Snow Birds

Winter is not my favourite season. It’s cold and bleak. There are some plus points. It’s nice to sit in a cosy pub, with a glass of Real Ale, looking out the window at the lashing rain and howling wind. It’s nice to go out in the first snows. It’s nice to curl up in front of a real fire in the evening. But the plus points are thoroughly outweighed by the minus points. Frozen floorboards to greet naked toes first thing in the morning. Frozen fingers jammed in pockets in a futile effort to warm them up. Dark walks to the bus stop in the morning. But most of all, months go by without feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin.

Mexico doesn’t offer much in the way of seasons. Not in comparison, anyway. Rainy season and not rainy season. And Jacaranda season. The latter is pleasant, but short lived. What Mexico has is the sun, and lots of it. I love the sun. I never tire of it. There’s nothing finer than joining the mad dogs, on their midday stroll. Just me and the mad dogs, and any other Englishman that happens to be about. Sun block? For wimps and Johnny Foreigner. The lobster look is in for 2013.

I am sun starved at the moment. I’m sorely tempted to book myself a luxurious all inclusive holidays to Mexico. Spend a week or two lazing on a beach on the Mayan Riviera. Does it sound extravagant? It’s cheaper than a simple flight to Mexico City. It’s tempting. Very tempting. Failing that, perhaps I’ll joining the snow birds in San Miguel de Allende or Patzcuaro for some R & R. Whichever I choose, I’ll be happy to leave the snow birds of England behind. Including this little robin redbreast, the most famous of England’s winter birds. I’ve added him, and a couple of other feathered friends to my Birding set on Flickr. The robin is a fixture on traditional Christmas cards. That’s where I want to see my next robin. On a card.



9 thoughts on “Snow Birds

  1. I have a theory that the English are sun-starved because they live on an island that was once off the coast of Africa. The island floated north, and the English have spent their lives trying to get back to their home climate. Just a theory.

    I, on the other hand, love the cool. When I lived in Oxford, I left a window open to my den for fresh air. A robin redbreast took it as an invitation to build a nest in my bookcase. Where but in England could I have been foster uncle to wild birds in my home?

    Your photograph and essay brought back some nice memories. May you have many of your own this coming year.


    • I like the theory. I suspect that geology might not. But that us Brits do prefer warmer climes is undeniable.

      We have plans for a visit to Oxford in the next month or so. I’d love to visit Blenheim. Mrs P would love to have lunch at Raymond Blanc’s ‘Le Manoir’. His menu is exquisite. The prices, however, make ones eyes water as much as his cuisine makes ones mouth water.


  2. Andean says:

    The suspect the only reason I have survived NY winters are that the sun still shines in freezing degree weather, a lot of the time. But I’m now also in need of heat and the fireplace isn’t cuttting it. Hot days, ocean, and warm sand will though. A state of mind.


  3. It looks like you are ready to come back ‘home’ Gary! My wife seems to think that in an other life she was Mexican. I on the other hand had ancestors who were really Mexican. So I am taking Mexico the way that it is, sunny, cloudy, cold. It is a special place which we sometimes think as quaint and provincial while at other times cursing it. No, not a good idea to go for the ‘all-inclusive”. While it is cheap you wind up paying more on the long run.


  4. Gary Denness wrote:
    ” Sun block? For wimps and Johnny Foreigner. The lobster look is in for 2013.”

    You speak heedlessly, Gary, but let me tell you from personal experience, sun damaged skin is no fun, and not pretty, and the treatment is fairly unpleasant. I now apply strong sun block every morning before going out. And I always wear a broad brimmed hat. But the hat is not enough in itself to protect the skin of us güeros.

    Don Cuevas


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