Feb 15 at 8:04 PM
The film set also known as Soller
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 17th February 2015
Photographs by RACHEL FOX
What a week we have had in the Soller Valley .  It was a jump from one excitement to the other and it was all in the name of illusion.  The snow still sits on the tips of the mountains but down here in the Valley the sun shone and spring was in the air.  The Palma Picture trucks rolled in and parked in the main square of Soller .  The huge electric cables were draped everywhere and the runners were running. All eyes were on our main shopping street of the Lluna where a ‘new’ perfume shop had elegantly opened and was being used as the film set.  The exterior was painted purple and the Perfume sign hung above the door. It was two days of installations, lights and English accents because this was a UK company doing the directing.  The perfume bottles looked very sophisticated and French and when I asked what the product was I was told it was an exclusive perfume called Surf.

The trippers to Soller who had come for an outing on the train loved it all.  They hung around in crowds watching all the action and wondering if anyone ‘famous’ was going to turn up. On Friday all the action turned to the main square of Soller and the water fountain was transformed into a flower garden.  The water trickled down the fountain and the square was illuminated with fairy lights.  It looked just like a film set – which of course it was.  The perfume shop was dismantled and the normal shop selling clothes and jewellery was soon back in situ.  The illusion of the French perfumery became a memory as the focus shifted to the square.  Then the revelation that the effort to create this sophisticated, beautiful perfumed product was all for Surf Washing Liquid.  This advertisement set to hit the UK screens very soon was ‘made in Soller’.

Carnival is important in Soller life and we have a strong tradition of men dressing as women and shaving their bits for the occasion.  This year in honour of Madrid 2040 the synchronised swimmers (also known as the Soller Volley Ball team) gave a camp display as they joined the main parade on Saturday afternoon.  They almost won the prize but the Soller Prawns courtesy of the Pere Cerda School ’s PTA were the runaway winners with their fabulous prawn costumes and the lighthouse parade. Hundreds more dressed up and joined in and the whole thing made us laugh.  It is great to see a community so able to jump into the moment and enjoy it.
This week I had the pleasure of going on board The Bonnie Lassie as she is being prepared for her first summer working out of the Port of Soller .  She is an old wooden framed fishing boat that is being lovingly restored for charters from the Port of Soller this summer.  The boat started its life in Scotland and took a crew of ten onboard for the gathering in of the fish.  Life then took it to Northern Island to salmon fish for years before heading for the Mediterranean .  The vision of its owners is to make this a leisurely old fashioned boating experience with a modern twist.  A group of 12 can hire the vessel for a day or a week and take all the toys with them have a day or a holiday to remember.  Dinner parties under the awning on the deck, wedding ceremonies and sunset cruises are all part of the plan for this good old girl and the bookings are already coming in thick and fast. The engine is a work of art and I can see that many of the users will be engineers come to admire the work of the past.

The Bonnie Lassie moved her mooring this weekend to the centre of the Bay of the Port of Soller .  The men from Palma Pictures were there again with their lights, camera and action.  Another advertisement – this time for Highlander Fish.  The Bonnie Lassie went back to its fishing roots for this one and shrugged off ‘going posh’ for a day back to basics doing what it has always done. This is another product to be advertised in the UK market place.  It was washing liquid and fish this week and next week the film crews come back again.  All eyes are on Soller and the Port right now and I wonder at the coincidence.
Regular readers of this page might remember a few weeks ago where the story was about all the BBC freelancers who have moved into the Soller Valley .  A focus on all we are doing here is very evident and the Hidden Valley is enjoying its moment. We really don’t know what is going to happen next but illusion or not we are all having the best time.  Come and see us soon… 

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