At the beginning of each sweaty season in Andalucia, I start out with the best of intentions. This year, I say, I’m going to embrace summer. Yoga practice in the cool of the morning and a daily swim in the lovely Los Piedaos pool will send me out at dusk, lightly tanned and toned, to enjoy an evening under the stars, barefoot and clad only in the smallest amount of white linen.
What actually happens most years is that I am targeted by the first flotilla of biting things to take flight. I retire indoors and wait until the scars on my legs have faded. I never do catch up on the all-over tan, and end up looking like a dappled fawn – which would be quite cute if I were one.
Last week, on our own terrace at midnight (midnight, reader!) I got stung by a wasp. Twice. So I have spent the past few days full of venom in all senses, with people scurrying away from my bright red swollen arm and fierce scowl as fast as they can, given the heat.
A wise beautiful owl of my acquaintance (you know who you are) saw my plight and gave me some good advice, which I want to share with all my overheated friends:
1 Stop fighting the summer, and see how you can make it work for you. Work, rest and play as your energy demands and take on as little as possible.
2 Leave the midday sun to the mad dogs and Englishmen – respect the heat as Spanish people do and take a siesta as a necessity, not a luxury.
3 Just say no – to having to be somewhere or doing something that can wait for cooler weather. This isn’t the time to start clearing out my office or wardrobe, or to start training for that mini-marathon.
I’m already feeling much better thanks. So I’ll just raise a tall glass of iced tea to you all, and am going back to reading my novel.
What are your strategies for beating the heat? I’d love to know how to be even lazier right now!