Weather report

Weather report

A couple of chums have commented that I haven’t yet posted anything about the weather. Most un-British – have I gone native? The Spanish, it seems, rarely talk about the weather except, perhaps, to discuss worries about drought, on which there is much, very much to be worried about here in the southeast.

No, I have not gone native. On the contrary, I have desisted out of sympathy for my compatriots and a desire not to intrude on any private grief being experienced back there in Blighty with the over-hydrated start to 2016. A nightly bulletin from my Mum (henceforth to be known as the Blighty Nightly) keeps me au courant with affairs meteorological. After ‘Hello, dear’ her first comment is usually something along the lines of: “Well, we’ve had a dreich day today”; or “I don’t know where all that rain comes from”; or, a note of increasing concern in her voice, “It’s going to get colder so those pavements will be like a skating rink”. There follows an update on the day’s events, recounted in a charmingly random rather than sequential way but you get the gist, and then the irresistibly British observation: “I just don’t know where the year is going ….”.

Anyway, enough of this sensitivity and restraint. Let me tell you about the weather here. So far, it’s unremittingly lovely. Like England in June, warm and sunny by day, cool enough to be comfortable at night. Indeed, it can get quite chilly of a night as the stars pick up from the sun to delicately sketch their sparkling filigree in a dark sky undisturbed by city lights. An almost cloudless sky chaperones the sun gently and uninterrupted across the front of our cortijo each day. The weatheronline website logs temperatures of around 19-20° but in the shelter of our little porch it’s nearer 23 – 24°. Mmm hmmm.

There’s nearly always a bit of a breeze; in fact, occasionally it gets gustily frisky. This has been something of a challenge for the Artist, out there braving the elements, clad in shorts, tee-shirt and ill-fitting hat. He’s a messy painter, you see. So he comes equipped with ground sheets to cover the area where he’s working and protect it from spillages, whether intentional but ill-directed splashes, or inspirational but careless splodges, of paint. He’s nearly always outside on account of his desire for natural light and my preference to be spared the smell of oil and turpentine that tends to overwhelm the sourdough aromas I’m attempting to concoct indoors. We had a bit of a palaver with this last year and, this year once again, he has brought the same Wickes standard-issue polythene dustsheet. This is polythene of the minutest girth, paper-thin, see-through and utterly unstable should there be the merest whisper of wind. So, we’ve had a few days of expletives disrupting the tuneless humming as a gust of wind flaps polythene up against palette or partly-painted canvas, laps up some oil and then, with another gust, slaps it onto a bare (and very fetching) calf, or even two. So, this flapping and lapping and slapping has been a bit of a menace, truth be told. Another solution had to be found. Step in, the amazing Wan Jia Le, she of the well-stacked and well-stocked bazaar in neighbouring Garrucha (of which more another time – Garrucha, I mean as well as these bazaars). Its unpromising frontage concealed a cornucopia of tat, row upon row of incredibly well-organised stuff packed shelf after shelf, floor to ceiling, and, after cruising the aisles, we purchased some perfectly serviceable roll-up mats and a plastic tablecloth. So, he’s got it all covered. Bring on those gently cooling breezes.

And that’s about it on the weather report. You see, it gets quite boring, with only a little flutter of wind to punctuate the monotony of day after day of sunshine and warmth. I feel certain I will jinx the entire climatic system here the moment I post this piece. But let’s hope not.