But be cautious, says Dubai’s Deputy Director-General of the Department of Criminal Investigation, for there are hidden dangers lurking on our golden beaches.
Environmentalists cite global warming and over fishing as the reason for their dramatic rise in the Baleares and along the Spanish coastline but there are other factors such as the demise of tortuga boba,  the Loggerhead sea turtle which graces our shores. Despite valiant efforts by teams of Spanish environmentalists to catch jellyfish along the coast, there are simply too many to clear. What with the Internet melting down over a certain pollution documentary, two high-level political meetings that dominated all media coverage, and a lack of Kate Middleton, it was tricky for William to get more than a photo op with a life-size Paddington Bear, when the film finally premiered in China.
Chinese men are very keen on having thick hair, and you’ll notice that the most senior politicians tend to sport dark thick locks long past the point when natural greyness sets in. Former president Hu Jintao had a gorgeous mop of black hair aged 70, and current leader Xi Jinping is cruising into his 60s with a fabulously dark and shiny mop. First used on a Jackie Chan commercial for hair shampoo back in 2004, the word became a viral meme across China a few weeks ago when a new version of the advert began to be shared. All this meant that sadly for Prince William, as the 32-year-old faithfully posed with bears, elephants and footballing school children, all anyone was really looking at was his hair.
The Majorcan women in my local town are very concerned that Prince William chose to give his future bride the 18-carat sapphire engagement ring that belonged to his mother, the late Diana Princess of Wales.
I was sent to a party at Bluebird Café in Chelsea in 2007 where Belle Robinson of Jigsaw, was launching a new range at the boutique she opened.
The International Channel Shanghai will dedicate six hours of coverage to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton or Wei Lian Wang Zi and Kay Te Mi De Er Dun as they are known here, and the Shanghai media is dispatching journalists to join the melee of the international press pack.
A Chinese survey recently said it cost 2 million RMB (£187,460) on average to get married in Shanghai.
Just as Prince Harry was scheduled to have arrived in Dubai to play in the now-cancelled Sentebale Polo Cup, journalists across Dubai were left flummoxed this week as Prince William and fiancée Kate Middleton, dressed in full wedding regalia, walked into their offices to distribute wedding cake and invite staff to their wedding. But one Valentine’s idea to commemorate the glorious 29th of April has stood out as equally shocking and original. There has been a somewhat muted response from locals in Majorca to news of the forthcoming royal nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton but there’s nothing sinister in that. Back in 2004, when Prince Felipe of Spain announced his engagement to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a divorced journalist and a commoner to boot, there was a similar measured reaction. Imagine if, in a different world, some where over the rainbow in the future, Prince William became King of Australia.
In 1983, Prince William made his first visit to New Zealand as the nine-month old offspring of celebrity royalty. With great excitement the council of Rincon de La Victoria in Andalusia in southern Spain has announced the creation of La Comarca, a new hobbit inspired theme park that will be launched before the end of 2015.
As the happy hunting ground for mostly British stag and hen parties and 18-30 holidaymakers seeking a sizzling cocktail of sand, sea, sangria and non-stop partying- as well as a bit of twilight balcony hopping- Magaluf, on the island’s south west coast, has few peers.
Transforming its existing Sol Magalluf Park Hotel site into a newly created Sol Katmandu Resort, the new enterprise will offer all Melia guests-including those in neighbouring Palmanova- a Sol Fun Pass that will apparently entitle them to special entry prices for the nearby Katmandu and Golf Fantasia theme parks. One wonders though what will become of the thousands of bright young things who habitually pour into the resort for their summer holidays. While in the UK Nick Clegg pontificated about the rights of one and all to attend university, teachers, parents and students in Spain took to the streets to protest about spending cuts in education.
