Claims, Creativity, and Covid-19 in Rural Mallorca

Few passengers at Palma Airport when we collected our rental car

Almost two weeks have passed since hailstones the size of hens’ eggs destroyed our car sunroof. Fortunately, our insurance company didn’t quibble about the claim: on the Monday morning after the storm, they told us to take the car to their authorized claims assessor in Manacor.

From there, a taxi—the insurers arranged and paid for it—whisked us (at unnerving speed) to an eerily quiet Palma Airport, where we collected a rental car, which was also covered by the insurance. Línea Directa, in case you’re wondering. With any luck, we’ll have our own car back this coming Tuesday.

Don’t ask yet about the damaged inverter for our solar-powered electricity system. I’ll get back to you on that one. Whilst our broken one is in the repair shop, we have a loan inverter, so it’s business as usual in terms of electricity. No excuse not to do the ironing then.

Creative Distractions

Except that I’m busy doing more interesting things. Firstly, I’m working on the revisions for my debut novel which, it may not come as a surprise to read, features a radio presenter, cats, and Mallorca. I finished the first draft in late May and, following advice from other writers, put it to one side for a while (almost three months). Revising/editing is a slow but exciting process. I reckon I’ll be finished by Christmas. Christmas 2021. I jest… possibly. After that, my manuscript will be given the professional-editor treatment.

I am also excited about launching a podcast soon, in which I’ll be talking to other people who have chosen to live in rural Mallorca. I’m looking forward to hearing and sharing my guests’ own experiences and advice they may have for anyone planning to do the same. You’ll be able to listen to the podcasts here on this blog (assuming I master the techie requirements) and on the usual podcast apps.

The Second Wave

Beautiful weather again for lunch this week in Port d’Andratx with my friend Sandra

Keeping busy has been a distraction from the second wave of Covid-19. The Balearic health minister has today announced the closure of public play areas and suspension of children’s entertainment and activities for a 15-day period, to coincide with the reopening of schools. Some temporary measures the Balearic government introduced last month have also been extended for another 15 days; these include no smoking in public spaces; reduction of restaurant and bar capacities to fifty per cent, and the closure of beaches and municipal parks between 9pm and 7am (to prevent large gatherings of youngsters).

It’s not all doom and gloom here. Yesterday, the sunshine and blue skies had returned and I met my friend Sandra for a tasty lunch down in the southwest of Mallorca at Port d’Andratx. We chatted to a couple of young women from London who were also eating there. They had defied the British government’s advice against non-essential travel to have a holiday, even though quarantine will follow on their return. It was interesting to hear that they felt much safer from Covid-19 here in Mallorca than they did in London.

Be safe, wherever you are, and make the most of the last days of summer 2020 if you can.

Jan Edwards ©2020

Storm Drama in Mallorca

Weather warning, looking over the salt lake of s’Avall from Hotel El Coto’s roof terrace in Colonia de Sant Jordi

It’s not unusual for Mallorca to have storms in late summer. It’s as though all the heat and lack of rain build up, until they can’t be contained any longer and, like a volcano erupting, we experience an explosion of weather. This year it happened on Saturday (29th August). And things certainly went with a bang at our finca in rural Mallorca.

We were away on Friday night (celebrating The Boss’s birthday). It had been a hot week, and rain and thunderstorms were forecast for Saturday. At the time, we were looking forward to the prospect of rain for the garden and slightly cooler temperatures.

Gun-metal-grey clouds on Saturday morning encouraged us to head for home earlier than we would otherwise have done. An email from a follower of this blog, who has moved to a finca in our area, mentioned intense lightning at five o’clock that morning. Lightning and solar-powered electricity do not always go well together, as we have discovered in the past. During the drive home, the sky became more threatening and, as we turned into our lane, spots of rain began to fall and impressive fork lightning stabbed at the land in the distance.

Bouncing Ice ‘Bombs’

When we entered our home, our unspoken fears were confirmed: we had no electricity. Our inverter had already been damaged by the pre-dawn storm. Before we could mentally digest what this would mean for the rest of our weekend (no lights, phone, TV, etc), hailstones began pounding onto the roof of our house.  We looked out as chunks of ice the size of hens’ eggs bounced all around the place. All we could think was that if we’d set off as little as fifteen minutes later, I’d have been driving us home through that storm.

