I find myself downstairs at half past seven on a day I don’t start work until four in the afternoon. Outside, my neighbours leave for work in intervals of five to ten minutes – dressed to the nines in hats, jackets and scarves. Our kettle continues to boil (we have a very slow kettle); that cup of tea couldn’t feel further away.
This is my third winter in Seville. You never know when it’s going to arrive but when it does, it arrives without warning. A fortnight ago, we had the air con on and the windows open to the dry the clothes. A fortnight ago I was still wearing t-shirts at night.
The kettle has finally decided to come to a boil. I leave the tea bag in. Go ahead and judge!
No milk for me, ta. There are only a few things I can take UHT milk with.
Our flat has a problem – high walls. I would love to meet the person who decided to stick our air con unit as high as it is. Like most architecture in Andalusia, it wasn’t designed with winter in mind. On a heat setting, it’ll take at least an hour’s running for any heat to make its way down to where I’m sitting. I’m sure the local gas and electric company would love that!
I’ll be going for a walk later. I’ll take my jacket and maybe a scarf. Without humidity walking in the sun can get uncomfortable in layers, but step into the shade (of which you’ll find plenty between the narrow streets) the temperature can drop as much as 6 degrees. Trust me, the temperatures you see on the weather back home don’t look as hot as you think! If you are thinking of availing of the continued Ryanair flights to Seville over winter, I suggest you pack with this in mind!
And then there’s night. Working evenings have little advantages in winter. I’ll take you back to Tuesday. My route to work is generally exposed, and not in the shade. It was sunny. I didn’t need a jacket. I decided to wear a hoody, thinking it’d be good enough for later. Wrong. Cue an unpleasant, chilly walk home.
You’re probably reading this with little sympathy. Sure, sunshine remains, but winters here are missing something very important – humidity. I recall years ago watching the European weather at home. I remember comparing our weather to the Mediterranean, and lamenting the difference. The only positive I can take from this is that it somewhat prepares you for the annual Christmas homecoming.
I wish it got colder a little more gradually. I wish my students would cover themselves when they cough thanks to newly picked up colds. Care to guess what I’m worried about next…?