It's all so confusing, isn't it? The weather, that is. At this time of year, it can be boiling hot - bikini weather - one minute, and then fleece-chilly the next. First thing in the morning, you have to wrap you and yours up snuggly warm and put the car heater on, then a few hours later you're "glowing", stripping off and cranking up the air-con. Yes, I know we're into autumn, but otoño here in normally-sunny Andalucia is schizo. When I took my daughter to the park yesterday, she was dressed in layers which, in various combinations, would have been appropriate for a) a hot summer's day (sleeveless dress), b) a cool summer's day (short-sleeved body and dress), or c) an autumn day (both of the former, plus leggings and a cardy). It took me a good ten minutes to work all that out (my brain works s-l-o-w-l-y in the morning). And then, of course, there's the rain - or the threat of it. This morning, as I was leaving to take the kids to school, it was as overcast as an April morning in Essex. "Va a caer una gorda," my husband informed me sagely, with that typically Andalucian delight taken in bearing bad or dramatic news. So I grabbed the brollies and raincoats, put closed winter shoes and socks on the kids, and rushed them into the car, anticipating a good soaking. Did it rain? Did it hell. I have a Plan to meet another Mother in the Park this afternoon - our sons are friends - but our Plan may be scuppered by the weather. I had completely forgotten how the weather can actually affect your social plans. For months now it's been sun, sun, sun. Hot, yes; predictable, yes. Now it's all so last-minute. But way more serious than my on/off Park date, is this weekend's Romeria de Torrijos, our local pilgrimage, the fifth-most important in Spain apparently (how on earth do they rate them - number of participants? number of carriolas? size and importance of Virgin?) Anyway, these events are dependent on good weather, as it all takes place outdoors, in the campo (countryside) - horses, ox-carts, feria dresses, processions, parties... dirt tracks, fields, rain, mud... you get the picture. So this morning there were anxious mutterings among the school gate groups, about what would happen if it rained. This is a Big Deal locally - jinetes and amazonas come from all over the Aljarafe, the local area, on the high ground west of Seville - including many Rocieros. They process down the tree-lined avenue to the Hacienda Torrijos, a spectacular sight which might be spoiled somewhat by the presence of umbrellas and macs. Sunglasses might just about be acceptable, under a jauntily-angled little ultra-feminine hat, but mud-spattered boots are a no-no for either sex. Looking at the weather forecast, torrential rain is predicted for Saturday (quagmire), with thunderstorms and showers from Sunday to Tuesday (damp clothes, wet feet). The latter is a national holiday here in Spain - the Puente de Pilar - and in our village, we also get Monday off to recover from Torrijos, making a proper puente, or long weekend. The Virgen del Pilar is the patron saint of the Guardia Civil, and of Spain; in other countries, 12 October is celebrated as Dia de Colon (Columbus Day), or Dia de Hispanidad. It would be just typical if the first holiday of the school year gets rained off - whether you're away for the weekend, at home with your family, or taking part in local festivities, I hope you manage to stay dry and enjoy yourself. I may end up standing for hours under dripping trees as I really want to watch those horses. But it will be FUN.