As soon as the hail and rain had stopped, we ventured outside to check the state of the house roof. Astonishingly, the terracotta tiles appeared to have survived the brutal onslaught. Turning our attention to the car, I spotted a dent in the bonnet—surprised to see just the one. Then I spotted the real damage: the hailstones had shattered the sunroof of the car. What a mess.

So, no electricity, WiFi, phone, or car. Thank heavens for our kind Swiss neighbour Brigitta, who allowed us to use her phone to call our solar-power company. And well done (and heartfelt thanks) to Taller Servera in Llucmajor, who delivered a loan replacement inverter early that Saturday afternoon so that we could have electricity until they can repair our own inverter.

It may be true that lightning never strikes twice in the same place but, over the years, it’s managed three strikes on our inverter.

Jan Edwards ©2020

Tribute to a Man who Loved Mallorca

My Uncle Ray couldn’t have been more appropriately named: he loved the sunshine and I’m sure he was never deficient in Vitamin D. It was a terrible shock, a couple of weeks ago, to learn that a heart attack had taken him from the many who loved him. My cousin Karen referred to our uncle as a ‘gentle giant’: he was a tall, well-built man, who stood ramrod-straight, took great care of his appearance, and was affectionate with his loved ones.

Ray was my dad’s younger brother (by two years) and, when I was growing up, our families lived a long way apart: his in Devon and ours in Cambridge. I didn’t really start to get to know him well until 2010, when he accompanied my dad on holiday for the first time, staying with us in rural Mallorca. It was the first of their thirteen holidays together at our place over the next few years. Sadly, his deteriorating eyesight put an end to Ray’s visits; his last was in September 2017.

His first visit to us in 2010 was the motivation for clearing our annex guest suite, which had been a neglected storage space ever since we moved here in 2004. With its own independent entrance and en suite shower room, it suited Ray perfectly. As an early riser (he couldn’t wait to feel that sunshine), he was able to open his annex door and be out on the terrace enjoying the freshness of the early-morning air. He repeatedly told us during his stays that he loved Mallorca and his room; he particularly enjoyed the cup of tea and biscuit I delivered to him each morning, in exchange for a ‘Ray hug’.

Rooms need a name so you can identify them in conversation. I’m writing this in what we grandly call ‘the library’; it contains a lot of books, but wouldn’t win any interior-design prizes for ‘best home library’. Our annex suite has been known as Ray’s Room ever since he first stayed and I think we’ll always refer to it thus. He has slept in that room more times than any other visitor, so it seems only appropriate.

Happy Holidays

Whenever we collected Dad and Ray from the airport, Ray would arrive looking more tanned than most of the departing holidaymakers and, over the course of a week’s holiday, he’d keep an eye on the progress of his tan.

He loved going out on our excursions, but was just as happy sunning himself on the terrace at home, lounging alongside his elder brother and sharing stories of their childhood and youth. He also enjoyed our outings for meals and drinks; his favourite tipple under the hot Mallorcan sun was a large beer, but he didn’t say no to a glass of wine or one of The Boss’s legendary G&Ts.

The brothers’ holidays in 2011 were particularly memorable: Jetta—the feral cat we’d been feeding for a few months—produced two litters of kittens. Her timing couldn’t have been better, as the kittens’ first adventures away from the area where they were born coincided with both of Dad and Ray’s holidays that year. The kittens kept us all entertained and charmed with their crazy antics.

I last saw Uncle Ray in March, just a week before the lockdown began in Spain. I’d flown back to the UK for the funeral of my Auntie Joan (Dad and Ray’s elder sister), never imagining then that I wouldn’t see him again. He would have been 90 next May and there would have been a family party (Covid-19 permitting).

Saying Goodbye … via an iPad

Today was Ray’s funeral in Devon, but we were unable to attend because of the UK’s quarantine requirement. Technology came to the rescue: my cousins had made it possible for us to watch the ceremony online, courtesy of a business called Obitus. The ceremony was due to start at 4pm but, when I logged on to the site a quarter of an hour in advance to check the connection, the link didn’t work. Our WiFi signal wasn’t strong enough.

At this stage, I had a wobble, fearing that we would miss the ceremony. I bashed out a Messenger request to our lovely Swiss neighbours, whose WiFi is more reliable than ours. For some minutes there was no reply and I realized they were probably having a siesta, entertaining friends, or enjoying their pool. Time was ticking by, so I tried the link on my iPad instead and re-positioned the router to see if it made a difference. At last, we were able to see inside the crematorium, where a photo of Uncle Ray beamed from a monitor on the wall.

