On more than one occasion in the past week, I have found myself in three different conversations – one business, one pleasure and the other kind of random – where the general consensus was that the season is practically over in Ibiza right now. SAY WHAT? I hear all you Ibiza lovers thinking, knowing you’ve pre-booked flights and hotels and have made all kinds of plans on the white isle over the next few months. Don’t worry, I don’t mean literally… there are still plenty of good summer months left to enjoy!
The conversations I was having reminded me of when I used to work in fashion magazines. We were always working around three or four months ahead – for example, shooting swimsuits in the depths of winter and trying to make the poor bikini models look like they were having fun while they were actually shivering in cold water – which meant while other people were shopping the winter collections, our minds were on summer and coats and scarves just felt SO OVER (again, not literally, it was bloody freezing outside) and you couldn’t comprehend spending money on anything that wasn’t in the fashion cupboard at the time (ahh, I do miss the fashion cupboard sometimes). Which is why magazine girls always dress in a kooky transeasonal kind of way – they are the very epitome of being fashion-forward.
Let me put it into Ibiza terms so it makes a little more sense. If you run a business in Ibiza, you spend the months leading up to the season doing all your planning, your research, your marketing, your hiring, your buying, your painting, your decorating and all sorts of other things. When the summer arrives – if all goes to plan – your business should be running like a well-oiled machine and you should be reaping the results of all that hard work. Except this is Ibiza, where things very rarely go to plan and there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ season. There’s just no way to predict how the next four months are going to pan out, no matter how much you’ve prepped and planned (unless you work with robots).
Picture this. You’re running a restaurant, you’re so happy with your team and your menu is getting rave reviews. Then, your head chef quits (and this can be for any number of reasons, maybe they found another job, perhaps they decided to go back to their home country, or maybe they decided to run away to the hills and take ayahuasca every night – seriously, anything can happen) and you’re in a conundrum. You must hire a new chef, obviously, but new chefs want to come in and make their mark on the menu rather than adopt the recipes of their predecessor. And while you’d love to let them do that, more and more people are streaming into your venue every day – there’s no time for test kitchens, no time to look for new suppliers, no time to waste on trial and error. Also – all the best chefs have already been snapped up by the other restaurants on the island. It’s such a small, competitive industry.
And so, the restaurant owner inevitably jumps into the kitchen – talk about from the frying pan into the fire – themselves, just to keep things running smoothly. They are already looking forward to the end of the season, when perhaps the sous chef can step up, or at least when they can step back and start looking for a replacement. That was the gist of one of my conversations this week – that at this time of year (when ‘the season is practically over’) it’s a case of if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself, or it’s easier just to take over temporarily as a stop-gap, while waiting for the summer season madness to pass.
On the other side of the fence, there are people (or so I hear) who want to move to Ibiza, but ‘the season is practically over’ so they think it will be impossible to find a job (see the above situation!), a place to live or a car. And so, they put off their dreams until the following year because there’s a general consensus in Ibiza that by June, all the good apartments or villas have been snapped up, most of the best jobs have been filled, the only second-hand cars left on the market are bangers and that you’ll need to pay exorbitant prices to share a single bedroom with four other people. It’s not true of course – you just have to spend a lot of time looking – and there’s another conundrum. If you’re lucky enough to score that dream summer job, you’re often too busy to spend the time looking for an apartment. It’s the never-ending cycle…
Then (remember there were three conversations had!) there are those people who live life with the belief that summer bodies are made in the winter – and there are those who don’t. Obviously, those who eat well and workout in the lead up to summer are rewarded with a better physique and they’ll naturally feel confident on the beach. That’s just logic. But just say you were one of those people who ate pizza all winter and binge-watched Netflix and only walked about 1000 steps a day from January until June (you know who you are) – this doesn’t mean your summer is over. It doesn’t mean you can’t start working on your summer body TODAY. In fact, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your current body at all. You know what your summer body is? It’s the body you have on the date that summer rolls into town. Don’t let it stop you from enjoying the months ahead – and don’t use the excuse that ‘the season is practically over’ to stop you from embarking on any kind of body program – it’s always summer somewhere anyway!
As I type this blog, it’s dark and overcast and cloudy outside – it’s a rare bad weather day in Ibiza. I’ve pulled on a hoodie and I’ve got woolly socks on beneath my long skirt – there’s just a hint of winter in the air and I catch myself thinking ‘the season’s practically over’ and while wondering what flavour pizza I should order tonight. But then I look at the forecast and my workload and I’m reminded that we are very much in the early days of summer. While those working behind the scenes might think the season is over, those on the ground know that things are only just starting to heat up…