I’ve decided that Boxing Day no longer has any meaning in a modern context. It certainly has no meaning over here in Spain where it doesn’t exist. So, henceforth December 26th will be known as Recovery Day. And [sorry, English master], with six empty bottles, including two Cavas and a Port – well, the Stilton needed it – staring up at me accusatorially from the floor, I was looking forward to a considerable dose of recovery. The only fly in my recovery ointment was that we would need food for Sunday and the shops would be shut, Xmas now being dead and buried [HOORAH!] for another twelvemonth. So, a brief shopping trip was necessary. We dumped all the empty evidence in our basuras on the way and bought a couple of entrecots [sirloin steaks] – something easy for Sunday.
[Brief Spanish note, as much to myself as anyone: basura actually appears to mean waste or garbage (for the Amerispeak inclined) but our friends over here refer to the bins as basuras – maybe it’s a kind of shorthand. The full term for waste bins seems to be cubo de la basura.]
Recovery Day was billed as being cloudy here – well, near here, anyway. We treated ourselves to some prawns and sat out on our naya basking in the sunshine that the clouds were bringing. Here’s my artist’s impression of our cloudy day, involving bare feet on terracotta tiles in a very pleasant 22C (shade temperature). I’ll take any amount of cloudy days such as this; they help recovery no end.
Enjoying the amazing run of Christmas weather in our Spanish valley is made somewhat bitter-sweet, though, as we continue to watch the devastating flooding in the north of England caused by storm after storm, first Desmond and now Eva. I’m really not convinced by the sagacity of the personalizing of such destructive forces; I suppose it helps to be able to refer to the storms as they line up one after another to wreak havoc but surely an impersonal letter would be more appropriate. You have only to look at the scenes of people being rescued as their lives are broken by a very impersonal Mother Nature. Neither does it now feel appropriate to refer to these weather events as extreme; they may hit different parts of the country each year – thankful for small mercies – but they now seem to occur somewhere every year. Rather than feeling extreme, that begins to feel normal.
In any event, my heart goes out to all those affected by storms D and E, or any other letter, come to that. I doubt we’ve seen the last of it yet – we aren’t even out of December. In theory, we’ve had only one week of winter so far, for Darwin’s sake.