Summer sizzling heat has arrived in the UK. | Reuters

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In the wake of Covid, Barnard Castle, party gate and BoJo’s demise, UK newspapers whooped with
delight when temperatures recently began to soar. As the Tory leadership race has so far been more
like a lacklustre on-its-last-legs pub crawl with a predictable finale, the British press has had little to get excited about.

As always, there are lean pickings in July and August, notoriously the lightest news months of the
year. But hark the lark! Summer sizzling heat has arrived apparently causing untold misery and
mayhem in poor old Blighty. The media has perked up, competing for the most thrilling, deadliest sounding headlines. Some have been pretty good but my sensationalistic star of the week has to go to Mail online with its “Tropic-hell Tuesday”! That was a real rib-tickler. There have been murky tales of melting rail lines, out-of-control forest fires, drownings in natural lakes, closed schools and surgeries and people becoming perilously overcome by heat.

I do wonder though at the lack of common sense of the general public. The other day I watched an
interview between a climate expert in Scotland and a concerned-looking female news presenter. She
asked him what the public could do to avoid the extreme heat and how they could manage the
dangerous conditions. For heaven’s sake! As anyone with an iota of common sense might expect,
the bemused professor suggested drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated and hot drinks such as
tea that make us sweat and cool down the body, and staying away from the sun. Furthermore he
recommended neither lying on a beach in 43 degrees, nor drinking copious amounts of alcohol
under the sun’s rays. Rocket science at its best!

So who are these dimwits that flock to the beach without sun protection, water, and a parasol and
drink lashings of lager before falling into a comatose state under the direct ball of fire that is the
sun? Should we care about their welfare? If they refuse to heed the copious advice bandied around
by just about every media outlet, I’m afraid they really deserve their just desserts.

Tory Tantrums

What a seething nest of vipers there are in British politics. No sooner was the whistle blown than the
majority of the main contenders for the Tory crown began biting at one another’s heels. Accusations of lies, exaggeration and hubris did the rounds as the contenders stepped up their individual PR campaigns.

Some elicited the support of Tory grandees to belittle and bring down their foes. All the
same, it’s disappointing that there cannot be more honour, dignity and integrity in the lead up to appointing a new leader of any party but these days it would be naïve to expect otherwise. After one of the recent Channel Four TV debates, the audience was asked whether it trusted any politicians and not one individual raised his or her hand.

No surprises there. All the same, it’s a sad state of affairs. In the past we used to look up to certain politicians. We didn’t always agree with their views but there was respect and we also knew all of the main players’ names. These days, only a few are recognisable and mostly for the wrong reasons. It was summed up when members of the pubic were shown pictures of those vying for the hot seat with one woman triumphantly mistaking Penny Mordant for pop singer, Adele.

War on waste

I’m currently hanging out in the beautiful rural heartland of the island away from the crowds until
late August. It’s a haven of peace and tranquillity and above all, authenticity. The prices are a third less than elsewhere on the island and house prices are a fraction of the cost of properties in the Soller valley. There are no tourists or precious few and locals go about their business with car parks empty and plenty of seats to be had in restaurants.

There is only one small bugbear for me and that is its current recycling policy. A huge chunk of the
area no longer has municipal dumps so you can’t rock up in your car with your separated recycled
rubbish to put into the various large containers. Instead, the binmen come every day to your home
and pick up different types of rubbish on allotted days.

So, for example, there are five categories organic waste, paper and carboard, tins and plastics, bottles and miscellaneous stuff such as metal and broken china. This means that you need five bins in total to suit each category and as only smaller bags are collected each day, countless plastic bin bags are required. Aside from that, in a small flat or terraced home where do you keep these bins, and when full where are they housed?

The smell in the height of the summer is one issue but it’s also necessary to recall each scheduled
collection. I keep a chart on the front door and scan it every day. With each collection, all the plastic bags from each household are slung into a mincing machine and presumably then brought back to the depot. How much plastic has been created and how is it sorted?

In Soller, we don’t need so much plastic. We just tip the waste into each appropriate municipal
container and it is only the organic bin that requires plastic bags. What is the solution? I think local councils should find alternatives to plastic rubbish bags, ones that are cost effective and recyclable.

Also, perhaps dumps should be created for several town clusters so that rubbish could be
transported by those who prefer to dispose of their own trash. Otherwise, surely any recycling policy is just a waste of time?