Sturm und Drang
The lightning flashed, the thunder exploded through the night sky and the rain came down like water from a garden hose. Last night was a night which announced unequivocally that the winter rains have arrived. It was a storm and a half, and this morning as I set off to take my wife to the airport for her flight to England, there were drifts of hailstones on the verges of the road from the ullage down to the motorway. Weather like this will alarm those holidaymakers who are here for a post-Christmas break, but it is long overdue and welcome for the residents. Although far from critical, the reservoirs are well down on where they should be just now. Partly this is due to the lack of rain to fill them up, but also because the farmers have been having to irrigate their land for much longer than they would want to, which is an expensive task. Water directly from the sky is free, after all. It is still raining, on and off at the moment and quite heavily, too. The forecast suggests that there is much more of the same to come over the next two weeks at the very least. With the rains comes a sharp drop in temperatures, a fact often not appreciated by our friends back in the UK; or by the politicians for that matter. Our highest temperature today, round about now, is 12 degrees. Overnight it will drop well down into single figures. So our aircon units are on for most of the day and all evening, blowing warm air through the house, which is why we are thankful for our winter fuel allowance, which I know many people think we should not be entitled to. But set against your colder winter climate than ours, we have no fireplace, no central heating, no cavity insulation (there is no cavity), no loft insulation (there is also no loft, just the flat roof that on the underside is our ceiling) and only partial double-glazing. We are not exceptional; that is standard for Andalucian houses. So despite the fact that we need the rains, it will be good to get to the other side of this season and feel the temperatures start to climb again.