Winter Tan

Despite the chilly weather I have a tan taking shape. Only on the face you understand, I have not been brave enough to scare the local wildlife by baring flesh, it is still cold enough to have an adverse affect on the extremities. But when in the sun's beam it is warm enough to bake the skin. Yesterday I took lunch out of doors in Malaga and so there is a healthy glow about me. Now for the temperatures to rise enough to get the legs out...


10th Feb

5 degrees of separation

My parents have been in Spain, staying on the coast as the rather precipitous mountain roads are not to their liking. As a result I have been twisting and turning my way up and down on an almost daily basis. During the summer I have found that there is a 5 degree difference between mountain and coast (hotter at the coast) but this has reduced to around 3 degrees this winter. I wish I knew why.

I'm off to Malaga today to wish them adieu before they return to the cold that is Blighty; so another day of coastal warmth before I retreat to my eyrie and stay there until I complete my book.

Roman Theatre, Malaga
(June 2011. D Cater)


8th February

Bright and sunny, not a cloud in the sky....oh so deceptive as it is extremely cold outside. 49F/8C was the high today. The birds don't seem to mind the cold - had to refill the feeder this morning. Dog is asleep in a beam of sunshine. I'm drinking hot tea and trying, much like Helen, to get some warmth into my icy fingers as I type!


8th Feb

You've heard of frozen fish fingers?
Well now you've heard of frozen Helen fingers.

Hunter's Moon

It was a hunter's moon last night. Driving up the mountain homeward-bound, the light strobed through the car window as the moon played peek-a-boo behind the trees and craggy mounds. The wind which had been pleasantly absent all day on the coast, while the sun beamed down and I regretted the choice of polo neck jumper and cardigan for attire, re-emerged forcefully. It howled all night.

Today is another sunny day but with the wind from the north again (it had had an easterly slant to it for the last couple of days) the temperature has dropped. Definitely a jumper day today.


7th February

Bright, beautiful day, fabulous blue sky. Snow still clinging in shadowed places, under hedges etc.
It might be bright, but it's bloomin' cold though!


If it wasn't for the wind today would have been glorious. When it abated, or I found a sheltered area, the sun was warm and I could have stayed basking. The ice in the water trough that had been present yesterday had vanished, though the top of the almond tree that had fallen victim to the wind was once again rolling across the track.

The ice sailing across the water trough

The seemingly fragile Iris battles against the wind.

My parents are due in Spain tomorrow but I have to say I am a little anxious about their getting to Gatwick. Freezing fog, my father has informed me, is forecast for tonight; that does not help my over-active imagination at all.

In the meantime I am in front of the fire researching Pompeii, with a little brandy to keep me extra warm!

5th Feb

Saturday night, it started snowing. Not much at first, but its surprising how much soon builds up.
I reckon its a couple of inches deep outside this morning. It settled everywhere, so the washing line, the strands of the dormant wisteria - the wire the wisteria crawls along - all have a pile of snow balancing on top, with the occasional flurry of icicles dripping down.
The solar lights - lanterns and such - are all a domed mound, everything is weird and wonderful shapes, unidentifiable at first until you remember what is beneath: ah, that's the stone otter, that's the wishing well, that's the bird feeder.
I don't like snow because of the difficulties it causes in looking after the horses (& I'm scared of slipping over) but oh my - it does look so beautiful!
(There will be a photo - as soon as Kathy eventually gets back from the yard - Ron is driving as he's experienced in the snow - the side road where we live is quite thickly covered, but they got out OK. Kathy is under strict instructions to call me on her phone to let me know they got to the yard OK)

The weirdest thing last night; the moon was full, but well hidden by cloud of course - 1.30 a.m. before I went to bed I looked out and it was almost as bright as day (let's say evening) the sky was a pinkish-cream colour - the moonlight lighting the clouds from above. I went out to check the chickens were all snug - and had no need for a torch.
Now this was nothing to do with street lights or anything, usually I need a flash light of some sort - the light was really quite astonishing. The moon on the clouds was creating enough to also reflect off the snow - quite awesome.

image found by Googling "animated snow"