OPINION: Dose of Spanish sun is needed to get me through the year
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I was excited about our forthcoming holiday and looking forward to having a dose of much-needed sun seep through my veins when we left the cold and rainy UK for some much-needed heat.
The shock of arriving in Spain and being greeted with the same cold weather as we had just left was not what we were expecting, we even had to make a trip to the shops the following day for some warm winter clothes.
It was two days before the sun briefly came out but sadly it didn’t last for long. Speaking to the locals it was the coldest Easter in Spain since 1937!
It had been nearly two years when we were last there due to the pandemic travel restrictions. Trying to work out the online Spanish immigration requirements caused a bit of stress for us, but we made it and with a few days of sun hopefully guaranteed.
I first went to Spain some 16 years ago when the in-laws decided to spend some of their retirement there and after a few holidays with them I fell in love with the country and have been going ever since.
My body needs guaranteed heat, not quite basking in the sun but enough to warm my bones and veins to keep me through to the following year.
When I first arrived in England I missed Zimbabwean sunshine so much I resorted to booking myself into a tanning salon. I had never heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but my spirits were so down I had to take action. I did have to ignore the look the lady in the reception gave me as I booked my 10 minutes of heat!
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Being so far away from Zimbabwe, Spain has become the next best thing, we have even taken to learning the language so we can embrace the culture a bit more.
This started three years ago when a friend offered to come and teach us as a family, it was a bit chaotic as the girls, then aged 12 and nine couldn’t sit still for the lesson.
Frustrated, Mr G sat them down after one lesson, only to find out they had memorised every bit of it!
They do say it’s better to learn a language when you are younger and I suppose living in a multilingual household does help somewhat.
Thanks to the various online platforms we are able to keep practising and when in Spain we do like to head away from the tourist areas where even the local teenagers don’t speak a word of English.
We enjoy having to make do with our simple Spanish and not feel embarrassed when we muck it up. I had to ask my Spanish teacher, Maria from Argentina, if I will ever master the language.
She told me to be patient as it will come, just like a baby who hears the words first and then slowly they can actually start speaking. So here is me being very patient!
So we keep practicing o line, that is apart from our youngest who decided to rebel and learn Russian instead, well so far, she can say “it is a woman” fluently in Russian, but its proving to be a hard language, so she has resorted to speaking English with a French accent for the time being.
So after two weeks of poor weather in Spain, feeling cold we headed home to be in the sunshine and some well-deserved family time Easter Sunday lunch with all the trimmings followed by a nice walk in the Norfolk countryside.
Asked if they wanted to do an Easter egg hunt, the two nearly cool teenagers couldn’t resist it and ran around the yard hunting for their Easter eggs.
Para ahora, hasta pronto mis amigos!