Life in Culebrón

Wednesday 30 August 2017 - Into every life a little rain must fall

It's raining in Culebrón. This is unusual. It's not unusual in the North of Spain, it rains a lot there, but here in sunny Alicante, well, it's usually sunny. 

It does rain of course. A quick check on a couple of past years and we seem to get about 50 rainy days a year. But that means any rain. The number of days when it rains and rains are few and far between. It's raining now though and it has been for a couple of days. Fortunately, for the local farmers, it's not torrential and there's no hail. Hail is a remarkably common component of the infrequent but heavy storms we get. The number of dimpled cars is testament to that. Big blighters. Balls of ice cracking and smashing down on things. There's thunder and lightning too. The sky alight with lightning is pretty common but the fireworks don't always lead to a downpour. Rain, like everything else in our neck of the woods is very localised. It can be pouring down in Paredón, drizzling in Ubeda yet still dry here.

Our house is miserable when it rains as it is now. All of our external doors lead directly into rooms - there are no hallways - so we traipse the filth from the patios into the kitchen or living room. When the rain comes down in sheets, as it is wont to do at times, the streams gouge suspension breaking channels into the compacted earth of our track. The resultant mud is transported, by wheel arches, to our patio where it combines with the pine needles, leaves, palm fruit and other plant debris to produce a gooey planty mulch through which we have to paddle.

There are Spanish reactions to rain that I still find noticeable. The umbrellas come out. I don't understand how someone wearing shorts and a T shirt can magically produce an umbrella when the rain comes. I don't like umbrellas. Unmanageable brutes that force me to step off the pavement or risk anophthalmia. I'm more of a hooded raincoat person myself which Spaniards must find slightly eccentric given the number of times that I have been offered the loan of an umbrella.

There are like minded Spaniards though. The umbrella-less ones. In towns we hug the walls of the buildings where the overhang from the floors above provides some sort of protection. We walk in single file with the occasional chicken like confrontations of pedestrians headed in opposite directions. Spanish drains don't always cope with the sheer quantity of water so whoever finally gives way can expect sodden shoes and turn-ups.

One compensation though. We're not in Galicia or Asturias, the País Vasco or Huddersfield so it will soon be over. The sun will come out, the sky will be blue and things will be back to normal.

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Day to day life in the Spanish village of Culebrón in inland Alicante


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