Is it just me, or has August 2020 been the weirdest month? It’s too darn hot and for me, it seems to be dragging along, like a bad break up, that refuses to end.
Usually a month when we all wind down, to a pace that is acceptable for the final days of a glorious summer, this year it just feels like the days are longer and without the usual freedom. I wake earlier and sleep earlier, as I am exhausted from the crazy heat. Dare switch the air-con on, and risk a sore throat, which in turn makes us panic, as to the possibility of the dreaded virus. Switch it off and lie in bed thinking if we should take the risk, and get some sleep.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very used to summer in Marbella, but this year just feels hotter than before. Getting anywhere further than the pool for a swim is an effort, and trying to navigate the streets, while wearing a mask has become something of a game for me. I now have my routes through Marbella firmly in my mind, before venturing out. In fact, knowing which streets are shaded, at which time of day, could become a handy tourist map, or even app, if only we had some tourists.
On Wednesday, I decided to head to the Old Town for a stroll around, and possibly some lunch. Remember those days when the very idea of over crowded back streets was a no no? God I miss those days. I was beyond saddened to see the almost empty bars, restaurants and stores around Plaza de Los Naranjos. Smiling waiters standing, staring out from their deserted terraces, stores closing a little earlier for siesta, and reopening later, in the hope of any passing trade. Mid-afternoon feels like 8am, and the only people moving around are the Amazon delivery guys, who always appear busy.
Having lapped the streets and returned back to where I began, I decided to stop and get some ice cream. Chatting with the guy at the ice cream parlour, he explained that most days he serves perhaps ten customers, as opposed to his usual hundreds. He, like so many, fears for the long winter ahead of us. He made me feel guilty, so I bought an extra scoop of pistachio. Who am I kidding? I didn’t feel guilty at all.
As I sat on a shaded street, I realised in many ways how fortunate I am. To see the Old Town of Marbella clearly, and without people, it really is a very special place. Steeped in history and filled with the most interesting little shops, selling hand made shoes, art, and perfumes. Yes, August 2020 has been a strange month, but it finally ended, and now we enter autumn. In the words of another fabulous Irishman, Oscar Wilde, ‘and all at once, summer collapsed into fall’. This summer may have been somewhat uneventful, but it certainly was chilled. So, now let’s hope the temperatures cool off too, and people return to the streets.
Thanks for taking the time to enjoy this column “It’s too Darn Hot”