Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer

Summer in Spain is an odd time. Whole towns and cities more or less close down. Rural villages fill up as people move to their country houses often inherited from relatives, now dead, who worked the land. Even the shops and offices that stay open generally change their opening times usually doing just the morning shift rather than re-opening after the long lunch break. All to avoid the heat.

Summer lasts two months, from the first of July to the thirty first of August. The Guardia Civil, who deal with traffic, mount special campaigns because there are so many traffic movements. Madrid, for instance, more or less empties its population to the various coasts and inland resorts. Once upon a time people would take a whole month off, more or less their whole holiday entitlement, but that seems to have become a couple of weeks in summer with the rest spread around the year particularly at Easter and Christmas. Spain is in the midst of a financial crisis so not everyone can get away but even then family visits and time with friends offer some compensation.

Fiestas, the local carnivals, are in full swing. They are everywhere. For instance today we could have gone to the big wine harvest celebration in Jumilla or to the much more modest events in la Romana, Chinorlet or Paredon all of which are only a few kilometres from home. There are lots more.

Our summer has been excellent. Maggie's teacher holidays are two full months and with me not starting work till September first I've been sunning myself too.

Apart from the week and a bit on the boat and the weekend in Castilla la Mancha we've not been away from home overnight but a quick skim of the photos shows that we've spent a lot of time doing this and that and we've seen a lot of friends.

Very nice.

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