last week was feria week in Casares. Feria is the annual town party / booze-up / carnival which happens in every town and village in the country on varying dates. Spanish employment law even stipulates that every employee gets an afternoon off to go.
Casares feria was no exception to the rule - bigger and better than last year, new street decorations, more events, more food, more drink, more bands, etc.
Feria here kicked off last Thursday with a concert and local dance school. Now my girls want to do dance as well as judo. We'll see, provided they don't clash.
Friday was another band and crowning of the Feria queen. saturday was the shooting competion, horse parade and another band. Sunday was free eats for the whole town and another band.
Did I mention bands? The location for all concerts has been changed this year. They used to be at the bottom of town in the sports centre. Now they are put on top of the new car park roof, near the top of town. This means our house now has an unbroken line-of-sight (sound) to the concert stage - you can tell where this is leading. Spanish bands play from roughly 10.30pm to as long as the band or audience can stand it. In the case of Friday's band, they were still going at 7.00am Saturday when I left for work. There were at least a hundred local teenagers there trying to dance, though most were leaning against any available object and not moving very much. Spanish bands also play as loud as they possibly can - enhanced by a pile of loud speakers three metres high which prevents anyone approaching to within 5 metres of the stage.
Late July and early August is also the hottest time of the year here. It didn't drop below 25C ant any stage during the night last week, and was 30C for a couple of nights, with no appreciable wind to disperse the heat. This time of year is also breeding season for midges, gnats and mosquitos.
The windows had to be left open night and day in an effort to keep the house a bearable temperature (no air-conditioning).
Now our children are growing up. Lulu our youngest is seven, Charlotte nine and Tom is ten. They are now more Spanish than English, certainly in their behaviour. I don't recall them getting back from the feria before 2.30am any night. But then Casares is so safe we don't worry about them when they're out. One night, Tom got back at 5.00am. I guess he's growing into a Spanish teenager.
On top of that, I've been spending every available moment decorating our bathroom in advance of visitors later this month. We've had no bath or shower in the house for the last four months thanks to leaks and builders who've let us down.
Thankfully my employer is very understanding about sleep deprivation and has let me get away with arriving late the last few days.
Oh, and by the way, San Roque feria (where I work) has its feria this week. I think I'll have tomorrow afternoon off - to sleep.