Sunday, January 25, 2009

Oh Well

Clearly, the town halls all look to push the boat out when they're heading off to Madrid for the Fitur jolly. For some, such as Muro, this involves promotional material for something that doesn't actually exist (as noted yesterday); for others, Alcúdia say, it is a musical offering. Specifically, those who pitch up to hear what Alcúdia has to offer at the Madrid tourism fair are also likely to become the proud owners of a CD with twelve chill-out songs, reflecting "the sensations of well-being" associated with Alcúdia (it says in "Ultima Hora"). Of course when you have introduced something as massively under-publicised and as pointless as the beach chill-out area then what better to complement this particular sensation of well-being than a CD with the sort of sounds that you would struggle to hear from the couple of speakers hanging limply from poles of said chill-out area. Otherwise, what are these "sensations of well-being", do you suppose? Good beach, yep; some decent enough restaurants, sure; an old-town atmosphere to complement the tourism centre, certainly. And then? The marina; the smaller, out-of-the-way areas like Mal Pas; the Roman history. Do you know something? I may be a cynic at times, but Alcúdia has got a hell of a lot of "well-being" going for it. Ignore those naysayers who would deny this. Yes, there is naffness, too, but naffness is often fun. Ignore that "it's like Blackpool" rubbish. They don't know what they're talking about. I wouldn't mind one of those chill-out CDs. I'm sure I can find a way of getting hold of one.

Anyway, not so much chill, indeed the temperatures rose quite remarkably on Friday - to almost 20 degree maximum in Sa Pobla. But this change was accompanied by the most ferocious of winds. That doesn't do justice. Frightening at times. Not even a sleeping pill could prevent my being woken in the middle of the night before last by the sound of the wind; a wind that kept on throughout the day and then on into last night. It was a "ponent" - a west wind, gusting up to 130 kilometres per hour. It's one way of reducing the processionary caterpillar problem, I guess. High winds, bring down pine trees, doesn't really matter if there are caterpillars ready to destroy them. For once, "desastre" is fairly appropriate. And this morning, calm but cold again, one can go out and survey the damage - the trees and bits of tree across and to the sides of streets; all the debris in the gardens and in the roads.

But coming back to the Alcúdia chill-out CD, this is the idea of a body known as the consortium for the external promotion of Alcúdia (or something like that); the same consortium which has dreamt up all the developments on the beach, such as the unknown chill-out zone. The funding for the beach stuff is not coming from central government, i.e. from Madrid. But there are other projects which will enjoy such state benefaction. And so it is that Alcúdia, for example, is due to receive a bit over 3 million euros for projects such as developments of the residence home for senior citizens. Pollensa is to get slightly less than 3 million. The money going to all the town halls on the island has been listed in the press, and there does seem to be a pretty firm correlation between population and the amounts. Alcúdia - population 17,435; funding 3,085,790; Pollensa - 16,570; 2,932,696; Santa Margalida - 10,608; 1,877,492; Muro - 6,741; 1,193,078. And so it goes on. Spare a thought for the smallest municipality in Mallorca. That is Escorca. It has a population of 290, and is getting a measly 51 grand.

Yesterday's title - Shaggy, "Mr. Boombastic" ( Today's title - before some of them went strange.


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