Our Swiss neighbours replied then, having just seen my message. They offered the use of their internet and a quiet place to be on our own. I thanked them, explaining that we’d finally been able to connect at home, and I’ll always be grateful for their kind offer.

I never imagined that I would one day watch a family funeral online, at home, but it’s only one of many things that none of us could have imagined happening in 2020. It was painful to see the slumped shoulders and bowed heads of grieving mask-clad family members and not be able to exchange comforting words or consoling hugs (although the latter are forbidden anyway now). But what tore at my heart was seeing my dad saying goodbye to his last sibling and not being able to give him a hug or hold his hand during the ceremony, as I did at his elder sister’s funeral in March.

Wakes don’t happen online, of course, but I imagine that those who were able to attend Ray’s wake in person will have shared many memories of a dad, grandad, (very proud) great-grandad, brother, uncle, and friend.

And, when I’ve finished writing this post, we’ll open a bottle of Mallorcan rosado (from Mesquida Mora) and raise a glass (or two) to Uncle Ray – a man who loved his holidays with us in Mallorca.

Rest in Peace, Uncle Ray. We hope the sun is shining up there.

Jan Edwards ©2020

The Evolution of a Mallorcan Country Garden

We bought our rural finca in Mallorca in July 2002, although we didn’t come to live here until April 2004. The previous owners—who have become good friends—had the place as a holiday home and did little to the land at the back of the house. I, however, had Big Plans. There would be rows of lavender, vegetables growing, and fruit trees. In my dreams.

Shoulder-high asphodels awaited us. A whole field full of them. When I looked up ‘asphodel’ in my dictionary, I found ‘an everlasting flower said to grow in the Elysian Fields (literary).’ Everlasting is a good description: it’s really difficult to get rid of them; you can cut them down, but underneath the ground, they grow from bulbs that look like bunches of obese grapes. How many of those must we have dug out of the ground? However, I’m sure the gods and heroes of Ancient Greece appreciated their asphodels.

Creating a Garden

Over the past sixteen years (gardening didn’t begin until after we’d moved here), we’ve almost eradicated the asphodels. The odd one pops up and I quite like the flowers when a vast swathe of them isn’t dominating the land.

We decided to create a garden, which would extend from the house down to our second set of gates. The Boss did the heavy stuff and I ‘designed’—as I went along—what said garden should be like. It had to be Mediterranean, because our water is brought to us by tanker and we didn’t want hefty water bills. And, after all, we do live on a Mediterranean island.

Baby aloe vera and agaves formed the start of the garden, thanks to donations from kind neighbours. Digging holes to plant them brought home a cruel truth: our land is almost all rock and stones. The depth of the soil is only a few centimetres in places. Rather than plant things where we wanted, we ended up planting them where it was physically possible.

Looking through some old photos a day or two ago, I found one that reminded me what our garden looked like in 2006. It’s amazing what you can achieve with limited soil or irrigation—and no gardening expertise whatsoever.

Jan Edwards ©2020

Project Bathroom Successfully Finished

Work in Progress

Project Bathroom was finished last Friday. It’s amazing what can be achieved in a week: The bath is no more and a modern glazed walk-in shower cabinet with a rainfall-style shower head has replaced it. I find myself going into the room several times a day just to admire the new facility. Well, it was a long time coming.

I gave the whole cabinet (and bathroom—which I suppose we should now call a shower room) a thorough cleaning on Saturday, to remove any lingering muck resulting from the building work, and those irritating sticky marks left after the removal of labels. In future, I’ll be doing battle with the limescale residue from our very hard water; this may be why the new guest-room shower hasn’t yet been christened; (we do have two more shower rooms).

Over the years we’ve lived here and had work done to the house, we’ve always supported companies based in our local town, Manacor. This time we struggled to find a nearby business that was interested in doing the job, so we turned to British company, Handy Hands, based in the southwest of Mallorca. We were delighted with our decision, as the two men worked well, were pleasant to have around, and cleaned up after themselves. The latter is not always the case here.

A Woman’s Work?

