Dear Travel Diary,
The weather in Granada is wonderful at the moment. This afternoon I took a break from writing, walked beside the river, and went for some beer and tapas. It was very warm. I guessed it must be more than 30°. I pulled out my phone and checked the internet. It said 32°. As is often the case, the internet weather sites had got it wrong. The local pharmacy sign told me so.
The pharmacies in Spain usually have an electronic sign outside them. These signs bear a big green cross. If you see one of these crosses you know you’ve found a Pharmacy and the signs are very useful because the display keeps changing. First, you see the cross, then you see the time of day, and after that comes the temperature. Today the pharmacy sign was telling me it was 35°. We don’t get temperatures like that back in Yorkshire.
The hottest summer in the UK was back in 1976. I was very young but I remember it well. The tar started melting on the roads and the soil in my grandmother’s garden cracked and took on a mosaic effect. The temperature was only 32°. I’m used to hotter now. Sometimes when I’m out walking, if I feel a little chilly and glance at a pharmacy sign, I see it’s 20°. That would have been hot for me once. It’s amazing how the body adapts.
It’s also interesting to see things from a different perspective. Yesterday, when I was helping my Spanish language partner with her English, she chose a newspaper article from The Sun. It was about some UK building site workers who’d been told they were not allowed to wear shorts. Their answer to the problem was to turn up for work wearing dresses and skirts instead.
The article began: “SWELTERING builders told they could not wear shorts under health and safety rules beat the ban — by turning up in skirts…”
“What is sweltering?” My language partner asked me? I explained it to her and she thought it was very amusing. “Steve,” she said, “it was only 26°!.” The weather in Seville often tops 50° in the summer, so 26° is nothing to her.
I’m quite interested to see how my body responds when it’s exposed to higher temperatures, which it will be, I’ve got a lot of travelling to do. When it’s 35° I love it. I think I will handle 40° okay, but higher than that… That’s going to be interesting. What I do know is this: in the future, when I return to the Netherlands, and one day I will, the summers there are going to seem pretty cold to me and the Dutch winters, with their sub-zero temperatures, are going to be very hard to bear.