East of Málaga: Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day in England?
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
~ William Shakespeare ~
Most of us are familiar with at least the opening lines of Sonnet 18 by English playwright and poet, William Shakespeare, in which he compares his beloved Fair Youth to that of an English summer’s day.
suffered endured experienced many cool and rainy summer days in England over the years, when the BBQ I had planned for friends has been a total washout, or no-one could sleep at night because it was too humid, despite being only 17 Celsius.
Of course, it’s not always like that in England but, here in southern Spain, the weather, whilst retaining distinct seasons, is much more reliable.
The outdoor lifestyle was one of the main influencing factors for our move here, eight years ago.
So, what is a summer’s day in July or August like – east of Málaga?
We would typically expect the temperature to be between 30C – 35 Celcius (that’s 86 – 95 Fahrenheit) during the day, with overnight temperatures rarely dropping below 21C (70 degrees Fahrenheit). Clear blue skies are virtually guaranteed, with little or no rainfall and low humidity.
During August, the thermometer can sometimes touch 40C in the shade, so it’s vital to adapt your lifestyle accordingly. August days often see me wandering around the house and garden in a swim suit and loose-fitting sarong, with my hair tied up, wearing no make-up.
And, because we live in the countryside a few kilometres from the coast, days often go by without seeing another soul – and that suits me just fine.
Not only do many northern European tourists head down this way for their annual vacation, but the rest of the population of Spain seems to end up around these parts, too. So, we tend to stay at home, out of the way of the crowded restaurants and the lack of parking spaces, only venturing out when we need to buy groceries or if we choose to stroll along the promenade on a Saturday evening, before visiting a local chiringuito (fish restaurant).
I’m an early riser, so the first thing I do when I get out of bed is to throw all the windows and doors open, allowing the cool morning air into the house. Any chores that need doing are always completed well before 11am, by which time, the windows are closed to keep the warm air out.
As the sun continues it’s journey around the house, various blinds are pulled down over the windows to stop the heat from penetrating.
My days are spent writing, wandering nearby taking photographs, sipping cool drinks, trying to catch up with my list of books to be read, or simply taking a dip in the pool when I get a bit overheated. We have several cool, shady terraces where I choose to to locate my “office” for the morning.
Today’s lunch will be fillet of salmon with patatas a lo pobre, prepared earlier this morning, and made all the tastier knowing that the onions and green peppers have been grown in our vegetable patch. I’m pretty sure that we’ll have a chilled glass of wine with lunch, too.
This afternoon, there could be a siesta, another swim or time to catch up reading blogs I enjoy. I might even plan more of our next trip (to Portugal in October) or chat to friends around the world on the internet.
After sunset, the windows are once again thrown open, and it’s a delight to feel the cool evening air, as the delicious perfume of the night-scented jasmine pervades the surroundings.
One thing I love about hot, summer nights is the chance to have a swim after dark before hopping into bed. I always make sure that there are no outside lights shining from the house and, because we live in the countryside, there is virtually no light pollution. It´s quite surreal floating about in the pool on your back on an airbed watching the stars twinkling overhead.
Sleep comes easily after such a carefree day, with the open window and overhead ceiling fan keeping me cool.
So, east of Málaga, shall I compare thee to a summer’s day in England?
NO, I’ll just enjoy every day spent in this beautiful country I have adopted as my home, and take English summers as, and when, I choose to find them.
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