Somehow, August is the month where it finally dawns on us that the heat has gone on for far too long, where we’ve been battered and bowed by too much tourism, where the nights have been too noisy and where everyone who we need to see for some pressing reason – lawyers, doctors or politicos – have closed their offices and gone off somewhere on holiday on our shilling: like the Seychelles or the Dominican Republic.
In August, many of our local cosmopolitans return ‘home’ to Britain or Germany to see their families, escape the heat (we are on ‘Alerta Naranja’ today) and to have a decent pint of beer. So there’s no one about who we know except for the restaurant and bar owners, who are all far too busy to stop and talk to us anyway.
August is a good month to stay in. Use the pool and send the kids out to do the shopping. Read, watch the telly. Swim again.
In my town, August ends with its fiesta popular. The local saint, in our case one Agustín (patron saint of sangria, ugly buildings and bad haircuts), is celebrated with a noisy piss-up. In Spain, a patron saint’s day is extended, according to the size and wealth of the town, to several days or more. Almería City (currently in its fiestas) used to have a ten day thrash (where everything was essentially closed and one dressed up every evening in flamenco costumes or a clean shirt and jacket and went out and ate gambas and got rat-arsed). Now, with the current crisis, it has been reduced to a mere eight days. Naturally, everyone is hysterical about this, although at least the top name bullfights and a few major concerts and a shit load of fireworks are still de rigueur.
Here in Mojácar, we have just four days of fiesta, starting this coming Thursday and running through Sunday August 30th. No bullfights, no name-bands but, of course, plenty of things that go bang. Late, late nights and lots of volume. Dancing in the square. You won’t be sleeping much later on this week…
But, right after the last string of paper flags has been cleared up on the following day, August takes its bow and we enter into September, the very best month of the year.