Bad weather | J. TABERNER

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.

Over the past week or so I have rediscovered a rather strange social phenomenon, namely - weather jealousy - but not in the normal scheme of things I’m afraid. When staying in the United Kingdom it is right and proper for any man or woman to feel a sort of climate envy towards places such as Mallorca because that’s the way it is…isn’t it?

You know the sort of thing don’t you; shivering as a wet westerly or a cold northerly blows across Blighty in early spring whilst the Balearics bathe in non-stop sunshine and a warm breeze ripples across the western Mediterranean. But not this year apparently! As we have basked in wall-to-wall pleasant sunshine in almost two weeks of blameless weather, I hear that Mallorca has been suffering from wet and windy days for almost that same period of time, made even worse I’m led to believe by the general unfairness of it all.

I know of a couple of sets of people who nip between Santa Ponsa and Salford, Pollensa and Peterborough on a regular basis and are none-too-happy at the moment ‘cos the bad weather recently has not been where it is supposed to be at this time of year. Imagine, you line up a week away in Mallorca to avoid “…mad March winds” in the UK only to find that the world has gone mad and the weather has completely reversed itself.

I tell you, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at those poor folk who rushed to get away only to find that the prevailing weather in the western Med has been absolutely dreadful. Not me of course - I would never be so cruel, but - just glancing at social media posts emanating from the island these past ten days or so has been entertaining to say the least, as people seek to blame anyone or anything for this reversal. Oh well, as it’s so nice outside I think that I’ll finish writing this in the garden - blimey, I hope I don’t get sunburnt. Only joking!

We’re all going double-barrelled

Over the past few years has anyone else noticed the fact that many people are now sporting double-barrelled surnames? Indeed, almost every other English Premiership footballer sounds like he might be related to the Lord of the Manor or at least the local ‘toff’ of the village.

Apparently, this is part of a social movement that wants a mother to be recognised in the naming - or more recently re-naming of a person. The latest high profile personality to seek to do this is the Formula One racing driver and former World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, who is vigorously promoting this move to formally recognise a mothers antecedents in a child’s name. I will have to be careful here, but it’s my understanding that Spanish families mostly do this as a matter of course and it is not seen as some sort of social affectation as it is in the United Kingdom.

It was with this in mind that I started to practice my ‘new’ name if I should ever seek to follow this new modern trend. For instance, I would become Frank Perret-Leavers which isn’t too bad I suppose, but you can imagine (can’t you!) some fairly extraordinary new names that could emerge from this practice. Then we have the whole business of a wife traditionally expected to take the name of her bloke if they should marry, however grim his moniker might be. Go on both of you, have a go yourself and if you get a really weird or funny double-barrelled name I can highlight it in next Wednesday’s Bulletin!

Happy birthday to you…

As we approach Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration later this year, I was particularly struck by one nugget of information that I have gleaned regarding certain important differences between 1952 and 2022. Yes, there is always the fact that there were still wartime rationing on tea, sugar, butter and sweets, but no computers, motorways, supermarkets or frozen foods….Everest had yet to be climbed and most of you reading this hadn’t even been born….er, maybe not!

However, the most startling fact that I discovered whilst idly reading an article about this subject, was that Her Majesty sent 395 telegrams to centenarians. By 2020, that figure had risen to 16,254 - which if you think about it is a massive leap in longevity and a much larger postage bill for our monarch.

Fitting in with the community - not!

The celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, clearly isn’t concerned about ingratiating himself with the neighbours near his second home after declaring that he “Can’t stand” the Cornish. The mild mannered chef is said to own a £6 million mansion in the village of Rock and told BBC Radio 2 “Trust me, I absolutely love Cornwall, it’s just the Cornish I can’t stand.” He got himself into a spot of bother with locals when at the very beginning of the UK’s lockdown he suddenly moved lock,stock and barrel to Cornwall - so as to be nearer to them when exchanging insults it seems!

Interestingly, Dick Cole, the leader of local pressure group Mebyon Kernow said - “It’s shocking, he deems it okay to make such a statement that he’d presumably not make about other national or ethnic groups.” In truth it appears that this feud has been going on for some time as locals initially claimed that way back in 2020 Ramsay flagrantly ignored travel bans during various lockdowns.

Reading reports about his outbursts towards the local Cornish community, you do wonder if he is actually going out of his way to provoke local people. Can you imagine what would happen in Mallorca if any British or German outsider should have the temerity to talk about local Mallorcans in such a way? By-the-way, I hope his luxury property is insured - or do I?