cisternas global warming Mallorca rain terraces

Island Life May 2008

It’s been a terrible month for weather on Mallorca.

The worst since records began.

Normally May is a welcome reminder of the summer to come after a damp and chilly winter. However this month will be remembered for all of the wrong reasons – constant rain, grey skies and many, many car accidents on the slippery tarmac of the Mallorquin roads. ‘What’s happenning, where’s the sun?’ Complaints and comments abounded as island residents and holidaymakers alike had their days spoilt. Our English obsession about the weather spilled over and started to affect the Spanish. Some perversely said they liked the cold, wet conditions, but even they started to change their opinion as day after day it persevered. Environmentally aware folks started to mutter about Global Warming and its effects. On the upside, no one needed to have a visit from Ramon, the local water supplier, as all of our cisternas (wells) were full to bursting.

Beaches were deserted save for the most diehard of tourists who were determined to have a sandy holiday despite the torrential rains. Bars and restaurants seemed to be doing well as everyone took cover with a glass of something, but the British economy has started to bite the asses of the normally sanguine Mallorquin business owners and what is a normal complaint that there just aren’t enough holiday makers here, would actually seem to be true this time around.

Now, in June, the weather continues to be terribly changeable (just yesterday we had a code orange tornado warning) and on top of that we have a supplies crisis on the island. Due to the lorry drivers strike in Europe the stocks of fresh produce and fuel are rapidly running out in Mallorca. The fuel prices are rising, and on this island owning a car is a necessity as the public transport services are infrequent and inconsistent.

The older Mallorquins will probably be okay as long as they keep tending their fincas in the country (rather like the English version of an allotment, although much prettier and with more animals) where they grow vegetables and fruit and keep a collection of farm animals, normally including a pig or two, a goat and a couple of sheep. Although this will depend on them being able to afford to physically get to their land in the country.

But for the rest of us who have a small fridge and not a small holding, the living may not be so easy.

Time to change our habits, time to find alternatives.

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