I just cannot get to sleep

3
LITTLE SLEEP: At night when the air should have cooled, it is still as thick as treacle.

THE weather has put a spell on us. People who once were rational and reasonable cannot stand to be in a conversation. Tight lipped smiles from receptionists and cashiers, brightly voiced telephone marketers, fellow sweaty motorists: they all have to take the brunt of our unhappiness.
Everyday everyone speaks about the weather. Will it ever break? Have you heard there is another heat wave on the way? Did you hear the temperatures in Madrid? The air con, if you have it, has given you a cold, so you have heat exhaustion and a runny nose. No one has an appetite, not for food, nor work. The heat has removed all ambition or drive. Hey Speedy, what’s the hurry?
As the sun goes down so should the temperatures. But not in our stone walled house. Like a pizza oven it conserves the heat long past sunset.
The coolest place to be is on the streets, or in the village pool. We read that beer is almost as good at rehydrating as water, this is good news for local custom so ice cold cañas all round.
Deep in the night, when the air should have cooled it is still as thick as treacle. Hardly anyone is sleeping. Instead we lie under fans like goldfish out of their bowls, gasping for air. Even the lucky ones that sleep comes to are being conned. It’s a fitful, fretful version of sleep, like a colicky baby.
We wake, we turn, we drink some water; we cannot bear to touch the clammy skin of our bed partners. We shower and return to bed dripping with water, thrilled that for a few minutes we will find relief as the air from the fan blows across our dampened skin. Then we sleep again, a little.
We wake, we turn, we sleep. Sometimes we dream. But the dreams are confused, anxiety dreams of losing children, or missing a train dressed only in our underwear. When we wake, from a dark water pool into the morning we are wet through. When we rise we leave behind salty traces on the bed sheets where our limbs once were.
Impossible to believe three months ago we had electric blankets and heaters on. The jumpers and trousers are folded away in a cupboard, guarded by mothballs and plastic wrappers.
It seems so long ago.

www.mallorcamatters.com

3 COMMENTS

  1. Not too sure what the writer is going on about here. I have lived in Spain for 22 years and accept that, in July and August particularly, I need to leave the air conditioning on in the bedroom. I sleep like a baby so this just sounds like another whining Brit, go home if you don’t like it, or stop complaining.

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  2. what a rude reply. Just because you are alright and can afford to have the aircon on all night, and dont care about the environment impact! I do find it hard to sleep and yes I am returning to UK, in part to be rid of illmannered, self satisfied, know it all expats like Mr. Anderson

  3. One of the things that keeps me here is the heat, I just couldn’t image going back to the grey damp and cold of the UK. I agree it can be quite a task dealing with the heat in July and August but you just get on with it, I work every day through it, T -Shirt soaked most of the day but I would rather have that for 4 to 8 weeks than having to deal with the months of gray skys, damp and cold of the UK. 😉

    I often wonder how many of the other British people actually see Spain, I have read many posts from them in various foro and never fail to be surprised to see how many British actually think ‘when they come to Spain’ that it should be just an extension of the UK! Many appear to think that most things should be the same as the UK even to the extent of the locals understanding and speaking English! Now I know most British only speak English but I hear them actually speaking to Spanish people ‘who obviously don’t understand them’ as if they are speaking to their best friend, no slowdown of words, no effort to try and speak in a clearer manner ‘without accents for example’, I myself have though ‘what the hell they are talking about’ and I an British… what chance have the Spanish lol

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