Rain, rain Rain in El Maestrat
Here are a few facts about rain in Spain, well in the Communidad of Valencia, actually more in the province of Castellon.
It will come as a surprise to many of my readers that Castellon has a decent annual rainfall a of around 450mm – London has 575mm. Its just we have been going through a few years of drought, and also historically, countries and continents have rain patterns that can change every 100-150 years. Or longer, or shorter. On top of this our rainfall is mostly in November and April. Not like the drizzle spread over the year in England.
However, now it seems our drought has ended. The rain has been incessant in the last 6 weeks and is showing no sign of stopping yet ironically in the UK the sun shines all day every day – I am told. Today it is Monday, April 20th. In my land, in front of my “bar” hut, I have a rain gauge which is definitely not up to the task of this deluge. It maxes at 70 mm and many is the morning that the water is pouring over the top. So, in Masia Lavanda my guestimate is that so far 300mm have fallen. I know that in one day 145 mm were recorded in the province. So probably I am way off.
All this rain is doing the land a great favour and making weeding much easier. Middle -class problem, but you try pulling or digging out weeds in soil so hard it might as well be rock. No, I do not do the 5 hectares – just the acre or two around the masia. And that is enough!
My house however is fairing less well. The remaining defects of ex-builder Carlos from The Finca Diaries are making themselves known. As Spain is in lockdown, there is not much I can do about them except Whatsapp my plumber Raul who is totally overburdened with more serious problems.
The water is rising in the boiler room and streaming through the walls of the 44,000 litres stone-faced water deposit. The ground floor has yellow wet patches throughout and I am ashamed to say I blamed them on Chica’s urinating problems. Raul and I have had some useful Zoom meetings. Praise for the internet. Where the water has entered through the floor in the downstairs loo, I have sprayed loads of industrial vinegar and wiped ad infinitum. Some of the little problems such as the leaking fridge have been solved. The others will have to wait.
In the meantime, I have taken some photos hereabouts and hope you enjoy them in this normally parched land. As I am in lockdown, the ones away from my land were taken in other years. I wish I could venture out now because it has rained x times more than any year I have been here, and in fact this is the most rain the area has known since 1965.
We are blessed in this, and yet people are wishing for the return of the sunny skies and dryness as apparently the coronavirus doesn’t support these conditions well. As so far there is not one outbreak in all of El Maestrat – just a few in the city of Castellon – this is paranoia which should be moved to Madrid, London or New York where there really are problems.
I guess you cannot have it all. I have not seen anyone without a mask in 6 weeks. The gloves are getting denser and more colourful. This is my observation during the every 10 day shop at the village supermarket. In fact, I can hardly see the cashiers behind their glass screens and Star Wars outfits, forever spraying everything within reach. I’m not too worried. I too squirt my heavy duty rubber gloves with the supplied alcohol disinfectant before and after leaving the store.
I’ll happily take the rain for a bit still. Surely it cannot go on forever? UK rain here? Spanish sun and perceived perfect weather there? Certainly my hubby is delighted. Our Spanish curve has flattened out. Will theirs? It is claimed to be the case by a few untrustworthy politicians. I’d like to hear a medical or scientific expert please.
PS – Stupid thought of the day – Can plants get coronavirus?
PSS – any accurate figures happily received!