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Cold … but Orangey

January 16, 2008

These first few weeks of 2008 have been cold. Very unlike the rest of the year, but not entirely unexpected for the coldest and darkest months here in the northern hemisphere.

But Cypriot houses aren’t always built for warmth and, often, have little in the way of insulation. Since our rental house is built of concrete blocks and finished in plaster the wind not only whistles through gaps around the doors and windows but through the walls themselves.

Oh, and we have no heating.

Actually, that’s not true. There’s no heating installed in the house. Theo, the landlord, had some interesting ideas as to what was necessary and what wasn’t when finishing a house.

On the “Not Necessary” list was things like … heating … air conditioning … curtain poles.

On the “Necessary” was … a fitted kitchen shipped out from London because his wife was bored with it and wanted a new one … fitted wardrobes shipped out from London because his wife was bored with them and wanted a new ones. Hmmm, is there a theme there do you think?

Of course, the detail-orientated among you will realise that fitted cupboards and wardrobes are unlikely to fit in more than one location. So the fitted things …well … they don’t actually!

And, to add to the interest, it seems Theo forgot to mention to the electrician that these things would be arriving. Had he know it’s possible that he’d have put light switches and the like in different locations. No matter, there’s always a practical solution if you look hard enough.

And really, we’re getting used to opening kitchen cupboards to turn on the lights.

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Anyhow, back to the heat. Theo didn’t install any so we’re making do with a portable gas heater downstairs. Most folk here have them to suplement their regular heating. Not sure we’ve found anyone who has just a heater to heat a 2,000 sq ft open plan house though.

We’ve given up trying to heat upstairs, particularly since it is often colder inside, than out. In the height of the summer we couldn’t get the heat in the bedroom below 37 degrees (99 degrees Fahrenheit). Right now, the bedroom is about 11 degrees (52 degrees Fahrenheit) and is unlikely to get any warmer until the weather changes. Thank goodness for thick fluffy duckdown quilts!

On an entirely different note remember the comment about getting more Seville oranges? Well, on Monday we saw the givers-of-the-oranges for the first time this year. Mands had hardly finished thanking them and saying how wonderful they were when she was handed another carrier bag full.

We’re starting to get the impression that they are looking for folks daft enough to be able to think of uses for yet another couple of dozen Sevilles.

Not to worry though … it wasn’t really dozens … when we counted them there were only 23!

Luckily we have a cunning plan. We just need to track down a local supply of Everclear or similar …

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