Ice-cold in... Seville

My first blog of this year was about the weather, so it's kind of appropriate that one of my last is too. Sarah will be blogging again this Monday - if you're female, have blonde hair, and/or have ever suffered comments from Spanish men, then don't miss it - and then there'll be a final 2010 post from me after that. So, this morning here in Andalucia (well, Seville at least) it is COLD. Not, "Ooh it's a wee bity nippy", but freeze-your-face-off, icy wind cold. Yes, I know it's nothing like what's happening in the UK, with schools closed and rail services suspended in northern Scotland today. The temperature in the part of England where we're to spend Christmas is not forecasted to rise above 0 degrees in the next week, and snow is forecast for today. When our plane lands tonight, it will be -7. My children will be wearing so many clothes, hats, scarves, gloves etc (my daughter's snowsuit is at the ready) that they'll hardly be able to walk. Makes me shiver just thinking about it, sitting here with the wind rattling the windows and doors of my house. Anyway, back to Spain. It's veeery cold here, and the wind really cuts through you. Yet I was one of the only people wearing a hat and gloves (I have terrible circulation, so yellow fingers need to be avoided at all costs) this morning leaving the kids at school. Some people weren't even wearing coats, for God's sake! Didn't they realise how cold it is? Or were they just being Spanish and "ard" - men and women alike? On the upside, the light was, and still is, extraordinary. When the sun came up, it was a violent orange, deep golden colour, which reflects on the underside of birds' wings as they fly over the houses by the kids' school. They're there every morning, as we arrive in the car, and however tired and grumpy I'm feeling, that sight never fails to lift my spirits. Stay warm, wherever you are, and enjoy the run up to Christmas. The festive season is wonderful, with its many markets, street lights, decorations and buzzing atmosphere as everyone goes about their business in town, shopping, meeting friends, celebrating with work colleagues. The atmosphere and sense of anticipation are second to none - Seville has a build-up for two other major occasions, Semana Santa and Feria in spring, but for me the pre-Christmas excitement is the best of all. PS I'll be in Suffolk, so if I spot Mr Assange, who's hoping to spend the festive season in a mate's stately pile in that part of the world, I'll let you know.
Blog published on 16 December 2010