the silly season

Although in the UK that phrase refers to the summer, here in Spain, it seems to suit the winter, or more specifically, the period between early December and the end of the week when Epiphany falls. What with official holidays and business dinners etc., it’s amost impossible to get a full five days’ work done in any semana laborable in that period.

This year is what I think of as “un año segoviano”: next week we’ve not just got a puente – a bridge day linking a Tuesday or Thursday bank holiday to the nearest weekend – we’ve got a whole aqueduct coming up.

segovia aqueduct

Tuesday December 6th is el Día de la Constitución and Thursday 8th is La Inmaculada. So some people will take the Monday puente, some will take the Friday, and some will just take the whole week.

Actually, it’s not so bad this year as there’s no Christmas Day. Well, there is, but since it falls on a Sunday, that’s your lot. There’s no extra day’s holiday to compensate. Which seems odd to me in a country which, although officially láico, has such a strong Catholic element, and where they are so fond of taking extra days off whenever they can.

Then again, I’ve just checked the Social Security website and found that, as usual with Spanish bank holidays, it all depends on where you live. Castile & León are indeed celebrating the lunes siguiente a la Natividad del Señor, even though Madrid aren’t.

I happen to be resident in Castile y León and, although technically self-employed, I do a lot of translations for a company based in Madrid, whose readership is mostly British. It would be nice if I could take all the holidays of all these different places, but, as so often happens to freelance workers who don’t get paid for their days off, I’ll probably end up working every day and wondering why people insist on talking about the “holiday season”.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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