It’s 13 degrees (ish) and I’m wearing my thermals…definitely going to freeze when I go home for Christmas (in less than four week’s time!). Spanish houses (at least in this part of the country) seem to be designed to be cool in 50 degree summers rather than hot in 10 degree winters, so I’m genuinely finding it a wee bit chilly (and that’s with growing up living in a freezer – thanks Maw!). In other news, I’m still loaded with the cold so this has been ANOTHER week without running – due to both my cold and the rain we’ve had (which normally wouldn’t be an issue – I am Scottish after all – but in a country that isn’t designed for rain, it’s less than ideal). Fingers and toes crossed that the weather brightens up next week and I can get back out again, especially considering some of my running pals are thinking of coming over and running a half in Madrid in April – need to start that training early! But every cloud has a silver lining, so although I haven’t been running this past week, I did get my phone fixed on Monday so I can now communicate with the world again! Yassss. I also went to see Fantastic Beasts yesterday (in English, of course) and really enjoyed it! I mean, I love Eddie Redmayne so coulda predicted that one, but still.
Also yesterday, one of my friends sent me the sweetest message ever which got me thinking about home. So, as something a bit different, I thought this week I’d write a little about things I miss (besides the obvious family, friends, etc). Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to expand on any of these by the way.
1) The weather
Okay, okay, I know this sounds mad, but I miss the weather. Rain especially. Here, it either rains (as in downpours) or it doesn’t. Drizzle doesn’t seem to exist. I miss the constant grey bleakness of Scottish weather. Also, the cold. Yes, I know I mentioned feeling chilly at the start of this, but the cold here isn’t the same cold. It’s not the wake up in the morning with condensation dripping down the window and seeing your breath as you fight the urge to remain in bed cold. It’s not the get in from work and immediately get into your jammies, make a cup of tea, and sit with a blanket on the sofa cold. It’s also, relatively, not even that cold. I told the kids one day that in Winter it’s sometimes below freezing all day and this completely blew their minds!
1.5) Vaguely related to my previous point: a good coal fire
Yeah, not a thing here apparently. I mean, it’s not like they really need them, but there’s something special about a nice coal fire that I’m missing more and more now we’re getting in to the winter months. Granny and Grandpa, on the million to one chance you’ve somehow stumbled across this, please get the fire going for Christmas!
2) The tap water
Now, I’m not saying you can’t drink the tap water in Spain, because you definitely can, but it’s got nothing on pure Scottish water. It’s neither as cold, nor as fresh tasting here.
3) The patter/craic
Again, not saying Spanish people don’t have a sense of humour, but it’s definitely not the same. And I’m 100% sure that me saying that isn’t just down to the language barrier. I definitely miss the patter from the folk I used to see in work every weekend (both from customers and former colleagues). There’s something special about the Scottish sense of humour.
I wasn’t aware of how much Scots I speak until I came here and constantly found myself having to stop and question whether what I’m about to say is ‘proper’ British English. More often than not, it’s not. How can you do justice to words like ‘dreich’ or expressions like ‘ whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye’ in British English?! You just can’t.
5) The food
This could probably be a post in itself, so I’ll try and be brief. Specifically Scottish here, I miss macaroni pies. What a beautiful and simple invention they are. For the non-Scots: a Scotch pie crust, filled with macaroni and cheese, then baked. Sounds disgusting ( and is a little bit if you allow yourself to think about it), but trust me: so good. Also, deep fried everything. I don’t even like deep fried food (I hate it), but I’ve found myself craving a good half-battered pizza and chips. If you thought the macaroni pie sounded like a heart attack on a plate, you’re wrong my friend, this is. Pizza. Coated in batter. Deep fried. Served with salt, vinegar, and chips. Don’t think about the calories, just enjoy it.
See also: Tunnocks tea cakes, a decent bowl of porridge (microwaveable oats don’t really cut the mustard), a proper roast dinner, haggis, shortbread, Scotch broth soup.
6) FRESH MILK!!!!
Yeah, so this technically could have gone in the above spot, but it’s so important I feel it merits its own section. I have the fear that I’m going to come home lactose intolerant due to being unable to find fresh milk in the supermarkets here. UHT just isn’t the same. *a single tear silently rolls down my cheek*