‘Cor blimey guv, it’s brass monkeys out there’. And the rest fella: it was more than just a tad chilly last week when we went back to the UK for our little trip to see the rellies. (I made sure that La Gidg wore a lot of vests, and despite bringing other pairs of shoes, I didn’t take off my beloved Ugg boots for ten days).
When moving from one place to another, we didn’t dilly dally. We all wore gloves, hats, scarves: which was a novelty for us Paradise Island dwellers. We secretly hoped for snow, but no dice. Ironically, whilst we were shivering in the wilds of Gloucester, it was actually snowing in Mallorca: we decided not to tell La Gidg, it would have broken her five year old heart as she has yet to experience the pure, silly delight of making a snowman.
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But at least the interiors of the houses we visited were warm and toasty: centrally heated, carpeted with snugly fitted double glazing. Oh, it’s lovely: draught-free living. It’s also a bit like being drugged, it was so warm in my in-laws’ house that I started to slip into an involuntary hibernation. Just add food and I was off to the land of nod.
At least in the UK it was the right way around being colder outside of the house than inside. Quite a far cry from our home here in Mallorca, que frio, as they say. We are dependent here on our wood burning stove, electric blankets and extra jumpers. We live in an old, draughty, damp, stone house: terrific in the summer when you’re sweating cobs, not so fantastic in January.
How come nobody seems to know that it can be miserably cold even in the Mediterranean in the winter? We’ve been back for 48 hours, and we still can’t get the house to warm up.
It’s been quite a while since I spent any time in the UK; I’d forgotten how grey everything is in the winter. The sky is overcast, there’s no light; everything is dulled and blanketed in street grime. That’s not to say we didn’t have a terrific time visiting the folks and catching up with our friends, and we made a promise to ourselves that we wouldn’t let so much time go past before our next trip.
But I’ve got to tell you, that blast of sunshine that hit our pasty faces when we emerged stiff-legged from an economy airplane on Sunday was enough to tip the scales in Mallorca’s balance, central heating or no. Here come the almond blossoms, the beautiful yellow flowers, the bright twinkling daylight shimmering on the too-cold-to-swim-in sea.
Look at me, yakking about the weather. Well, you know what they say, you can take the girl out of England, but you can’t take England out of the girl.
Family Matters by Vicki McLeod
Picture Credit: reway2007