Police officers remove a demonstrator as activists from Just Stop Oil block an entrance to a fuel terminal, during a protest in Grays, Essex. | HENRY NICHOLLS

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Here in the Balearics we face soaring electricity bills that currently have everyone gnashing their teeth but those in the UK have additional problems. Aside from rising energy costs, they also have to contend with the eco-zealots super-gluing themselves to oil lorries as they continue a month-long Just-Stop Oil campaign.

Only yesterday, I watched a video online of a burly HGV driver throwing a protestor off his lorry and although I’d never condone violence, I did feel some sympathy for him. Much as I believe in eco practices and am a nature lover, one has to be realistic and accept that we need lighting and heating to live. The group, XR, which is behind the campaign, maintains that it represents the public but does it really? I think that most Britons are at the end of their tether following Covid, witnessing the horrors of the war in Ukraine on their screens and having to find the dosh to afford hugely enhanced electricity and fuel bills.

Meanwhile, a bunch of protestors have the luxury of being able to protest. How many people these days could afford to do that? Imagine telling your boss or your clients that you wanted to have a month off to hang out at some English oil terminals with no concerns about the loss of your pay packet. The only logical conclusion I have reached is that these people are funded by wealthy backers of XR, are completely loop-the-loop and justify being on benefits, have huge inheritances or kind and indulgent families keeping a roof over their heads.

An eco-warrior who happily spoke on his mobile (no worries about using such a non-eco apparatus powered by electricity, seemingly) justified the disruption to people’s lives by saying that drilling sites in the UK had to be blocked. He believed such action was the only way to stop the government’s agenda. Frankly, I don’t think he and his XR buddies have a hope in hell of stopping any drilling. They have caused untold misery and greatly inconvenienced the British public with their antics which will likely garner them few friends and supporters. People need transport to get to work and need electricity to survive. Why is it so difficult for the XR clowns to understand this?

Tone deaf Beckhams

As news of Brooklyn Beckham’s nuptials hit the press, I did my utmost to avoid it but there it was spewing out every minute online like a never-ending stream of gaudy confetti. This $3million thrill ride for a couple in their twenties, paid for by their well-heeled and over-indulgent parents, was probably the most tone-deaf event of the year (save for the ghastly Oscars).

The bride, Nicola Peltz, daughter of a billionaire, and the heavily-tattooed Beckham Junior, will have a team of PR people to keep them in line so why was this event allowed so much gas? With a horrific war raging with countless lives lost, and millions of people struggling to survive across the globe, this crass display of excess was frankly, astounding. If it had been a discreet and aesthetic treat, one might have at least swooned at the gowns and understated beauty of the event but this was a classless affair with guests wearing an array of shockingly awful outfits and between them sporting enough of the toxin, Botox, to kill off a small nation.

US Vogue used to be all about style but now, as supporters of this Frothy Florida parade of bad taste, it’s seemingly in turmoil. As barbed comments from the media and public began to pour in, the Beckham-Peltz PR machine frantically whirred into action – a little too late. Oh the lucky couple was aware of that awful war! Of course they had insisted that instead of wedding gifts, donations should be given to er, where was it, Brookie? Sorry, Nicola babe, ain’t got a clue.

The cat’s pyjamas

A Japanese study has apparently proven that cats can identify their owners by their names and can also recognise those of other animals in the same household. Well, stone the crows, who’d have known? I’m not sure how much the Japanese research centre spent on this study but they could just have easily flown over to Mallorca and hung out at our Dr Dolittle household. All our spoilt felines know their names, bespoke songs, individual dishes, and those of the other whiskery clan that live here. Meanwhile, some of the feathered flock also recognise their own names and songs. The ducks and peacocks do but alas the hens remain a little obtuse. I raised the current hens in my office from just one day old and sang them the same morning and evening songs, even eight weeks later as they flitted around my office. They still recall the songs if they hear them now but learning their own names appears to be sadly beyond them.

One mystery in our household was recently solved. During the night, we often heard an eerie bell ringing downstairs and one morning an egg lay broken on the kitchen floor. We contemplated phantom behaviour, after all, we live in an exceptionally old finca, until Molly Mitten, our cheeky Siamese kitten, showed us her new party trick. We have an antique Swiss cowbell hanging from a kitchen wall and somehow she has learnt to climb up onto a cupboard where the eggs are stored in a metal hen, and ring the bell with her paw. So, a relief that there is no paranormal activity going on in our kitchen but it proves how resourceful and cunning cats can be. I feel a whole new Japanese study coming on.

All of the Mallorca based crime novels & travel books by Anna Nicholas, are available from Come In, La Savina & Llibres Colom in Palma, Alameda gift shop in Soller, Atelier in Fornalutx & also at all good UK bookshops & via amazon.