With Spain’s central government ordering 2 billion pounds to be shaved off the education budget this year, unions argue that class sizes will increase, teachers will have to work longer hours for the same pay and that up to 100,000 substitute teachers will lose their jobs. Whether throwing money at the existing system is money well spent, who can say, but regardless, it is high time that Spain took a sobering look at the reasons why educationally it is lagging woefully behind many other countries in the rest of the world. This particular French film is about two friends who have known each other since the lycée (an age-old theme amongst Parisians, who rarely move away for very long). However much I tucked in my shirt in to look like Paul Dickov, I was never going to play for Manchester City. For almost a year now I have been captaining a six-a-side mixed sex football team in Toronto. The outcome of the infamous Monday Spring Training Soccer C League wasn’t particularly irritating as we played well. In Toronto, much smaller spaces than these are swelled into the name of parkettes and, due to the lack of space in the city, they are fully utilised by the public. Daniel Rouse moved to Toronto from Shropshire in 2011 and spends much of his time penning short stories, writing freelance articles, attending gigs, and watching the city’s disappointing sports teams.
Up the street is Little Italy, where I saw gli azzurri get stuffed by a relentless Spain in a packed supermarket car park. After donating a Manchester City scarf to their supporters’ club, four Olympiakos t-shirts and four bottles of beer were dumped on our table.
There are so many bars and neighbourhoods in Toronto dominated by different nationalities, but in each one you can count on a warm greeting.
Back home, supporting a football team outside the area that you or your parents are from is a stigma. When the person declares their allegiance to a club that is over a forty-minute drive away it is often followed by an excuse - with some as inexplicable as their grandfather once accidentally catching a train there.
In Toronto, there is an ardent following of the Maple Leafs, their perpetually disappointing ice hockey outfit. In Soller this morning many locals expressed their sadness at the death of Nelson Mandela, former South African president and tireless campaigner for the defeat of apartheid. Of course Nelson Mandela had enjoyed a warm and long standing relationship with the Spanish royals and the country as a whole. The great anti-apartheid campaigner cut a frail figure in his last public appearance at the South African World Cup final in 2010 when he was able to witness Spain win its first World Cup victory in a thrilling match against the Netherlands. As I walked back to my home from the town, I spied a South African flag flying in respect from the window of a block of flats. Anna Nicholas is an award winning blogger and the author of five humorous books about living in rural Majorca.
Recently a rather curious incident involving an umbrella took place at a football match between Real Mallorca and the home team in Granada in the South of Spain. My supreme authority has been as manager and captain of Manhattan United, a football team that bestrides New York City like a Colossus.


Manhattan United is really one unit of an international sub-culture of men drawn together by the Beautiful Game.
I first joined the team in 2005, on the introduction of an Israeli-American filmmaker friend, Topaz. But Christine Lagarde’s remarks, for all their apparent dismissiveness, show how seriously the French take Eric Cantona. Cantona is like the sadly-missed comedian Coluche, who stood as an anti-establishment presidential candidate in 1981 under the slogan Bleu, Blanc, Merde (the last colour of the tricolour flag having been replaced with the well-known rude word).
There were scenes of jubilation across the region this weekend as it was announced that the tiny state of Qatar had won the bid to host the Fifa World Cup in 2022. And, in the few weeks before it becomes too humid to be enjoyable, all of Dubai, his wife, children and dog will be making the most of beach season.
Drowning is, of course, the chief concern, as rough seas, hidden currents and rip tides catch swimmers unaware, in particular off the popular but unmanned public beach next to Jumeirah Beach Residences. Ten years ago it was rare to see swarms of the translucent creatures bobbing on the waves but this summer there has been a veritable invasion. In the past, thanks to its appetite for jellyfish, the floating invaders were kept under control. The marine foundation, Fundación Aspro Natura Marineland , has set up conservation and education programmes and works closely with the Balearic government to protect the Loggerhead turtle but its future is gloomy.
So it seems that until drastic action is taken to preserve the sea turtles, the Baleares and Spain as a whole will continue to attract masses of the stinging phantoms of the sea. A highly radical situation in a country where new words are traditionally formed from the symbols of existing characters, and netizens are definitely not encouraged to come up with their own.
Belle provided Kate with her only employment and I presume she was returning the favour by giving the papers something to write about, or rather just pictures to put in their pages. Beginning at 2pm on what is a weekend day in Dubai, it coincides rather nicely with the concept of a lazy al fresco Friday lunch.
