Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Dreaming of the south

I know I shouldn't be complaining about the weather here in East Anglia because even as I write the south west is being battered by more storms, there have been villages isolated since Christmas by flood water and electricity lines are down again. But this has been an awful winter, day after day of relentless grey.

View from the sitting room this morning
Usually I like winter but it has been utterly miserable, only a handful of crisp, frosty days and not a hint of snow. Mortimer's walks are less running in the orchards and more trudging the tarmac with the ground like this.

Ankle deep in mud
Many of the French bloggers I follow are suffering the same weather, Margaret has been unable to do her  weekly hikes (but at least she can escape to snowy mountains). Walt in the Loire is not faring any better so I'm beginning to wonder if Quercy, my favourite area in France, might not cut the mustard. So I've been casting my net far and wide and have settled on Andalucia.

Andalucia. I  love the sound of the word, just saying it conjures up pictures of white-washed villages, gorgeous ceramics

and of course warm winters. Granada is currently 18C and sunny. It isn't that I'm a sun worshipper, I haven't sunbathed for decades (I burn easily) and every day, without fail, SPF 30 cream goes on my face. It's just I crave some colour and life. I even have relatives there, including my grandmother who is 101 so there must be something to the lifestyle! And no worries about getting the right oranges for marmalade.

We could buy this house and I could swap my espress' for a cafe solo on the roof terrace. At 54,000 euros (approximately £44800) it's a snip.

Perfect for morning coffee
Or this one with a bit more work but only £28700.

Bargain village house

But could I swap croissants for ensaimadas?

St.Emilion for Rioja?  Aperos for tapas?

I'm sure when spring arrives I'll feel better, but until then I'll dream of warm sun and white washed villages.


  1. How interesting Sharon. We've loved being in France, and as you know made many friends. Given my time over again, I wonder if we'd have chosen Spain? We love being there, the life lived in the streets, the open friendship of the people. Downsides for us are dinner at 9.00 or later (we're larks), and not speaking Spanish at the starting blocks. And the heat. Even French summer heat has been a bit much for me, sun-worshipper that I used to be. I wonder what you'll decide?

  2. Oh Margaret! I expected a "give yourself a slap around the face with a wet kipper woman and focus"! You raise some good points but my main concern is lack of knowledge about life in Spain. For years my focus has been France, I've probably read every book written about life there, gained a huge amount of knowledge from blogs - warts and all. I know for every description of an evening enjoyed in the village square, a glass of pastis in hand, watching the local boules team there's a battle with bureaucracy. But Spain? I've some books on the way and I'm trying to find some blogs but the only things I know for certain are I can make marmalade and the dentists are better than France ;-)

  3. This winter has been such a dreary wet mess! I think some tapas would make me smile :)

  4. Oh I agree Sara - tapas and some warm sunshine would really lift the spirits! I hope that Fifty's not getting too upset with all the packing?

  5. Indeed, Sharon. We go to Spain for our dental treatment. Though we cheat. He's English. And we've just come back from Emily in Barcelona. Always such fun. Though we are aware that Catalonia's much better off economically than almost all the rest of Spain. And in the end, we've voted for neither country as you know: we're coming home.