Summer of discontent
While the UK copes with unexpected soaring temperatures and enormous queues at airports, it now has the prospect of a real summer of discontent as unions unite to create havoc in the UK. Transport chiefs have already rattled the government’s cage but more workers across many public sector professions are ready to down tools. So, joining train and tube strikers may soon be teachers, doctors, bin men, civil servants and truck drivers.
It takes me back to my youth when I recall the regular electricity cuts and the miners’ strikes. The funny thing is that everyone seemed just to accept that it was happening and worked around it. Here we are in an era of internet and where just about everything is performed online. Imagine how hysterical the public would be if that scenario were to play out today?
The British government might have thought that it was out of the woods post pandemic and party gate but I’m not so sure. Aside from the Rwanda farce, energy crisis and ongoing airports hiatus, the strikes could really prove the nail in the coffin for a beleaguered Boris Johnson.

A modern Royalty
Should it be true that Prince William really is mapping out a new path for the slimmed down Royal family, I applaud his decision. If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that loose cannons within the fold can completely destabilise the British institution. With Harry and Meghan doing whatever they please across the pond and flagrantly exploiting their Royal status, and Prince Andrew having shamed the whole family, it is time to cast all adrift. Perhaps, that won’t be totally possible but hopefully the black sheep can be shunted sideways.
As for the future of the Commonwealth, it’s probably time to free those states that would much prefer to have their independence. The world has moved on and the UK no longer rules the waves, so high time to get with the programme. Some, of course, might prefer to remain within the Royal family but for a good number, there is an increasing desire to run their own affairs and do away with the pomp and circumstance of Royal visits. I for one will be relieved not to have to see Royals shimmying awkwardly with indigenous people in grass skirts. It no longer feels comfortable to watch this outmoded tradition.

Running away to silence
While the world and his wife are making all haste to Soller to enjoy sea, sunshine and the bustle, we have fled to Es Pla to hang out at my sister’s quiet house in a village as silent as a stone. There are no tourists, cars, noise or activity of any kind. There’s a fantastic local bar-cum-restaurant and a tiny grocery store run by the wonderful Maria, the ears and eyes of the locale. All her fruit and vegetables are grown by locals and the taste of her produce is superb and half the cost of stores in Soller.
Pastoral Es Pla is a joy but I think I would miss the combination of sea and mountains if I lived there; the hallmark of the Soller valley. On the other hand it’s the best place to be during the summer, in my opinion. There are no queues, car parks are virtually empty, cafés and restaurants aren’t full, and from 1pm until 5pm you could hear a pin drop. Although the sea might not be on the doorstep, it takes just 20 minutes or so to reach the nearest bay. The people are calm and welcoming and the pace of life is wonderfully languid. As Soller becomes out of reach for those hoping to purchase a home at a reasonable price, I always advise searching around Es Pla for a bargain. That is how my sister found her house, having given up on Soller. I’m so glad she did as we get to enjoy it too!

Covid blues
A fter a fantastic and crazy 36 hours in Madrid I returned with the virus. It was inevitable that I would catch it having evaded as much as a cold for more than three years. I can’t say it was too bad either. A few days of aches and pains and headaches and then just a cough and feeling of fatigue and lack of appetite for a week. It’s such a far cry from the terrible symptoms people were experiencing in the early days of the pandemic so I am grateful that it wasn’t any worse than that. Curiously, I have noticed that expats here are still rushing to post images on social media of their positive Covid tests, as if it’s a badge of honour. As a journalist in London witheringly opined when I told her, “Oh that’s so passé! Maybe it’s a hick expat thing in Mallorca? I guess living there none of you are really on trend.” That really made me laugh. So whatever you do, don’t post your Covid test (the thing that looks like a pregnancy test) unless you want to feel the scorn waves of hip Londoners across the pond.