AS the saying goes ‘be careful what you wish for’.
Regular readers of this column will know that I have been bleating on for months about the lack of rainfall in Andalucía over winter with dire warnings about impending water shortages and widespread drought.
My wooden fishing boats had become landlocked, the normally submerged houses, abandoned when the reservoir that I live on was created in 1970, had started to appear and Marbella’s 4×4 aficionados were using the lake bed as a test track.
While most of the population of Marbella took social media selfies boasting about the weather, I stalked my terrace, scanning the lakebed and muttering in darkly dystopian tones about the approaching arid apocalypse.
Then the rains came.
One of the many things that I have always loved about Spain is it doesn’t to anything – food, drink, sport, life – in halves. It’s either all or nothing and this even applies to the weather. Coming from north Staffordshire I am used to rain, but UK rain is an insidious drizzle that seeps under your jacket and seems to last for nine months.
The rain in Spain doesn’t muck about.
One minute we we’re all posting pictures of lunches on the playa and sunny strolls on the paseo and the next. – BOOM, CRASH, DRAMATIC CLAP OF THUNDER – we were scurrying for cover as the heavens opened cien por cien el maximo as they say in these parts.
We had obviously upset the ancient Andalus agua deity ‘Congas’.
The now traditional chaos reigned. Homes lost power, beaches were washed away, the traditional lagoon formed outside the Puente Romano Hotel (and how dare anyone suggest that while they were giving that particular stretch of road a facelift before the Davis Cup, perhaps fitting a decent drainage system might have been a good idea) and drivers blithely ignored the conditions and charged headlong into the spray. Once again, some Herbert ignored the warning signs and got his car stuck on the flooded bridge between La Campana and San Pedro and the rescue efforts made the local news.
Standing on my terrace in full Ahab mode, resplendent in my Drizzabone, Wellies and Beanie hat, I watched the lake level rise dramatically in little under a week, posted daily social media videos, and contemplated on battening down the hatches, upgrading the tyres on the 4×4 or, alternatively, investing in an ark…