So, it’s summer again and that means it’s nearly time for holidays. And this year, with Fallas having been postponed until the beginning of September, we have almost ten weeks of (unpaid) holidays to look forward to.
How am I feeling? A strange mixture of expectation and trepidation, actually.
I’ve been counting down to this holiday for weeks, looking forward to finally having some time off and a chance to relax and get stuck into some other projects, because teaching is exhausting. But now, as it’s almost here, I also feel slightly anxious – not so much about the financial situation as how I’m going to adapt to having nothing to do.
My lesson planning today took much less time than usual. (I only have five classes this week.) I found myself finished earlier than expected. It’s a strange feeling, having time on my hands and I immediately looked for a way to fill it. Et voilà! This was the result.
Of course, it is nonsense to say I will have nothing to do. I am one of those people who always has a list of things I want to do – and usually don’t find time for. I have already planned activities I want to do to maintain / improve my language skills in French, Spanish, Norwegian and Catalan. I also have a list of writing and editing goals. And I’ve plenty of reading and ukulele playing to catch up on, too.
I will be fine. But it will take me a few days to adapt, to relax into a different schedule, a different set of pressures.
I’ve also booked a holiday with the young man when his work as a Covid Auxiliary comes to an end, although I’m convinced they’ll soon be on the phone asking him to come back, particularly if they continue to let overseas visitors in without requiring tests. He doesn’t seem so sure, but maybe that’s because he’s had enough of the job now, and who can blame him? Six months of 6.30am starts is more than I could manage.
Anyway, the last three cities on my list of essential places to visit in Spain are Granada, Córdoba and Toledo (although I might have to add Salamanca – a place I very nearly visited when I lived in León, but ended up going to Segovia instead. I don’t regret that decision at all, but it does leave Salamanca unchecked). We’ve decided to leave Toledo for another time – perhaps combined with a trip to Madrid, where he keeps telling me I have to sing in a piano karaoke bar with no screen. ‘Would you do it?’ he asks me, as if it’s some great ordeal. Yes, yes I absolutely would!
So, this summer, our itinerary consists of Granada and Córdoba. Everyone keeps saying we’re mad, that it’ll be really hot there, but actually the night-time average temperatures are lower than in Valencia, and D keeps telling me it’s a drier heat than here, too, so fingers crossed we’ll be ok. Anyway, we’ve AC in both apartments and access to a pool at the apartment in Granada. How hot can it be?
I’d have liked to visit the UK this summer, as it’s now almost two years since I was last there (where does the time go?) but the COVID situation seems to be against us. I’m fully jabbed (Janssen) and D will be on Friday (Pfizer), but even if the rules change in August, from what I’ve read it may only be UK residents who benefit from not having to quarantine. So, it looks like we’ll be staying here.
But, as I’ve said before, there are worse places to be. And soon we’ll have a spare room, too.
Form an orderly queue.