In the past two weeks I have experienced torrential rain and thunderstorms, blazing sunshine and blue skies with 30 degree heat, and currently the frosty autumnal British temperature of 10 degrees. I am once again sat in Stanstead airport waiting to fly back to Seville after coming home briefly to sit my Oxbridge Admissions Test yesterday. It was a short and beautifully autumnal visit home, but now it is back to 25 degrees and lots of sunshine, and I can honestly say my body temperature has become VERY confused and I don’t whether to put on big fluffy socks and a winter jumper like my hibernating-instincts are telling me to, or whether to whip out the bikini again as the forecast for Seville suggest I should do……
Since my Mum and sister visited we experienced yet another mini heatwave on Seville (typical really seen as it rained solidly when they were here). Temperatures were back up to 30 degrees and I didn’t see a cloud in the sky from Wednesday to Sunday. I even ended up sunbathing, something I never though I would be doing on the 30th of October! I did feel rather smug and tanned when I returned to England amongst all the pale and vitamin-D deficient Brits J Of course, no one was able to see my lovely tanned legs as I adopted the highly favourable ‘wear-every-piece-of-clothing-I-own’ approach to combat the sudden temperature shock, and spent the whole of Wednesday cocooned in all my woolly clothing, not least my penguin onesie, snug on the sofa catching up on the Great British Bake-Off (I watched 5 episodes back to back!). The temperature difference would not have felt so bad had I not ended up waiting outside Stanstead airport for half an hour in the cold, franticly searching for my Mum and on the verge of panic as I couldn’t find her anywhere and, as it turns out, SPANISH SIM CARDS DO NOT WORK IN ENGLAND. AT. ALL. I couldn’t send a text, I couldn’t ring anyone, I was completely helpless! You don’t realise how much we rely on mobile phones until yours is suddenly completely useless! On the verge of a complete meltdown and tears, I approached a woman to ask if I could borrow her phone to try and ring someone (ANYONE). Unfortunately, she was very much not English, so I awkwardly shuffled off and found someone else to ask. Thankfully, I was able to make contact with my Mum, who has enjoying a leisurely cup of tea in the service station nearby, awaiting my text to say we had landed – not a completely ridiculous plan….if only it had gone smoothly. Having returned the borrowed phone to the owner I was again in the hands of fate as I hovered outside the airport in the dark, trying to remember what my Mum’s new car looked like as the world and his wife drove past. I was convinced that she would drive past me in the dark and that I would be abandoned at Stanstead airport for the rest of eternity! Finally, after half an hour of shivering, I was saved. Quickly wrapped up in my favourite winter coat and woolly socks, we sped off towards home where my cat and my lovely, comfortable bed without springs that poke you relentlessly all through the night awaited.
I am fairly proud of the selection of autumnal activities I achieved during my 48 hour stay in the land of autumn: I ate autumnal pumpkin-spiced-latte biscuits (credit to my sister), ended up wheezing all afternoon after a run in the very very cold air, went for a lovely autumnal walk, spent an afternoon hibernating on the sofa, went out to a cute café for and afternoon coffee, wore woolly socks and a woolly hat (on the walk), had apple and bramble crumble WITH CUSTARD 😀 , played Family Games (a festive activity if ever there was one), and even experienced two beautiful frosty mornings. All in all, not bad! And don’t forget the impressive Bake-Off marathon! My cat was over the moon to see me again and did not leave my side while I was in the house. I hate to think what depressed weeping mess he is in right now…..I am also feeling a little sad to be going back, but that is mainly due to the fact that I have to return to the Bed From Hell.
On Monday it was Halloween, as I am sure you all realised. In Spain, All Saint’s Day is a national holiday and in Seville and Madrid the children for some reason also have the 31st of October off from school. I was therefore on child-amusing duty during the morning while Sonia was at work. We did some ‘exciting’ Halloween English activities – by this I mean some word searches and other puzzles I printed off the internet! I then thought that this was the perfect opportunity to make the Gingerbread men I had been saving up to do! The girls were delighted with the idea, and as Sonia was busy at work there was no chance of any disapproving glares while the antics occurred. A visit from the girls’ Grandma during the icing stage reassured me of my decision as she was very impressed, although declined to join in. You may be wondering how we managed to cook them without any baking trays…I located some greaseproof paper (eventually) and so we were able to use the one already in the oven J I thought it was a fabulously successful activity and the girls definitely loved making (and eating) the biscuits. However, I cannot say the same for Sonia, who seemed disappointed that we had run out of time to go for a walk due to the baking, as she had suggested we would….I won’t lie to you, neither of the girls wanted to go for a walk anyway, and they were both going out later so WHAT WAS THE BIG DEAL?! Not so much as an ‘Ooh you made biscuits! How nice’, she just ignored them….Oh well! Maybe she was upset because in a fit of laziness I hadn’t bothered to turn the socks the right way out before folding them the day before…
Thankfully, trick-or-treating is impossible in Spain as everyone lives in flats, and so Halloween is a much smaller event than in England. However, there were still a fair few over-sugared hyperactive children running around the streets draped in sheets, which was great fun when trying to ride home down said street. Having swerved dramatically to narrowly avoid running over a pumpkin-child in the middle of the bike lane, I ended up crashing into the broomstick of a miniature witch, who then fell over, crashing into her younger vampire-brother. Cue tears and an angry Spanish mother charging towards us. I made a quick get away, this time avoiding any more rogue pumpkins which were wandering the streets that night.
So life is continuing in the usual chaotic style here in Seville. I have now done my Oxbridge Test – I think it went ok, but who knows… Unbelievably, I have now been here for 6 and a half weeks! Which means it is only another 7 week until Christmas! Although that does not mean that any chance to sunbathe again has been ruled out…it seems that the summer may never end here in Seville!