Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dog's breath

My life in Greece has included what I consider to be mild winters. Not that it was never cold wherever we happened to be living, but it wasn’t usually sub-freezing, witch’s tittie cold. Sure, we had snow, but it never really felt that cold. In fact, I am almost sure that I never encountered temperatures low enough to make my breath visible – until this winter. It doesn’t help that our little mountain village seems to invite frostier temperatures than the city by the sea – even in the four miles between Panorama and our home the thermometer can drop as much as five degrees Celsius, which can sometimes be the difference between cold and losing feeling in your extremities cold – but I think even Thessaloniki proper has been colder than normal, or at least colder than the two previous winters I’ve spent here. We’ve had honest to goodness, stick to everything snow here four times, which surpasses the one or two crappy snowfalls I’ve seen (ok, we did have a really good snow when we lived in Litochoro, but only one), but when we tell city folk we are snowed in, they inform us it is only raining where they are.

I’ve always been one of those people who is too hot (in fact I think my first words involved a complaint about the heat), but here in our new house I find myself constantly freezing (even with our heat set to an over generous 21 degrees Celsius – sorry environment). Every once in awhile even my husband is cold (and he shares my overheated sensibilities), but usually he is sweating while I am still chilled to the bone. It is getting a bit tiresome, because sometimes even a nice blanket and a couple of cats can’t warm me up fast enough, and honestly, for someone with a rheumatoid illness being cold all the time does not help with joint pain one little bit. But the pain isn’t really the issue – the problem is that I have actually become one of those people I used to mock, those perpetually frozen, shawl bound people that constantly complain about the temperature. This behavior must stop, and so for the first time I find myself longing for the summer when I can swelter miserably in an air conditioner-less house, and the breath of the neighborhood dogs no longer bursts forth in strong foggy puffs when they bark.


Rositta said...

I feel your pain...I've got my thermostat set at 23c in the day time and 20c at night these days, but we are having a really cold winter and I'm in the midst of an rheumatoid arthritis flareup in all my joints. I think your spring will come a little earlier and by the way, we've had 87 cm of snow just in February with another 30 possibly coming Sunday night. So there, now do you feel better, lol...ciao

Laurie Constantino said...

So glad you are back online - I missed your dispatches from Greece. My theory is Greek houses are so cold (and they are) because of all the stone and cement combined with the damp and wind. Although I'm from Alaska, the coldest I've ever been in my entire live was a winter we spent in Greece. For me it helps to wear two pairs of socks, I can't explain why, but it does help. Stay warm!

Cheryl said...

"witch's tittie cold"!! You crack me up! But, you are sooooo right! It's freezing here. I'm complaining, the kids are complaining...even the dog seems cold. And I agree with Laurie, the homes here are just not made for cold. It surprises me though because um, it does get cold here.
My sister sends me pictures from Wisconsin where it's really cold and her kids are always barefoot and wearing t-shirts. I wish. Hang in there this week seems a little better!

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