Anyone who’s been watching the BBC’s coverage of events in Southern Spain over the last month or so could be forgiven for tuning in next week to see if Plague or Famine is the next Act of God to be visited on the hotter part of the Iberian Peninsula. There have been serious floods from Murcia to Malaga via Almeria. A British woman is missing, presumed to have been swept away. The long drought has done no favours to the fruit basket of Spain around Lorca – and now this. Today in the Guadalhorce, the sun is shining. A neighbour is celebrating his 65th birthday with a barbecue – and why not? Celebrate our good fortune in being by-passed by the deluge. Maybe we’ll arrive two-by-two, though, just in case.

At the local flea-market this morning there were more people than I’ve seen in 3 years. 3 days of rain will do that: there were no more stalls, nor any more variety of artifacts, bric-a-brac or broken cathode ray TVs than usual. And, of course, several displays contained an inordinate amount of spoons. But still people came, anything to get out. It was sunny, the traders will have a good day, and I’m glad of that. I had a coffee in the sunshine at a cafe across the road and felt good for the light on my face too.

The Rain in Spain

Around about a month since the big fire and the rain has come at last. No rain to speak of since May. Sure, we’ve had enough drops to fill a bath for a tadpole, but that is in the entire five months. The smell on the air is ammoniacal: a smell I couldn’t stand in the country of my childhood, since it meant it was raining and there’d be no playing out. Here, in Southern Spain, I welcome the smell. What’s scarce has value, does it not? Several days of this steady and insistent rain might be too much. We do not need torrents – since this will leave this part of Andalucia looking like Morpeth does this morning in very short order.

The parched brown ground needs steady watering to return it to a healthy green. It’s come too late for the olive harvest and this will soon be noted in the aisles of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose if not in the shops of Greenock and Paisley.

So let it rain, let it pour, but please don’t let it flood.

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