27 October 2013

Ten reasons to love winter

Following the Guardian's recent ludicrous, ten reasons to love winter, here are my ten reasons to enjoy winter... in Spain.

Bills, bills, bills

In Spain, your heating costs will be half that of those in the UK. Although there may be a cold night or two, it's pretty unlikely the mercury will plummet to anything to get you worried about your gas bill.


There isn't really a word in Spanish for "to drizzle" (apart from when coating a lemon cake), so Spain's suicide rate is right down, so that’s a bonus.

Christmas decks

The Spanish love a fiesta and of course Christmas is up there with the main party days of the year. But strangely perhaps to us, Spanish people don’t really go in for the tacky overloaded Christmas tree or the Rudolph on the roof scenario. A more modest checking of halls is in order. A bit more restrained and still festive.

The white stuff

Snow. There won't be any. Not here, anyway. I love snow, but only when it's really cold (minus 10 is about perfect) and when I'm wrapped up warm. In Almeria, you don't really need to worry about snow. If of course you do want it, you can drive with the other thousands of snow-obsessed to a huge mountain near Granada.

Have a break

With Spain's on-going love of a saint or two, there are more public holidays in catholic countries than in the UK or anywhere north of the Alps. If Christmas and New Year aren't enough, fear not, December has more bank holidays in store when you can heartily celebrate the constitution, Mary and other religious figures. If you're lucky and you get a puente (holiday on a Thursday and a Tuesday) then why not take off the in between days and have six days off!

Sun, sun, sun

Whereas in Britain many people hope for a white Christmas and they get a grey one, here, we hope for a sunny one, and we get a sunny one. Simple as that.

Sherry and a mince pie, anyone?

The festive time of year invariably means ridiculous amount of festive drinking - with friends one day, colleagues the next, family the next day, and those friendly neighbours the next. Exhausted. It's great to socialise and be festive, but if you're having to sort out your diary in September to squeeze all these events in, then maybe you have a drink problem. In Spain, there is definitely much less forced merriment. Come if you want, arrive late, even better.

Twelve divided by four

Officially winter only lasts three months in Spain. This, of course, makes sense as there are 4 seasons and only 12 months. Of course, anyone non-Spanish might find it strange to think of winter as only being December, January and February. With the heating on full blast from October to April, northern Europeans may rightly feel hard done by. By March 1st everyone here is saying "ya es primavera!" It's already Spring!


When the rest of Europe has sunk beneath a blanket of white or slushy grey, our valley and much of Spain has turned a delicate pinky white, with almond blossom. The depths of winter bring flowers to Spain, rather than sleet.

More stuffing?

If you want a traditional British Christmas roast, you can. Eating sage and onion stuffing may appear odd to a Spaniard, but if that's what you're craving, get down the beach to one of the English bars and Dave'll do you the best Roast on the Coast.

1 comment:

  1. oh dear god, the "forced merriment" of the office christmas parties is upon us soon...