When writing this, a cold wind from the North blew away my washing from the line on the kitchen patio: sheets, pillowcases, ‘unmentionables’ – you name it – are now impaled on the Bougainvillea bushes and lemon trees below. The temperature is about + 9 degrees and we need extra radiators, bombonas and a perpetual log fire to survive in our big old house.
As always, when the family is coming to visit, the weather turns out for the worse. One cannot help feeling that it is ones fault that Andalucía doesn’t show its best sides when the busy, younger generation finally have time to pay us a visit. Well, there is always Sierra Nevada to keep the grandchildren happy. Let’s hope the slopes will be free from fog and snowstorms.
In the Nordic countries, temperatures have been very much on the minus side for a long time now, and the streets of Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and even Copenhagen are covered with snow.
Many enjoy all this whiteness. During a period of the year when it is dark when people go to work and again when they get home, the white cover makes it easier to endure the darkness, and avoid Arctic hysteria. What is not so nice about it is that you have to dig out your car every morning and you can have a nasty fall on the slippery sidewalks. The emergency rooms at the hospitals of Stockholm and Helsinki are full of people with broken limbs. If you are very unlucky, you may get knocked out by ice falling from the roofs. In this dull weather, you have to think about nice things.
The Swedes have cause to rejoice about their economy, which will show a strong growth this year after emerging fairly unscathed from the economic crisis. OECD Secretary General said the Swedish economy is as strong as Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstockings), the legendary children’s-literature character, created by beloved Astrid Lindgren. We Finns have cause to feel the familiar envy towards our Western neighbour; our economy is recovering at a slower pace, and we have lost many ice hockey matches against the Swedes. But we won the World Championship in Half pipe!
Norway can feel happy about continued steady economic growth and fantastic performances in ski sports. Denmark’s winter gloom is enlightened by the birth of twins (a boy and a girl) to the Crown Prince family.
When it is cold outside, you need good, warming food. A new restaurant, Restaurante Sabina, has opened up its doors in Almuñécar. The place is run by Sabina Shuhmacher who has previously been working at Chambao de Joaquín in la Herradura for 19 years.
She serves a selection of new and traditional dishes, fish, including marinated salmon Scandinavian style, lobster, crab and other delicacies. Sabina lived in Umeå in Northern Sweden until she moved to Almuñécar at the age of 11. Her Swedish is fluent, and she also speaks German (her mother tongue) Spanish, English, Danish and French. The restaurant is at Calle Marquita 3, Paseo Puerta del Mar, near the old Post Office. It is open daily, except Wednesdays. The phone number is 958 630 245 or 629 88 26 96.