The week of summer time

Summer time (in Tortosa)
And the living is easy.
Fish are jumping, (honestly, I saw one this morning)
And the cotton is ‘Cause the mercury’s high.

Your daddy’s The food’s still rich,
And your mama’s the beach is good looking
So hush, little baby long to-do list, don’t you cry.

One of Most of these mornings
You’re I’m going to rise up singing slowly
And I’ll eat melon Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to With my eye on the sky

But until that morning the autumn
There’s a’nothing can harm you no jumper that will touch me
With your daddy and mammy standing As the Tortosi summer sweat trickles on by

Sincere apologies to Gershwin, and all of you!

Summer time has well and truly settled in Tortosa, and the town is simultaneously winding down and winding up for August. The university has been slowly shortening its opening hours over the past month: first from 8am to 8pm, then 8am to 5pm, and this week, it was only open until 3pm. To be honest, its actually quite liberating being forced to leave your office at a certain time. It makes me more efficient, having a deadline, and really separates work time and play time. For the next three weeks, it will be closed completely: no power, no access for researchers, nothing. I can thank the crisis for that one.

In other parts of the town many shops are closing for the afternoon, or all together, with signs on the window announcing ‘tancat‘ until September. For us, who are used to having our long summer holidays at the same time as Christmas, it seems a bit decadent to have a big break now, only to have another holiday in December. But I’m not complaining, no way, just warily eyeing off my toppling pile of papers to read over the summer break.

Summer time can also be seen in the behaviour of the locals. People seem to be walking even slower now. The number of people in ice cream stores is often (ok, sometimes) higher than the number of people in bars. Coffee with ice is a standard order now. These people are summer time professionals.

Watermelon is featured on nearly every menu in town, which is making me very happy.  You can buy a whole one for about 0.40€ a kg at our local grocery store, and you can see the melons in nearby fields, so you know they’re fresh! Another element of summer here that is just making its presence felt is evening thunderstorms. We’ve only seen a few so far, but they have been spectacular, with breathtaking lightning shows.

Apart from the sweat and the flies, it’s not a bad life really. ¡Feliz verano!

One thought on “The week of summer time

  1. Hi! Great to see you’re enjoying the summer, and adapting – I know some English people who have never adapted to the change in season – “Why don’t we work in August? Why do timetables change?….”!
    Pere, the guy who took the photo, is my Mallorcan bro-in-law currently here on holiday. They even put his photo on the TV news (TV3).
    I suppose your colleagues have told you already, but just in case – if you get tired of the beach, go up river to the areas of Horta, Arnes, Lledo etc and check out great mountain streams and rock pools for cooling off. You need a car, though, and someone to indicate where the best places are and how to get there.
    Enjoy August!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: