There were many reasons why we chose Galicia. The lush green landscape, the rugged coastline, the friendly people, the superb seafood, and the relative low cost of property, all figured in our decision, but we also gave a lot of thought to the climate.
We both like the warm weather, but we don't like it excessively and oppressively hot. Neither of us particularly like frost and snow, particularly the harsh winters that have blighted northern England in the last few years. So a part of Spain where Summer temperature norms are bearable 'late 20s' and the Winter seldom drops below medium single figures was perfect. You still get the change of seasons, missing from the southern extents of the Iberian peninsula, but the differences between them are far less marked than more northerly latitudes.
That said it's been a shocking spring in Galicia. It rained almost every day from January to June and it is only in the last couple of weeks that temperatures have started to pick up and the ground has had time to dry out from its winter saturation. It all bodes well for our impending 'decorating' (although Amanda seems to be planning days on the beach) trip in a few weeks.
It was therefore with some alarm that I saw a photograph on facebook yesterday from an ex-University friend of Amandas, Ramon, who lives in A Coruña up on the north-west tip of Galicia. I've unashamedly stolen his photograph which shows the A Coruña temperature yesterday had just crept above 50 degrees.
That would have me see finding a bit of shade in the coolest part of the house that I could find and sitting with my feet in a bucket of iced water while sucking an ice lolly.
Fifty degrees centigrade was not something that I signed up for. I experienced it once while undertaking a mid-summer work contract in Abu Dhabi, and it nearly killed me.
As I write this, from my warmish home in Huddersfield, in Galicia it is currently 28 degrees, at ten in the morning and forecast to hit 39 during the day. High temperature will be continuing all week and into next.
I'm glad we've booked a hire car with air conditioning, and digging the footings for our new patio may just have to wait until October.