Not long after we moved to rural Mallorca, in 2004, a mallorquín carpenter came to install new interior doors. He was a grumpy individual—perhaps because we didn’t have any working electricity sockets in the house and he had to use our mini-generator, which ran out of juice on a frequent basis and had to be topped up.

Spotting that he hadn’t brought a brush to sweep up all the curls of wood-shavings falling to the floor, I fetched our broom and leant it on the wall nearby—thinking I was being helpful. Ooh, the look he gave me! He wagged his forefinger from side to side, shook his head, and told me that sweeping was trabajo de mujer—a woman’s work. He downed tools and said he was going for lunch. Some two hours later, he returned, with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. Whatever he’d been doing during his long lunch break (which might not have been eating) had totally changed his mood—but he still didn’t sweep up his mess.

We’re Having a Heatwave … Tomorrow

Soon I’ll have plenty of time to admire the new shower, as I’ll be in the room painting the walls. It’s not decorating weather: the temperature is set to soar towards 40 degrees Celsius tomorrow. Apparently we’re going to have a heatwave. As it’s been in the low- to mid-30s for a good few days now, I’d assumed we were already having one. Silly me.

The long dry hot summer is upon us and standing under that new rainfall shower will be the closest thing to a bit of decent precipitation we’ll experience for a while. Just off now to Google environmentally-friendly cleaning tips for glass shower-panels . . .

NOTE

If you have a property in Mallorca and need some reliable and experienced British builders, I am happy to recommend Handy Hands, who work anywhere on the island. See their Facebook page for more information and photos of some of their work.

 

Jan Edwards ©2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Bathroom is Go in our Rural Mallorcan Home

A soon-to-be-redundant sign?

When did I last have a bath? Let me think. Yes, probably about 15 years back. That, by the way, is at home (where we are shower people). When staying for one of our occasional nights away in a hotel on Mallorca, I have been known to wallow in a sea of fragrant bubbles, if there’s a bath available. Bathtubs are not such a common hotel feature these days, although some of the more luxurious 5-star hotels on the island have suites with them.

Our home has two guest bedrooms: one double, the other single. Both are en suite but the double room’s en suite has the only bathtub in the house. Water is a precious resource on our island and we’ve always taken showers at home instead of bathing, to reduce our water usage. Oh, and there’s also the fact that the water heater doesn’t heat enough water in one go to cover even one’s nether regions.

The bathtub has an overhead shower, which entails climbing into the tub itself. This isn’t too much of a problem, but I do worry particularly about my father, who usually visits for a holiday twice a year. Dad’s well into the senior-citizen category but is pretty limber and sprightly for his age, but were he to slip in the tub, the consequences could be serious.

A Possible Project

A year or two back, we began talking about having the bath removed and replaced with a shower cubicle. We even obtained a couple of estimates for the job. The quotes we received suggested that these local builders weren’t interested in doing what was a relatively small job, so they priced accordingly. Our eyes popped with shock and we shelved that project.

Until we had A Serious Leak. A pipe located within the wall itself (behind the wall tiles, natch) had developed a tiny fracture—which caused a big damp problem. Our friendly plumber Sito—who is more-or-less retired now—came to see what could be done. He fixed the leak, but had to break into the wall tiles with a jackhammer to do so; this was the catalyst for reactivating our plan for the bath-replacement project. This time we found an acceptable quote, for labour only, on the basis that we bought all the materials ourselves.

Covid Stopped Work

We took measurements, spent long sessions discussing options in DIY superstores in Palma de Mallorca, and did our sums (well, The Boss did those). In the end, we bought the space-hogging materials and collected them in our trailer two days before the Covid-19 lockdown came into force. There was a project on hold for a few more months!

Work finally began on Friday. The builders removed the bath and attempted to remove the old wall tiles—which proved impossible. So they’ve scoured the old walls to ensure the new ones will stick (we hope!).

As I write, the chaps have just arrived to continue the work. It’ll be a noisy Monday but, we hope, not quite as dusty as it was on Friday, when the bath was removed.

The irony of all this is that we are unlikely to have any visitors anyway this year to enjoy the new facility. But you never know …

 

Jan Edwards ©2020

Living in Rural Mallorca is Eight Years Old Today

Sunset across our lane

Eight years ago today I published my first post on this blog. I never intended to start a blog about living in rural Mallorca, but had previously been writing a series of columns called ‘Finca Fix-Up’ for a new local magazine. Sadly, the publication didn’t survive in what is a tough market.

