Soller chatter is always interesting as long as new subjects are discussed. This week the scientists among us have been trying to make sense of the the Covid numbers in Majorca. The fact that the more people tested will give an upturn in numbers was understood by all. The discussion point was ‘when do we have to start worrying about this’? If many people get the bug and recover, then the comparison is the same as any other flu like bug. The Soller chatterers decided that the worries begin when the hospital admissions gather pace. That is the when it tips over to being more than ‘managed at home’ flu. R numbers, blaming the young for partying and the old for their Sunday family lunches was now lost off the radar. It’s all about those unfortunately sick enough to be in hospital which will turn the way we think and behave.

This week will give us a new perspective because all eyes have turned to Portugal. What have they done to allow their visitors to be quarantine free when they return to the UK? Lessons to be learned from all our neighbours in the way they manage the virus and their tourism around it. We are all hoping for Soller Valley tourism to continue. We are one of the few resorts on the island to have been almost business as usual. As the French friends go home this week we will see who is actually left here and where they are coming from.

August is limping to an end and thoughts turn to the return of children to schools. Everyone has an opinion and no-one envies the authorities the criteria they have to work with. Children already in the system remember what school used to be like and they can probably envisage a day when things might get back to normal. The new children in the system this year do not have that memory. For them social distancing, playground time in small groups and all the rest will be just a little sad, in my opinion.

Hopes and fears for a quiet season coming up include those who say we should pull ourselves together. We have learned in lockdown what happens to brains and bodies when TV and sitting about becomes the norm. We have to get moving physically and mentally.

As the season finally splutters to an end there will be months when travel used to fill the gaps before the next season started. Winter holidays to far away places and cruising were very popular with Sollerics. Our borders are still open so travel will be possible to some countries. Lack of money to pay for great trips, plus the possibility of getting caught up in another countries lockdowns is making some think again.

So in the 5 months to be spent here before the 2021 season kicks off what are we going to do? Which new groups will appear with activities to fill that time? Volunteering is never going to go away with all the work needed to fill the food banks and distribute to those in need. New websites and communication projects might be of interest to some.

We have all the tools at our disposal to keep up to date with news and current affairs but most of this is solitary. Lockdown had loneliness problems and this can be exacerbated by fewer new people joining us for the winter season. We are all fishing from the same social pond.

The chatterers went home to think about that one. Some have already come with ideas for the ‘Residents Winter in Majorca 2020’. A huge group of people will just keep working normally as they are part of the new ‘Work from home’ brigade. Many others will have the whole winter to sort their already tidy gardens and sheds. This is the time for new thinking to emerge and all organisations with any kind of infrastructure to decide how to contribute to this. We look forward to ideas from churches and all the other community based clubs on the island.

Saturday marks the first of five music Saturdays. This is all based in the Patio of the Escolapies Cultural Centre in Soller. It lasts from at 6pm to 10 pm and includes live music from two local groups every week. Refreshments provided by the Third Age Team who inhabit the next door building. This is a great opportunity for community of all ages to spend Saturday evenings in each others company. Ten euros buys a ticket for all five evenings or 3 euros for each one you attend. This is a great start to Soller’s initiative to involve the community in music and friendship. See you there maybe...