As I write this it is October and the temperature is 29 celsius.
But already my mind is turning to winter. Is yours?
Perhaps you want to get out of Northern Europe this winter and spend a few months in sunny Spain.
People are often surprised when I talk about the delights of Granada and the surrounding area in winter.
After all, the snow will fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains come November and my working view will be of snow covered mountains from then until April.
Picture postcard Dilar in winter
We are high. Mondujar sits at just under 800 metres above sea level. The top picture is of our village and surrounding ones.
In winter oranges grow in abundance on the trees, while snow sits high above the Lecrin Valley, the so called valley of happiness.
BUT THE REAL HIGH IS ABOVE US. THE STUNNING SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS.
I will never tire of admiring them and, when people ask what we'd miss, the answer is always the same.
The great thing is that you can be sunbathing on our roof terrace on the afternoon of Christmas Day in temperatures of around 18-20c, while being surrounded by snow covered scenery. The photo of a party dining out on the roof was taken in January.
Light, blue skies dominate this area in winter. When you get a low cloud day, it has novelty value. Indeed, there's a couple of days each year when you can walk out of the front door and not see your ankles. You will be walking on the clouds, quite literally!
And that makes a break from the relentless blue skies and fresh mountain air.
Of course you can still go to the beach, a 20 minute drive south.
And you will find the temperature will be in the early or mid 20's in coastal towns such as Salobreña and La Herradura.
Choose your skis or snowboard...
So, although I loathe using cliches, you can sit on the Playa Granada beach at Motril and have the sea in front of you and the snow capped Sierra Nevada mountains behind you. Here comes the cliche...
If you are so minded, you could truly ski or snowboard in the morning and lunch at 2.30 on the beaches of the Costa Tropical.
I know people who do so each year.
For me, if I get up to the atmospheric ski resort, my only exercise is lifting a large glass of cold beer to my mouth. I sit back in a cafe and watch other people show off or, better still, make fools of themselves, on the ski slopes.
And the best tan I have ever got in Spain was up at the ski resort - in February!
...and get going on those slopes
You go up there wearing a few layers and, as the day progressively heats up, you strip them off one by one. Slap on the sun lotion, sit back and breath in the freshest air available in all of Spain.
GET HIGH ON GRANADA BY GOING HIGH IN GRANADA!
As James Cagney once said: top of the world ma, top of the world - with Spanish Highs
There´s plenty you can do in winter.
I always go to the Rio Dilar on the first day of serious snowfall. My dog Bailey likes to put her footprints down first.
The fit among you will be off to the Ski Resort (a 50 minute very scenic drive) but those who would like to go to the roof of Spain should contact SPANISH HIGHS via their website http://www.spanishhighs.co.uk/
Their guided walks will ensure you see a side to Spain those who stay on the beach will never experience. Walk to the peaks of Veleta and Mulhacen and then you can truly say you have stood on the highest land points in mainland Spain.
Or walk through the glorious mountain villages of La Alpujarra. There are guided walks above the likes of Capileira, a village I love to visit in winter. Another place where, in the middle of the day, you can sit wearing a fleece and get a tan. Perhaps outside one of the lovely bars and restaurants there. Yes, you can eat outside at the height of winter.
Birdwatchers come out here at all times of year.
So, if that is your thing, be sure to contact BIRDWATCH LA ALPUJARRA via their website http://www.alpujarrasbirdwatching.com/
Again, personalised and informal trips out to spot some of the birds that winter in Spain. Don't forget your binoculars!
Pick your spot on the beaches in winter
And, of course, there is the great city of Granada. There are flights operated by British Airways direct from London City airport all winter.
While summers can be hot and sultry in the city, I love the place most in winter. Crisp, warm sunshine, largely tourist free and a chance to sit outside a tapas bar and enjoy your free snack with your drink.
But don't try and do it yourself. Find the best tapas bars by having Gayle Mackie take you on an organised tapas tours. Tell her in advance your food preferences and she will tailor a fun and informative tour to suit. Book her via her website http://www.granadatapastours.com/
Go on a tapas tour of Granada
And, as you are in the Lecrin Valley, be sure to enjoy the copious country walks that are on your doorstep. Among the orange and lemon groves. Or through the pine forests.
Fill your lungs with fresh air, eat locally grown produce, experience light skies this coming winter.
You can rent our accommodation at specially discounted long let winter rates between November 1st 2013 and March 1st 2014. Minimum rental time of 2 months.
Sunbathe, up on the roof, in winter
Two double bedrooms, three 'juliet' balconies, all electric kitchen, open plan and very light living space with large dining table, sofa, chairs, a hideaway reading corner and bathroom with shower over.
And don't forget that sunny roof terrace. Large and supplied with loungers (yes, you will use them in winter) and a large Moroccan dining table placed in the sunshine and seating six people.
Almond blossom in the Lecrin Valley
COME WINTER IN AUTHENTIC ANDALUCIA, SOUTHERN SPAIN.
Many rentals will add on the cost of electric and other utilities.
We include all such charges in the monthly price of 650 Euros per month.
There is broadband internet throughout the house, again included in the price.
The price of 650 Euros per month includes two full Butano gas tanks (you purchase subsequent refills at the door on a Wednesday) and a more than adequate starter supply of wood for the wood burning fire, which makes the accommodation all that more cosy on winter nights.
Winter in Granada city centre
SO SPEND THIS WINTER IN WHAT OTHERS CALL 'REAL SPAIN.'
WHAT WE CALL... HOME.
You will be most welcome.
Contact verninspain@gmail for availability.
The Alhambra Palace, Granada. In all its winter glory