It was brought to me by Hugh Pomfret, an old friend, with whom I’ve shared a 25-year love of Carry On movies.
The Spanish like to take their time to assimilate the facts before cracking open the cava and are naturally reserved in such matters. This week, the 27-year old prince is visiting New Zealand for an official trip on behalf of his grandmother, the Queen.
Heaven knows what J R R Tolkien would make of the scheme but if he is rolling inconsolably in his grave he should take heart. Rumours doing the rounds are that it will also be given a brand new name with Nova Calvia, topping the list.
It seems that Melia and Magaluf make a winning team so perhaps Melaluf or Magamelia might soon be vying for prominence among suggested names for the new look resort. It was the first time ever that such a strike had taken place across all levels of education in the country.
But with the EU imposing austerity measures in order to reduce the country’s public deficit amid fears of an Ireland-style bailout, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy perhaps has little choice. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), of its 30 member countries, Spain is skimming the bottom of the international league tables at secondary school level.
In the state system, free of charge until 16 years of age, parents must purchase all school books and materials before the child starts the new school term. Children are tested constantly in all subjects but the emphasis is on learning by rote with little room for creativity and flexibility within the curriculum.
Only then might Mr Rajoy understand why neglecting the educational needs of the young will indeed come at a price. My dad, being the resourceful man he is, never took too kindly to me wasting time on the pitch. What was irksome is that the season was played on a pitch which shared similar dimensions to a hospital corridor.
These large patches of grass were under a strict, twenty-four hour surveillance by the elderly people that lived around it. Registration fees tend to be expensive, and then borrowing equipment like a deflated football, an ever deflating blow-up net and a couple of tiny orange cones adds a $250 deposit to your credit card bill. After using it for an hour or so in the evening we unfortunately later leave it carrying all sorts of injuries to the pub.
Not with knock-and-runs and eggs like in my ne’er do well years, but instead by burning around the village greens with a football at my feet and a trail of its security team behind me.
That’s when I realised that when it comes to international competition, Toronto is the best place to watch football. I live in Little Portugal, and the way many of the locals celebrate wins by getting in their cars and beeping horns was initially charming, but now immensely irritating.
So unless you’re going to Brazil this summer, where is there a better place to watch the World Cup? I explained that he had indeed released a quote for the media which I’d glimpsed on twitter. In 1992 he made a visit to Barcelona for the Olympic Games returning a few months later to receive the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation – an accolade he shared jointly with President De Klerk. Had the weather not been so bitter and Mandela less fragile, he would have presented the winning trophy to the Spanish team. I may live in a sleepy Majorcan mountain town but the savvy locals are au fait with world affairs and never too busy to pay their respects to the passing of a global hero.
Apparently one of the Granada fans lobbed part of an umbrella onto the pitch, injuring the face of a referee. As is normal at this time of the year, the island has been experiencing heavy downpours and storms so it is customary to see locals dashing about the streets brandishing their trusty paraguas. Just as expat cricketers in the Big Apple were lionized in the novel Netherland, the players on our team deserve a big-budget movie made about us. The Minister of Finance, Christine Lagarde, has even felt obliged to intervene and contradict him by saying that she wouldn’t try to play football, so Eric has no authority to stray on to her territory. The French are already bored to tears with the election, which is why someone like Cantona terrifies the establishment.


The establishment took Coluche so seriously that (it was rumoured) he withdrew his candidature after receiving unspecified threats about his future health if he didn’t leave politics to the people in suits. And even more fun if, after getting thrown out of France by the angry establishment for a second time, he crossed the Channel and showed the Brits how to play politics, just as he did with football.
It has been estimated that globally millions of turtles have been killed during the last two decades, most drowned when ensnared in nets or caught on fishing hooks. The women deemed it acceptable for the prince to have offered the ring to Kate Middleton as a gift to be worn at special occasions, but not for life. I suspect it’s because, in China, even more than elsewhere, money, entitlement and marriage are huge obsessions.
