Over the years, I have had my share of good Augusts and bad Augusts, but this year, I have had the very BEST August ever and it’s not even over yet! Which got me to thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could have an AWE-gust instead of an ARRGHH-ust? Wouldn’t life be pleasant if there were no social media posts complaining about the traffic, the queues, the heat or the influx of people on our little island. Wouldn’t the island just be a better place if we all stopped focusing on the parts of August that we don’t like and started celebrating those parts that we do? I’m as guilty as anyone of complaining about August in the past… it just occurred to me this year, that the month just goes so much faster when you try and actually enjoy it, rather than dreading getting out of bed every day! So I took the liberty of making a list – which obviously applies more to islanders than visitors, since if you’re here on holiday you’ll be doing your darnedest to have a good time anyway – that can help anyone make the most of the month.
1. If you don’t like the heat, stay out of the kitchen/beach/sun. Seriously. Heat (and its resulting sweatiness and stickiness) can really make a person cranky so if this sounds like you, just use the month of August to catch up on your box set binge watching rather than forced sunbathing. Read a book with a fan aimed at you rather than traipsing the streets shopping. And if the thought of slaving over a hot stove is your idea of torture… go out for dinner or order takeout! There’s nothing wrong with going into a little August hibernation when you need it… sometimes it’s the perfect balance for all the extra work that comes along at this time of the season. 2. Allow extra time for everything. It’s just a matter of August life that there is more traffic, less parking, more queues and not enough taxis no matter where you go, so be sure to allow an extra 10 or 15 minutes onto your journey and you’ll never be late. I recently heard that Salvador Dali loved to be forced into waiting, as waiting is basically totally free time you can enjoy that is not your fault. Use those 10 minutes while you’re looking for parking to phone home (hands-free of course), catch up on your emails while you’re in the queue at the post office and heaven forbid there’s no internet where you are… use the time to meditate, or just ponder your own thoughts in peace. 3. Drive safely and awarely. As above, it’s a fact there are more cars on the road in August than any other month. There are more people behind the wheel of hire cars, perhaps driving on the other side of the road for the first time, there are more people who don’t know Ibiza’s roads using GPS (rather than the old school methods of ‘turn right at the blue rock’) and there are more scooters wobbling with inexperienced drivers than ever before. Of course, there are also (as always) more frustrated people in a rush to get to their destination as quickly as possible (unless you’re in labour, see point 2). As seasoned Ibiza drivers, we need to be aware that not everyone is on their game on the roads. Forget the road rage – why not let someone in front of you who is trying to merge into a lane? Drive a little slower (and by that I mean the speed limit) so as not to intimidate the cars around you? If you drive considerately, you’ll get to your destination in the same amount of time and with much less stress. Of course it goes without saying – please don’t drink and drive, or text and drive either. Our newspapers have been full of sad news of accidents this summer, so any defensive driving we can do to avoid this is essential.
4. Dress appropriately for the heat. By this, I do not mean strut the streets of Ibiza town in a bikini while you’re shopping for shoes! I mean, wear light, organic fabrics that keep your body protected from the heat. Surprisingly, maxi-dresses – provided they’re made of quality fabrics and not cheap polyester – are surprisingly cool, as they’ll stop your legs sticking to chair seats in cafes and protect your skin from the searing summer sun. Wear a hat and you’ll find you no longer have those beads of sweat dripping from your temples and ruining your make-up. And in a club, loose fitting dresses can be equally as flattering as skin tight shiny lycra ones… and much more comfortable and easy to breathe in! 5. Invite friends to visit and experience August like a tourist. Ibiza in August is mind blowing if you’ve never been here before, so why not embrace it with a holiday mentality? This year I had some very good friends come to stay with me, and while I thought I would find it difficult to balance work life and social life, every single minute was an absolute pleasure. What I realised was, going out in August doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. Because the thing is… you don’t have to spend the ENTIRE day at a beach club. Just a couple of hours in the cooler later afternoon is enough to give you a taster. You don’t need to go clubbing until 6.30am every night – but it is fun to dip your toe in for just a couple of hours. You don’t need to drink yourself into a stupor… but a couple of delicious cocktails certainly do make the hour a lot happier. What makes you happy is taking part in the overall Ibiza experience. 6. Make the most of the sales. August is the month when the shops and boutiques in Ibiza drop to their lowest prices ever. Whatever you need to put a little pep in your step this month – be it new sheets, a sparkly top or a new nail polish, you’ll find it for a bargain, and I double dare anyone to feel sad when they get a bargain! 7. Try something new. Be it a new restaurant, a new bar or a new party, by August, we will have all heard about the new ‘it’ places of the summer and have a pretty good idea of which ones will be worth the wait. After all, the rest of the island has spent all season doing the trial and error parts for us! For me, it was WooMoon (you can read more about that here) and the beauty of trying something new for the first time in August is that you can’t compare it to the good old days or back in May when there was less people. This is your first impression and it is what it is.
8. Always call ahead and make reservations. In the past, it may have been possible to ‘pop in’ somewhere and know you’d be able to still score a beach bed or table on the terrace, but those days of holding tables for walk-ins are over. You see the empty beach bed photos on White Ibiza? We send our photographer at around 8am to get such crisp, clean shots… any later than that and they’re covered in bodies! Not only are restaurants and beach clubs booked out well in advance, they now even have cancellation waiting lists. You want to charter a yacht tomorrow morning? Good luck with that (unless you have a personal concierge in the know of course). If you want to guarantee no disappointments – call ahead or visit their websites and book. I learned this the hard way – but now at least I can share my findings and know better for the rest of the month so it wasn’t all for nothing! 9. Be organised. Don’t leave anything until the last minute. Now… this is another thing I learnt from experience. I am a very proficient procrastinator. But unfortunately, if you leave things until the last minute in August… you just may end up wasting a whole lot more time. For example… leave your ITV appointment until the last minute and your mechanic won’t have time to fix the car in time for its second inspection. Leave your house a mess and try to book a cleaner the day before your friends arrive and you’ll discover all cleaners are fully booked. Same goes for babysitters and pet sitters. If you leave a deadline ‘til the last minute, you can guarantee something else even more urgent will crop up right before it’s due and you’ll miss your deadline, then you’ll have to stay home and miss a party to make the deadline: cue typical August complaining. Just get ahead at the beginning of the month so no hidden surprises can bite you later in the month. 10. Be nice to people. Whether they queue jump, step on your toes at DC10, sneak into a parking space you were waiting for, cut in on you in traffic or send you a snappy email… just smile and be nice. It’s so much easier than getting mad, stewing on the incident, going home and writing something nasty on your Facebook page – it takes so much more energy to be negative than to be positive, and if there’s any month we need to conserve our energy, it’s August! And please, please, please… always say please and thank you! Or por favour and gracias if you’re speaking to someone Spanish. Those little details can go a long way… and who knows, you might even end up making a new friend! [Special extra rule] 11. Print and file for August 2017!