The Sant Silvestre runners in their bright red t-shirts. | J. Q.


Two more sleeps and its 2024. The year of the Olympics in Paris and many other special anniversaries and occasions. On this wedding island the juggernaut is rolling as weddings pour in to keep us busy all spring and summer long. The USA have discovered us and there are some fine weddings coming our way. Our American friends have taken large houses in Soller for Christmas and the new year. Politicians and actors amongst them. I am sure they are very glad we haven’t a clue as to who they are, or how important. They have stepped out of their world and into ours and we hope they have had the best time.

As the New Year kicks off so does the busiest holiday booking dates. The large tour operators have all sorts of early bird deals for those willing to part with their deposit as the season starts. Immediately this happens all the saturation questions come out again and we look to the politicians for clarity. The staffing of the season begins, and some lessons have been learned from last year. The pay and conditions are one thing, but accommodation is the golden goose. A bed in a dormitory versus a comfortable shared apartment with your own bedroom and ensuite. Those who have made investments in staff accommodation of a good standard are going to be the winners, that seems obvious.

New Year’s Eve starts with Sant Silvestre Fun Run from the Marina Tramontana, in the Port of Soller, at 4pm. This is a great sight to see all the runners in their bright red t-shirts. Everyone runs or walks the 3km. This is the Solleric community welcoming the New Year with a bit of sports togetherness. Then its home, or out for dinner, before the big 11.30pm decision. To the Placa for the grapes, and music which lasts all night, or a creep home to watch the fireworks on TV with your own champagne. Decisions, decisions.

Then we wake to another year and a fresh start. Resolutions are old hat; all we want is peace where there is none. and an end to war. Delay, discussions, and dissent are the basis of local politics in most of the Towns and Villages of Mallorca. Soller has many outstanding works which residents consider urgent, but the three ‘D’s are universally applied.

So how to fill those holiday days before the next one and the arrival of the Kings? Eating and spending time with family and visitors? Walking and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine? Curling up with a book or film or two? Shopping for those early sale bargains and having time for hobbies? Yes, all those things are possibilities as are the escapes to the yoga and spiritual retreats, which have become popular at this time of year. What about heading for a couple of days to touch base with the city life of Madrid or Barcelona? Everything is possible with the money and the inclination. Those days of masks and no travel seem a long time ago now. Many are embracing travel possibilities. Everything is about ‘now’ as the past year has reinforced the uncertainty of life.

Many of us are grateful for our wonderful life in Mallorca. Played out with a backdrop of beauty and sunshine. The outdoor life and small community make this a paradise on earth for many. For others it is just too tough, as they consider the island now only works for the rich. The New Year will see many local young people leaving family celebrations and heading back to their working lives in the rest of Europe. Some are very happy they have the opportunity to expand their horizons, but others are going because they have no choice. Some will be sending back money to help their families.

Happy New Year to all kind readers, from us in the Soller Valley. Thank you for reading, commenting, and contacting us at Sollerweb this year. We wish you Joy in 2024.