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Inside the Core - August 2023

Inside the Core - August 2023

In Toledo they say: 6 meses de invierno y 6 meses de infierno. 6 months of Winter, and 6 months of hell!  It’s not that bad, but sometimes August here does feel like an inferno… which is why we spent as little time here as possible.  We had a week in the UK, I popped into the office so they wouldn’t forget my face and visited family; then a week in the north of Spain, Galicia, which has a climate similar to the UK – plenty of rain!  It’s also, interestingly, considered to be the 7th Celtic nation and they play the bagpipes, which you can hear at all major festivals.  Finally, a week in the south, Murcia, where it was just as hot, but at least there was a pool outside the apartment and the beach nearby (Pic of my husband heading back from the beach with our favourite beach bag!).  Because of the high Brit population there, the supermarkets are filled with British wares, and I was able to stock up on my English essentials (Yorkshire tea, Gold of course, cordial and gravy) and my husband could buy his favourite English food – crumpets!  It does make me laugh that of all the English things he could have fallen in love with, it was crumpets that he was most impressed by!

We returned to Toledo on Sunday, and I’m happy to report that it’s a very comfortable 30 degrees now for the next week at least, which is wonderful.

When I worked in Italy, I loved that they had a term for this time of the year, Il rientro, The Return.  That dreaded return to work/school after a lovely long summer on holiday.  The Spanish doesn’t have a specific word for this like the Italian (The French do - La rentrée), but the concept here is very much the same.  Lots of things shut down over August, which I discovered last year when we needed a sofa in July; “There’s no point ordering it now, let’s talk about it in September”.  Or this year when I needed to set an appointment to swap my UK driving license for a Spanish one…no appointments until September.  Same with the doctors or car MOTs, and lots of shops and restaurants have “Closed for the holidays” signs hung on the doors.  The Mediterranean takes their summer vacation Very Seriously!  So, this week I really have been experiencing Il rientro.  It’s back to business, and the most important (and exciting) item on the agenda this week is my first meeting as part of the 7th European IRPA Congress Organising Committee being held in Liverpool in 2026 which I was asked to be a part of last month (and of course I said YES!).  It’s all very exciting and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

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