WE have just completed a fourteen day break on the island. Three years ago we spent many happy winter months with some folk near Binissalem, this time we found some differences which we would like to share because sometimes those who live on top of what is happening may not see variations which creep up gradually.

At that time there had been a water shortage and you will recall that the local authority had contracted with the mainland to bring in tanker loads of water and as a result were having trouble getting out of the arrangement once the rains came so it was hardly surprising that they were cautious entering into a commercial venture for portable desalination plants.

Just before we departed a digger driver (they always do it) broke a pipe on the main plant. This was followed by an electricity supply failure, the second in a fortnight. Wanting to revisit we rattled into Binissalem in a 4WD which was the only vehicle available at short notice as a car hire firm had let us down.

Perhaps it is a mistake to return to places which have pleasant memories, our favourite cafe had changed hands, where Sunday morning had been marked by tables full of families there was merely a small group of men in one corner.

The Plaza was home to a few folk selling sad items out of car boots.

We were amazed at the amount of new building which is still happening. How is this to be reconciled with the amount of water and electricity which is available?

Strangest of all perhaps is the proposal to build a giant leisure centre in the middle of the island.

To sum up we felt that the general quality of life on the island had deteriorated.

Having said that however we have no complaints about staying in an aparthotel in Magalluf and in this respect we would like to respond to a recent correspondent to the Bulletin who complained about noise from motos and late night revellers and remind him that he is living in Spain in a resort. Even if he is now a resident we thought it unreasonable for him to take such a self righteous stance.

After all ... When in Rome...either buy a scooter and stay up late or return to England.

The attitude of some of the expats, and this seems to apply as much to the Germans as the English, is reminiscent of the wonderfully mystical story of Pinocchio where he and his friends are transported to an island of delights and indulge themselves. In due time their ears start to grow longer and their speech becomes more like a donkey's bray.

We enjoyed the beach, the wonderfully clear and clean sea, the happy crowds of holidaymakers and the thunderstorm which was a bit of a surprise.

Raymond Akhurst

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