Sunset in Puerto Soller. | LL. GARCIA


When I was younger than I am now, my dependence on the mobile phone was only in its infancy. I happily only ever used it to contact home occasionally from trips abroad. The days of sunsets in Florida came to mind this week when chatting to friends. Trev and I often stayed in Naples and watched beautiful sunsets every day. The beach was crowded with picnickers ready to raise a glass as the sun went down. The tradition then, was to applaud as the sun set into the water. We were congratulating whichever God we worshipped, on a fine end, to a glorious day.

Of course, all this has now stopped and the memories I have will not be enjoyed by a future generation. There is no-one these days who would have their hands free to raise a toast or applaud the setting sun. Everyone is too busy filming the occasion and recording it for social media or their own collection of pictures. Ask the captains of the sunset cruises, which happen regularly in the Soller Valley, what they see. They will tell you that looking back to the beach as the sun sets, they have a view of hundreds of flashes from mobile phones.

This is a very sad reflection of our lives in 2024. No enjoying the moment and filing it in the brain. It all must hit the camera on the mobile phone first. I spend hours every day taking pics for Facebook and videos for You Tube. As I write, this is a message to self as much as for any kind reader How much do we miss when everything is viewed through a lens?

The agricultural cooperative Sant Bartomeu has had a very successful oil harvest. The best volume of pressings in ten years has produced 234,000 litres of oil during the pressing season. The president of the Agricole, Miquel Gual, declared himself very satisfied with the work done since last October when the pressings began. They have crushed 1.3 million kilos of olives, which have provided 234,000 litres of oil. The average yield given by the olive has been around 18%. The best for years!

As the Soller Valley prepares to open fully for the season the discussions are getting angrier and more vocal. Concrete appeared on a ‘temporary’ car park and suddenly this didn’t seem like a temporary solution. This project has a huge back story involving politicians no longer in office. Will the car park, allegedly destined for ‘underground’ ever happen now? Will the children’s playground, acquired as a temporary measure for parking, ever be given back to the children of this municipality? Some very strong views circulating on this one. I hope the powers that be, have an answer or two. They have already started falling out, in the uneasy coalition, which is our pleasure since the last local election. This power base hasn’t been in existence for a year yet and the cracks are evident.

We know Michelle Obama loves Mallorca. She appears to have slipped in and out several times in the past few years. We know she loves a particular restaurant halfway between Soller and Deya. Friends have met her and her entourage, walking in the Tramuntana. Occasionally she has been in the company of Oprah Winfrey. I am sure their conversations were meaningful. Why does this matter today? The chatter coming out of the US is that Michelle is going to replace Joe Biden as the presidential candidate for the election. If this is true, she will need Mallorca more than ever to escape the life about to come her way.

The influx of residents and visitors from the US continues and all sectors are reporting how important the US market is becoming. I think we need a word from our friend Kimberley Marshall, the U.S. Consular Agent for the Balearic Islands. I know she reads this page to keep up with the Soller Valley. I am sure she knows we would love the hear from her on this subject. I think her answer is likely to be ‘I couldn’t possibly comment’, but it is worth a try.