At the moment it is very difficult to escape politics in the island. With so much corruption in the courts, it cannot be for hope of future rewards. Out here in Mancor del Valle, as in many other small villages with their own town halls, and where everybody knows everybody else, elections are much more like UK locally. We got our independence for Selva in 1926 (very recent). At the time there was no money to pay for councillors, and although this has changed , the attitude has not. The last Mayor was in the job for eighteen years, and for the last six he decided to be independent. At present the incumbent is PP, but the attitude of the village has not changed much. The deputy is an ex hospital laboratory expert and teacher, whoever gets in, this beautiful lady will continue in the job, her father is the president of the highly successful “old folks” (Tercera Edad) club. The opposition (mostly PSOE), but mixed up with Independents, Greens etc have issued a brochure, with four pages of action for the future. Reading through them is like watching volunteers painting what we have with beautiful varnish (previously finding the money for the great activity of the village, made it extremely difficult to keep the buildings even clean.

Rural life continues
The countryside pays no attention, the sun shines, it has rained occasionally, mostly at night. There are still large quantities of oranges and lemons on the trees. The almond orchards are green. Gardens are full of flowers. People are sitting and eating out of doors. There are all sorts of birds, singing their heads off. They don't mind our old cat.....she just sits and watches. Our village being surrounded by high hills is about 500 metres from top to bottom, go up 100 metres and the temperature is distinctly cooler.....what to wear when shopping?

Well Mancor del Valle was not isolated with Inca four kilometres away. But a place like Soller (on the North Coast) with mountains all around it was extremely so, till the “scenic” railway from Palma was built in 1912.

Up till then it was a busy port really only connected with France..... oranges, and fat pigs for lard to France and every sort of household shopping on the way back.

Golden oil
The word Soller comes from the Moorish “sulliar” which means gold. The valley of the present port and town was always sheltered and very fertile, there were no minerals. The word refers to olives of which there was an abundance during the Moorish occupation (903- 1229), and the “golden oil” which was squeezed from them The bitter oranges which were highly regarded made various medicines and were used for rinsing ones mouth. (In UK of course marmalade) All ports round Majorca, which was on Mediterranean trade routes to Barcelona were liable to be raided by pirates. Places like Pollensa celebrate battles they have had with them. Many old towns had an inland suburb where to keep wives etc. A galloping rider could let them know of an invasion. Soller has just celebrated 450 years since they defeated Turkish pirates who made a mess of the town, but were driven off. Fortifications were built after that. Later it also became a Naval port. Sweet oranges which came from China, later became part of Majorcan agricultural life, and are used in many recipes. There was a terrible time in the early nineteenth century when the orange plantations were destroyed by a plague, from Soller many farmers fled to France. However it was an exchange because farmers from France and others had crossed to Soller to escape the French revolution. Now there seems to be no problem. Crossing the mountains was not easy, it was described in one of the Archduke of Salvator's books. With the present tobacco laws to save the NHS money, and help adults and children escape a nasty disease both here and in UK, it is curious to record that the first regular connection of Soller to Mancor del Valle was by tobacco smugglers who crossed to sell inthe Inca market.

The first humans in this island may well have been Visigoths, about 4000 BC. Today we are welcoming 35 Swedish students, who have come to appreciate the old organs in our churches. You never know!