While Julian and the girls were away I spent my days in t-shirts and shorts, changing into something warmer each evening for going to work. Even during the storm force winds, it was pretty warm. Each morning as I went on my 4km walk along the seafront, I imagined how lovely it would be for my father-in-law, Barry, to bring his early morning Thermos cup of tea, and sit on a bench or walk along the beach, smoking his pipe and watching the spectacular sunrises over the sea in the direction of Cabo de Gata.
Julian, the girls and Barry were due to catch the Portsmouth to Santander ferry on Wednesday, February 4th. But a couple of days before, the ferry was postponed for 24 hours due to poor weather conditions. And just as well, as it turned out. Had they been on the Wednesday ferry they might have been among the 220 motorists who had to be rescued along the motorway from Santander towards Madrid, due to severe weather conditions and snowdrifts blocking the roads.
When they finally arrived in Santander on Thursday evening, the three-hour drive to their overnight accommodation turned into an almost six-hour drive, through driving snow and sleet. Julian and his dad had been worrying about snow in the UK, but had never imagined having to contend with far worse conditions in Spain.
By the time they reached Aguadulce on Saturday evening, it was freezing cold. Somehow, we avoided snowfall here, but snow fell all around. I haven’t experienced such biting cold aboard Carina since early spring 2013 in the UK. For days we have kept the weather boards in, as protection against those biting north-easterlies. Instead of strolling the promenade in the early morning, Barry, dressed in thermal underwear, flannel shirt, woolly jumper and winter coat, sits in his car for an early morning puff of his pipe.
The weather is also proving far from consistent. Following days of this piercingly cold wind, Wednesday was warm enough for shorts and t-shirts again. We basked in it, drinking in the warm sunshine. Lily and Katie even donned their wetsuits and took a dip in the sea. I hoped this might be the return of the good weather.
But the next day, Thursday, brought prolonged heavy rain and we were back to wrapping up warmly again.
Oh, I’m not complaining. I just want some warm sun to shine down on my father-in-law to compensate for his winters in the UK Midlands. We’ll get warm weather aplenty in the coming months. Back in the UK, he might not.