First off, Happy New Year to everyone. Hoping you had lovely holidays, and if you celebrate Epiphany/The Three Kings, as people do in Gib and Spain, wishing you yet another feliz fiesta on Thursday and Friday.
We planned to go to Spain for Christmas, but the best laid plans and all that. So we trickled back after Boxing Day to discover that our dear neighbour had watered our garden for us when we didn’t arrive for Navidad (Christmas) as we had said we would.
Somehow, it never seems a good idea to dive into a load of work the first day. Far better to enjoy the view, the sun, the terrace, and, a San Miguel. “Tienes una jarra,” said José. “Mejor, para cabe más.” Which translates as, oh you have a big beer mug which is much better because you can fit more in. As you can see from the number of words, less is more. In this case, less is in Spanish, more is in English, and even more is in the jarra.
I really wanted to write something about winters on the Costa del Sol though. People seem to think because it is sunny all year round in Andalucía that it is warm all year round. Warm enough to sunbathe and swim in winter. Brrrrr.
Well, yes and no. Yes, it gets warm during the day in winter, say 20+. But at night it has been dropping to 5 or 6 degrees, which is a noticeable difference in the temperature and feels distinctly cold. In fact looking at UK temps, minimum temperatures there – in some parts, are similar to ours.
So, the idea of our lovely sub-tropical climate that is gloriously warm in winter, isn’t quite spot-on. Even though the roses are blooming and more are in bud. And there are still people at the local nudist site. Once we went down to the beach in December before we realised how cold it was, even though the sun was nice.
Behind us, the huge mountain range, about 30 mins drive away, has snow on the tops from anywhere between late November and early May. It never comes down to us on the coast though.
We don’t have central heating. In fact I don’t know anyone who does, because apart from anything else, there is no natural gas. Heating is reliant on electric heaters or log fires. Log fires are hellish expensive.
Last new year’s eve, we had a log fire. This holiday we didn’t bother, it didn’t seem that cold.
The truth is, during the day, you either sit outside in the sun where it is nice and warm, or you keep busy inside, where it is not quite so warm. But if you are busy it doesn’t really matter. My grandmother would have been proud of me. Her classic phrase when anyone was cold in my father’s childhood home, (tiny two up one down) was, ‘Bustle about a bit.’
I digress. On the second day, we decided to start the day with a geocache. Which we found immediately. The trouble was, we were so elated with our find that we didn’t feel like doing anything else for the rest of the day.
A couple of days later we tripped off to find another geocache. In the other direction but on the beach again. Another nice location by the old station house.
But then we knuckled down and did some work. Well, I didn’t but he did.
So there we go, some bedroom work done, but no boring pix of that. Front door and frame painted up, colour changed from grey to green for a change, OK, so we had some left-over green paint, but luckily I like green doors, muy rustica. Two nearby easy geocaches found.
And then there was New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. But that’s for later.