca-based titles are available from Come In, Llibres Colom & La Salina in Palma and at Alameda gift shop in Soller. They are also available at all good UK bookshops & via amazon.