The time of the season

The autumn season is a welcome one, as it feels like things get done after a long summer

Peter Edgerton
PETER EDGERTON

The light chill of September brings with it a vague change in mentality in these parts. It'll take another month or so before everyone knuckles down and gets on with their lives to any significant extent, but at least people are just about answering their phones and replying to emails these days, even if it's only to arrange meetings for October.

The transition from summer brain fog to autumnal efficiency isn't helped much by that odd little bank holiday which occurs in the first week of September every year. Many people, having just returned to a full-time work schedule for a few days after spending two months doing little more than chomping merrily on sardines on sticks, and turning a worrying shade of orange, will smile gleefully and inform you with no sense of shame that they'll taking a short break in the 'puente' presumably to have a crack at a bit more fish and top up their tan.

July and August are, as far as getting anything serious done is concerned, a write-off. I had this misfortune this year to need the services of a notary over the summer. A notary, let's be clear, is somebody who charges a gazillion euros to prepare a formal document and make sure that all the information contained therein is accurate to the last comma. Well, not in August, it seems. Incredibly, this particular office managed to change my surname to the rather fetching 'Fedgerton' while, simultaneously, getting my national identity number wrong. So, in a nutshell, two of the most important details on the document were erroneous. I knew something was amiss when I overheard a light kerfuffle involving some other documents being sent to the wrong email address and, in another incident, some poor bloke who wanted to buy a house asking if the secretary's conversation about holiday destinations might be cut short because he had pressing appointment elsewhere. She looked hurt. He looked furious.

It took a couple of weeks to sort my documents out; meanwhile the notary's profound and heartfelt apology has thus far, failed to materialise, lost, we can only surmise, on the autumn breeze.

This is why so many of us love October - things get done. There's only so much faffing about at the mercy of an unforgiving sun a man can take. Tomorrow, I've got a list as long as my arm of jobs to be tackled. In August, none of them would be ticked off the list, in October all of them. It's September - I'll settle for half.