Bed linen seasons

I’ve mused in the past about just how long the Algarvean spring lasts, and how to distinguish it from winter. Basing such distinctions on rainfall or blooming times isn’t very effective, leading me to postulate that spring lasts about five months — from the beginning of the rainy season until the end.

But now I have a new method of categorization: seasons by bed linens. Because Portuguese housing is notorious for its poor insulation, down comforters are a must during the winter nights. Eventually there comes a time when it’s warm enough to replace the toasty down comforter with a light blanket and coverlet. That, I have concluded, is spring. Summer is when the blanket gets to be too much, and we all sleep with just a sheet and coverlet. (High summer is when we wish sheets could be made of ice.)

By this system, I can now state that spring in the Algarve lasts only three weeks. That’s how long we managed to keep the blanket on our bed. It’s really quite shocking how quickly the weather here moves from cool nights to warm ones, and how suddenly we go from long pants and short sleeve shirts to shorts and tank tops.

Summer is here. You know how else I can tell? My various expatriate Pilates students are all heading back north. I won’t see them again until October.

Time to stock up on ice cream…


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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9 Responses to Bed linen seasons

  1. Karen says:

    “My various expatriate Pilates students are all heading back north. I won’t see them again until October.” I didn’t know Portugal had snowbirds! I thought that species only existed in Florida and parts of the southwestern US.

  2. JBrandao says:

    I suggest Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. If it isn’t just about the best damn chocolate ice cream in the world, I don’t know what is.

    • oregon expat says:

      Second best. Best is Häagen-Dazs chocolate chocolate chip. I’ll go all the way to Lisboa for that! (Well, not really, but whenever I’m in Lisboa I make certain we stop by an Häagen-Dazs shop.)

  3. Ana_ñ says:

    Excellent observations!
    Study – Algarvean Pilates birds, the molting cycle of the teacher and the migratory habits of the students

  4. Inge says:

    I tend to measure the start of spring when i can bike without jacket. Summer starts when i’m dripping wet with sweat when i bike longer distances. High summer is when a 5 minutes run will get me wet.

  5. Power Wench says:

    Here the start of summer is when we can take the flannel sheets off the bed and put on smooth percale ones. That only happened a week ago!

  6. xenatuba says:

    So, I’m late on this one…
    My first move out of Oregon was to the SF bay area. I was chided for keeping an ice scraper in my truck (a necessity in Southern Oregon, an oddity in the Bay Area…until that one day of frost in January, but I digress) and it seemed to me that Summer lasted until mid November (when the locals were wearing down jackets and I put on a sweatshirt) and spring began in February (while the locals still wore down jackets and I began wearing shorts) and the hot summer never really arrived. I like your seasonal measurement.

    • oregon expat says:

      This reminds me of the classic joke about “you know you’re an Oregonian when you wear socks and hiking boots with your shorts.”

      Here in the Algarve it’s “you know they’re British tourists when they wear black socks with their sandals and shorts.”

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