Ronaldo and family, Photo: Instagram.


Bunyola.—The paparazzi became the “evil face” of the media in the 1990s. New privacy laws have also meant that their numbers have declined and these days there are only a few about. During the “happy days of paparazzi photography” there were at least twenty based on the island. Now, they are down to single figures. But they are still about. Their profession has got harder because celebrities are more savvy. One well respected “pap” got the tip that Cristiano Ronaldo was on the island with his family. He put together a plan which involved a hefty outlay on a boat and waited. The Portuguese star player duly obliged and went out sailing a on a luxury yacht. Our friendly “pap” left in hot pursuit aboard his 300-euro-day-rented boat. He moved in close and took a series of long-range photos of Ronaldo who was wearing swimming trunks. The perfect photos. Job done. Money in the bank. Back to port and send the photos to the various international photo agencies. Just as he was sending them and dreaming of a big pay day, up pops the same photo of Ronaldo on the football star's Instagram account. It was a similar photo which our man had taken. The value of his photos and his day's work went from several thousands euros to enough for a bottle of water! Not only are new privacy laws putting the paparazzi out of business, social media is doing the same thing.

Portals.—I should have known better. The other day I paid a massive eight euros for a pint of shandy at a popular beach bar. I was horrified. How can anyone justify these prices? I don't complain, I just never go back, but Mallorca does have to be careful with its prices. What businesses need to remember is that we are all on a budget and with inflation running at 10 percent, money is short. Now, I know that the tourist industry has had it very hard over the the last three years but there is no place for scandalous prices.

Santa Ponsa.—Edwin Weindorfer is the powerhouse behind the Mallorca Country Club and its successful tennis tournament. The Santa Ponsa club works closely with the All England tennis and croquet club, commonly known as Wimbledon. When I was a kid I had a croquet set which was bought from Woolworths. It was the source of much enjoyment. So to cut a long story short I have managed to persuade Edwin to hold a croquet competition at the Mallorca Country Club. Not too serious and plenty of fun. I have high hopes. Imagine the scene, a cool summer's afternoon, a gin and tonic and a game of croquet. Sounds good? Well, I think so. If anyone is interested in playing please contact the Bulletin.

Palma.—The Balearic government are very proud of their new medical call centre which should make life easier for both medical staff and patients. It came into operation on July 1 after a successful pilot scheme. Scores of new staff have been recruited and it is all systems go. The problem is that the Balearic government already has a call centre which was dealing with all inquiries from patients. So it is a case of two call centres with the same job. How this has come about is unclear. Staff at the old call centre have been told that their jobs are not at risk but obviously they are concerned. Just why there has been this highly expensive duplication of service is a mystery. Call centres don't come cheap and having two when the job could be done by one appears to be an expensive luxury.

Portals.—Over the weekend I was sitting on Portals beach watching the fantastic sight of the super-yachts leave port. Most impressive. I watched one heading out of the yacht club and then, to my amazement, 10 minutes later it put anchor down and that was it. Portals to Magalluf on a super-yacht. Total voyage time eight minutes.

I know that fuel is expensive but it appears that even the super-rich are watching their pennies. You can safely say that the eight minute voyage still cost hundreds of euros in fuel!