From Kings to Sant Antoni
Majorca in January can seem as though it is almost one continuous set of festivities. The evening of the parades of the Three Kings last Monday was duly noted in the following day’s paper with a photo splash, “a majestic night for Majorca”, but already attention was turning to the first of the two mid-January fiestas for the saints Anthony and Sebastian.
Andrew Valente was doing this in a culinary fashion by looking at rice dishes “both at everyday level and for special fiesta day meals” in Sa Pobla, a town which “is arguably the most gastronomically interesting place in Majorca”.
Later in the week, Andrew looked at the “espinagada”, the eel pie which is the “gastronomic star of the Sant Antoni fiesta” in Sa Pobla, which is the island’s centre for the Sant Antoni celebrations. Meanwhile, the Northern Spotlight pages yesterday examined the background to the tradition of the pine-tree climb that is unique to Pollensa on the day of Sant Antoni (17 January).
The focus was turned yet again on Magalluf, Tuesday’s front page highlighting the fact that the resort is featured in a series of programmes for ITV by the specialiser in the sensational, Jeremy Kyle. In his Confidential column on Wednesday, Frank Leavers explained how he had been interviewed for the Kyle series. Having told everyone that he was to appear as an “expert witness”, he was mortified to learn that he “had ended up on the cutting-room floor”.
Last Sunday, the announcement was made of the winner of a poll that had been held on our Facebook page to find the Person of the Year for 2014. The winner was a very clear winner, Javier Pierotti, who committed suicide in September but had been a “well-known, liked and respected” campaigner to clean up Magalluf. On Tuesday, Andrew Ede paid tribute to Javier and to the “selflessness that (had) marked him out”.
Barbarity in Paris
The tragic events in Paris naturally featured on our pages, Thursday’s front page showing photos of the Kouachi brothers terrorists fleeing from the offices of Charlie Hebdo and shooting the policeman Ahmed Merabet at point-blank range. Staff from The Bulletin and Ultima Hora were photographed paying tribute to the victims of “an act of indescribable barbarity”.
Responses to the attack by Europe’s media and publishing groups were discussed on Friday as Europe was being placed on “red alert”, Spain having increased its security-level threat from two to three, one below the maximum threat of four.
While current-day intelligence gathering or its apparent failure became a subject for analysis, on Sunday Shirley Roberts had featured Veronica More, who has lived in Fornalutx since 1956, and who had been one of the code-breakers at Bletchley Park during World War Two.
Cristina and Claassen - two sagas
Two long-running sagas were featured in the past few days. One, that has yet to draw to anything of a conclusion, concerned Princess Cristina. On Tuesday, there were two Letters to the Editor which considered the affair. Tom Leeming noted that a previous letter had suggested that the Infanta “was guilty ... no matter what the outcome of any court ruling”, arguing that “at the present time, (she was) only guilty of poor judgement in choosing her associates”. Simon Tow defended the Princess, saying he believed she “knew less about her husband’s financial dealings than the general population would like to believe”.
Yesterday, the day of reckoning for the Infanta did draw nearer. We reported on the rejection by the investigative judge, José Castro, of an appeal against her standing trial on tax fraud charges.
One saga that did come to an end was that to do with the ownership of Real Mallorca football club. Monro Bryce on his Fan’s View page on Wednesday profiled the German businessman Utz Claassen who, along with his wife, now holds 94.4% of shares in the club. Monro noted that not all fans would be happy with “a foreigner being in charge” but for him personally it was the best Three Kings present he could have wished for.
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