They say diversity is the salt and pepper of life. Well, I am sure someone said it, once, somewhere. So, I am not sure whether we in the pepper just now, but we arrived back last night from Spain, where it has been 23 degrees and very sunny, to Scotland where it has been minus 3 degrees and a little snowy. A few sneezes are surely acceptable? In fact, no, hold on the sneezes as I have only just shifted the cold which I caught on Hogmanay by kissing too many strangers. It seemed like a good idea at the time, especially some film actress whom I didn’t recognize until afterwards.
Anyway, the trip to Spain was fantastic and just what the doctor prescribed, a sortie to Andalusia, high up in the Alpujarra mountains staying with friends in a very nice villa. Although still a bit chilly at nights the daytime could have been June, it was so warm. Except that June in those places is like a furnace and therein hangs a problem - water. Numerous rivers empty into the sea around Malaga, or at least they should do, if there was anything in them. Bear in mind this is January, and what should be the rainy season and you may start to see my concern. To compound the issue, all the hills around there are have been planted for crops, but not olives and almonds that have been indigenous to this area for millennia, but mangos and avocados, two plants that rely heavily on moisture. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to be able to pick a few fresh ones for our table but where is the H20 required to fuel such a crop. More to the point, where are the brain cells that allowed this to happen? It has been funded by EEC money, apparently and, believe me, it would have taken a hell of a lot of it to peck out those rocky mountains with some massive machinery to create those terraces and water reservoirs on such a scale. And we all know the EEC is mad, right, which is why you folk decided to leave it? But, and here is the very problem, the same folk that wanted to become an independent island are often the very ones that rely on your smoothies every morning, despite everything being shipped half-way across the world to quench your desires? Well, mark my warning, you are about to see a massive shortage in said fruits unless some rain happens pretty soon. And that, it seems is highly unlikely in summer if it hasn’t rained in winter for a year or two. One local farmer already confided in me that his crops would fail this year. Never fear, you can always get fruit shipped from South America, as long as you sanctimoniously recycle your Vegemite jars in a quit-pro-quo to help you sleep at night?
So now its back to short days and evening telly until the Scottish weather picks up and we head home for lambing. Things I try to avoid, The Apprentice, Unhappy Valley and anything to do with baby’s being born! Bloody hell, the latter seems to have gripped the entire nation for its weekly doling out of solutions to all middle-aged female problems? Call the Midwife Crisis, I call it!