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Spanish Secrets: Weather Or Not?

“…The pruned grape vines are now showing signs of life. Tiny lilac and green buds cling to the dry vines before bursting open into leaf. Microscopic bunches of grapes have appeared nestling among the tiny leaves.’’ ‘Tis the season in Galicia for Craig Briggs and his wife Melanie to enjoy their first barbecue of the year.

Man’s attempt to forecast the weather provides me with a constant source of entertainment. It appears the only certainty about predicting the weather, is the inaccuracy of the predictions.

One such wayward forecast was last Saturday’s. A day of showers was predicted.

Imagine my delight when I flung open our shuttered bedroom window to reveal a clear blue sky and a bright sunny morning.

Far less delightful was the flock of birds feasting on my recently seeded lawn. A loud hand-clap scattered them from their easy breakfast. Not wanting to miss out on her sentinel duty, our dog Jazz joined in with excited barking. Our efforts were merely a temporary interruption. Before long the feathered thieves had returned to peck away at the grass seed.

From the bedroom window, the pruned grape vines are now showing signs of life. Tiny lilac and green buds cling to the dry vines before bursting open into leaf. Microscopic bunches of grapes have appeared nestling among the tiny leaves.

Flying between the vines and occasionally resting on the training wires, garden birds chattered to each other. I’m sure they were spreading the word about my delicious grass seed.

On the far side of the lane, wild iris have flowered. Their delicate purple petals look like exotic birds of paradise as they sway gently in a light breeze.

“Shall we have a barbecue for lunch?’’ I asked Melanie.

A positive response heralded an enthusiastic burst of activity. Before long we were washed, dressed and heading into town for our lunchtime supplies.

Within an hour of our return the weather had changed. The bright blue sky was scattered with patchy cloud. Perhaps those seers of weather forecasting would be proved right?

True to form, they were exposed as false prophets. As the grey clouds rolled towards us the bright sunshine split them into smaller fragments, before melting them away.

Whilst I readied the barbecue Melanie prepared the salads. Crispy coarse-cut coleslaw, creamy potato salad sprinkled with freshly chopped chives and a crunchy mixed leaf salad served in a delicious balsamic and wine vinegar dressing.

By now the coals were glowing red-hot. Thinly sliced fillets of beef sizzled on the steel grill. As I browned the steaks the mid-day sun did the same to me.

To accompany lunch we chose a local Ribeira white wine. It’s a young fruity wine which glistened in the sunlight like a glass of liquid diamonds.

As we ate, a pair of ducks flew low over the garden, furiously flapping their wings to stay aloft. To the east a single cuckoo sang its repetitive call; high overhead two giant storks, silhouetted against the blue sky, glide effortlessly on the warm thermals.

I couldn’t help reflecting on the earlier weather forecast. If only every prediction of scattered showers was as accurate as this one, what a wonderful climate we’d have.

Our first barbecue of 2006 was a great success and left me eager for the next one.

email address
craigandmel@msn.com

Copyright © 2006 Craig Briggs

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