Flaming June is here. Hopefully Spain has seen the last of any bad weather, the leaking roofs are repaired, and residents are getting into some semblance of life outside lockdown. Let’s hope you’re still able to edge further forward, and not revert to what went before. I use the words ‘you’ and ‘residents’ of course, because I’m not there physically, and it looks like it may be a long while before I return.
Dicing with the columns of news coming out of both Spanish and UK governments on travel restrictions mean many of us are going to be disappointed these coming months. Residents normally joyfully awaiting the annual arrival of family from the UK to splash and scream in swimming pools around the province will be holding their breath. Those wishing from far across the Bay of Biscay to hear sounds of clanking metal chains pulling the ferry into dock, or the sound of airline announcements to ‘prepare cabin for landing’ as Murcia comes into view below, will possibly be in for huge sighs of sadness as realisation dawns that next time we see our second homes may be through a tangle of overgrown gates or rusted front door locks.
Yes, this has been an enormous shock for us all.
It’s not the first time we’ve suffered a pandemic, the last over a century ago, therefore not really in our general thoughts despite warnings there would be another due now.
The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, despite the fact it started on a Kansas army base, gained that title purely because Spain was neutral in the war and therefore not subject to press restrictions, and began reporting deaths. The troops coming across the Atlantic sadly brought the virus with them into the trenches, and the heart of the continent. So Spain shouldered the blame.
There are many YouTube documentaries on those events which are a fascinating and insightful watch.
How do we get through the remainder of the year without these visits? Quiet times ahead as we contemplate our futures and edge back into society warily, at a distance. Spain will be quiet and may take you back to those decades before the tourist invasions, the unspoiled country of yesteryear and relatives that are long gone.
Luckily I live on a beach front in Wales during winter, yet this summer (normally in Spain) will be spent viewless, behind scaffolding covered in white mesh, with blue polythene covered windows. Cosmetic building repairs run until October, our usual return date, so sod’s law prevails as present Welsh rules mean no lounging on beaches. Our only seated sunshine means taking a folding chair to an empty car park space within our boundary. So very glamorous.
My first summer in the UK in over fifteen years, to a soundtrack of seagulls, drills and the voices of workmen climbing the framework. Do I laugh or cry when I visualise our Spanish garden, sat with a glass of Cava around the pool?
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