The pool toys are stowed away in the cellar, the bikes are tucked into the garage, the garden furniture covered up, the appliances unplugged, the pillows wrapped up, the beds stripped off, the left over food offered to a neighbour, and life seems to be sucked out of the house at every one of these steps.
Our summer house stands for long sleep-ins, endless kids' sleep-overs, breakfasts on the terrace with churros and dulce de leche, late lazy lunches, impromptu aperitifs with neighbours, fun dinners with friends, giggly Cava pow-wows with girlfriends, animated family movie nights, vivifying teenage discussions, in short it is full of life.
We have made a conscious choice of making this our home and although we do not live in Spain any longer, it has become our family base. We arrive the day after the kids break up from school and it takes us less than 24 hours to get back into the rhythm of Spanish lifestyle. It costs a great deal more when leaving at the end of summer.
But rather than being sad, I am happy. Happy for another summer spent "at home" in my pink house surrounded by my loved ones and tons of guaranteed sunshine. I am very spoilt! We have seen our kids grow up here, we are surrounded by friends and who can resist the Spanish "jamón iberico" or a glass of "tinto de verano"? Oh, and did it mention all the sunshine?!?
So, just let me turn off the WIFI before I get too emotional ... I'll see you in Paris!