But, it is a misleading figure because it does not just relate to the cost of staging the wedding, but acquiring the assets a man needs to make him marriageable. As it happened Letizia won approval at the time for being a working woman from an average middle class background. Do you really want to go off and fly to bomb people in other countries who are doing nothing in ours?” My companion thought about this for a minute.
The problem with this system –as I have found to my cost-is that some pupils might be unlucky enough to start a new school year without all the necessary books. Children who fail to pass the majority of the end of year exams will often be forced to repeat a grade which can be socially humiliating as they are separated from their social year group. It was an artificial American football pitch, split four ways in order to get as many games playing simultaneously as possible. If you ignored the NO BALL GAMES signs around its periphery or even just dribbled a ball along the pavement beside it, one of the security team would come from behind their curtains and out of their front doors to shout at you, often armed with a rolling pin. The surface is bumpier than the teenaged faces that enjoy it during the day, and you don’t just worry for their impending injuries but also the future of Canadian sport, if that is all of what inner city kids have to play on. This means, when looking at the area they state, anywhere within a 20 square mile chunk of busy Toronto. When your latest short story is being punctuated by the continuous pipping outside it’s time to stop work.
It doesn’t matter for many though, as Torontonians seem to support teams from all over the continent. Numerous respectful statements were aired from world leaders but somehow the Spanish hierarchy seemed to have been overlooked. On a state visit to South Africa in 1999, the Spanish Royals met with Mandela again and five years later he himself flew to Spain to attend the nuptials of Crown Prince Felipe and Letitzia Ortiz.
In a grocery shop in our port my husband left his handsome green and soaking wet umbrella-a gift from our bank in less straitened times- in a receptacle left for the purpose by the door. We have fielded expat players from Iceland, Brazil, India, Britain, Argentina, Morocco, Ghana, Mexico, Peru, France, Russia, Holland, India, Denmark and Japan. Madame la Ministre isn’t being entirely fair – after all, how many millions of us non-footballers were yelling advice at the TV while we watched our team going into meltdown during the last World Cup? Chinese families traditionally expect a man to own a flat before proposing, and an average 80 sq metre flat in Shanghai costs 1,608,000 RMB (£150,831), too much for many. The prince will do an official meet-n-greet with people of his own age such as rugby players from the All Blacks. My favourite in this regard was a Christ attraction due to open in Capdepera in northwest Majorca that garnered much media attention yet failed at the last hurdle.
Only 74 per cent of Spanish students complete secondary education compared with an average of 85 percent in other EU countries. At my son’s Spanish school, parents would be issued with a long list of expensive books, art and writing materials but which could only be purchased two weeks prior to the new school term. Perhaps the elephant in the room of Spanish education is the issue of Catalan versus the Castilian language. In attack, much of the game is spent retrieving my shots from the surrounding foliage or through a smashed shed window.
And how many French politicians got mixed up in the row about the bad management of the French national team? He was forced to up studs and tout his talents in England, where his rants in Marseillais French were drowned out by the cheers of the delighted fans.
In China, there really is no romance without finance, or so the popular media will have you believe. But whatever you think of Prince Charles’s views, who would expect an heir to the throne to be silent especially in turbulent times like these?
On weekends he could skip down to Bondi Beach, surf and watch out for shark warnings along with the bleached-haired masses. There has also been a steady decline in the number of secondary pupils attending Spanish universities although the take up rate for vocational courses has risen in recent years.
Few if any bookshops would accept pre-orders and there would be a mad scrum and queues a mile long on the day they became available for collection.
In the Baleares for example a child will often speak Mallorcan dialect at home, learn in Catalan at school with Castilian Spanish being relegated in importance behind the English language-which in itself is rarely taught well. In some ways it is unsurprising since men outnumber women significantly and will continue to do so. There’d be trips to see Aboriginal chiefs to exchange honours and totems in the Outback. A local Palma department store soon began a pre-ordering scheme but often it would draw a blank on a particular tome and the parent would be forced to order directly from the publisher which could take weeks. Over the next 10 years, China is expected to have as many as 24 million more men than women, which will no doubt increase the demands that can be made of bachelors. He’d zoom off by royal 4X4 Landrover to spot kangeroos hopping speedily about in the bush.



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