Saturday, 27 October 2007

El tiempo [the weather]

One of the things I was looking forward to after leaving Dubai was Proper Weather. Proper in the sense of having four well-defined seasons in a year. But not British weather which is too damn cold and too damn wet.

Madrid has a continental climate, rather than a temperate or Mediterranean one. I remember this from 'O'-level geography. The climate on the edges of continents is moderated by the warming or cooling effect of the sea. But when you are a few hundred miles from the sea you don't get this moderating effect, and the difference between winter and summer becomes quite extreme. Add to that the fact that Madrid, at 700 metres above sea level, is akin to being near the top of a mountain. It's chuffing cold!

When we arrived in August the daytime max was around 35 Celsius. But we noticed that in the shade it was considerably cooler. We've had a few rainy days, and a few cloudy days, but generally the mornings are cool until you get into the sunshine, and then it's warm. Even today, nearly at the end of October, we had sunshine this afternoon, and it was very pleasant. But the useful hours of hot sun decline each day, and last night we had to put an extra quilt on the bed. There was no sun this morning, and there was a chilly wind coming from somewhere. I made my regular Saturday morning excursion to Gran Via to get a Guardian; had I been a brass monkey I would have come home with my balls in my pocket. It was seriously cold.

So it's probably time to harass the landlord about getting the promised heater/AC installed.

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