The Birth of a Blog

A friend of mine was the editor and, when she told me about the magazine’s demise, suggested that I start a blog, to continue writing about our finca home in the Mallorcan countryside. And so I did. It wasn’t quite that easy, but WordPress didn’t take too long to learn.

Continue reading

Jet Planes About to Return to Mallorca

Mallorca’s tourism is about to be reactivated. We’re nearly at the end of Spain’s State of Alarm, which began on March 14th and ends on June 21st. Today, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that the country’s borders would reopen that day to Schengen countries (although Portugal has asked to retain the original planned date of July 1st).

Tomorrow, two planes from Frankfurt and Düsseldorf will land at Palma de Mallorca’s airport and disgorge German tourists (and owners of second homes here). These are the first arrivals for what was planned to be a two-week pilot scheme to test Covid-19 protocols. That’s now become a one-week pilot, as the border reopening date has been brought forward.

One more week to go then, until we reach ‘new normality’. We still don’t know when family and friends from the UK will be able to travel here – or, more precisely, when the requirement for quarantine in the UK will end, making it more likely that people will consider coming for a holiday.

Day-to-day life in rural Mallorca hasn’t been too different from life as it was before the pandemic. It’s always quiet where we live, but the absence of planes flying over the valley has been noticeable. An hour or so ago, as we sat outside reading on this warm Sunday afternoon, a plane flew over – such a rare sound now that we immediately looked up from our books and commented on it.

In Other News…

The biggest changes have been in our cat ‘glaring’ (collective word for cats, if you didn’t know). In the middle of April, Chico – one of the cats we’ve looked after – disappeared. He was nine years old and had always stayed close to the house – although he was nervous of humans (even the two who had fed him twice a day since he was a kitten). We haven’t seen him again and try not to think about why.

Sweetie has discovered one of the outdoor sofas

His departure has resulted in an interesting change in the cat colony dynamics. Since Chico left, Sweetie – the only outdoor female (we had her sterilized as soon as she was old enough) – has been spending more time on our finca with her other siblings (and Shorty, who’s not related).

Sweetie’s always had her own territory on the holiday-home finca of friends a short distance from our home. Whenever she was hungry she would walk down the lane and come to the cat buffet at our place. Usually she came when the others weren’t around, eating what she wanted, then scurrying back to her territory.

Recently, Sweetie has been spending a lot of time on our finca and now eats with her remaining siblings twice a day. Her character has changed too: she’s no longer nervous of us and will even sit outside the front door waiting for us to go outside. I’ve also managed to pick her up for the briefest of cuddles without suffering a facial-disfiguring attack. Yesterday, we saw the biggest change in this cute little cat: after dinner eaten on the front terrace, I walked to the back of the house and found Sweetie sitting on one of our garden sofas. This would have been unthinkable a few months ago.

We never noticed any antagonism between Chico and his sister Sweetie but it seems too much of a coincidence that, since he left, she has become a different – and much more relaxed – cat. Perhaps it’s a case of every cloud has a silver lining…

Jan Edwards ©2020

Lockdown Log in Mallorca – Day 80

The outdoor sofas are back in use. Pip seems to approve.

The toughest lockdown rules in Europe are slowly being eased, and Mallorca (along with her sister islands) is in Phase 2 of the de-escalation. All being well, we’ll move into Phase 3 next Monday, 8th June.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will ask Spain’s Congress of Deputies tomorrow to vote for approval for one final two-week extension to the state of alarm, which came into effect in mid-March. After June 21st, we’ll be in that unknown but much-mentioned state of ‘new normal’.

What will Phase 3 mean for us? Never mind that. I have a far more vexing question that needs answering: Why, when we greet them during our wanderings in the lanes around our finca, do cyclists and walkers always respond in a different way from us?

Talk, Talk

If we say buenos días, they reply bon dia. If we try bon dia, we get a buenos días in response – or sometimes what sounds like a conjoined version of two greetings: holabondia. Sometimes, whatever we say, we get an adiós or an adéu – an economical way of saying both hello and goodbye: one word that’s as brief as our encounter. This is what happens when you live on an island where both castellano and the local Catalan dialect mallorquín are spoken.

