Where the start of the summer season in Zermatt as been put on hold, bookings here are slowly starting to trickle in. While the rain keeps my sister confined to the house, we owe the careful switch from little to a little more mainly to the sun. Forget the summer solstice. The longest day of the year. Or the bonfires of Saint John. With the opening of the swimming pool season (which is only short-lived in Spain), summer seems to have officially started.

“Summer?” grumbles one of the locals as we briefly discuss the subject at Bar Isa. “Mosquitoes and heat. Heat and mosquitoes. That’s all it is.” Although I think he has a point (because summer is not my favorite season either), I am a little more optimistic than that. Because if I can believe Isa, it is still the calm before the storm. Schools are out. The children are off. But the beach – which seems nice for a while – quickly loses its shine. Too busy. And that’s when the guests will come. For the quiet and the nature. As usual.

But now that we’ve just gotten used to a certain routine, everything is turned upside down again by the change of the season. Because where most guests can hardly get out of bed in the winter, most of them now appear bright and early for breakfast. It is already light outside. The days are long. And the plan? To get the most out of that one (or two) overnight stay? That is even longer. They have to walk. Have lunch, swim, nap, dine and sleep. Where we can, we adapt. Because not only having breakfast earlier – but also checking in earlier – so that they can enjoy the outdoor space and the swimming pool for as long as possible (if possible and discussed in advance) is no problem.

Because with the season, also the needs of the guests change. The winter blankets have been back in the attic for a while now. The summer blankets neatly folded and packed in the cupboard. The air conditioners are starting to hum more and more often. And the red wine? At the request (of many Spaniards), we already put it cold again. More and more people are having breakfast outside. And the budget for outdoor furniture? That has been increased. New sunbeds? Extra tables? More comfortable seats? Our carefully built up savings are almost gone again. And although we get very excited about every new change (or should I say improvement?), there is one change that I am absolutely not looking forward to. Because, following our youngest sister, Noëlle, the middle sister, Suzanne, is also leaving for Switzerland again this week. Just as the summer season is about to start, I am left alone again. Well, alone? With a lot of heat and a lot of mosquitoes, if I am to believe Balta. But, unlike some other things, we have been prepared for this for quite some time. With enough mosquito screens. Air conditioners. And a swimming pool – which makes from the sun not an enemy, but a friend.