The start of summer holidays and long hot days

10 July 2017 0 Comments Category: Barbara de Swaan, blog, Living in Spain

summer holidays

You really don’t want to know how hard is has been to find a moment to write this Blog. You probably think that July just started, and so have the school holidays, so how come I don’t have any time for myself?

Because the end of a schoolyear means that the children are home every day as from one o’clock and we as parents have to find a way to make sure they don’t kill eachother because they don’t know what to do with all this spare time on their hands. We have no time to entertain them because WE do have to work. Between our own jobs, we have to run from one parenting meeting with teachers, to the other one. The “chiringuitos” have just opened, so at least three times a week we HAVE to have dinner with parents, different groups of sportsclubs, best friends who want to try out new places and work related dinners. All great ofcourse, that’s why we live in Spain, but the consequence is that our children stay up till midnight or much later on a daily base and become rather unmanageable during the day because they’re exhausted. As from the end of June till more or less the 15th of September the kids have summerholiday: 3 complete month! What a party for them, but how difficult for the parents to plan this calender with jobs. As a solution most children stay part of the summer with their grandparents or in summer camps.

We have no parents nearby, so our children are the lucky ones to spend most days on the beach where they learn to sail and practice windsurf while they get this beautiful dark tan that most of us as adults can only yearn for.

One of the biggest parties in Spain has always been “la Noche de San Juan” (23rd of June), where we celebrate the start of the summer with the longest day of the year. Huge amounts of firework (read: money) will be burned this night, big bonfires are held to burn everything old and most people celebrate this party at or close to the beach (in Barcelona). So also this year we celebrated San Juan at the beach with a group of 25 friends. Everybody brought something to eat and drink, everybody shares, there was even a real “jamon ibérico” on a spit. We had to drink more than we could or should because noboddy wanted to carry back the weight of all thos bottles, so they had to be empty in the morning.

summer in Spain

While around 3 AM we woke up some of the younger children that had fallen asleep on the beach below some towels, their hair wild from all the swimming and salt, their faces white from sleep, we looked around the beach and saw the enormous amounts of garbage that people had left. So much for civilization….  Our group did make the small gesture to clean up everything after our feast, the only traces left were our footsteps walking home a little drunk, tired but extremely satisfied.

Tomorrow another hot and sweaty summerday, where kids sail the waves and play with waterbaloons while we work hard to keep this economy running and pay for all the great but expensive summercamps. In Spain life seems like one big party!

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