Then there’s the other greeting that’s common amongst Mallorcans. It sounds like ‘wep’ – although it’s written as uep. I suppose it’s the closest equivalent to ‘hi’ and is often accompanied by a lift of the arm or an upward tip of the chin. This does feel like something very local and, to me, a somewhat masculine greeting – because I don’t remember ever hearing a woman use this.

Uepping Like a Local

Ooh, look, an ostrich!

Uep is a greeting I’ve used only to attract the attention of one relatively new neighbour. Taking one of our recent morning walks along a route we hadn’t trodden for months, we spotted the incomer: a young ostrich, strutting its stuff in a field of gobbling turkeys.

We stopped to look at it for a while and, hoping it would come closer so we could get a better look, I called out hola – a ‘hello’ used in both castellano and mallorquín. Our ostrich neighbour ignored us, so I tried uep and that did get a reaction: the ostrich ignored us, but the local greeting set the turkeys all a-flutter around the yard.

Maybe we should stick to our roots and offer the folks (and beasts) we meet a cheery English ‘good morning!’ or, given the part-Irish ancestry of The Boss, even a ‘top of the morning’. Now that would confuse the locals.

Jan Edwards ©2020

Lockdown Log in Mallorca – Day 71

Ripe for the picking

Here in Mallorca, we’re about to move into Phase 2 of the de-escalation of the strictest lockdown measures in Europe.  In Phase 1 (from May 11th) The Boss and I did pretty much the same as we did in Phase 0. We were allowed to – but didn’t – venture out to a bar terrace, lusting after that first coffee ‘out’ again (although we are very much looking forward to doing this), or meet up with ten friends – socially distanced, of course.

But we did have two enjoyable outings. Since lockdown started, we’ve had a fruit-and-veg box delivery from a company called Terracor/Terragust in Manacor. They’ve been delivering to us on Fridays but we had A Big Plan for Friday 22nd, so we went to their small farm shop (set up in an open-sided barn-like structure). What made this little shopping trip fun was that we were able – if we wanted – to pick our own peaches and nectarines from the orchards. Well, that sounded fun (we take our excitement where we can, these days).

On arrival, we were greeted by the now customary squirt of sanitizing gel. Anyone with shares in companies making this stuff is set to see big dividends, I imagine.

One of the team took us into the orchard, showed us which rows of trees had the sweetest fruit at that time, and told us what to look for in terms of fruit-skin colour.

As usual, the quality of the produce we took home was excellent. Those nectarines and peaches? They tasted all the more delicious, knowing that we’d plucked them from the trees ourselves.

Terragust offers a really enjoyable farm-to-table experience during the summer months, which we can highly recommend. You can read about it here, on my other blog.

A Big Plan

On Friday, 22nd, we went out for lunch. Before lockdown began in Spain, this wouldn’t have been unusual. But things have changed, haven’t they.

For a couple of years now, I’ve been writing a novel. The idea for the novel had been in my head for a lot longer and a few thousand words I originally wrote years ago still lurk in my computer. The novel is set in Mallorca (natch) and the beautiful mountain village of Deià – where I had several lovely holidays, back in the day, with my very dear friend Sally – has a role in the story.

Well, I finally finished the first draft (80k+ words) a couple of days ago – the perfect excuse to celebrate by dipping our toes into the waters of eating out again. And it seemed appropriate to do it in Deià.

We had an excellent lunch at Es Racó d’es Teix (which has a Michelin star but offers a very reasonably priced set lunch on weekdays). It’s family run, with Josef Sauerschell in the kitchen, his wife Eleanor front of house, and their identical-twin daughters (that confused us) helping out. As we entered the garden terrace, there was a bottle of sanitizing gel, so we could treat our hands before sitting down.

After a superb lunch – appreciated all the more because it was the first time we’d eaten out since mid-March – we drove down the twisting lane to Cala Deià, where we were the closest to the Mediterranean that we’d been since…you guessed, mid-March.

The Mediterranean at Cala Deia

Beaches Beckon

From tomorrow, Mallorca moves into Phase 2 and the beaches will open again. For those of us who live here, we have a few weeks to enjoy them with fewer people on than usual – before the hoped-for influx of tourists, when the island reopens to international travellers in July.

The sea has never looked cleaner or more tempting than it does now. What has been forbidden fruit will be ripe for enjoyment from tomorrow.

Do you live or have a home in Bunyola, Mallorca? If so, Max – who has a home there and whose comment is below – would like to be in contact.

Jan Edwards ©2020