Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Calling “Come On Thunder”

More joyous statistics. Mallorca’s hotels enjoyed an average occupation rate of 94% in July, and the best results were to be found in the north. Right here. Can Picafort - 99.8%. You’d think that would make everyone very happy, but it probably won’t, given the all-inclusives that are, for instance, the Viva Holiday Village and the Clumba Mar. Alcúdia enjoyed the same level as last July, whatever that was.

Tourists can be strange. There seems to be amongst some - Germans especially - a perception that everything is fair tourist game, and that includes gardens and houses. The standing and staring is one thing (and staring is something of a German national past-time), but actually entering a garden or a house is quite another. I have a neighbour who has put up a wall around her house. Not a high wall, but a wall nevertheless. There were two sets of trespassers that she was most determined to deter - dogs and tourists.

I know of someone in the old town of Alcúdia who lives close to the church. The door to the house is now always locked or at least closed as it wasn’t uncommon to find someone in the house having a look around. To a point, one can understand this. The town houses of the old town often have their doors open and, because they are generally attractive, one can appreciate why a tourist might wish to venture in, or to stand at the entrance and have a good old “nosey”. One can appreciate it, but it is still a bit of a cheek.

This same person in Alcúdia has also had to contend with the problem that is the lack of public toilets. One day, this elderly lady came to the door and asked if she could use the toilet. Taking pity on her and her advanced years, she was admitted only then to be sent packing when the old girl called out to her mates across the way who all started to descend upon the house with the same aim in mind.

There is a disturbing reassurance that comes from a storm, especially a storm at night; a satisfaction from watching a storm from the safety of a terrace - the neon flashes, the erratic daggers, the sudden appearance bringing it closer. The Mallorca summer storm. It is an entertainment all of its own. It brings loud noises, flashing lights, a rush of fear and excitement. And it’s all for free.

Well, I really seem to have started something with the last quiz. I didn’t know there were so many grammarians. Anyway, the line from “The Bulletin” contained not one but three errors, although two are kind of understandable. It should have read: “70 per cent of the population wants to see fewer tourists”. Percent (one word) is American usage, the verb conjugation is determined by “the population” (singular entity), and if you can count something it is fewer, not less. Not bad though for an English-language newspaper.
“Far From The Madding Crowd”. Thomas Hardy wrote the book, but the line comes from Thomas Gray’s “Elegy In A Country Churchyard”. Where else can you find a blog that one day has football songs, the next day Gray’s Elegy?
Today - the title comes from this lyric: “There’s a boy leaning against a wall of rain, aerial held high, calling ‘come on thunder, come on thunder’ “. The group and song?


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